Redefining Money – The power to change lives [Archives:2008/1220/Last Page]

December 29 2008

Jamal Nassar
For the Yemen Times

It no surprise that most of us have our entire life revolves around financial stability. From the early days of college if not earlier for the less fortunate to retirement we are in distress. We fail to plan and when we plan we fail the plan. It's almost always the case, isn't it?

Here what we were taught about money:

– Money is power

Therefore we are powerless till we have money!

– People who don't have money suffer in life

First, why they didn't have it?

Second which is more important, doesn't people who have a lot of money suffer too? And maybe more!

– It doesn't come easy

What does?

– When you have it, save it for a rainy day, and save it in a very safe place

What is a rainy day? And what is a safe place?

– Spend it wise

Define wise?

What is the point?

From the suffering we see around the world, and stories we hear from parents, friends, and read about the less fortunate people, and about those who don't have it what would they do to have it, we begin developing this fear for not having it.

That triggers the race. The race to get more educated, to accumulate more experience, work more jobs at the same time, and living less.

This race comes with a price tag. Price tag = Health, family, happiness.

Please correct me if I am wrong, but isn't life is all about health, family and happiness?

So do we sacrifice something we already have, to have later on when we really can't have it?

I don't know why we stop questioning everything we know, read and hear.

Especially the basics! They are all based on fear.

Get rid of fear

Imagine with me, what will happen if you started seeing money like a paper, just a piece of paper.

Tell me how would you see a newspaper, a magazine, a trader's brochure?

All that is information, and information is power (especially in the 21st century), and since money is power, and so information is power too, so the information stored in these papers are virtually money. Unless you can't read.

If you start treating money as paper, and look for where the real value is, you are half way there!

I think.

I am not saying money is worthless, or it is evil, or it has no value, all I am saying is, we get too focused on money and lose the concept of value. We need to adjust our realities with the concepts to be more productive.

Value is not the paycheck you get at the end of the month, not the Benz parked outside your neighbor's house, and neither is the saving account you are worried about consuming.

If you understand the concept of value and relate it to money you are almost there. And you will probably start thinking just like an investor.

Investor? Wow, that's a giant step!

Investors don't accumulate cash they don't see money as others do. They prefer to deal in stocks, bonds, assets, projects..etc and that where they see the value is.

For them hard cash is out of the question. In Economy we study the value of a 1000 Rial if you will, is less than 990 in a years' time, depending on the interest rate. That means money is not in the cash papers we hold. Money is value, and where there is value, there is money!

Recently I sat with myself, decided that I needed to re-define my understanding of money, and since I did that, fear of financial uncertainty stopped. Looking at the price tag of things, products, services didn't matter that much anymore, or to be more accurate it didn't reflect the real value in the item I was looking at.

The way I think have changed somehow, the future is yet to prove me right.

Allah (SWT) has given us a gift we don't appreciate, “THE BRAIN”. With so much fear, we let others run it. Imagine we let ourselves be ran by others! Just for fear of failing or not understanding the value of things. We rely on others in our daily decisions, from purchasing shampoo to making small investments. What did your uncle, or relative do when he/she wanted to invest? They probably opened a small business like your other relative who is making some decent money! If not they probably opened a mini market, a laundry, or a telecom shop somewhere near your house.

At the end of the day he might not make as much money as the other relative is making, or worse fail altogether.

That happens because we still have that fear, and we are stuck with this old understanding of money, it is the piece of paper that make you or break you?

Are we that weak, and ignorant?

Well, I have been thinking about this for a long time, observing, noticing how people spend, live, and deal with money in general, in the personal and professional context.

It is a liberating experience, sit with yourself, and re-define the concept of money. Not only it will lead you to the real value of trading, power, and information, but it will definitely guide you to doing what you love most, and what you always wanted to do for a living! Or at least bring you one step closer.

One would ask, so how much money, or power do you have now Mr. wise?

I would say, in your standards maybe close to nothing.

But in the world we live in today, I think I am already worth a fortune.