Money: A Dirty Word?
We have an issue with money.
We demonize those who have it while envying their possessions and lifestyles.
We fantasize about a world without it while salivating over all the things we would buy if we had more of it.
We denounce it while blaming it for our failed ambitions (If I had more money, I could finally do/accomplish/realize x,y, and z).
We claim that money is irrelevant and unimportant and yet make it a centerpiece of our lives and anxieties.
We pursue it while decrying it; we claim enlightenment while harming ourselves and others over it.
We believe that financial well being is separate and distinct from spiritual and physical well being.
And these beliefs, hypocritical actions, and assumptions? They are all lies that are holding you back from realizing financial well being.
Truth #1: Spiritual Well Being = Financial Well Being
Your spiritual well being is defined by your perspective – how you choose to move through the world and what you then give back to that world through your actions, thoughts, and words. How, it asks, do you enrich and inspire the world? How do you make it and thus, yourself, better, calmer, more compassionate, more aware, less attached, more flexible, more patient, more kind?
Spiritual well being looks at the intention behind our actions as well as our nature – how are actions contribute to the larger story of us.
Many have erroneously attributed these qualities to a dismissal of material possessions and goods. This may be true and this can occur, but it is not the rule nor is it the standard. Your spiritual well being is not defined or distinguished by your bank account or zip code; it cannot be determined by how much you have or do NOT have.
When one has a high spiritual well being, when one’s perspective is focused, when one is patient, kind, and active in the pursuit of joy and the betterment of one’s self and one’s community, that perspective and that nature extends to all actions and pursuits – including one’s finances.
Financial Well Being, aka true wealth, is not defined by money or material possessions.
It is, rather, defined by perspective and the pursuit, not of riches, but of freedom.
Truth #2: Money is the Tool; Not the Goal
For one with financial well being, money is not a means to an end. It is not something we gain in order to buy something else; money is instead, a tool utilized and leveraged to build wealth and to create opportunity.
For those pursuing and in possession of true wealth, the goal is never “more money.” Money is a tool; the goal, the definition of true wealth, is freedom.
Truth #3: Pursing Freedom
The Freedom to live; the freedom to pursue opportunity; the freedom to explore possibility; the freedom to learn and to grow; the freedom to build a legacy that will outlive you.
Freedom: in work and in play and of course, in finances.
What does freedom mean in the context of finances?
- To not be obsessed with or driven by money or material possessions
- To not sacrifice time, physical well being or spiritual well being to money or material possessions
- To diversify income and skills to open new opportunities and possibilities
- To plan for the future while working diligently within the present
- To be aware of one’s present while actively working towards long term goals
- To be in control and an active agent of change in one’s own life and in one’s community
- To live one’s life driven by one’s values – not by one’s bank account
- To not depend on others to provide opportunity
- To not let chance direct your life or opportunity
This freedom is never given; it is not rooted in luck or chance; it is not dependent on how much you do or do not have. Freedom can only be earned, gathered and realized over time through insight, choice, and agency.
Truth #4: Agency is the Root of all Well Being
Whether you are pursing a stable future for yourself and your family, a career change, a way to escape the chains of debt, or better yet, exploring ways to nurture your body, mind, and spirit while giving back to your community, your success is rooted in action. To be, we must act. We must claim our agency and our power and, in doing so, move forward. We must get up, do the hard things, make the choices, learn from our mistakes, and dwell in the present – all while pursuing the opportunity and possibility of a new future.
This holds true for all forms of well being:
If you are trying to lose weight or gain strength…
If you are trying to build or purchase a home…
If you are trying to build a business or make a change in your community…
If you are trying to improve your career prospects or go back to school…
You MUST take action. Nothing in this world will work until you do. And that action, rooted in awareness, mindfulness, and wisdom, is the key to financial well being and of course, true wealth.
How can you realize financial well being and learn to be the agent of change in your own life?
Our e-book, Fostering Financial Well Being, will be available for pre-sale this summer and will teach you how to take control of your finances, to act with wisdom and mindfulness, and to fundamentally change the way that you see money.
Until then, review our blog series for insight, guides, and lessons learned to inspire your financial well being and to help you build more possibility and opportunity in your life!