Being Happy About Money Instead of Worrying

A few weekends ago, I had the privilege of attending a workshop called The Tipping Point of Bliss.  Inspired by teachings conveyed by Ester Hicks, this workshop was about the effectiveness of first identifying the emotions we want to feel around a given subject and then allowing ourselves to feel those emotions on a consistent basis.

Upon reflecting on these ideas, I realize that I have often approached life with the opposite view, namely, “If I achieve such and such, then I’ll be happy.”

Since the workshop, I have been searching for ways to feel the emotions I want to feel before I act and then doing my best to feel them.  This method has been very useful, especially in my approach to money.

What are you talking about now Jason?  I know you just got your hair dyed and all, and maybe you are still a bit loopy from that experience.  But really, money is just money.  What do emotion and feelings have to do with it?

Glad you asked.  I will employ two fictitious couples to demonstrate what I mean.

First meet Sally and Todd.  Sally and Todd are both sheer geniuses when it comes to making money in the stock market.  They can make more money in five minutes than most people could make in five lifetimes.  Needless to say they are billionaires many times over.

Try to picture what their house must look like, how many amazing cars they must have, the vacations they must go on, the fun they must have.

Now the surprising thing is Sally and Todd don’t have anything you might expect.  They actually live in a tiny apartment in a fairly run-down building, don’t own an automobile and haven’t gone on vacation in fourteen years.  Are they happy?  No, in fact, they are exceedingly miserable!  They argue constantly.  But they do share a feeling.  They are both DEATHLY AFRAID to spend money.   Sally and Todd fear that if they start to spend money on more than the “essentials,” they will spend too much money and that their success will be gone in the blink of an eye.

(Like so many fears in life, Sally and Todd’s fear isn’t rational.  However, their fear dramatically affects every aspect of their life because they whole-heartedly believe it.)

People say that, “Money doesn’t buy happiness.”  Sally and Todd are proof that saving it all doesn’t either.

After Sally and Todd’s somber tale, let’s check in with our second couple, Christine and Martin.  Christine and Martin are pursuing their dreams.  They live in a small apartment, take the same buses around town as Sally and Todd, but, unlike Sally and Todd, find ways to go on vacation.  Neither Christine nor Martin is a stockbroker.  In fact, they both wait on stockbrokers at Café Elegance in the financial district.  Oh yes, Christine and Martin are really, really happy.  From a place of happiness and love, they use the money they have to spend to express these emotions.  They love buying their favorite foods at the grocery store, purchasing clothes they love to wear, and going to the movies they are passionate about seeing.  Of course, Christine and Martin don’t make loads of money, but their happiness and love focuses them on using the money that they do have to create the lives they want.

Sally and Todd create their relationship with their finances from the emotions of fear and uncertainty.  Even though they have mountains of money, these emotions utterly control their lives.  Meanwhile, Christine and Martin create their relationship with money from a place of happiness and love.

It is interesting to look at how the emotions these two couples feel on a daily basis affect every aspect of their lives.

Game of the Day

  1. What emotions do you want to consistently feel around money?
  2. Think of specific times when you have felt these emotions in the past.
  3. What can you do to remind yourself to freshly feel these emotions every time you think about money?

Jason Freeman is a professional writer, and a one-of-a-kind public speaker.  He is the founder and CEO of Heroic Yes! Productions. Jason has an MFA in Poetry from the University of Nebraska.  He knows the pain of perceiving one’s life through a lens of limitation and also the thrill of moving beyond that mindset.  For more information on Jason’s powerful message, or to book him to present to your organization, go to www.HeroicYesProductions.com. 

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My Second Joy Principle of Personal Finance

Principle Far from being a sacrifice, sometimes choosing the less expensive option will bring you more health and joy.

Discovering if the less expensive option will bring you more health and joy has much to do with personal tastes and involves taking responsibility for noticing the things that truly bring you satisfaction.  When the less expensive option does bring you more health and joy, you get the additional benefit of having to spend less time making money, which equals more time for fun.

I have three examples from my life of this principle in action.  Then you can have fun finding instances to apply it to your own life.

Take the issue of deciding whether or not to buy a parking spot by my apartment as an example of this principle in action.  I have the option of buying a parking spot in a parking garage a block from my building.  I choose not to do this because I have discovered that there is plenty of free street parking within five or six blocks of my building.  Not spending money on a spot in the parking garage actually brings more joy and health into my life because I love having the built-in opportunity to walk through the neighborhood I love and I also have this built-in opportunity to get exercise.

In another example, after eating out a great deal during the Laughter Yoga convention, eating at home just sounds good today.  If I found a tonight-only deal for dinner at a five-star restaurant for just fifteen dollars, I would still choose to eat at home because tonight that is where I want to be.

In a third example, when I walk along the San Diego beaches, I derive great joy from the beaches even though I don’t own them.  I would get much less enjoyment from sculpting my life around making the money to buy a mansion with a private beach.

Game of the Day

First, think of times when you found that the less expensive option brought you more health and joy.

Second, how will you use this principle in the future?

My Joy Principle of Personal Finance

In my finances, I made up a principle that I attempt to always follow.  The principle is- Buy only what brings me abundance now, as well as, in the future.

For example, I would follow my joy principle by spending money on a tasty and nourishing meal now, which would bring me abundance in the present as well as the abundance of health in the future.

Whereas, if I spent all my money to go on a delicious four-star vacation to Europe, the vacation would be extremely abundant while it lasted.   But once I ran out of money and had to mop the deck of some freighter to earn my way back home, the party would be over.  I would violate my joy principle, because while I created abundance in the present during my four-star travels in Europe, I jeopardized my ability to experience future abundance by spending all my money on that vacation.

I employed my joy principle of personal finance to great success in my move to San Diego.  When I was looking for an apartment, I found the perfect building in the perfect neighborhood.  I first looked at a one-bedroom apartment in this building.  The rent felt like it could call my ability to experience future abundance into question.

So, I looked at a junior efficiency in the same building and the rent was about half as much as the rent on the one bedroom.

At this point, I had the opportunity to think about which option would bring me the most abundance. Sure the extra space and the full kitchen in the one bedroom would be nice.

But I was also attracted to the coziness of the junior efficiency.  The junior efficiency had three huge windows and lots of light, which would bring me solar abundance on a daily basis.  In addition, paying half as much in rent would give me substantially more freedom as I began a new career doing what I love to do.  So I choose the junior efficiency, which provided me more money to spend on future adventures like whale watching, taking trips to LA, and eating out.

By choosing to live in a smaller space, it also cost less to furnish, which adds up to more future abundance.

The day I moved to San Diego, I was already saving a great deal of money.  I did this not by forcing myself to make a sacrifice. Rather, I focused on creating present and future abundance.

Game Of The Day

How can you apply the principle, “Buy only what brings me abundance now, as well as, in the future” to the purchases you make today?