Friday, October 9, 2009

The economy of self

Trust can be difficult to establish, but it's well worth the investment. My daily horoscope from Shine
We make investments in ourselves everyday. We give time, or not, to ourselves to meditate, ponder, exercise, eat, communicate, work, play. We are constantly investing ourselves in ourselves, in our lives, our daily actions.

The challenge is sometimes our investments are not that wise, or healthy.

Think of your 'self' as a bank. Everyday you deposit goodies (love, joy, laughter, smiles, happy thoughts,), you can eat good food, consume or create good ideas, take positive actions, make healthy lifestyle choices, and a myriad of good decisions into your bank account. Your investment in your self pays off with a positive bank balance that can weather any storm, any crisis you encounter, including every day withdrawals that deplete your resources of energy, time and money.

Withdrawals come in the form of everyday occurrences such as traffic jams that make you late, bank machines that are 'out of service' when you need them most, an angry partner, a run stocking, a soiled shirt, an empty bottle of shampoo when you are half-way through your shower.

Withdrawals are part of the yin/yang of living. How we handle them is what creates our negative balance. Withdrawals deplete our account when we make negative choices. Unhealthy food choices, binges of anger, jealousy, envy, regret, and a host of other emotions. Unforgiveness, non-repentance, uncompromising positions that undermine our peace of mind.

Withdrawals can be reversed with 'goody' deposits such as love, joy, laughter, sharing a good time with a friend, acts of kindness, volunteering, etc.

As long as deposits outweigh withdrawals, your bank account is healthy and happy. You are in the black.

Big picture, with your healthy bank account, you trust yourself to be able to maintain your balance. You trust yourself to weather any momentary blips in the economy of self.

In my economy of self, I am teaching myself good financial management of self. That means, maintaining my integrity in everything I do so that I unravel the bad habits that have depleted my bank account in the past.

Like, my favourite, poor eating habits. When I make a choice to eat something I know is unhealthy for me, I am making a withdrawal from my self. I choose what I put in my mouth. I choose what feeds my body. When I choose to negatively impact my body, I am depleting my self of vital, necessary and essential nutrients. I am shifting the balance in the economy of my self to the negative.

When I invest in trusting myself by making positive choices, I am depositing goodies that sustain and create wealth in me. Every time I teach myself that I can trust 'me' to make healthy choices, I strengthen my bottom line (and my bottom).

Today's exercise:

Write down the dollar figure $1,000.00 in the middle of the top of a blank page in your notebook.

Beneath it, draw a line to the bottom of the page dividing the page in half.

On the top left side write: Withdrawals On the top right side write: Deposits

Throughout the day, remind yourself to write down a value for every emotion you experience during the day.

Every emotion has a value of $1.00. Doesn't matter if the emotion is love or anger -- it has a value of $1.00 on the Deposit side of the ledger.

Now, if you notice that the anger lasts longer than the momentary 'noticing' of it, make a withdrawal. Every withdrawal is valued at $2.00.

For example, you are in a meeting and Joe from the corner office is, as always, late. The thought of Joe being late is a positive emotion -- lateness is 'rude'. However, the 'as always' component is a negative. Have you ever discussed the importance of punctuality? Have you found a respectful way to tell him about your feelings around his lateness? So, in this situation you have a $1.00 deposit and a $2.00 withdrawal.

As the meeting continues, Joe asks a question about something that was discussed before he entered the meeting. You reply, (or think), "If you'd been here on time you'd know the answer."

That's a $2.00 withdrawal. There's no deposit because you've already given your emotions around his tardiness a say.

Later on, you go for coffee and Joe is standing in line in front of you. As you walk towards him, you smile, but in your head you think, "Ha. He's never late for coffee." That's a $2.00 withdrawal.

Back in your office, the phone rings. It's a supplier telling you they'll be late with delivery. It's the second time this month. You mention that fact and they apologize, explaining that they haven't received the necessary components because their supplier is late. You agree on a new delivery date and you hang up. You get a $1.00 deposit because you handled the interaction effectively.

Later on, you are explaining to your boss about the late delivery and complain about the supplier, blaming them for the situation, yada yada yada. That's a $2.00 withdrawal -- and more withdrawals for every time you repeat the story about how they are to blame -- like when you get home and tell your partner all about it, complaining about the supplier's lack of responsiveness. Oh, and you also get a $2.00 withdrawal when you talk about Joe's tardiness.

At the end of the day, add up each column. Are you in the negative or positive? Look through eyes of wonder at your bottom line and ask yourself, What can I learn? What can I do to change my bottom line? Be open, and joyful. Just in doing the exercise you have created positive well-being for your self.

The reality of this exercise is to bring to our consciousness the impact of our complaints and the effect of our critical, negative talk on our well-being.

When we invest time and energy into criticising, condemning and complaining, we are making withdrawals from our economy of self. We are depleting our resources, running our balance down and creating stress -- think about your bank account. When the balance is depleted, do you worry about how you'll make ends meet. How you'll pay for the new tires, the furnace repair, that dress you really want for the Christmas party? Criticising, condemning and complaining are energy vacuums. They suck the 'goodies' right out of us.

Stop it.

Make a commitment to notice how much you criticize, condemn and complain on a daily basis. Offset the negative with positives. Keep focusing on the positive, on the deposits, and ease yourself away from making too many negative withdrawals. Life has its ups and downs. Some one will inevitably do something to hurt, disappoint, disillusion, betray.... us. It is inevitable.

How we handle the ups and downs makes all the difference in the world to our economy of self. Choose to create a bank account of well-being that is continually balanced with positive 'goodies' that will sustain you through any situation that may arise. Keep yourself in the black by continually depositing self-sustaining and enhancing well-being.

The question is: What's in your bank account?


Anonymous said...


you were worried, upon going back to work, if you would have time to write . ..

I see you are writing fine .. and long .. every day; I guess you've saved the right amount of time for that.

I'll be publishing some of your recent pieces in coming days . .

I'm off tomorrow for Maui ...



M.L. Gallagher said...

Thanks Mark!

have a wonderful, exciting and restful adventure on the sea with PB.