- Personal Finance
Healthier, Wealthier Thinking
How thinking affects wealth
If you want to gather wealth, positive thinking is the first step towards success. Humans make decisions and take action based on either thoughts or feelings or a mixture of both.
Feelings do not exist without thoughts. If we feel scared for instance, it is because some fearful thought has popped into our heads first.
Try it. Think of something nasty and observe how you feel. Then think of something you really like and again see what sentiments come up.
I won't have enough money to pay the bills this month, is something many of us might think when money is short. This sort of reasoning is invariably followed by feelings; possibly those of anger, frustration or angst. When these negative feelings make us feel frightened about our future, this in turn can lead to stress, a feeling of powerlessness or sometimes inertia. None of these are helpful states of mind for finding solutions to our problems.
Fantasising or catastrophising?
Positive money thinking on the other hand helps create wealth, because it encourages the birth of good feelings. When we feel contented it is easier for us to make decisions and take action. For example, the thought Let's see what I can do about these bills, might be followed by determination and resourcefulness. You'll notice that this example statement is all about generating money to meet needs, rather putting focus on what we don't have. That is the key - looking at the solution, not the problem. Good feelings propel us toward solutions. It is important to realise that positive feelings are like emotional fuel; they keep us moving forward.
Here are some common negative thoughts about money and some tips on how to turn them around and make them work for you. Wealth, here we come!
"I need money" or "I haven't got enough money"
In today's society, money is something needed to buy goods and services in order to firstly, survive and after that, to make our lives more amenable or comfortable. Many people simply believe they need 'more money'. That might be true, but wanting money for the sake of having it does not help to set clear goals. I need money or I haven't got enough money, are statements that communicate lack.
If you know exactly what you need or want money for, then the need becomes quantifiable. For example, if I want a new pair of shoes, I might need 80 euros. In this case a far more purposeful statement would be I need 60 € for a new pair of shoes, let's see how that can be achieved. This thought will put us into a constructive frame of mind: maybe if I save 60 € or work two hours overtime or sell some books on eBay, I will soon have the amount I need to purchase the shoes.
"Money is evil"
Many of us have been programmed into guilty thinking about money. Some believe that wanting money is not "being spiritual", or that being poor is somehow noble. Generally this is not true. Populations below the poverty line have huge social problems and soaring crime rates and money certainly is not evil in itself. The saying in fact goes, 'The love of money is the root of all evil'. Meaning that greed causes problems.
If we put aside any preconceived ideas about whether having money is good or bad, we can think far more clearly about wealth means to us. How much money we need to live comfortably and provide for our families is very subjective. Ascertaining what we want in life, what amounts of money we would need to make these visions true and what we are prepared to do about it, is thinking in a constructive way. I would like to create the right income that will benefit me and my loved ones, is a positive way of looking at wealth and will generate aspirations and feelings of hope. These in turn will lead us to set goals and hopefully achieve them.
"The only way to make money is to work hard"
Hard work is great if you enjoy it. But if you are slaving away in a job you hate for the sake of paying your mortgage, you may end up suffering the consequences: poor health, demotivation, resentment and maybe mental and emotional problems like depression or anxiety. It is easy to fall into blinkered thinking and tell ourselves we are trapped.
The truth is, there is always a choice - just not necessarily an easy one. For example, the possibility of leaving a job to start an online business, to paint or to study, may seem like utopia to many who live from hard earned paycheck to paycheck. Yet being flexible and saying I would like to do X, Y or Z, let's at least look into how that could be achieved, can open up possibilities unimaginable. What about evening school? Negotiating with your employer to reduce your hours so that you can begin to work on your business from home? Finding a well-tipped evening job in a restaurant, while you paint twenty canvasses and set up your own exhibition during the day? Sure, we need to plan! Don't quit our day jobs without having a safety net set up first. But where there is a will, there is always a way.
Practicing financial wellbeing
To find more about your own money thinking, why not Google 'money attitudes'? There is a wealth of information available on the web or as self help books. Once you find out more about how thoughts on money make you tick, then take a pen and paper and write down the fundamental beliefs you have about wealth. Are they positive or negative? How can you turn your 'bad' money thinking into good ideas? What constructive action can you take to achieve them? Create an action list, then tick an item off each day. Go for it! You deserve to be as wealthy and contented as you truly want to be.