Not much has more “charge” than our response to…money.
Stuff and things. Wealth. Cash.
I was listening to my favorite marketing podcast, recently, and the young man being interviewed was talking about money. How we respond to it, viscerally and emotionally. How our attitudes toward it help us, or hurt us, in our desire to be successful. To provide for our family. To climb the proverbial ladder.
He said, “Money does not come from effort.”
While I’m going to disagree with this statement, almost categorically, which I think is both false and slightly offensive–I should say that, on many counts, I enjoyed the conversation.
Because we do have a complicated, love-hate relationship with money, don’t we? And I believe many of us are our own worst enemies, when it comes to the “head game” around success, money, and wealth.
Money has energetic frequencies. If you’re willing to let this conversation get pretty honest, maybe a little bit raw, let’s talk about what your own personal energetics are, around this subject.
If you were raised Christian, you might have been taught Biblical concepts that “love of money is the root of all evil,” or that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven.”
Confusingly, though, you probably saw your parents spend many hours, almost every day, in efforts to obtain it, spend it, talk about it.
The Christian religion I was raised in–interestingly, and perhaps even ironically, given these ancient scriptural judgments about money–has given rise to far more than its fair share of millionaires, and educated, successful, even wealthy, people.
Both of my parents, and most of my 7 siblings, have advanced degrees.
And it’s no secret that the #1 reason people obtain post-graduate degrees is to increase earning power–all of my siblings are very successful financially.
But we should examine our conflicted approach to money, because we make frequent negative statements about it: the pursuit of money, and people who have lots of it—all while spending more time pursuing it than any other waking activity.
So it seems worthwhile to explore the “vibration” of money—because, like everything else, money is simply energies (or vibration). (Remember that Einstein said, “Everything in life is vibration.”)
And the point here is that the best energies are the ones that flow through, without resistance. The energetic space you hold for thinking about, talking about, and pursuing money, should ideally, then, be a flow state.
Can we agree that when we consider wealth, assets, the green cash you earn and spend, ideally:
There is plenty of money, it is abundant, there is enough for everyone, it flows like a river, it’s easy to earn, it’s easy to spend, it’s easy to give and share, and it’s easy to invest it well.
Now, read that again. Ask yourself if any part of that caused your mind to trip. Did you have any resistance to any part of that sentence?
What did it feel like? Did it feel like shame? Anger? Self pity?
Where in your body did you feel resistance to any of those thoughts—that money is free-flowing, abundant? I hope you’ll spend a minute thinking about any part of that statement above, in italics, that you found yourself pushing against, instead of flowing with.
Because all of those things are true. Money is a man-made concept. Human beings create the physical tender itself.
(And as you know, most “money” is flowing via digital transfer these days anyway. Bitcoin has soared from $200 to $11,000 in the past 3 years, and cybercurrencies are literally creating money. To give you a sense of the fact that it may not be what you think it is: it’s nothing more or less than energy.)
And if this is true, then it’s worth exploring what your own energy blockages may be, that keep you from being able to obtain it, and use it to make more good energies flowing in your life and in your community.
(Let me remind you of another quote that may help pique your interest in how powerful an “energetic shift” can be, in changing your financial status. The quote is by the genius scientist Nikola Tesla, who said, “If you want the secrets of the Universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.”)
I think the speaker on that podcast, when he said, “Money does not come from effort,” meant to challenge our parents’ and grandparents’ advice:
“If you want to succeed, work hard.”
However, that’s precisely the message, of all the twisty and conflicted feelings we may attach to the ideas around money, that I think we should keep.
Stonehenge, Macchu Picchu, the Colossus—all the great feats of humankind have involved massive effort. Sometimes unthinkable, thousands-of-hours, if-they’d-known-how-much-work-it-was-I-wonder-if-they-would-they-have-done-it work. Hardcore labor.
I think the young speaker denigrating the idea that from hard work flows money and success, had a valid point, which may be that you can dial in systems, and optimize, to scale in your business, instead of being limited by “trading time for dollars.”
But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. Yes, if you’re a business owner, you must learn to delegate, leverage systems, and get the most from your team–in order to not kill yourself in building a business.
