Tag Archives: money

Day 441: Dealing with Pressure

This week I had a big and important meeting scheduled. It was supposed to last for several days and I had prepared myself for many days and hours. However, in a way I did not expect, the meeting was cancelled, and suddenly, all the plans I had created were changed. I noticed within me that I had built up a lot of pressure and energy in relation to the meeting – and when it was called off – I felt this burden lift from my shoulders. My body reacted with tiredness – and the following days I slept several hours more than what I am used to.

Hence – what did I learn from this event? That pressure is something that builds up incrementally and that it has a deep effect on the physical body – and that stress is also built up over time in such a way that I cannot see the heightened level of stress I am in because I have become accustomed to it – the stress have become normalized. It is thus really important to allow time, every day, for self-introspection, writing, self-forgiveness, and other activities that assist and support in letting go of built up energy. One of the best methods is focusing on breath and stopping the thoughts from wandering into the future – instead – one breath at a time – one step at a time.

I have also realized that stress comes up within me when I feel that much is at stake – and that is usually the case when I have a vested interest of some sort; primarily that tends to be money or career related – thus connected to survival. What helps me is to state that whatever the outcome – I will direct the point. Whether I lose my stakes or win the prize – I will find a way forward. I do not need to rely on a positive outcome to move forward – I will move forward regardless of the outcome. I disconnect myself from the stakes and make myself independent of the situation and able to deal with whatever might come. And probably – my fears all arise because I have placed my trust in money instead of in myself.

Thus I have to catch the moments of building stress to stop it from reaching a crescendo where I lose my ability to think clearly, sleep and function effectively. And in order for me to keep me in that stability – I have to check in with myself daily and be on the lookout for the type of thoughts that initiate this build-up. Usually for me these thoughts are about some form of failure or mistake – I will do something that is going to cause everything to fall together – or they are thoughts concerning the ‘What if?’ – what if everything goes badly? What if I do not know what I am going to do? What if? What if?

When it comes to failure – I have came to understand that I must allow myself to fail. It is a natural part of learning and expanding. The worst thing that I can do with failure is to not learn from it. And it is stupid to fear failure – because that is going to make me fearful and careful about venturing out into new opportunities and possibilities. I must embrace failure as a part of my life – because then I will not be afraid of trying new things and doing what I want to do.

And when it come to ‘What if’s?’ I understand that I can explore those endlessly. What does help is to establish the worst case scenario, mentally place myself in that situation and explore who I would be and how I would deal with it. Where would I go? What actions would I take? What kind of emotions and feelings would the situation initiate within me? And then clear all reactions utilizing self-forgiveness – so that if the situation does occur – I am stable within it and I can direct myself.

Pressure build-ups are not necessary if I effectively deal with and release the pressure by consistent and steadfast application. Then I can remain stable and the same regardless of the challenges that comes into my reality.


Day 432: Money as Motivator

Money is such a powerful motivator. I see and meet many individuals that are extremely motivated to raise their pile of money. They will do whatever it takes. Work for days and nights. Remove interests and hobbies from their life to solely focus on the money. My question in all of this is why we have not discovered that same motivation when it comes to making a positive difference in the world for ourselves and others. Why have we not harnessed this strong desire to improve, move and create, but for the betterment of everyone. The way I see it – we have no problem at all with motivation. The problem is what we become motivated about.

Money, career and status are seemingly natural stimulants for movement – and such movement is also supported by the system. If you give your life to money – the system is going to reward you with luxury. However – if you give your life to a cause that is creating unconditional value for others the financial aspect is going to be a struggle. You will get very little to no support. Even established NGO:s have difficulty making it in the world. And it is easy to blame the system for this condition – however we must remember that we are the system. We, the people, the consumers, the business owners, we are the bricks of the wall – and it is our decisions that have an impact in the world. Thus – there is this built in resistance towards contributing our money/time/energy to an unconditional improvement of our reality – we tend to want to have something in return – we want to personally get something out of it. And for example – what does it matter to us if we help save a animal species? It does not positively impact our living conditions.

The solution as I see is to start looking beyond our own personal lives. We must learn to have a broader and more expansive perspective. If we define our life as more than only our own body and our own immediate environment – then it makes sense to contribute resources to other things and places. If our life is the life of everyone – and our well-being is the well-being of everyone – what excuses and justifications would we then have to continue hiding ourselves in our small bubble and continue pretending as if only our own personal life is of importance?

