365 Ways to Start Over: Day #4 How Do You View Money?
Your views on money are largely related to how your parents viewed money when you were growing up. Was money something never talked about? Was there an overriding fear of not having enough? Was saving a priority? Was there a high that came from purchasing the latest fad? Was money openly discussed just like scheduled events and the dinner menu?
Regardless of your parents’ views on money, the only question to ask yourself now is “How are my views of money affecting my life today and what do I need to change?”
If money was something never discussed in your family you might find working in sales difficult because it requires ASKING for the sale. If there was an overriding fear of not having enough money in your childhood home the thought of sending your children to college could be overwhelming. If having the newest fad was a family priority your spouse might take exception if he grew up in a household that prioritized saving money.
The American Psychological Association reports that 73% of all Americans point to the primary source of stress as money. Divorce lawyers will tell you that it is the number one reason marriages fail. And certainly mismanagement of it is the root of the economic downturn in the world.
The truth is that money is a constant. You have a certain amount of it that you can anticipate from a paycheck. You can estimate an average of inconsistent income from things such as tips and commissions. You can lose or win money if you risk it in erratic ventures such as gambling, stocks and other investments. But all in all it is still a constant – unlike the sureness of your feelings, your marriage, your relationships and your sense of inner peace that are variable. These intangible things fluctuate as your views on things such as money fluctuate.
So I encourage you to view money as merely the material asset that it is. It affords you the ability to support your values if you have taken the time to define them – belonging, adventure, family, acceptance, effectiveness, inner harmony, financial security, compassion, integrity, etc. I insist that it is not money or lack there of that is the root of unhappiness, failed marriages or anxiety. Instead how you view and prioritize the use of money affects the values that lay at your core. Discuss with your partner not only how much money you need but first, what you value and how money figures into that. Do you value the fancy vacation? Or do you value an education for your children more? Is there a way to have both?
What are you saying “yes” to today? What are you saying “no” to? What affirmations do you want to start telling yourself? “I have everything I already need.” Start now!
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Mary Lee Gannon is the president of Gannon Group – an executive coaching, training and consulting firm that provides productivity strategies for people and organizations by improving executive leadership skills, team performance, board performance, planning and project execution. Mary Lee’s personal turnaround came as a stay-at-home mother, with four children under seven-years-old, who endured a divorce that took she and the children from the country club life to public assistance from here within a short time she worked out of that to the level of CEO. Her book “Starting Over – 25 Rules for When You’ve Bottomed Out” is available in bookstores or at Amazon. Get her FREE ebook – “Grow Productivity – A Leader’s Toolbox” on her web site at www.StartingOverNow.com.