What do you think, when you think of money?
When you think of money, what else do you think?
Greed? Independence? Success? Good? Bad? Useful? Safety? Dirty? Practical? …
Money for me has always been a driver so I associate it with independence, success and safety. However I surprised myself today when I took my big bottle of savings to the bank. I was waiting in the queue, and the bags were really heavy so it started to weigh me down and by the time I got to the cashier I was feeling a little embarrassed about all the money bags I had.
It really surprised me and it made me think back to a conversation I had with a client recently about how they perceived money. Money can weigh people down and because of that they can hide from how little or how much they have due the perception they have about money. For example if they have less than their friends or family members they can be embarrassed about it (I had one client who didn’t tell his wife he earned less than her and got into lots of debt). Or if they have lots of money in their bank account it can make them feel dirty, because they associate money with greed (this one is popular due to the recent media coverage over the banking industry). However money can also be about having a safety net or having enough money to buy things for the people we love. What I find fascinating is that it’s all about our experiences with money that make us have a certain perception of it.
My mum didn’t have much money when I was growing up and was unable to afford all the things that my brother & I wanted. She had enough to feed us, clothe us, buy us little gifts and she more than made up for lack of money in love. However because of my experience with a lack of money, aged 10 years old, I set an intention to work hard, ensure I was independent and always have money in my bank account. I didn’t set out to be an accountant back then but I guess it makes sense given my passion for money!
Yet when I left my job a few years ago to start my business I had to be dependent on my partner for a few months. I had savings but we agreed that we would not use them unless we were desperate. We cut back on all the luxuries and we got by. However I felt emotional challenged being so dependent on my partner’s wage whilst I built the business, especially after being independent for so long. I explored why I was feeling the way I did and clearly remembered deciding I wanted to be independent and have lots of money all those years ago. I then realised that I was not in the same place that I was in all those years ago i.e. dependent on my mum to buy me things. Everything was different now and I was able to see that I no longer needed to be so independent. I certainly didn’t live with my mum anymore, I didn’t need to ask for things I wanted and I certainly didn’t need the latest toys anymore to show off to my friends!
I found it incredibly fascinating that I was still driven by a decision I made when I was 10 years old. When we set an intention either consciously or unconsciously it happily runs in the background like a computer program without asking for an update, but then there comes a time when we no longer need that same intention or no longer need the behaviour that fulfils that intention and so we must update our computer program. I am still driven by money and being independent but I am also driven by having a wide network of support from others and having lots of fun.
© Helen Monaghan
Look out for my Book coming soon!