Dollars and Nonsense
Money, money everywhere, but not a drop to drink. If money were water, we’d be having a thirst crisis in the middle of the ocean. How is it that we’re surrounded by an infinite supply of money yet it’s the number one thing we all stress about every day because we never seem to have enough. Are we just too thirsty or perhaps has our watering hole been poisoned? If only we can get our hands on some more of it, that will solve all of our problems, right?
The Dirt: I have a money problem.
We’re in a society today where we’re told that we have problems. We supposedly have addiction problems, obesity problems, money problems, stress problems and more. Let me ask you the right question: If you are overweight and unhappy about it, is the problem really the body fat or is it the diet and activity regimen that you follow? Isn’t body fat the result of a cause and not the cause itself? Make no mistake, nobody has a money problem. Money is only the effect of a cause, namely our beliefs about money that determine our actions therein. What if our money mindset that we have is the primary reason we will misunderstand, misuse, and stress about money until the day we die?
We must agree upfront that money is the lifeblood of our society. That without it, we’re essentially dead. So having it offers more freedom than not having it. Let’s look at a series of beliefs about money that we tend to repeat ad infinitum, training ourselves and our kids, like the blind leading the blind. These beliefs may or may not be true. Their veracity is not the point. Facts are certainly important when making financial decisions based on numbers, but when discussing the mindset of money, the question is whether these beliefs serve us or not to be in a better financial situation. If they serve us, believe away. If they don’t, perhaps it’s worth changing the script.
Money isn’t everything.
Of course it isn’t, but again, not the point. Oxygen isn’t everything either, but you sure better have some to do anything else, right? By the way, when do you usually hear someone say this? Right after they lose a bunch of money or don’t have anymore? It’s that rationalization that helps them sleep at night. That should be our first clue. Money does, however, open up some doors that could lead to everything else. This mindset tends to lead us to treating money poorly, almost like nothing. Did you know that money goes where it’s loved? If we don’t respect it, it won’t be hanging around us. If we were treated like nothing, would we hang around either?
Money isn’t important
True or not, how is this serving us to attain more? Consider that most people are spending 2000 hours per year (or more) away from their family, friends, and passions to make money that they can then spend on their family, hobbies, and a bunch of things don’t make them happy anyways. How do your kids reconcile that when you get home after 10 hours of work and traffic and are pissed off and worn out? Anyone who believes this money myth probably has not given any away. Give away a few dollars to a homeless vet, a children’s hospital, or just a friend in need, look into their eyes if you can, and tell me how unimportant money is.
Money can’t make you happy
Here’s one of my all-time favorites. Of course money cannot make you happy. Then again, neither can poverty. Can we just agree that money has little to do with happiness? Happiness is simply a choice. So if we choose to be happy, do we want to be happy with money or without money? Imagine helping our kids understand that they can be happy…and have large sums of money. We would be giving them the best of both worlds instead of damning one world for the sake of the other. The irony is that the world of money we damn is what often affords us the opportunity to do those things that make us happy.
Money is the root of all evil.
This aberration of the Bible could be the top reason why good people suffer in poverty. First, it doesn’t say this – see Timothy 6:10. It says that the love of money is the root of all evil. If our focus is solely on the money and not on what good we can do with the money, then we’re in certainly in trouble. At the end of the day however, money is just a tool. Like a knife, it could surgically save our life or tragically take it. Imagine our kids understanding this simple concept. That not only are they not a slave to money, but they have a responsibility to handle it with the respect and sdfsdf it deserves.
Rich people are mean and bad.
Would you agree that some people are mean and bad and some people are good and nice? Have you ever known a poor person who was just cynical, cranky, and mean? How about a wealthy person who donated time and money to a non-profit organization? Money is an amplifier, nothing more. It will make good person better and a bad person worse. If you’re a butthole, money will afford you the chance to become the whole ass. If you consider yourself a caring, warm, and genuine person, imagine the impact you can make on your community if you had an extra $100k laying around.
More money, more problems.
Really? Have you talked to any poor people lately? Their life is often a series of unfortunate emergencies and devastating obstacles. Have you ever considered that wealthy people don’t have emergencies? I’m not suggesting that wealthy people don’t have problems, just that with money, there aren’t as many emergencies and those that they do encounter are not at the same level. Of course, I suppose that you’ll have people trying to borrow from you if you’re wealthy, but the alternative is you having to borrow from them and always feeling and being indebted.
There are a host of other money myths that we promulgate to our friends, family, and especially our kids. But even beyond what we say is how we handle money ourselves. If we consider that 45% of Americans have zero dollars in any form of retirement account, 46% could not find $400 for an emergency, and wages have not risen, inflation adjusted, in 40 years, what does that say about how we view money?
The good news is that we can reprogram ourselves to view money as a tool that can be used to make our life and the lives of those around us much, much better. It takes the belief that it’s okay to be wealthy, that you can and must learn about how money works, and that you take immediate action on a solid plan to improve your financial footing. If not you, who? If not now, when? Your entire family is counting on you.
“Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference”
I appreciate all of you. I challenge you to share this with 7 people who claim to like money. It will probably save their lives. We’ll cash it in at the top, because the bottom’s crazy crowded.