How big is yours?
What are you thinking? I’m asking how big is your paycheck is.
Now that I have your attention my next question is: what is money? It’s a question we are never asked because we think we know. But do we?
You use it every day. You die for it. You kill for it. Surely you know what it is!
Take out a R100 from your wallet. It’s paper, right? Test that is true, set it alight. What was your reaction to me asking you to burn R100? Why is burning a piece of paper a big deal? Clearly it is more than pieces of paper or metal (or these days plastic ). So I ask again, what is money?
Some may answer, “it is a means of exchange”.
Did you see the movie Indecent Proposal? A married couple travel to Las Vegas. Hoping they can win enough money to finance David’s (Woody Harrelson) fantasy real estate project. After gambling away all their savings, they encounter billionaire John Gage (Robert Redford). Gage finds Diana (Demi Moore) attractive and offers them one million dollars to spend a night with her. After a difficult night, David and Diana decide to accept the offer.
Why do I mention this? Money is a means of exchange only if the trading partners agree it has value.
Imagine your boat capsized and you need to swim in piranha infested water to the island.. You notice your wallet and it’s bulging with dollars. YAY! Saved! Then you notice a man in a canoe (he turns out to be a cannibal) and you grab a fist full of money and start to yell. “Help, Help”. He does not recognize your money. All he sees is a free meal.
Money is a means of exchange only when both parties agree on its value. In the case of the cannibal, it is not worth the paper it is printed on.
“It is status” you may say. Others may say: “it’s power”. What about: “money is the root of all evil”? “It’s unimportant. It’s abundant. It’s how we keep score.” And so it goes on and on.
All are true – sometimes. None are true always. Here is what is true about money. You trade your life energy for it. You sell your time for approximately 45 – 50 years of your life for it. Look around at the things you have accumulated and ask, “how many hours of my life did I work to have all this?”
Money is simply your life energy. How much of your life are you willing to sell to have money in your pocket?
There are four areas of misunderstanding what money is or is not.
The daily transactions of earning and spending. The pieces of paper, metal or plastic. This is what most people think of it.
This is your fears, your longings. Do you spend freely or are you a hoarder? Growing up who influenced your feelings and thoughts about money? Understanding how your money psychology affects the choices in your daily life, brings a level of freedom.
The beliefs that are embedded in our laws and customs. Seeing how you are unwittingly living some of the belief of our culture, can liberate you from unconscious habits.
Something you trade hours of your life force to attain it. Knowing that money is your life energy transforms your relationship with it. Shining a bright light on your false notions.
The key to changing our relationship with money is the clarity that it is not all the meanings we project on it. Knowing this puts you in the drivers seat of how you control money. The better equipped we are to handle it the less over spending and debts we will have.
Money is a game and like it or not, we have to play by the rules.
So I ask again: “What is money?”