Money: The Subject Nobody Talks About

money management
 

Today, I’d like to write about one of the most taboo subjects around. No, not non-monogamous relationships; not politics or religion, either. I’m referring to… money.
 

For some reason, it seems to be more acceptable to talk about STDs than about money. My own experience mirrors this: Whenever I publish an article or video on the subject, it gets a fairly low number of views. Why, then, do I continue addressing it?
 

The answer is: Because it’s important and because you’ll never be able to truly prioritise your passion(s) unless you sort out your money mindset and the actual management of your finances and put them on rock-solid feet. Another reason is that it’s utterly ridiculous to shun a subject so mundane, one that’s so vital for our lives.
 

I’m going to look into the reasons why people resist the subject. Then I’ll give you rock-solid ways out of the taboo and towards a healthy, even joyful money management.
 
 

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Why is money (management) a dirty word?

 

I have googled it, read books and psychological articles, and talked to literally hundreds of people about the subject. It’s part of my Coaching programs, after all! From all of this, several trends have emerged:
 

– The first is discomfort. People are embarrassed to talk about money for manifold reasons. We don’t learn about money management in school, so most people don’t know the first thing about budgeting, saving, or investing. The older they get, the more uncomfortable they are about this, and end up avoiding the subject altogether.
 

– There also seems to be a remnant of an aristocratic arrogance in the sense of: “Money is something you have, not something you talk about”. This one is particularly baffling, because clearly the only people who profit from this kind of attitude are employers who pay their employees unfair or vastly different salaries. Nobody ever finds out because of the taboo.
 

– Related to the second point, but in contrast to it, is the view of rich people as bad and greedy. This attitude is widespread – just check out memes on social media! It’s not surprising that people should wish to avoid being seen as someone to whom money is important.
 

– The last reason is embarrassment. People feel vaguely ashamed for not having or earning more and don’t want to admit they don’t have money management figured out. Others are ashamed because they earn a lot, which feeds into the previous point: They are afraid to be seen as one of the “filthy rich”.
 

Reading the above, where do you fit? I have yet to come across a human with a naturally healthy attitude to money. We all fall into one, or even several, of the categories I listed. Knowing yours will give you an advantage in moving forward.
 

subject nobody talks about
 

The effects of the taboo

 

I’ve already mentioned some of the effects: people being embarrassed about even having money, because it’s supposed to be a dirty and immoral thing. Injustice and inequality are being perpetuated.
 

On the personal level, however, the tragedy is that so many people never get educated about their finances and will always regard the subject of money from an emotional place of either fear, disgust, or avoidance.
 

Barring a move to an off-the-grid lifestyle in a functioning community where barter still flourishes, you’re going to be forced to deal with money pretty much daily for the rest of your days. When you look at the above three emotions, is this really how you want to feel about something so central in your life?
 

Might it be time to turn things around? Might it be time to face the subject, change your beliefs about it, and learn the joy of money?
 
 

Tackling your money mindset

 

You’ve already got a head start on this process by finding out what your negative beliefs about money are (see “Why is money a dirty word?” above). Now in order to get rid of a belief, you need to do the following:
 

Weaken the existing belief: Imagine your belief is a table resting on four legs. You’ll now proceed to break off these legs by finding tangible proof that your belief isn’t true. For example, if you think all rich people are awful, go and look up the amazing good some people do (such as buying up whole stretches of rainforest for the sole purpose of preservation).
 

Replace it with a new, helpful belief: Now find a belief that will take the place of the one you’d like to let go of. If your belief was that rich people are awful, find something true like: “Many rich people are wonderful people who do a lot of good. Money makes people more of what they already are.”
 

Of course there are many other facets to creating an abundance mindset. Once you tackle your beliefs, you’re off to a great start, though.
 

abundance
 

Learning money management

 

Now that you’re working on your mindset, you need to also learn the nuts and bolts of financial management. There are many books on the subject, and if you’re subscribed to Wild Spirits News, you also get regular “Money Corner” tips and advice.
 

Set up a monthly budget that includes categories for fun stuff such as you passions. There should also be a percentage of your money reserved to be blown on silly things. The joy you’ll feel upon spending this money will in turn fuel your abundance mindset.
 

You can do courses, or learn from the ground up in my Wild Money program. It’s a combination of teaching you the principles of money management and investing on the one hand, and Coaching for an abundant, joyful mindset on the other. You probably never imagined that you’d approach finances with a happy, even playful attitude, and that you’d be better off for it! Come and try it out.
 

Whatever you do, please break the taboo about money. It’s okay to care about it. It’s okay to like money and enjoy it. It doesn’t make you a shallow person, unless you start valuing money for itself, rather than what it stands for and what you can do with it. All the real negativity around money starts when people put money before people or the planet, or seek to achieve power over others with it.
 

