Live blog from the Money seminar

Chinese Finger Trap 2

For weeks we’ve been enquiring about the “money trap” and in the last session the trap was fully sprung.

“You’re never getting out of the money trap,” to paraphrase the seminar leader, “so give up the struggling, the working-towards, the overcoming.” All striving is in the realm of “more, better, different”, ie, just different versions of the same, different versions of the past. Like Chinese fingercuffs, the more one resists the tighter the trap’s hold. The only way to free oneself is to push into it. Go into the trap, not away from it.

And what is the money trap exactly? The story that there will never be enough. One participant described it perfectly (shared here with his permission).

*

He’s the founder of a company, and seven years ago when he did the Landmark Forum he was seriously in debt. He named a huge figure. “At that time, I had nothing left to lose. There was nowhere else to go.”

Fast forward seven years and his company is successful, and for the first time, he said, the question of paying dividends to directors had come up. So, indeed, he’d recently received a dividend payment equivalent to the yearly salary of someone on a moderate salary. Not only that, he said, there was plenty of cash left on the company’s books and the staff were all taken care of.

Then, last week, he’d been coming back from an overseas trip to Singapore and in a duty-free shop at the airport he saw a watch he liked. It was 245 Singapore dollars. As he looked at it, he was telling himself,  I don’t know … should I buy it? Do I really need it? Can I afford it?

After a few moments, he saw himself thinking these thoughts and suddenly he got the absurdity of it. “No matter how good the dividend, no matter how successful the business, it’s always going to be not enough.” And he laughed and bought the watch.

*

Every time in the last week I’ve been thinking about getting agitated about money, I’ve reminded myself, “Oh, right, this is the money trap again. There will never be enough.” As soon as I think it, all the tension falls away and suddenly I’m free. In the space, I’ve created several “money” projects that excite me and I’ve taken the first steps to bringing them about.

Suddenly, I have enough, I am enough. Because as the close reader may have heard in these money posts, in the seminar and in our lives, money stands in for who I am. When we’re telling ourselves, “There’ll never be enough”, what’s underneath is “I’ll never be enough”.

Money is a question of being. Consider there is enough, you have enough, you are enough.

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5 thoughts on “Live blog from the Money seminar

  1. Some 25 years ago I saw a ring I liked but struggled about buying it. My 6 y/o son said. “Buy it dad. You never buy anything for yourself.” I wear it daily.

    At Heathrow I noticed it was gone from my finger. Thought I had lost it. Came to terms with it.

    Fast forward… Hanging up my travel vest I feel something in a pocket. The ring had fallen in the pocket as I put in or took something out.

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  2. Money is just another form of energy. It does carry with it a big charge (pardon the pun), but it’s nothing more than a form of exchange. We do personalize it–equate it with ourselves and our own self worth. You’re so right. People uptight with money are uptight people. :)

    When I was teaching a social problems course, I asked my students to write a paper. The topic was: If you could change one thing about out society to improve it, what would it be and why. I was grading papers and my son (about 10 years old) asked me what I was doing. I asked him the same question. He thought for a few minutes and said: “I’d get rid of money and just live on the barter system. I think it’s more fair to more people. You wouldn’t have so many rich and poor people, just lots of people using their talents working together to help each other out.” There are a few problems with any proposed solution to a society as complex as our, but I was both surprised and impressed.

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