No absolutely not!
Let’s start by asking the question- What is money? The simple answer is, it is the method we use for buying and selling goods and services. Nothing more! Just a method of exchange.
However, what we make money mean is very different. It can mean status, success, security, happiness or fear and limitations depending on your internal dialogue.
Common Thoughts and Feelings about Money
Emotional attachment to money can be a dangerous game. Often, we do not even realise we’re that attached to it, we’re just trying to survive. It can be difficult to not let these emotions get the best of us due to the real world consequences that not having enough poses.
The issue is that when we attach this level of significance to something so external, it starts to affect our own internal compass and we determine what we are worth in comparison to other people based on a dollar amount.
This is not all our own doing either – historically we have been led to believe that rich people are better than poor people. Especially if you come from a manufacturing, agricultural or industrial economy, the chances are that just two generations ago, your family were judged first or second class citizens based purely on their wealth and the job they did. Then came the rise of the Middle Class, which seemed to bridge the gap and allow for the opportunity for you to “rise through the ranks”.
Unfortunately, we still have a tendency today to buy into the idea that we are less worthy if we have less money. Just look at the highly popular movies we watch.
- Titanic 1997
- Maid in Manhattan 2002
- The Notebook 2004
- Monster in Law 2005
- Endless Love 2014
- The Best of Me 2014
- Crazy Rich Asians 2018
You have the boy/girl from the wrong side of the track movies, in which the parents try to buy off their child’s boyfriend/girlfriend in an attempt to save them from a worthless life.
Other times the person with less money deems themselves not worthy and takes themselves out of the picture.
In James Cameron’s Titanic, one of the most heart wrenching scenes is that of the third class steerage passengers being locked behind gates and ordered to stay on the ship until the first and second class passengers had filled the lifeboats, only then they would be allowed to try for their own escape.
With emotive images in the popular culture, and stories like that passed down through generations it is no wonder that we equate money with self-worth and the feeling that we are worth less than those that have money, widens the gap between ourselves and money even further.
In order to attract something to our lives we have to understand it, and once you really start understanding money the thing you might be most surprised about is not what it is, but actually what it is not. It is not the internal compass by which your life should be lived and it is not the barometer of a happy and fulfilled life that we would like to believe.
The more that we fail to notice and address this, the more “stuff” we surround ourselves with to fill the void that is left by the absence of happiness and fulfilment in our lives. People who feel this way tend to spend way more than they have in an attempt to feel better or simply forget for a little while. The problem is it’s just a vicious cycle that you become trapped in.
Material possessions do not bring fulfilment. Most of the wonderful things we want to experience in life are free and readily available if we stop and look.
Here is another question for you, “If you were given a $1,000,000 right now, what would you want your life to look like?” I mean besides the obvious new car, house, holiday etc. When all those things you’d be holding out for were bought, what would you do with your time? Would you spend more quality time with your children, your partner, family and friends? Would you spend more or less time watching tv and being engaged in life?
Really think about it. The answers may surprise you.
Recently I was watching the netflix special, Inside Bill Gates Brain. I heard something quite interesting that may suprise you. Bill Gates is dedicated to improving the quality of life for some of the poorest people on earth and Warren Buffet, his friend and accomplice in his good works states that all people are valuable. Many famous actors and actresses also use their wealth and time to support people in great need.
So, if Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, two of the wealthiest self-made people on earth, believe all people are valuable then it just might be time for us to all start believing it. Look inside and find your true worthiness separate from money.
Does this mean you should give up the pursuit of financial stability? Of course not but just make sure you don’t mix your current financial situation up with your personal value.
We all have something to offer, find a way to believe it and develop your skills/talents. The money will follow.
Want to know more? Book a seat at our FREE Breakfree from living payday to payday online workshop.
About Amira MacCue Founder of Your Money Habit
Award Winning Spending Planner
Dedicated to teaching people how to overcome financial stress long term and be confident about their future using improved money management techniques and habit change.