During times when I had money in the bank I enjoyed an excellent quality of life with joy and contentment. However, whenever money was tight from paying off debt that I shouldn’t have gotten into, I was often miserable. Although money alone cannot make you happy, financial independence is a spiritual fruit of righteousness and virtue. Money is just the physical vehicle that represents our inward behavior. You cannot separate
Personal finance is intrinsically related to both physical and psychological wellbeing. It is a universal truth common among all humanity. As I look around the culture I see dismal people who are under the weather. Usually they don’t even know it, meaning they are so used to being broke with no money that a humdrum existence is sadly all they know. Truth is, financial instability will cause depression because every aspect of our lives requires money to not only thrive, but survive.
Most studies reveal the number one cause of divorce in America is infidelity, with monetary conflicts coming in second. Another study shows money as the number one reason why couples fight. Regardless, couples having money fights cause them to either become bitter, or even split up.
The interesting thing is that money is energy. It is spiritual. We cannot dismiss the notion that physical needs are interwoven with spiritual needs. They are ultimately one and the same. You can try hard to be a loving spouse, parent, neighbor or friend, but if you don’t have the money to support the ones you love, you can’t contribute much. Social gatherings and friendships require money, unless you strictly meet for free, which is kind of boring.
Nonetheless, taking control of your life is a holistic endeavor known as personal stewardship. Being selfish is a virtue so long as you are not harming others. You must have the financial aspect covered. Because if you don’t have enough money set aside to go to the movies, go on a vacation, or simply go to the mall, your enjoyment with those whom you care about is limited. Unfortunately, many people in the United States are struggling. As a result their lives are a mess.
What Your Financial Health Says About Your Mental Health
Your debt may cost you more than just interest. Research shows there’s a clear link between your financial health and your mental health and your debt may serve as a tangible representation of your psychological state.
Approximately 35% of Americans have delinquent debt, according to a 2014 report published by the Urban Institute. Overdue debts average around $5,178 and usually include a mixture of credit card balances, medical bills and unpaid utilities.Source: Psychology Today
Poverty is Both Physical and Spiritual
Being poor affects every facet of your existence. It’s not just a physical issue. The decisions that you make are directly tied to your level of consciousness. What you believe will create your reality. It may sound cliché, but we all know innately that wealth and poverty starts in the mind.
Not having enough funds to live life with decency takes a major toll on your self-esteem, your opportunities to advance, and your overall sense of peace. How can you enjoy life in freedom if you have creditors ringing your phone or pinging your email? The stress of having all your hard-earned money come in and then go right back out—is a major contentment crusher.
When you have enough money in the bank to pay at least the minimums on your bills, even if you are in debt, it is phenomenally better than being broke and scraping by to eat. Living paycheck-to-paycheck is unfortunately the case of 78% of Americans. Thus, even if you aren’t wealthy but have enough at the end of the month to save—even just a little—you can at least breath. Having a little money is a night and day difference to falling being on bills each month, always playing catch-up with the creditors.
Physical and Spiritual Connections with Money
A 2016 study from Duke University found that low socioeconomic status may adversely alter DNA and increase levels of depressed. Though perhaps intuitive, scientific research now confirms the obvious—being poor makes you depressed and unhappy. Furthermore, being depressed lowers your motivation to earn more money and seek personal development, which in turn makes you even more depressed. It’s a chain reaction that seems to replicate like dominos.
A long line of research links poverty and depression. Now, a study by Duke University scientists shows how biology might underlie the depression experienced by high-risk adolescents whose families are socio-economically disadvantaged. The study, published May 24 in the journal Molecular Psychiatry, combined genetics, brain imaging and behavioral data gathered as adolescents were followed for more than three years as part of a larger study.Source: POVERTY MARKS A GENE, PREDICTING DEPRESSION
Fighting for Your Financial Independence
Struggling with Yourself
Regardless of socioeconomic upbringing or current circumstance, everyone in the United States of average intelligence and reasonable health (they can get up and work) has the potential to become wealthy. The American dream is not dead. The problem is that people have become conditioned. They have been taught to believe that the system is rigged against them, that the “little man can’t get ahead,” or that picking themselves up by their bootstraps was an opportunity of their grandparents. They fall prey to the notion that you can’t win any more in the USA. This is completely incorrect.
Even those who make an honest effort to get ahead and who think they can win, often don’t succeed. This reason is because they don’t have the endurance to face the inevitable setbacks that come with any worthwhile endeavor. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. Every person would find their passion, start their venture, and become wealthy. There would be no poverty among us because all would be successful. It just isn’t the reality we live in. You have to struggle to be a scholar, to pave the way to realize success.
