Some cultures believe in deifying wealth.
Believers in this philosophy might openly worship gold by commissioning a goldsmith to cast it in the likeness of their favourite god or goddess. Or they might install safety vaults in their homes to save valuables in, when putting one’s ornaments into an empty sweetmeat box and tossing it into the bottom of the refrigerator or into the shoe closet keeps the stuff just as secure. Women buy expensive leather billfolds instead of allowing their spare change to languish in one of the myriad inside pockets of their handbags.
Whether you believe in the Law of Attraction (as popularised by Rhonda Byrne in The Secret) or not, you will believe that what you focus on assumes greater importance for you. Buy a fancy red convertible and you will notice that many others in your city own similar models. Hold a fistful of sand in your open palm and most of the sand remains in your palm; close your palm into a fist and most of the sand falls out. Focus on preserving and safeguarding money and it escapes into holes and cracks that you didn’t know existed; take money more lightly, think of it as a means rather than an end, give it away freely, and it stays with you.
The next time you go out to dinner with friends, pick the tab and don’t allow people to pay you back. Go shopping with a friend and pay for her purchases. Heck, buy your co-worker a doughnut one day and watch them surprise you the next day. Human beings are wired to reciprocate.
It’s all a matter of going from the scarcity mentality to the abundance mentality, in internet lingo.
And if you do, you will begin to notice that soon, you won’t even wait for people to reciprocate, to compensate you for what you did ‘that day’. Because there’s a certain high one gets from using money to buy happiness for other people. I’m not sure whether it’s addictive simply because it seems to give you the upper hand in relationships, or because it makes you feel good about yourself for being so giving. Yes, the dollar amount might sometimes pinch you, it might be far more than you’d spend on yourself, but ignore your inner miser and forget about the cost.
I don’t promise that this will bring you more money, or that everyone around you will suddenly become more generous. But you WILL lose the scarcity mentality. You will find that you can exist just as well with a few dollars in the bank as with a few thousands. You will definitely end up making financial decisions that might not be prudent in the short run, but which will be wise (and might even create wealth) in the long run, because once you find money coming back to you, you will TRUST that there will always be enough.
(Michelle D’souza is a location-independent writer. She used to be a workaholic; she still is a perfectionist. Check out her blog here).