The value of money

A life of scarcity vs a life of values.

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One of the most common reasons people don’t do something in their lives is the fear of losing or not having enough money. This is especially true when they are dealing with the unknown.

On one end, people generally over-estimate the risk of doing something and under-estimate the impact of taking no action. As a result, dreams are often left un-pursued and things like terrible jobs are continiously put up with – just to name a couple of common examples. Ultimately, we trade in what we really want for a feeling of security around money. We stop moving because we are afraid to lose what we have.

On the flip side, many people use money as the driver for doing something in life. More often than not there is a perception that attaining more money or more status will provide more happiness, more love, or more of anything that is lacking. People work harder at their careers and spend less time with their family or friends, all in pursuit of more money. Many will justify that this pursuit is ultimately in service of themselves and their families, to provide a better life or create more opportunity for them.

On one hand, money stops us from moving, and on the other, money causes us to sacrifice what’s important to us.

If you were to reflect on your life today, which camp would you fall into most of the time? Does the fear of losing or not having enough money make you resist change and stop you from doing what you really want, or does it take you away from the things you really care about, like your health, your family, your friends – your values?

In either camp, we would be living from a context of “not having enough money”. A life or scarcity. Always looking to either secure what we have, or work to make more in fear of not having enough.

Imagine, just for a moment, if you could take the money issue off the table and looked at your life in a different light. What if you made a conscience decision to choose values over money? What would you do differently? What possibility could open up for you when you do that? How would your relationship with money change?

To bring this into perspective, think of people you know that have gone through an altering life event – one that really highlighted how fragile life is (think illness or death…) or how insignificant material items are in the face of being alive (think fire, natural disaster…)?

How did their relationship to money change?

In my own personal experience, money became just a thing. It got devalued the moment the event occurred. Money didn’t matter at that time and it continues to have less value today. Similarly, many of the people that have gone through such an experience, go on to live a life where money is no longer their driver. They began to appreciate the things they had, the things they valued most, like their family, friends, their health, and less so on how much money they had. For many, then, and only then, is when they began to truly live their lives.

Take a moment and reflect on this. How does it resonate with your life experiences?

Everything is a choice. We can choose to value money above everything, or we can choose to put our values ahead of money. If we choose from our values then the money we collect and the money we spend will be aligned with our values. Our energy would be spent on the things that matter most rather than on securing or collecting more money in hopes that we would get what we value at the end. We would be closing the gap between our values and our actions, getting closer and closer to harmony, having to choose less and less between values and money. Could it be that we would have a more fulfilling life and feel more complete? I believe yes.

So, what do you truly value in life and are you putting your efforts and energy into creating more of that or are you looking to attain more money so you can fulfil your values? It’s a subtle shift in perspective, however, it’s one that I invite you to explore.

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