Happiness by Ariel Gore

While my little family and I were making our weekly rounds at Powell’s a few days ago, I ended up reading most of Happiness by Ariel Gore. It’s a really good book, but I don’t want to do a traditional review of it here. There are plenty around the interwebs if you want to run a quick google search.

Instead I want to talk about one specific chapter in Happiness—the one about money. Gore discussed the idea that our attitudes about money affects how much of it we have, and it really struck a chord with me. I’ve browsed through a few self-help books in my day, and the chapters on money—and attracting money—always interested me. Most of the things I’ve read, though, discussed the types of meditations and affirmations one can use to supposedly get more cash flowing into one’s pocket, but I’d never read about common attitudes and beliefs that deflect money.

For example, Gore talks about some of the negative associations some people have with money. Some look at it as the root of all evil. Some feel guilty for having money when there is so much poverty in the world. Some feel on some level that their work and time is not worth as much money as it truly is.

Ok, I know all that seems really simple and obvious, but to be honest, I never really stopped to figure out my own thoughts and beliefs about money—the positive, the negative, the conscious, the subconscious, and everything in between. I know there are a few doosies up in this noggin’ of mine, and reading that chapter in Happiness has inspired me to finally take the time to figure out my feelings about money, kick out the bad ones, fix up all the ones that need a little TLC and guidance, and give the good ones a pat on the back.

For starters, I think that on a subconscious level, I believe that large amounts of money are obtained by doing work that is not fulfilling. My first job as a teenager was a meat cook at McDonalds. Yuck. My second job in high school was a parcel clerk at Fred Meyers. Blerg. Then I worked at a shitty, soul-sucking office for six years. Yikes!

Then what happened when I got a good job that I loved after community college? Even though I was making more money than I had in over three years, after paying rent, my bills, and school tuition for my daughter each month, there wasn’t anything left to put into savings. I couldn’t even afford health insurance for my kid. Does that make sense? No. Eventually, I got to a comfortable place where I was making enough money to be debt-free and socking the extra away in savings each month. But you know what? By then, the passion I had for my job wasn’t at the level it had been at for so long. My job had turned into the daily grind, and my heart and soul really wanted to be doing something else. Fuckin’ A!

Well, I’m going to stop the damn insanity now. I set aside a journal to sort out my thoughts, and put a few things on hold at the library. I believe that 2010 has a lot of good things in store. I’ve believed it since New Year’s Day. Now I’m going to make sure that having a bountiful money flow while doing what is fulfilling to my heart and soul is one of those things this year will bring.

What are your thoughts and beliefs about money? Have you had any success in consciously attracting more money into your life?

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