What do you think of when you hear the word money?
Your money mindset is your attitude and beliefs about money. Why is your money mindset important? Because it reflects and reinforces your existing relationship with yourself and how you understand and use your personal power.
It’s not really how much you have, it’s how you see it and how you use it.
So, think about it: what does the word money bring to mind?
Maybe you imagine showering in a waterfall of cascading $100 bills with Benjamin Franklin smirking at you or lounging on the patio of a picturesque villa with a daiquiri, but for many of us we might also imagine corruption, struggle, crime, greedy banks or poverty.
We may see money positively as a mutually beneficial blessing, or as a dog-eat-dog competition in which someone else has to lose for the other guy to win.
Understanding our reaction and relationship to money reveals our money mindset.
I always thought I wasn’t making enough money because I was lazy, but it was actually the opposite. The problem is that no matter how hard I worked my money mindset was skewed.
Understanding this and working to turn it around was a key step that went hand-in-hand with improving my relationship to myself and my interactions in the world.
Money mindset is about so much more than money.
Indeed, as Apple founder, the late Steve Jobs said, money doesn’t buy you time or stop death.
But your relationship to money and to how you use it not only reveals so much of other areas of your life and your use of your energy, it also reinforces and combines with it.
Getting ahold of your attitude about money and understanding why your money mindset is so important can help you in many areas of your life and aid you in finding inner peace.
We need money to survive and it can benefit us and those around us in many ways, but as long as you have enough for your needs and those you love it’s ultimately not about the money.
But money still matters, and your money mindset is important for more reasons than just money.
As the shaman Rudá Iandê teaches in Ideapod’s free masterclass on prosperity, our relationship with money in many ways reflects our relationship with ourselves. Our money mindset is important because it reveals deep things about how we relate to the world and to ourselves.
In many ways, our relationship to money is an extension of our personal power and how we direct our energy and power internally and externally.
It’s not about how much we make – although it doesn’t hurt to have a little bit of a financial cushion especially in these tough times – it is about how we relate to and work with acquiring, spending, and giving money.
I was addicted to gambling. It was ruining my life. I then learned about the power of a money mindset and it changed my life and help me finally give up on throwing my money around and treating it like an expensive toy.
In this article I will tell you exactly what a money mindset is and how it can turn things around for you.
In addition to gambling I spent years relating to money – and myself – as a sort of afterthought. I hoped things would come together and work out by good luck or effort or new ideas that came to me in a flash of inspiration.
I often spent recklessly and didn’t pay attention to savings. I had the money mindset of “I’ll worry about it tomorrow” or “I’ll earn it back eventually.”
The truth is “eventually” can end up being a long time.
I made stupid investments that lost most of their worth without doing sufficient research and just listening to tidbits of information or advice, hype, and rumors from those around me.
I gambled away large sums of money I didn’t have from doing odd jobs or short contracts and generally treated money as just a gimmick that would magically arrive in some way or another.
Even when I worked hard for my money I didn’t really appreciate or value the work I had put in, I just saw some numbers in my bank account and decided to spend or gamble them on a whim.
I was addicted to the idea of getting more out than I put in, of having a “big win” out of the blue.
I found out the hard way about the potential danger of positive thinking.
I imagined glorious scenes of walking out of a casino with special carry bags full of cash and started thinking through the security measures that would have to be taken.
Would they approach me and offer a security guard or two and a limo or would I have to ask? How long would the process take to complete and actually get the money in a bank so I could start using it?
Was there a way to minimize the publicity so people wouldn’t hound me looking for giveaways or try to rob me?
Then I would snap back to the Blackjack table and see my 16 facing the dealer’s king and face reality again.
Bust. Again? These decks must be rigged.
And so on.
The truth is that what was rigged was my money mindset. I thought of money as basically something that grows when you take big risks with it or are “brave.”
I thought of money as a vehicle to getting a buzz of accomplishment and victory from a big win, rather than something you have to be careful with and respect.
My money mindset centered around the idea of taking random chances and hoping for luck and fortune.
It didn’t work.
And even when I won a few times I just chased the high and managed to sink myself even further in debt than before I’d won.
In fact, I reached such a low with gaming addiction and my search for fulfillment through gambling that I had to put myself on a list to ban myself from casinos. Three times.
