Many people are searching to find the answer of how to become a millionaire. Maybe it is with the “hot” stock pick for the week. Maybe it is with shopping for the best bargain. There have been success stories, however many more Americans are still deep in debt and feel that it is harder to get ahead. We have gotten stuck in an endless cycle of looking yet not finding the solution. Part of this is that we do not know what we really want. We may believe that we really want a new television, a $1 million or a house on the ocean. However, once we get this, will it be enough (what we really want)?
The answer is no. Money and things do not satisfy our soul, long-term. These things may bring us temporary happiness, yet over time the effects fad. Look at how electronics have evolved recently. You can be very happy that you got the top of the line television or computer a few years ago, only to be disappointed now because it is a technological dinosaur. Thus, we need more and more to have the same effect.
The secret to abundance is not that we should work hard, invest wisely and find the best deals so that we can keep up. Rather, we need to look within to find the real solution. We already know the answer to lasting happiness and abundance because it is already within us. Knowing how to invest and budget can help, yet the real answers to what we want (peace, love and joy) is not in money, it is in us.
1) Happiness starts within – When we look for happiness outside ourselves, we tend to need more and more to keep up. If the answer is “out there”, our happiness diminishes as what we have becomes obsolete. We may dream of having a small cottage on the lake and feel great as it is within our reach only to see our friend have a 3 bedroom house on the ocean beachfront and become envious. The key is to find what really makes us happy. It is not with things, rather what we believe these things we want can give us (such as house on the lake will bring peace). If living on the water brings you peace, you can find peace anywhere, whether or not you can afford the lakefront property. We may think that peace and happiness start with the lakefront property, when it really starts within us first.
2) Financial answers are within – We keep on reading financial books to try to find that missing link on why we just can not get ahead. However, many of the financial tips we already know. In particular, many people know that we should not live beyond our means. We would not work 22 hours a day (consistently) because we would be overcommitted and not have enough time to sleep. So, why do we spend more than we have? Spending beyond our means will just over commit ourselves where we will have no time to relax (or sleep) because we are worried about how to pay the bills. Just like over committing our time is a no-no that we quickly learn in life, why have we not learned as quickly that spending does the same? It is because we want to be happy. The answer is not in having more money to spend what we want, rather we need to find the answer to what it will take to be happy (see first step above).
3) Serving is the key to abundance – When we try to find ways to give less and have more, it is disrupting the “give and receive cycle”. When we give, we receive. Thus, if we give less, we receive less. People have not become abundant by sitting on the sidelines. They have become abundant by being of service. It is in being of service that we receive. The better we serve others, the more we tend to be rewarded for it. When we have more to give, we are more valuable to others.
What happens though is that we try to limit what we give (either in school, at work or other situations), only to limit what we receive.
4) Inner peace – When we are struggling to live day-to-day and stressed how to pay the bills, our energy is going to survival instead of abundance. When we are at financial peace, we can create an environment where we are creative and find the right opportunities. However, when we are stuck with a pile of bills a mile high worried about the bill collector coming, opportunities seem to pass us by.
5) Gut reaction – When we see something that is too good to be true, our gut tells us that it probably is. However, we can ignore our gut when we are desperate to find our prosperity in something out there (money) only to end up deeper in trouble by being conned.
When we search for abundance, we usually miss it because we are looking outside ourselves. When we realize our abundance where we are at, we become more efficient with what we have and receive more. What I mean is that we are not looking for the next gadget to make us happy because we already have what we need. We then are able to put money away for a rainy day (or retirement) and receive back more than we invested (due to compound interest). We are more peaceful and rested that we perform better in the work we do and receive more for our service. We are also able to evaluate opportunities in a relaxed manner where we are not rushed or desperate to jump on the next big thing that we make foolish decisions.
There is no big financial solution that is not within your reach because the solution is already within you.