On this page, we often write about relationships ‘ with food, exercise, significant others. But it’s time we addressed a topic that’s equally influential, and sometimes completely dysfunctional: your relationship with money.
According to Charles Richards, author of The Psychology of Wealth, money doesn’t just indicate power, but has power ‘ we are infused by its energy. And if you’re not prepared to manage that energy constructively, it will manage you, often negatively. Here are four typical situations on how to deal.
I’ve lost my job and my money. How can I find the will to live?
“Situations can change in a heartbeat, so when your identity is tied to what you have or what you do, it’s a dangerous place to live from,” says Richards. “If being rich, popular and successful gives you meaning and for some tragic reason you can’t be that person anymore, you could think your life is over. Connect with a deeper part of yourself (spiritual belief or meditation) that goes beyond what you have and what you do.”
I’m petrified of failure.
“Don’t let fear of failure stop you from moving forward,” says Richards. “Successful people fail many times but they just persevere and take full responsibility for what is going on. Failure is a problem but there’s always a way out of it, just as long as you use a little initiative to find out what that is.”
All I want in life is to make money. Is that healthy?
“You can be rich financially but have a poverty of soul if that wealth is just self serving. Anyone aiming for greater financial success should serve a higher purpose (philanthropic or spiritual, environmental or health) or strive to empower others.”
All this recession talk is making me anxious. How can I stay upbeat despite the current financial turmoil?
Stop listening to the messages of doom and gloom all the time. “Do you want it to be your reality? No, so shut out the drumbeat that comes from the media. Yes, there’s a reality to what’s going on but if you allow yourself to be influenced by the media bombardment about financial meltdown and hardship then it’s going to become a reality for you. Don’t assume it’s going to become your truth and it won’t.”
I’m in financial trouble ‘ I can’t think, I can’t sleep and I’m super stressed!
You can’t ignore the practical reality. You have to face it head on.
“Make a plan with clear goals to ease the stress and turn the situation around. This will take discipline, delayed gratification, practical thinking and
decision-making. Financial challenges can be positive in that they stimulate creativity as you are forced to find a way out. Once your self worth is healthier you tend to be more expansive in your thinking. You won’t be successful until you are willing to take responsibility.”
1. Change your mindset when it comes to money and success. Expose yourself to information on finance and success. A short cut is to read biographies of successful people you admire so you can tap into that energy and find out how they live and think.
2. Set yourself clear goals and strive to meet them. One person lives in a trailer park and the other drives around in a limo. Whatever the one in the trailer is doing or thinking is likely not the way to go, so do the opposite and you can be the one in the limo.
3. Be fulfilled. Some people are not financially wealthy but are simply fulfilled in their lives because they do doing what their passion is and are incredibly wealthy because of that.
The biggest losers
One third of multi-million dollar lottery winners lose all their new-found wealth ‘ and often end up worse off than before they won.
$5.4M – Evelyn Adams hit the jackpot twice but that didn’t stop her from wasting winnings on her gambling addiction. She ended up broke and living in a trailer park.
$1.9M – Welshman Luke Pittard spent it all on a trip to the Canary Islands, a house and a wedding. And just 18 months later he was flipping burgers at McDonalds.
$93K – Lindsay Lohan didn’t exactly win the lottery but being a child star is similar in the luck department. Celebrity website TMZ reports that the actress hasn’t paid her 2009 income tax, let alone 2012.