Could mindfulness make you perfectly wealthy – without more money?

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WHEN I WAS STILL working in advertising and mindlessly chasing money, success and social status (like everyone else I knew) I truly thought that money would make me happy. If only I had more of it… I would be someone of value and thus feel happier.

More work, more stress

But to my utter frustration, this never happened. The more I worked and the more I earned, the more stressed I became and the more money I needed to spend on expensive holidays to catch my breath. Only then I’d completely wind down and feel totally relaxed and happy… to fall victim to panic and stress the day I walked into my agency again. Within minutes my precious and costly relaxation would evaporate and I would soon find myself looking for flight tickets to some other exotic destination.

Earning more money, only to spend it on lowering increasing stress levels

If this sounds like quite an absurd scenario… it seems that most people are perfectly cool with going through their lives in this senseless way – earning money in a stressful job only to spend that money on experiences that promise to relieve that stress.

Thinking that money makes happy is a psychological trap. No matter how much you earn, how much you buy, how much you own – the disease of more-more-more never goes away.

Money is not wealth

With mindfulness I came to understand that money is not wealth – in the same way that owning a lot of stuff is not being wealthy.

Wealth is found in valuable experiences. With money, we buy the experience of being special and different, and we feel that when we’re driving a sports car, or swimming with dolphins, or climbing Mount Everest, or buying expensive clothes.

Blindly exchanging negative experiences for positive experiences

And in order to have these experiences, we are willing to undergo highly negative experiences, such as working a dull, uninspiring job, or working a highly demanding job that stresses you out, or working for ignorant clients who don’t take your advice and only frustrate you (like I did), or staying in a cold marriage just for monetary security.

Earning money is not the same as building wealth

Yes, you’ll have money allright. But you’re not quite building wealth, are you? Because with the money you’ve earned in such a hard, humiliating way, you need to buy experiences which have to compensate for the burning pain of exhaustion and worthlessness deep down inside.

The ways you earn and spend money must be aligned

Since I became burned out, left my agency, and surrendered to the wisdom of mindfulness, I started to work towards a healthy balance between the way I earn money and the way I spend it. Thanks to mindfulness I understood that these two ways need to be aligned with one another.

And so I resolved to earn money only through positive experiences and to spend it on positive experiences.

No longer did I allow myself to earn money by going through negative experiences that left me feeling ethically corrupted by heartily disliking my clients but still cashing their cheques.

From then on I wanted to make money only on my terms, with work that would nurture my creativity rather than drain it, all the while adding to my personal health and happiness.

Since that resolve, my life has changed beyond belief.

I’m not making nearly as much money as I used to do when I was still running my own advertising agency. But changing my attitude towards money and work has given me so much more than money can buy: time, knowledge, creativity and a deep sense of contentment.

Since allowing mindfulness into my life, I have written two internationally published books on mindfulness. I have also just completed my first Victorian novel. I have built Growing Mindfulness and develop e-courses that make a huge difference in the lives of thousands of people around the world. And I even sometimes work for advertising clients again – but only for those who are happy to take my marketing advice on board.

All these different projects have been extremely positive experiences, deepening my creativity and making me feel whole.

No, I don’t plan for exotic trips anymore because I no longer need to compensate for any negative experiences. This also means I don’t have to drink to forget a stressful job, I don’t have to do drugs to make me feel better about myself, I don’t have to buy designer clothes to have a sense of self-worth.

I earn less, but now my money goes a long way because I no longer have to compensate any negative experiences with costly positive experiences.

I earn less – and I spend less. Still, I’ve never felt so rich.

Marisa x

P.S. Would you like to learn how to create a healthier life-work balance? Then buy my digital Karma Kickstart course. You don't have to learn to meditate, but you can start right away with super practical exercises which adapt easily to your everyday routines. With my approach you don't have to plan or schedule – you simply practise with your daily tasks.

So buy Karma Kickstart today and start enriching your life with positive experiences.

 
Marisa Garau