Money is defined as simply a medium of exchange. Long ago we decided that trading animals and natural resources were no longer effective means of trade. We needed something that we could carry on our person and be with us if and when an opportunity arose.
We use money for almost everything we do, but mostly in exchange for our own time. Although it was simply a tool we created of our own volition, we often lend it more weight than it bears.
Why is it that something created by humans hold such a power over us? It’s because of this power, that I find it necessary to dispel the beliefs we allow to surround what we desire. Here are 3 of the biggest misconceptions we hold about money:
Misconception #1: Money is the Root of All Evil
I don’t know about you, but this is textbook deflection. Why is it that we blame money for the problems in society, when we are the ones who dictate its value? Money, or the lack thereof, is not the root of evil, but IGNORANCE is.
Evil comes from misinformation and a lack of understanding. Money simply magnifies our true nature, but the source of evil begins in the unchecked mind.
Mindfulness is the key to all things good. When we are children, ideally we are taught the difference between right and wrong. It’s through our understanding and awareness that provides us the proper lens to look at our choices. Ignorance, however, clouds our view and twists it to our own devices.
Think about it this way: if we never took the time to think critically about money, then aren’t mistakes about our relationship with it inevitable? Those unresolved issues only compound overtime and eventually come to a head.
Misconception #2: Money is Scarce
We often here that there is not enough money in the world. We are led to believe that money is scarce and that some people have a lot of it while the rest of us fight for scraps.
Truth is, it’s just a resource (and a unique one in that). Yes, some have more of it than others, but that doesn’t mean others can’t obtain it (some people are broke for a reason). What’s unique about it is that if we ever run out of it, then we’ll simply print more. The US Dollar, for example, isn’t backed by gold or silver.
Since our currency is technically a fiat currency, money NOT backed by any physical good, then it’s only as valuable as we say it is. The belief that money is scarce is an idea born out of the fearful and the lazy.
Money is just a concept whose value we determine. If one day we decide it’s worth nothing, than it’s value would be that of scrap paper.
Misconception #3: Money Will Make You Happy
This misconception is derived from the cliche that says, “money will NOT make you happy.” Although we have all heard this overused saying, it does a better job reminding us how full of shit that quote is.
I mean, who ever said that surely had it. It’s easy to say when you’re not wondering where you’re going to get your next meal. So, although this truism is correct, the problem is that it often reinforces the behavior it seeks to undo.
The fact is, it is the love of money that won’t make us happy. It is the relentless pursuit of it for money’s sake that will leave us miserable. In this case, it is a means of outside validation. The more you obtain, the more it validates your success at whatever your enterprise.
The problem stems once we have a moment of context for this cliche. What I mean is, whether we reach our point of financial security or continue to perpetuate the pursuit of it our souls remain impoverished. Happiness stems from growth and the relentless pursuit of our own purpose.
How do I know this? Why is it that some of the most well known successes take their own lives? How can a person be so well off but, from our perspective, seemingly throw away their “golden opportunity?”
The failure of those in the public eye should be education enough that the development and mindfulness deserves our greatest attention. The chasing of wealth is life’s emptiest pursuits and begets the same result upon arrival.
At the end of the day, money is just a tool of exchange, a resource that flows to and from us, and is just paper that we decided had value. It’s a concept, a means, and a magnifier of self. How we view it, use it, and let it affect us is completely and entirely determined by us.
What will it mean to you?