(Journey’s note: The content of this post is taken mainly from Paul McKenna’s I Can Make You Rich. I post it here out of deep appreciation and gratitude. Hope you will enjoy and benefit from it too. Please feel free to share your ideas in the comment section!)
Money is one of the most emotional subjects on the planet. In fact, many people feel more comfortable sharing the intimate details of their sex lives with friends than sharing the intimate details of their finances.
Yet the purpose of money is simply to allow smooth exchange of goods and services. So what is it that gives money its emotional power? It is so simply because we give money its meaning, we give those pieces of metal, paper or even just some digital numbers in the computers their meaning.
Sometimes we do this quite literally, as in ‘This paycheck = my bills’ or ‘This $10 = my lunch’, so if we lose a $10 note, in our minds, we’ve just lost a lunch. Often, the meaning is more metaphoric. ‘Money is freedom of choice’ or ‘Money is love made visible’ or even ‘Money is the root of all evil’.
That’s why this is so important:
Whatever meaning you are attaching to money is either drawing it closer or pushing it away.
Trying to live a rich life when you have a poor relationship with money is like trying to drive a car with one foot on the accelerator and the other one on the brake. You may occasionally make some progress, but in the end no matter how hard you try you will never seem to really get anywhere. So in order to begin letting go of all the things you’ve been attributing to money that make it more difficult to have, we’ll take a closer look at where all these ideas came from in the first place.
Let’s begin a few thousand years ago when conch shells were exchanged in a primitive form of barter. People literally ‘shelled out‘ in exchange for food or labor. Then, in the mines of Mesopotamia, workers were paid in salt, or ‘salarium‘, which they could then exchange for goods and services. This is the origin of the idea of working for a ‘salary’. But as trade became more and more complex, the use of commodities like shells and salt was replaced by the use of precious metals. And once trade became more centralized, the direct exchange of precious metals was replaced by the use of IOUs.
Coins were the first officially sanctioned lOUs, followed fairly quickly by pieces of paper that could be exchanged for precious metal. In the late 19th century, an international system was set up called ‘The Gold Standard‘ which allowed for a universal and stable unit of valuation.
Finally, in the 1940s, the governments of the world (initiated by the USA) decided to abandon the gold standard system. Promises of exchange were replaced by articles of faith – the marketplace’s faith that the government that printed it will continue to back it, with or without reserves of gold. In this sense, money no longer has any inherent or intrinsic value. The value of money, whether in the form of euro, yen, dollar or pound, is now based entirely on the value we and others place upon it. (Journey’s note: To learn more about the historical facts of money, please feel free to watch the very educational videos created by Mike Maloney: The Hidden Secrets of Money.)
THE MEANING OF MONEY
- Complete these sentences about money to uncover the key elements of your current subconscious programming.
- People with money are ___________ .
- Money makes people ___________ .
- I’d have more money if ___________ .
- My parents always thought money ___________ .
- Money causes ___________ .
- I’m afraid that if I had more money I would ___________ .
- Money is ___________ .
- In order to have more money, I would need to ___________ .
- If I were really rich, I might ___________ .
- My biggest fear about money is ___________ .
- Circle any of your subconscious beliefs about money that might be holding you back, even if they seem unquestionably ‘true’ to you.
- Repeat this exercise daily for at least the next week. You may find some of the deeper programs take a bit longer to come up to the surface.
What did you discover? Are your beliefs and associations with money those of someone who is programmed for poverty or for riches?
By heightening our awareness of our beliefs about money, we can begin to make sense of many of our emotions and behaviours when dealing with it, and by changing them, we can transform the emotional impact of money in our lives.
Here are some of the most common beliefs people hold that keep them from creating an abundance of money in their lives:
There is an inherent mistrust of wealth in our society, most of it based on the underlying assumption that money corrupts. But the reality is, money doesn’t corrupt – it reveals. Many wonderful people are doing amazingly positive things with their money. Why not you?
There is not enough money to go round?
Money is not a zero-sum game – it’s an infinite game, and the more people who are playing it the more money there is to go around. Provided you are spending money and not just hoarding it, the more money you make the more money will be circulating in the system. In this sense, the richer you become, the richer you will be making others.
I don’t want to make money because I’m scared that I will lose it?
That makes about as much sense as saying I don’t want to eat a nice meal because I’m scared that I’ll have to flush it down the toilet later. The purpose of money isn’t to keep it for ever, it’s to use it. And once you learn the secrets of making money, which I will share with you in the second part of this book, you’ll realize that as long as you have the capacity to think, you have the ability to make more money.
In order to question some of your own limiting beliefs about money, do this simple exercise adapted from Patricia Remele’s book, Money Freedom. It’s based on the idea that when you take away all of our culturally imposed beliefs about what it should and shouldn’t be, money is simply a tool we can use to make our lives easier and reach our goals faster. Therefore what is true about money must be true about other tools as well. Don’t you agree?
