Why do you want money?
So stop for a moment and answer the question: Why do you want money? (What do you want to do with it?) Even if you already have all the money you desire and are doing what you've always wanted with it, this exercise will help to determine whether the means serve the end.
I've always wanted to be very rich and have a lot of money, but taking a moment and examining the reasons why is an eye-opener. So take out a pad of paper and make three columns. The first column to note what it is that you want, the second the reason you want it, and the third the basic human need/want that it fulfils.
Below I've set out the first two of my own as an example:
What - Why - Need/Want
1. Yacht - Cruise around the world - Want to be able to say 'been there, done that'.
2. Support parents - Duty - Want them to appreciate what I do for them.
My list is far longer and the reasons (the why) mostly valid. The needs and wants, however, seem almost childish at times. Yet it is these needs and wants that is the real driving force behind some of the things that I do.
It is nothing to be ashamed of and it is valuable to know what drives you. In fact, you might realise that the need or want that you need money to satisfy, can be satisfied by some other means and that money is only one of the paths that will take you there.
Explore your inner self and the reasons that you desire money. Do this, not so that you feel guilty or doubt your own desires, but that you may know yourself more intimately. Know what it is that drives you. And may you realise that money is of itself not an end, but only a means to an end.
-Leon van der Walt
Financial Inspiration Cafe.
Reprinted with permission.