3 Ways to Philosophize On Your Relationship with Money.

3 Ways to Philosophize On Your Relationship with Money.

“We are all Self-Made, but only the successful will admit it”. ~ Earl Nightingale

This motivational quote invites to reflect on our current situation in life and hold ourselves accountable for it, whether we like it or not, we must admit that it holds a lot of truth. Since we are all indeed Self-Made, let me share with you 3 Latin phrases I remind myself in my own journey towards financial independence.

Memento Mori

Remember that you will die.

First things first, let’s begin with end in mind. Death. This one usually make people uncomfortable because it makes them confront their own mortality as well as their loved ones’. Ironically though, the only thing you can be certain about life is death, the common destination we all share as Steve Jobs beautifully exclaimed it. If you are reading this, it means that you are part of the ones who woke up today and got granted another chance and choice. Use them wisely.

Moneywise, the concept of death can also help you manage your money proactively. Remember that money is a means to an end, thus the importance of having financial goals:

  • Save X % of my income for the next Y years to [ fill in the blank ].

  • Invest X $ to reach Y % annual return in order to [ fill in the blank ].

  • Generate another stream of income by doing [ what you enjoy ] so that I can partially or totally fund next summer trip to [ have fun there ].

Reminding yourself of your mortality encourages you to practice delay gratification by segregating what truly matters to you and put your money to work purposely. How we manage money during our time on Earth (and/or Mars) will either be a blessing or a burden to our relatives since our financial decisions, or the lack thereof, will outlive us, go hand to hand and our loved ones can inherit our fortunes and/or debts. Which are you currently leaving behind?

“Man, money ain’t got no owners. Only spenders”. ~ Omar from the “The Wire”

Amor Fati

A love for one’s own fate.

Now that we have accepted our upcoming and inevitable death, another truth is worth recognizing: unpredictable events will occur and impact us in many ways. No matter how prepared you are, shit is going to happen and there is not much you can do about it. This is one of the lessons I got from reading Mark Manson’s book (NSFW) “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck”, or as he put it:

“Life is essentially an endless series of problems. The solution to one problem is merely the creation of another.” ~ Mark Manson

This is part of this game called life, and it will keep on happening, the sooner you accept and make peace with it; the better. This state of mind and level of consciousness on reality is Amor Fati in action.

Moneywise, if you ended here, chances are you are living in a democratic country with a relatively free and easy access to the internet, where money plays a key role in society, let’s categorize it as a capitalistic system. If so, keep in mind that in 2021, there was approximately US$ 40 trillion in circulation: this includes all the physical money and the money deposited in savings and checking accounts.

What does it mean to you? Pause, relax and breath. No matter in what situation you are currently in financially speaking, it can always and abundantly be better since money comes and goes, sometimes rhythmically to Life’s ups and downs.

Thus, the importance of considering one’s own mortality, accepting one’s own fate as well as recognizing current overly generous supply of money there is in circulation in order to anticipate the necessary actions to live a life worth experimenting.

Premeditatio Malorum

The pre-meditation of evils.

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90how you react to it.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll

Who would have thought that anticipating the worst things could also be a virtue? This is nonetheless what this Latin phrase from the Stoic philosophy invites us to do, so that if something and anything goes wrong, it would have already been foreseen mentally.

Moneywise, instead of exclusively thinking pessimistically, I would extend the concept and encourage anyone to prepare for not only the worst but also the most probable and the best-case scenario of any decisions that need to be made. The advantages of pre-meditating the worst-case scenarios are that it forces us to realize how (un)prepared we are to face it and how it would impact us, thus the necessity to save 10% or more of an income and/or having an emergency fund enabling you to survive up to 6 months with no revenue for instance.

Toconclude, in today’s time characterized by a health and a climate crisis, it is easy to be at mercy of our emotion and common feeling of uncertainty, fear and panic but those Stoic mottos remind us that despite whatever is occurring around us, we remain in total charge of our mind, body and money.

What about you, how would you qualify your relationship with money?

Here is my TED Recommendation of the day, where the speaker shares her story of having lost everything bit of money she had and the lessons learned in her journey to build a fortune back up; check it out!

N.B.: This article aims at documenting and philosophizing on my journey towards financial independence to encourage my fellow Glocals to improve their economic footprint and create a healthier society. Make sure to join the community and help us fundraise for one of our favorite foundations by giving a purpose to your purchase.

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