Tag Archives: money

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.


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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.


 

Day 407: Corrupt Politics

I find politics pretty interesting. The thing I have such a difficulty wrapping my head around is how there can be several opinions on the best way to run society – and how the different parties are able to debate on these matters. From my point of view there should not be any conflict. We should be able to see and mathematically prove the best way of organizing society. We are able to do this with medicine, in physics and engineering, how come society should be so difficult? How come we have accepted the notion that when it comes to humanities, all types of opinions and ideas are in a way valid?

The only reason I can find as to why politics is so corrupted with opinions and so lacking in mathematics is because we, the voters, are possessed with our self-interest. We vote on the party and the view that best suits our fears and desires – and because what matters to us is our self-interest – all facts can be challenged and debated – shifted, turned and shredded – in order to fit the vision we have for our own life. It is pretty astounding that we are able to deceive ourselves to this extent – to believe that our politics are actually real, that they matter, and that they are based on rational ideologies – when it is in-fact just a mishmash of self-interest.

If the voters would be steered by common sense, there would not be conflicting parties and ideologies. There would be ONE party – the party that is dedicated to realizing practical politics that is best for all. And this ONE party would investigate each policy change by applying mathematics. It is not harder than that. It only becomes hard, difficult and complex when you a myriad of individualists only caring for their own self-interest. My hope is that we as humanity in the future will come together and define our life on the basis of this notion – what is best for all. I cringe when I hear people saying that the current lottery of life is simply ‘the way it is’ and when I see it in their eyes that they have accepted the current world setup as is. It is fascinating – that we believe everything must be the way that it is now – just because it has been so in the past. My take on it is that we could change our world pretty fast into a heaven – however that would need us to drop our self-interest, our excuses, our justifications, and give to support everyone, and not just ourselves.

The one realization that I have had, in terms of how society works, is that our society cannot be better than the worst of us. If we have people that have become abused, battered, left in poverty and misery – then this is going to create many serious consequences – also for those that manage to create somewhat of a good and comfortable life. So many things could be sorted out if we would decide to share the resources on earth equally between everyone and stop justifying why we should not. There is no right of ownership in reality – it is made up – and it is a abstract theory that has caused a lot of suffering – because people are being withheld the things they need to survive. And still – we all accept it – and most of us are terrified that ownership will disappear. And that is we communism is fought so fervently – it represents communal ownership and putting the commune before the individual.

Though I would say that the solution is neither in capitalism or in communism – the solution resides within each of us. If we all begin to care for one another and treat one another as we would like to be treated – we are going to build the foundation for a awesome world. And it will not be possible to wait for anyone else to do it first. We must be the front-runners. Those of us that are able to see that the our care and love must be lived in thought, word and deed – we must be the first to change and create our living according to the ideals we know are the best for everyone.

Thus – politics – it is a load of bullshit – unless it is mathematically tested and proven to create the best outcome for everyone. Ideologies is a load of crap, unless it is about mathematics. We can talk all day about liberalism and democracy – though unless we realize love for one another in the physical – it will be worth nothing. Hence – that is how I am going to work with politics in my life – it is will be my contribution to create a world that is best for everyone.


Day 405: Changing Perspective

In my life lately I have had some conflicts related to a contractor and the work that he has done. In summary – he did not do his job properly and I have been trying to come to an agreement with him on how to proceed. It did not work out – and I decided to move on without him. The entire situation has been a learning experience. At first – I viewed everything from my own individual stance. In that sense, it felt like I had been unjustly treated, harmed and that I held a right to be angry, frustrated and resentful towards the contractor. However – I worked with reactions and as I did the point of wanting to see and understand the greater pattern opened up – how this tendency of conflicts between contractors and consumers exists in society at large.

In my line work, I see this problem a lot. There are many problems that can arise when buying cars, houses or when you are building your house and hiring a contractor to do it. Massive faults and errors can occur shortly after the purchase. And oftentimes the only way for the disfavored party to get some money back is to sue or threaten to sue. However the court procedure is awfully ineffective and very expensive. Lawyers cost a lot of money and a good case does not necessarily mean that you are going to win. Hence – you are thrown into a form of casino.

I looked at why this pattern exists and I could see that the contractor is motivated by his own self-interest and fear of survival to take on as much work as possible, even though he is not qualified, and even though he might not have the time or interest to do it properly. The money system as it exist also push the contractor to be dishonest and make sure he or she receives the most amount of money for the least amount of cost/work – which then also create a imbalance towards the consumer that gets lesser quality compared to the value of his money. The consumer on the other exist in the different spectrum. Because of the money system and the survival mechanisms it exists within, the consumer will push the price as much as possible, so that he can get as much value as is possible for the money he puts into the purchase. In that sense, the consumer is equally trying to harm the contractor. It becomes a game of winning and losing – and sometimes you are on the winning side and other times you are on the losing side.

The consequence is that distrust and fear is created between people in the system. Everyone thinks that nobody cares about another – that it is every man for himself – and then they act the same. The fear of survival is a dangerous experience that cause people to act without integrity or humanity. And still we believe that fear of survival and the competition it creates is good for the economy – that it is good for economic growth. Nothing could be farther from the truth. For the average man on the street, this competition creates the world into a casino, where every larger transaction can either become a failure or success.

