iTunes: Stream Episode
Rabbi Evan Moffic uses this episode to discuss happiness. He connects money and happiness and discusses why they are related but also delineates how they are not the same thing. Then he discusses the difference between pleasure and happiness. The former is fleeting with the latter is lasting. The best way to wealth is through helping others and understanding them.
Welcome to the Solomon Success Show where we explore the timeless wisdom of King Solomon and the Bible as it relates to business and investing false prophets and get rich quick schemes are everywhere. Let’s not be distracted by these. Instead, let’s go to the source, the eternal principles that create a life of peace, power and prosperity. Here’s our host, Jason Hartman.
Rabbi Evan Moffic 0:32
Welcome to the Solomon success show. This is Rabbi Evan Moffitt, a friend and client of Jason’s and Jason was kind enough to invite me to co host this show, because I’m a rabbi and a teacher who writes about biblical wisdom for people of all faiths. And what greater source can we use to live a life of meaning and purpose, then the Hebrew Bible then the story of Solomon, the teachings of Solomon that really guide us on the journey to wealth and success and freedom. Because there are too many of these get rich quick schemes out there. Three Steps to this four steps to that. That’s not enough. That’s not the real truth. You know, there’s this great Oliver Wendell Holmes quote where he says, I’m not looking for complexity. But I’m not looking for anything too simple either. I’m looking for the simplicity, on the other side of complexity. And I think what he means with that is that there are certain core principles, certain ideas, truths we can uncover about the universe. Some of them are not as intuitive as we might hope. But once we understand them, once we study them, once we experience them, we begin to see how true they are. And then they’re almost second nature. They become a simple is not simplistic. Stick simple is something that we can grasp. And sometimes we have to experience a truth to grasp it. And that actually leads us into what I want to talk about today. I just returned from Jason’s prophets in paradise conference. And it was really tremendous. And I spoke at the conference, it was in Florida. And I spoke about happiness, and what we can do to live a life of happiness, I called my talk the science and soul of happiness. And it was really wonderful to speak in front of so many of Jason’s clients. So many clients have Platinum properties. And it was just, these are smart people. I’m telling you, I mean, I’m, I’m a client, but I’ve met so many. And it was really a tremendous group. And I tried to share some guidance as to what steps we can take to live a life of meaning and purpose and ultimately, happiness. One of the guiding principles of this talk is that money and happiness are related. But they’re not the same thing. We often confuse in America we think, more money, more happiness, because we live in a material world. And it’s like that great Madonna song. Living in a material world. There’s, there’s truth to that. But it’s much more than a material world. material is one thing. There’s that great quote from Hamlet that I just love so much where he says, There is more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in your philosophy. There’s more going on in this world than we even know. And we can imagine there’s a deep spirituality, there are truths that we can uncover, that we can find an ancient wisdom. And those truths can really lead us to finding meaning and purpose in this material world. So I’m going to go through a couple of the key points from that presentation because I think that you’ll find the meaningful, they’re rooted in biblical wisdom. They’re rooted in the teachings of Solomon. But first let’s start with why is happiness important? That may seem kind of self evidence of course we want to live a happy life. But some people in fact, somebody asked at the presentation, somebody raised their hand and said, you know, somebody wants to ask me what I want out of life. And I said that I want to be happy. And that person who asked the question said, Well, that seems kind of selfish. Is that true? is pursuing our own happiness? Is that selfish? I would say, absolutely not. In fact, I think pursuing happiness is a moral obligation. Dennis Prager, who is actually an Orthodox Jew, and a great radio host, sometimes a little too conservative for my taste, but he’s got a lot of great lessons and teachings. He says that happiness is a moral obligation. Because happier people are more productive. They add more to society. So good businesses, good communities will seek to maximize people’s happiness because they ultimately give back they ultimately produce more. So happiness makes us more effective human beings. Also, the happier We are the longer we live. This is True. There have been all kinds of studies in the positive psychology field that say, when we are happy, we have stronger immune systems, we live longer or more charitable, truly happiness brings out the best in us. And Aristotle said that happiness is the purpose of life. I would argue that God desires our happiness. God wants us to find that Simha that’s the Hebrew word that joy, in fact that the Hebrew psalms begin with the words ashray, which means Happy, happy are those whose lives are deeply rooted in God, happier those whose lives are rooted in our traditions, in ancient wisdom. So I do think that God designed us to be happy now sometimes we we veer from the path, but that’s really something we can all attain. How do we get there? How do we get there? Well, the best way of understanding it is from the School of positive psychology. This is the best way of kind of bringing ancient wisdom to present scientific language, I believe is captured in the School of positive psychology. And they argue that happiness really comes from perma. That’s the acronym. perma means positive emotion. That’s the P positive emotion is smiling, connecting, just engaging with others since socializing. He engagement, artists are talking about engagement. But in this context, engagement is