Like it or not, regardless of any religious upbringing or ingrained political ideas against it, we think about money a lot. The key is how we think about it.
We may think money is dirty or evil, when it is in fact neither. We may think it’s powerful, which it isn’t-it’s just money.
The common theme here is the we. It’s us, or more specifically, our brains. Occasionally we forget that our brains can and should do more than just keep our ears apart.
The shocking truth is that our gray matter can transform our lives in ways that can give us all the success we want out of life, in any area we can imagine. It can even be suggested that nothing is good or bad but it is our thinking that makes it so.
Self-help books are a dime a dozen(more like $20 apiece), but they boil down in the end to what Napolean Hill once said: Our minds can achieve anything we believe in, no matter how big the goal is, and no matter how many times we’ve flopped before. He wrote Think and Grow Rich! , so obviously he had money in mind.
Leo Tolstoy wrote "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."
In particular, very few people think of changing their mind, because they think the way they do out of habit. The possibility of thinking differently doesn’t even occur to them. This goes double for money.
You might be in a financial predicament right now. You might be drowning in debt, or just have more of it than you want. You might be tired of living paycheck to paycheck. Most people never understand why they have what they have, or don’t have what they have. It’s not blind luck, or winning life’s lottery, or somebody else keeping us down. It’s us. It’s what we think which influences what we do and what ultimately produces the results we earn.
Esther and Jerry Hicks, whose work is the basis for the immensely popular book and movie The Secret, say money isn’t the root of all evil, or the path to happiness, but it’s on our minds most of the time. What’s missing is harnessing how we think about it consciously to produce better results, instead of letting our unconscious habits drive us slavishly towards what we’ve always had.
…because such a high percentage of your thoughts in any given day reside around the topic of money or financial success, as soonas you are able to deliberately guide your thoughts, not only is it certain that your financial success must improce, but the evidence of that success will then prepare you for deliberate improvement in every aspect of your life.
Everybody’s way of thinking about money is a little different, because we all have different thoughts imprinted on our minds throughout our lives. But we’re not just sitting there doing nothing. We are actively-whether we know it or not-playing our money thoughts back into our brains like a song on an endless loop. We’re programming ourselves to keep thinking the way we’ve thought. Hill wrote "Thought are things." Unlike money, thoughts do have power. They can reinforce bad habits or improve ourselves in ways we never previously thought possible, if only because we never previously thought that way at all.
Most people miss the opportunity to change how they think because they get distracted by blaming everybody and everything else for their money mess…except themselves. As soon as we realize that we are the problem, or at least part of it, we can make progress.
If we want to get out of the financial mess we’re in, we need to think differently. That’s where it all starts. Right thoughts are the seed for right actions, and right actions translate universally as an improvement upon the previous order of things.
Emerson wrote "Watch your thoughts. They become words. Watch your words. They become deeds. Watch your deeds. They become habits. Watch your habits. They become character. Character is everything."
The truth is, we do need to restrain ourselves from making bad money choices, but why not include them in the all-inclusive restraint of bad character? By having the courage to watch your own thoughts and the humility to change oneself, we may work towards our own character in a way that will benefit us holistically, physically, mentally, and yes, financially.