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Don't Focus On Money, Focus On The Feelings Money Will Bring

Don't Focus On Money, Focus On The Feelings Money Will Bring

Welcome to another edition of my Weekly Journal! I use this space to share about my journey from lawyer to jewelry business owner. In this week's journal entry, I'm writing about a topic we all can relate to: career and money. I have this book called One Day My Soul Just Opened Up by Iyanla Vanzant, which is a daily devotional book. Each day the author offers a couple of pages on a principle you might want to think deeper about and implement into your daily life like surrender, service, prayer, compassion, and so on. Day 14 is entitled "Freedom" and this passage jumped off the page at me:

Most of my life I thought I wanted money. I believed that if I had money to do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it, I would be deliriously happy and free. As a child and as an adult, I have often heard myself self, "Boy! I wish I had a million dollars." I thought that would be my ticket to freedom. One day I woke up with those same thoughts floating around in my mind, and by the end of the day I had $1.1 million. It was a short time later that I realized it was not the money that I actually wanted. My true desire was for the freedom I thought the money would bring. It was too late! I had the money and all of the obligations that came along with earning it.

Wow. That is a game-changing perspective. I got chills when she said, "It was a short time later that I realized it was not the money that I actually wanted. My true desire was for the freedom I thought the money would bring." That right there is the way you need to look at money and, by extension, career. It is NOT about the money. It is about what the money will bring or help us achieve. We get so caught up in dollars and cents and bills and financial goals, that we sometimes lose sight of that. We lose sight of why we actually need and want money.

The truth of the matter is, most of us don't need to be multi-millionaires to live our dreams. Don't believe me? Try playing the abundance game, sometimes referred to as the prosperity game. You can Google it to see what it's all about, or click here to read about it. But basically, each day your money grows and you have to list out how you would spend it (aside from your rent or mortgage and basic bills). It wasn't long before I struggled to find ways to spend the money! You'll learn other things about your views around money if you play the game, but the one thing that stands out is that you don't really need to be a multi-millionaire to live the way you want to live. That, in and of itself, is a very freeing idea.

Quite incorrectly, we are taught by society, or our university, or our parents to strive for the best job with the best salary we can obtain, when really we should be taught to strive for the feelings we think that salary will bring. What would those be? Namely, they are freedom, security, and stability (and maybe a few others personal to you). And the truth of the matter is, freedom, security, and stability are NOT found in money and they are available to you REGARDLESS of how much money you make. Huh? Yep, that's right. The disconnect occurs when you think you can only get freedom, security, and stability through money. 

So, let's get practical here and talk about what that really means. Is the new career or job you're dreaming about going to be more fulfilling, and therefore bring you more joy and internal peace? That's stability right there. Mental stability. And mental stability is a lot more valuable than boatloads of money in the bank. For one, you can't buy mental health or physical health. Health is arguably the most valuable form of abundance.

Here's another example. Is the new career or job going to make use of your God-given talents and gifts which you aren't using in your current job? If you answered yes, that's security right there. Let me explain. When you use the talents, gifts, and skills you were born with, you are working from a place of service (i.e. how can I best serve the world with the special skills I have?). This is the opposite of working from a place of "I need a paycheck." When you build a career around the gifts that come naturally to you, you're going to excel more quickly, more easily, and face less risk of layoff. And even if you do face a job cut, you're likely going to gain a new one quickly. Job security doesn't mean "I have a job with this employer forever." No, no. Job security means "I naturally excel in this field because of my God-given talents and skills and therefore even if my employer goes bankrupt through no fault of my own, I will find a new job in this field quickly because I'm naturally great at it." That's security right there.

Now here's the kicker. Ironically, when you approach career and work from this perspective, the money follows! It's amazing. Almost like magic. It doesn't happen overnight and some patience is needed, but when you commit to work that's in alignment with YOU, the money follows naturally.  

If you want to make a career or job change of some sort and you are hung up on the money issues that are involved in the decision, try changing your focus. Try changing your perspective. What are you chasing? Paychecks? Or real feelings of stability and security and freedom for the long-term? Always prioritize the latter. The money will take care of itself. Trust me. I am living proof of this through my decision to quit my 11-year career as an attorney in 2017 to start grace + hudson.

If you'd like my Weekly Journal sent straight to your inbox every week, click here to subscribe. I hope you're able to learn something from my experience and also my mistakes!

P.S. Are you on Pinterest? I'm in the process of creating a Weekly Journal board on Pinterest so you can easily navigate all of my journal entries. I only have a few weekly journal entries on the board right now, but I'm adding more on a daily basis. You can view and follow the board by clicking here. I've written so much about quitting my lawyer job to start g+h over the past couple years and I want to make it easier for you to read the entries that resonate most!


Comments on this post (1)

  • Jan 31, 2023

    Thank you Stacy! Here’s a quote that an old Atlanta friend of mine chimed to me years ago “If you want to make money, focus. If you want to experience life, don’t focus”. I fully understood what he meant.

    — Fred

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