August 22, 2014

Can Money Ever Buy Happiness?

Photo: x-ray delta

By Crabby McSlacker

OK, so I'm not foolish enough to suggest that money can generally buy happiness. Otherwise, why would so many rich people be miserable grasping insufferable poopy-heads?  But in my experience, there are indeed times when thoughtful financial investments can reap substantial experiential rewards.

For example, travel comes to mind as an awesome place to spend some cash in order to chase a bit of joy and excitement and fresh appreciation for life.  Which is the reason I am posting this the day we're taking off for an adventure in Europe!  (As you may recall, it is all the fault of the Dowager Countess of Grantham.)

True, I really did insist.

(And btw, this also means you can expect some awesome guest posts while I'm gone and innumerable tedious vacation pictures when I get back, and perhaps some mid-trip updates along the way, but you regulars already know the drill).

But here's the thing:  We got our vacation at a big discount, because we bought it way in advance, and took advantage of an early bird special.  And so any happiness we may have purchased will be twice as sweet!

So I thought I'd let you know about another great investment in happiness that's on sale:

Check out Rick Hanson's: The Foundations of Well-Being Early Bird Special!  It's $50 Off if you SIGN UP AND PAY BEFORE AUGUST 31st.

This course starts October 1.  I'm doing the whole thing too, and I'm hoping a few Cranketeers might want to join me and perhaps we can discuss along the way?  We can hang either at Rick's place (there are forums and maybe I can start a thread there) or I can riff over here and we can do the comment thing.

So what the heck is it? And why am I harping on about it when I should be finishing up the last of my packing?

It's a year long program that "uses the power of positive neuroplasticity to hardwire more happiness, resilience, self-worth, love, and peace into your brain and your life."

I'll just throw in some verbatim quotes as to specifics so I don't accidentally slip in any swear words:

You’ll develop the 12 Pillars of Well-Being: Self-Caring, Mindfulness, Learning, Vitality, Gratitude, Confidence, Calm, Motivation, Intimacy, Courage, Aspiration, and Service.
Each month, you’ll get:
• Two hours of video presentations from Rick Hanson – with fascinating ideas, powerful methods, and guided practices
• Two more videos of experiential activities
• PowerPoint slidesets and other written materials
• Community forums

And each month, you’ll get a new hourlong video interview with leading experts, including Tara Brach, Steven Porges and Sue Carter, Dan Siegel, Barbara Fredrickson, Gretchen Rubin, Jack Kornfield, Paul Gilbert, Daniel Ellenberg, Sharon Salzberg, Anat Baniel, Joan Halifax, and John Ratey.

It will be jam-packed with inspiration, emotional support, and powerful tools – all available in an archive for access any time, including in audio-only formats for easy listening on the go.

It costs just $25/month for a year. And there’s a great Early Bird Special – a $50 value – if you sign up by August 31. And psychotherapists, social workers, and nurses can receive 24 continuing education credits for just $50.

There’s even a money-back guarantee.

So that's the deal.

Regulars here already know I'm a big fan of Rick's--I just checked my little search box and there are seven pages of links to posts in which I've referred to him. This is because his stuff WORKS. (Seriously, I used to be way more of a pissy, easily frustrated, anxious worrywart pain in the ass before I started reading and watching his stuff, and I will be forever grateful to him for helping me re-wire my brain).

Need more persuading? Here are 3 more reasons why I'm pimping this pretty enthusiastically, even though it does indeed cost actual money which I know is hard to part with.

1.  I'm An Affiliate and--whee!-- I get a Commission if you SIGN UP THROUGH ME for The Foundations of Well-Being Early Bird Special!

I know that's supposed to be some sort of embarrassing disclosure one mumbles inaudibly or hides in tiny print.  Because some people might assume the only reason an affiliate would say good things about an offering is for the cash.

But I'm clueless that way! And have such a long history of Rick-Stalking that I don't think any real Cranky Fitness readers would doubt why I'm urging you guys to sign up.  In fact I feel kinda honored and flattered that I got asked to pimp for Rick. I'd really like to bring a few subscribers his way.

2.  You Probably Have Been Procrastinating About Your Personal Growth and Could Use Some Resources, Encouragement, and Nagging  Structure.

Who would consciously choose to feel anxious, guilty, depressed, angry or frustrated instead of feeling happy and peaceful and fulfilled?  Well, ok, a few people...but these are unpleasant people you probably don't want to hang out with them. If you're already on it and living up to your potential for well-being and happiness, then congratulations! But most of us need a push every now and then in order to optimize.