I promised I would quit over and over, but I was chasing the feeling still.
In life you often think you want things, but it’s feelings you want.
Once I walked away from casinos my mom told me I’d better stick to it and not do something stupid like start gambling online.
I actually hadn’t thought of that but after a day or two my reckless mindset thought … well actually … “why not.” A week later I was a few thousand more in debt on my credit card which took months to pay off fully.
The price of a distorted money mindset can be very high.
As for my investments, they tanked so badly that I had to step back and start at the beginning, taking the time to pay attention to what I was investing in.
In my personal life, too, I moved around to new places frequently, hoping somewhere would be the jackpot and lead to love and a new life of satisfaction and fulfillment if I just got lucky. I went out for dates with girls I wasn’t interested in hoping that one would randomly surprise me and turn out to be a hidden gem with a deep connection.
It didn’t work.
So, over the years I went back to the beginning of the path – with the small savings I had left and the pieces of my heart that were still intact – and started over.
Step-by-step I started to examine and change my money mindset.
I began putting aside money into savings and reducing impulse purchases of unnecessary clothing, random items, video games, expensive meals or other extras.
I focused on fitness, spiritual exercises, and my writing instead of on external payoffs and thrills.
I didn’t become some kind of financial saint or anything. I still bought some stupid things or paid too much for jeans a few times, but I started to see money a bit more cautiously and appreciate the work and time that had gone into earning it.
This change in how I treated my money happened simultaneously as I experienced an inner shift: I went from hoping and expecting the external world to fulfill and “come around” for me to focusing on my relationship with myself and what’s in my control.
As the locus of control swung back and inner peace increased, my money mindset stabilized. I no longer expected money to magically pop up through good luck and I valued the work I put in to earn the money I have.
I’ve noticed a similar thing with friends as well. The way they treat money often reflects many areas of their lives.
For example, my friend John has a good job with a nice salary and has worked hard to get there. From a young age, he was always cautious with money, saving what he could, and avoiding spending on unnecessary items.
He thinks before he speaks, gives good advice and doesn’t invest recklessly. Even when some fund claims it can give a high return on investment he looks for the catch and doesn’t trust too-good-to-be-true schemes.
He was one of those who urged me to walk away from gambling and told me repeatedly that it will never pay off in the end.
In his personal life, too, John is patient, careful and reasonable. Of course he likes to have fun, but he doesn’t throw his time or money around.
Unlike me who often has big highs and low lows, he maintains his composure even during difficult times and doesn’t get overly swept up in the storm.
He focuses on what’s in his control and steadily works his way up, gaining experience in one job to then qualify him for the next better job. He is married with a child and another on the way and has bought a house. He relates to his money pragmatically but he also respects it and doesn’t throw it around.
It fascinates me how our money mindsets reflect our personal characters in various ways and how this is true of so many people.
And it also gives me hope to know we can turn it around over time and improve our money mindset in fundamental ways.
It’s not by trying harder or being less lazy.
It’s by adjusting and becoming conscious of our attitude and beliefs surrounding money and then working to align them with proactive and empowering approaches instead of self-defeating and weakening narratives.
I think if you consider it for yourself and those you care about you may notice that there are definite patterns as well in how we treat money and how we relate to ourselves and our life.
When we find true inner peace despite anxiety, dissatisfaction and outer chaos, this is reflected in our money mindset as well.
The pieces of the puzzle fit together in the end, and when we are aligned with our mission and ourselves then our perception and treatment of money also fall into place.
This doesn’t mean you walk in a casino and hit a massive jackpot.
Or that you’ll suddenly start having bills rain down on you like a rap music video.
It also doesn’t mean that you won’t have to work anymore. Work is always part of life in some way or another.
The thing about why your money mindset is so important is that it goes way beyond money, and once you start to see the many ways in which your approach to money has deeper levels you’ll begin to get ahold of many areas of your life.
This is a powerful secret.
And it’s one I wish I had known sooner.
I’m not saying you’ll be rich if you find inner peace, but what I am saying is that money will no longer be the toxic – or addictive, or all-important – thing that it once was, it will settle into place for what it really is: a tool whose value depends on what you use it for and an extension of our personal power and energy.