When you think about money, how do you feel?
Whether you tend to break out into a small sweat or opt for the cool-as-a-cucumber vibe in the face of your finances, your answer matters.
In this article, we’ll be addressing those who have trouble in a could-be financial paradise. We’ll deep dive into why your relationship with money is so important, as well as what you can do to fix it. If it’s true that money makes the world go round, you want to make sure your relationship with it is the best it can be.
What Does a Relationship With Money Mean?
Your relationship with money refers to your beliefs, feelings, and connection to the concept of abundance (or lack thereof). The more carefree, grateful, grounded, generous, and calm you are about your finances, the better your relationship with money will be.
Just like you have a relationship with your best pal, your partner, and your parents, you also have a relationship with your money. Because of this, it pays to treat it well. And while you might not take your cash out on a coffee date, it falls on your money to fund it.
No matter how painful, stressful, or downright awkward we find the subject, we can’t deny that money, or at least our relationship with it heavily influences our lives. While having lots of it may not guarantee long-lasting contentment, it sure as hell guarantees problems if you don’t tend to your relationship with money.
Where Does Our Relationship With Money Come From?
Odds are, your relationship with money was passed down to you from your family. If you grew up in a household with looming financial challenges 24/7, it’s natural that you picked up on that and began replicating the corresponding ‘lack mindset’. Negative beliefs around money such as…
- ‘Rich people are selfish.’
- ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees.’
- ‘Money is a dirty word.’
- ‘Never ask anyone for money.’
- ‘There’s never enough money.’
- ‘The cheaper the better.’
…are often the common culprits behind a bad relationship with money. And if your relationship with money is bad, you’re much more likely to fall into extreme behaviors such as hoarding or splurging.
Having said that, the positive flip-side also rings true. If you belong to a family that has always had quite a lot of money in the bank along with the following positive beliefs…
- ‘There is always enough money.’
- ‘We always have plenty to share.’
- ‘Prosperity always flows to us easily.’
- ‘Being rich doesn’t make anyone a bad person.’
- ‘We always have everything we need.’
- ‘Making money is fun!’
…all that probably sets you up in good stead for a harmonious relationship with money. Your behavior would probably reflect it too, as you’d be more likely to both spend and save, treat yourself and share with others, and see money as an overall good thing.
Either way, just know that it’s never too late to change your relationship with money and attract more to you.
Why Is Our Relationship With Money Important
Improving Your Relationship With Money by Overcoming Money Blocks
If you want to make your relationship with money a healthy, happy one, Money EQ expert Ken Honda claims that you must overcome your ‘money blocks’. ‘Money blocks’ refer to your negative beliefs and behaviors around money.
Closely mentored by Japan’s most influential billionaires, the globally celebrated Wahei Takeda included, Ken Honda has dedicated his life to helping humanity find financial freedom. That’s why we teamed up with him to bring you a step-by-step action plan to help you rewire your relationship with money. Read on to cash in on his expert advice.
Step 1: Shake off your bad money juju
Money in and of itself is a neutral presence. Contrary to popular belief, it’s neither angelic nor demonic. It can be used for the greatest good and as well as evil, and it’s our choice how we use it.
As we said earlier, you didn’t choose your early negative beliefs about money. As a child, you were born a blank slate with a sponge-like mind. So it’s not your fault if you have the money = stress/lack/frustration/shame/evil formula going on.
That said, you by no means have to carry on living with all that baggage.
If you’d like a guided version of the following exercise (for free), click here. If you’d rather read your way through the process, Ken Honda suggests the following actions:
1) Sit down in a quiet spot, taking some deep breaths and allowing your eyes to close. Get ready to use your imagination. When you’re in a calm mental disposition, imagine the concept of money sitting in a chair across from you. You may imagine it as a person, a shape, a color…anything that naturally comes to mind.
2) Listen closely. What does it have to say to you? Is it angry? Is it ugly? Is it seductive or alluring? How do you feel about its presence? Who gave you this idea about money? Inquire about its origins.
3) After identifying what beliefs you hold about money without judgment, slowly gather them into an imaginary ball of energy between your hands. Give it a color. Once holding this imaginary accumulation of biased beliefs, turn to your left.
