“I would rather cry in a BMW than smile on a bicycle,” said Ma Nuo to an unemployed suitor on a television dating show If You Are the One. She popularized this saying, summarizing something that a lot of people believe in that wealth will make them happy, or:
Wealth = Happiness
However, from my personal experience, money doesn’t lead to happiness, at least not as much as people believe it should.
At the age of 26, I was extremely well off financially speaking. I had a great car, a big home, and all the gadgets that people typically associate with a good and happy life. I was also very depressed, to a point that I questioned common wisdom and said something was seriously wrong with the modern model of happiness.
I left my well-paying job, sold my possessions, and committed myself to discover what actually would make me happy.
1000 + 1 Books on Happiness
There is another popular saying which states that there are 1000 happiness books, but from my personal experience, they aren’t all good, as I read them all trying to become happy. Honestly, most of them aren’t going to make you happy, just as a random book about money isn’t going to make you rich.
In desperation to become happy, I read all books on happiness I could find, and when I was still unhappy, I decided to summarize all their findings. I made a meta-study of sorts of all literature of happiness.
Finally, I found a formula for unconditional happiness that worked for me. I summarized this formula in the 1001st book on happiness, which I called Optimal Happiness.
In it, I stated that if you are like my old self, tired of random happiness advice that doesn’t work, then you should read my book. I wrote it for people like my old self, stating that it worked for me and that it will work for you, no matter who you are, where you are from, and what your life circumstances are.
Today, I’d rather smile on a bicycle rather than cry in a BMW, because I realize that owning a car isn’t the ultimate solution to happiness. Being happy is the solution to happiness, and everything else (including the BMW) is a means to this end, which is happiness.