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How Much is Enough

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In today’s status-obsessed world, it’s no surprise that many of us fall prey to the cult of the ‘never-enough’ mindset. No matter what we do, or what we earn, we believe it’s just never enough – a cycle that leads to a lot of anxiety and unhappiness. In a recent “It’s a Good Life” podcast, leading financial expert Manisha Thakor shared how you can redefine your relationship with work and finances and achieve a state of contentment she calls ‘Money Zen.’ Here are some of the top takeaways:

Self-worth is not net worth

A combination of factors can result in the mistaken belief that self-worth is equal to net worth. If you experience difficulties in your youth, for example, you can develop behaviors that might help in the short term but become detrimental if continued. Then there are limiting cultural norms, which is how people define each other based on what they do. Societal influences play a part too – we’re all constantly bombarded with unrealistic images of other people’s lives. Finally, there’s our evolutionary biology, a factor which inherently drives us.

‘Enough’ is a feeling of contentment

Historically, we’ve been trained by society to define ‘enough’ as a certain amount of money, a set of possessions or a particular position in a professional or cultural tribe. ‘Enough’ can actually be much better defined as a feeling of contentment. Ask yourself: When do you feel whole? What activities can you engage in to nourish that feeling? This shift of focus doesn’t mean that your life will be perfect or that you’ll stop striving for things, but your energy will alter and your mindset will change from scarcity to contentment.

Flip the discourse

We’re taught early on that if we do ‘x,’ we’ll have ‘y’ and be happy. Instead of thinking that way, strive to figure out who you really want to be. How do you want to develop your character? How can you give back and help others? When the root of all your activity stems from a healthy place, you’ll be led towards contentment. You can still lean into your ambition, but you’ll figure out how to do it in a way that matches the character you’d like to have.

It’s possible to create a life that aligns with your true values and is rich in both financial and emotional wealth. To learn how to have calm, confidence and clarity around both your relationship with money and the role that you want money to play in your life, listen to the latest episode of “It’s a Good Life”.

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