An excerpt from Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace with Your Money
Here is a list of five steps you can take, starting today, that will get you into the flow of Happy Money:
1. Shift out of the scarcity mind-set.
Each person has the ability to choose what kind of money mind-set they want to live with. That is why the first step to Happy Money is to get yourself into an abundant mind-set. Until now we have been taught to believe that money is scarce and that we have to get it before someone else does. We have become a culture that is obsessed with money. We are so focused on the amount of money that we do or don’t have that it cuts off our potential for a great life.
Why? Because we automatically assume that we won’t be able to make a living if we take a risk and go for what we really want. The concept that there is not enough in the world makes us feel small and less generous. Don’t let your mind-set limit your life’s potential. If you have an abundant mind-set, you start seeing new possibilities, you become more creative, and you become more capable of responding to difficulties in life. You free yourself to create your own destiny.
2. Forgive and heal your money wounds.
We know that our attitudes about money are mostly inherited. And the people whom we inherited those ideas from also inherited theirs. But you won’t get to Happy Money if you let this become cause for resentment. The people who went before you were young, inexperienced, and prone to all sorts of mistakes. You know this because you have been there too.
Imagine the situation that your parents were in. They acted out of fear because they didn’t know any other way. They did what they had to do. If you can sympathize with their situation and their humanity, you can begin to understand why they made the mistakes they did. Then you can forgive them, and when you do, your heart will feel lighter. You can break the cycle of Unhappy Money by forgiving others and, just as importantly, by forgiving yourself for the mistakes you’ve made.
You can set the tone for a new era of Happy Money when you forgive and begin the process of healing. When we make peace with the past, those wounds cease to be an obstacle to our present happiness, and money stops feeling like a mysterious, uncontrollable force. That is what gives us the freedom to find the Happy Money flow that works for us.
3. Discover your gifts and get into the flow of Happy Money.
Everyone is born with certain gifts. Some people find them when they are young; others may need time to search. Uncovering your talents, and finding what brings you joy, is one of the most important things in life.
If you are no longer burdened by the past, you will be surprised at how quickly your talents will be revealed to you. When you take an inventory of your life, all the dots begin to connect. Getting into a state of flow will become second nature. Difficulty and struggles will transform into fun and adventure right before your eyes. When you start sharing your gifts with the world, you kick-start the flow of Happy Money. Knowing who you are and where you feel most alive is what creates the groundwork for trust, because you have nothing to hide from.
The more you develop your gifts and the more you share your gifts, the more Happy Money you will attract. People who are successful in all kinds of fields credit their success to a love for what they do.
4. Trust Life
Trust is a major part of a happy state of being. Once you can truly trust in yourself and in those around you, life gets so much easier. Those everyday anxieties about the future begin to fade away. When everyone is looking out for each other with hearts and minds of abundance, we all become free to share and receive all the great things that money can do. There is no fear of what might happen in the future, because we know that we can count on people, and they can count on us.
Trust and fear cannot coexist. It is one or the other. Trust makes us more active, creative and free, whereas fear stifles our actions, counters our intentions, and creates resentment. When we trust, we are free from expectations. Risk no longer feels like risk. Almost all the things that we worried would turn out terribly actually turn out to be some of the most positive things in our lives. The “bad” things that have happened to us end up working in our favor.
We know that everything that happens, positive or negative, will end up working out to support our lives in its own unique way. This is what frees us from the paralyzing anxiety of judging things in our lives as “good” and “bad.” That is why trusting people are more passionate and successful.
When we trust, we are able to become our authentic selves.
5. Say arigato (thank you) all the time.
A world of Happy Money looks like a world in which everyone is continually expressing a deep appreciation for the energy that flows through their lives. A willingness to give and receive, rather than keep a tight clutch on what we have, is what creates the conditions for Happy Money. The positive energy of gratitude works for us and invites more money into our lives.
There are two kinds of people: those who are outwardly appreciative and those who always find something to blame or complain about. Which do you think is a more magnetic personality?
People who appreciate life are more liked, more approachable, and more attractive. As a result, they invite all kinds of opportunities into their lives.
We know that there will be times when things don’t go exactly as we planned. But a heart that says arigato in the face of it all gives us an inner resolve that navigates us right through all kinds of rough waters.
So take every chance you get to show your gratitude. Show appreciation for yourself. If you live in the flow of gratitude, your life will be full of unexpected miracles. When we are in this kind of flow with our inner self, and with those around us, we live with Happy Money!