The necessity of knowing what you believe about money and what's important in life.
Most people don't take the time to sit down and understand what they really believe about money. For some, money is the root of all evil, to be avoided at all cost, not talked about, and demonized. People who make money are the enemy. It's the rich against the poor.
For others, money is everything. They'll sacrifice friends, family, and integrity to get it. It's a dog-eat-dog world.
For others still, money is merely a tool.
For better or for worse, our understanding of money often shapes our life. And our understanding of money is often something that is passed down to us from a young age, received without a critical eye, and lived out in unseen ways. Because of this, money often rules us in ways we can't understand, because we don't truly understand money and the way in which it works.
Money is evil?
My poor dad had a strong belief that the love of money was evil and that excessive profit meant you were greedy.
As the head of the Hawaii school system, he felt embarrassed when newspapers published how much he made because he felt overcompensated in comparison to the teachers who worked for him. He was a good, honest, hardworking man who did his best to defend his point of view that money wasn't important in life.
My highly-educated, yet poor, dad constantly said:
"I'm not that interested in money."
"I'll never be rich."
"I can't afford it."
"Investing is risky."
"Money isn't everything."
Money is an important tool
My rich dad had a different point of view. He thought it's foolish to spend your life working for money and to pretend that money wasn't important. Rich dad believed that life was more important than money, but that money was important for supporting life.
He often said, "You only have so many hours in a day, and you can only work so hard. So, why work hard for money? Learn to have money and people work hard for you and you can be free to do the things that are important."
To my rich dad, what was important was:
Having lots of time to raise his kids
Having money to donate to charities and projects he supported
Bringing jobs and financial stability to the community
Having time and money to take care of his health
Being able to travel the world with his family
Those things take money," said rich dad. "That's why money is important to me. Money is important, but I don't want to spend my life working for it."
What's important to you?
Most people find the same things to be important that my rich dad did. I know my poor dad did.
The problem for my poor dad, however, was that his attitude towards money kept him poor. And because he was poor, he didn't have the ability to fully do the things that were important to him.
The truth is that money isn't everything, but it does help us do everything we love.
So, what's important to you? Are you freely able to do the things you love? Or are financial struggles holding you back?
And how do you view money? Is it evil or is it a tool to help you do what's important?
How you answer that question changes everything.
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