Money: it’s the root of all evil, right? Yep, turns out not so much. In reality, there’s nothing inherently wrong with cold, hard cash. In fact, it’s kind of a necessity in this day and age, as we live in a society that requires you to exchange money for food, shelter, and internet access — you know, the basics.

What’s not so great is being enslaved to the idea that you must spend your life training for the ‘rat race’ to achieve success. That’s not what wellness is about.

Let’s get into it, shall we?

The Goldilocks Zone

Most of us have a specific view of money, and it’s one that’s drilled into us from a young age: the higher the number in your bank account, the happier you’ll be. The idea that you can never be too rich (or too thin) is pretty pervasive. It doesn’t matter if you’re living below the poverty line or if you just made the last payment on your yacht — more is seen as better.

But is this really the case? After you reach a certain threshold do you really need to keep amassing more fortune, especially when your basic needs are covered and there’s more than enough to invest and live comfortably. Like Goldilocks, you’ve entered the perfect equilibrium.

Maintaining that position takes less energy than it does to acquire it, though, both still involve work. The key, however, is letting go of the scarcity mindset and figuring out how to make money while you sleep.

Quietly Stepping Out of the Rat Race

If you play the game so you can have more toys than your neighbor, that won’t leave you feeling happy or fulfilled. Yes, it’s nice to have things. It’s also heartening to know that you have the resources to provide your family with everything they want or need. But what good is it to spend the rest of your time striving for more if it means neglecting those you care about, or your personal interests?

People often measure success by how they compare to their peers, and changing income brackets can influence how you see yourself. When a millionaire upgrades to a neighborhood where people also have an obscene amount of money, they won’t feel as rich in comparison to living among those with a lower net worth.

The goalposts of life satisfaction are ever-shifting. There will always be someone who has more than you, or less than you so it’s important that you find happiness within yourself now. Because you can’t buy it — peace of mind has to be earned.

Final Thoughts on Money and Wellness

The world isn’t going to change overnight. Tomorrow morning you’ll still have to get up, go to work, earn what you need to pay bills, and maybe put some money aside for your (optional) retirement. What you can change is how you think about the money you’re earning and what you plan on doing with it.

When you’re finally able to enjoy the freedom your hard work has provided, will it be enough? We can’t predict the future. But one thing you can be sure of is that everything in life changes and the quicker you adapt to a new environment, the better you’ll be at coping with whatever life throws at you.

Focus on what you can control — your attitude. Your view of money will largely influence what you do with it. Money is not the destination or a goal. It’s just a tool for creating the life you want. So, learn to balance the drive to succeed with contentment, because it could mean the difference between a happy life and a miserable one.