And by changing our outlook on life this way we will reap one great benefit. We will be able to let go of that constant churning experience and state of survival – that otherwise haunt our every moment – because there will be more to life than only ourselves. And this brings me to a quote by Lau Tzu:

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

And furthermore – loving someone deeply makes you fearless. And is not this what most of us on a deep level really wants? We want to be at peace and content – with no fear and anxiety churning inside. Does not all of us want to have a substantial meaning and purpose and feel like we matter? And maybe that is also something many of us look for in career, money and status – we believe that by getting respect in the world system – we will be able to some day let go of our troubles and enjoy life. Too bad that it never gets to that point. The struggle goes on for a lifetime till we become too old to continue – and then – we eventually give up and hope that we will be able to rest in peace.

Consumerism and the desire to have more is but a symptom of our lack of substance – we try to fill the hole inside ourselves with superficial experiences – though it will not suffice. The way to tackle the problem is to actively start making changes in what we give priority – and here – money and motivation are two important aspects. We must learn to become masters of money instead of money mastering us – and learn to create and maintain motivation towards things that matter. And it does not happen by itself. Real movement takes effort and self-will – it is not something that just happens – and that is also why it is initially difficult. Though it is possible to get to the other side – where motivation becomes something we control and direct – and we take authority of our lives and start to make decisions as to what we want to do and who we want to be – and stop letting money make those decisions for us.


Day 430: Sparking Life in a Survival World

It can be challenging keeping the spark of life alive and growing as we become adults and enter into the survival system of the world. All around us is designed in the principle of survival. All of the words we hear, designed in the principle of survival. You put on the news, you hear about survival. The moments where you are allowed to for a moment just be yourself and enjoy a moment are very few. However – we cannot blame the world as it is. We have to learn how to live our spark of life within what we do – and also – to schedule in moments of unconditional expression into our lives – we must treat it as something important – something we need to blossom – and not see it just as any kind of hobby.

I would say that our desire to survive limits our ability to live with a spark. If we would be less concerned about survival, life would open up. There are so many things we avoid, so many things we do, so many things we want to do that we do not, because of, fear of survival. Children do not care about that. They are childlike and not yet afraid of death. We can learn a lot from them. However, it is important to be realistic. We cannot live and express the same as children, because adults, our realities expand and we are required to take on responsibilities. The trick is learning to live with a childlike spark and still remain functional in the adult world. And that is something I have been working a lot with.

I have realized that most of my dreams/visions for the future exist because I have suppressed my childlike expression in the moment. In my dreams, where I have for example gotten a particular position in my career, I feel alive, wholesome and content. And thus I strive to create that, believing that it is only by manifesting my dream that I will be able to feel that way. This is the mistake. The truth is that the dream is only a projection, a form of postponement – the real change is waiting to be made in every moment of every breath. Few children have dreams of the future – because they live fully in every moment. Why dream of something more when there is no lack in this very moment? It does not make sense. Hence – most dreams indicate that there is a state/condition of lack existing within self.

I am not saying that all dreams are bad. We live in a practical reality – and practical changes will have an impact on our well-being. Earning more money can for example open up possibilities – meeting a partner can be a gateway to new experiences. What makes dreams deceptive is when we believe that they will change our self-relationship – change the experience we have of ourselves in every moment. That is something we take with ourselves everywhere we go – and it cannot be changed by external forces. It is a job that must be done by ourselves.

In my process I have spent a lot of time decoding my dreams/visions to understand what they are showing to me about my expression. For example – when I greatly desire to buy new power tools – this tends to be because I have had a moment of unconditional expression/enjoyment working with wood. My mind then takes this expression and translates it into a energy/desire – and if I am not careful – I will start believing that the gateway to more enjoyment is by purchasing new things. The reality is that my enjoyment/expression is dependent upon me – and it is something that I open up and create – and for that I do not need a particular power tool. This is something I apply to all of my desires/visions/dreams – I look at what they are saying about me and whether it is a genuine and practical vision of the future that I have. A desire to travel abroad can for example imply that I do not accept and allow myself to live adventure/stimulation in my everyday life. And then instead of creating that to be a part of my life – I want to experience it by traveling to a different country.

