What brings joy - a financial insight

So, the whole humanity is in search of joy. From a kinder-garden child to a college student to mid life couple to someone in his last leg of life, every activity being undertaken by humans is undertaken as a step to achieve happiness or joy. Some activities bring in instant joy and some bring with them the promise of happiness at a later date. A college student is asked to study hard and made to understand that if you study hard, you will beat others in competition which will lead you to secure a better and high paying job and with high paying job, you will have the ability to buy things which others cannot. And you know that the tap of joy overflows when you can do something which your neighbors, peers and relatives cannot. So, the source of joy becomes someone's else inability which I am not exploring in this post.

I have had this curiosity since my childhood to observe things from the perspective that why am I being asked to undertake this activity or task. And after spending hours with these questions with myself, I could realize that what was being sold in the name of studies, being religious, being obedient, being present on occasions where I did not want to be was being sold with a tag of joy or happiness which may come instantly or in future.

During the same period of my life, I was studying finance and the core of finance revolves around this concept. A dollar today is better than a dollar tomorrow. All complex knowledge, interest rates, cash flows and studies which come in the gamut of finance are built on the pillar of time value of money, if someone looks deep enough.

My mind chatters brought me to this place. What about time value of happiness. What about time value of joy. Most of us let go our happiness today in search of joy for tomorrow. We undertake jobs, tasks, activities which we do not like for a future promise of achieving something which will bring joy. The source of joy as widely accepted and discussed is about doing something willingly. Someone doing the same task willingly versus someone more skilled doing the same task unwillingly brings a world difference in the final output.

This brought me to a point where I could realise that if someone is doing a task willingly, not only is that person joyful, but the end result of that task is also very good. I stopped at this point to ponder over again. A person who is joyful (i.e. a person doing a task willingly) is doing three unintentional things -
 1) He/she is not postponing his happiness to a future date and  is consuming happiness right now. Even if you apply time value of money principle and basic risk concepts of finance, you would know this is by far 200% better than being joyful at a later date.
 2) He/she is not bothered by the outcome of the task because the person is so happy doing the task, he does everything humanly possible to remain in the task longer and do it the way that the end result surpasses expectation.
3) The person who does a task willingly hence becomes a source of joy and who does not like joyful people on this planet. A happy person attracts more happiness and achieves significant milestones without stressing about it. For this person, journey is far more important than the destination.

While our earlier generations (those born in 1940's, 50's and 60's) had tremendous financial issues and they had to do a lot of things unwillingly to ensure that they and their family had bread in their plates. However, with how the world and our country has shaped economically in last 3 decades, very few people need to do jobs or tasks which they do not want to do. I would further presume that everyone reading this post will never have to go to bed empty stomach due to money constraints though they may do so to lose weight in an attempt to look smarter at a future date.

Isn't it the best time for humanity to understand the time value of happiness and do tasks which bring in instant happiness rather than at a later date.

Write in your thoughts to explore this further.


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