THE SHOVEL EXERCISE
- Make a list of the most negative-seeming beliefs about money you uncovered in the previous exercise.
- Substitute the word ‘shovel’ (another practical tool) for ‘money’ in each of the sentences on your list. Notice whether the statements still make sense or have any emotional significance.
‘The love of shovels is the root of all evil.‘
‘Shovels don’t grow on trees.’
‘I feel guilty because I have more shovels than my father ever did.’
Remember, the idea here is to simply take away the emotional ‘sting’ from these ideas – it doesn’t matter whether or not you really believe them.
Where do all these ideas about money come from?
When we are born, our mind is a clean slate. There are certain things our bodies are genetically programmed to be able to do almost from birth – the basics of movement, communication and self-healing. However, when it comes to what we choose to believe about the world, our minds are up for grabs. Before the age of seven a child doesn’t know enough to be able to rely on their own judgement and reasoning. Their critical faculties are undeveloped. A critical faculty is the ability to question, judge, analyse, and very importantly, compare.
It is because children haven’t developed this critical faculty that they can believe in Father Christmas and fairies as easily as they believe in geometry and money. Until we take control of our own minds, our beliefs about the world and ourselves come from the continual messages that we receive in the first few years of our lives. What we are told again and again, particularly at moments of emotional intensity, has the most powerful effect upon us. In fact, anything that is said at a moment of emotional intensity has the power of a hypnotic suggestion.
If you believe you have to work hard to make money, you will only sort for jobs that involve a lot of effort. If you believe that everyone is out to rip you off, you will subconsciously find people who will do that. If you believe that you deserve great wealth, then your mind will sort for opportunities that create that.
This is one of the reasons why hypnosis is such a powerful tool for changing your life. It allows you to get right to the part of your brain where the old programs are stored, and literally reprogram your mind for riches. It’s also why the changes you will be able to make as you work through the exercises in this book and listen to the hypnosis track are likely to be so positive.
Ending Financial Self-sabotage
Most of us have inherited a mixed bag of positive and some negative beliefs about what having more money in our lives would mean. These beliefs in turn affect how much money we will allow ourselves to have.
For example, how do you feel when you read these statements?
- I deserve money.
- Money can come to me easily.
- There’s more than enough to go round.
- It’s fine for me to be rich.
If they feel comfortable to you as you read them – as obvious and true as saying ‘the sky is blue’ – chances are you are already living a fairly rich life. If they feel uncomfortable, untrue or even unforgivable, you’ve just uncovered one of the real blocks to a lifetime of wealth and freedom.
There is a long list of beliefs and stories people use to keep themselves away from wealth. Maybe you’ve thought that if you became rich you’d change as a person, or you’d become a target, or you would lose your friends. Perhaps you’ve been telling yourself that you won’t be able to handle the pressure, or that you don’t really care that much about money
anyway. Many people have been taught things like: ‘The Bible says money is the root of all evil.’ What the Bible actually says is: ‘The lust for money (greed) is the root of all evil’ – that is, the pursuit of money for its own sake, as a commodity to be hoarded. Here’s the key: Whatever negative story about wealth you have told yourself in the past, it’s time to let it go.
There’s a saying in the world of computer programming:
Garbage in = Garbage out
Your mind is like a computer but it’s only as useful as the programs it’s running. And those programs are made up of your most frequent thoughts and most tightly held beliefs. This is why it is so important to let go of any subconscious ideas you may still be carrying from your childhood about why money is bad or that you’re not good enough to have it.
The subconscious mind is impartial and non-judging. It doesn’t analyze about what you want or what’s best for you. It just does whatever it’s been programmed to do. In fact, your mind will just follow the programs you hold in your subconscious. It will do whatever it takes to prove these subconscious programs about money to be true.
Over the years I have worked with many clients who have what they refer to as a ‘self-sabotage’ mechanism. Whenever things are going well for them, it seems as though they manage to screw it up. This is always caused by beliefs in the subconscious mind that will not allow them to succeed. All I do is have them reprogram the limiting beliefs and suddenly their life dramatically changes for the better.
For example, I have a friend who was good at creating money, but somehow would always sabotage his efforts to create lasting wealth by finding ways to get rid of his money almost as quickly as he made it. His behaviour around money didn’t seem to make any sense until one day he told me of a childhood experience where he had said to his mother that when he grew up, he wanted to be rich. His mother had replied, ‘Why do you want to do that? Rich people get heart attacks!’ No wonder he couldn’t hang on to his money – in his subconscious mind, having a lot of money equaled heart attack!
Remember, the subconscious mind is not logical, it’s purposeful, and its number-one purpose is survival. Although he hadn’t been conscious of it until that moment, this unsupported and false belief had been installed at an impressionable age. As soon as he made any money, his subconscious mind worked at getting rid of it ‘to keep him alive’.