But I’ve never achieved anything without a massive amount of work. I love the idea that work creates wealth. We’ve all seen that in action. I also think that working hard for something that matters creates quality, principled humans.
I’m not sure I would even value the thing I’d achieved, if I hadn’t “left it all on the field,” in massive effort. Which I have, every time I’ve “birthed a baby,” whether it be a new book, a new business, or a new product line.
We would all be well served to check ourselves, whether we’ve ever done any of these things:
- We have felt critical towards or said harsh words towards someone who achieves great financial success. Perhaps we went to high school with them, or were at the same financial status once, and now they’ve outpaced us. (If the “green-eyed monster” of jealousy invades our consciousness relative to material wealth, then we may need to accept that we value money more than most of us are willing to admit to.)
- We have avoided achieving big goals because we fear our family and friends will criticize us and we’ll lose our social standing, if we out-earn them.
- We have said self-sabotaging things about material success, like, “Money doesn’t buy happiness anyway.” Or “I didn’t really want to succeed at X because it would be too stressful.”
Do you really believe that a rich man can’t get into heaven?
Or do you understand the intent of that scripture is that when we achieve wealth, we tend to think ourselves better than others, perhaps even better than God, and we need to check our tendency to become arrogant?
(After all, if money is just energies, and energies are constantly flowing, wealth can come and go, ebb and flow. Virtually every millionaire has acquired and lost multiple fortunes, in a lifetime.)
Do you believe that the wealthy are innately sinful, or less good and kind, than others?
Money is just energies, but what’s far more interesting to me, is that our own approach, opinion, and feelings about money are energies, too. And they can be changed to flow with more peace and abundance.
Do you believe that money can’t buy happiness?
Statistically, it has proven to be true that wealthy people are not happier people, though poor people (below a certain financial threshold) are, as a group, more unhappy.
This doesn’t necessarily imply that money “makes” you happier or less happy—it may be, in fact, that our programmed, generational beliefs about money and materialism are at the root of the strange facts around whether money affects our life satisfaction.
The psychologist Martin Seligman, pioneer of the “positive psychology” movement, explored this. He theorized that we are not biologically programmed for the amount of “choice” we have in the modern age.
He documented how despite a massive increase in household income, in the past few generations, we are actually reported as being less happy, or the same, as before this Age of Affluence—we are not, it’s clear, more happy.
He also gathered research showing that people who are the most materialistic are also the least happy people.
“Materialistic” refers to people who spend significant time and energy wanting material things. This makes sense, in a world where consumer goods are everywhere, and no one, no matter how wealthy, can have anything he might want.
It turns out that people who are “satisfizers” rather than “maximizers” are the happiest. These terms Seligman coined refer to people who are satisfied with their circumstances, material acquisitions, and level of affluence, whereas “maximizers” are preoccupied with having, doing, and being “more” or “better” or “the best” of the options.
(You can imagine how marital happiness is affected by one partner constantly looking over the back fence, at the other options!)
I achieved my financial wealth goals I had set at the age of 24—at the age of 48. Not the age of 42, which was my goal. And I can tell you that the idea of “financial freedom” I originally set out to achieve is elusive, if not entirely a myth.
Most people who achieve 7-figure net worth will tell you that in the acquisition of their wealth, they’ve become acutely aware of how quickly it can disappear. This can lead to the sense that the original goal, “financial freedom,” or “financial stability,” may be impossible.
The more they work and acquire, and the older they get, the more they become aware of thousands of years of human history where the rich became poor, assets crumble overnight, and entire national economies fluctuate–even created or destroyed in just days or months. (We all watched the stock market tumble in 2007.)
Many of the most wealthy among us report having more anxiety around money, when they’re worth $5 million, than they had when they were young, working near the poverty line.
This may be due to becoming clear about how illusory and transitory money is.
If wealth is just digital transmission of energies, and it’s just a concept that we’ve all agreed to, with hundreds of variables impacting our valuation of the “monetary unit of measure” in the first place—isn’t it interesting, then, that we appropriate so much energy to accumulating it, comparing our relative “worth,” and using it as a barometer around which we feel pride, shame, fear, guilt, and almost endless anxiety?
