On my travels, I ended up in a monastery on a course in self-development entitled, “The Life That I Could Live”. The route that had taken me there was a dark one and I was attending it as part of my attempt to discover the answer to life, the universe and everything, motivated mainly by my ongoing depression about my childhood, and my life up to that point.
At the end of the first day, the teacher gave us each a ‘pretend’ cheque, which in current money would be worth about £10,000,000 along with the instruction
Tonight, decide how you will spend this money. You can spend it on whatever you wish.
We went off and had our food and went to our rooms to decide what we would do with our new found wealth. Some people gathered in groups and discussed elaborate projects over cups of coffee. I retired alone, put my cheque under my pillow, and went to sleep.
The next day, on the course, we were each asked, in turn, what it was that we had decided to spend the money on. Some people wanted to invest this money in businesses, others charities and many wanted to do good and great works. When it came to my turn, my answer was short, “I would take the money down to the beach and burn it,” I said. The teacher watched me intently, in silence, for some minutes, and then, without making any comment, moved on to the person on my right.
Money is Energy
At the end of the exercise, he made a very clear and simple statement. “Unless your answer to this exercise was that you would continue to do what you are already doing, then you are not doing what you should be doing with your life.” He went on to explain that money is energy, and that all that energy enables us to do is act. To have more money gives us more energy that enables us to act more, do more, be more, quicker, faster, and perhaps, more effective than we would otherwise be able to.
He explained that money in large quantity is like a magnifying glass, it makes everything so much bigger. But what it makes bigger is what we already are. This is why people that suddenly come into money, often through a lottery win, can see their lives crumble because all that the money has done is magnify their problems.
On the basis that the money we were offered was just an expression of the life energy that we already had, it made me look at myself. I had just decided that I would take my life energy down to the beach and burn it. At the time, this reflected my dark and suicidal feelings. This course and this exercise were powerful turning points in my life that led to many changes that enabled me to sort myself out.
Ok, so some questions for you. The first has to be, if you won the lottery this week what would you do with the money? The second is, how does that compare to your life now? Are you doing what you want with your life? If not, then why not, and can you change it?
It reminds me of the cliché that “life is not a dress rehearsal, it is the real thing”. The most important thing is that if you are really enjoying it all then an injection of money would help you enjoy your life even more.
Have a think about what you would do if you were suddenly given a lot of money – let me know in the comments below.