07262017Headline:

Money Jedi: To Master Money, Master Yourself

Money Jedi

Need some change? Image by kwod.

Change happens on multiple levels, or it doesn’t last. If it doesn’t last, it’s just a detour from our regular lives.

If we’re going to master money, we have to change our financial habits. But it goes deeper than that. We have to change our actions, thoughts, feelings, attitudes and beliefs about money. All of those things control what we do and experience every day. In order to experience and do something new, we have to change those things.

Most of us run on a kind of autopilot. We crave the same things for breakfast and always seem to be running ten minutes late. We like the same few places for lunch, and order the same few things off the menu. It’s not that we fear change, it’s just that our taste buds really do crave that same sandwich we had the last time. We generally spend the same amount of money at restaurants, and our bank accounts generally hover in the same range.

The issue here is that our habits, feelings, and subconscious beliefs (and taste buds) are running us, instead of us running them. These are powerful forces. But we need to realize those forces are not who we are. And that we are powerful, too.

If we’re going to master money, we have to take charge. We have to teach ourselves that what we think we know about money isn’t true. And that’s not easy. It means trying to deceive our subconscious mind, which thinks it has everything figured out in a way that will keep us safe and comfortable (if not happy).

We have to teach ourselves how to budget. How to make friends with money. How to view money as a teacher, instead of an oppressor. How to honor money, and those with it. How to make more money. How to save more money.

 

Me vs. My Mind

Teaching ourselves all this new stuff, means telling the subconscious mind it’s full of crap. And that’s hard. It usually goes something like this:

ME: Subconscious mind, you don’t know what you think you know. You think money is hard to make. Well, I say different!

SUBCONSCIOUS MIND: Good for you. Money is still hard to make.

ME: No, it’s not.

SUBCONSCIOUS MIND: Uhhh, yeah. It is. I’ve got access to loads of files in our memory banks that prove me right. And you have a history of being a little optimistic and gullible. I have files proving that, too.

ME: But . . . I really believe that money should come more naturally.

SUBCONSCIOUS BOSS: I also have files about the last time we ate Ramen noodles wrapped in a coat sitting on a stool in front of the heater. Remember that time?

ME: Yes . . .

SUBCONSCIOUS BOSS: Well, I remember a lot better than you. So you go on raving about your new age woo-woo. I’ll do the job of keeping us safe, fed and warm. Making money is hard, but it becomes simple if you just shut up and do the job even if you hate it.

 

There’s another reason change is so hard. Biochemistry.

Well, I’m sure there are a lot of reasons, but I’m going to focus on biochemistry.

If we think negative thoughts our neurons relating to pain and misery will conjoin with each other and wire themselves into a pattern of negative thinking. Any experience that we have–which we have attached a negative belief system to–will trigger releases of chemicals from our hypothalamus called peptides . . . This chemical will be experienced as a painful emotion within our bodies. The more negative experiences we perceive the more our neurons will attach themselves to each other and form more negative wiring. The more wiring, the more secretion of negative hormones, and the more we feel negative.

— Melanie Tonia Evans, “Reprogramming Beliefs and Creating New Realities”

Let’s say you always go out and spend $200 every Friday you get paid. Going out and spending that money releases certain peptides.

Your cells get used to this “I’m letting loose and spending $200 tonight” chemical, and if they don’t get that chemical, they think something is very wrong. They aren’t getting their needs met. Your entire body is actually addicted to going out and spending that money. It experiences some kind of withdrawal if you decide to go home, order pizza and watch a DVD.

So the idea of saving $200 out of every paycheck sounds great! You’d like to set that money aside for a plane ticket to see your mom, or invest in your side business, and you could use those Friday evenings at home to learn to cook, which you’ve been meaning to do for awhile.

But when the paycheck actually comes in, your emotions and your entire body are against going home and saving the money. It’s like the $200 is burning a hole in your pocket, and your home is an empty cave barren of all life. And if you don’t have to save that money–if there’s no outside force holding you to a commitment–it’s easy to let go and say you’re taking care of yourself by going out. Because you really do deserve to let loose and have a good time after two weeks of working hard for the man.

Don’t be fooled. Don’t confuse comfort with actually doing what’s best for you.

 

This is why holding to a new diet is so hard. It’s why beginning a new exercise regime is so hard. It’s why beginning to put aside 10% of every paycheck is so hard. It’s why any change is so hard. (I’m simplifying here, but it’s a factor.)

 

How can we change all this? What chance do we have of mastering our subconscious minds and our biochemistry?

There are a lot of tricks and tools, many of which I’ll cover throughout the Money Jedi series, but right now I’ll whittle it down to three. Choice, determination and support.

I can narrow that down even further to just choice. Because being determined to make money is key, and getting support is key, but even those things hinge on making the decision–again and again and again–to change your behavior.

It’s going to be hard. Especially at first. It will feel like an unnatural struggle every time you make a new, different decision. But slowly, your body will adjust to different peptides, and your subconscious mind will formulate different beliefs. Then you’re on the path of mastering yourself.

As Albus Dumbledore said (who was maybe a Money Jedi, but definitely a Money Wizard), “It is not our abilities that make us who we are, Harry. It is our choices.”

***

L. Marrick is a historical fantasy writer and freelance copywriter. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. She eats too much chocolate and still doesn’t believe downward dog is supposed to be a restful yoga pose. You can connect with her at either of her websites, and follow her on Twitter @LMarrick.


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