4 Ways To Reshape Your Views Regarding Money
|February 9, 2012||Posted by Roshawn Watson under Uncategorized|
By: Roshawn Watson
Perhaps one of the biggest ways to effect change financially speaking is to alter your belief system. I know we would rather focus on the mechanics of personal finance, but that typically only represents 20% of the problem. After all, if people could solve their financial issues with simple mechanics, then they would not likely be in such messes to begin with. We need a conscious shift from the underlying causes of financial misbehavior. Here are four ways to reshape your views regarding money.
Acknowledge That Those Who Have Money Often Serve
Myth: Those who have money are greedy.
Entrepreneur Daniel Lapin has a unique perspective regarding the relationship between money, greed, and service. He calls money certificates of appreciation or performance. For instance, when you get paid, that is the market’s way of rewarding you for your efforts. Thus, your level of income is often related to the problem you have chosen to solve. A garbage man may get paid $10-$15 per hour whereas some corporate attorneys will get paid in excess of $200 per hour. They may both be very good at their jobs, but they solve different problems for which the market assigns different value. Does this mean that people can do valuable services and not be highly rewarded? Of course. The opposite also occurs, as is the case with lottery winners. Nonetheless, professor Walter Williams sheds intriguing light on this issue.
“Take out a dollar bill and look at it. Now pat yourself on your back because you are looking at a certificate of performance. If you did not rob or steal from anyone to obtain that dollar, if you neither defrauded anyone nor persuaded your government to seize it from a fellow citizen and give it to you, then you could only have obtained that dollar in one other way: you must have pleased someone else.”
When I hear of people wanting more money, I don’t automatically think “they are greedy.” In fact, their desire for wealth is cause for celebration because hopefully, it means they are also ready to serve.
Wealth, like happiness, is never obtained when sought after directly. It comes as a by product of providing a useful service – Henry Ford
Recognize That Money Is Not Evil
Myth: Money is evil.
Money is not evil. Never again say “cold, hard, cash.” Instead, try “warm, soft, blessing.” In fact, why would you want more of something that you deem evil? After all, it is hard to move forward confidently if you believe you are on an ill-fated path.
Over the weekend, I was listening to a former owner of a very successful Chrysler dealership. His company had reached very high levels of profitability, and he had never dreamed of making that much money. However, he eventually began to feel bad, as did his employees. He realized that he was conflicted. Deep down, he had picked up the belief that it cannot be good for him to be so prosperous. Granted, this is certainly a good problem to have, but resenting your own success is a problem nonetheless. Even some of his employees began to have doubts regarding him: “how can he have record-breaking month after record-breaking month and not be personally affected?” They began to deliberately slack with regards to sales, not because they wished their boss ill-will but because they didn’t want to lose the kind-hearted boss that they had grown so accustom to.
Likewise, I think we have to be very careful that we are not subtly sabotaging our own successes due to negative feelings regarding money. It hard to pursue high goals with passion if deep down we believe we are headed to destruction.
The lack of money is the root of all evil. – Mark Twain
Don’t Try to Buy Happiness
Myth: More money will make you happy.
Money only increases what you already are. In other words, if you were miserable before you had any money, then you will be more miserable afterwards. However, one Princeton study found that $75,000 was the critical income with regards to happiness: salary increases beyond $75,000 were not associated with increased happiness, and salaries below $75,000 were associated with decreased happiness. Although such findings will always be hotly contested, they highlight the limitations of assuming more money will bring happiness.
Wealth makes an ugly person beautiful to look on and an incoherent speech eloquent; and wealth alone can enjoy pleasure even in sickness and can conceal its miseries. Sophocles, The Sons of Aleus
What money can buy though is fun and entertainment. The challenge arises when one is spending in order to fill a void. For instance, one will typically derive diminished satisfaction from purchases after the thrill of obtaining them is over, which is known as hedonistic adaptation. Consequently, people seeking happiness from materialism are always seeking the next big pleasure. It’s a tiresome, and sometimes dangerous, life. Maxim founder Felix Dennis estimated that he spent a whopping $100 million on riotous living during his earlier years. His downward spiral almost resulted in his death. He recounted what could only be described as a very shallow existence. Fortunately, he was finally able to find peace.
Realize That Money Matters
Myth: Money is completely trivial
While many people don’t explicitly say money doesn’t matter, their actions tell a different story. They spend with little regard for tomorrow, their investments are anemic, and they couldn’t even tell you where their money is going.
The problem is money does matter. It protects your family from calamity, is used to meet your needs and obligations, decides whether you will retire with dignity or will struggle during your elder years, and can help fulfill your dreams and passions. It also affects the influence you can exert over problems and causes that interest you.
When I hear someone being dismissive regarding money, a flurry of thoughts come to mind, such as, “is this person genuine?” For example, there’s are plenty of people who say “I don’t care about money” but will almost get hit by oncoming traffic by diving for a quarter they found in the middle of a street. Obviously, such people lack credibility. I also wonder “if this person is financially independence or at least very comfortable”; if you have already hit certain key milestones, then the topic may be less interesting. I also wonder “is this person informed?” I’m constantly surprised by how many high-income professionals that disregard their finances. Some even believe money is the most “easily renewable resource.” The major downside to this paradigm is it is typically only after something diminishes that primary income source that such people recognize the precarious positions they are really in.
Your perspective about money is affecting your decisions and ultimately your wealth. Don’t blindly accept these misconceptions as fact just because they are oft spouted as truth. Each of these represents a major hindrance to abundance. How can one harbor strong negative feelings about wealth-accumulation, seek spiritual enrichment from income, and blatantly disregard his finances for extended periods and experience lasting prosperity? Uproot these toxic beliefs and free yourself to experience the abundance that you and your family deserve.
Copyright 2012, Roshawn Watson, Pharm.D., Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.