How to cultivate a more positive relationship with your finances
June 21, 2019
By Ken Honda
So many of us think of money as the enemy, this dark force that is keeping us from living the life we’re supposed to have or doing the things we love. So few of us see the potential that money has to bring us joy, gratitude, and happiness — especially when we give it away freely and with the same positive energy as we received it.
There are several ways to create a happy flow of money, including donating to a charity, giving money to friends, and sending gifts. Here are some other unusual ways to interact with your money in a way that will make your relationship to your finances more positive.
Give something extra — always
If you give something — anything — always give something extra. When we are in a situation where we need to ask for help or to borrow something, we usually ask for less than what we really need because we feel shame in “not having.” So when someone comes to you and asks for something, try to understand where their need is coming from and respond by giving more than they asked for. If someone asks to borrow a pen from you, give them a notebook, too. If you are a boss hiring a new employee, give them a bit more than the salary they ask for. If you are negotiating a job with a client, see where you can throw in an extra service for free.
Giving extra in these situations transforms the reluctant, anxious energy into a positive force that leaves people feeling like they are cared for and loved. It is like making an investment in the emotional well-being of yourself and your community.
Pay more than you are asked
This is the surprising one for a lot of people. When I get a bill, I pay as soon as possible. Sometimes I pay a little more than I was asked, to show my appreciation. This surprises a lot of people. They say they have never received more money than they asked for in their entire careers. When they get less than they ask for, they get upset. But when they get more, they are shocked.
I found it fun to pay more simply to see their reactions. People are not used to getting paid more. I feel it is my purpose to change people’s minds about giving and receiving. It gives me great pleasure.
Send a gift or card to your clients or your boss
We often forget how miraculous it is to keep getting money from clients or bosses. They could choose other people to give money to, but they found you and chose you. If you are a cleaner, for example, they could have gone to somebody else. But they came to you. Send your deepest appreciation with a card or a gift. Whenever I go to a bookstore and browse, I feel overwhelmed by the hundreds of bookshelves. Out of all the books, how could anyone pick my book? It seems almost impossible to find my book and buy it out of the hundreds of thousands of books available. I am deeply grateful for all my readers. To show your appreciation, send something to your clients. If you work in a company, your boss can be the one to thank.
What is interesting is that if you keep thanking them, they will remember your appreciation. When there is an opportunity, they are likely to give it to you because you are the first to come to mind.
If you receive a birthday gift, it is okay to express joy, but for some reason we don’t do this when we receive money.
Rejoice when you receive money
When we receive money, most of us feel joy, but we are embarrassed to show it. Most of us have been taught to repress our feelings and to never, under any circumstances, talk about money. If you receive a birthday gift, it is okay to express joy, but for some reason we don’t do this when we receive money. So please show your happy feeling whenever you receive money. If you show you are enjoying the money, people who gave it to you feel like doing it again to please you. It is fun to see a happy face. It is always great to feel and express your joy when you receive extra money.
The other day I got a $2 coupon at a grocery store. I said, “WOW, I am happy!”
The person next to me gave hers to me because she liked my smile. She wanted to see me smile for her $2 coupon. I gave her my best smile.
Have you ever done some shopping to make the shop owner you know happy? It could be a grocery store or diner. Giving a smile when people give you something is a powerful way to keep in flow.
Pray for happiness when you spend money
This is something I learned from my mentor. Whenever I spend my money, I whisper, in my mind, May this money bless you and your loved ones, because the money you spend will buy food or do something good for that person. Whenever you spend money, always bless the person or the company. By blessing them with your money, you are creating the Happy Money flow. Before you go to sleep, remember to whom you gave money that day, and imagine all the great things that will happen to them. If you live with that attitude, people notice who you are. Without your saying anything, people can feel the warm and loving energy that you carry.
Buy from someone you like
With internet shopping increasing, we do more shopping online. But it is really fun to buy from a real person. That is why there are still shopping malls and small vendors. If we continue to buy everything online, there will be no physical stores, especially the local mom-and-pop shops that are so integral to our happiness and way of life.
The reason why there are still shops everywhere, I believe, is because people still want to see things, be inspired, and have human interaction. We want to be where the people are, where there is great energy.
When we have bought something from someone we like, even though we know we can get a better price somewhere else, we are keeping someone we like in business. We are keeping someone else happy and in their flow. So whenever you go shopping, do so at your favorite place and buy from your favorite person. You will feel much better afterward.
You can do that online, too. If you buy something from an internet store you like, you will feel good because you spent Happy Money.
Be grateful for everything
The most profound lesson in making and securing good fortune came to me from Wahei Takeda, my mentor. He once told me a story of a man who came to him in desperation. The man had massive amounts of debt and needed money. Wahei said he would give him the money but only if he said arigato (thank you) 100,000 times. That meant he would have to say arigato every minute of the day for months on end. The man agreed. By the time he went to borrow money, he no longer needed it. Why? His mindset of appreciation started to reap its own rewards. He was able to pay off his debts and no longer needed to borrow the money. When we say thank you, we release powerful energy into the world. We are instantly present. We realize everything we have is enough. We are enough. We have all that we need. Knowing this and feeling this is the most powerful force in the universe. You can literally achieve anything when you ground yourself in appreciation and gratitude.