Money holds a lot of energy for me. That is why I like to pull my relationship to it apart.
The more aware I become, the more I realize that I give it credit in areas that are unwarranted and don’t give it enough credit in other areas.
I think that is true for all of us.
Next week I will post some great attributes of money.
For this week though, here are six aspects of our relationship to money which are twisted.
1. Money has no inherent value
People spend a lot of energy trying to get it when it has no value. What is all that about?
Something has gotten mixed up a long the way. Why are people walking around saying “I want more money” rather than “I want more cabbage”.
There is an inherent usefulness to cabbage.
2. Money makes us lazy
Someone recently told me that they didn’t like people who were rich. It showed a lack of creativity.
It is an interesting point. Saving money is preparing for a time when we are unable to create enough value to keep ourselves going.
It could be interfering with natural selection. Maybe when we can no longer provide enough value to keep ourselves going we should be dead.
3. Money cushions us from life
Lets face it, money makes life easier but is easier better. There is a lot to be said for being in the ride of life.
Saddles aren’t cushioned. Riding a horse isn’t meant to be comfortable. You want to experience as much of the ride a possible not as much comfort as possible. Having a cushioned saddle would spoil the experience. It would get in the way of the feedback from the horse. It would spoil the connection and ultimately spoil the ride.
4. Money makes us less aware of value
Last week I heard a beautiful voice coming from from my daughters bedroom. Her singing almost brought a tear to my eye.
I went to her room and told her how beautiful I thought it was.
She said “Well daddy, you are not going to hear my singing again unless you let me watch Tom and Jerry on your phone”.
Kids understand value.
Before I expressed my awe, Jessica’s singing had little usefulness for her. It was just something she did.
It’s value was raised in the moment I said it was beautiful. She realized it in a split second… then wanted more value back.
5. Prices are fixed. Value is dynamic
Things that have a number on them occur as fixed. They occur as real. The number seems important.
Value is relative though and always changing. It is different for each person and in each moment for that person. Some days a chicken salad has a lot of value for me. That is why I buy it for lunch. Sometimes sushi has more value.
It would be interesting if we all had to pay a price that represented the value of the item to us in the moment. There would be some great learning’s in it. We would have to deal with how important things were to us.
6. Figures can mess with our head
A few years back I was in mediation for a dispute over money I was owed. After 6 hours of negotiations I was offered a settlement of $120,000. I wanted $144,000. The other party wouldn’t budge but I thought I would get it. I put on my jacket and walked out leaving them to think for the weekend.
I walked away from $120,000. It was an easy decision.
One hour later I was in Woolworths to buy pasta sauce for dinner. I was stuck in a dilemma. There was a particular sauce I liked but there was also another one that was on special. The difference was $1.30. The decision was paralyzing. That is when I realized I had some serious faulty wiring in my relationship to money and value.
Numbers can confuse the issue of value. An item that was $4.65 and now is $3.35 seems more relevant than $120,000. It was not an accurate reflection of importance though. I remember getting the call on the Monday confirming the $144,000.
I cant remember which pasta sauce I bought.
Terence Sweeney designs programs to expand peoples capacity to experience life.