4) In another chair to your left, imagine your parents (or whoever gave you these beliefs in the first place) sitting with open arms. Physically offer this ball of beliefs back to them, returning it to them, proclaiming ‘This is your pain. It doesn’t belong to me, so I’m returning it to you now.’ Release it fully and bow as a symbol of respect to your ancestors.
5) Return to your perception of money. Look at the chair in front of you, seeing it now as fully neutral and cleansed.
Step 2: Jump on the happy money bandwagon
Ken Honda is known and celebrated the world over for his ‘Happy Money Movement’, said to have transformed the lives of millions.
‘In order to attract money to you and have a deeply happy relationship with money, you have to make it smile!’ says Ken.
The theory goes like this. Every single one of us is tasked with an important decision in adulthood: to choose to either have Happy Money or Sad Money. The quantity really isn’t important–it all comes down to your conscious perception of it.
So let’s say you have $20 in your purse or wallet. If you earned that money fair and square in a way that served others, the money is smiling. It’s Happy Money. If you received it with gratitude and positivity, it’s even happier. If you open your wallet and look at it with a smile, it’s the happiest it can be.
But if you stole it or earned it via taking advantage of others’ shortcomings, it’s crying. If you didn’t say thank you when you received it, or you received it unconsciously or ashamedly, it’s probably weeping harder. You’ve gone and created yourself some Sad Money.
Having Happy Money in the bank is important because it’s the only way you’ll attract more of it to you in the future. Think about it as a friendship. If a ‘friend’ of yours abused you, called you evil on a regular basis, told you you weren’t enough, and constantly treated you like a problem, would you really want to be around them?
Step 3: Practice the arigato money mantra
‘Arigato Money’ means ‘thank you money’ in Japanese. It’s an ingenious way to encourage us to fully receive money as it flows to us with thanks, and fully spend it, with thanks.
‘Arigato in, arigato out, as money flows and as it goes!’ says Ken.
So next time you see you’ve been paid in your banking app, go ahead and say ‘arigato’ with a smile. Tune into heartfelt gratitude that this money has flowed to you and make it feel welcome.
When you make your next trip to the grocery store, repeat ‘arigato’ as you pay for your vegetables. Try not to see it as a loss of money, but a gaining of delicious food that the farmers have grown for you, the truck drivers have transported for you and the shopkeeper has put out for you. It’s a beautiful trade of prosperity. And when we trade, we should do so with thanks.
Give it a go. This simple process could work wonders for your mental health and offers a lighter, more pleasurable way to interact with your cash.
Step 4: Give and share
If you’re in a tight spot with money right now, it may feel odd to all of a sudden start focusing on giving and sharing. You may find it unnatural to focus on what you do have, as opposed to what you blatantly don’t.
But there’s a paradox here to be uncovered.
Ken Honda believes that when we’re grateful for our blessings and are aware of the ‘enoughness’ of what we have, we’re much more likely to give and share. And when we give and share, we’re sending a clear message into the universe (and our subconscious) that we are abundant. And it’s from this place of abundance that you’ll end up attracting more abundance to you. It’s like the ancient Bhagavad Gita states:
“If you take abundance from abundance, abundance still remains.”
Ken Honda refers to this process as ‘maro’.
The word ‘maro’ is short for the term ‘magokoro’ in Japanese. While a direct translation doesn’t yet exist in English, a rough one would be ‘the state of selflessness’ or ‘sincerity’.
When we ‘maro up’, we move from egoic self-centeredness and towards a more collective vibe, where we feel one with others. According to Ken Honda’s most beloved mentor, Wahei Takeda, those who are in touch with ‘maro’ go on to create win-win situations for themselves and others, inviting prosperity into their lives.
The more we give, the more space we create to, in turn, receive. After all, the more you appreciate, the more things crop up to be appreciative for…including money. It’s the secret behind forging an abundance mindset.
Step 5: Identify your money EQ type
As discussed in step 1, many of us have disempowering ‘money stories’ in our heads that quietly keep millions of us stuck in a financial rut. Your ‘money story’ given to you in childhood dictates something Ken Honda refers to as your ‘Money EQ Type’.
Once you know which of the 5 Money EQ Categories your personality falls into, you can then actively heal your money wounds to finalize your brain’s rewiring.