“Think rich. Riches begin with a state of mind with definitions of purpose, with little or no hard work” ~ Napoleon Hill
Money is powerfully linked with our minds, and have the power to influence our emotions. Many of us handle money mindlessly, and before we know it, we are asking, “damn, where did my money go?!!” The sad part is, this is a recurrent event in many of our lives, but we continue to do what we have always done, and end up broke two days after payday. Let me draw on some examples of what I mean:
Have you ever caught yourself picking up the tab for dinner with friends on payday, or paying for a round of drinks with the guys knowing full well you will have to slap the bill on a near maxed out credit card? Find yourself breathing deeply in relief when your credit card goes through you can’t even afford making the minimum payment when the bill comes next month? But lack of planning will result in this zombie-like behavior. Yes my friend, your decisions drive your behaviors, but you can take the initiative and responsibility to do right. Truth creates money, lies don’t. Feeling the pressure to keep up appearances, or live like the Jones will make you bankrupt. You have to do what is right for you, not what is right for your money. Pleas know, money has no power on it’s own, and while you define money, money cannot define you.
Einstein stated, “If I do what I have always done, I will have what I have always had”, which you will agree is insanity. But we can unlearn years of defeating philosophy about money, because while stupidity is forever ignorance can be corrected. So let’s explore the nature of this commodity that we all want more of. How do you really feel about money? Were you raised to believe that “the love of money is the root of all evil?” Or do you subscribe to the notion of “No money, no love?” Then there is the “fact” that only “ten % of all people that monopolize 90 % of all the wealth in the world”? Or, are you one of those individuals who believe “Money can’t buy you happiness”? What if I told you these are perceptions, mis-interpretations and malarkey? Try having your phone being rung off the hook by debt collectors and tell me how you truly feel?
There are certain principles about money that we should know, because we all have equal access to them –beginning with adjusting your thoughts and beliefs about money. Yes, wealth is a mindset. It’s all about how you think about money. You must feel good about money to attract more to you. If you feel guilty about having money or undeserving, you will spend it as soon as you earn it. Conversely, when you feel good about money, you will want to treat it with respect. You will focus on wealth building and learn the different ways to make your money grow. If you treat money with little respect, it will not “stick” around. So how do you treat money with respect? Let me explain.
Name every dollar you own. Yup! For example, rent, food, transportation, entertainment, debt repayment……you get my gist? In other words, create a budget so you can tract where each of your dollar goes. Unnamed dollars are mis-spent and lost to impulse spending. If you spend the rent on entertainment, you could end up homeless! If you don’t control your money, it will control you. At the very least you should know:
- What is coming in?
- Where is it coming from and how often?
- Where is it going?
- How much do I have left?
- What is it doing to make me richer?
You should maximize your potential by properly positioning yourself to make better decisions, and you do this by doing the stuff you are not already doing to do better, be smarter, and get financially stronger.
Wealth is power…
You have to decide you want to be wealthy to take responsibility for your money. Look at what you have now – not what you had or what you lost. Some may believe they need to make six figures to create wealth, or this is the reality of the Rockefellers and the Gates of the world. But that is not true when you realize wealth is not income or the ability to be a baller. Wealth is what you keep (accumulate). As long as you are in debt, your net worth is negatively compromised. But you can start today to turn that around, and with what you make – now. Yes, learn to perfect “small”. Perfect what you have already and make it better. How do you do this when perhaps you can hardly pay your bills?
Yes. By intention. Intention is deliberate focus and action – Not luck: You have to take advantage of opportunities, because men of action are favored by good luck! Some people name several of their dollars “Power Ball” or “Lottery Ticket’. How is that working for you? What is your growth rate or return this investment High in hopes and low on payout? In fact, have you checked the statistics lately of the outcome of lucky lottery winners? End result of divorce, bankruptcy, death, and loss of peace of mind are documented. You should bring power to every situation you use money for. First you identify your priorities, spending ideally on your needs first and then on the things you love. Do not neglect essential things in favor of your likes, whims, and wants. By naming your dollars, you can make responsible decisions in fulfilling purposes and passions, because impulse buying destroys your financial health.
To borrow from Dave Ramsey, watch out for C.I.A.
- Convenience can be expensive.
- Indulgence can lead to deprivation
- Appearance brings short term gain and long term pain.
Yes, spending matters, and this is essentially how we dig ourselves into a grave of uncontrollable debt. To be rid of debt, we have to pay attention to how we are spending. Putting away the credit cards and not creating new debt is critical to success. Remember, we have to do things differently if we want to get a different outcome. While credit gives you financial flexibility, using it to finance your lifestyle is a prescription for financial disaster. By doing your budget and naming your dollars, you can determine where you can cut back and spend less, using the surplus to expedite debt repayment. However, if you are already maximizing each dollar with nothing left over, you might need to see about earning more, even for a short while.
What about saving …?
You have to invest in the known before the unknown. If you are going to be truthful, you must pay your bills and your debts before and money saved could be considered truly yours. Your priority should be to get out of debt as quickly as you can, so that your savings is from your discretionary income. However, putting aside money for emergency is prudent, because we all know, small holes sink big ships. Life’s curve balls can knock us off our financial feet when we are unprepared.
So to conclude, I encourage you to live in harmony. Make sure your thoughts, your words, your actions, and your feelings are the same. No one builds a wall overnight, but by consistently and carefully laying a brick each day, will result in a great wall before you know it. And regardless of your financial state, be grateful and grab hold of opportunities. Plan for the future to make it better than the present. Take action in the present (today) to make the future better than the present. I am not talking about the future as in retirement – but the future as in tomorrow, beginning with your next paycheck, next week, or next month. The secret to getting ahead is getting started and you will worry less about the future if you plan today.
Live well, Laugh much, Love deeply.See some words or phrases that you don't understand? Check out The Dragon's Lexicon.