DR JOHN DEMARTINI - Updated 3 months ago
The emotional aspects of economics and finance are something that the majority of people tend to overlook on their financial journey.
As Warren Buffet once said, until you can manage your emotions, don't expect to manage your money.
Let’s take a look at what underlies financial ‘stress’ or what I prefer to call: distress.
There are two types of distress when it comes to money:
- The fear of losing that which you seek, and
- The fear of gaining that which you are trying to avoid.
For example, if you are seeking new clients for your business, you may fear losing them. You may also fear gaining bills or difficult clients who do not pay. Either, or both of these perceptions, can cause financial based emotional distress.
Just like being infatuated with someone and fear their loss or resentful towards someone and fearing their gain can cause you to perceive distress in your relationships, being highly attached to or infatuated with money or highly resentful towards it can also create the same perceptions of financial distress.
When you are infatuated with money, you may fear losing it, and when you are resentful towards money, you may fear gaining it. This polarization of perceptions and lopsided emotional charge on money can impact your ability to wisely manage your finances effectively.
Why? Because if you're highly polarized, you become more distressed, and more distracted.
Anything you infatuate with or resent occupies space and time in your mind and interferes with your ability to be present, neutral, objective and strategic.
You may recall times in your own life when you have been so infatuated with someone that you struggled to stay focused on your normal day-to-day activities. You may also have been so resentful towards someone that you spent all night thinking about what you perceived they did that challenged your values.
If you think back to those times, it is unlikely that you could think objectively and strategically at the time and more likely that you were reacting emotionally and being run by the world on the outside instead of being poised and inner-directed.
In the same way, anytime you polarize your perceptions and become highly infatuated or highly resentful to the gain or loss of money, you tend to be run extrinsically by the world on the outside instead of intrinsically from within. In these instances, you are less likely to master your finances, your mind and your life.
If you infatuate or resent money, money and wealth building evades you.
It’s also when you are most likely to activate the more primitive, survival based, reactive and fight-or-flight center of the brain, the amygdala.
The subcortical amygdala, which is responsible for assigning emotional valency to your perceptions of events which are then stored as lopsided memories and imaginations in your hippocampus – these memories and imaginations make up a portion of what has been called the subconscious mind and they play a highly significant role in your emotional responses to money.
This is also referred to as “system 1 thinking” or ungoverned thinking where you tend to emotionally react before you think.
This can lead to overspending, a desire for instant gratification and working as a slave for money instead of longer-term thinking that results in your money working for you as a master.
Systems 1 thinking will likely lead you to be more subjective, biased, and distorted in your views on money, you’ll be vulnerable to the fantasies of how ‘happy you'll be’ if you'll have more money and ‘how sad you'll be’ if you don't.
This can further accentuate your distress levels and impact your financial well-being because you are being reactive and subjective instead of proactive and objective.
However, if you are more objective, more neutral, more balanced in your perception, you'll be less distressed about the gain and loss of money. This is when you are most likely to make the wisest decisions when it comes to your finances.
The question is – how can you become more balanced in your perceptions about money so you are more likely to create financial well-being and wealth?
It begins with identifying your highest values – that is what’s truly most important to you.
Understanding your highest values or priorities in your life can play a significant role in managing your emotions and perceptions towards money.
Your unique hierarchy of values determine your priorities in life, almost like the rungs on a ladder.
When you live in accordance with your highest value on that ladder you become more objective, neutral, and balanced state.
Conversely, when you attempt to live in accordance with your lower values on that ladder you become more subjective and emotionally-driven in your responses as you are then influenced by the amygdala, as mentioned above.
When you engage in activities that are congruent with your highest values, your self-worth grows, and your brain functions optimally with increased blood flow, glucose, and oxygen to the forebrain, particularly the orbital and medial prefrontal cortex (OMPCF), which governs emotional regulation and helps neutralize subjective biases. This state allows for a more balanced and objective perspective.
So, by prioritizing actions that are aligned with your highest values that also serve others in a sustainable and fair manner, you are more likely to maximize your financial income and achieve greater stability in your life.
As Warren Buffett said, money flows through the economy from those who have the least order in their financial affairs to those who have the most order. It goes from those who value it the least to those who value it the most, from those with the least certainty to those with the most certainty, and from those with the least emotional stability to those with the most stability.
When you are living congruently with your highest values and pursuing meaningful and purposeful actions that inspire you, it has a calming effect on your mind.
The executive center of your brain (“system 2 thinking”) then comes online to govern and calm your amygdala and reduce the extremes of subjective bias that can polarize your mind and create distress. That’s why I teach people how to master their minds and develop their executive centers.
By aligning your life with your highest priorities, you are also more likely to communicate objectively and not fall into narcissistic or altruistic modes of trying to get something for nothing or giving something away for nothing.
