A permanent life challenge for me is understanding why normal people just don’t seem to care enough about money to do anything about maximising their collection and regeneration of this wonderful stuff.
Maybe the problem is that we don’t see it as important. A survey by careeradict.com found out what the 10 most important things in life are and this is how they were ranked:
- Food, water and sleep and oxygen
What happened to wanting money? And it’s interesting that “self-development” had to wait until six other goals were kicked before it got on to the field. I’d link success to self-development and the great lesson in life for me is when you are into self-development as a life goal, success follows. In many cases, money follows as well.
I’ve said before that John Maxwell, the author of the 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, credits his mentor as asking the question that had a huge impact on his life when he asked him: “John, what is your plan for self-improvement?”
He improved so much that he is one of the most sought-after business speakers in the world. If you’ve never seen him or read him, that could be your starting point for your plan for self-improvement.
So where have all my inquiries into what we think is important left me and why do I think money is important?
Money helps all 10 seemingly more important goals of life. Let me prove it:
- Health: money pays for gym membership, personal trainers, dieticians, quality food and high-end medical services.
- Family: sufficient, not excessive, money takes away a big life pressure point when Mum and Dad have budget problems, which gets transferred via anxiety to other members of the family.
- Friends: Money can be used to be generous to friends, especially when they need financial help.
- Purpose: having money can mean you can have a bigger purpose other than just helping yourself. To identify a social issue that needs a money solution can be really helped if you can provide the means for a happy ending.
- Freedom: money and the kinds of jobs and businesses that provide great remuneration can mean more independence and a position of strength that means you feel less hamstrung by others.
- Peace: sure you can have peace without money as Buddhist monks show, but try having the easy, peaceful feeling captured in that old Eagles song when you’re late on your home and car payments, the school fees are un-payable and your children are lamenting about being ridiculed at school for being materialistically down and out looking!
- Self-development: yep, it could turn you into a non-monetary-rewarded monk or volunteer but generally in this crazy capitalistic world, even the best school teacher, like the famous Aussie maths master Eddie Woo, is, and will be, rewarded for his development of a brilliant way to teach numbers.
- Love: OK, maybe this can be great without money, but history tells me a guy with a reasonable bank balance and the associated material trappings has a lot more hope being given a chance to show his internal, human values to a potential partner if he doesn't look like someone in or just out of the gutter. Money is a great door opener on love!
- Food, water and sleep and oxygen: I suspect money as shown in first world versus third world countries proves the point that having money means you can choose to have the best of water, food and oxygen, though I will concede that the air quality of New York, Paris and London, might be something that is sacrificed for money.
- Faith: money could threaten faith in God but there are many God-fearing followers who use their money for doing lots of good and the God-network, if I can call it that, actually can be very rewarding, as groups like Hillsong have shown.
OK I’ll accept money might be less crucial to some of these higher order important goals, but I think you can see it is a really great lubricant to making great things happen.
I believe it can be an indispensable lubricant and it seems like the definition of irrationality for a capitalist-inclined person living in a capitalist economy not to have a big plan for money.
And if you don't have a comprehensive plan for collecting and growing money, then I think you are a liability to yourself and a burden to others!
Of course, if you say I don't want or need money, I simply want to paint or play guitar, then fine. But I reckon after 10,000 hours of doing these pursuits at a high level, money will find you.
Money is the applause from the crowd which hangs out in an economy. I’m not saying you should do anything simply for money, but it should be seen as the reward for doing what you really want to do to the best of your ability.
I recently saw a Netflix comedy special with two of the Three Amigos — Steve Martin and Martin Short. The latter joked that ironically, they were doing the show because they had made a joke out of managing their money.
And this is my point that I want to say to everyone that it might be a great idea to ‘Robbins-ize’ your approach to money. Tony Robbins had over 5,000 people to his Date with Destiny six-day self-improvement get together recently. These people paid $10,000 a pop to fix themselves up and get programmed for success. What they hope for brings happiness and you have to admire their commitment to change and lifting their game.
And that’s what I want for as many Australians as possible. I want to help them “unleash the money giant within” as Tony might say. But how in the hell can I/they do this?
In 2006, Tony Robbins gave a famous TED talk, “Why we do the things we do.” Twelve years later, it’s still one of the most popular TED talks of all time.
Robbins argues that every person has the same fundamental six “human needs” but each person places different levels of importance on them and has unique beliefs about how to satisfy those needs.
In case you’re wondering, they are:
He says we meet these needs daily “either in a constructive or resourceful way, neural or in a destructive way”.
By understanding what your #1 human need is and how that shapes your behaviour, you can take control over your life’s direction and even learn how to create new patterns that unlock your hidden potential and lead you to lasting fulfilment.
People like Robbins are the kinds of coaches we all need to get the best out of ourselves. Sometimes we need to look at ourselves objectively and really ask yourself these Switzer questions:
- What’s wrong with me?
- Why aren’t I achieving my goals?
- What can I do to make it happen?
- Who can help me make it happen?
- How important are these goals?
- How committed am I to kicking these goals?
Go back and look at what we say are our most important goals and either accept or reject my argument that money can be a big help to achieving these goals and can also be a reward for doing exactly that.
I hope you take two actions after reading this story.
First, write down your ‘You Plan’ based on what your #1 human need or goal is. Set out a blueprint for making it happen and the questions above will help you.
Second, write down a ‘Money Plan’ and again use those Switzer questions. I’ve done it before and I will do it again because we human beings can be distracted drop kicks who can easily let the unimportant trump the important. And yes, the pun was intended.
I don’t find it easy to be too positive about Donald Trump, but you have to admire the commitment of this guy to what he believes in. And yes, even if it’s his self-belief. As Mark Bouris, who ‘played’ Trump in the Aussie version of The Apprentice here in Australia told me: “This guy is on song with what the Trump brand stands for 24/7!”
As Maxwell Smart might have said: “If only he could have done that for goodness and niceness!”
We all have to get 24/7 on what we know is important — the ‘You’ that you want to be and the money life you’d love to have. But it’s up to you.