To me, money represents freedom, choices and security. So the thought of having insufficient money is terrifying. Not because of the money per se, but rather the potential loss of those three attributes. Even when, as a financial advisor, I objectively know I have plenty... I often find myself feeling it's not enough.
Geneen Roth says: "Unless you really see what your core beliefs are... you'll just keep on acting them out... but if you can finally get to understanding the beliefs underneath, you can learn how to live... I think we all have a hunger that's hard to name."
So recently I've reflected upon whether my fear of financial scarcity may be nothing more than a false belief. If what I truly hunger for is freedom, choices, and security, there are other ways to achieve those desires besides living a life through a lens of fear and lack.
As I've begun to embrace this paradigm shift, amazing things have happened. When I combine joyful, conscious work with an openness to the possibility that there are other paths to fulfilling my core values, more money has flown in.
So today, I wanted to share with you two thoughts and one action step to help you hear and meet your own true hunger.
True hunger is the desire for what YOU truly need. The next time you find yourself over committed, over spending, or seeking satisfaction in external things, ask yourself what you are truly hungry for. Then ask yourself if there is another way to meet your needs. Modern society has taught us to look to the accumulation of objects and external achievements to satisfy a hunger for recognition, peace, and joy. But is that really working for you?
We often suffer because no matter how much we accomplish, save or acquire we feel it is never enough... and therefore WE are never enough. We live in a consumer culture that depends upon evoking a sense of lack. So to find lasting financial peace of mind, it's vital to address this pervasive sense of lack. False comparisons, relentless schedules and incessant stimulation can all contribute to financial anxiety. Without the enrichment that comes from silence, solitude and reflection, we can quickly lose our perspective.
Action Step -- Calculate Your MoneyJoy Return on Investment: If you're trying to get a handle on your budget or save more, you've likely heard the advice to write down everything you spend money on for at least a month. This advice probably feels constraining. But what if instead you considered this as an exercise in finding your true hunger? What if you wrote down all of your monthly expenses and then set aside time to highlight what brought you joy and what did not?
By connecting your financial actions to what gives you the deepest sense of both meaning and pleasure, you will find greater fulfillment in your relationship to money. Instead of viewing budgeting and saving as a source of stress, imagine that it is an expression of energy that can increase your MoneyJoy and bring you closer to your most authentic life vision. You may be pleasantly surprised at the rich life that results!
This post originally appeared at MoneyZen.com. Photo credit Louis Leray. For more MoneyZen in your life, follow Manisha on Twitter at @ManishaThakor, on Facebook at /ManishaThakor, or sign up to receive Manisha's MoneyZen blog via email by clicking here.