“Your desire is revealing. Have a straightforward conversation with it. It’s likely to tell you that you want X because it will make you feel complete. Or that you want Y because it will make you feel powerful. Or that you want Z because it will make you feel free.” – Danielle LaPorte
Have you ever noticed the pattern that most human beings fall into when it comes to spending money? In a society driven by commercialism, we find ourselves seeing something we want, working countless hours to gain the resources to get it, and then once we have it, we’re still left wanting. How does this happen? Wouldn’t it be reasonable to believe that once you reach a goal you’ve set for yourself (getting what you want) you’d be really happy? So why is this, so often, not the case?
The truth is we don’t really want that thing.
We want the feeling we think we’ll have when we get that thing. Most of us don’t really care about the new Fit Bit or Apple’s latest iPhone or the shiny Volvo plastered on every billboard. What we care about is feeling healthy and strong when the Fit Bit tracks our mileage for the day. We care about feeling connected to the people we love, free to express our opinions on social media any time of the day, and energized listening to our favorite tunes on our iPhone. We don’t want the car. We want the feeling of power, speed, and status that come with the car.
Wanting these things…I mean, feelings…isn’t bad or wrong. I think we do ourselves a disservice by labeling it as “materialism”or “greed”. The Dalai Lama said, “The purpose of life is happiness” and I tend to agree. No, the car or iPhone won’t necessarily make you happy. You will only be happy if you FEEL what you wanted to feel in having it. And I think we deserve to be happy. I believe that if you truly desire to feel complete, powerful, and free that you absolutely should feel that way. The question is, WHAT do you DESIRE?
Lack of clarity on what it is you DESIRE and how you truly want to FEEL can lead to financial suicide for a number of reasons:
If you’re currently feeling bad and don’t know what will make you feel good, you’re more likely to spend money aimlessly searching for the “thing” that will make you feel better. (and chances are, nothing money can buy will cut it for you)
If you don’t know what you desire, you have no sense of direction. If you have no sense of direction, you’ll never get what you seek. But you’ll probably make some crappy decisions with your money because you don’t have a plan for it.
If you focus on reaching a goal but don’t consider the feeling you’re after, you’ll never be satisfied, despite brutally hard work.
Danielle LaPorte made a brilliant observation. She noticed that our productivity and results-obsessed society pathologizes FEELINGS. “Don’t let your emotions get the best of you.” “Keep a good head on your shoulders”. “Don’t wear your heart on your sleeve”. “Don’t be so sensitive”. How many times have you heard statements like these? But our feelings, our DESIRES, are at the crutch of what drives us to do anything.
Diving in deep to recognize our heart’s desires is critical for living the lives we want to live. It’s essential to tap into the feelings we want to feel in order for any of us to be motivated enough to create, design, love, care for, heal, help, build, learn, or teach. And it’s imperative that we firmly know and have faith in our desires so we can BUILD WEALTH.
If you don’t have a sense of the feeling that you’ll experience once your student loan is paid off, you won’t work your ass off to accomplish that goal. If you aren’t clear about wanting to feel freedom, independence, and security, you won’t religiously contribute to your retirement account every month. If you don’t feel the burning desire to experience complete rest, relaxation, and calm, there’s no way in hell you’re going to sock away the necessary funds for the beach home you dream of.
Let me be crystal clear here: you deserve to feel all sorts of wonderful feelings. You deserve to be happy. You deserve to feel free, powerful, alive, energized, secure, safe, loved, beautiful, calm, creative, unique, and valued. You deserve to live a great life. Money is merely the tool by which you will create the life you want. But the first and most important step is to dive deep and gain clarity on what you DESIRE. Those desires will be the map that will govern how and where you spend your money and you will need to constantly to referencing that map to make sure you’re on track.
Declare your desires RIGHT NOW! Say them aloud. Write them in the comments below. Write them down in your journal. Tell your best friend. Say them and they come alive; they become real. Keep them secret and you’ll forget; they’ll fade away or get replaced with the “things” you want instead of the “feelings” you want.
Nicole Iacovoni is a Psychotherapist, Author, and Wealth Building Coach. She truly believes anyone can transform their life and has devoted her life to helping clients claim their power to create magical lives by harnessing effective financial management strategies. She believes that taking control of your finances leads to living a more productive, organized, calm, and happy life. She is passionate about helping others experience the power, control, joy, and security of effectively managing money, maximizing earning potential, investing wisely, and doing the inner work necessary for us all to realize our true worth.