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How Do You Think About Money?

Posted by David A. Couper, MA on May 21, 2015 9:30 AM

money_chart

To put this simply, Duran asks us to consider the foundation from which we think about money. He writes: when faced with important financial decisions, you will revert to your dominant Money Mind, which will always affect the way you make decisions.

By understanding your starting point - you might think of this as as a concise summary of your biases - you will have a better sense of your natural tendencies.

That is, if you are fearful, you will tend to see the glass as half empty. You may be too cautious, and this may cause you to miss many good investments. In 2008, such a person might have pulled all her money out of the stock market and never reinvested; while the market has gone up, she has earned nothing.

A happiness Money Mind can have the opposite impact, causing people to live for the moment, buy larger homes than they can afford, and take too many vacations.

A commitment Money Mind might cause a person to burn out too young, because he took care of others but never recognized the toll that unyielding stress and responsibility took on him.

None of these mindsets are right or wrong. In fact, understanding one’s Money Mind mainly helps couples or families balance their different approaches. I know of one couple who read the book and discovered he was Happiness and she was Fear. The man’s immediate reaction was “so this is why we have been fighting for 20 years.” The mere exercise of discovering their respective Money Minds helped the couple talk rationally - at last - about money and eventually meet in the middle.

The concept of understanding your biases is extremely powerful and not limited just to financial matters. For example, in our coaching work we often come across clients who have limiting beliefs or engage in negative self-talk. Either one can undermine your talents and slow your career. But if you understand, say, your bias towards being negative or overly critical, you can start to minimize the impact of such liabilities.

One of the main reasons I’m sharing Duran’s book is to demonstrate the power of self-knowledge. For example, he takes you through a few questions that reveal your Money Mind. He then outlines the pros and cons of each mindset. His intention isn’t to convince you to switch mindsets; it is to grow your awareness of how you think and feel.

Once you gain insight into how you think about money, I hope you’ll be motivated to keep going, and unearth how you think about your career.

Credit: Chart is from The Money Code. Image: gfpeck/Flickr

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