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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.

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        Last Updated on January 17, 2019

        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

        In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

        Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

        Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

        Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

        Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

        The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

        There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

        How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

        According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

        Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

        Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

        The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

        Listen carefully:

        We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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        The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

        Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

        8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

        There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

        Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

        1. Pray Daily

        You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

        When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

        Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

        Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

        2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

        A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

        By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

        Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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        If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

        This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

        How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

        3. Smile Often

        Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

        Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

        Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

        The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

        4. Organize Your Working Desk

        A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

        When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

        Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

        Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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        5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

        I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

        Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

        What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

        6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

        God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

        I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

        I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

        7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

        You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

        How do you do that? This is my formula:

        First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

        If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

        If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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        If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

        Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

        8. Go Exercise

        Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

        The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

        You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

        12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

        The Bottom Line

        It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

        It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

        Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

        More Resources About Mindfulness

        Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

        Reference

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