The Client-centred Blog

Can money really make you happy?

According to a survey published by Channel 5, 76% of people believe happiness is linked to money but 34% don’t agree that money can buy you happiness.

So, who is right? The majority or the minority?

Dr. Elizabeth Dunn, author of ‘Happy Money: The science of happier spending’ is quoted as saying…

“If money doesn’t make you happy, then you probably aren’t spending it right.”
So, if we are to believe Dr. Dunn then we can increase our happiness by adjusting our spending to fall in line with the science.

Is this true or false?

The most pervasive illusion that humans are under is that external objects, situations and circumstances cause feelings.

Money is no exception.

Money, whether it be hard cash or digitally stored, has no power to make anyone feel anything.

Money, in this sense, is neutral. Powerless. Inert.

Money cannot make you happy or unhappy. It cannot give you security or make you feel insecure. It cannot make you feel under pressure or relieve your internally felt pressure.

And yet it seems many people give it these magical powers.

People treat money like it is oxygen – as soon as they think they don’t have enough they start to feel like they are suffocating.

They chase it because they think it will give them the feeling of well-being they seek.  

And the amount of money people think will solve their problems is completely subjective.

Coach and author Michael Neill had a client who woke up each day thinking, ‘Is this the day I’m going to lose it all?’

The client’s net worth was six hundred million dollars!

When people believe the illusion that money is the source of their pain and, therefore, their salvation too, then two things tend to happen:

1. They become unhealthily preoccupied with it (but will often deny that money is important to them).

2. They do things they don’t want to do (to get money) because their behaviour is driven by fear.

As a coach I have worked with many clients who had an unhealthy relationship with money because they (innocently) bought into the illusion.

If I were to help them solve their external situation with money it may help them in the short term but in the bigger picture I would just be reinforcing the illusion.

Wayne Dyer said ‘The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.’.

In just the same way, your relationship with money is nothing more than a reflection of the way you think about it.

As soon as the illusion is cleared up it changes everything. You feel secure irrespective of circumstances. You have renewed hope. You see possibilities. The thinking you need comes to you.

It happens time after time.

Money is just a tool. If you want more of it then create value for people and they will give it to you.

But it cannot control your feelings. Your feelings of well-being and happiness come from within you and this is the only place they can ever come from.


John Dashfield spent 14 years as a self-employed adviser. Since 2006 he has been a coach, mentor and author helping advisers create transformations in their business and personal lives.



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