One of my favorite people is a very successful dentist. When I asked him about the secret to his obvious financial success, he said this:
“Some of my patients struggle to pay dental bills and I just refuse to waste any of the money they earned. Even if it is easy for someone to pay, I know that most of their money was at least initially hard-won. I feel like they are trusting me with their money-it is a gift that I treasure.
I wish I had adopted this attitude from the start.
While it is a privilege and an honor to do what you love for a living, I am learning that it could be just as fulfilling to love the results of what you do.
I have many friends who might not LOVE their day job but they thoroughly enjoy the results of their work, which often include a happy, well-fed family, enjoyable vacations, comfortable environs, and contributions of time and money to causes that matter to them.
Sometimes the happy results are within the work itself; the company is re-branded successfully, you finish your first novel, or you successfully inspire a junior colleague to reach their financial dreams.
I have learned that putting my writing first, (although it did pay off in many ways great and small and I am very happy that I became a full-time writer) did not mean that I had to put my money last.
As our kids graduate and contemplate their career choices, I think it is important to remind them that money does, indeed, matter, and that earning money and using it for good, whether for themselves or others, is a noble and productive use of their time.
I also like to think of money as a near perfect practice tool.
With mindful consideration and meditation about money and its impact on our thought process ( a sampling of flawed ideas about money might include: we will never have enough, we are losers without money or winners with money, we deserve money more than a starving child and his mother, money is a special gift from God set aside for only special people, money measures our worth as humans, money is impossible to manage etc.), we can improve not only our finances, but our relationship with ourselves and others. We can explore our notions about the inherent worth of a human life
“Handling” money is an opportunity to touch generosity, greed, lust, scarcity, poverty, wealth and many other rich human experiences.
If we don’t feel gratitude as we pay our electric bill, or if we have never let someone “off the hook” about money, or if we think that our bank accounts reflect our worth, or if we insist that money doesn’t matter, we are probably missing some critical learning opportunities.
Remember, most people don’t have shoes.
(Enough money is a privilege granted to very few people on this earth.)
I am hopeful that my leaning paths will inspire more than they hurt. ( putting money on the bottom of the list can hurt you and others- that is one more reason to treat it carefully)
Thank you for reading and for today, I am going to celebrate this:
I have my gym shoes on for my walk to work, and high heels in my bag for the time in my beautiful office today- TWO pairs of shoes.
As my mom would say, “hip hip hooray!!!! hip hip hooray!!!!