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Dear Diary | Money Mindfulness

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Money is necessary. We need it daily, it makes our economic, consumer, retail, commercial world go round. Money is also not evil. Money is neither good or bad, it is a part of what we need while we live. Period.


Almost every single morning, I get up; I make my coffee and free-write in my journal. I just write whatever comes to my mind. It can be my intentions for the day, what I want to release, the things I’m grateful for, or just any self-expression that I want to get out onto the page. Sometimes, if the creativity angels are with me, a blog post with random thoughts and questions about life comes out. Which is what happened with what I’m about to share with you today. These words flowed onto the page and I decided to share what I wrote with you, my beautiful contagiously positive community. Here is what flowed out of me…

I’ve been dirt poor and unhappy.
I’ve made great money and been unhappy.
I’ve been dirt poor and happy.
I’ve made great money and been happy.

 

So what does this mean?

Is money the key to happiness or is happiness the key to money; to everything?

Money is necessary. We need it daily, it makes our economic, consumer, retail, commercial world go round. Money is also not evil. Money is neither good or bad, it is a part of what we need while we live. Period.

 

Money can cause us to feel extreme stress, but having exactly what we need should feel good, not limiting just because we don’t have a fancy car in the driveway. It feels good to pay the bills with ease, put food on the table, pay for gas, and keep the electricity on. I believe that once we have all of our necessities taken care of, money is not the key to happiness. I also believe that it is okay to want really nice things. I want really nice things and I’m unapologetic and guilt-free about that. It is also okay to want to make more, or deciding to make less because the stress of your current job isn’t worth the burnout anymore.

 

So how do we figure it all out?

For me, it starts with knowing what I need to live on – no matter what, this is the amount I need in order to pay my bills. I also think that you have to get clear about what you really want and are willing to sacrifice for that number so your number doesn’t define you; instead, you define what you want to do to reach that number.

 

You see, I don’t want to be on the road 24/7, facilitating workshops 7 days a week to reach a financial goal only to drop from exhaustion. I could make pretty amazing money doing that, but it wouldn’t make me happy. So the money isn’t really the key to happiness once my basic needs are met, but I still want nice things and to travel, but those things don’t define my happiness either, they are just happy experiences. I’m not waiting for those things, saying, “I’ll only be happy when I have that.” That is why I got very clear about my number as well as what I willing to give and do to reach my financial goal. If my health and happiness is at risk, it means it is time for me to reevaluate because that is just not a risk I want to take. That doesn’t mean I don’t work hard. It means that I make the sacrifice a temporary one, not permanent and I take the time to think about whether or not it is worth it. I make the choice mine. I don’t let the extra money (by extra I mean the money that is left after bills are paid) dictate what I do next unless I decide it is worth it. I make what I want to make based on the life that I’m designing for myself. The Law of Divine Compensation by Marianne Williamson was a game changer for me on this subject.

 

I used to think it was worth it no matter what. Before Contagiously Positive, I worked 10 years for a development company. I was already working long hours, and I took on an extra job inside that job, taking on 2 extra shifts a week, bringing me to 7-days a week so I could earn a bonus. And you know what? When I got that bonus, I was happy. All my hard work had paid off. It afforded me the opportunity to buy a property that I wanted, but I struggled to enjoy it because I was working 7-days a week and I was effing exhausted. Like all the time! It didn’t change my happiness level at all. I was still getting pissed off about the same stuff. I was still feeling guilty for not having time with my family and friends. I still got anxiety over not being able to get it “all” done. I was still irritable. In fact, I felt worse, because I realized that the sacrifice wasn’t temporary and I wouldn’t really be able to enjoy it. My happiness was short lived because I suffered! My health suffered. My relationships suffered. My heart and soul suffered. And eventually, I was found burnt out, crying on the floor in utter exhausted when my husband got home because I was, “just soooo tired!”

 

So what is the balance?

I don’t have all the answers because money is is still infused with so much emotion and energy for me, but I do have some thoughts for you and questions to help myself, and you, get closer to figuring it out.


#1 – What is the temporary sacrifice you are willing to make to achieve what you want to achieve, whether it is a money goal, health goal, or any life goal?

Is it worth it? Why do you want it? Will it enhance your happiness and health or decrease it? Will it make you feel fulfilled or drain your mind, body and soul?

Ask yourself these questions. Get clear about it and be unapologetic by whatever you decide to do. Your life, your choice.


#2 – What are you comfortable giving? You get nothing without giving up something. Are you willing to temporarily give up time with your family, kids, friends? Are you willing to give up your regular routine? Are you willing to give up sleep? (Which I never recommend because sleep is necessary for your health and sanity!) Are you willing to give up television? What parts of you are you willing to give and what parts of your life are you comfortable giving?

This question will make sure you are making decisions based on what you truly value and what is really important to you. Basically, if in 10 years from now you were to look back, will you regret what your sacrifices were and what you gave to reach your goal?


#3 – Whatever you choose, make sure you are always taking time to fill up your own cup so that you don’t suffer burnout. Are you scheduling in YOU time? Are you making sure that your health and happiness are not suffering? This is absolute key! It is not selfish; it is code red critical that you put on your oxygen mask and make sure you are breathing.


And that is what comes out of me sometimes when I am talking to dear diary. It  is sometimes messy and all over the place, but there are moments where I’m like, “I so need to share this aha moment I just had.”

 

All love,

Laurie-ann Sheldrick, The Contagiously Positive Girl

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© 2014 Contagiously Positive
All rights reserved
Website by Monolith Digital