After just twenty minutes of reprogramming, his subconscious fear of getting a heart attack from having too much money had gone. Within a few months his business went into overdrive, and just over a year later he had created a brand new career for himself and was living the life of his dreams.
Just becoming conscious of your old programs around money is often enough to take away their power. In addition, I will work with your subconscious mind on the CD track accompanying this book to reprogram your beliefs and change your thinking and behavior around money for good.
Undoing cultural hypnosis
We are continually told that ‘there is only a finite amount of wealth’ and that ‘the more we have, the less there will be for others’. It’s common in our culture to hear terms such as ‘filthy rich’ or ‘fat cat’, which are indicative of an underlying mistrust of people with money.
This sort of cultural hypnosis creates one of the largest blocks people have about making money and living rich – who they think they’ll have to become and what they think they’ll have to give up in order to get it.
Some people believe they will have to sacrifice their time, or their health, or even their family to the cause of ‘making money at all costs’. Yet when we broaden our definition of rich from ‘having a lot of money’ to ‘living life on our own terms’, those sacrifices can all be seen to be unrealistic.
There is, however one sacrifice you will need to make – to give up your resentment of people who have more money than you.
When I began on my own journey to wealth, I believed (among other things) that:
- The rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
- If I win, others must lose.
- In order for someone to make a lot of money, they have to screw other people over.
You may be holding some similar beliefs for yourself, here’s the simple truth: If you dislike people with money, it will be difficult to become one of them.
Once I became aware of how much I resented people with money, I became aware of how much that resentment was holding me back in my own pursuit of wealth. I knew I had to change the pattern – to reprogram my automatic, subconscious reaction to people who have money. Even if I didn’t like what I thought they had done to get their money, I realized that the only person I was hurting with my resentment was myself!
As the saying goes, hanging on to resentment is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.
At first, I used a simple system of substitution. Any time I noticed myself grumbling inside my head at the success or wealth of someone else, I would immediately replace that thought with a positive one wishing that person well. It felt strange at first, but each time I did it I noticed I felt a little bit better inside myself.
Then, I learned a technique that enabled me to make even more dramatic changes more quickly. Instead of focusing on what I didn’t want, I focused my mind on what I did want – to make money and live rich in an ethical and enjoyable way. Here is what I learned, exactly the way that I practice it to this day …
FROM RESENTMENT TO RICHES
Be sure to read through ALL the instructions before you begin.
- Think about someone whose success or wealth you have been resenting. Create an image in your mind of what (s)he looks like. What color is his/her hair? What clothes is (s)he wearing? What expression does (s)he have on his/her face?
- Now, think about yourself being exactly the way you most want to be – living life on your own terms with the financial assets to do what you really want to be doing. How do you stand, smile and speak? How happy and confident do you look?
- Shrink down that picture of your rich self so that it fits in one small corner of the picture of the person you have been resenting.
- Now, switch the pictures as fast as you can! As the picture of the person you have been resenting shrinks down into the corner, expand the picture of your rich self until it fills the screen. Make sure the expanded picture of your rich self is big, bright and bold!
- Take a moment to clear your mind, then repeat the process at least five times. Make the switch faster and faster each time you do it.
Several years ago, there was a study conducted into happiness and comparative wealth, which was quite revealing.
Participants were asked to choose between two scenarios.
- In the first, they were to be paid $90,000 and their friends and colleagues would all be paid $80,000;
- In the second, they would receive $100,000 but their friends and colleagues would receive $110,000.
What would you chose?
If you guessed that they opted for more money, $100,000, you’d be wrong – an overwhelming majority said they would prefer to have less money as long as it was more than the others! This is poor thinking in its most insidious form – using money as a measure of personal value, status or worth.
In contrast, rich thinkers don’t use their money to make themselves feel better – they use it to make themselves a richer life. The more comfortable you become around every person’s capacity to make a contribution and create wealth, the easier it becomes for you to do the same. This is one of the absolute keys to rich thinking:
The more comfortable you become with the wealth of others, the faster your own wealth will grow.
Here’s one last exercise you can do that will make it easier for you to release any residual negativity around money and become instantly richer in your thinking and actions …
CREATING A RICHER WORLD
- Think about someone you believe is struggling financially and imagine them wealthy and successful.
- Think about someone you believe is already doing well and imagine them becoming even more wealthy and successful.
- Repeat steps 1 & 2 with as many different people as you like until you feel ‘clean’ – no pity and no resentment.
- Imagine what the world would be like if there was no poverty and everyone had more than enough to live life on their own terms. How do you feel about living in that world? How do you feel about yourself?
The more often you repeat this exercise, the faster your wealth will grow.
(The end of Chapter 2. To be continued…)
P.S. The text has been edited slightly from the original book. This website is NOT associated to Paul McKenna at the time of posting. If you like what you see here, and wish to support his marvelous work, please purchase I Can Make You Rich at Amazon. Thank you.
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