Many well-meaning individuals fight tooth and nail to pick themselves up from austere conditions in order to start winning with money, but they never get anywhere. They even believe they can. These are the people who attend Tony Robins events. Not that everybody following Tony doesn’t overcome their challenges and reach their goals, but so many just peddle along. They get all fired up by the newest trend of some self-improvement guru. They try new techniques suggested to change their behavior and build the business they always wanted, but it’s all short-lived. They fail in the longterm.
It doesn’t have to be this way. The reason these people do not succeed is because they truly don’t have the necessary desire in their heart and soul. There’s no other logical explanation. I am not talking about a mere wind of change that fires you up one day. I am referring to something deep within that makes you discussed with your current life, so much that you rise up with a warrior’s spirit. At such point, people think you’re crazy and that you have lost your mind. However, you just don’t care.
Attain Your Goal or Die Trying
You can’t make up excuses. You either hit or miss. If unexpected life circumstances come your way but you can still walk and talk, tomorrow is yet another fighting chance. This mentality is the substance of winners and higher achievers—they just NEVER give up. Thus we can use logic and common sense to understand the psychology of winning and losing. You either persevere till the end by finding resilience to overcome, or you allow the friction to wear you out.
Moreover, those who do not succeed at achieving their goals, which they so passionately set out to do initially, fail because their desire is just too weak. This is not rocket science. It’s that simple. They either want it, or don’t. The litmus test to judge whether you have what it takes to achieve is your character over time. Your consistency, day in and day out, lets you know that nothing is going to make you stop no matter what.
Have Unstoppable Desire to Achieve
Your true and authentic desire to attain your goals is something that no one can stop. If the yearning is strong enough, persuading you otherwise is like a nat on the windshield. When you have a fire inside and a clear vision of what you want, the resistance melts away. Oppositional people and circumstances are no match for your determination when you have made up your mind. This is philosophically obvious, but stating the simple truth is necessary to help cultivate encouragement.
Facing the music of reality and deciding to struggle through financial hardships is mandatory to achieve your objectives. Learning to strive, persevere and overcome uncomfortable opposition is the recipe for success. There’s really no easy way out, and perseverance is a skill that gets stronger over time.
Many People are Lazy and Ignorant
If you lack the incentive to work hard and improve your life by seizing opportunities, stretching your limits and exploiting resources, you are likely in a lazy trance. This is comfort zone needs to be broken otherwise it will affect your finances over time. In addition, you may not have been educated properly. Such is the case of our public schools, which teach very little (if any) financial education.
Toxic Education with No Financial Instruction
Our educational system is pathetic. It does not teach financial education in a way that treats debt as bad, but instead teaches young people to obey orders. The central factors include:
- It teaches children from a young age to be automatons by blindly following the rules to be good citizens;
- It discourages creativity and thinking outside the box, which includes questioning authority in good faith;
- It deprives them of rigorous academic challenge by watering down the curriculums so that no one is left behind; AND
- It forces them to either become rebels without a cause, or find some personal endeavor in order to become industrious.
Of course this is not the case for every student in our grade schools, high schools and colleges. There are always exceptions to this norm. On average though, young people of virtually every level of education in America are not held to the same academic standards they once had. Decades ago, students had to work harder in school to graduate and stay with their peers, unlike the watered-down programs of today.
WHY AREN’T WE TAUGHT PERSONAL FINANCE IN SCHOOL?
“I wish they taught us about money in school!”Source
It’s a common response online whenever someone takes it upon themselves to bone up on personal finance. And it’s a legitimate gripe, considering how terrible most Americans are with money, and the drag their behavior has on the economy at large.
The Slothfulness Lives On
Currently in the United States, amidst this ongoing economic recession, life is not so great for the average person. The middle class if virtually nonexistent and the upper class keeps getting even more wealthy. The common denominator of this reality is that many people of the middle class are not willing to rise up and become exceptional in their field.
This is the new economy we are living in today. If you have always been average, that won’t work. You now have to be excellent and proficient in what you do, otherwise someone else will take your job who does it better. Not that we have to become hyper-competitive; rather we must hone in on our unique strengths and gifts in order to find are passion and thrive.
