Let us pretend for this exercise that we only get two accounts, and metaphorically, we are using money and a bank, but this is about the currency inside you and me, and there is real currency in us. It is called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
You’ve got a checking account and a savings account. For each account, we can deposit money into and spend money from each. Our savings account comes at a higher cost or interest the lower the money gets. Where the checking account can get pretty low but fills up rather quickly when we earn money; it fills first. With a little finesse, we can move money around from each account.
There are infinite ways to earn or, shall I say, transfer money to our accounts because, after all, money is simply a tradeoff of one thing for something else. You can creatively work to build a robust savings account and an EFFICIENT checking account that pays all bills on time in any way you deem worthy. However, let it be known how you spend your time earning this money can cost as much or more if it does not provide you and your family something of internal value. This means regret, anger, rage, frustration, cutting corners, lying, cheating, stealing, manipulation, etc., all come at a cost that eats away at these accounts, but because we are still earning money, we are blind to the metastatic growth. How you decide to earn and transfer money builds the foundation for how well you can use money and move and spend money efficiently.
How we use our money is entirely up to us, but there are daily costs to everything. Living without the daily costs of spending money and being alive is impossible because life requires constantly moving this money inside and between us. There are mental money costs, and there are physical money costs. Spending mental and physical money is connected and can get very disconnected when we ignore how we manage these two. When we spend more physical money than mental money, we generate high returns on both mental and physical money. On the flip side, if we do not spend physical money enough, our ability to spend mental money begins to deteriorate, and so it becomes incredibly difficult to spend money at all on anything, rendering our accounts useless over time.
Another caveat with spending physical money is if we only spend it one way, making huge purchases all the time or spending more physical money than we could earn, we can also render our accounts useless. Not to mention, if we did not spend the time building our accounts in the first place, we could fall into this trap very easily. It’s like not building a way to earn before you buy all the toys.
The last thing to consider about earning and spending money is this: you can not hoard your money. If you become too cheap, you begin to devalue yourself because you don’t think you are worth spending money on. All of this is tricky because we are such complex little soldiers playing games with our money and how we earn and spend it, or as I’ve last pointed out, devalue it entirely. Imagine earning money yet never feeling worthy of spending it on anything you wanted, restricting it daily to purchase large items that require you to return to this cycle. You even avoid taking care of your health to the point that only when it’s an emergency will you spend money on yourself and complain about spending that money.
Consider that you love to workout and take care of yourself physically. You’ve got 1.5 kids, a spouse, a mortgage/rent, and a job that requires you to travel to and from and for. You love information and listen to 2-3 different podcasts per week, watch TV, and read a book a month. This is where and how our attention works, albeit it’s more granular than this! You take your kids to games, school, and friends; you go to work, have meetings, deal with employees or coworkers, close deals, workout, take care of a dog/cat/animal, try and spend time with the spouse and your friends, and love to absorb infinite amounts of knowledge about things that have nothing to do with anything other than knowing what the hottest scientist is sharing.
Your two bank accounts represent how you spend energy currency, ATP. Mental energy comes at huge costs from your savings account if you do not build a strong physical practice that is consistent and moving money in and out of your checking account.
How you earn money is how you eat. You will develop poor mental and physical energy if you do not eat enough to fuel a strong, consistent physical spending habit. You will develop poor mental and physical energy if you eat more than you require to sustain your energy requirements. You will gain excess weight and begin to store energy as fat if you eat more than you require. Eating more than you can use and eating low-quality food is the equivalent of a job you hate, and it is fundamentally not addressing the root problem of why you would want to do this to yourself; self-esteem. You and only you are responsible for your body.
How you use your money is called stress. Stress is a must to live, and when you demonize it (stress), you have decided not to understand the most valuable thing you have— your time. You have chosen to spend your time fast and carelessly, and while this may sound exhilarating or even demoralizing, it is anything but that. This is your opportunity to see where you can plug holes or put some barriers up to protect your time because it is all you have.
ATP comes at high costs when we overthink all day, every day, and do not check it. Creating the time to spend your money (ATP) physically helps create huge efficiencies in using energy by learning to spend in creative, fulfilling ways. However, if you want to go on repeat and remain despondent about it all, I have two questions.
What is the point? And do you understand?