Sunday, September 26, 2010

Money And How We React To It

I read an article in the newspaper today (forget which one it was). It mentioned an incident when Joseph Heller, the author of Catch 22, and Kurt Vonnegut, famous novelist, met at a party thrown by a rich American businessman. The two writers are wondering about how much wealth the businessman has made and if they would ever be able to make that much ever in their lives. To which Heller replies that it does not bother him so much because he always believes that he has 'enough'.

The author mentions how it is never the amount of money we have that is important, but how we react to it. You could have an unending supply and still feel like its not enough and you could feel like you are the king of the world even if you don't have a dime in your pocket. I know people who are both types and certainly the latter type seems happier to me in the sense that they are more 'into' life, participating in it, enlivening it, making it more interesting. It is not just about money then, it is about how much we trust the process of life to support us, to give us when we need - be it abundantly, be it extreme comforts, be it only what we need - all a matter of our own consciousness. If we make friends with life enough to believe we can access its treasures they are ours. If we believe that life must take care of us, in a manner that is just, then so be it, only 'just' is defined by us. If we believe that life is unfair and tough and we are among those who have to work hard and make do, then so be it. It is fascinating to me how we can view this process, this life, this flow of money, love, joy or whatever, wondering when it will stop, wondering whether we have any say in it at all, or wondering if we control the whole process. Funnily, to gain control, we must also relinquish control. But somewhere deep down it is about one's belief that the process of life will provide, must provide.

But again, one of the most impactful lines in the book 'Eat, Pray, Love' to me has been a description where she says that one of her gurus tells her that even money making must be done with great care and responsibility. That it cannot be left for the fortunes to sway aimlessly, one must be hands on, look at it, plan it, design it and it is to such people that money flows. It is like anything else then, that we dare look at with want, and then go after. It is belief (without being fatalistic), work and responsibility (of design), respect, gratitude and a knowledge of its basic essence - which is free flow. It is these qualities that make the greatest entrepreneurs also, because they start with an idea and back it with their unshakeable belief- money flows in, ideas flow in and soon they are building bigger enterprises, helping society in many ways.

I must also mention that when I wrote a list of things to do on this very blog sometime ago, I mentioned (as an after thought I must admit) that I would like to own assets worth Rs. 100 crores. No doubt a pleasurable thing to happen to anyone and I mentioned it to myself, especially since I realised that my list of material wants was rather bare. But the reaction it got was interesting. My friends who normally do not bother with much that I say or do, sat up. 'Oh, so we never thought you harboured thoughts such as owning Rs. 100 crores!'. Some say it like an accusation that I have such thoughts, some like a betrayal that I hid such thoughts from them, some like its a revelation. I am wondering what is so wrong in this; maybe one ought to be congratulated for setting a lofty goal or even a dream. But then I realised it's not just about the dream but the perceptions people carry about you and your relationship with money. Maybe they will like me only if I remain never wanting. Or never revealing my wants so they can preserve that illusion of me. It will be known only if I get that 100 crore I guess. But I did find that post and the reactions interesting.  

End of the day I do feel that money is energy and only when you are free enough to let this universal energy pass through, will you be able to experience and attract money, love, joy, happiness etc. Some do it easily, some struggle a whole life time. Everyone gets what they want. I am aware of my own self-imposed limitations and do hope to overcome most of my blocks during this journey by opening myself up. The day  I feel that I have 'enough' my 100 crore is made (which could be tomorrow). It is a thought, and one that rests easily with experience and awareness, just as victory lies easily with someone who is used to it and who has practised it.

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