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How to change your money story (& live rich now)

Griffin Money MantrasGriffin has two oft-repeated Money Mantras: “I have plenty of money.” and “I am a money magnet.” and this fun pic reflects how this is very much true for him.

A little over a month ago he set the intention of creating $200 to achieve some of his soccer goals and he earned it completely by himself (not through me!) by cooking, cleaning, babysitting and saving monetary gifts from his grandparents.

Very often Griffin will express a desire to have something, and I’ll always immediately tell him he can absolutely have it. He’ll always reply, “But I want it now.”

And I’ll say, “It’s understandable that you’d want it right now, but what I want you to remember is how wonderful it feels to anticipate the thing you want, knowing that it’s absolutely coming to you.”

The way we’re wired as humans, we’re always going to want more, but we’re also wired to seek novelty and challenge, so it’s the challenge of figuring out how it’s going to come to you and taking the very purposeful steps to get it that’s actually a big part of what you really enjoy about the process.

When you take joy in the creating process, you feel optimistic and happy – and when you think about it, isn’t that what you want to feel all the time, anyway?”

Of course, I keep repeating this because he doesn’t completely believe it yet – and so I always remind him, “When has there been a time when you didn’t get what you really wanted?”

He always says, “I can’t remember. But I’m sure there’s been one time.” and then he smiles. And I know I’m getting through to him. :)

One of my favorite things about raising Griffin is inculcating a very different money mindset than I had when I was growing up – a long, long time ago in a land where money didn’t grow on trees and there was never, ever enough.

If you grew up in the same land and were handed down the same set of beliefs, this article is for you!

When people talk about changing your money story, they will often tell you to think big. To dream of everything in the world that you could possibly want, from a New York pied-à-terre, to a Prius, to an Apple watch (yes, those are all on my list).

There’s nothing wrong with that, not in theory, at least. It’s always a good idea to let yourself dream bigger than you’ve ever dreamed before.

But you have to make sure the dreams are aligned with your true priorities and deepest desires – and not something cooked up by our advertising industry.

There’s a very logical assumption that most people make about spending their money and Madison Avenue really plays into it: that because a physical object will last longer, it will make us happier for a longer time than a one-off experience like a concert or vacation.

According to recent research, it turns out that assumption is completely wrong.

“One of the enemies of happiness is adaptation,” says Dr. Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University who has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades. “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them.”

In reality, scientific studies show that material things contribute significantly less to our happiness than our experiences. And even economists say that happiness is the best indicator of the health of a society, not material wealth.

find your purposeSure, we all know that money can make us happier, but after our basic needs are met, scientific studies again show that it doesn’t make us that much happier.

So one of the biggest questions is how to allocate our money – and this holds true whether we have a lot or a little.

One study conducted by Gilovich even showed that if people have an experience they say negatively impacted their happiness, once they have the chance to talk about it, their assessment of that experience goes up.

Gilovich attributes this to the fact that something that might have been stressful or scary in the past can become a funny story to tell at a party or be looked back on as an invaluable character-building experience.

Another reason is that shared experiences connect us more to other people than shared consumption. You’re much more likely to feel connected to someone you camped with in the woods, than someone who also happens to have a 60-inch TV.

Sure, there are definite benefits to having a lot of money – you get to do a whole lot more of stuff that makes you feel really, really good. It’s simply easier to make memories and have experiences that may change you as a person.

But here’s the thing: you don’t need to have a lot of money to start focusing your energy on having really great experiences now.

You don’t have to save up ten grand to go on safari, but you could borrow some camping equipment from a friend and have a great weekend in the woods. And if you can’t make it to Broadway, you could spend $25 and see a local play. You have so many options if you look past the ones that seem out of reach right now.

So one of the steps you can take to change your money mindset and bring your future you to life is to start diverting some of your money to experiences.

Right now (yes, I’ll wait), write down all the experiences you want to have, all the fun things you want to do for yourself – or for your loved ones – and from now on you’ll have a list to work from.

I bet you anything many of these things are more accessible than you think they are. But you won’t be able to access them unless you start getting a handle on what they are and what they cost.