being involved in a community, being engaged in our work, feeling challenged, feeling pushed, that’s engagement, our relationships, that’s kind of self evident relationships, our friendships, the community we’re part of. Many studies of happiness indicate that in the end of days when people are in their 70s, and 80s, it’s their relationships that really bring them the most meaning. So keeping that in mind throughout our life is tremendously important. The fourth Per mother M is meaning and purpose that is serving something bigger than ourselves. That’s getting involved with the community. It could be our church or synagogue, it could be a school board. It could be a homeless shelter. It could be something that it could be a softball team. It’s something that brings out our better selves, that we’re serving something bigger than ourselves, if all we care about is your own satisfaction, and we’re simply living a life of pleasure, and there’s a difference between pleasure and happiness. Pleasure is short term. It’s getting a massage, it’s having a great meal, use your own imagination, pleasure. Pleasure is easy. Happiness is a deeper sense of purpose. Happiness is serving something bigger than ourselves. And that’s where meaning comes in. And a is accomplishment. accomplishment is feeling that we can do something well, and it doesn’t have to be something huge. It could be something simple. It could be playing tennis. It could be learning a new language, but having a sense of mastery that makes us happier. It’s a wonderful, wonderful feeling. So perma if we can find ways of doing those five things, positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning and accomplishment. we’re well on our way. And what does money have to do with all of this? This show is about success and wealth and freedom. And, of course, money is part of that. It’s not the whole story. But here’s some couple of interesting statistics. More money does make us happier, up to a point. There’s a one to one correlation with money and happiness, up to about $75,000 a year. And that also that the 75 is sort of a middle point in Atlanta, along with other cities, in say, less expensive cities. It’s about $42,000 a year in New York City. That’s about $120,000 a year. Chicago is about the middle $75,000 a year. And that was back in 2015. So we have to account for a little inflation. And my guess is it’s probably a little bit more than that. But that’s what the studies indicate. So if you’re making below that, then the more money you make, the happier you are going to be in pretty direct relationship. Once you exceed $75,000 a year, more money does make you happier, but it’s diminishing returns. That is its marginal. So the the dollar you make, when you go from the thousand dollars you make when you go from 20,000 to 21,000, will bring you much greater happiness than the dollars you make when you go from 100,000 to 101,000. It has less of an impact when you get higher, and then basically it disappears. By the time you make about $200,000 a year. So essentially, you will not be any happier if you make 400,000 dollars a year than if you make $200,000 a year. Now you might think you would be happier. But generally you won’t be the studies indicate that over and over again, the only exception. The only exception to that is when you live and work in a community where you’re constantly comparing yourself to others. So let’s say you work at a company, and you make $250,000 a year, and the person in the office next to you makes $350,000 a year. And you think you work just as hard as that person, you might be less happy with $250,000 a year and you might be more happy if you were making the same. But that’s because you’re comparing, if you were making that same salary, and you lived in a place where most people were making the same as you or less than you, you would be happier. So again, that that speaks to thinking about the context. Jason often talks about the context as well as the content and they both affect Happiness, the content in this case is the amount of money we make. The context is the place in which we live. And that can have a deep effect on our happiness. But even there, even there, once you reach a certain level, it doesn’t even affect your happiness anymore. It may affect your kind of sense of competition, depending on your character, you know, you may feel more driven still to make more. But in terms of satisfaction with life with the basic questionnaire, in general, once you reach about $250,000, more money doesn’t make you any happier. Now, let’s say you make enough money to make you happy. How do you spend money in a way that actually makes you happier? You know that there’s an interesting question. If you have discretionary income, there are ways to spend it that actually bring greater happiness. You’ve probably heard this before. Maybe you’ve heard that you should spend money on experiences rather than things. That’s certainly true, but it’s more complex. It’s actually there are more ways in that. First of all, spending money on others, makes us happy generosity. Anyone who gives gifts gnosis, How good does it feel to give a gift to your spouse or friend or child, this point in my life, I like getting gifts, but it’s not really a big deal. If I want something, I can generally buy it for myself if I want to book and get it for myself. Now, if somebody gets something that I didn’t think about or didn’t, you know, I’d never heard of that. That’s really neat, or something really creative. But it actually feels much better to give somebody something. So being generous makes us happier. Secondly, is meaningful experiences. And that’s different for every individual. A meaningful experience for one individual could be going on a safari, a meaningful experience for another individual could be starting a charity. Now, we might think morally one’s better than the other. But I’m not talking in a moral context. Here. I’m talking about what makes you happy. Third, and this is very important. It’s probably one of the reasons you listen to the show and listen to Jason’s other shows. Is that spending money on personal development on learning makes us happier. You