According to a survey conducted by Ally bank, 70% of Americans think that it’s rude to talk about money.People don’t like to talk about how much they pay in rent, or the amount of their monthly mortgage payment. And others find it crass to discuss it.Surprising, given it’s the thing that makes the world function.University College London found that people were 7 times more likely to talk to a stranger about sex, affairs, and sexually transmitted diseases than discussing their salary. Wells Fargo found that 44 percent of Americans see personal finance as the most challenging topic to discuss with others, more so than subjects like death, politics, and religion.There’s a lot to suggest that we fear loss more than we value gain, which is why most people prefer to avoid the topic altogether. Apparently, the irritation of losing money is far greater than the thrill of a windfall. Russell A. Poldrack, Stanford Professor of Psychology, conducted a live experiment on people gambling with real money and found evidence that supports this theory. He told Scientific American: “Most interestingly, the reactions in our subjects’ brains were stronger in response to possible losses than to gains.” It’s possible this tendency developed during evolution when losing a day’s food could mean death, while finding the same thing didn’t assure us of another day’s survival because we had nowhere to safely store it.How does this relate to our willingness to discuss money? The loss of face you suffer when you find out that you’re not doing as well as your friends weighs far more powerfully on your mind than the self-esteem boost that comes from discovering that you’re doing well.If discussing money is a tricky challenge for most people, then discussing what financial independence is all about will be impossible. If you can’t discuss it, you’re unlikely to gain it and I want you to gain it. That’s what my work is all about — where transformation and financial independence meet — and how you get there if money is a taboo topic.So. Let’s talk about it.E=MC2This life-changing equation gifted to us by Einstein tells you all you ever need to know about money. On the most basic level, the equation says that energy and mass (matter) are interchangeable — they’re different forms of the same thing. Money is energy and energy is money. Money is just another form of energy. Energy can neither be created nor destroyed, only changed into another format. So, energy becomes money and money becomes a purchase or a fee for a service and the energy continues to flow. The more it is allowed to flow in your life, the bigger the attraction to other money-energy because all money-energy wants to do is flow. It moves from resistance to the path of least resistance just like water down an incline. If you’re afraid to talk about money, you show resistance and it will avoid you as much as possible(Read Three Simple Steps Part 1 to remind yourself how to frame your thoughts and map your thoughts onto your tongue. Instead of ‘I don’t have enough, or I want more,’ you think and say ‘I am worthy of so much more,’ or ‘When I am financially independent.’)If you’re like most people, you don’t understand this energy/matter relationship when it comes to money:
- You tend to hoard money for fear of lack of it.
- You focus on savings, pensions, sales, or coupons to try to make the money/energy last longer.
- You fight for a low percentage pay increase.
- You cringe when you see someone driving their brand new supercar.
When you think in these ways you are an obstacle to flow… and the result is stagnation. Energy must flow… so it will find a new path around the obstacle like water finds its way around a boulder. Unfortunately, you’re now the boulder and money stops flowing to you and instead flows around you and probably into the hands of the guy in the supercar.If you’re also like most people, you have spent more money than flowed to you. Debt is like a counter flow, like two ocean currents crashing into each other. The two energies get converted into the power of the crash. Again, you’re the boulder and the energy of the competing currents wears you down over time through fear and stress like water always wears down rocks into dust.What to do? Here are 3 suggestions:1. However hard it is and however long it takes you must get out of personal debt. Business debt is different. That is using other people’s money and converting the energy into creating and building something else. With student debt, you took someone else’s money and converted it into learning. Don’t be against student debt but respectfully grateful and ways will appear for you to move beyond it. Money/energy loves that and flows willingly in the direction of business and learning and growth and art. It’s money in true flow. On the other hand, when a company starts disrespecting money flow (for instance, bad cashflow management or expense fraud), money flees the scene faster than it ever arrived. Personal debt cannot achieve such flow because it’s like you grabbed energy that has already flowed by and then dragged it into your life where it stagnates as loss. Money/energy craves respect and freedom, but above all expansion.2. When money flows to you (after you are debt free), you need the courage to let it flow, which means spending it. This is a hard concept to grasp and it can be scary, especially if you’re reinvesting a windfall. You invest it in creative endeavors. You find ways to make it work for the good of others. Money loves that. More will flow to you. If you stick it in a savings account, it stagnates and the energy of the inflow diminishes because money/energy wants to expand. When it realizes you don’t think like that, it will circumnavigate you because you’ve shown yourself to be unworthy of more.3. You change your mentality to match the power of money energy. No more going to store sales events. No more clipping coupons. No more purchasing what is cheap. No more stuffing it under a mattress. Instead, you take it to where more money already flows. You go to a top hotel and buy a cocktail instead of going to a 2 for 1 dive meal. In doing so, you mentally tell money/energy that you respect what it can achieve and that you’re worthy of being a conduit for more. (For more detail on how to build this new mentality, read Part 3 of Three Simple Steps and pay particular attention to the power of window shopping.)This concept of money/energy is most important to learn, practice and master… and will help you in times of trouble in the world.In other words, it will recession-proof you.
A version of this blog post has also been published on Medium.com