Sophia has always wanted to be wealthy. Acquaintances might think that she had a comfortable life, but in Sophia’s mind, money was a constant challenge. She was certain that her life and her outlook would be completely different, if only she were rich.
Then, her childhood friend passed away without warning. Out of the blue, Sophia inherited a considerable sum of money. Even in Sophia’s own eyes, she was now a wealthy woman. This was sure to eliminate her worries! It was time to begin enjoying life.
Oddly, Sophia began to have trouble sleeping.
She found herself lying awake at night, wondering how best to invest her windfall. She became troubled by the idea that advisors might try to take advantage of her financial naiveté.
Wanting to be seen as a savvy investor, she now spent hours researching. Horror stories of people taken by slick-talkers kept her glued to her computer screen. The idea that someone might take her for a fool and steal her money haunted her.
There were other changes, too. Sophia used to be friendly and outgoing; now she was suspicious. Certain that everyone knew of her windfall, she was wary of the tiniest pleasant exchange. “Why are they being so friendly? They’re probably trying to get at my money!”
Her friends treated her differently too. At least, that’s how it seemed to Sophia. Casual get-togethers over coffee weren’t quite the same as the old days. Now, when her friends chatted about their difficulties (which were often about money), Sophia felt isolated.
She also suspected that they expected her to pay, and considered her “cheap” when she didn’t offer. Truth be told, she no longer wanted to be seen in a coffee shop; a more sophisticated café would better fit her new status. Couldn’t they be more considerate?
Sophia’s windfall was becoming a nightmare for her, literally. Her life had changed, but so negatively. Why was this blessing such a burden?
Perhaps you’re thinking, “I wish I had her problem!”
Your challenge might be too many bills, not too much money. Or maybe it’s too much pressure and too little respect. It could even be too much love (in an overbearing way), or too much neglect. However, just as for Sophia, an interesting question is, “Can changing your perception of the situation increase your satisfaction? If so, how would you change that perception?”
Sophia might get some relief from her unhappiness if she asks herself, “What would I be doing if I were happy and satisfied? Who would I want to spend time with? Who am I trying to impress, and is that helpful for me?”
Like Sophia, you might perceive something lacking in your life. Perhaps it’s a great job, a loving spouse, or a bag of money! Whether you decide to make a change, or just hope for a windfall, it’s helpful for you to be clear about what a happy life looks like. Otherwise, when your windfall comes in, how will you know what to do with it?