Tag Archives: self-discipline

5 Symptoms of a Money/Life Drain

Can we have more money without more problems? Money is just another form of energy. The true value of money is not based on how much we have, but rather how well it supports our life purpose and values. If money were not an issue, what would you do with your time? These are the truly valuable parts of life and the presence (or absence) of money influences the extent to which we are able to enjoy these priorities. Since our money is intimately linked to other ares of our life, a money drain is also a drain of our life energy. Below are five symptoms of people experiencing a money/life drain.

There are five symptoms of money/life drain.

1. Financial burdens, debt, out of control expenses. Whether on a household, local, or national level, debt has become an American staple and many of us are crippling under the weight of our debt burden. Debt implies that we are spending money that we do not have and requires that we pay for that “privilege”. While it can be reasonable to go into debt for things that will increase in value or increase our income potential (housing, education), carrying a large debt or going into debt for things that do not appreciate undermines our financial security both now and in the future.

2. Inability to save and pressure to earn/work more. For many Americans, the immediate response to the earlier problem of debt and financial problems is to work more and make more money. Imagine that there is a hole in the bottom of a cup. You want to drink a cool glass of lemonade but as you fill the glass, the lemonade continues to pour from the bottom. Adding more lemonade to the glass without filling the leak is not going to quench your thirst. Likewise, until you address the leak in your financial system, adding more money will not relive your financial burden. As my financial coach Lynn Richardson always says “more money does NOT solve a money problem…if it did millionaires would not go broke.” Although working longer hours to earn more does not solve our financial problems, it does help to exacerbate the next symptom of money/life drain.

3. Stressed relationships. There are studies that suggest as much as 90% of all divorces are connected to conflicts about money. Again conflicts about money cut across all income levels. However, the attempt to solve money problems by working more exacerbates the strain on relationships because people have less time to spend with family and friends.

4. Increased stress and decreased health. Stress is both an emotional and a physical condition. The stress and worry that accompanies financial burdens decreases our sense of security and self-esteem. It can also produce headaches, frequent infections, muscular twitches, fatigue, skin irritations, breathlessness as well as host of chronic illnesses.

5. Financial/emotional/and spiritual depletion. Even those individuals who have accumulated all the most treasured “toys” may be haunted by the question “is this all there is?” Like energy, money is intended FOR a purpose, it is not the end value. The pursuit of money for itself can lead to a spiritual crisis both for those who get lots of it and for those who never reach their financial goals. A person’s value cannot be measured by their net worth or credit score.

More money doesn't solve a money problem.

Are you experiencing any of the symptoms of the money/life drain? If more money is not the solution to this chronic illness, then what is? Wisdom and choice are our key resources to correcting the money/life drain we are experiencing. Making wise financial choices implies making wise life choices and vice versa. This requires us to inspect every area of our lives to see how it feeds/or detracts from our life vision. True prosperity (more money without money problems) requires that we restructure our thoughts, words, and actions so that they align with our life purpose and reflect our values and priorities. We have described the symptoms of a money/life drain. The condition is deadly but the prognosis is good. You can have a complete and permanent recovery, but it requires that you take the medicine daily. Today choose life, choose health, choose abundance!


Lessons on the Power of a Dream

Today we celebrate the birth and life of a great American prophet, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. As I reflect on his life and listen to his speeches, I am moved by how clearly he saw his vision and how well he was able to communicate it to inspire others to action. In this video clip, Dr. King reminds us that our collective dream of justice, freedom, equality, community is inevitable. Although Dr. King’s dream has yet to be fulfilled, I share his certainty that our beloved community is sure to become a reality.

What allowed Dr. King to wholeheartedly believe in the reality of his dream inspite of the pervasive brutality of racial segregation and the long history of discrimintation and oppression in the country he so loved? I believe that there are three clear lessons that we can take from this speech about the power of a dream. These lessons can help us maintain our own dreams for justice and equality as well as our inividual dreams of positive change in our own lives. So what does this speech reveal about the power of a dream?

The clarity of your vision determines its power.

1. Dreams require that we focus more on our vision than on our circumstances. In Dr. King’s speeches, he spent more time talking about his vision than describing the reality of the current situation. This is not to suggest that he had his head in the sand. Dr. King’s continual focus on his vision provided him with the strength to choose different actions than many of his contemporaries. He was able to act differently because of the clarity of his vision. Dr. King went beyond positive thinking, to positive knowing! Listen to the certainty and conviction in his voice. This is an appropriate lesson for all of us to internalize. The clearer we are on what we want and the more time we spend visualizing our goals, the more confident we will become in the certainty of their accomplishment. Likewise, the easier it will be for us to choose actions that support that vision. Unfortunately, we often spend more time  talking about what we don’t want, than we do imagining our goals. Dr. King’s power of action was fueled by the clarity of his dream.

All dreams require daily acts of sacrifice.

2. Dreams require that we discipline our selves to live in support of the dream. In the speech the night before his assignation, Dr. King acknowledges that death might be a necessary part of the journey to fulfill his dream. More importantly, he stated that he was willing to pay that price. While this is a grand sacrifice, this is not the only sacrifice that Dr. King was forced to pay for his dream. Dr. King’s discussion of how “history has seized me” acknowledged that he was but a man but was committed to live a life bigger than himself because of the power of his vision.  Likewise, there is a price each of us must pay for the accomplishment of our dream. It might be a sacrifice of sleep, it may be sacrificing relationships or finances; it will most certainly include sacrificing our comfort.  Dr. King was able to live these acts of sacrifice daily because of the passion with which he embraced his dream, and we can too.

Your dreams require the support of others.

3. Dreams require that we invite the participation of others in the accomplishment of our dreams. Thank God Dr. King did not keep his dream to himself. Dr. King’s descriptions of his vision was so vivid and so passionate that it awakened similar dreams in others (and continues to do so). As great and courageous a man as he was, Dr. King was NOT the Civil Rights Movement and did not accomplish all these gains ALONE. Dr. King’s dream was so big that it would be impossible for him to achieve it on his own. He needed the cooperation and support of hundreds of thousands of people.  Likewise, we can not accomplish our dreams alone. We often require the support of our families, friends, colleagues, fellow citizens, ect. to accomplish the goals we set for ourselves. Dr. King’s life teaches us that in order to get the cooperation of our supporters, and at times our enemies, we must clearly communicate our vision in both word and deed.

Please share your thoughts on the lessons you have learned from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and how you celebrate his birthday and his legacy. I look forward to hearing from you.