Saturday, June 7, 2014

Seeking Wealth? What Does That Say About You?

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Most people do not want to feel greedy or materialistic. We have all heard the saying “money does not buy happiness.” Stories are shared about true love that breaks through the barriers of differing economic statuses. Money does not matter when you have love. That is a great saying, except that money does matter in your marriage. Try googling “marriage and money” and you will see what I mean. Finances matter in your love life and they matter in every aspect of your life. The question is: how can we focus on building financial wealth without turning into a greedy Scrooge?

First off, what is money anyway? It is just a number on your bank statement, paper or coins. People do not care so much about money just for the sake of seeing a large number on a piece of paper or to flip through piles of cash. People care about money because of what it can do for them. For what do you want money? My desire is rooted in freedom. Freedom to live, to give, to engage in life.

There is a myriad of reasons to get in the green, but this post is really for those who feel hesitant to focus on wealth because they are concerned that they cannot both obtain riches and live an altruistic life. To those that feel that way, remember that money is an amazing vehicle to achieve that altruistic life style. Money is a tool that enables you to accomplish whatever you are trying to accomplish. If you are concerned about character deterioration from wealth building, stay tuned to your motivation and your methods.

How do you stay tuned to your motivation? Frequently consider your motivation. One day you may feel inspired because you want to increase your contribution to a charity and on another day you may be driven by an adorable pair of shoes.  Just because sometimes you want some item does not make you materialistic or selfish. However, if you realize some of those softer, selfish purposes are far you’re your mind, it may be time to remind yourself of what good works that charity is doing and how your money fuels those blessings. The only way you will realize you have forgotten about those other purposes is if you take the time to consider your motivation.

When I said to stay tuned to your methods, I am referring to what you do to earn your money and to keep it growing. If values start getting compromised in this wealth creation effort; it is no longer a vehicle to do good. It is easy to point at Enron and scoff at their greediness. But what does it communicate if you sneak into a movie or exaggerate some write offs on your taxes? What about skirting past intellectual property laws and using movies or music for which you did not rightfully pay? We are all in the same boat here. It sucks to spend money that you could maybe avoid spending, but if the purpose of your wealth is to be more effective as a kind and loving person, you are moving away from the target if you start compromising your integrity to keep your money.

The bottom line is that seeking financial riches does not make you materialistic or greedy. Your motivation and methods for obtaining money is what determines your character. To stay pure of heart, continually evaluate your motivation and set up ethical boundaries for money making and money growing. If your motivation or methods are out of alignment with who you want to be, refresh your memory of what really matters and what it means to be a person of integrity.  

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