On April Fools Day my 11 year old daughter Amy changed the language on my son’s cell phone to Chinese. Not only could he not read his text messages, he could not read the prompts on the phone to change the language back to English. There isn’t much more upsetting for a 14 year old than to have a non-functioning cell phone! Amy felt a great sense of accomplishment and retribution after last year when we convinced her that “they” had moved April Fools day to April 2nd (because every one knew what to expect on April 1st).
I was just rereading Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman’s book Spontaneous Evolution (2009, Hay House). It is fascinating and packed with thought-provoking ideas. Somewhere around the middle of the book they write: “We must redirect our awareness toward reduction of our environmental footprint so that we shift our influence toward greater sustainability.” It struck me that we would all have a healthier financial environment and more financial enlightenment if we make a commitment to our own fiscal sustainability.
So what does it take to be more “green” with your money? It starts with an exploration of your own money values. What is truly important to you in your life for yourself, your family and your community? Does your spending reflect this? Most people are pretty unconscious about where their financial resources go. If instead you are intentional about how you spend as well as how you save, you will be taking a big step forward in your fiscal sustainability.
Is your financial belief system polluted with thoughts of scarcity? We become what we focus on most. Do you spend a lot of time worrying about what you don’t want to have happen? Instead, clean up your mental clutter about money and use that energy you were spending worrying on creating a plan to reach your financial goals.
One of the best ways to care for not only your financial environment, but to create sustainability to a larger community of people, is to be a dedicated giver. You don’t have to be Bill Gates or Warren Buffet to be a philanthropist. You merely need the desire to make a difference for others and the abundance mindset to trust that when you are giving of your financial resources to causes that are meaningful for you, you will be rewarded. Approximately 50% of the world’s population lives on less than $2 per day. To create true sustainability we need to not only responsibly care for ourselves but for others as well.
Our financial system almost crumbled last year. This is a warning of sorts that we must reduce our scarcity footprint and cultivate a financial life grounded in abundance. I can see the bumper stickers now, “Go Green with your Green.”
The other night my daughter was glued to the TV watching the weather forecast and praying for a snow day. I said to her, “Amy, you really want there to be a snow day so you don’t have to go to school tomorrow, don’t you?” She said “Mom, there’s not a kid that wouldn’t want a snow day!” I wonder when you go from being excited for a snow day to thinking a lot of snow is just a pain.
What a perfect example of how people can look at the same situation and have a totally different viewpoint on it. It’s all about how you look at it.
What are ways that you can look at your financial situation from a different viewpoint? Is there something difficult (maybe a job loss or reduced income, for example) that you can look at differently from the way you currently view it? What would it feel like to move from “It’s so scary” to “It’s so exciting”? You can start by asking yourself what is good in the current situation. What are the possible viewpoints anyone could have?
If you were able to fast-forward 5 years from now, imagine what the best possible result might be. How might your life be different in wonderful ways?
When we are worried that our car might get stuck in the snow, we miss the opportunity to build a snowman.
Although it still shocks people to hear this, research has shown that more money doesn’t necessarily translate into more happiness. Now there is a new study that shows that the richest states are not necessarily the happiest places to live. Furthermore, although the U.S. is quite prosperous, we don’t rank in the top 10 happiest countries.
As we approach the New Year, it is a great time to set your goals for 2010. Remember as you are looking at the prosperity you want to create in the coming year, it’s not just about the money. Why not consider setting goals around increasing your happiness? By doing this you will also be spreading the joy – happiness has been found to be contagious!
During the holiday season I notice how people’s attention turns to giving. Giving gifts to family and friends, as well as giving to charities. Why not resolve in 2010 to be a dedicated giver all year long?
When you make a genuine difference for others, without attachment and expectation of getting something in return, amazing prosperity will come your way. This is a true practice of Giving!
As you concentrate on giving, there is little room for self-absorbed focus on your fears or sense of financial lack. When you give to others, it puts you into proper prospective, generates appreciation and gratitude, and can even humble you at times.
Giving is an art that people who are great with money practice each day. Your gifts can be as simple as a smile to the stranger in the elevator, a compliment given unexpectedly, an offer to bring food to an elderly neighbor or showing appreciation and encouragement to your child.
Starting today, pause and make a list of all the gifts you can give. Be creative and make them simple gifts you can give right now