Life Skill 3. Mastering your Money
Now, you are not going to get away without a strong rant about the importance of learning how to understand, manage, and grow money into wealth from a wealth and lifestyle coach.
It still perplexes me every day that the majority of most people’s lives is spent working for money, yet at no time are we taught anything about it at all and we learn about it through the whole ‘monkey see, monkey do’ strategy of watching and observing what everyone else does and what society does and then we follow it blindly. But, what we know is that this approach does not work and more often than not, results in a whole population in debt, struggling, and stressing about money and a life spent exchanging the best years of our life striving for it, trying to make more to buy more stuff and hope we will have enough to live in retirement.
The challenge is that most people’s relationship to money is disgraceful. They are scared of it, ashamed of having it, associate a lot of pain and struggle with it, while at the same time desiring more of it and holding onto all of these old belief systems around money which weren’t even theirs to begin with.
Anyone that says money is not important, but then spends their lives working for it is a complete hypocrite and is simply deluding themselves. Money is important, just find out how important it is when you have none of it and need to eat and pay rent or bills and discover the sleepless nights it can bring. It is not the money though; it is what money can give you, which in one word come down to choices. I believe that financial freedom should be on everyone’s values list, because it is something that once you get there, gives you the time, the choices and the emotional and physical freedom to spend your life doing what you love with the people you love.
At the core of building wealth, you want to focus on a few areas:
1. Developing the right mindset around money – get rid of the old limiting belief systems and baggage you have around money and get clear on what having wealth can do for the rest of your life.
2. Learn how to understand and manage money so you have a system and a flow of money around your life and are constantly making your own personal profit at the end of every month and looking for ways to add more value in what you do to increase your income.
3. Learn how to invest and grow your money and get it out there working for you instead of you just working hard for money. Get clear on what you want, get a strategy and a plan and get a team to help you implement it. If you want to go at it alone, then fine, but get educated first. Uneducated investors lose money. I don’t try and fix my own car or perform surgery on myself. So, if it is not your area of expertise, get help with it while you are learning.
4. Protect yourself, protect your family and protect your wealth. I have personally had the experience of building a lot of wealth and then losing almost all of it because I did not protect myself, so I say this from experience, very painful experience. Get your insurances, have a buffer, understand your loans and their structures and consistently lock away your wealth as part of your overall investment strategy so you can never get wiped out.
Life Skill 4. Communicating for success and fulfillment
There are very few areas of your life where effective communication is not absolutely vital, and I am not talking about what you learnt in English at school. I am talking about talking with and dealing with other human beings during the day-to-day activities of our lives.
Miscommunication plagues every single relationship we have in life, whether it be in work, with friends or with family or our intimate partners. If we truly want to be effective in all of these areas of our lives and develop strong meaningful relationships or become someone of influence in any area of life, communication skills are critical.
This is where technologies like NLP or personality-profiling come in handy, but it is certainly not essential for you to run out and have to learn these things and spend thousands on course.
Here are some key areas of communication worth spending some time on and developing your awareness and skill sets around:
Understanding the values of others
The ability to be able to put yourself in the shoes of others and understand not only their model of the world which they view, but also able to communicate in a way which meets their needs; this is empathy at its core. Your ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and to even if just for a moment views the world through their eyes.
A special note about this is in your intimate relationships. This is particularly important and a book I highly recommend and honestly think should be given to every single person going into a relationship is called the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman. It is golden. It basically talks about that every person tends to experience and express love in different ways – some through:
1. Physical touch
2. Words of affirmation
3. Quality time
4. Acts of service
5. Gift of giving
Now, I am not going to go into these here in detail, but think of it in this way: if your personal love language is, say, physical touch and you feel love and express love by being close with your partner whether it be a cuddle, or holding hands or displays of affection or whatever and your partner’s love language is the gift of giving and they are always giving little gifts of a flower or a card or something they buy or whatever it is, if you don’t recognize and understand your partner’s language is different to your own and you are expressing love how you like to receive love and they are doing the same, can you imagine how one or both of you could actually feel unloved by the other? Not because you don’t actually want to express love. You are just expressing it in your own modality or your own value system, which might be different to theirs. Just think about it. But again, I highly recommend that book.
They say that 55% of all communication is through body language and interestingly enough, another 38% is from the tone of voice leaving a measly 7% coming from the actual words used. After knowing those statistics, do you think it is worthwhile being aware of how to recognize and understand the non-verbal cues of others but also how to control your own presence to be able to communicate effectively?
So often in life, we are not really truly listening to the people we are talking to and instead, are just waiting for our turn to talk. Have you ever felt that, when someone is just not present with you and is not really taking in the true essence of what you are saying and expressing? Everyone just wants to be heard and this is such a core understanding of others; it makes them feel valued, feel worthy, feel respected and feel like who they are and what they have to say actually matters to you. If you want to build deeper relationships, stop talking and start listening. I’m trying not to use that old cliché of that ‘we were given 2 ears, but only 1 mouth for a reason’, but I couldn’t help myself, so stop rolling your eyes.
This might seem as simple as just talking to someone, but have you ever had a conversation with someone or been to a presentation and walked away with almost no recollection of what they said or why they said it and why the hell it mattered to you anyway? I know I have, more times than I’d like to remember. I am a professional speaker and spend a lot of time on stages in front of people, educating and sharing knowledge and it is truly an art form being able to deliver a message to others by using different modalities of learning such as visual cues, auditory, kinesthetic and using stories and humor and emphasis and whatever else to ensure the person or people sitting in front of you truly get the essence of what you are talking about, why you are saying it and importantly why it matters to them.
No matter what type of relationship you are talking about, whether it be with family or work colleagues or friends or with your kids or with your intimate partner, conflict is going to come up at some point and oftentimes, the depth of your relationship can depend greatly on how you handle the ups and downs in life. It is easy to get along when everything that is going great, but it is in the troughs in life or the upsets that come up where relationships can be made or broken. When you can breeze through the downs in life, the ups become so much more fulfilling and you grow stronger together; if you don’t, the downs can strangle any relationship simply because of being unable to handle moments of conflict or stress.
The last part of this blog will be published soon!