We’ve been discussing the question of whether you can be prosperous without having a lot of money. Now the knee-jerk reaction of the herd is almost always yes. They would say something like, “Money isn’t everything. Many people are poor and they’re happy. Look at all the unhappy rich people. Look at all the movie stars getting divorces, Tiger Woods, rich people in rehab, etc”
Here’s my problem with all that...
When you say things like, “I know lots of unhappy rich people...” you are making a very lack-centered statement.
When you affirm something like that, you are programming your subconscious mind that rich people are unhappy. Which means that it will work against you getting rich, because you don’t want to be unhappy.
Of course you know unhappy rich people. But you also know lots more unhappy poor and middle-class people.
The fact that “money doesn’t buy happiness” does not mean that money buys unhappiness. Money or the lack of it will only magnify your happiness or unhappiness. Money reveals who you really are.
Now is someone who has good health, wonderful relationships, a strong spiritual connection, and fulfilling work – but not much money – prosperous?
Well I suppose they could be. But I think they’re usually not. Maybe the meek will inherit the earth, but not if they’re making the minimum payments on their credit card bills each month.
Let me show you a few examples of the difference between being wealthy and being poor.
You are born with crooked or protruding teeth. You feel very self-conscious about it and your self-esteem suffers. If your family is wealthy, you get braces and other dental work to correct it right away. Be poor and you could take psychological damage around for life.
You’re driving and your car breaks down on the highway. If you’re poor, it’s a very old car. There is no warranty, and you probably don’t have the cash to fix it. You can barely pay for the tow truck to haul it to the repair shop. You try to work out payments with the guy, or you end up taking the bus for three weeks while you try to scrape together the money to fix it.
If you have money, you’re a member of the auto club. You call on your cell phone; they send over a truck and take it to the dealership. Because it’s a recent model, all the necessary work is covered by the warranty, and they give you a loaner car while it’s being fixed.
You pick up your paycheck one week and go shopping. On your way home, you stop at the bank to deposit your check only to discover that you lost it somewhere.
You immediately call your boss, who tells you that they will stop payment and issue a new one. Which will take three weeks. If you’re poor, what happens?
You’ve already written checks against that paycheck, because you were over due with some bills already. They come in and bounce. Your bank charges you $45 each. Each credit card company that gets check back charges you a $35 late fee. You’re frantically calling your friends and relatives, relating your drama story to borrow enough money to cover your hot checks and survive the three weeks.
If you have money, you have overdraft protection, the bank transfers a few hundred dollars from your savings account, and you live in harmony till your replacement check comes in.
I could go on, but you get the point. Money may not buy happiness, but it sure can stave off a lot of misery, lubricate your life, and make it more fun.
Now if the lady who runs the charity or my minister are happy and fulfilled while making $25,000 or $30,000 a year, great. I just have a hard time believing that they are happy with that. If they truly are, wonderful, but what happens when challenges come up like the ones I mentioned?
If they have a problem making their bills, fixing their car, or are living from paycheck to paycheck, it’s pretty hard to live a life of abundance.
Now some would say that prosperity comes from reducing your desires to be happy with what you have. Which is about the craziest shit I’ve ever heard! And that’s where we’ll pick up next time. Until then, please check in with your thoughts.