I’ve been noticing more and more the negative effect of extreme wealth and power. It seems that many of us human beings are not really made for having everything we want. It can tend to bring with it no real sense of accountability.
Being rich, untouchable and doing and saying whatever we feel like seems to have become a real goal for many.
I know this is not a new subject, and with what is going on in our world both politically and generally, it seems like an appropriate time to review this. And just to be clear, I am not saying money is evil or that poverty is a good thing by any means.
Prosperity is great for everyone and we often hear blessings that include peace and prosperity. I am talking about excess and the power that excessive wealth brings.
There have been times in my life when I was seduced by the idea of being rich and I sought wealth and success in a way that was not healthy. The fear of not being secure, of not having enough drove me to believe that money was the answer to all my problems.
Added to that, is the fact that western culture encourages excessive consumerism and one of the most profitable businesses to be in, is teaching others how to get rich.
Luckily I have had the experience of working with some very wealthy people during my life. And although it’s true that money can make life easier in lots of ways, I have also seen first hand how damaging it can be.
One person I can think of had everything money could buy, beautiful house on the water, fancy car, expensive clothes etc. And yet she was miserable. She spent her life managing her money and being in chronic fear about making a decision that might mean she would lose it. She had no real meaning in her life and her wealth was definitely more of a hindrance than an asset.
It seems to me to be about where our focus lies.
When our focus is primarily on making money or not losing it, and that focus comes above all else, then we can find ourselves in real trouble emotionally, spiritually as well as financially.
It has been my experience that taking the focus off money as the number one priority and putting the focus on being of service and contributing my skills in the best way I can, actually increases productivity and financial outcomes long term anyway.
Remembering what is really important in life like relationships, health, and the planet helps me to let go of that delusion that more money would fix everything.
I was playing with some questions that might be asked at the end of one’s life to help me get some perspective on this topic. I came up with two different sets of questions. One set is based on our western culture that pushes the view of more is better, and the other is a set based on a more human relational approach.
Q1. How much money did I make?
Q2. How much power did I have?
Q3. How much did I do?
Q4. How famous was I?
Q1. How did I treat people?
Q2. How true was I to myself and my values?
Q3. How did I contribute to the world?
Q4. How much connection did I have with others?
I certainly know which set of questions I would prefer to be asking myself and what kind of answers I would like to find.
I need to choose to take actions today however imperfectly, that align with being the person I want to be. A person that treats people well, that is true to me, that contributes and connects.
In the words of the beautiful man Bob Marley “Don’t Gain The World & Lose Your Soul, Wisdom Is Better Than Silver Or Gold.”
What is your experience around money? I’d love to hear from you.
Stay in the Flow