The thing is, neuroscience has come a long way in the last decade or so, and there are plenty of methods to rewire your brain to become happier and healthier. Some have been around for ages and some are new, but they are mostly simple, impressively Sciencey, and well-proven!

But, you need the right information presented by the right person in a way you feel like you really get it, and can believe them, and thus buy in and feel motivated.  And even then it takes reminders and encouragement and troubleshooting and community and, I won't sugar-coat it, craploads of practice.

So with your busy life, how the heck do you make that happen?  One great way: put up some dough and sign up for something that will guide you and keep you on track for a whole freakin' year.  And even if you decide this ain't your thang, I urge you to do something like it.  I wish I'd figured this stuff out decades ago.

3.  It's a Pretty Smart Investment

So yeah, you have to fork over some money, and you gotta do it upfront and soon too if you want the discount. And I know some of you just plain can't afford it.

And even for those who can, it's true that instead of a year's worth of growth and change and increasing happiness and awesomeness, you could probably buy a really pretty piece of jewelry! Or you could go out for a fancy dinner somewhere quite swanky with a loved one, and even have wine and an appetizer and dessert!

But which choice do you think will pay off more in happiness for the long haul?

And remember, you can download the materials so you can still access them after it's over. So let's say you're worried that after you sign up that life will get in the way and you'll start blowing it off and feeling all guilty and lame? Well, no worries!  Sure, it's more fun to follow along in "real time," but all is not lost. You just have to re-motivate yourself when things get a bit easier and catch up later.

So, enough proselytizing for now...

I just wanna say I will MISS YOU GUYS these next few weeks, and will try to pop in if I get the chance and can find wireless.  Today is a ferry and an overnight flight (yuck), then we leave from Amsterdam and cruise for two weeks through various old European river towns to Budapest.  Then I'll be on my own for a week in Budapest, no doubt getting hopelessly lost many times in my search for gorgeous architecture, historic sights, coffee, chocolate and cheap beer.

Anyone else have any vacations or fun plans to report? Any questions or thoughts about Rick Hanson's thing? 


  1. Crabby, your vacation sounds like an absolute blast. Enjoy every second. I want to see plenty of pics from it,

  2. Bon Voyage! And one study found that money does bring happiness -- when you are giving the money away. It's true, i think, because i know the most fun i've ever had with money was when i was using it to help others.

  3. Travel makes me happier than just about anything; it is the most amazing investment in mental and physical health! Seriously, I am always in such great shape after travel because we walk 10-12 hours a day! And all those European stairs . . . few "historic" elevators :)
    Have a great trip, get lost and love it and send us pictures to inspire us to follow your travel path one day.

  4. HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So exciting!

    Money can't buy happiness but it can help... ;)

  5. No vacation for me this year I get a new furnace instead.
    I am tempted by the brain rewiring offer. I'll check it out.

  6. Just back from a week at a cottage. Visited lots of little towns, ate good food, swam in freezing water, ate good food, hiked, paddle boated the heck out of my legs, ate good food, sailed and had a lovely time.

    Enjoy your vacation and I will look forward to your pictures! Wheeeeee!

  7. Rivers! Take lots of pictures!
    I don't have time for this year-long thing, even if I could spare the money. (Now buying seven tires for two cars in two months. Ow.) Four hours of video a month? Arrgh.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  8. Well, damn it!... I signed up for this package BEFORE your post! :(:( I'm going to write them, though and say I heard about this via your site and maybe you can still get the affiliate thing? Because, truly, I probably wouldn't have known about Rick prior to coming to CF!!

  9. If your European vacation turns out to be anything like the Griswold's, I'm gonna need to you video 'dat.

  10. Hope you have a fantastic holiday! River cruises are great for holidays - looking forward to seeing the pictures..
    Plus I have been persuaded by 1) this blog; 2) reading Rick Hanson's regular emails and 3) getting a refund on a train season ticket, so I've signed up for the Foundations of Well Being. How exciting!

  11. So yay, I'm psyched, looks like we have a few Cranketeers signed up! It will be fun to chat about this stuff--some of it makes sense in theory but is challenging in practice, and I"m hoping we can whine, troubleshoot, check in, commiserate, and sometimes even celebrate our little mental victories!

  12. I know this post is over a year old but am thinking of signing up for the program and wondering if you found it worthwhile? Many thanks!

    1. Sorry anonymous, hope it's not too late to answer, but yes! I have to confess I didn't do all of it; I've been a follower of Rick's and have read so many of his books and newsletters and heard so many presentations that sometimes I'd see the topic and just think: thanks for the reminder! But there's a wealth of wisdom in there.


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