As long as you don’t do any of that, you’re free to enjoy money, buy yourself some luxuries, play and also give to others. And don’t forget to finance your passion(s), generously but within a solid budget. Your life will take on a sparkle it never had before.
 

3 Ways In Which Judging Kills Your Joy


 

Abstract:
 

Almost nobody thinks they’re particularly judgmental. I certainly didn’t. I’m a live-and-let-live person and have no problem cheering on others in their endeavors.
 

However, there are ways judgment of others – and of ourselves – tends to creep in, and they can really throw you a curve ball. Suddenly you feel deflated and don’t even know why.
 

Your mission is to learn 3 ways judging kills your joy, and how you can prevent this from ever happening again.
 
 

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Task 1: Why being judgmental is bad for you

 

It may sound obvious, because we’ve all learned that it’s nicer to accept others, rather than judge them. But none of us is a saint, and we’ve all fallen into the trap occasionally.
 

The thing about judgment is that it’s never about the other person. Any type of judgment reveals something that’s a sore point within yourself. This is especially true when we judge ourselves (and these are often the harshest judgments we pass).
 

If you feel yourself getting triggered, take a deep breath and look inside. Is there something you need to heal? Do you need reassurance? Focus on fulfilling these needs, rather than passing judgment on others or yourself.
 

judging kills your joy
 

Task 2: Learn the 3 ways judging kills your joy

  1. Superiority equals loneliness. The saying “it’s lonely at the top” also applies when it’s only a feeling of superiority. By judging, you immediately create a separation between you and the other person. Isolation is painful and not conducive to joy.
  2. You miss the nuances that make life worth living. When you judge, you only think in terms of “better than” and “worse than”. In contrast, joy lives in play, silliness, loving unconditionally, doing what you love with reckless abandon.
  3. You miss the best of whoever you’re judging. Whether you judge yourself or others, the act of judging focuses you on one trait. This makes you overlook all the facettes and nuances that make a person unique and loveable.

 

Vlog 5: Summer Solstice & Luminous Nights In Croatia


 

Summer solstice in Croatia! Living in the mediterranean is like a dream come true in the summer. Let me show you the beauty as I talk about the summer solstice and the progress on my “new old” house.

 
 

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summer solstice


 

Should You Turn Your Passion Into A Business?


 

Abstract:
 

I keep pointing out that your passion(s) should be a priority, no matter whether you’re a pro or a beginner. The joy you gain is more than enough reason to put it front and center.
 

However, many of my clients do have a wish to turn their passion into a career or business. They want to do what lights them up and earn money from it. It sounds like a dream, and it can be.
 

Your mission today is to find out whether you should turn your passion into a business, and how to prevent your dream from turning into a nightmare.
 
 

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Task 1: Can you turn your passion into a business?

 

Obviously, this subject could (and does) fill volumes. Therefore, I’ll just give you a few questions to ask yourself to start with.

  • Are you good enough? You should of course provide quality. However, the vast majority of people underrate the value of what they have to offer.
  • Is there a genuine market for what you offer? Do people search for it?
  • Are you secure enough? Meaning, do you have savings to tide you over at least the first six months?
  • Can you perhaps start part-time to minimise the risk?

Turn your passion into a business
 

Task 2: Protect your passion and joy

 

Apart from all the nuts and bolts of business, there’s a huge pitfall that most people overlook: Can you protect your passion and joy from the harsh reality of business?
 

The truth is, business can be rough. I’ve met too many burnt-out artists, crafters etc. who have come to almost hate their passion because it got so entangled with having to make money. I make money with one of my passions too, so I know what it can be like.
 

It’s vital to preserve the joy in your passion. Create space where you can fool around with it, without any intention of producing something of value. Protect these spaces, and your business will never run out of its most important fuel: Your passion.
 

Why Aren’t You Outrageously Happy?

outrageously happy
 

I’d like to invite you to stop for a moment and check in with yourself. I know it’s unusual, and at first you might come up empty-handed, but try and persevere: Take a deep breath and ask yourself how happy or unhappy you are right now, at this moment, without having to think about it. This is about feeling.
 

What was your answer? Was it a 5-star review, or more like a “meh” one? The truth is that most of us don’t feel outrageously happy the majority of the time. We’re not exactly unhappy, either, mind you. But wouldn’t it be nice if we could dial up the happiness meter, so to speak?
 

Let’s take a closer look.
 
 

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Why we feel “meh”

 

At first glance, it seems unreasonable. Barring serious physical and/or mental illness, which some of us suffer from and which can really mess with your emotions, the majority of us live lives our ancestors would have dreamed of, if they could have imagined them.
 

