To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded." -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Philosopher, Poet, Author, Essayist

That quote has always, always been my very favorite. I've come to learn that life is about than the almighty dollar. Some of the wealthiest people I've ever known are the most shallow, conceited, empty-headed humans to walk this earth. On the other hand, some of the most interesting, intelligent, kindhearted people I've ever known are those who don't have two pennies to rub together.

I find it sad how many people have truly forgotten who they are because they've centered everything in their life around money rather than the things that really matter- like relationships. These people try to justify things by saying they only want the best for their kids and that's why they're working so much. Except when you pull away the mask they've put up, you realize the kids are the ones hurting because their parents are more concerned with making money than spending time with them. The same people will tell you that making a lot of money is essential to securing a lush future retirement for them and their spouse. But again, when you pull away the mask they've put up, you realize how lonely they are because their marriage is an unhappy and unfulfilling one, holding on by a frayed thread.

This isn't how I want to live my life. Sure, I wish I had more money. There are so many things I'd like to see and do, but if given the choice between having an endless supply of money and concrete relationships with those I love and those around me, a relationship would win every time.

New research from the University at Buffalo has found that people who think their success in life is based on how much money they make or have are setting themselves up for failure, negative comparison, anxiety and stress.

When a person values money over relationships, things tend to spiral out of control because as much as some people would like to believe they're in complete control of how much money they make- nobody truly is. And when people who obsess over money realize that they're not as in control as they thought, they get angry and that anger seeps into their personal lives.

The study researchers say that if you want to have the happiest life possible, you really should focus on "personal strengths instead of bank accounts."

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