So, you have two gold coins. They are the only gold coins you have in the whole wide world, so you hold them tightly in each fist. Then one day you actually meet the leprechaun at the end of the rainbow with his pot of gold.
He says to you, “Dip your hands in and you can keep as much gold as you can carry.” If you dip your hands in with your fists clenched, holding tightly to your two gold coins, how much gold can you scoop? Uh, none.
But if you open your hands, allowing those two gold coins to possibly slip out, how much gold can you scoop?
When you open your hands, you can hold so much more. When you close them tightly, there is no room for more than what you’ve already got.
I developed this little story to illustrate the “issues” many people have around money. Most of the time we cling to what we think money does for our status, and what we perceive money can do for us. I can’t tell you how many times a client will say, “I know I’m not happy in my job, but to do what I truly love I’d have to take a cut in pay!” Hmmmn. Perhaps. But doing what you love is, just like the commercial, priceless. And, remember this: do what you love, and the money will follow.
I was recently in a meeting when a man declared that his objective was to make $10,000 a day. Again, I thought, “Hmmmn.” Will $10,000 a day make you measurably happier than, say, $9,000 a day? Would you be even happier at $12,000 a day? Is there an end in sight, or will you always incrementalize your happiness – ‘til you get to the point where you can never make enough to be “happy”?
Can you tell me who’s got their gold coins grasped tightly in their fists?
I have the most wonderful CPA. His name is Stan Friedman, and I’ve worked with him for quite some time. Many years ago, Stan told me that he saw a direct correlation between how much clients give away and their income. When he told me that, I was intrigued and made an effort to look at how I allocated my money. And Stan was absolutely right. The more I gave away, the more I got. The happier I got, the less I felt I needed. And still, more came to me. It’s nutty!
Don’t get me wrong. It’s better to have a dollar in your pocket than have none. Having been in both situations, I can personally testify to that statement. Being paid what you’re worth is affirming, and having financial integrity is fulfilling.
But, when you give yourself the freedom to be generous, the world opens up to you. Generosity begets abundance. Don’t take my word for it — give it a try.
Clinging tightly to an idea that money = happiness… limits you. It restricts your access to the underpinnings of true happiness, which are, simply, doing what you love and are good at. You can’t help but be rewarded for that, my friends.