We have shelter and comfort. Our food supplies are so abundant, we needn’t worry about ever going hungry. Most of us also have a family and friends we love and who love us. We have more options in terms of fulfilling leisure and sports activities than any generation before us.
 

We’re living the life of Riley. We should be jumping with joy all day, every day, shouldn’t we?
 

Then why aren’t we?
 

There are a lot of reasons, but I’d like to pull up the most common ones.
 
 

#1: Negativity Bias

 

The first would be the evolutionary negativity bias we all carry around with us. I’ve published an entire video episode on the subject recently, so I’ll give you the link here and leave it at that.
 

It’s fairly obvious why this would dampen your mood, isn’t it? If you have ten good things going on but your genetic programming forces you to hone in on the one problem, it’s bound to affect your happiness levels.
 
 

#2: Habit

 

Number two is a little more subtle. It may sound strange, but we’re prone to defaulting to the mood that has become a habit.
 

I often say that being unhappy is just as much of a habit as being outrageously happy, and if you look around, you’ll see a lot of people just living out their lives without ever experiencing either extreme. We’re surrounded by “meh” people – often in our families, as well as the outside world – and so this is what we learn from childhood on.
 

limit
 

#3: Upper Limit

Gay Hendricks describes the “upper limit” of happiness people subconsciously allow themselves. Apparently, the habitual (see my previous point) level of feeling just about okay, feels safe to us. It’s familiar and therefore, comfortable.
 

This inner thermostat prevents us from feeling very happy – or very unhappy – for any extended periods of time. According to Hendricks, if something wonderful happens in our lives, we might feel overjoyed, but after a while the discomfort from being beyond our own Upper Limit kicks in and we subconsciously create or attract a situation that’ll regulate our happiness levels down to what we’ve come to see as “normal”.
 
 

Acute versus habitual (un)happiness

 

To avoid misunderstandings: I’m not saying we should always be blissfully happy. In fact, I’ve argued that that would be detrimental and unhealthy.
 

Going through happier-than-usual and also very unhappy periods in life is completely normal. If you’re in mourning or have just lost your job, got divorced, or are struggling with any misfortune in life, it’s normal and even good for you to fully experience the associated emotions.
 

Similarly, if you’ve just fallen in love or landed your dream job, you’re bound to be overjoyed for a while. Neither of these emotional extremes are better or worse than the other. What they have in common is that they’re bound to a particular situation or event in your life. As such they are also temporary.
 

What I’m talking about in this article is the way we feel outside such extraordinary circumstances. When our lives are ticking away, we still have a lot of reasons to be happy, objectively, but we might not feel the matching levels of happiness.
 
 

How to be happier outrageously happy

 

Now if you look at the above, you might notice that a lot of the things that makes us feel “meh” are fairly natural: habit, evolutionary burdens, the things we learn from the people around us from childhood onwards. By now, it should be fairly obvious that there’s nothing wrong with us if we’re not feeling happy all the time.
 

The point is that it’s possible to turn up the thermostat, to raise the Upper Limit and to create new, happier habits. It’s not something you learn overnight; instead, it requires a long-term commitment and many small steps. Here are a few to get you started.
 
 

1. New and shiny

Asked about the times they were the happiest in their lives, most people talk about special events such as getting married, travelling the world, having a child. It seems that humans thrive on the extraordinary and new. Therefore, make sure you do something new regularly! Try out a new hobby. Meet new people. Learn a new skill. It keeps you on your toes, preserves your mental flexibility, and it quite simply makes you outrageously happy.
 

outrageously happy
 

2. Passions

Do what lights you up. One of the reasons I centre my work around passions is that they are a key to everyday happiness. If you do something that gets you into the “flow”, that makes you forget time, it’s almost like you fall in love: You’re floating on a cloud and your happiness is off the charts.
 

3. Helping others

There are few things more fulfilling than helping our fellow human beings. We’re social animals, after all! Volunteer your time, get involved in a good cause. You needn’t limit yourself to humans, either: working with animals is immensely gratifying, too. If you’re short on time or opportunity, support a cause through online activisim or donations. I often help provide loans to woman in third-world countries through Kiva, and it gives me so much joy to read their success stories afterwards.
 

4. Wooing your senses

Make a conscious effort to indulge your five senses. Listen to your favourite music. Redecorate or create a corner in your house with all your favourite colours. Dress in natural fibres and enjoy the feeling of the textures on your skin. Wear your favourite perfume or get flowers whose scent you love. Eat and truly taste your favourite foods and drinks. There are few things that create more happiness hormones.
 

Pick one or more of the above techniques and apply them regularly. The important thing is to set yourself reminders in the calendar or on your phone in order to make them a habit. Gradually, you’ll feel the difference it makes, and eventually, you’ll spend quite a lot of time being, simply, outrageously happy.