The best way to make money work for you

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(40 seconds to read)

Money influences government. But really, it influences almost everything. Because we like money.

Most everyone’s actions are fundamentally driven by it. Moneyed elite? They are elite because we like their money. Not because they’re elite by some inherent power from the money itself. Our reaction to money gives them their power.

It’s never been about us versus them, or them versus us. The class-warfare argument that divides us never seems to go away, because our love for money hasn’t gone away. But it’s never been about money.  It’s about how we value money.

It’s always been about us. All of us, as a human society.


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Less observation.

More participation.

 

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Not getting any love? I’ve got an answer for you.

Love your self

As I started my gratitude meditation, my cat came exploring around me. He sniffed my knees, then my hands which lay upon my knees. I watched him, thinking I would need to send him away, but I stopped, and let him climb up into my lap and find a place to settle there. He started purring after a second and I smiled and thought, “This is exactly what the gratitude meditation is about”.

Gratitude means showing some love. And that’s how you get the love.

Let me explain. In my gratitude meditation, I go through all the things we often overlook as we focus on the negatives in our lives. We can’t help it. It’s what drives us to be better people, but also it makes us depressed. It can turn us into unhappy seekers, always looking ahead to a future point, never satisfied, or maybe it can overwhelm us, as we see so much danger around us, that we never bother trying to get what we want.

So the gratitude meditation for me is usually a thanksgiving (without the huge coma-inducing meal to distract me) for what I tangibly have. The roof over my ahead, the dependable car, the job that allows me not to worry about my bills, and so on.

But a large part of gratitude is seeing that there are people in your life that care about you. These could be the unconditional investors in you, like your partner or parents, and maybe an old friend. But it also means the people who you bring value to in their lives. At work, you have an opportunity to be a contribution, not just in completing assignments, but in how you conduct yourself. Do you remember the person who is always on diligent and reliable so you can get your work done easily? What about the person who takes a moment to ask how you’re doing, how your week is going and shows interest in you?

Like a lot of things in life, what we have in hand is less important than the attention we are given and the appreciation we are shown. This morning, my meditation allowed me to not only reach the awareness of what positives things I have in my life that I overlook every day, but also the awareness that I need more than those things. And now I realize that the value we seek from others is something that comes from putting ourselves out there, and providing some value to them, too. A value that could come from a skill you develop, but also just showing interest in them first. Why?

Everyone’s favorite subject is themselves.

Just listen to most any conversation around you. “I’m doing this…I did that…I think that…” So if you find your gratitude waning in the love department, just ask yourself whether the love you think is lacking from others couldn’t be because you’re not putting any out there yourself.

A Valentine’s Life

Love your self

The search for love is universal. Some search knowingly, others unconsciously, but we all seek it. Biologically driven, sometimes mindful, other times careless, the search usually manifests outside of us. But true love is created internally. Even when we are in a couple, we are single, because the love we search for is built upon the love we must find in ourselves, for ourselves.

Love comes from a place of strength

We cannot use another’s love in place of our own. Love is needing someone, but still valuing his happiness over your own. Without that value, your feeling becomes just another want. Like wanting a box of chocolates or flowers. And that want comes from a place of selfishness, not self-esteem.

Learn to love yourself, then spread the love. Today, and every day.

We all need it.

TED Talk Tuesday: Surrounded by people, but alone on your island



Daniel Goleman talks about the importance of noticing others.  He takes us on a journey, starting with how seminary students help a man in need, to the mind of a serial killer, to the feasibility of compassionate consumerism.

“There’s a saying in Information Science: Ultimately, everyone will know everything. The question is, will it make a difference?”

Take the time to swim off of your island. Our connection with others and the mindfulness of where our purchases come from determines whether we are a collection of privileged consumers with the information of the world in our hands, or a grateful nation of responsible human beings, with the information we need in our heads.