“Include yourself among those you love”
Neale Donald Walsch
Betsy Broke: If it’s true that money follows the character of its owner, and that it doesn’t seem to matter how much money I am really making, then it seems that working on my character is the most important rule in the game of money!
Robbie Rich: Yes. The woman earning a small income, who is able to build her house over time with very little resources, may be impressive, but most of us want more than that. We want the house, the car, the clothes, and the lifestyle! We want the investments that can produce all of that and more!
Betsy Broke: Yes, what are the tools that we can use to achieve that? There must be some character shaping tools that can help me to achieve that!
Silver: It would be very easy to talk about what to do to achieve all that. But most people know what to do, but it is their characters that stand in the way. I don’t have to tell you that a good education may be one of the things to do. I don’t have to tell you that investing is part of the game. I can say, save money, invest money, start a profitable business. Chances are you know all of that already.
Betsy Broke: So, what is the missing link?
Silver: The missing link, my friend, is focus on yourself! Let us start with the building of integrity!
Betsy Broke: What is integrity?
Silver: Integrity is the opinion you have of yourself! One of the reasons we focus so much on our outside appearance, or acquiring degrees and stuff, is to improve other people’s opinions about ourselves. We want “them” to think better about us. But very rarely do those things help us to think better about ourselves!
Betsy Broke: Yeah but, “they” are my employers, so “they” must think well of me otherwise “they” won’t promote me; “they” won’t give me the project!
Silver: So you have placed “them” in charge of your life? Do you see how in that process you have dis-empowered yourself? Living a life of quite desperation is doing what you think is “required” of you in order to survive, even if it means discounting your own natural talents.
Betsy Broke: Yeah but “they” don’t pay for my natural talents. “They” pay only for what can help them achieve their goals. That’s why I do what I do. It’s because I get paid for it.
Silver: That may be true for many people. And yet this is now an invitation to include yourself among those you love. “They” may think whatever they think about you, and they will pay whatever they think you are worth. Don’t you think you are worth more than that? Of course you do! As Stephen Covey says, integrity is the opinion you have of yourself.
Betsy Broke: So, how do I improve my integrity, my opinion of myself?
Silver: Start with honouring yourself. That includes fulfilling your own promises to yourself. If you have promised yourself something, let your word mean something to you. If you have promised yourself to lose weight, honour that word. If you have promised yourself to read, or wake up at a certain hour, just do that. You have done so much for others, but your own progress starts with you doing things for yourself. You can’t really respect another until, at least in a real sense, start to show the same respect for yourself. It is at the centre of the “self” that real transformation begins!
Betsy Broke: That just sounds so selfish! I’ve been taught self-sacrifice.
Silver: Self-sacrifice leads to bitterness! The problem with self-sacrifice is that it builds expectations. At the end of all self-sacrificial episodes, people stare at the people for whom the sacrifice was made and say: ‘after all I have done for you, is this how you treat me?’
Betsy Broke: How then do I create this self-centredness without being selfish?
Silver: You include yourself among those you love.
Nelson Letshwene is the author of Functional Mastery Over My Finances (Reach Publishers, 2008)