'The Gold Standard: Rules To Rule By': Why Happiness Can't Buy Money


The following is excerpted from the novel, "The Gold Standard: Rules to Rule By," written by Ari Gold. Available now from Hachette Books.

RULE #2: Happiness Can’t Buy Money

“If you dance on a pole that don’t make you a ho.” — Usher

Don’t waste time worrying about work/life balance, or looking for your best self, sham “secrets” or any other snake oil being pushed by sloppy hippies who have never built a business, let alone a bankroll, or you will wake up 20 years from now poor, pissed off and primed for a midlife crisis.

The cheap beer and strange ass that made you happy at 25 won’t get you wet at 45.

Happiness is a booty call: available and satisfying, but after a few hours, you’re ready to call an Uber and get back to your real commitments.

The idea that someone could, or would want to, experience uninterrupted happiness over a period of days, let alone years, is ludicrous.

Anyone who feels pleasant and bubbly all the time is either mentally disabled or hooked on crack.

Money, on the other hand, is steady. You can spend it, invest it or light a little bit on fire in an intern’s ass. Either way, money gets to sleep over.

Money is a resource that makes it easier for you to find your purpose and achieve your goals, not because you are buying happiness, but because you are eliminating the desperation that drains happiness and distracts you from your purpose.

As my man George Jefferson said, money sure do keep the unhappiness away.

Weak-minded people often try to confuse sedation with happiness, as though the only way to be happy is to piss away the day fly-fishing, sewing cat sweaters, or planning boring dinner parties that make me want to commit Japanese-ritual suicide.

Retirement isn’t a goal; it’s a sentence.

I retired once, and I’d rather be forced to re-watch "Unbreakable" than do it again. My retirement lasted six days.

I moved to Italy. I painted; I smashed grapes to make my own wine; I planted a vegetable garden. I made love to my wife morning, noon and night (and my wife is a yogi who can take it from behind even while facing me).

For most people, my retirement setup would seem like a dream come true, but it was a nightmare for me. I woke up sweaty at four o’clock in the morning on day five, realizing that I hate paint, I hate wine and I f*cking hate vegetables.

Thankfully, I still love f*cking my wife, but it hit me that if I went back to work, I could love f*cking her in my office like I did when we were 25. And I could make money. Money, money, money.

When Bud Fox asked Gordon Gekko, “How many yachts can you water-ski behind?” in "Wall Street," he was missing the point. (By the way, “Greed Is Good” was the title of my undergraduate thesis in 1986, a year before the movie came out, and my advisor grew up in Stamford with Oliver Stone. I’m just sayin’...)

Buy yachts, stuff cash under your mattress, or give half a million dollars to a German shepherd rescue, like I did, because your daughter cried watching "Rin Tin Tin." I don’t care. Just make sure you have the option.

The Wu‑Tang Clan said, “Cash rules everything around me,” and they were one billion percent correct.

The “money can’t buy you happiness” people are the same jerkoffs who coined the word "workaholic," as though loving what you do for a living is a disease on par with malaria or obesity.

More than even loving your family, there is no more important ambition than finding a job you love. If you don’t, you’ll reek of self-loathing like a porn star who can’t get the box cover, and your family will hate you for it.

Loving your work doesn’t mean finding a job you can tolerate for eight hours a day, but rather a job that gets you flying out of bed in the morning like a Jack Russell who just had a firecracker stuffed up his ass.

Was I ever addicted to my job? Damn right I was. You’re f*cked if you aren’t. Unlike your hobbies or your spouse, you gotta do your job every day, regardless of whether or not it gets you revved up.

I’ve got more balance in my life now than Cirque Du Soleil, so if you want to follow suit, you’d better get started yesterday, because the world is flat and I know 30 million guys named Kevin in Bangalore willing to work through the night to ensure you’ll be running their call centers in 20 years.

Fight, fight, fight and get that money, money, money. ’Cause happiness can’t buy even a nickel.

For more of Ari's Golden Rules, click here!

"The Gold Standard: Rules to Rule By" was written by Ari Gold and published by Hachette Books, a division of the Hachette Book Group. (Copyright © 2015 Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved. HBO and related Trademarks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission.)