Friday, February 13, 2009

Reach for the Cheese, In Style

“Economists tell us how to make money; psychiatrists give us a place to spend it.”
Allan Bloom (1930 - 1992), The Closing of the American Mind

1: Not Your Ordinary Cheese
2: Reach for the Cheese

Now as we aim to infuse a fresh perspective to our traditional money matters thinking. We will go by the following philosophy:

1) Life’s Not All About the Money

In the pursuit of personal success, most of us forget that money is just a means to an end (and not an end in itself, to complete the quip). Initially, as we set out to work and earn or before we do, life is about happiness, self-actualization and the rest of Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. But what we actually do to ourselves in our early, young adult, young professional stage reflect that dehumanizing fact that we live to work, earn, and invest to a certain extent, with of course a certain amount of risk.

2) Investment: Think Resources – Money is Just One of Them

That investment risk has bitten us in the past months. And those of us who are planning to do so are now in a quandary, where to place hard-earned money to make it work to guarantee future financial success.

Invest vb 1: to commit (money) in order to earn a financial return
2: to expend for future benefits or advantages

Most of the time, we only focus on the financial returns as money begets money. But future benefits or future advantages don’t always mean cash or liquidity or material prosperity it’s more than that. Therefore, in terms of investment, we may have other things in mind, such as time and energy or the capacity to do, to live and to enjoy life to the fullest. The commitment of money to gain more money is not entirely outlandish, but we can always commit it for something else, maybe even better, rather that instant, material and direct personal gain.

Things could be different from now on, like a bucket of cold water, the global financial crisis had us awaken from the denial of the fact that we used to live like robots, designed to work & earn, although still not guaranteed to succeed.

3) It’s All Under Our Noses: Tapping Our Vast Hidden Wealth

The relationship between contentment and happiness has now been an inequality.
We can always want more and more. In the process of doing so, we tend to forget about the nice things we have right now, material and non-material possessions and become slaves of the latest and the newest what-an-absolutely-incredible-offer.

This is about being aware and taking care of our real assets in life. Okay, life’s about the money, yeah, sometimes. But the assumption here is that these principles are, more often than not, jettisoned as we go through our everyday business running in the rat race, which, by the way, is defined as:

the struggle to survive: the struggle of individuals to survive and make progress in the competitive environment of modern life, seen as a dehumanizing and ultimately futile activity (informal).

Ergo, what we want to do here is to reassess the way we live and think about how we are making the most out of life. What, if there is indeed any, are our more important resources that we take for granted in the utterly meaningless pursuit of financial gains, as we think nowadays, under the cloud of a global crisis?

Yes, we will still be running in the rat race, but we’re going to run in it, in style, and with a better view, a fresh and confident pace with these principles in hand, that during the race, and after it, we will be sure that it was all worth it and that we have gained more than what we have expected.

More than the cash and assets that comes with the rat race, as it is, we will have put more meaning into the money game or the race to riches.


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