Although poor investment choices and shoddy money management habits pose some of the greatest risks to your long term financial security, an additional risk that’s not often considered is the risk our over demanding egos pose to our financial freedom.
It's the ego that wants us to believe that we are how much money we make, the job title we hold, the type of clothes we wear, the home we live in or the car we drive. It’s the ego that demands we compare ourselves to our colleagues, neighbors, family members and even celebrities. The ego has us continually striving yet never quite arriving. And most toxic of all, it’s the ego that convinces us our self-worth is linked indelibly to our net-worth.
Liberate Yourself in 2012
The bad news is that our egos will not give up without a very strong fight. The good news is, once you get even a little taste of what it feels like not to have your ego be the master of your relationship with money, you’ll be hooked.
One of the best tools for liberating yourself from an over demanding ego is to play the role of observer in your life. Instead of making unconscious financial decisions, step back and as objectively as possible, observe the choice you're about to make and ask yourself, how much of my decision to make this purchase has to do with satisfying the demands of my ego?
Our minds fret continually about an unlimited number of desires that can never be adequately fulfilled. We can give our bodies great pleasure, offer it fancy sports cars and delectable gourmet meals; luxury homes on top of the hill, designer clothes and every other imaginable delight. Yet the next morning, after the oh-so-sweet but temporary pleasure of making the purchase has worn off - guess what? Your mind has a new list of demands taped to your forehead, asking for more and more of what it can never get enough of. This is the nature of the mind, which is ruled by the ego and which you must liberate yourself from if financial freedom is to be your destiny.
Transformation is an Inside Job
Being a slave to the demands of our ego is what most often causes us to stress and worry about money and our financial security. The ego wants more of everything and has an insatiable appetite. To feel authentic financial freedom, we need to liberate ourselves from what we think we should do and instead move to a place where our decisions around how we save, spend and earn money are coming from a conscious place.
Speaking as someone that spent years doing this inner-work and questioning every assumption I had around money, I can tell you this from my heart. This is inner-warrior work. It takes radical humility, commitment to change and intense courage and discipline to succeed. It’s a journey that begins with a burning desire to want to be free.
In my radically humble opinion, there is no greater gift you can give to yourself this holiday season than a commitment that 2012 is the year you will set yourself free.
“The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively” - Bob Marley
Image credit Mike Cogh