If I go back to survival – my initial point. This is a system that suppress our expressions and our spark of life. Practically speaking, survival is necessary – however – from a life-perspective – survival is not the reason why we are here. Survival is a means to an end – it is not the end in itself – and that is important to remember when everything and everyone else in the world seems to be convinced that the only thing of importance in life is to survive.


 

Day 427: Money Talks

What makes people lose touch with their idealism and willingness to give? One prime factor is survival. We are all geared to ensure our survival, and we live in a environment where our survival is at all times threatened – now this makes for one consequential brew.

It is fascinating to see how this urge for survival and desire to expand our monetary empires takes precedence over things that really matter. How many of us spend time and energy on pursuing solutions that will bring forth a better world compared to how many spend time browsing the web for new things to buy? Solutions for all – something that matters – is for most of us less of a priority than ensuring our own monetary growth. And even if we have plenty of money – our tendency is still to continue the race for survival. Hence – somewhere in the evolution of man – something went wrong. We became bitten by the desire to consume, spend, use and throw away. This is I would say one of the main diseases we face in the world that is also contributing to environmental instability.

And how much time do we spend finding and researching to acquire help and direction for ourselves, compared to how much time, energy and focus we put into money? If we could use the same urgency, intensity and drive that we experience towards money and give it a useful direction – this world would be very different – we would be very different – everything would be different. I would love to live in such a world where all human beings come together to help and assist one another unconditionally. Where there would be no fear of survival, because we all had each others back. At the moment that is not the case. And when someone falls others rush to fill their spot. It is not strange that we are so gripped by fear of survival – because the consequences of not making it in the system – they are very real.

It is interesting to see that many of us believe that fear of survival and competition is useful and needed to keep the world moving forward. The belief exists that unless we would be able to compete and earn more money, nobody would seek to achieve anything. Development would stop and humanity fall backwards into stages of devolution. This belief proves how little we trust ourselves and our genuine passion and spark. Because I firmly believe that all of us have a spark – a desire to give – that is not motivated by money but by a higher purpose. I have experienced this many times. When composing music, I did so because of the fulfillment and enjoyment – not because I wanted to earn more money. And in my current job. My primary motivation is the fulfillment I experience when I help, support and stand by others in their time of need.

And if money would stop being our god, I believe we would be able to enter into an era of fulfillment. We would work because it fulfilled us – not because we had to, or because we were in fear of survival. At the moment – the only sign that such a life is possible can be found in the expression of children. They are not controlled by money. They are their own masters – and instead of existing in need of more – they are content with and create their life with what they have available.

Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

Lao Tzu

This quote is so simple and yet at the same time so expansive. It pin points one of the problems with western civilization. The belief that we need more to be content. The problem is not that we do not have enough. The problem is that we have not understood or practiced how to be content with what we have. Hence we are stuck in a constant search for more. The next gadget, the next relationship, the next journey, the next job, and in our minds, the next thing will be THE thing that is going to put our heart at rest. Though there is still this emptiness, that can be filled for moment, but that will return.

Hence, to wrap it up. Fear of survival, it is a fuel that keeps is constantly on the move, constantly trying to get ahead. However, what we miss is ourselves and our expression – or spark – and in our race for the finish line – we miss to be content with ourselves. In a world with content and relaxed people, life would be so much easier. Instead of fighting to get ahead – life would be about finding what is special about ourselves and how we can use that gift to contribute to society. And that is the society I want to live in.


 

Day 422: Using Money, With Common Sense

It can be easy to forget what is important in the face of money. On the hand, money is really, really important. If you have none – you are literally fucked. However, if you do have your basic needs covered, and money left over to spend on pleasures, then money becomes of less importance.

Because let us say that you have a ton of money, would that make you happier, more comfortable, more safe, have better relationships, be more satisfied? The truth is no – it would however enable you to live out all kind of crazy escapism strategies. What is the purchase of massive luxury yachts, the constant need for home renovating, the urgency to travel and see new places, to experience new kinds of foods, and have new experiences, but our attempts to cover up the truth – the truth that we all feel pretty fucked up – and that our world is pretty much fucked up.

