“Lack of money is not a problem. Lack of money is simply a symptom of what’s going on inside you.”
T. Harv Eker
It is said that money does not buy happiness, but it does buy food, housing, transportation, leisure and serves to organize future projects. Therefore, winning or losing it can make a big difference in life and, consequently, in our happiness. Western society has programmed us to live “the dream” with all its elements and details but, at the same time, has taught us not to talk about money. This is something that is not done: what we are supposed to do is simply to pursue more and more.
Today, many of our concerns are related to work and finance since capitalism has built our lives on a system where bartering hardly works anymore, where everything costs money, where without money we cannot afford to survive and where it seems that you are more the more you have. The current consumerism trend has its reason to be in the possession and accumulation of things and it does not only affect the most active consumers. We don’t buy just out of necessity or survival: we are bombarded with advertisements and, thanks to the Internet, buying and consuming things is comfortable, quick and easy and increasingly accessible.
However, what we are not all aware of is that money has a much higher value than its monetary value: it is a reflection of emotions and, if there are economic problems, we can say that money is the effect and not the cause. Problems from the outside come from problems from the inside. Relationships, food, health, sport, work, sex… are all aspects of life where problems give us information about our relationship with ourselves. There really are no problems, but there is something to be solved, but we look at the problem and not the cause, so we do not give a solution.
Only the desire to learn can lead us to a sustainable change in time. When we see clearly, we can decide. When we observe what is happening, we can decide. Money says a lot about one’s relationship with oneself, desires, needs, fears and more. When we explore our relationship with money, we discover more about ourselves. When we look at our relationship with money without judging it, we can get important information about ourselves and how we live our lives.
The good news is that we can create a freer and healthier relationship with money. Like everything that keeps us from evolving, we need to explore, know ourselves and detect those situations or factors that can negatively affect the decision-making process related to money. This work can help us better understand not only the financial situations we perpetuate, but ourselves. Understanding why we save most of what we earn and do not allow ourselves to enjoy money or life, or why we spend absurd amounts on things we do not need, can give us a lot of information about ourselves that helps us understand, accept and improve ourselves.
Until we are aware of what is not working, we cannot change the current situation. Consciousness is the ability to recognize and perceive reality, it is what differentiates us from animals and machines. Being aware is the way that opens the doors to know who we are and from there to access the real transformation. Only when we know how we are, what conditions us and what moves us, can we take actions that lead us to change what we are not comfortable with. It is about recognizing and perhaps not changing, but transforming.
A key element of emotional intelligence is to be constantly aware of our feelings and emotions to keep them under control and understand how they affect us on a daily basis. When we let an emotional reaction cloud the decision-making process, perception is distorted. As a result, we make mistakes that we would not otherwise make.
It is not a matter of knowing much about economics, being a mathematical genius or knowing all the details of financial products. If we want to fix our finances, let’s start by looking at what’s inside us. Let’s start by understanding our brain preferences, temperament and skills and then we can successfully manage our relationship with money. Using scientific, psychological and medical studies, we can look into our natural patterns and tendencies and take actions that will last over time and lead us to change what we are not comfortable with.
Next week: The different parts of the brain and their role in decision making
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She graduated Summa Cum Laude in Business Administration with a Minor in Economics from The American University of Paris, in addition to a Master in Finance from Icade. She recently completed a Master’s in Emotional Intelligence at the Hune Institute.
For 25 years she was Director of the Innovation and Products Departments at Banif and Andbank. Currently she is Manager at Dextra Corporate Advisors, an independent M&A and corporate boutique, and advisor at Navis Capital Desarrollo, SGEIC, an alternative investment fund manager registered with the CNMV. She is also part of the WA4STEAM association, an international community of women business angels who seek to expand the female presence in the STEAM fields, providing not only capital but also becoming a strategic partner for future leaders.