But again: start with the small stuff. Once you break the pattern of not doing these things, it really does have money implications. It really does start opening up doors for you.

And, as a side benefit, you get to do incredible things now.

You’ll begin to become the kind of person who creates amazing and memorable experiences for her life. And who – whether you’re someone with a lot of money or a little – doesn’t want that??

If you liked this post, I think you’ll enjoy the free weekly Special Delivery eZine. Just sign up here and it will be delivered to your inbox every Tuesday!

Last week I came back from a blizzard in Snowshoe to a whirlwind of activity in Asheville! The photos below show two of my awesome private clients from their VIP Day Sessions – one happened in person and the other happened via Skype since my client is currently living in Puerto Rico!

VIP clients

The other main highlight was hosting my Find Your True Purpose Master Class with Linda Joy. The Master Class was a “preview” of my new program offering – the Find Your True Purpose Boot Camp!

I’m SO excited about this program, and I hope you will click here to find out more.

I also spent time last week finishing a book the publisher asked me to review. The book is How to Be Alive: A Guide to the Kind of Happiness that Helps the World by Colin Beavan.

Since a large part of it is devoted to finding and LIVING your purpose, you can imagine how excited I was to read it – and present a review to you this week.

In How to Be Alive, Beavan relates a story of the late Zen Master Seung Sahn, who said that money, sex, fame, food, and sleep are what he calls an “outside job” but humans also need an “inside job” or what we might also call a vocation.

I’m with Beavan on this, and it reminds me of how so many of the women I work with worry that nothing they really want to do is significant enough to be called a vocation. Here’s the thing, though: your calling is never at odds with what you really want to do.

Marianne Williamson probably says it best when she says, “Some people worry that if they do God’s will or follow His calling, then they would be asked to be an accountant when they really want to be a musician. But what kind of God would ask a person with a passion for music to be an accountant?”

find your purposeSo how do you find your vocation? In Beavan’s opinion, there are two elements of vocation, “Vocation – the way you are called to be – is partly an expression of the prized skills and talents and passions inside you, who you are, because only that which is inside you can be called from you. Vocation is also your answer to what the world needs or calls for that most resonates with you.”

Unfortunately our culture has taught us that our desires are not an appropriate guide for our life’s work, and that has led many of us toward the soul-sucking job route. There is still no conventionally approved and widely celebrated path to an authentic, meaningful, service-and-passion-oriented life.

The standard life approaches ALL go along these lines: work like crazy to get some better thing, person, house, or job, which will THEN make you feel better in some way. But for me and many others this standard life approach doesn’t work. It leaves us feeling dissatisfied and longing for something more.

In fact, many of us have to hit some sort of bottom before we are willing to go against the flow and try something new. And at that point, the best way to find that something new is to listen to your life for the clues to your purpose and follow those clues to a truly meaningful and satisfying life.

So where do you start? Beavan says (and I agree!) that you start small. Start asking yourself questions like, “Where does my horse naturally end up when I open the stable door and let it roam free?”

You can look to times when you currently feel completely in “the flow” (activities that make you happy) or times in the past when you felt called to do something unconventional and what happened as a result.

Most peak experiences, as psychologists call them, occur because of a confluence of circumstances, including our state of mind, the novelty of the experience, the people we’re with, and how much we lose ourselves in the experience.

Contrary to what our culture seems to dictate, there are no conventional rules you can follow that will lead you along a path to what Beavan calls a “Good Life.” You’re going to have to find the path that emerges for you in each moment – what the Buddha called the Middle Way.

Also, ask yourself these questions:

What have you always wanted to do that you haven’t done yet?

What have you done that you’re really proud of?

What do you still want to learn?

Where have you always wanted to go?

These thoughtful and thought-provoking questions will help any reader explore, navigate and map a path to their purpose.

Of course, if you would like to go even further with me as your guide, I hope you will join me for my new program the Find Your True Purpose Book Camp! You can find out more and register, here: http://true-purpose-bootcamp.staceycurnow.com

If you liked this post, I think you’ll enjoy the free weekly Special Delivery eZine. Just sign up here and it will be delivered to your inbox every Tuesday!

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