Scroll through your social media and odds are, you’ll come across posts of the abundance of money you could be making, the beach vacation you could be on, the fancy car you could be driving, the limited edition shoes you could be wearing, or the latest gadget you could be using.
If only, right?
Let’s face it: we all want to live a life full of abundance, not one where we’re struggling.
What we fail to understand is that we’ve been conditioned to fall into the struggle (instead of fall in love) with wealth — “money is evil,” “only those who are willing to work hard can get rich,” “money is hard to earn and easy to lose,” and so many other misleading messages.
Here are three big lies you’ve been told about your financial abundance:
So, how do you overcome the pre-existing beliefs? Two words: Money EQ.
According to Ken Honda, Japan’s Zen Millionaire, “when you know more about money EQ, you feel happier with money, you have less stress around money because you have higher emotional intelligence.”
Ken is also the bestselling author of, among 129 other books, Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money, where he explains how to change your money mindset, improve your money EQ, and embrace the process of giving and receiving the big bucks.
Shift your mindset of these three big lies. With Ken’s guidance, you’ll heal your relationship with your finances and finally find peace (instead of frustration) with your wealth.
Lie #1: Money Is Associated With Negative Emotions
First off, what is money EQ?
It means money emotional intelligence (the ‘Q’ stands for quotient, which measures your ability to sense emotion — in this case, with money).
For many of us, when we make financial decisions, emotions play a big role. And the ones that are often tied to our bankroll are fear, guilt, shame, and envy. There’s no one to blame really. It’s just what we’ve been taught about money.
“Even the most intelligent people on the planet are making emotional mistakes and they lose all their money,” says Ken.
Let’s go back to your social media feed. Raise your hand if you’ve felt fear, guilt, shame, and envy when you see post after post of people doing, buying, living all ways you wish you were. And how many times have you told yourself these statements?
- I don’t have enough money.
- I spend too much.
- I buy stuff when I’m unhappy.
- I try not to think about my finances.
- I avoid creating a sensible budget, an emergency fund, or a retirement plan.
That’s why money EQ is very important. And, according to Ken, it separates the few who enjoy a happy and healthy relationship with money from the many who don’t.
Happy Money Vs Unhappy Money
The secret of this intelligence concept is how you relate to money. When you do something good with your money, you have, what Ken calls, ‘happy money.’ And when there are negative emotions tied to your money, you have ‘unhappy money.’
For example, ‘happy money’ can be the money you give to charity, the money you give to your child for their daily allowance or even the amount you spend on a cup of coffee as a treat for yourself. ‘Happy money’ gives you feelings of joy, excitement, and positivity when you receive it and spend it.
On the other hand, ‘unhappy money’ makes you feel negative emotions when you receive it because you feel that it’s not enough for you. You feel a sense of burden when you spend your cash on things like your bills and taxes. You receive ‘unhappy money’ with a sense of lack, wanting more, and having trouble letting go of it.
Shift Your Mindset
The truth is money is abundant and fun. However, as with many things in life, there are societal ‘brules,’ or ‘bullshit rules,’ imprinted on us that limit our beliefs and cause blockages. Here are three things that block your money flow:
- Guilt: You feel guilty when you make money and when you receive it. If you feel this emotion, you will have a hard time accepting financial wealth and hence, stopping the abundance from flowing.
- Shyness: You feel uneasy about receiving, charging, or giving money. An example of this is if you’re shy about asking for a raise or receiving your greens. This leads to losing opportunities.
- The need to be seen as a good person: You feel like you’re a bad or greedy person when you talk about money. So, in order to be seen as a good person, you don’t talk about it. This stops the money flow.
These blocks are what Ken calls ‘money wounds.’ As much as we would love more money to be happier, we tend to avoid it so that we don’t revisit our ‘money wounds.’ It’s an inner love-hate conflict that needs to be resolved.
How? Ken explains money EQ allows you to worry less about money, but instead, allows you to focus on your life. Instead of worrying about how to earn more or your financial problems, shift your perspective to how you can enjoy your life more and make the people around you happier.
According to Ken, when you live your life from the space of helping others and free of your ‘money wounds,’ money comes to you in abundance naturally.
Lie #2: Money Is Complicated
We live in this continuous cycle of financial anxiety — earning our wages, spending it, and earning some more, only to spend it again — and we’re doomed to repeat this cycle until we retire. The practice of saving money is a struggle as well. Even following the expert advice of saving for a rainy day, something always pops up that prevents us from actually reaching our goal.
This makes money so complicated for many of us. And not only that, it makes our financial situation stressful.
The American Psychological Association (APA) reported money being the number one source of stress in people’s lives, especially during the pandemic which has lent a hand in the financial disruption for many. Similarly, in a 2021 survey by Capital One, 73% of Americans rank finances as the number one cause of stress in their lives. And — no surprise here — the results also found that major life events, like buying a house or purchasing a car, can trigger financial stress.
But if you want to overcome financial challenges, you may first need to understand what money type you are.
Your Money Type
According to Ken, there are three main money types: controlling, indifferent, and fear. When you identify which type you are, you’ll understand your behavior, and then, it will help you transform your relationship with wealth and abundance.
