Don’t Think Money – Think Life

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We all think about money some time or another don’t we? When a mail-blitz of bills hit our mailbox or our financial planner software shows us that we are going to scrape it very, very thin till next paycheck, we sit back, take a deep breath and get carried away by an inundation of worrisome thoughts or daydreams about an alternative life in which money comes down thick and fast from a tap.

This takes us down a narrow road in our mind in which we get locked by thoughts of money scarcity rather than solutions.

In the below points I would like to expose some truths but also some false assumptions about money and how it affects our perspective on life:

1. Money is just a means to an end

You’ve heard it a hundred times I know but it’s a truth that can’t be overstated. When we daydream about a better, comfortable life with more means and better standards of living we inevitably bring in money into the equation since we obviously reason out that we need more of the green stuff in our hands to step up our lifestyle. The problem is that we get stuck on the money bit and forget that it is just a stepping stone (see point 4). This flattens our goals

2. Money can’t buy me love…or health or Happiness

Another piece of folk wisdom you’ve heard a lot. Do we entrench it enough in our conscious living? I doubt it. There is a Native American saying which says: “Only when the last tree has withered, the last fish has been caught, and the last river has been poisoned, will you realize you cannot eat money.” In a similar vein I’d say “Only when your health has been exhausted and your happiness traded in, you remember that money has served no real end.”

3. Money is not linked with happiness as some research shows

Scientific research has shown a very interesting fact about happiness. It shows that when you move from sub-standard income close to the poverty line towards a point where basic commodities are met and life is sufficiently comfortable, happiness increases accordingly. However, beyond this point no matter how income and wealth increases, happiness does not increase accordingly.

4. Money is the wrong focus point of success

As already point out in 1., when we focus on money rather than on our real goals in life such as having opportunities for broader experiences, traveling, comfort and better standards of living we are focusing on the wrong target. We divert our energies, planning and strategies off track. We think that money will get us more stuff and only when that stage is reached we can be happy. This is false reasoning that we all fall into.

5. Money is a short-lived motivation

Sometimes when financial demands are hard and we are in need of some extra cash more than usual, we get distracted into the thought of making money or at least improving our income. This of course is not a bad thing per se. The problem comes from having it as your main motivation for improving your life in general. It is easy to fall for it. You put your main mission in life on the backburner to start off a side-project which could earn you some extra bucks on the way. This becomes a burning motivation which is very short-lived. Some time down the road you might realize that the benefit did not justify the fact that it got you off your main path and hence wasted precious time in the process.

6. Wealth is a mindset not an accumulation of resources

We naturally think of wealth as an abundance of stuff. Partly correct. Yet wealth is not solely possessions but also a mindset and having the right qualities and predispositions to live your purpose with enthusiasm and power, creating an abundance of innovative ideas and materializing your goals under any circumstances.

7. You can’t be money conscious without being life-conscious

Desiring money (bad thing) is not the same as being money conscious (good thing). Being money-conscious means looking at money in the right perspective, without false assumptions and attachment. It means knowing the real value of money without either obsessing with it or at an other extreme burning it away in whimsical ways and for silly ends. But to be money-conscious means that first you are life-conscious, that is, you have your priorities in life set within the right perspective and your choices are balanced, conscious and authentic.

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Category: Life HacksMindfulness

6 comments

  1. The material that your life and character is made from has more value than anything money can buy in this world.

  2. Thank you very much for this post! This post means very much to me and I will try to spread it also!

  3. Thanks Evita :) You can’t imagine how much I admire you for choosing to move out and live close to nature. I would really love that. Keep it up and good luck! I am sure you will never get caught up in it. The stuff your character is made from has more value than anything money can buy

  4. Wow this was awesome Gilbert! I especially like points #2 and #3. And I am so happy I realized this so early on in my life.

    I am currently in the process of moving to a very small town to live in a remote area in nature, and I have to tell you, some of the people here have so little, and yet they have a sparkle in their eye, kindness on their lips and a happiness that beams from them that is rear to see in city cores.

    Today, I just see money as just another energy that works with us, but I make sure never to get caught up in it, or make it out to be bigger than it ever needs to be :)

    Great stuff!
    .-= Evita´s last blog ..A Special Encounter: Darshan With Mother Meera =-.

  5. Great article! I must say for myself that in spite of my income dropping by 2/3 over the past 5 years, and my net worth being cut in half, I have learned to enjoy the journey, not the goal.
    .-= Mike T.´s last blog ..My First Electric Guitar Build =-.

  6. Thanks~ this was a timely reminder about what’s important to me in my life. I aim for a sustainable lifestyle~ which I have achieved. Nowadays, when I need “extra” cash for the dentist or a new tattoo, I take on more work for a short period~ then when my goal is achieved, I can settle back into working for pleasure not just dollars.

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Article by: Gilbert Ross