“Raise your hand if you love money!”
I often ask my audiences to do this at my workshops or speaking engagements and very few hands go up. Most of us grow up thinking “the love of money is the root of all evil,” because it says so in the Bible. And it does, but I believe it is taken out of context.
I am not asking whether worshiping green pieces of paper, but rather: “Are you a good steward of the blessings you receive – including money?” I believe God has plans to prosper me – and you. It also says so in the Bible.
Often times, I hear moms say, “I don’t need money to be happy,” or something to that effect, and while that is true, those kinds of beliefs can limit our life potential, because God wants us to have life in abundance: abundant health, abundant joy, abundant relationships, abundant success, and, YES, abundant financial prosperity, too!
Having life in abundance means being able to live a life with joy, meaning, faith, adventure, and contribution, and having the tools and resources available to do so. Being rich is not being evil, greedy, or stingy, as some of us grew up believing, it is being smart with your money without sacrificing the things that matter most to you: faith, family, fulfillment and of course … fun.
But sometimes our beliefs hinder our ability to progress, and therefore, they hinder our ability to provide for ourselves, to provide for our families, and to provide valuable service to our community.
I recently visited MoneyMyth.org and was fascinated by how brightpeak financial is using the concept of mythical creatures to bring attention to a common and highly dangerous myth in personal finance: the misconception that only wealthy people need a financial plan.
These fictional characters of our culture prevented us from behaviors such as going out at night or disobeying our parents, because the thought of being at the mercy of one of these creatures was the scariest thing you could imagine as a child. brightpeak is bringing awareness that the scariest scenario for any adult that has income and expenses, is to not have a financial plan.
El Chupacabra ~ Originating in Puerto Rico and famous throughout Latin America, El Chupacabra or “Goat Sucker” has been blamed for hundreds of sheep, goats and cattle, as well as the mauling of many cats and dogs, found dead and drained of blood.
El Cuco ~ AKA El Coco and El Cucuy, is the Latin American boogeyman. The legend goes that El Cuco abducts children, who are never seen again. Growing up in the Dominican Republic, we knew that El Cuco would get us if we misbehaved. It was absolutely terrifying!
La Llorona ~ A beautiful yet ghostly woman who can be found weeping beside rivers and lakes who is forever trapped between this world and the next. She drowned her children to spite her unfaithful husband, and then drowned herself out of grief, so when she encounters children she is said to try to abduct them. Just thinking about this gives me shivers – she was definitely NOT a positive mom!
There are more mythical creatures at MoneyMyth.org, where individuals and families can create a financial profile to get started toward a financial plan. I found the process to be short, easy, and straightforward. I answered three multiple-choice questions and immediately gained access to great resources to help me achieve my financial goals.
It is empowering to notice that as we grow, we adopt more empowering beliefs about how we must behave and why. Just like El Cuco served its purposes for me to understand how to make good choices, avoiding a disproportionate love of money helped me strive to be humble and generous.
However, as we grow, we learn that it’s okay to let go of myths, and to make better choices as we acquire more knowledge. We also learn that the best choices are not made out of fear, but out of love.
It may sound ironic, because it is scary to think that a minor misfortune could destroy our family’s welfare… and future. Though we may have faith that we will be blessed, it is always a good move to manage and multiply our increase, just as the faithful servant did in the parable of the talents we read in the New Testament.
If you self-identify with the values of faith, relationships, compassion, a focus on family and community, you may also reject talking about money, learning about money, and acting toward amassing money.
As you grow stronger financially, you will be able to grow in other areas of your life, and be more of the person you already are. You will also be able to make your family stronger and become a stronger member of your community.
Rather than being scared that you may have to compromise your values to be financially responsible or to succeed financially, think that you must create wealth and security because you love your family and want to leave a balanced legacy of joy and freedom to your children.
This October, I will be celebrating 20 years of being in an 8-day coma. Because I know how fragile life is, I am always thinking about what will happen to my family when I move on from this life. As a mom, is it vital that you equip yourself with the right financial information and resources so that you can live with confidence and generosity, and so your posterity can, too!
Do you love money? I do… in the way that I love what I can do with my money as I am guided by my personal values! I think you would raise your hand now that I’ve made that distinction.
What has helped you in busting the scary myths of your childhood? I’m excited to hear some of the cultural myths, life myths, and money myths you learned as a child – and how, with support and guidance, you’ve redefined them in a way that works for you and the people you love.
PS – brightpeak financial is a faith-based not-for-profit with a mission to educate and empower the next generation so that they can feel confident about their finances. To learn more about brightPeak visit MoneyMyth.org or follow them on Facebook @BrightpeakFinancial, Twitter @BrightPeakSpeak or Instagram @Brightpeak and use #MoneyMythBPF.