Coco Chanel, who said a lot of smart things, once observed, “There are people who have money and people who are rich.” It’s not hard to figure out which is which.
The people whom I think of as rich are those who have a practical prosperity consciousness. My sister Margaret is such a person. I have long admired her ability to use whatever resources she has to the max.
When we were in a pottery shop in Sienna, Italy, Margaret was captivated by a beautiful plate. We left the shop to contemplate making such a hefty purchase and as she considered the pros and cons she said, “I have noticed that when I’m anxious about money and start skimping, I never have any money. When I’m relaxed about it, I always have enough.”
I believe that’s true for everyone, whether we know it as well as Margaret does or not. This Wealth-as-a-State-of-Mind attitude is not an easy thing to master in a world that often speaks loudly about scarcity and impoverishment. In fact, most people are unaware that their thinking influences their sense of wealth or lack — far more than their bank balance does.
Years ago when I was living in Santa Barbara, I went out one day to begin my Christmas shopping. Although I seldom carried much cash, that day I had more of it with me than usual.
From the moment I got downtown, I began to experience anxiety. Everyone looked like a potential mugger. The distress was so intense that I went home without buying anything.
Shortly thereafter, I realized that I had a deep belief about money that went, “If I have money, people will harm me.” I decided that I needed to change my belief and, also, discover what other thoughts had kept me from enjoying financial ease.
I began reading Catherine Ponder’s Dynamic Laws of Prosperity every day. I was also greatly helped by the writings of Sondra Ray. One of her suggestions was to start carrying a large bill, eventually working up to $100.
The purpose, she explained, was that every time you spent money and saw the large bill in your wallet you’d be sending a powerful message to your subconscious which was, “I have plenty. I have a surplus of money.”
Within months, I went from seeing the world as full of muggers to carrying large amounts of money with ease. It felt like a huge victory over an old adversary.
Since money is a source of so much upheaval, each of us needs to thoughtfully examine our own attitudes and beliefs and create the healthiest approach we can muster. Going along with unchallenged ideas about money, old scripts from our parents, will not do the trick.
Getting smarter about money is a starting point, but taking a creative approach can also be a big help. You might begin by creating miscellaneous income sources. Creating odd income sources can be as good for your imagination as it is for your pocketbook.
A friend of mine who lives on a busy street holds regular yard sales whenever he wants to generate additional cash flow. He stores boxes of things, all priced and ready to go, in his basement. He keeps adding to his inventory and when the weather is nice, sets up tables and spends the day selling his bargains to motorists who stop to investigate.
Look for new ways of doing things using the resources you have. The more fun you can create with what you have, the more you’ll get.
Most importantly, be willing to invest time and money in yourself. When you invest in yourself, you’re making the most valuable expenditure of your life. The ups and downs of the economy will have no effect on an investment in yourself. You’ll trust that you know how to insure that there’s always enough.