"So you think that money is the root of all evil. Have you ever asked what is the root of all money?" -- Ayn Rand
Last month I talked about the benefits of being in a resourceful state -- and how to get there whenever you want to. But as good as that tool is, many people still seem to have difficulties in particular areas. And I'd say one of the most common areas of concern that seems difficult to overcome is money -- or more accurately, the lack of money.
Struggling with money isn't a new issue, and it isn't a concern that was caused by recent difficult economic times. In fact, as far back as the 18th century, economist Adam Smith said, "No complaint ... is more common than that of a scarcity of money."
Think about it: Even before the Great Recession wiped out your 401(k), can you honestly say you had no worries about money? Market crashes and high unemployment may have brought the issue to the forefront for you, but I'm guessing that, like too many people, concerns about money were always lurking on the edges. I'm guessing that even before the financial debacle you:
- Sometimes worried about your ability to care for yourself and your family financially, or
- Felt limited at times by the lifestyle you were able to afford, or
- Didn't always have the money to take whatever was the next step for you in your career or personal growth, or
- Cringed a bit when you looked at your financial picture -- or avoided looking at it at all, or
- Used "I can't afford it" as one of your top reasons -- excuses! -- for not doing, being or having what you desire.
If you can look at any of those statements and recognize them as true for you, you've got a low Money IQ.
I'm not talking about what you know about investment strategies or financial vehicles. I'm talking about what you know to be true about money.
A while back I was doing the research for a course on prosperity (a slightly different course than the one I offer today). I interviewed people who were clearly congruent (or as we say in Huna, pono) with their Money IQ or prosperity consciousness. Let me be clear: I didn't just interview people who had tons of money (though I did talk to a bunch of those) but also people who had created an excellent relationship with money at all different financial levels.
For example, I interviewed one of my kumu (teachers), Uncle George, who lived very simply but had everything he wanted and also had the ability to create more money whenever he had a project that required it. I also interviewed a woman who, when we went shopping, was shopping for stores -- not the items they carried!
In my research, I found that, no matter what their financial level, these people shared a very similar Money IQ. Here's what they told me they knew (not just intellectually but at the core of their being) about money:
- The universe is abundant.
- The universe wants ME to prosper.
- All prosperity begins with belief.
- Money is an abstraction.
- Money is energy -- and will appear as you really feel about it.
- Money has no intelligence of its own.
- Money will respond to the instructions I give it.
- Money demands attention.
Got it? Great! So now all you need to do is memorize the list, stick it on your dream board, repeat it to yourself 647 times per day and within 21 days you'll have the Money IQ of Richard Branson, right?
Sorry, but no.
In NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), we teach that there are three critical steps to lasting change and they have to be done in sequence:
- Eliminate negative emotions and beliefs, and then create a compelling future (e.g., goal setting, future pacing, etc.).
- Take action.
- Focus on your desired outcome, reframing any obstacles to keep your unconscious moving forward.
You can't slap the money wisdom of prosperous people on top of all your old garbage about money and expect it to stick. Shoveling "the universe wants ME to prosper" on top of an unconscious belief of "I'm not worthy" is like dropping a scoop of ice cream on a hot sidewalk. Eventually, the sidewalk is going to win!
That's why in NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming) we always work to totally eliminate limiting decisions and negative emotions about a topic before installing new, more empowering beliefs. Don't think you have any negative beliefs or emotions surrounding money? If you haven't created the financial prosperity you want, I can guarantee that you do!
After eliminating negative beliefs and emotions and installing the tools in your unconscious that turbo-charge your momentum, you must do the next step: Take action. As comedian George Burns used to say, "Don't stay in bed, unless you can make money in bed." Massive action is best, but even small action steps toward your financial goal will do. If you take no action, your unconscious will simply assume that you aren't really serious about changing your money situation and mindset.
The third step requires not only focus on your goal but the ability to "reframe" obstacles as they occur. A great example of the kind of reframing money geniuses use comes from Thomas Edison. When asked if he was discouraged by having so many failures before inventing the light bulb, he responded, "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
Having a high Money IQ isn't something that only certain people can have. It's available to any of us who are willing to do the steps required. To your future prosperity!
Matthew B. James, MA, Ph.D., is President of The Empowerment Partnership, where students learn Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), Huna and Hypnosis. To find out more about NLP and prosperity, attend one of our free prosperity evenings in California Nov. 11-13, 2013.