It's Not about the Moneyby Brent Kessel
What do the latest financial thinking and ancient spiritual teachings reveal to us about financial freedom? Top financial advisor Brent Kessel insists financial success and security is "not about the money." Rather, it's about what's inside us—first understanding your emotional relationship to money, and only then taking action. It's Not About the… See more details below
What do the latest financial thinking and ancient spiritual teachings reveal to us about financial freedom? Top financial advisor Brent Kessel insists financial success and security is "not about the money." Rather, it's about what's inside us—first understanding your emotional relationship to money, and only then taking action. It's Not About the Money expertly and compassionately guides you along the path to financial security and true peace of mind.
Kessel, founder of two top wealth-management firms, has the inside scoop on the higher wisdom of personal finances, and he wants to share it with you. Through extensive experience as a financial advisor and spiritual seeker, Kessel has discovered that people need to understand their core financial story in order to make meaningful changes. Some of us are savers or caretakers, says Kessel, while others are pleasure seekers and spend like Hollywood stars; some people are idealists who place greater value on creativity or compassion than on financial security; some of us innocently believe our finances will work out without effort; and others obsess about building empires with lasting value. It's Not About the Money will help you identify your money type, providing information and resources as well as exercises and meditations to inspire a fresh approach to your relationship with money that will change your life.
- HarperCollins Publishers
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- 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.09(d)
Read an Excerpt
It's Not About the Money
You Will Never Have Enough
"Just a little bit more."
—John D. Roockefeller, when asked how much is enough
A friend of mine recently handed a homeless person on the street a dollar. The man looked at the money in his hand, looked up into my friend's eyes, and then quite matter-of-factly stated, "It's not enough." Though that dollar was probably not enough to meet the needs of this unfortunate person, even those with abundant financial means tend to approach money from this same "not enough" perspective. Why is it that so many of us feel such a deep sense of scarcity when it comes to money?
Compared not only to a person who relies on handouts for income but to a nineteenth-century monarch, you're probably relatively wealthy. You probably have a warm home and your clothes are comfortable. You can travel most anywhere you want at fifty times the speed of the monarch's fastest team of horses, and you can visit a modern health care facility for treatment if you become ill, a place where no one will try to bleed you or apply leeches as a cure.
Of course, some of you may answer that the reason you feel you don't have enough is that you simply don't. Indeed, you may be struggling. You might not be able to be admitted to that modern hospital due to a lack of insurance coverage or financial resources. You may have to choose between paying your heating bill or your car insurance or hesitate about investing in real estate for fear of not being able to pay the property taxes. If you face this kind of dilemma, I acknowledge that you are in a very difficultposition, one that my own experience with finances makes it difficult for me to fathom.
But no matter what our circumstances, our minds tend to promise us, falsely, that happiness is tied to getting more of what we want—better food, housing, transportation, recreation, health, and travel, to name just a few possibilities. If that were really true, though, wouldn't we all be happy beyond belief by now?
Over the last several decades, economic growth in almost all developed societies has been accompanied by a very modest rise in subjective well-being. In the United States between World War II and 1995, the increase in income has been dramatic and the amount of work time required to buy most goods has fallen substantially. Yet according to almost all of the scientific evidence, there has been little or no change in how happy Americans say they feel. And this is true the world over. In 1958, Japan had an average per capita income of about $3,000, an amount well below the present poverty level in the United States. By the end of the twentieth century, Japan was one of the wealthiest nations in the world, but still there was little discernible change in subjective well-being (a mere 3 percent increase over forty years). And in a survey of members of the Forbes 400 "richest" list, the world's wealthiest individuals rated their life satisfaction exactly the same as did the Inuit people of northern Greenland and the Masai of Kenya, who have no electricity or running water. Obviously, we're not that much happier despite our collective material progress. Why is that?
The Wanting Mind
Most of us would not consider ourselves greedy. Yes, we might want abiggerhouse in a better neighborhood, but we want it for our expanding family. Yes, we want a nicer, newer car, but it's because of its safety features or fuel efficiency, or because the reality is that our position in our company depends in part on how others perceive us. We may not want a specific material item, but instead want a better salary or a higher quality of life, the ability to take more vacations and enjoy time with our spouse or friends. But even when we crave something intangible like security or time off, there's no denying that most of us spend a lot of time just wanting. What's more, we often act on these desires in ways that leave us less than free financially. It's as if there's a force outside of us compelling us to squander our capital, be it financial or spiritual. This force is known in several Buddhist traditions as the Wanting Mind.
The Wanting Mind is always craving an experience different from the one it currently has. Whether we want money, love, that great new sweater, a 20 percent investment return, or a more equitable world, the Wanting Mind insists that things need to change in order for us to be happy, and money is one of its favorite objects to focus on. The Wanting Mind's whole reason for existence is to strategize and fight for a different future. It exists on the premise that what we have right here, right now, can't possibly be enough. The Wanting Mind continually takes us out of the present moment in its attempts to make us happy in some better tomorrow. And unless we inquire into the subtle and often hidden workings of the Wanting Mind, including whether its promises of happiness are actually true, we remain its slave and will likely spend alifetime chasing its images of freedom.
The broader evidence shows how pervasive the Wanting Mind really is. In The Overspent American, Juliet Schor writes that between 1975 and 1991, the number of people who said that a vacation home was a key component of the good life increased 84 percent. During the period from 1987 to 1994, the income people said they needed to "fulfill all [their] dreams" increased from $50,000 to $102,000, much more than the rate of inflation. According to another psychological study, the majority of those people in industrial nations want more than they possess: 61 percent of those surveyed said they always had something in mind that they were looking forward to buying.
We all like to point fingers at the overspenders and insatiable materialists as the culprits, the real money addicts. However, in my experience, the Wanting Mind plagues everyone, from people on the lowest rungs of the socioeconomic ladder to the most aware spiritual teachers and the wealthiest members of society.It's Not About the Money. Copyright ? by Brent Kessel. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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