In a system where money would be ensured this problem would not exist. Imagine having no fear in the world that the contractor would not do his job to the best of his ability – and imagine being reassured that even though something went wrong – you would have plenty of help. In a system of true care and support – the situation that someone is left to their demise would not exist. And such a world is possible. We do not have to be satisfied and content with what is currently here. It is possible to create world that is best for everyone – where the contractor would have no fear of survival and express himself because building is his passion – and where the consumer has no fear of survival and plenty of money to support the contractor to become the best that he can be.

Thus – what I have learned is not to blame or get caught in the individual situations that occur in this world system – because the problem is always much bigger – it is systematic in nature. Looking at things as an individual limits us from seeing what is best for everyone – and from seeing solutions that will benefit everyone. It instead puts us in a state of survival – where we will do everything to win – at all costs.

Self-forgiveness

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to look at the system from a individual perspective – and the points that open up in my life as ‘my problems’ and thus react in blame, fear, anxiety, distress, anger, and want to win and fight for my existence – and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not take a step back and view the systematic error – to look at how the problem has been created and what is the actual cause and how it can be changed into a support for everyone – and thus approach things within oneness and equality instead of fear

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to get caught in blame because of the perceived injustices in my particular case, where I feel like I have not received that which I paid for – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to become dissatisfied, angry, and resentful, and only see things from my own limited perspective, instead of expanding my perspective, to view everything from a perspective of oneness and equality and what is best for all

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to get caught in blame and resentment because I feel like I have not been respected properly, and I have lost the game of the money system, and now I am the loser – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to put the focus on me personally, to take it personally, to react personally, and forget about the other party, forget about the small situations and decisions that led up to this point, to not look at the system in its entirety and how it is designed to create situations as this one, because it is not built to facilitate mutually beneficial human relations

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to react towards and define the word loser as something bad and negative, and react when I perceive myself as being a loser, thinking that it is something shameful and bad, and that I have to immediately take back the ground lost by attacking and moving myself fast to destroy the opposition so that I can feel like a winner again – and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not remind myself that winner and loser, these are human concepts, based on the notion of competition and that it is possible to put a value on someone based on the outcome in the competition – however in reality we are all equal in flesh and blood – and we are all of the one and same substance – the dirt of the earth – and thus the idea of a competition and the notion of a winner and a loser is a mind fuck

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not find a solution that benefits everyone – and to even though there has been many ripples, conflicts and emotions, to find a way out that is best for all, a direction that works – and to use this as an opportunity to practice my ability to forgive, to embrace and to let go – because I see, realize and understand, that I can only ever hold something against myself

Self-commitment statements

I commit myself to embrace the world, to embrace the fucked up situation that exists when it comes to contractors and consumers, to embrace and forgive, and move in this world, but not of this world – and to find solutions that works and that brings through the respect for life that is equal in everyone – and thus I commit myself to stop taking things personally – to forgive and let go – and instead build on solutions that are best for all

I commit myself to make decisions in stability – to not accept and allow myself to become worked up and haste – but to slow down and to find solutions and ways to go about the situation that is effective and that creates a mutually effective outcome that is best for everyone involved


Day 402: Consequences of being a miser

I have lately been working with anxiety/fear in relation to money. This time the fear came up in relation to the house my partner and I have built – because we have started noticing a couple of mistakes. They are not serious errors. However they will cost a bit of money to fix – and some of them might potentially be harmful for the house in a long-term context. It was the latter kind of mistake that triggered my anxiety.

Primarily the anxiety I experience is a fear of losing money/financial assets – which would be the case if I would have to make a big reparation on the house in the future. Another part of the experience is that I feel stupid, and that I judge myself, because I think that I should have been able to see this coming and prevented it. Thus – experience is a combination of on the one hand fear, and on the other hand self-judgment. On top of, or on the side of this primary experience, exists resentment/judgment towards the contractor that we hired. I feel betrayed and disrespected.

There is a myriad of experiences – and this tends to happen when some part of the physical structure in my life is harmed or collapses. It is one of my weak spots. In writing about this point I have realized a couple of things. I have understood that I cannot judge myself for the mistakes I did in the past – it is of no use and will not lead anywhere – and apart from that I was not even able to understand the problems and issues back when the house was built. I have also realized that value of connecting to people that I see have integrity and backbone – and be more careful about who I select and decide upon to come into my life. Further – I have seen that I have to be more decisive and strict when it comes to following through on what I see is common sense – and dare to stand by what I see – and not be comforted by others who are less interested in wanting things to be the best.

I have also understood that when it comes to services, you get what you pay for. And that it is stupid to pay less in the belief that you get more. When it comes to big investments that are supposed to be used for a long time – it is worth to spend a lot of money to make sure you get an effective result. It is better to save money by not spending them on things that I do not need – and then – using the money – and the required amount of it – on the things that I need – rather than compromising the purchases of things that I do need.

