Money, money, money…

Ever had the experience that you had great ideas about how you would like to live your life but right after that you thought:” but I will never be able to afford that lifestyle” and then abandoning the ideas? I did.

41_13_68---Green-Traffic-light_webTruth is, I actually did not know whether I could afford it or not. I just presumed I could not.

I am lucky to have met someone who challenged me to try and find out for real. My first assignment was to list and value all the belongings, resources, income and costs I had at that time. The second assignment would be to list what I would need for the lifestyle I wanted. The second challenge would then be to meet the difference between the two.

The first exercise was daunting. When I started to make the list of all my belongings, income, resources and costs, I found myself cheating and downplaying some costs (“that subscription to that magazine I do not have to count, it’s only 5 euro per month”) and overvaluing some resources. I really needed to remind myself all the time that I did not need to justify my income and spending behavior, but just gather information.

It was quite clear, I did not like to translate my lifestyle in terms of money. The thought that money could be important to me and worse, that people might think that I was a money-owl, made me feel a bad person. My past relationship with money was based on certain believes that did not make me like the stuff.

Time to investigate and see what could help me to get the right mindset and increase the chances to achieve my goals.

I discovered  that some of my believes were dis empowering and I needed to neutralise these fast. Ever heard people say: “money does not make happy” or “money smells” or “You should work for the fun, not the money”? Look up the sayings in your culture about money and you will see how you were trained to not like it.

Some however were empowering, like “You are worth your weight in gold”, “Money cannot lie”,  “Get your money’s worth”.  Reinforcing these and other empowering believes has helped me to acknowledge what money really is:

Money is an enabler to reach my goals. Reaching my goals will make me happy and therefore money will make me happy!

True enough, from the moment on that I worked on changing my believes, I started to attract additional opportunities to earn money and to increase my resources and income.

The principle is very simple. Maybe you can recall a situation where you wanted to buy something specific, for example a car of a certain brand or type? You suddenly notice this specific brand of cars on the road and everywhere. By looking for and wanting to see the opportunities, you open your mind and you will indeed see them;

There is a bonus to this principle. When you start to earn money, this money will attract more, just by being there….I will elaborate on this in one of the next blogs.

I am curious to know what your view is on this topic. How do you feel about money? What kind of believes do you hold? What has helped you to deal with dis empowering believes?

Leave your comments and subscribe to the blog-post and you will automatically receive some tips and ideas that might be of interest to you in the next weeks.

 

Esther Celosse

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About Esther Celosse

Esther Celosse has 20 years of experience in Trust and Banking. Since 2009 she works independently as a passionate executive coach, leadership trainer and consultant.She lived and worked in the Netherlands, Curaçao, Chile, Luxembourg, Belgium and France.

2 thoughts on “Money, money, money…

  1. Cai

    Does money buy happiness? I want you to think about the answer to this question before reading this comment. At some point in our lives we have all encountered this philosophical question, whether by the push of our parents to succeed in life or by all the stories of the luxury lives of the rich and famous surrounding us.

    Truth of the matter is… nowadays when-ever someone talks about being successful it is automatically linked to having a lot of money. Today’s examples of “successful” people are NBA players, actors, musical artists, entrepreneurs, CEO‟s with huge mansions and luxury cars etc. Despite all the material wealth you also hear about depression and antisocial behavior by these so-called successful individuals as well? So it is no wonder that in today‟s world one might be tempted to ask themselves that old philosophical question over and over again.

    As it turns out a recent study done by the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index, which is a daily survey of 1,000 US residents, shows that emotional well being (intensity of experiences such as joy, stress, sadness, affection and anger) and life evaluation (thoughts that people have about their lives and what they think about it) rises with income, but that there is no further emotional progress beyond an annual in-come of $75,000. Basically once you reach 3 times over the poverty level in income, you‟ve reached peak happiness, at least as far as money can get you.

    So why do we still have the notion that more money = more happiness? Because the perception is that the more you have the better it is. But what if you‟ve reached a point where it doesn‟t make you happy or not as happy as you thought anymore. Well, it boils down to the simple principal that “If money doesn‟t make you happy, then you probably are not spending it right”. Money basically creates the opportunity for happiness, but it‟s not the essence of happiness. It‟s this simple overlooked fact that has wealthy individuals buying up 3 – 4 mansions without spending any time in them, or wealthy individuals buying 10 cars while only driving one or two.

    The trick is realizing that it’s not about how much money you spend, but how you spend it. Researchers give a few examples based on the science of happiness; for instance, instead of buying material things try buying experiences (e.g. family vacation trips, concerts, inviting family and friends etc).

    Another example is helping others instead of yourself, humans are social beings, helping others tightens social connections and reinforces positive feelings you have with others. Lastly, whenever possible avoid impulse buying; this kind of shopping eliminates the sense of anticipation which in most humans triggers the sense of happiness. The longer you wait the better you’ll feel when it’s finally in your hands.

    Humans are complex beings, having different wants and needs. It is impossible to determine what truly makes a person happy, specifically when taking factors such as money in consideration.

    Reply
  2. esther Post author

    Dear Cai,

    You are making quite a few interesting statements. Thank you so much for your contribution!

    I hope my blog post does not give you the impression that more money is more happiness.

    You are right that money does not buy happiness. Eckhart Tolle, the writer of “The Power of Now” stated:
    “Don’t Seek Happiness. If you seek it, you won’t find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is rather than making up stories about it”.

    Furthermore he says that the root cause of unhappiness are your thoughts and never the situation you are in.

    I agree with you that in our society today, many people measure success in terms of (display of) money. However, does somebody become an NBA basketball player, a musician, an actor, an entrepreneur or a CEO to earn shiploads of money? Or are these personalities driven by a vision, a profound belief and dedication? Did Steven Jobs start Apple to become rich? Or did he have an inspiring vision of the future of technology together with an unstoppable ambition to make it reality? Because of their success, some of them become rich.

    People that have the sole objective to make as much money as possible, have difficult times to achieving that. One should have other goals in live than having a lot of money. Money could be considered as one
    of the means that can help you to realize your dreams or objectives.

    I do not understand people that relate money and success to material possession like expensive cars, big houses and the more (I sometimes even wonder whether this is something typically Dutch). One of our most valuable resources is time. Time is limited for all of us. So why not spending your money on a domestic servant, a gardener, a private driver or every activity that you consider being a waste of your time? In Belgium there are shops where you can bring your laundry for ironing. Companies subsidize their employees to outsource this activity. I have never seen that in Holland. These are also examples of buying experiences, I think.

    Apart from money, there are other ways of realizing something you want. For example, if you really really want to drive in a very special expensive car, you could rent it for a day instead of buying. But you could also ask someone who owns one. People love it when somebody is interested their hobby. If you do the right networking, you are much closer than you think you are.

    Esther

    Reply

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