Quite a bit has been said about my earlier post. My motives and my message have been largely questioned and challenged. I could not be more pleased by this outcome. I understand that I must distinguish my position from the populist claims of snake-oil writers promising economic salvation to faithful converts who need only believe, and preferably daily recite ‘special’ phrases.
I started with broad psychology-related assertions on purpose. The human mind is a fascinating tool, the best that you will ever own. It is the center of logical processing and yet for reasons we are yet to fully comprehend, it is very capable of amazing feats that seemingly deny logic. Take placebos for example. They should not work, they have no curing effect. And yet (in medicine), they have been known to function up to an extent. Placebos, might make the best case ever for “If you believe, you can”.
My primary intent with the phrase, “Money is just numbers” is to deliberately muddle up facts about the significance of money, to underestimate its importance and thereby gain some level of mental/emotional advantage. Is this effective at all? Think on psychological warfare, and think on terrorism.
That said, I move on to more practical matters.
Most of us go here will go through or have gone through the school system. When we ‘finish’, most of us will find jobs and will be expected to work till we retire, hopefully to comfortable pensions (maybe more on that later). That’s a quick summary of how the majority of our lives are likely to go.
During our respective careers, many of us will happen on jobs that we will quite frankly hate. Tasks we will resent to the very bottom of our souls. Employers that will treat us poorly, derisively and with little apparent concern for our own welfare or future. Some of us will be yelled at (unjustly). Others will get used to being addressed with obscene words and offering frightful apologies in response. Don’t get me wrong. Wonderful experiences do exist at work. But it doesn’t change the fact that many people will suffer grave losses and indignities during their careers -some of which they will not even be aware of -and be forced to consider a cheque with a bunch of zeroes received each month as fair compensation.
Even within the law -and we know where our beloved home ranks in this area- a lot of harm can be done to a willing person in exchange for money.
I feel the need to re-affirm that I know that several employments and careers are truly blissful and fulfilling experiences, such that they would still be happily undertaken by specific employees for significantly less financial reward.
However, to examine the will-suppressing and controlling power of money, it is more instructive to consider the lengths that many people must go to, because they need money.
And these are only the best examples. The traditional ones that people face. Many, more sinister challenges exist. Parents sell/traffic their children. People kill and People die. Peoples know nothing but pain all their lives. One man orders thousands of youths to indirectly mutilate their own futures and they gratefully obey.
This is the state of affairs. At the risk of sounding ‘cliché(ic)’, you must control money or it will control you. It is the only choice you have. If you do not rule over it, it will rule over you.
You must dominate it with your hands and maintain impressive amounts in your bank accounts or you must prevail over it with your mind, your faith, your belief, adamantly insisting that it will only move you so far, and no more. Although you cannot help needing money for essentials, you can refuse to chase it simply because others have more and your self-worth is a debit ATM card ultimately connected to your bank.
It is perhaps preferable to use both methods relating to money. To seek to gain it, while refusing to be awed by it.
A significant portion of the money you earn, save and invest patiently. Seek financial education. Learn the basics from reliable sources. Take calculated risks. Aim and work towards deriving a certain percentage of your income from your own non-job related efforts. You will likely have to make difficult long-term sacrifices to achieve a reasonable level of financial independence i.e. A point where you still appreciate the importance of money but are not bound or unduly influenced by it.
So that if you do make a lot of it, good. And even if you do not, it’s almost the same to you. One way or another, you purpose your life to the fullest, because Money is just…numbers.
P.S : ALL comments are welcome.