Thus, when the basic needs are covered, and there are money to pursue hobbies and interests, the challenge becomes to keep focus on what is important, and not to become engulfed in the current consumerism capitalism system, where most of everything circles around some form of purchase. It is fascinating – I have seen this many times in myself. I have acquired new hobbies, such as gardening for example. And as I start to deepen my relationship to the interest, the desires start to emerge. Seemingly, I am now in need of a new kind of tool to prepare my garden, or a new type of soil, or seed, to make my hobby fulfilling. This is the lure of money – the belief that we constantly have to spend, to acquire, to purchase in order to fulfill ourselves, and our lives – but the reality is that money is not able to give us that fulfillment – it cannot be bought – it can only be lived.

Children show this to us effectively. They are little about the equipment, the stuff, the toys, and more about their experience within it, their expression, their movement, the relationships, the creativity, and all of the soft, ethereal values that can be explored without money. The challenge as an adult is to remember that. It is not about the money – it is about WHO WE ARE WITHIN WHAT WE DO.

Abundance of money can thus create attention diversion – where we without really wanting it or understanding what we do – start to focus more of ourselves on buying things instead of developing ourselves and our relationships. For example, we neglect our relationships with our children in order to work more, to buy more, to apparently, make ourselves more happy and content – and to create a better future for a children – while really all that our children would want is to spend more time with us when we are relaxed and content.

Money thus is a difficult point to master. The solution as I have found it is to focus on my expression, my expression, and my physical movement – to place focus on WHO I AM and not on what I own or what I want – and to find and establish fulfillment in my expression instead of in buying new things. And it is important to clarify our relationship to money, because in order to change ourselves, and to be a part of changing this reality, we have to use our money to facilitate such a change. We have to spend money to create a better world – and thus – push through our desire/urge to keep it all for ourselves and to use it to further our own interests only.

Muslims have found a good way to deal with this point. They give a percent of their income to people in need, they call it zakat. While it might not have worked in practice – it is a key to moving forward with all kinds of problems in the world. If we want to sort something out, we must fund it, we must give our money to a cause. For example, if we want to support nature, we must invest in nature. If we want to alleviate poverty – we must invest in poor people. And it is not enough to rely on the government to do this – our money must be given direction with awareness. Currently, most of us allow our money to trickle into all kinds of unnecessary and meaningless shit. If we take a self-honest look at what we are buying, it is easy to see that we do not need half of it – and that the money are needed elsewhere.

Thus, when we are able to create a stability in our finances, the challenge is to keep our direction, keep our stability, and to position ourselves to share, to give, and to influence, and impulse the direction/creation we want in this world. Nothing ever comes by itself, it we want it, we have to create it.


Day 413: Success

I am now reading a book about becoming successful – and there are a few points I have been pondering about how we tend to view the concept of success – generally speaking.

One of the first ideas of success that comes through in the book is that success is about becoming recognized. I find that having such an idea of success becomes limiting, because, when you strive to be recognized in all that you do, how are you then able to remember and remain with your own purpose/direction/stability? Secondly, if our success is determined by whether others determine it as success by recognizing us, have we then ever really been the creators of our success, and walked the process for and as ourselves, or have we just spent a lot of time trying to convince others to like us? The dangerous thing about success is thus the tendency to become completely engulfed in the energy/experience/feeling of being seen/recognized/famous – and earning a lot of money. Because when we are in that zone – it is so easy to forget about ourselves – and forget about what is real.

In this book, the main character lives and breaths creating success/money for himself. He begins his day at 0530 by working out and answering e-mails, and stops his work day by 2200. His entire day is booked with meetings, events, and performances, all intended to increase his fortunes and broaden his influence. And in the world system – this person is highly respected and is given much attention for his abilities. However – I would like to question – why we tend to give this type of living so much attention? Why is it that we glorify hard work and earning money, when in-fact, much of the important things in life has nothing to do with work? And how come we do not give the same super-hero status to mothers, that give birth, and work long, long hours taking care of their babies, and raising them to become adults, and handle all the housework, and make it possible for their men to have glorious careers in the world system? That part of life is many times forgotten, or it is not given the same value.