For example, if you are infatuated with someone, you may minimize yourself and sacrifice for them, which can result in not keeping the money you earn and feeling unworthy of it. On the other hand, if you put people down, resent them, and exaggerate a false persona of yourself, you may narcissistically try to get them to give you something for nothing.
Both of these approaches are unsustainable.
However, when you live by priority, are objective, and are spontaneously inspired to fulfill and serve others in a fair exchange that fulfills you as well, you are most likely to create sustainable and abundant business relationships.
This involves treating others equitably, without exaggerating or minimizing yourself or them, and finding win-win solutions that allow for sustainable business transactions and referrals.
The result tends to be that your current customers want to do more business with you and are more likely to refer you to others.
There's an abundance in this way. There's no lack in this manner.
You are most likely to have a perception of gain and loss, or lack and abundance when your perspectives are imbalanced.
When you are able to see things objectively and truthfully, and approach business transactions in a fair exchange manner where you understand the perspectives of both the customer and yourself, and seek win-win relationships, you can create more sustainable business and abundance.
This is very different from times when you are not living by priority, trying to sell something you don't believe in, or trying to exaggerate yourself and get something for nothing, or minimizing yourself and sacrificing for someone else. This is not the wisest way to build a viable business or brand.
Abundance tends to come to those who care enough about human beings to understand their needs and find ways to fulfill them.
It's not about assuming or sacrificing, but rather finding what inspires you and using your skills and competencies to deliver value to others and that inspire them.
Your greatest financial asset is when you're living congruently and authentically according to what you value most and when you are able to serve others through this means.
The question is, if your greatest advantage and opportunity lie in aligning your actions with your highest values, how do you go about identifying your highest values?
In my program, the Breakthrough Experience, which I teach most every week, I help people identify their unique hierarchy of values.
You can also take the time to do the Value Determination process on my website - a free questionnaire that takes about 30 minutes to complete. I suggest doing it multiple times over a period of weeks or months to get a clear understanding of your ever-evolving values.
Once you have identified your highest values, it is wise to then prioritize your daily actions accordingly.
By living congruently with your highest values and contributing in fair exchange to others, you can stay in the executive center of your brain (as opposed to your amygdala) and be more objective, resilient, and less vulnerable to financial distress.
This allows you to have a thrival mentality rather than just a survival mentality, and live more abundantly with fair exchange, referrals, and opportunities.
I am also asked about the wisest way to dissolve any polarized emotions arising from lopsided perceptions around money.
To break free from financial stress and unlock abundance, it is wise to understand and align with your highest values, prioritize your actions accordingly, and manage your emotions towards money.
By doing so, you can live a more fulfilling and abundant life with fair exchange, opportunities, and a resilient mindset.
And that's why in the Breakthrough Experience, I introduce the Demartini Method to dissolve emotional baggage associated with money, relationships, and social issues.
Infatuating and resenting these areas of your life can prevent you from being in command and mastering your financial destiny.
By being purposeful, present, productive, and empowered, you can experience more abundance in your life compared to constantly being caught up in emotions and blaming external factors for your lack of abundance.
In the Breakthrough Experience, I help people realize that they already have what they are looking for in their lives, but they may not be honoring it.
Abundance is the realization that nothing is missing, while lack is the perception that something is missing. In the Breakthrough Experience, I guide people to become fully conscious, mindful, and super conscious of the abundance that already exists in their lives, particularly in the financial area.
Often, people's finances are stored in other areas of their lives, such as intellectual property, business ideas, or social contacts, and they are wise to honor and empower these areas to unlock abundance.
I am certain that living with foresight and planning your life by design, rather than living by duty and hindsight, is key when it comes to empowering your life and building abundance.
I have experienced over 100,000 people transform their lives by attending the Breakthrough Experience, and it can do the same for you. It can help you create a trajectory of abundance.
Inspired individuals look for challenges that inspire them to solve, while uninspired individuals try to avoid challenges and seek immediate gratification.
By doing what you love, living by your highest values, and thinking long-term, I am certain that you can build the wealth you desire and financial wellbeing.
To Sum Up:
In conclusion, the key to breaking free from financial distress and unlocking abundance lies in understanding and aligning with your highest values, effectively managing your emotions in relation to money, and prioritizing actions that are in alignment with your highest priorities.
By doing so, you can cultivate a more objective and resilient mindset, enabling you to make wiser financial decisions and create sustainable business relationships.
Living congruently with your highest values not only empowers you to build wealth, but also promotes a more fulfilling and abundant life.
As you embark on this journey, remember that abundance is already present in your life, and by acknowledging and honoring it, you can tap into its transformative power.
So, embrace the challenges, think long-term, and harness the power of your unique values to achieve the financial well-being and abundance you desire.
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