know, our brains, scientists used to think the brain stopped growing at age 25. This was the conventional wisdom. Now over the last 10 to 15 years, brain science has gotten so much better, that scientists know that we are forming new brain cells, and we’re forming new connections among brain cells well into our 70s and 80s. So the more we learn, the more we learn. The more connections we have in our brain, the more empathetic we are, the more appreciation we have for life. It’s truly tremendous what we can do, what learning can do so so spending money on learning on growing ultimately makes us happier. There’s also a connection, I believe, between money and spirituality. I talked about this on other shows, but I came across a quote as I was preparing for the presentation I gave in Orlando that I thought was really good. It’s from Rabbi Daniel Lapin He said, wealth is God’s way of incentivizing you to do exactly what God wants you to do, which is to care obsessive Lee, about satisfying the needs and desires of God’s other children. In other words, the best way to earn wealth is when we are meeting other people’s needs. Let’s say someone needs a ride, an Uber driver, you make money when you give someone else a ride, you’ve met somebody else’s needs. And there are infinite number of ways to do that in the world. And when we are creative when we think of how we can meet other people’s needs, hopefully that brings us wealth. And so serving others is a path to wealth, and that’s something that God wants us to do. God wants us to find ways to serve others. Now there are ways to serve others without getting paid for it. That’s one way money isn’t the only sign of service. You know, there are plenty of people who live a life of poverty who are serving others. We can serve others with our time. We don’t always have to get paid but that’s one way of serving Couple other things, I just want to give you kind of sort of five general principles that you can follow that I believe. We’ll talk next week about how Solomon demonstrates some of these, but here are just kind of five quick tips to live a happier life. I ended my talk by talking about this and people really found it meaningful. I’m going to give you five quick tips for a happier life. The first first thing you can do right now is to do something kind for another person. Kindness makes us happier. Dr. Martin Seligman, who founded the really the school positive psychology University of Pennsylvania, said that the best thing we can do to get a short term boost and happiness and a long term boost in happiness is to do something for another person, do something kind for another person. The second thing you can do is to every day, write down three things you are grateful for. That may seem very simple, and it is but very powerful. Studies have shown that eight weeks 16 weeks and 32 weeks after doing this exercise, people who wrote down three things they’re grateful for every day. We’re 40% happier than those who didn’t. Third thing you can do to make yourself happier every day is to exercise. It’s a ritual. There’s something powerful. My, my 10 year old daughter was telling me she was from a class at school, where she said, If I’m feeling down, I can exercise for 20 minutes, and I’ll feel better. I thought that was brilliant. I wish it didn’t take 20 minutes. But sometimes for some, sometimes it can take longer, but exercise to the kind of ritual. So rituals make us happier, because they help us make sense of time. But just getting our bodies moving, that can make us happier. The fourth, and this is something a little bit more spiritual than exercise. But do something you are afraid of doing. Do something you’re afraid of doing that stretches us that pushes us. Solomon did lots of things he was afraid of doing in the Bible. One thing I would recommend is try to forgive somebody, forgive somebody who hurt you, or seek forgiveness from somebody you hurt. Forgiveness is very hard. But I have seen over and over again, that people who forgive and are forgiven are happier in their lives. It’s almost like a burden is lifted. Perhaps we’ll do a whole episode on forgiveness because it’s a very important and complex topic. The fifth step you can take right away is to read or listen to something slightly out of your comfort zone. So what I mean is when we learn, we should try to learn something that expands our mind. It shouldn’t be something totally something we’re totally uninterested in. I mean, if you’re not interested in all in woodworking, but you see a book on woodworking and you say, oh, Rabbi mafex said I should learn and so I’m going to learn about woodworking. But if you’re not interested in all at all in it, don’t learn don’t learn something you’re not interested in it. But you should learn something slightly outside of your comfort zone. So let’s say you love rock and roll music, maybe learn a little bit, maybe try classical music, or try jazz, do something a little something that’s still within a broader context of what you know and like and know a little bit about, but that expands your mind a little bit, that goes a little bit outside your comfort zone. And then over time, your comfort zone expands and expands. And that makes us happier. So we’ll do a little bit more on happiness over the next few weeks. But this is a topic I’m passionate about a topic where I really think Solomon’s principles in ancient biblical wisdom has so much to give. Shalom.
Thank you so much for listening. Please be sure to subscribe so that you don’t miss any episodes. Be sure to check out the show’s specific website and our general website Hartman. Mediacom for appropriate disclaimers and Terms of Service. Remember that guest opinions are their own and if you require specific legal or tax advice or advice and any other specialized area, please consult an appropriate professional. And we also very much appreciate you reviewing the show. Please go to iTunes or Stitcher Radio or whatever platform you’re using and write a review for the show we would very much appreciate that. And be sure to make it official and subscribe so you do not miss any episodes. We look forward to seeing you on the next episode.