I would argue that it is because we have become fooled into defining success through money and fame. If we make money and become famous, we are automatically successful. However, what is success really? When I look at it within myself, what comes through is that success is a more simple concept. Success on a base level is accomplishing and bringing projects/aspects in our life to their fullest potential. It is not about money or fame – it is about investing and giving ourselves – and moving beyond our limitations – raise our standards and create more. Thus – success can be lived and experienced regardless where you are in life – regardless of where you live – regardless of what job you have. Success for the mother that stays at home with her children is to stand as her best self and be an example to her children – and to passionately nurture and care for them. Success for the farmer is to invest himself fully in his crops and cattle, and make sure that they have the best life possible, and that he produce nutritious food.

Success is thus not about where we are at – it is about WHO WE ARE – and it is not a objective and static concept. Becoming successful is different depending on who you ask. And that is why we should not glorify any one single person as some form of master of life. Everyone has something to bring to the table – we are all strong in some aspect of our life. And – a society is only as strong as its most vulnerable and desolate inhabitants – which is why we need to life all of us up and give room in the spotlight. Because when we only place attention on the people we deem to be successful by evaluating whether they are famous or have money – we miss so much. There are many others in society that have something to show – that is sidestepped and diminished – because they do not live up to the standards of the world system.

All of us deserve to be recognized for who we are – and all of us deserve to be able to live and share our success in the world – and not feel forced to take on a ready-made definition of success that is fluctuating in the system.


Day 408: Give and You Will Receive

I am oftentimes surprised seeing how much motivation, drive, ambition and devotion money can conjure. The moment we have an opportunity to make money, we become different. And it is also fascinating to see the way priority shifts the instance money is involved. Then we do not think twice about putting in the hours, the effort and the work. This is why capitalism appears to work and why we have concluded that it is enough and sufficient to build a society on the basis of greed. However, there is one massive problem with capitalism – it effectively shuts down any attempt at creating what is best for ALL life – because that is not economical. The very foundation of capitalism is that only one is able to win. It is about grabbing resources and transforming these into money – regardless of the consequences. In capitalism, consequences does not matter, only money measures level of success.

And thus, when information is shared, that people lack food, housing, proper sanitation, and medical care, this seldom arouses any interest in the majority of people. And that is because there is no money to be made. It is problematic that money has become our prime motivator. It is such a limited motivator. We value our effort, our progress, our successes and failures in money, however building a functional society is about much more than earning more money. For example, investing a lot of energy, effort and money in supporting the poor, and the least empowered members of society, that will initially be seen as a waste of money – however on a humanitarian level, and also, seen in a greater perspective, such an investment will bring about harmony, balance and a greater level of support between people. Somehow though, this seems to elude us, and instead we measure success with money and with very, very short time frames.

The people that support capitalism and that wants to further its domination are the same people that have managed to acquire a level of wealth and power. These also tend to be the same people that want to use more police, security and harder punishments to quell crime, and use threats and excommunications to solve homelessness, drug abuse and other socioeconomic disorders. These people also tend to become utterly surprised and dismayed when they themselves or their world comes into contact with the brute chaos caused by economic disparity – and blame the people causing this rift in their life. However – what is missed is that the world – society – is one unit. If only one individual is winning, that is going to cause a loss elsewhere in the system – and that loss is going to impact the effectiveness of the system as a whole. Hence – what we miss is the ability to look at the wholeness of the system – and see the cause and effect of our actions or inaction. And one of the most understated causes of suffering in this world is socioeconomic dis-empowerment.

The lack of money and the imbalance of money that is created by capitalism is the source of many, many problems, that could be avoided, if we would employ a more benevolent way of sharing our monies. In my own country of origin, we have successfully for many years managed to balance much of the income inequalities and invest in projects meant the strengthen the poor. It created a empowered middle class and a enormous leap in terms of the welfare of the greater population. I would say that to some extent we managed to create a sense of safety for the average human being – a sense that he or she would be taken care of if the worst would happen. Those days might be gone, however, the vision, and the documentation of what was created, that still exists, and that is able to be reproduced.

Investments in the poor looks like is misunderstood as a waste of money for the rich, however, it is an investment in society as a whole – and when society does great – we do great as individuals – that is the truth that must be accepted for us to be able to advance. If we would live in a world with empowered, educated, strong and self-willed people, with integrity, we would have a different world. For that to come to pass, we must rethink the way we distribute our incomes. Everyone must be allowed to come aboard the ship.