Thus – here comes self-forgiveness and self-commitment statements:

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be a miser when it comes to purchasing things that I need and require to live a functional and effective life – and believe that I can save money and still get effective quality – and within this I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that I am going to have to face the consequences of my decisions later on by accepting and allowing myself to compromise, and not buy, purchase, the kind of quality I need.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be afraid of investing money in quality – instead of seeing, realizing and understand that I will have great use of this quality, and that it will support me, and enhance my life, and that this is why I have money to begin with – if I only pile my money and save them up for a rainy day, I will not be able to create and effective and functional life for myself.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to judge myself for making mistakes when it comes to money, and judge myself for having to spend money on correcting mistakes and errors, and thus I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to be hard on myself, instead of forgiving myself for my past errors and moving on and creating my life with the understandings I have acquired.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to not see, realize and understand that acquiring good products and services requires money, that creating things that I want in this world requires money, that nothing is for free – and that I have been duped into thinking that I can make a great deal – because there is always the fine print – and hence I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to educate myself when it comes to using and investing money – to not accept and allow myself to exist within and as a state of fear and anxiety – but to rather be rational, cool, level-headed and act with the base understanding that I will get what I pay for

I commit myself to use my money without fear and anxiety, without wanting to save in the belief that I will get more out of the purchase – and thus I commit myself to use my money to enhance and empower myself and to create a better life for myself and others.

I commit myself to not judge myself for the mistakes I have made with money – and I see, realize and understand that the only way to learn is by allowing myself to try, to test out, and to use money, to buy things, and to see what the consequences are, like I have done in this case – and then change myself when I see that my way of creating does not have the outflow of what is best for everyone involved.

I commit myself to educate myself when it comes to money and learn to use it in a way that is best for all and that fosters the creation of a world that I want to see – and dare to invest and spend money in things that I see are best – and understanding that spending money is not the same as wasting money – because I will get something in return when I make an investment


 

Day 378: Are Our Values Misaligned?

The Soccer World Cup of 2018 gives rise to many questions and it also answers many of them. For example – I now know why we have difficulty creating healthy and sustainable living conditions for everyone on this planet. It is because we do not care. How do I know? I know because we would rather spend several billions of dollars on creating a soccer cup, which is nothing but pure entertainment. There is absolutely no need that justifies arranging a world cup in soccer – it is motivated by our desire. We should not be surprised that this world is a horrible place for many animals and humans. It is that way because we do not have the discipline to commit time, effort and resources to create solutions. We instead devote our resources to entertainment.

The world cup highlights what is problematic about the current human condition. We do not have the ability to use common sense, we do not have the ability to prioritize our resources and our time, we do not have the ability to be empathic and place ourselves in the shoes of another, and we do not have the ability to live by principles. That is what the world cup is showing us, that we would rather prioritize what we desire before that which be of benefit to everyone. Thus – when shit goes sour in our world – there is no point in complaining or wondering why things could not become better, why is there no politician or leader out there that can do something about this? There are none – we have decided that this is how we want things to be. If we would be serious about really fixing problems, we would have devoted the money going into the world cup, to for example, providing effective sanitation for everyone in the world.

Bringing water and sanitation to everyone in the world would cost $10 billion a year according to Richard Jolly, chairman of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, sponsored by the W.H.O. (see article here https://www.nytimes.com/2000/11/23/world/price-of-safe-water-for-all-10-billion-and-the-will-to-provide-it.html). The 2018 FIFA World Cup is estimated to cost $14.2 billion (see article here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economics_of_the_FIFA_World_Cup). Consequently, if we decided to miss out on one FIFA world cup and spend that money on providing water and sanitation – that would make a BIG difference for many. According to W.H.O. Inadequate sanitation is estimated to cause 280 000 diarrhoeal deaths annually and is a major factor in several neglected tropical diseases, including intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, and trachoma. Poor sanitation also contributes to malnutrition (http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sanitation).

When put on paper like this, it is obvious that it does not make any sense. No one in their right mind can justify spending 280 000 lives to watch world class soccer for a couple of weeks. Yet still, we do it.

There is no mystery to understanding why the world looks like it does. It is like this because we do not care. There is no mystery in understanding why there is not enough movement to change things. There is no such movement because we do not care. We simply do not care enough about ourselves, our neighbors, our environment, our country or our world – we care about – SOCCER, ALCOHOL, HOBBIES, ENJOYMENT, PLEASURE and ENTERTAINMENT.

It might feel overwhelming to look at the world and see the disarray. It might feel as if there is no point to attempting to do anything about it. However – the point is that someone must begin. Someone must be the first to step up and make the necessary changes. If we wait for the mass to change before we do, then expect that everyone else is waiting for the same thing. The consequence of such a waiting game is that nothing ever happens. Status quo exists because we have been waiting for someone else, a leader, a movement, a organization, an external push and drive – that will not happen. If we want things to change – we must make it happen – firstly – in our individual lives. Where are we spending money on entertainment and pleasure instead of tending to our own and our families basic needs? Where in our lives are we making decisions with money that does not make any sense? When our personal lives have been given direction – we can turn outwards to start dealing with the bigger system and the major flaws that exist there.