Unfortunately, however, many just do not understand this hard truth. Frustrated, miserable people struggle weekly to get by, which takes a toll on not just their finances, but their health. Due to the rising costs of living, their choice of food often poor. Being malnourished is a major danger to your body, your mood and psychological state, and therefore your finances. It’s a viscous cycle: when your body is malnourished and inflamed due to the toxic, processed, nutrient deficient foods of the Standard American Diet (SAD), it adversely affects your psychological health.
You won’t feel hope and enthusiasm to make the most out of each day because your hormones will be out of synch and your body will be tired. How will you ever find enthusiasm to improve your life concerning money and career if you feel like you need to take a nap. In addition, you probably won’t like the way you look either. This is sadly a trap that indirectly sucks the money from your wallet.
My Local Observations
As I look around the culture in San Diego County, I see people of various walks of life and differing socioeconomic status. I see both the wealthy and the poor, who can either be miserable or happy depending on their outlook and behavior. Some rich people are spoiled and forgot where they came from, and are thus arrogant. However, many are kindly hospitable and charitable.
There are the miserable, downtrodden impoverished as well. These people have virtually no incentive to be cordial and will cut you off in traffic if they get the chance. They are lost in a world of make-believe to impress people they don’t even like. They wear fancy clothes and drive (financed) cars (often BMWs) to appear affluent on the outside; however, their internal life is full of anger, confusion, and fear that they won’t make their payments!
The simple ones get gleeful on Friday, but dread the coming of Monday. They can’t see beyond the short-term pleasures and bear necessities that allow them to survive. Unlike self-made millionaires, who have a longterm outlook on the consequences of their decisions, poor people live for today and give little consideration for where they will be tomorrow. Hence, poverty is a state of mind.
On the contrary, there are the not-so-wealthy who are grateful for every waking moment—because they have yet another chance each day to get ahead. These individuals are disciplined and aware that their actions and behavior patterns have longterm consequences. Therefore, they take full responsibility for their lives, and they do not make excuses.
It’s all in the way you look at life, which is a way of describing conscious awareness. Unless you are God-forbid handicapped or unable to work and interact with society, you have the ability to make your life better—especially here in the United States where you can start a business without the shackles of an oppressive socialist state.
Your Subjective Worldview Matters
Concerning whether you will be successful with money and not be broke your whole life, it starts with your internal level of awareness. I don’t characterize all people with blanket stereotypes because each individual is at a unique, spiritual level of awareness and personal growth.
We have been programmed by school, parents, neighbors, media, peers, and government to believe false and destructive narratives about money and building wealth. We are often taught that rich people are greedy and immoral because they somehow only became wealthy by taking advantage of others. While that does happen, most self-made millionaires rise to the top through ethical means and hard work. They had sheer desire with good intent to improve their life.
Breaking Chains of Financial Bondage and Lies
The good news is that you do not have to struggle with money and be poor your whole life. You can choose not to be programmed by the external influences in your environment. If you really want to, you can change your life. The first step is to immediately get away from toxic people and circumstances that hold you down through subtle conditioning.
America is a place where one can start a business, move to another geographical location, and speak freely without the government throwing them in jail. Of course there are obstacles that stand in the way. Not all states have just laws. Socialist policies such as high regulation of business to include high fees and outrageous requirements are an adverse factor—I am not going to lie. That said, where there is a will there is way. People choose their own destiny depending on what they are willing to settle for.
Some people were brought up in wealthy homes and had the opportunity to attend prestigious universities and gain favorable connections with affluent people in ivory towers. Others, however, have been raised in ghettos where their parents struggled to keep food on the table, in neighborhoods full of crime and bad peer influences. Nevertheless, they rose up and overcome the obstacles. They are now very successful.
Examples of billionaires who started dirt poor include:
- Oprah Winfrey
- Howard Schultz
- Ralph Lauren
- Larry Ellison
- Kenneth Langone
- Sheldon Adelson
- Alan Gerry
- John Paul DeJoria
- Harold Hamm
- J.K. Rowling
It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through in the past. It matters where you are NOW and where you are going. Your level of conscious awareness is the garden that either grows weeds of poverty and despair or crops of wealth and abundance. The power is in your hands.
Do not be dismayed by the hardships and setbacks of life. Take it by the horns with courage, and no matter what financial dilemma you might find yourself in, just know that if you are still breathing—you have another fighting chance each day. Every morning the sun comes up again in the East.
You know the truth about how your environment and inner world affects your external reality. Your external affairs is a reflection of your internal conditions. Though not having enough money can drastically depress your psyche and sense of self-esteem—you can promptly thwart this energy by taking a stance. Rise up in good courage and take hold of your finances, be taking charge of your behavior. You can do it!