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3 Principles to cherish other than money

“Money makes the world go round”

My mother taught me this saying, and in today’s society it still rings true. We rely on it for almost everything. We use it to buy our food, pay for our power and Internet services, and even need money to clothe ourselves. We work our asses off for decades in the hope that we will still have enough money to live once we are not able to work any more. As a society we focus too much on money itself and it’s necessity in our lives.

Although money can make the world go round, it is not the only one that does.

We have come to believe that money is the only thing that will make us happy, and that we need it to ensure our future happiness and success. This cannot be further from the truth. Don’t get me wrong, there is a certain amount of funding we need in order to survive, but that is all money is for. It is the end result of the focus you have put in elsewhere, and not the focus itself.

I strongly believe there are 3 other principles in life where we should (and must) focus on. Kindness, Respect, and Giving. All three are intertwined and essential to building a fulfilled life.

Kindness starts with a smile

Being kind is real easy, almost too easy. When we think of kindess, we envisage soft-hearted people with puppy dog eyes, not saying a bad word to anyone. It doesn’t have to be like that, and all you have to do to start off being kind is a simple smile to another person. Not one of those creepy, stalker smiles, but a genuine one. Something that will make them feel better in their day because of it. You can smile anywhere and at anyone, such as at the cashier in the store, or the person walking past you in the street.

One simple smile can really change a person’s day.

Respect builds trust

I cannot stress the importance of respect. Respecting others’ beliefs, their privacy, and their time are only a few examples of what to do. Because you believe in something, or are comfortable with stating your opinion, does not give you the right to disrespect those around you. One thing I try to do here, is put myself in their shoes. This normally helps me catch myself before I show too much disrespect and break down the relationship I’ve worked hard to build.

Giving helps you feel better

More studies show that when we help others with their successes, we feel many times greater satisfaction than if we simply helped ourselves. Giving is about selflessly helping someone else with something instead of for yourself. Give your partner the last chocolate in the box because you know it’s their favourite. Help a friend with some groceries that they can’t afford, or donate a large sum of money to a charity you believe in.

BONUS principle – Gratitude

How can we be happy and content about anything if we don’t appreciate what we have? I look at my sons every day, and am so grateful they are healthy and beautiful. I thank my lucky stars for having such a supportive wife. My appreciation is through the roof when I am able to afford the pleasures in life (like electricity, Internet, and a choice of food) when there are children working in glass factories or roaming the streets for rubbish, hoping to sell them to recycling centres (if you know how I can help them, I would love to know!).

Take a minute out of your day to realise the world you’re in. Is your 9-5, well-paying, job really that bad? Do you really need to get irritated at the red traffic light when you’re sitting in your 5 year old car?

No-one is perfect, and that’s ok

I’m still learning how to fully integrate these core principles into my life. Sometimes, I’m still a bit selfish, don’t show enough respect, and am sometimes unkind. Don’t take it too personally when you don’t get it right, as long as you know you did wrong. Just remember to be better next time.

All three of these principles are so critical, so integral that without them we will live hollow, shallow, mediocre lives. Yes, money is important, it can buy us many things, but it doesn’t make this world a better place on it’s own. Through kindness, giving, and respect, money can be used to make the difference we want and need it to make.

Don’t Let Finances Break You

Money. The one thing invented by Man that has brought so much happiness and sadness at the same time. The one thing we all work so hard for, yet so many of us never have enough of. Since the invention of money, there has always been something to pay – taxes, bills, loans, transport, rates, maintenance, the list goes on. Most people have earned enough money to simply pay these items and nothing further. No safety net for emergencies, no comfort for some luxuries, no ability to afford some travel.

Centuries upon centuries of obsession over accumulating wealth has increased the importance of money, and in turn the dependence on money. The simple fact being; if you don’t have money you’re dead in the water. No house, no food, no means to live by. This is an immense amount of pressure on all of us. It forces us to think we have to work for our well being. If we don’t, we die.

Having this pressure in the back of our mind crushes us into a deep pit of worry about all aspects of finance. ”Have I made enough this month?”, ”Crap, the plumbing just burst and needs replacing”, ”That is an insane amount to be loaning for a house”. These are just some of the questions that float around our head. Each time the question is asked, the deeper the pit becomes, as we worry some more about how we will be paying all these finances off.

We suffer high anxiety when having to sign a house or loan agreement. We shed a tear every time there is maintenance to be performed on the house. How about a sense of failure when we haven’t been able to save as much money as we would have liked during a given period?

We work harder and longer hours in order to possibly incrementally increase our income. However, all these finances are also increasing each year due to inflation. This gets us more worried. We work longer. More money. More, more, more. But it is just never enough to pay the bills, and enjoy life a little. Until we realise…

It is only money.

Money is only ‘a thing’. Something that gets way too much of our time, focus, and energy. Yes, we have to work to gain money. Yes, we need money to survive in this rat race world. Yes, we need money to pay off our debts. But that’s it.

Payments out of necessity should not be the main driver of our anxiety and pressure when it comes to money matters. All that worrisome fretting gets us nowhere quickly. It strangles our ability to focus our energy to bigger and better things. Things that will generate profit. Things that will make money matters easier on the mind, and easier on the soul.

Paying out of necessity is only a means to an end. And that’s all the thought it deserves. Buy a house, pay those bills, perform the maintenance required. Disclaimer: It’s kinda obvious that you would need to budget accordingly, and not overspend. If you can’t afford these bills, then plan, budget, and achieve that goal. But don’t let it worry you and eat your soul.

If you’ve read any of my previous work, you may remember how I view going through life. Have your sights on the end goal. By doing that, your current obstacles will seem smaller, and in turn less worrisome. Applying this same logic to our money woes makes the bills a lot less suffocating. And a lot less impeding in our daily lives.

I cannot stress enough the importance of actively reducing the amount of worry when it comes to making payments. If we always see the entire amount, there will always be anxiety, fear, and a mountain of pressure. It might not relate, but the adage (and my personal favourite) of “How does one eat an elephant? In small chunks” is apt in almost all cases of tackling something large.

By looking at your payments in smaller increments they become less of a mountain, and more of a molehill. Budget, schedule, plan, use whatever method works for you. The key is to get to a stage that you are not sick with worry. A place where you know you need to pay, but it’s all good. You are sorted out and it will all work out.

Pay and move on.

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