International bestselling author, Frank McKinney says: “It is pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness. Poverty and wealth have both failed.” By this definition it is clear that money does not bring happiness to anyone.
This brings my mind to another quote by noted American writer and poet, William Arthur Ward who said: “Happiness is an inside job. Don’t assign anyone else that power over your life.”
This brings us to the question, is it possible to stay happy when you are poor? Indeed yes. Money cannot buy happiness and nor should we assign it power to control our life.
Therefore, it is possible to stay happy when you are poor too.
This would definitely come as surprise to millions of people that struggle to pay their bills and often cannot meet basic needs. But here are some ways you can stay happy even if you do not have much money.
Staying Happy but Poor
Happiness is nothing more than a state of mind. It comes when we tune our minds in certain ways. Here are some simple, time-tested and proven ways to stay happy when you are poor.
Be Grateful for Everything
Things could be worse you know. The very fact that you are reading this article shows you have some education in a world where millions of people cannot afford attending school. Leave alone reading something on the Internet.
You can be grateful that you are alive and kicking and at least have some of your basic necessities met daily, albeit with some difficulty or struggle.
That you have roof over your head in some form is also something to be grateful for, considering thousands of people are homeless and have no shelter.
Make a list of things you have: it will show you things that others can only dream about.
Poverty is Not Permanent
Being poor right now does not mean you have to stay this way. The decision to rise out of poverty is always yours.
Understandably, you have sufficient resources to start own business or get a better job. But there are definitely some options you can consider.
Of course these tasks will not make you rich. Yet, they will help you earn some extra money and meet some of your expenses.
Also sign-up as a product tester with various consumer goods companies. They supply free stuff to for people to test and write reviews. Mostly, wealthy people will never enjoy the thrill of trying something new and writing a review to get paid.
Stay happy by knowing that you are doing something to rise out of poverty, though in a small way.
Keep the Right Company
Being poor does not mean you need to hang around with people that are broke. You can always make friends and acquaintances that have more money.
This helps you learn how they live and what they do with their money. Their stories can provide enough inspiration for you to try something new and rise out of poverty.
Thus, keeping right company at work and in your social life is extremely important to stay happy when you are poor.
Also, hanging around with poor people is good. It helps realize that you are not the only one who faces shortage of money and problems it causes.
Should you find yourself in a bad situation due to money shortage, these people will definitely offer some advice to overcome the problem.
Surround yourself with people that have a positive attitude to life. People that do not complain about their problems but help uplift others. You will be surprised at the number of poor people who remain happy and cheer others.
Volunteer to Help
Volunteering or giving your services free of cost to some worthy cause is the surest way to stay happy when you are poor. Charity does not mean giving money or stuff.
Working for some worthy cause like helping senior citizens for free, visiting persons afflicted by terminal disease and giving hope or fundraising for a worthy cause also bring happiness.
Psychologists around the world say that giving is a psychological need of humans. People give something because it makes them happy.
Any form of charity makes one happy. By volunteering to help, you will experience that you have power to bring about some change in this world, regardless how small.
Further, volunteering is also prestigious. It changes whatever perceptions people may have about you when they know you are a volunteer for some worthy cause.
Despite being poor, volunteering will help you stay happy.
But savings is something that even the poorest can do.
Start by saving pennies and small change. Look forward to the day when these coins will add up to a respectable amount that you may be able to invest somewhere.
Most poor people believe investing is only for the rich. This is sheer myth. There are plenty of schemes and plans that allow direct debit of small amount of money from your income to invest for great returns.
In fact, a few Dollars lesser every month will not increase your poverty further. Instead, it will take you slowly towards a better future. Knowing that you are securing your future in some small way will also bring happiness.
Set Clear Goals
You can stay happy when you are poor by setting goals for future. These can be career goals or financial goals, social goals or about anything that you wish to do in life.
Working towards your goals is surest way to stay happy when you are poor. Whenever you achieve some landmark in your goals, it brings happiness.
This is because goals are very important in life because they give a clear direction about where you wish to be in future.
You can set short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. Have a small celebration when you achieve any of these or cross some vital milestone on the way.
Poverty is no hindrance for setting goals. In fact, most people have risen from poverty because they have well-defined objectives and goals for life.
Develop a Hobby
Another excellent way to stay happy when poor is by developing a hobby. The reason: hobbies take your mind of stressful thoughts and daily exhaustion. They provide a refreshing and often educative experience to a stressed and tired mind.
A hobby can be anything as simple as growing plants in a garden, if you have one, reading books, collecting stamps, coins, newspaper clippings or even making a scrapbook.
It is not necessary to pour money into hobbies. In fact, some of these hobbies cost nothing. Yet they provide good pastime and keep your mind happy and fresh.
Hobbies can also give you an altogether new perspective of life. Further, you can always spin your hobby into a money making venture later.
Nowadays, enjoying nature is something most people have forgotten. People miss out on natural phenomenon like meteor showers or even something as simple as seeing trees develop flowers and fruits or shed leaves according to season.
The reason is simple: they are glued to TV or smartphones or have other engaging commitments.
You can stay happy when you are poor by enjoying nature. Instead of spending money on expensive movie tickets or trips, simply enjoy various natural phenomenon and observe how nature changes around you.
No human force can copy nature. Hence, what you see is something very few people would ignore and miss out.
You will find green spaces everywhere in your neighbourhood. Watching these natural wonders is relaxing to the mind and makes you happy.
Experiment with Cooking
Being poor means you may not have sufficient money to buy necessary stuff to prepare a dish. Instead of brooding over the lack of ingredients, get into your kitchen and start experimenting with what you have.
You can improvise some dishes. Who knows, you may cook something wonderful that no one else has tried before.
In fact, a lot of great dishes in the world are a result of experimenting. For example, Colonel Harland David Sanders developed the secret recipe of KFC fried chicken through experiments.
Cooking is a great pastime that takes off stress. And when you experiment, it adds to the thrill of creating something unique.
Keep Good Health
The old adage ‘Health is Wealth’ is indeed true. A person can have billions of Dollars and yet be chronically sick. A great way to stay happy when you are poor is by keeping good health.
This does not mean you join an expensive gym or indulge in sports that needs pricey equipment.
Walking or jogging, bicycling to work if possible and practicing Yoga, among other activities are something that can be done free of cost. Yet they provide immense health benefits.
Good health ensures you do not have to spend money on expensive treatment and medicines.
Nobody denies that poverty brings its own share of problems. At the same time, nobody can deny that people can stay happy when they are poor.
In fact, once you decide to stay happy, no power on Earth, not even money can stop your resolve. It is worth remembering that happiness is a choice.
No external force like money can make you happy. It is your personal decision to stay happy when you are poor.