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Show Me the Money – Or Maybe Not!

Show Me the Money – Or Maybe Not!

Like it or loath it, we all have a relationship with money. We don’t really have a choice; it’s somewhat of a necessity. Unless of course you’re a skilled hunter, gatherer, farmer, living entirely off the land in your own hand-built hut, wearing animal skins and residing in some remote, exotic location. Who happens to have Internet access. Of course.

Part of the human experience

Money

    Money means different things to different people. Or different things for the same people at different stages of their journey – stress, anxiety, freedom, choices, arguments, happiness, sadness, motivation, sleepless nights, elation and sadly things like crime, violence, deception, manipulation and even marital breakdown. Like it or not, money is a necessary part of the human experience; something which needs to be negotiated and managed virtually every day of our lives.

    What does money mean to us individually?

    When we really dumb it down and we take the emotion out of it (yes, some of us are very emotional – periodically irrational – about money), it’s kinda simple; money is a resource. It’s a resource that let’s us do stuff. Drive this car, live in that house, wear that dress or suit, fly to that country, enjoy this type of lifestyle; for some, pretty superficial and unimportant stuff, and for others, very significant stuff. On a certain level, things only have the meaning we give them and unfortunately, many of us seem to have handed over way to much power to the ‘almighty dollar’. And in doing so, we seem to have lost part of us.

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    Different things to different people

    For the majority, money is something to be used in a practical way to live our lives – pay bills, buy food, educate our kids, fix the broken fence and enjoy the annual holiday. While for others, it’s their life-force; it’s what gets them out of bed each day. It’s their obsession. While many see it for what it is (a resource), others make money their god; they worship it and they spend a lifetime being hopelessly enslaved to it. Usually at great personal expense.

    An identity?

    Sportscar

      For some people, their money is who they are. It’s the thing that gives them a sense of worth; their self esteem, their confidence – or arrogance. Take away their money and they feel worthless and insecure; they lose their identity and their power (or perceived power anyway). Rather than it being a necessary resource, it has become their reason for being. They are captivated by it, driven by it, addicted to it and ultimately destroyed by it. Ironically, their tireless pursuit of wealth at any cost invariably results in bankruptcy in every other area of their life. When we hand over our power to something which can be taken away in a second, we have a tendency to become very vulnerable and insecure. If not, paranoid and obsessed.

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      Wealth without the money

      What about the notion of being rich without having significant money or assets? Well, that depends on your definition of wealth. In my opinion, some of the wealthiest people don’t have much money at all and some of the poorest people are literally millionaires – it’s a matter of perception and definition isn’t it? While it’s not said too often or too loud in mainstream society (political correctness and all), the underlying message seems to be:

      Money = happiness
      More money = more happiness
      Most money = most happiness

      Having worked with some obscenely rich folk over the years, I can tell you with absolute certainty that there is no universal correlation between increased material wealth and increased happiness. And no, financial wealth and happiness are not necessarily mutually exclusive either.

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      Anti-Money?

      At the other end of the scale we can find the anti-establishment, anti-material possession, anti-money brigade who see money as evil and the pursuit of it analogous to sin. This doesn’t seem to be a very practical, realistic or empowering paradigm to inhabit either. There’s nothing wrong with money. After all, money can’t be good or bad, it’s just a bunch of paper that’s been assigned a value by us! No, money only becomes bad or destructive when it comes to represent something that it shouldn’t.

      What do I think?

      Dollar sign

        Now before I get three hundred emails telling me that I’m a hypocrite because I charge companies thousands of dollars to work with them, don’t misinterpret my thoughts on money. Making money or being wealthy is not of itself, a bad thing. In fact, for the most part I admire people who succeed in business – as long as that success doesn’t come at the cost of their values, their health, their relationships, their integrity, their life, or their emotional, psychological and spiritual development. As long as we recognise and use money for what it is and don’t bow down before it, we should have a relatively healthy relationship with it. Do I have financial goals? Yep. Are they at the top of my list? Nope. Do I focus on, or obsess about, money? Nope. Have I ever struggled financially? Yep. In fact, for the majority of my adult life I have not earned a lot of money.

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        By the way, even with my business aspirations and goals I have never been driven by money. Of course it’s an issue and a challenge from time to time, but it’s not why I do what I do. If I was all about money, I wouldn’t be writing this article – I’d be doing something that I get paid for. I’ve been driven by a desire to do whatever I do with excellence, to have fun and to impact the lives of others in a positive way – I see my (moderate) financial success as a by-product of that pursuit.

        People often suggest that “money is the root of all evil”, which is actually a misquote of a scripture from the New Testament which says, “the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy, 6:10). See, even two thousand years ago they were talking about this stuff!

        Didn’t know I could be theological did you? Me either!

        Tell me about your relationship with, or thoughts on, money.

        More by this author

        Craig Harper

        Leading presenter, writer and educator in the areas of high-performance, self-management, personal transformation and more

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        Last Updated on September 16, 2019

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

        You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

        We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

        The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

        Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

        1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

        Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

        For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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        • (1) Research
        • (2) Deciding the topic
        • (3) Creating the outline
        • (4) Drafting the content
        • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
        • (6) Revision
        • (7) etc.

        Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

        2. Change Your Environment

        Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

        One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

        3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

        Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

        Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

        My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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        Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

        4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

        If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

        Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

        I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

        5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

        I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

        Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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        As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

        6. Get a Buddy

        Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

        I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

        7. Tell Others About Your Goals

        This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

        For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

        8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

        What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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        9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

        If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

        Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

        10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

        Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

        Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

        11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

        At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

        Reality check:

        I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

        More About Procrastination

        Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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