In North America — as a general rule — our individual human worth is culturally conditioned to equate to our net worth. Perhaps because we equate money with reward and reward with success. This mindset obscures our perspective that nothing tangible can affect our true value to life. Even in the slightest. Ask your spouse why they married you, your mom what she most appreciates about you or your child why they love you and — if they’re being genuine — they will most likely not mention the word money or anything it can buy.
So why all the stress when we mention the word recession?
It is not the economy or our financial situation that is causing sleepless nights, or the major feeling of stress in our lives, it is what a loss or lack of money means to us…that we will become poor, that we have failed, etc. Our anxiety and emotion around money provides an opportunity to check in with ourselves regarding thoughts that we are attaching to, deeper issues that are directing – or controlling our sense of self when the hobbled economy is the subject of the day (or year).
What may help us move to a more peaceful place is to take stock of what makes us feel wealthy, what we can’t live without, what cannot be replaced. As one famous anonymous quote states: “If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy.”
Here is a list of questions to get you started. Don’t just react to them, really go inward and see what you come up with:
- What do you look more forward to, pay-day every two weeks or seeing a loved one at the end of the day?
- What feels better to you, a hug or wearing a new article of clothing?
- Why do you do the work you do? What is the true pay-off for working?
Think about when you’ve been most joyful in your life, what was the root of that joy?
If you really look inward I’m confident you will come to realize — perhaps even deeply — that true wealth in life comes from our humanity and exchanging and engaging with others – not from the things we acquire.