THEY say money can’t buy you happiness but I’m willing to give it a try. The correlation between wealth and contentment has never been definitively ascertained but you can bet your bottom dollar that those who have it are sleeping more easily than those who don’t.

For most of us, the pursuit of money is inextricably linked to the necessity of employment. After all, why would anyone work if they didn’t really have to?

You can almost sense the eyes of a nation burning with rage whenever a new lottery multi-millionaire insists that “this won’t change them” as they vow to keep turning up at their old job working the checkouts at Tesco or labouring on a building site. Their co-workers busting a gut because they need to pay their bills must have bristled with indignation every time.

There are some exceptions of course. It seems almost unfair that the most interesting jobs tend to also be the best paying. Movie stars, pop singers and sports stars make an almost vulgar living from careers that barely seem like work at all, the prize for having talent in all the right places. In contrast, being the world’s greatest procrastinator sadly doesn’t land the same sort of financial rewards. As I can report from bitter experience.

Given it doesn’t seem a huge hardship to kick a ball about, record an album or act in a film it is maybe not much of a surprise that those in those lines of employment are happy to keep doing it even when their bank balance is already full to bursting.

Having the luxury of being able to work or not usually puts an individual in the enviable position of choosing just what they want to do and for how much.

Those who have watched The Last Dance on Netflix will have experienced mixed feelings about Scottie Pippen’s humming and hawing about whether to commit to keep playing for the Chicago Bulls when his salary was a fraction of less talented players in the league (no spoilers please: we’re late to the party and only three episodes in so far).

Some athletes on juicy contracts will happily forego the chance to advance their careers and just let the money keep rolling in.

Winston Bogarde, infamously, milked millions out of Chelsea after signing a lucrative contract for a new manager who didn’t want to play him.

The Dutchman couldn’t find another club willing to give him the same exorbitant salary – thought to be £40,000 a week – and didn’t see why he should take a pay cut. Chelsea demoted him to the youth team to try to force him to leave. But he held firm and kept picking up his money. When his deal finally ended he had made only 11 first-team appearances in four seasons.

“This world is about money, so when you are offered those millions you take them,” he said in response to criticism that he ought to have moved on. “I may be one of the worst buys in the history of the Premiership but I don't care.”

He never got another club after Chelsea and retired soon after. Perhaps he regrets letting his talent go to waste and not squeezing every last drop out of a short career. But you suspect probably not.

Now Craig Gordon finds himself facing a similar dilemma. The goalkeeper has almost certainly banked enough from a glittering playing career to never have to worry about paying the bills for the rest of his days.

He has won trophies with Hearts and Celtic and played in the Premier League with Sunderland following a £9m transfer that, at the time, was the most ever paid for a goalkeeper by a British club. He has also earned more than 50 Scotland caps.

At 37 years old he is approaching the end of his playing days but his position and pedigree would suggest he could keep going for a few more years yet. The serious knee injury that forced him out of the game for two years might, ironically, actually help extend his career.

He is at a crossroads, however. One path will provide him with greater riches but little prospect of regular playing time. His career would likely fizzle out like Bogarde’s. The other route would guarantee him a first-team place and a possible Scotland recall but for less money. Decisions, decisions.

Celtic are eager to retain him but he hasn’t been their first-choice for a while now. Last season he played only six times, none of them in the league. Should he stay he will almost certainly have to settle for a place on the bench once again.

The other alternative is a move to St Mirren to replace the departed Vaclav Hladky. There he will command a much smaller salary but, if fit, will play every week in the top division. Should Scotland qualify for next summer’s European Championships, an in-form Gordon will have a decent chance of featuring in goal.

It is a nice dilemma for him to mull over. More money won’t bring this wealthy footballer extra happiness but extending his career by doing what he loves every week just might. When you put it like that, it doesn’t seem that tough a decision after all.