This blog is about touching millions, not making millions.It is about managing money, not chasing it. It is about a peaceful and happy life, not just a comfortable and luxurious living. It is about being the master of money, not its slave.
The money chase [Source]
In the name of managing money, I actually end up chasing it. If I have to chase something, it is not really in my control, is it? If I don’t control something, I cannot be its master. Between me and my money, money is the one that is manages me.
I chase money wanting more of it. Once I get more of it, I want some more. I grow my money through investments in the stock market, real estate mutual funds, emerging market funds, through arbitrage, gambling and other myriad ways. When it does grow, my sense of self importance, exclusiveness and entitlements grow with it. Then, I distance myself from my fellow human beings. I want to protect the money I have. I become morally corrupt and look for tax loopholes so I pay less or no tax at all. I develop disdain for the poor and the underprivileged and become blind to their needs. In the company of money, I worry. Worry a lot. Worry about securing the money I have, about losing it, about others taking it away from me. I trust people less and money more. I value everything only on the basis of money. In the company of money, I become truly lonely. “Me and my money” is a comfortable and at times a luxurious nightmare that robs me of mental peace.
Money brings many troubles in its wake. Don’t get me wrong. Money is needed to live well and do many useful things in life. But it should be understood for what it is. It is an essential tool for living. That is all it is, a tool and no more. It is a neutral tool – neither good nor bad but becomes good or bad depending on how I manage it or how I let it manage me. Money is not life and should not be taken as such. Life is more precious than all that money can buy.
Money makes many wrongs. It builds buildings but destroys families.It builds bridges but destroys the bridge of brotherhood of man. Relationships that should be harmonious otherwise break up over money. Father and sons quarrel, brothers part ways, old friends become strangers. Because man values money more than himself, money actually devalues man.
There is a reason why money has this destructive hold on man.
When I embrace money, I also embrace the five peace-robbers that come inseparable with it, says Srimad Bhagavatam. These are deceit and conceit, pride, aggressiveness, greed and enmity. [anrutam mdam kaamam rajah vairam – Srimad Bhagavatam 1.17.39]
How is it possible to be happy when I become deceptive, conceited, greedy, proud, ill-disposed and hostile to fellow human beings? This is what happens to me when I embrace money for its own sake. No wonder then that studies show that wealthy people are the unhappiest lot.
Consider this. The blood in my body has to circulate properly for the health of my body. The part of the body where there is no healthy circulation of blood will become unhealthy and sick only. Money is like the blood for the body of the society. It has to be kept in uninterrupted circulation for the health of the society. When I accumulate it and do not allow it to circulate from me, naturally I’ll be “sick”. I lose peace of mind and will be unhappy. I must not be the “money blood clot” in the society but must allow it to circulate to others. I must use the money I have to serve the needs of the underserved. Charity, generosity and such words do not capture this action of giving adequately. Sharing the wealth and resources I have with the needy is a natural necessity for my own peace of mind and happiness.
Money heart [Source]
Much is expected from him to whom much is given. Money can give me peace of mind only when I stop being its slave and begin to manage it as its master. I become its master when I’m unconcerned with it. When I use the money I have to fulfill the needs of the underserved, the poor, the sick and the hungry, then I truly deserve to have the money I have. I then conquer money and do not have the desire to chase it anymore. I then become a dhananjaya [vanquisher of the desire for wealth]
Basic tenets of money management for happiness and a peaceful life:
- Manage money – don’t be its slave
- Earn money righteously, wisely and smartly.
- Don’t waste money – spend it wisely
- Give money back to the society to serve the needy wholeheartedly
- Don’t chase money – let it come to you. It will, when you don’t chase it.
- Be wary of the peace-robbers that accompany money always – untruthfulness, pride, conceit, greed and enmity. Don’t be trapped by them. Be truthful, humble and contented.
- Morality is more powerful than money -apply it to manage and conquer money
- Heed the teachings of noble souls who warn of the dangers of money:
Love of money is sin – Jesus Christ
Money makes many wrongs, always. It does not offer even the slightest peace . This is the truth. [artham anartham bhaavaya nityam, naasti sukhalesas satyam] – Bhaja Govindam
Don’t struggle for money. Instead strive for Love – Sri Sathya Sai Baba
Accumulating money negates the essence of life [Sotthai sertu vaiththaal adhil saththu illai ]- Kanchi Maha Periva
Best wishes, dear reader, for a happy and peaceful journey in managing your money.