Earlier this week, Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha surprised me with a special award for my contributions to Thailand and…
Does Money Buy Happiness?
Many people say that money buys happiness. As someone who has experienced both poverty and wealth, I have to say that money does matter, especially when you don’t have enough for food, shelter, and security. That being said, I have to disagree that money buys happiness (after your basic needs of food, shelter, and security are met). Interestingly, studies on happiness have shown that an annual income of US$75,000 is the maximum happiness point (above which more money does not equate to more happiness). Another thing that I can tell you is that houses, cars, and material things definitely do not create happiness. You see, there is a difference between a house and a home. Anyone can buy a house, but not everyone can make it a home. A house is made of cement and brick. A home is made of love and happiness. The same goes for life. If you fill your life with diamonds, luxury clothes, and cars, you won’t necessarily be happy. However, if you fill your life with love, family, friends, and dreams, you will definitely be happy. Money can buy you fleeting pleasures, but can never give you everlasting happiness and fulfilment.
It is true that the best things in life are free. One of the happiest periods of my life was when I struggled. My mother and I slept on the floor in sleeping bags in the office of my 1st startup because we could not afford a place of our own, let alone beds. We ate frozen microwave meals that cost US$1.50 each. Yet, we were happy and full of gratitude for everything. We always counted our blessings. We always chose to see the beauty of our situation. We always embraced the good fortune in everything. The way we saw things was that our life could have been far worse. Today, we often look back on those days as some of the most magical memories of our lives. Gratitude for our blessings, irrespective of our circumstances, has always been the ingredient for our happiness. Life might be full of suffering and tragedy, but it is also full of beauty and love.
You see, there is magic everywhere, but you have to believe it to see it.
Chatri Sityodtong is a self-made entrepreneur and lifelong martial artist from Thailand. His rags-to-riches life story has inspired millions around the world on BBC News, CNN, Financial Times, Bloomberg TV, CNBC, Channel NewsAsia, and other major media. He is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of ONE Championship, Asia’s largest global sports media property in history with a global broadcast to over 2.7 billion potential viewers across 150+ countries around the world. He is also the star of the Asian edition of The Apprentice, the award-winning, global reality TV series. Forbes most recently selected Sityodtong as one of Asia’s next generation tycoons. Sityodtong was also named “Asia’s King of Martial Arts” by the Financial Times and the “2nd Most Powerful Person in Sports in Asia” by FOX Sports. He is also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at INSEAD, Europe’s top business school. Inducted recently into the Black Belt Hall of Fame, Sityodtong is a Kru in Muay Thai and a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Sityodtong holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA from Tufts University.