Everyone has a story they tell themselves about money.
Our early experiences around money, how it is used to navigate life at every level, helps shape our narrative about money. It shapes our views on wealth, status and popularity. These are reflected in our future relationship with money. Motivating drivers in the pursuit of money can be to seek enhanced social standing, or for greater acceptance or to have an elevated status.
Our pursuit of wealth starts at a young age. We are taught to admire and revere celebrities, the rich and the famous. Their continued high social status and popularity reinforce the message in a never ending downward spiral. Elements such as beauty, intelligence, athletic ability and even birthplace, are also forms of ‘measurement’ used to ‘value’ people.
Society, and marketers – me included, encourage folks to believe they are not sufficient. The method used by marketers to entice you to want something you don’t need is straightforward. By encouraging you to think the item is ‘scarce,’ and that you are ‘missing out’ if you don’t also ‘own’ one, we create a perceived value above the monetary worth you are prepared to exchange.
Our ‘always-on,’ socially-connected online world panders the ‘wealth’ narrative endlessly. You can scroll through reams of perfect pouting selfies, glamourous vacation locations, and colourful exotic foodie images, all pedalling the same bullshit:
You are not enough.
In our desire to create abundance, we are using up all our resources. Our natural, physical, mental and spiritual resources, all being ‘used up’ in our greed.
Will scarcity be our legacy?
But Richard Rohr from The Centre for Action and Contemplation has another take on scarcity. He says,
“Once we let go of scarcity, we discover the surprising truth of sufficiency. By sufficiency, I don’t mean a quantity of anything. Sufficiency isn’t an amount at all. It is an experience, a context we generate, a declaration, a knowing that there is enough and that we are enough.”
Living sufficiently sounds even more compelling than living in abundance. When you live life sufficiently, your peace is found in being your authentic self. You are not desperately longing to be complete. Your life purpose is to use all your available resources, to serve. At whatever level and using everything you have – money, time, attention or whatever – you serve. You are not fighting to win but to co-exist. In the truest sense, where you give and you receive.
I’m struck by how often the measure of success is confused with wealth – as if it’s two sides of the same coin?
Thankfully, they are not.
We are playing a zero-sum game if we are using money as our measure of humanity. The drive to win, to succeed at all costs, to beat the competition, and to be number one, has left little space for us to be human. In our desire for more, in our greed, we stand to lose it all.
Until we can all say ‘I have enough,’ aspects such as care and compassion will be the losers. Let scarcity not be our legacy. Starting today, let’s live a sufficient life.
“In the pursuit of more, we overlook the fullness and completeness that are already within us waiting to be discovered. Our drive to enlarge our net worth turns us away from discovering and deepening our self-worth.”
~ Lynne Twist (The Soul of Money)
What is your Money Narrative and how is it helping you to be a better person?
I’d love to hear from you.
Have an awesome weekend! 😄
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