Money Jedi: No More Either/Or! I Want Both!

Change or Solution? Tough choice. Image by Henrik at Flickr Commons.

Change or Solution? Tough choice. Image by Henrik at Flickr Commons.

You can either do what you love, or have a job and make money.

You can either have children, or a career.

You can either have your cake, or eat it.

But you can’t have both. It’s just not realistic. You have to set your priorities.

Does this sound familiar? Maybe you don’t think it sounds familiar, but maybe you secretly believe it anyway. How do you know if you secretly believe it? Look at your actions, and the conditions of your daily life. If you’re all work and no play, because “that’s what it takes” (to accomplish whatever), then you’re operating from an either/or mindset:

You can either have work, or play.

If you don’t have a lot of time to develop and grow your business, because you’re too busy working your current nine-to-five, you’ve got an either/or mindset:

You either have time for this job, or the one you dream of.

But, as T. Harv Eker points out in Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, rich people don’t think in terms of either/or. Rich people know they can have both. They have a mindset of abundance.

Many of us have mindsets focused around “not enough.” We were raised this way. (It’s no one’s fault, really. Blaming our parents is a dead end.) But being raised in a mindset of “there’s not enough,” means we see the entire world this way. It doesn’t stop at money. We worry there’s not enough love, not enough health, not enough work, not enough time. You get the picture.

What’s more, our experience of the world reflects, and reinforces, our belief that there is not enough. If we believe there’s not enough money, that’s probably because we’ve been through a lifetime of not having enough.

A big reason this happens is because (say it with me, fellow Money Jedi!) the beliefs of our subconscious minds control what we experience in our lives. Our subconscious minds like to keep us in our comfort zones (even if they’re more like “discomfort zones”).

If we believe there’s not enough, we tend to ask ourselves what’s more important.

Either money or happiness?

Either work or family?

Either eating cake or being healthy?

To quote Mr. Eker, “Um, maybe they are both important.”

We typically choose the safer options. The more familiar ones. But people with abundance in their bones don’t choose to sacrifice the important things in life. They know there is more than enough of everything to go around. There has always been enough, and will always be.


Taste the Pie of Life

So how can we stop either/or-ing? The first step is to recognize where we’re doing it. You can use an existing exercise for this, like the Pie of Life Chart. You know, the one where you draw a pie chart, and each piece of the pie represents the important parts of your life. There’s a piece for health, romance, friends, family, money, work, and whatever else you really value. You’re supposed to make each piece’s thickness correspond to how fulfilled you are in that area. You can also do it based on how much time you give to each piece of the pie.

Here’s an example of a Pie of Life Chart.

Then you can make another pie chart based on what you’d like the distribution to look like.

This is really helpful because it provides a visual representation. But I think you can skip the whole pie thing if you really want to. (Though I don’t understand why anyone would want to skip pie.) You can just list your values, and how fulfilled you are in each area.

Once you have everything written down, you can see where you’re sacrificing, and where you’re choosing things you don’t really want over things you do.

Now comes the part where you brainstorm about how to have both those things. The “either” and the “or.”

Here’s another tip: Whenever you’re confronted with a problem, ask yourself what the ideal outcome would be. I don’t mean how to solve the problem. I mean the actual end outcome. If your diet is hard, maybe you’d like to eat your cake and lose your weight too.

Once you write out your ideal outcome, no matter how outlandish or improbable it seems, start brainstorming about ways to make it real. Get creative. The goal is to take two seemingly unmarriageable outcomes–a couple that really just can’t stand each other–and make them both happy. Maybe someone will have to compromise a little. Probably, both sides will. But you’re thinking now about how to make two seemingly contradictory things happen at once. And you’re teaching your mind that both “either” and “or” can be real.

You can have a job you love and make money.

You can have kids and a career.

You can have the best sea monkey dream farm that ever was, and an epic moon landing trip–without compromising the health of your precious sea monkeys, and without spinning off into outer space.

In this case, I’d recommend taking your sea monkeys to the moon. Imagine the market niche you’d have cornered there.


L. Marrick is a historical fantasy writer and freelance copywriter. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. She eats too much chocolate and still doesn’t believe downward dog is supposed to be a restful yoga pose. You can connect with her at either of her websites, and follow her on Twitter @LMarrick.

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