Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Wonger-Block

Our attitudes toward money are often complex, and (as is the way with the humans) often in ways that don't serve us well. I've been experimenting with a little technique in my own life, and it has worked wonders for me. I'm now using it with clients, and today I thought I'd share it with you too.

I've written about money being power and about how, in a limited sense, money can buy you happiness.

But sometimes we find it hard to give ourselves permission to spend money. We may feel some purchase are frivolous, or that we don't deserve something, or (and this is more common as you get older) you may feel that things just cost too much, and so you refuse to pay as a kind of protest. This may mean that you're losing out on opportunities for happiness in life.

So here's the technique. Think of something in your life which you  routinely spend money on. I mean something that you don't even think about not spending money on. Examples might be your favourite cosmetic or beer or petrol or your favourite snack in your local coffee bar. It should be something which costs a few pounds. I'll choose a pint of Stella Artois beer.  Now, define a new unit of value - I'll call mine one stella. Now, when you're considering what to buy and what not to buy, don't think in terms of pounds, think instead of your new unit of value. What this does is to connect two parts of your brain which were previously separate. It brings cross-checking to your internal (and usually unconscious) values system. As a consequence, you get better answers from your noggin.

So, if you're a bloke, and you resent buying flowers (sorry about the gender stereotyping) then see that £6 bunch of flowers and being a two stella bunch of flowers. Do you feel different about buying it now? I bet you do.

I've found this works in all kinds of surprising ways. Wherever you think money, think your new unit of value instead, and watch your mindset change. I think you'll see improvements in your happiness, as you let go of your prejudices towards spending.

Oh - this just occurred to me. It's outrageous plugging, but hey - how much is my £60 fee in your new unit of value?

Call me, baby :oP

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