Is flattery the key to success?

praise-flattery-sign

One definition of happiness is ‘ability to live life on your own terms.’ But sometimes, we define our happiness based on what others do, and then we try to ‘catch up’ with them compromising our own core values.

Aristippus, a Greek philosopher gained a comfortable position in the Kingdom through constant flattery of the King.

Aristippus once saw Diogenes, another Greek philosopher, dining on a meager meal of lentils and advised, “Learn to flatter the king and you will not have to live on lentils.”

Diogenes replied, “Learn to live on lentils and you will never have to flatter anyone.”

Following is the full story from the book Isaac Asimov’s Treasury of Humor: A Lifetime Collection of Favorite Jokes by Isaac Asimov

Aristippus of Cyrene and Diogenes of Sinope were contemporary philosophers of fourth century B.C. Greece. Aristippus preached pleasure as the greatest good and had a prominent position in the court of Dionysius, powerful ruler of Syracuse on Sicily. Diogenes on the other hand, held that all possessions were corrupting and favored a life of rigid virtue, which could be achieved only in poverty.

Aristippus once met Diogenes when the latter was engaged in washing lentils prior to making himself the soup that was the main article of his diet.

Aristippus said, “Oh, Diogenes, if you could but learn to do a small thing such as flattering Dionysius, you would not have the sad fate of living on lentils.”

And Diogenes answered, “Oh, Aristippus, if you could but learn to do a small thing such as living on lentils, you would not have the sad fate of having to flatter Dionysius.”

Only The Poor or Super Rich Say “Money Can’t Buy Happiness”

Money can’t buy happiness? That’s just wishful thinking. ~ Ruth Whippman

Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness, But…

It’s a saying that comes up time and time again. So many people will continue to tell you that money doesn’t buy happiness. They’ll tell you stories of all the people who won the lottery, only to be miserable a few short years later. They’ll tell you tales of humble folks who couldn’t be more satisfied with their lives.

Neither Doesn’t Being Poor

So, money can’t buy happiness, right? Well, that’s only part of the picture. Another way to think about it is that poverty isn’t going to bring you happiness either. In fact, poverty is much more likely to make you pretty darn miserable.

A number of studies have indicated that there is a certain level of diminishing returns when it comes to wealth and income. After you make enough to take care of your family’s basic needs — housing, food, clothing, etc. — more money won’t necessarily make you any happier. You might be able to buy nice things, but that 3BHK house isn’t going to make you much happier than a 5BHK house.

That’s one way that most people incorrectly approached this “problem” of being wealthy. They think that they can just buy nice things, throw extravagant parties and be happy. It doesn’t work that way. Money is a means, not an end.

It Can Buy Freedom

And that’s really what it comes down to. Money, in and of itself, probably can’t buy you happiness. But if you use it correctly, it can be an invaluable tool that can provide greater flexibility, incredible freedom, and a much improved sense of self-worth.

Money isn’t evil. Money doesn’t equal happiness. Money is neutral and it’s what you make of it that counts.

Closing Remark

When people start telling you money can’t buy happiness, take a good hard look at their finances. They are likely telling you this because they don’t have much money themselves. They haven’t tasted the freedom money buys. If they are super rich, then you know they are just trying to blend in and not look selfish.

Money can buy happiness because money buys peace of mind and opportunities for great experiences. Don’t be fooled by ego-consoling research and those who espouse! They are just trying to keep you from achieving your financial goals so they can feel better about themselves.