Let’s talk about money!
As part of the financial industry we are committed to help grow the wealth and resources of our clients and community. There are two parts to increasing wealth. In today’s post we offer a discussion of beliefs about money that either encourage or limit our ability to thrive. Later this month, we will suggest practical action steps for growing your bank account!
Part 1: What you believe matters!
As children we probably all heard an adult say, “Money doesn’t grow on trees you know!” This was meant to motivate us to be careful about how we spend our money, not be frivolous, and work hard. Like that old adage, we all have underlying beliefs that affect our perspective on money and either encourage or discourage our efforts. Here are some common, but often unspoken, money beliefs:
- Money is the root of all evil. (The actual saying is: “the love of money is the root of all evil,” but it is often misstated as noted above. Love, of course, is best reserved for living things!)
- Money can’t buy happiness.
- If I make too much money there won’t be enough for people living in poverty.
- If I make too much money people will think I am arrogant and frivolous.
- If I make too much money I will lose my connection with others and be unrelatable.
- If I don’t make as much money as my peers I am inferior and I better redouble my efforts.
- If I’m not in a certain tax bracket I will lose the respect of my neighbors and my kids.
- If I make too much money as a woman I won’t be attractive to a partner.
- If I make too little money as a man I won’t be attractive to a partner.
- Money can be quickly “manifested” by thinking in terms of abundance.
And there are many more. The one thing all these beliefs have in common is fear. We give money a power that it does not inherently possess. Money is emotionally, relationally, and spiritually neutral. Money is simply a placeholder for value. Money is what we willingly give and receive in exchange for goods, services, and value offered. Let’s quickly state some basic truths in regard to the beliefs listed above:
- Money is value-neutral, neither evil nor good. How we handle and use money determines whether it is destructive or life-giving.
- One can be happy regardless of how much money is in the account. However, having sufficient money enables us to enjoy a certain amount of security, freedom, and choice. Money facilitates our full self-expression.
- Having a lot of money does not necessarily mean that you are depriving others of their share. This decision is an ethical one about the way in which you make your money and if your practices are adversely affecting others. In general, though, the more money you make the more you can give to support those who need it most.
- A person can be quite rich without being arrogant and frivolous. In fact many wealthy people are not frivolous at all and this contributes to their financial success. Arrogance and frivolity are character issues and are not directly tied to money. Money simply makes greed more visible.
- Money is not a reflection of self-worth, whether you have much or little. Money does not indicate that you are a higher or lower life form, more evolved or a spiritual gnat, nor does it make you worthy of love and respect. Our cultural focus on celebrity worship makes this difficult to understand, but think about the people who have loved you the best and most, and the ones who you truly respect and admire. The way you feel for them likely has very little to do with their income.
- Money is not magical and is not ”manifested” by thinking the right thoughts. Having a positive attitude is very helpful in creating wealth, but as we mentioned earlier money does not grow on trees and is not going to magically appear because you think hard enough while doing yoga and breathing through your right nostril. Money is made by combining desire, faith in your abilities, and consistent action. Money and magic are not best buddies.
Our minds are fertile ground for growing wealth consciousness and in this sense what we believe matters. Beliefs will determine our choices, efforts, and persistence. There are entire books written on this subject, but here are some quick seeds to plant in the soil of your mind as you consider ways to grow your wealth:
- Think Big! Thinking big feels much better than playing small. Increasing your vision and imagination expands your sense of the opportunities available to you. The bigger your vision the greater your potential for success. Don’t worry initially about how to accomplish each goal. There will be time for practical steps later once your vision has taken root. The room of imagination is much more spacious than the room of fear. Adopt the mindset of thriving rather than just surviving!
- Honor your desire. Growing wealth requires the energy of desire. Allow yourself to want what you want without evaluating whether it is legitimate or not. When it actually comes time to invest in your desires you can evaluate the best way forward, but keep the “shoulds” and “oughts” to a minimum. Ingenuity is sometimes a shy cat. She won’t come out to play if she’s going to be handled roughly.
- Have faith in your abilities and that life is essentially on your side. You will be able to execute the visions given to you. Trust that there will be opportunities to live as your very best self, and to continually grow in abundance, health, and well-being. We each have a choice in every situation to think positively or negatively. Rain grows flowers, not thunder.
- Throughout your wealth process cultivate humor and a smile. You will feel better at the end of the day and so will your associates. Being absolutely committed to your goals is complemented by the ability to laugh at yourself when things start to feel too serious. Commitment and humor go hand in hand and will endear you and your cause to others.
- Allow your beliefs to marinate in a mind and body that is filled with pleasure and enthusiasm. The energy of pleasure nurtures affluence and abundance. If you till your soil with anxiety, fear, suspicion, and constant fretting the garden of your mind will begin to atrophy and dry out. Try letting your imagination run wild about money while you are doing the things you love. Love to drive fast cars? Drive while planning for a financial windfall (just keep both hands on the wheel)! Love to bake? Knead your dreams about wealth into the bread. Love to unwind with a hot bath and glass of wine at the end of the day? Let yourself slip into a fantasy about how great that bath will feel in a villa in Tuscany. By weaving our dreams of affluence with pleasure we are retraining the neural pathways in our bodies to naturally and gently move toward thriving!
Stay tuned for Part 2 when we’ll be discussing practical steps to grow your wealth!
For more information and inspiration check out:
—Don’t Worry, Make Money by Richard Carlson
—Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill