“Money doesn’t make you happy.”
“Money is the root of all evil.”
“Poverty is a noble spiritual path.”
And on and on it goes…
What beliefs do you have around money? Where did they come from? Your parents? Society? Economics?
When I first went to university I studied Commerce with the goal of being an investment banker (I was good at math and I wanted to earn lots of money).
I then learned about economics and the finance system, and the mantra that got drilled into us was “the only important thing is increasing shareholder value.”
Ah yeah, the well-being of people and the environment, that’s kind of important. But actually, “the only important thing is increasing shareholder value.”
The two basic assumptions of our economic system are the efficient use of scare resources and that human beings make decisions based only on potential financial gain.
I was top of my economic class of around 600 students, so I can regurgitate their theories. But in my own mind I was thinking, “Efficient use of scare resources????? Has anyone gone into a shopping center lately and seen the amount of wasteful crap? There are 45km wide piles of rubbish in the ocean and they’re trying to tell me we have a system based on efficient use of resources? This has got to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!”
And then I remembered why I was there. The primary factor in my decision to become an investment banker was its potential to make me rich.
So, I finished my degree, but then I opted out. I decided NO, I’m never going to do anything just for money, I’m going to follow my heart.
And I did. I miraculously survived with very little money, but received everything I needed.
So, why have I now decided that money DOES make you happy?
1. The myth of scarcity is just that – a myth.
It creates a system based on fear and competition, and it creates a world that reflects the underlying belief in scarcity (even though it’s a myth). The truth is sufficiency and abundance. And when you believe in sufficiency and abundance you are willing to share and collaborate, and you help create a world that reflects your underlying belief – sufficiency and abundance. Cool hey?!
2. Poverty is not the only spiritual path.
Selfless service is a myth. The only way to serve is to fill your own well first. Joy, love, connection, service etc. are possible while also experiencing abundance.
3. You can use money to make a stand for what you believe in.
Don’t make decisions based only on how much money will result. Commit to making money in ways that are aligned with your values and the kind of world you would like to co-create. I am committed to co-creating a world where money goes to the people who work with integrity and who care about the well-being of people and the environment, and where money does not support environmental destruction or exploitation of vulnerable people.
4. Money supports your happiness.
Think of three occasions in your life when you felt the happiest. Who was there? What was happening? How did money support this? For me, my happiest memories are when I have been travelling, sharing meals with friends, and when I have been healthy. Money supports me to eat well, go to yoga classes, get regular massages, live in a beautiful home, buy ethical products, etc.
I’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars over the years on health, wellness, mentoring and spiritual courses. Far from being evil, money has supported my health, wellness, business and spiritual growth.
Now I offer a youth mentoring program, which some people will tell you should be free. I disagree.
I’ve spent many hours volunteering in my life, and now I’m charging what I’m worth.
Think of all the expenses involved in life… things you unquestionably spend money on.
Do you still have resistance to spend money on wellness courses or mentoring? On supporting yourself to find direction, move forward in life with the confidence to follow your heart, be the change, and value yourself financially while doing it? How valuable is happiness?
If you’ve been thinking about investing in yourself – DO IT!