I meet many people who are confused about money. They know that they need it and they know that having more of it will help to make life easier, but when asked about their beliefs concerning money, they draw a blank. We all have beliefs about money, many of which, we are probably unaware of. Yes, we think we want more, but at the subconscious level we are extremely conflicted.
I recently came across a short story that I feel captures the true nature of most people’s beliefs about money: “I was starting a new job for a corporation. I was good at what I did for a living. The personnel manager and I were down to the details of employment, and he asked me how much money I believed I deserved. I thought about it and came up with a figure of $400 a month. This was back in the sixties. I didn’t want to ask for too much, so I decided to ask for the smallest amount I could live with. He hired me and gave me what I asked for. Later on, when I left that job, the personnel manager told me he had been willing to pay me whatever I wanted. Had I asked for $600 or even $700 a month, which was a tremendous salary at that time, I would have gotten it. I had limited myself by what I believed I deserved.”ci
Many times, I encounter people who just think that it is plain wrong to have more money in their lives. They reason that, with all of the poverty and suffering in the world, it should be unthinkable to expect or ask for more. So, is having more money right or wrong? I believe the answer to that question is: It depends. It depends on what you are going to do with it. If it’s meant to be used to enrich your life and the world around you, then yes, you should and can have more. It is no different than wanting more spirituality, better relationships, more friends, more intelligence or anything else you can think of.
Another problem that I encounter is that many people think that an abundant amount of money is bad or wrong. It’s not the money itself; it’s the love of money that is wrong. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and have pierced themselves with many griefs.”cii
Money in the right hands (yours?), can do much good if kept in the proper perspective. Money itself is neither good nor evil. It is simply something used to get us the things we need or want. It is, many times, traded for our time or our ability to perform specified tasks.
Some people believe that money equals power. In the short run this may possibly be true. Some people, with a lot of money, get almost everything that they want. “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.”ciii The long-term effects of this thinking usually lead to self-destruction and an eventual loss of the money that once bought the “power” that was sought. Think of the billionaire stockbrokers, who eventually get themselves arrested for cheating the system and trying to gain more “power” for themselves. It can also be seen in the politician, who eventually is brought up on charges for using their office to gain what isn’t theirs.
There are also people who believe that there is a shortage of money. I am going to let you in on a little “secret”: There is no shortage of money! Yes, there may be a shortage in your life, but there is not a shortage here on earth. Many of us simply received bad information about money. The lessons we learned weren’t true. When we got money, we were taught to hide it under our mattress or do whatever we could to protect it because one day we may run out. So we have, up to this point, been foolish with our decisions about money. It has become a self-fulfilling prophesy in our lives. Those who have money, even if they don’t deserve it, are not stopping us from getting more. We are stopping ourselves from getting more. We don’t need to be bitter towards people who have enough; it only hurts us to feel that way. Take a look back at the figure you wrote down for Action Step #1. Do you believe it? Really?
Some people believe that they don’t deserve more money in their lives. On some level, we have been conditioned to expect a certain amount of money in our lives, no more, no less. It is a point that we are comfortable with. The funny thing is, that most of us, without realizing it, will work extremely hard to keep ourselves at that level of wealth,
which we think we deserve. If we are falling short on that amount, then suddenly we will do things, without realizing it, to bring more money into our lives. It’s interesting to note, that this work’s the other way too. I have seen many
people who start bringing more money into their lives. They start making really smart, wise money decisions, then suddenly, again without realizing it, they begin to undermine themselves and they end up right back in that familiar comfort zone.
Michael at R2W
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