You might think the words “money”, and “purpose” shouldn’t be in the same sentence. After all, isn’t the love of money the root of all evil? Or at least, that’s what’s been promoted to members of our society for years and years. Even now, we tend to give sideways looks – and not in a good way – to people we feel make “too much” money or have “too much” wealth.
It has become a common assumption that anyone living a good and authentic life shouldn’t be interested in money or wealth or possessions. But what if you reframed your ideas about money to see it as another tool? Another resource to draw on to achieve your life’s mission? How would that feel? Consider the following ideas and actions to help you shift your money mindset – after all, it’s hard to make space in your life for what you demonize…
Idea & Action 1: Define your true, authentic goals
What do you want to do with your life? Chances are, it isn’t taking on a lifetime of debt to have a bigger and better car or house than everyone else. Do you want to create art? Write? Develop a healing and wellness business? Run guided tours to exotic places? Develop the next killer app or game that will make people’s lives easier? Use your eye for color and your sense of proportion to create beautiful homes for people who want to live a beautiful life on a budget? What will make your heart sing?
This would be a great entry for your Goal Journal – if you don’t currently have a journaling practice, check out our
5 Simple Steps to Create a Journaling Jar plus the Bonus Prompts.
Idea & Action 2: What do you need to reach your true goals?
Set aside your fears of what people might say and think about what you need to make your purposeful, authentic life a reality. Examine the goals of your head and your heart and figure out where you are right now.
What skills and resources can you draw on that already exist? What do you need to learn or buy before you can start? It could be something as basic as accounting software to support your new business, attending local networking events or conferences, or commissioning a website.
It could be taking the leap and letting people know about your goals and the actions you’re taking to begin being accountable to friends and family. Telling others about your dream might even engender additional support – they might even invest in your dream! How might you make it possible for others to invest in your plans – crowdfunding campaigns have become a part of our society and can be very effective.
Money is an essential tool that enables you to get what you need to reach your goals – and you MUST make peace with that. You can use money in an altruistic way – and overcome your challenges with a financial boost.
Idea & Action 3: Reject the notion of self-denial
The old image of the artist suffering in the garret is outdated and never really held much water. Did you know that when Michelangelo died, he left a large fortune? And Leonardo da Vinci became a wealthy man. You don’t have to compound your suffering or deny yourself the benefits you’ll work hard to attain.
There’s no need to punish yourself for living the life you want and have worked for. But you do need to be realistic about the income necessary to keep you fed, clothed, and housed. There’s no shame in being able to provide for your own needs and your family’s needs. It would say something more negative about you if you HAD the means, but like Scrooge, refused to extend consideration to others.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I was extremely grateful that my family was able to afford to upgrade our internet service and add bandwidth so that we could all be online working, attending classes and meetings, and continuing to live our lives and connect with distant family. The speed upgrade was a means to an end – and we deserved to make our required online time as easy and fast as possible.
We COULD have tried to “soldier on” with lower-capacity internet service, but that would have meant increased stress and upset for everyone in the household. We prioritized and made the decision – to benefit us all.
Idea & Action 4: Redefine what money means to you.
Think of money as a possibility, a means of opening doors, creating new ventures, or supporting causes you believe in. While there are people who decry wealthy people, there ARE people with great wealth who also give a lot to charitable causes and even form their own foundations.
Even if you don’t have millions, and don’t want to give up your day job to live the life of a monk, you can have a positive impact on the world in how you choose to spend your money. In addition to supporting local and international charities, you can choose environmentally responsible energy sources and food suppliers.
You can take part in “Buy Local” campaigns and support your town’s businesses and artists. You can intentionally buy products and services locally – even if they are a bit more expensive – and feel good about contributing to your neighbor’s dreams and goals. My family chooses a locally-run and locally-owned restaurant once a week to provide our dinner. We call ahead, order take-out, and bring it home to enjoy.
Whether you want to become an entrepreneur, a healer, or a mindful purchaser and donor, money can be a powerful tool for you to have a positive impact on your local community, your state or region, and indeed the world. Begin today to take note and make a list of where you can use money to increase your beneficial impact in your community. Once you’ve made your list, comment below and let your actions and ideas inspire others to do the same!