Thursday, September 19, 2013

Money or Power

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If I had a dime for every time that I heard someone say money is power, I could sing Rollin’ in the Green. For that matter, if I had a nickel for every time that I did not question the statement, I could have my own island. 

We have been taught by society to connect monetary wealth with power, intelligence, and happiness. We have been groomed by advertisers to connect owning the latest gadgets with living carefree, exciting, and sexy lives. Because of this, we look to the latest high paid celebrity, athlete, or business person for their insight on how to make money, gain possessions, and find happiness. We do this while neglecting the development of our inner stability, which puts us at the mercy of institutions, organizations, and groups. 

In addition, we often do not recognize the choices that we have and this makes us feel helpless without the acceptance of others. Day after day we reject logic and avoid claiming the power that we have in every situation. Year after year we study others and try to recreate what has worked for them in our own lives. Then, we wonder why following this year’s expert did not free us of our financial quagmire or feelings of helplessness yet again. I call this the ‘Money Madness’ cycle. Money and the promise to own more possessions direct our decisions. Madness is doing the same thing, looking exclusively outside ourselves for answers, while expecting different results.

Several years ago when I lost just about every possession that I owned, the experience was both the worst and best in my life. In a matter of a few months the worst happened; I went from living comfortably, surrounded by the things that I had spent my life collecting to being one step away from homelessness. With adversity, though, comes growth which brings me to the best. 

The benefits of losing everything became clear as I accepted what happened and used my power to identify and incorporate the personal lessons my experience contained. In return, I gained insight and freedom which are the foundation for building a better life. My insight begins with the obvious which is money and possessions do not…
• Provide breath
• Bring physical and mental health
• Lead to true love
• Determine the value of a human being
• Give lasting peace
• Produce wisdom
Conversely, the lack of money and possessions will not stop us from living. Losing them will not suddenly make us ignorant, unloved, or unworthy. Understanding this gave me freedom. I was freed from being attached to money and possessions. 

Money is paper and should be a means rather than end. For instance, the more paper we have, the more choices available. These are choices that will impact us in either positive or negative ways. Having more of them will not ensure that we will always make the right choice in every situation. At the same time, having more choices does provide more options for solving problems or reaching goals.

Another example is the more paper we have the more possessions we can accumulate. Possessions are a collection of perishable items to which we can become attached. The more attached we are to these items, the more invested we are in maintaining the status quo. Or, the more things we own, the stronger we fight against change.

We use our power to attribute psychological and emotional value to money and the things money can buy. We give them importance when we connect them to what we think is crucial for our happiness and stability. This means that we use our power to define for ourselves what success and love mean. Then, we make decisions about when and how to take action towards obtaining what we want. There are two avenues we can take to identify and pursue goals. One keeps us firmly on the ‘Money Madness’ treadmill and the other leads to internal stability.

With ‘Money Madness’ we squander our power in endless efforts to gain more money and things for the sake of having them. The alternative is to use our power to make the best decisions from the choices that we have. How much money we have only determines the number of choices rather than their quality. With this in mind, we can make the conscious choice to follow the avenue that leads us to develop practical applications for living a life where money is the way to increase choice and power is the way to recognize the choice that will bring the most positive outcome.

First, though, we must take the steps to become free of the attachment to money and possessions. Only then will we be able to develop a new relationship with both. Start by looking where you live and taking in the things that are yours. Take each item individually and think about how important it is to you. What do you imagine would happen if you suddenly did not have the item? Then consider the reasons why you imagine what you do. Start with the large things first, such as your home, car, stereo, or television. Include your means of earning a living. Then work down to the smaller things. Go through every room in your home and for each item ask:
• How do I feel when I look at/think about…?
• What memories are connected to…?
• Are any people who are important to me connected to…?
• What would it feel like not to have…?

As you go from room to room, try to determine if you have accumulated items that no longer have importance or relevance in your life. Include your clothes, books, music. The goal is to feel, as much as you can, the emotions that would come if you lost most of your money and possessions. These emotions are important because they will help you become free of the belief that you absolutely must have particular items in your life. Your freedom will be the base from which you start to build a new way of deciding what is important to you and then planning your steps to success.

From my PowerLife to yours,


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