So, first ask yourself this: if you’re given $1000, what would you do with it? Let’s look at what you would do with the financial assets if you were different money types.
If you’re the controlling type, you’re action-oriented and want to do something with the cash — spend, save, or make it.
- The spender typically associates their sense of worthiness with spending, so they will usually spend as soon as they receive.
- The saver saves every penny and by doing so, they feel a sense of security.
- The money maker is a workaholic. They tend to fluctuate between a compulsive money maker-spender and a compulsive money maker-saver. They associate a sense of security with more financial abundance, so for them, it can become an addiction.
The controlling type likes to be in charge of their environment in hopes that they’ll be able to, then, control their feelings.
If you’re this type of person, then you live your life as if it has nothing to do with financial abundance. The $1000? You may be grateful you have it, but it has no significant effect on your life.
People who were raised in affluent families tend to be indifferent because they don’t have worries related to wealth. However, indifferent types can also be kind-hearted and serve others. They tend to choose professions based on what they can do rather than how rich they can be.
And according to Ken, indifferent money types are the happiest.
If you’re afraid of the $1000 and you do everything to avoid it, then you’re a fear type.
This type of person often perceives financial wealth as dangerous due to past traumatic experiences. They are either a hippie, gambler, saver-splurger, or worrier.
- The hippie is anti-capitalist and has a strong resentment towards wealth. They believe that it corrupts people, so they stay away from the modern world and its goods.
- The gambler is someone who destroys their assets by doing things without thinking. They find joy in winning and in losing.
- The saver-splurger saves their cash and then spends it all. It evokes feelings of fun, but then regret, like a pendulum swinging between excitement and fear.
- The worrier simply worries about everything. They have trust issues because they don’t trust life.
Identifying which type you are will help you change your perception of wealth. Also, it will help you adjust your attitude towards the people who represent the different money types.
Shift Your Mindset
The truth is wealth is easy when you shift how you feel about it.
“Your relationship with money determines the quality of your life,” says Ken. Just like a relationship with a person, if it is great, then you’re probably living the life you love. If it’s terrible, you may be abusing yourself or allowing others to disrespect you.
Understandably, being honest about your feelings toward your abundance can be painful. But when you understand your relationship with wealth and your unconscious beliefs about it, you’ll be able to see its role in your life.
Lie #3: Money Is A Monster
Wealth gives people a lot of doubts. And the road of doubt leads to only one place: fear. “We’re afraid of money,” says Ken. “Money could be a monster in your house. So, as much as we love money to be in our house, we want to keep money away because we’re afraid.”
Fear also causes us to worry, which is also one of the major causes of financial stress. People worry they won’t make enough of those big bucks to support their lifestyle or their future. They worry the time and energy spent on an idea or project is worthless. They worry about their prosperity.
However, if you want to have financial abundance and be happier, you have to trust in the money flow and be confident in yourself and your abilities.
Trust The Flow
Confidence is key when it comes to dispelling your fear of wealth. Confidence to try new things. Confidence to do anything. Confidence to share your skills and talents.
According to Ken, people are rich and successful because they are confident, not the other way around. All success is a result of confidence. In fact, the 2018 UK Financial Capability survey reported financial confidence is related to financial wellbeing.
When you are confident in your abilities, you aren’t overpowered by doubt and you are able to trust that prosperity will come naturally.
Shift Your Mindset
The truth is money is like a friendly Pokémon. Like Pikachu is to Ash, Ken suggests becoming friends with your wealth.
“Money either controls you or you control money or a balanced friendship,” he says. “In other words, you can be a master, a slave, or a friend. The ideal situation is you become friends with money.” He explains that when you have a loving relationship with your finances, you care for each other, you’re grateful for one another, and you work together to be happy.
Ken suggests doing an exercise called Talk with Your Money:
- Get your wallet or purse.
- Talk with your money or credit card.
- Ask it, “how are you? How are you feeling?”
- Then pause and listen to what your money is telling you.
- Let your feelings out. If you feel like apologizing for misusing or ignoring it, do so.
- Feel all of your emotions that come up when you’re conversing with your money.
Like going to a counseling session with a person, this exercise allows you to release the negative emotions you have towards abundance and forgive yourself. You get to start fresh and connect with money as your friend instead of an enemy.
Raise Your Abundance
When you hear the word ‘wealth,’ what comes to mind?
You might associate it with a good education, a high-paying job, status, and possessions. Most people, as Ken explains, are misguided when it comes to wealth because they see it from a materialistic point of view. According to him, people want to be prosperous for three reasons:
- To feel secure
- To feel powerful
- To feel recognized
But what they fail to ask themselves is, how much wealth will it take to feel secure, powerful, or recognized?
Wealth is different for each person. One million dollars could be considered a tremendous amount for one person, but for another, it could be considered insufficient. People tend to think their misery is linked to the lack of funds and if they receive more, they would have fewer problems. The problem is that it’s not true.
“The reason [people] don’t have more money is because of how they feel about their life and how they are,” says financial guru, Suze Orman. “Who you are determines what you have and get to keep.”
When it comes to happiness, your wealth should be based on more than materialistic ideals and possessions. It should be your emotional relationship with wealth. Ken describes real wealth as:
- Loving who you are
- Enjoying where you are
- Enjoying what you have