When Trying Harder Gets in the Way of Authentic Wealth

by | Oct 22, 2009


The wealthy man is not he who has money, but he who has the means to live in the luxurious state of early spring. ~Anton Chekhov

Have you ever had a friend who always seemed to date the wrong people? Often this is the result of a confusion of values and standards. If your friend is choosing prospective mates based on certain standards, perhaps looks, he may be unwittingly overlooking the woman who is a good match for his values.

When your standards don’t match your values or vision, the harder you look for what you want, the worse your results. As they say, you are looking for love in all the wrong places.

The same thing happens in your relationship with money.

You start out with good intentions, only to find yourself operating according to standards that feel inauthentic, intimidating, or downright cheesy. Ouch! Yuck!

If you get down on yourself or try to muscle your belief system or behavior into line, it just gets worse.

The financial conflict gets turned inward, and now you are at war with yourself. With friends like this, who needs enemies? As long as you argue with, resent, or reject your current experience, it keeps biting you. When you finally stop fighting what is (usually when you are utterly exhausted), things change. It’s enough to make a person crazy.

Here’s the deal: change starts with acceptance.

Acceptance is the foundation for all creative action. Acceptance is finding the “you are here” place on the map, the place you can take a confident stand and then move toward your goal. There’s simply no way to move forward if you don’t start from where you are.

The first pillar of acceptance is humility.

Humility and its close relative humor exert a homeopathic influence: a small dose of humility and humor averts humiliation. It’s a whole lot easier to accept where you are with this pillar in place.

The second pillar of acceptance is wonder.

Wonder enlarges our capacity to receive support from unexpected sources. When you accept what is with a sense of wonder, it is much easier to surrender control – which you don’t have anyway – and open to synchronicity, serendipity, and happy accident.

The third pillar of acceptance is willingness.

Each time you set aside your own script in favor of reality and summon the willingness to cooperate with what is, rather than fight it, you are storing up energy, building momentum. With the pillar of willingness in place, acceptance shifts your orientation from resignation and resentment to healthy peace and ambition.

The fourth pillar of acceptance is desire.

Ah, desire! When you tune into your deepest and truest desires and allow yourself to experience your longing while accepting current reality, you complete a circuit. Your acceptance is now the firm foundation from which you can move forward.

Gratitude Practice with the Four Pillars.

Gratitude can pave the way to acceptance like nothing else can. Take a full, easy breath as you name things for which you are grateful under each pillar. Ask your body to show you what it feels like to experience that gratitude. Savor the experience.

Humility: Name three things you are grateful for that you did not earn or get for yourself. (Examples: health, children, nature)

Wonder: Name three things you are grateful for that are beyond your understanding or knowledge. (Examples: electricity, art, the color blue)

Willingness: Name three apparent limitations that you can be grateful for. (Examples: losing a job, a rainy day, missing the bus)

Desire: Name three things you have wanted that have come to you. (Examples: a spouse, a garden, season tickets to the theater).

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Money problems are outward symptoms of inner conflict. When you are at war with some part of yourself, you can’t ask for, receive, or create wealth. And even when you have what you need, you feel chronically insecure.

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