If money is in constant flow, and if we can either be in, or out, of that flowing river, depending on the energies we choose–aren’t we all better off, then, being more abundant, grateful, and detached, in the way we both receive, and give, financially?
Now, I’ve gotten entirely philosophical about the green stuff, while you may be thinking,
“No, money is a cold, hard fact of life, I need that stuff, to have food three times a day, and a place to live.”
Fair enough. But there are billions of dollars, mostly in the form of little digital data bits flowing across wires buried in the ground, that we can create more of. There is no actual scarcity.
Money flows to those who work, who do so diligently, who finish their projects rather than just dream about them, and who put their time and effort into “highest and best” uses.
Money flows to those who challenge the energy they put on their failures. The self-made wealthy dust themselves off after a failure, assess what they’ve learned, and move onto the next project with positive energy.
(We’ve already established that virtually 100 percent of the self-made wealthy lost fortunes, along the way to earning them.)
Plenty of people work very hard, harder than wealthy people do, and never earn any significant amount of money. Many people expend a tremendous amount of effort on a variety of things, while avoiding putting their labor into activities that will actually lead to material success–due to their fear or aversion around money.
So, because there’s more to becoming wealthy, or financially successful, than what your parents may have told you (“Work hard!”), we must examine another aspect of whether you could be more successful than you are.
You can absolutely have more money and wealth than you have now.
Because money is energies, and earning and because spending it creates lots of ripples and flow in the larger energetic system known as “the economy,” you can create money and wealth, without taking it from someone else who needs it!
Effort does, actually, create more wealth.
And, I feel the idea that “effort does not create wealth” is disrespectful to over 90 percent of the human beings on the Earth for whom physical labor pays for their food and shelter and their children’s needs. We have most of what is available to us, in life, due to someone’s physical effort, so I don’t think it serves, to devalue that.
But in addition to acknowledging the value of effort, shifting your energies and thought patterns towards money has the power to completely change your financial status, when added to hard work and being a “finisher” of your projects. What if you challenged:
- that money is something to fear
- that people who work more than 40 hours a week, or entrepreneurs, are “workaholics” and therefore pathological and need to change
- that you aren’t capable of obtaining enough money
- that people who obtain money and spend it easily are somehow bad or obsessive or misguided
- that you shouldn’t bother to try to earn more money, because you’ll just lose it somehow
- that if you are financially successful, your friends and family will turn on you
- that because money can’t buy happiness, then staying where you are is actually better
- that you feel slightly uncomfortable when you hear words like rich, money, or wealth
- that because people who are “satisfied” with their financial state are the happiest, you, therefore, should continue to financially struggle rather than succeed
Does putting bad juju on money serve you well?
Would it feel good, or bad?–for you to:
- Catch yourself every time you have a negative thought about people who appear to have more money or wealth than you do? And replace that thought with a neutral or positive statement? And/or:
- Catch yourself every time you use words or thoughts (also energies) to place a value judgment on your own ability to dip in the river of money flowing through the economy? And replace that thought with a neutral or positive statement.
If you think it would feel good–rather than bad–try an experiment…..
Replace your pattern of negative thinking with statements like these:
1. I bet that guy has stepped on a lot of people to get where he is.
2. That car she’s driving is fancy, but I don’t need a flashy car to feel good about myself.
3. He’s got a really nice house, but I wouldn’t want a mortgage payment that big.
4. Money comes, and money goes (I bet he loses that business/house/car eventually).
5. Money can’t buy happiness.
6. People who work hard are addicts, and therefore pathological (“workaholics”).
To positive statements like these:
1. I’m learning to get in the stream of flowing money, to receive it, as well as give it, easily.
2. I view others with money positively because I want those positives to flow in my own life as well.
3. I don’t need to have a judgment about expensive things and the people who own them, because it doesn’t serve me and my goal to live in the higher vibrations.
4. My energies around money help more of it flow to me and to the people and causes I care about.
5. I want more wealth, and I’m not afraid to say that.
6. Money represents the ability to use my time the way I want to.
The words, thoughts, and emotions we have about the subjects of success, money, and wealth, directly, daily, affect whether we are in the stream of wealth and abundance–or whether we’re straining to get a drop from a turned-off faucet that drips now and then.