Happy Money – Ken Honda

Everyone wants money. When you randomly ask a person what they want the most, they will often reply, “Money”. They can decide exactly how to use it later. Why do we want money so much? What are the underlying motivations that keeps us constantly feeling in need of money? Once you can put into perspective the emotional reasons for wanting money, you will start to feel more connected to your own needs and less stressed about money. This is how you can be released from money’s control over you. Over the years I’ve observed many reasons why people think they want money. I’ve recognized some some distinct patterns, which I am going to describe as the six reasons why people want money. There is always an emotional drive behind wanting money. But if we become disconnected from the underlying emotions, we can get stuck in a cycle of trying to make money without understanding what we really need. We all need shelter, clothes, and food to eat – and a way to cook it. In the past, people attributed their livelihood to good farmland and forest, but today it is money that delivers us the things we need. When most people are asked why they are working, they will reply, “To put food on the table.” It is important to understand the difference between what we consider to be the bare minimum and what we consider luxury. I’ve met many people who were making good salaries yet constantly felt like they had just enough to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

Many people save money because they are afraid of the future. They may get sick or lose their jobs, so they save for a rainy day. That is why people want to save: in case something bad happens. But if you save money out of anxiety or fear, you will just feed more fear and anxiety – more blocks to the flow of money. The side effect is that no matter how much you save, anxiety around money will not disappear. If you are broke, you may think you need to save enough money for a week so you can feel at ease about money. But if you have a week’s worth savings, you will feel like you need money for a month. After that, you may need a year’s worth. It never ends. Even if you could save enough for the rest of your life, you would start worrying about the possibility of losing it all. So your anxiety never disappears. Why? It is not related to money at all. It is anxiety and fear deeply rooted in your psychology. We think our fears are about money, but in reality it is the future and change we’re afraid of. Is there a solution to this madness? If you are going to save money, save it while you imagine the many fun ways to spend it. You might go traveling, eat at a nice restaurant, get a massage, retire in a desired location, spend it on your children and loved ones. See the difference? You’re infusing your thoughts of money with appreciation, love, hope, and positive energy, thus ensuring that more will flow. You realize your money is there to support your joy and fun. If you start imagining all the fun things you can do with the money you are saving, you won’t be able to worry at the same time. The human mind is very simple: it cannot process two emotions at once. Keep your mind focused on the fun, positive, and hopeful things. Your savings account – and your mind – will thank you.

This may sound strange, but it is true. I have interviewed thousands of millionaires all over the world, so i have a lot of data that confirms this. In fact, I did a study with Kodansha, one of the prestigious publishing houses in Japan, called How Ordinary People Became Millionaires, which examined 10,000 millionaires and how they achieved success. I discovered many things, one of which was that they all lost much and experienced failure and loss before accumulating wealth. They lost in various ways: through bad investments, through theft by employees, or through failed businesses. So don’t get discouraged by the first misfortune. Think of it instead as getting one step closer to success. For after losing some, you will start attracting money – if, of course, you maintain a positive attitude and are open to receiving future success. Other findings are that people who love what they do are far more likely to be successful than those who are unfulfilled in their work. People who do what they love have more passion, go the extra mile for their clients, and serve more. They are more appreciated and respected by their clients and customers. In a word, they are likable. If you want to have a higher Money EQ, you need to love people. The more you care for others, the more you will receive. People respond to someone who cares. Money will flow to these people. If more people like you, more money will flow. I often get questions from freelance people about pricing. They often wonder what the right price for them is. They are not asking the question of how. They want to know more about how to price higher and still get clients and customers. They are afraid to raise their prices because they fear they’ll lose potential clients. It is scary to “put a price on yourself.” The same goes when you ask for a raise. What is interesting is that whatever price you set, you will get clients. However, they won’t be the same: different people have different needs and abilities. If you price low, you’ll attract those who can pay those prices, if you price high, you’ll lose power-paying customers but you’ll attract those who are willing to pay higher prices. So the question is: Are you ready for higher prices and attracting different clients and customers?

People often assume that bigger is better. However, people who desperately aim for big money and riches often fail, and with that failure comes a lot of stress. When it comes to body weight, but occasionally you will find someone who feels great in their own skin, just as they are. In terms of money, I have heard many people say they want more but rarely has anyone ever said that they have too much. I’ve met only one man who said he had enough. I have mentioned my mentor Wahei Takeda a couple of times. I wrote about having “enough” in a book called Maro Up!: The Secret of Success Begins with Arigato with Janet Bray Attwood. Before Wahei’s death, I had the privilege and honor to learn from him, and he was by far the happiest person I have ever met. Although most people around the world are unfamiliar with this great man, to put in relative terms, he was like this great man, to put it in relative terms, he was like the Warren Buffett of Japan. He used to run one of the largest candy companies in the country, and what made his candy company so unique was that the factory workers listened to children singing arigato, which means “thank you”, as they made this special and popular candy for babies. Wahei felt that the energy that came from the children singing while the factory workers were making the candy was why his candy was a bestseller. And I believe my success is a direct result of Wahei’s philosophy of saying arigato consistently and applying his “maro up” philosophy to my own life and business. So what is maro? The word is short for magokoro, which means “true or sincere heart” in Japanese. You could say maro is strong in those who have a pure heart and lead an upright life. Even in Japanese, it’s hard to define maro because it’s a spiritual state, but it could be called a state of selflessness, the opposite of ego. It can be thought of as the deeper and of one’s consciousness, closer to the collective consciousness, the level at which all of humanity and the universe are one. As such, maro is the wellspring of our unconditional love for others, and also for ourselves. Achieving a state of maro is the key to success. Wahei said that those who are in touch with maro always create win-win situations for themselves and the people around them. It follows that if you have a pure heart and true sincerity, not only will people treat you better but you’ll begin to feel the whole universe support you as well. When your maro increases, Wahei says you “maro up” and invite many miracles into your life.

When your maro increases, you:

  • become more magnetic, both emitting and attracting positive energy. This surrounds you with good people and things you care for deeply, which then creates a cycle of happiness and abundance
  • become more passionate and more energized to do the things you care about the most. You become more intuitive, and you can choose the best way to live your life. And since you are doing what you love most, you are constantly opening doors to exciting new opportunities and more abundance
  • express more gratitude for life so you find yourself saying “thank you” more than even before. Your gratitude is contagious, and you make those around you full of positive energy. As a result, others start to express gratitude and welcome more abundance into their own lives as well.”

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