by Liz Wolfe
A hot topic in the news these days is why the “1%” have such a disproportionately large amount of accumulated wealth in comparison to other 99%. Perhaps you've seen the video that went viral (almost 7 million views to date) that demonstrates this with impressive graphics and mind-boggling statistics.
So why do the 1% have so much more than the rest of us? Is it because they greedily and purposefully hoard it to keep it away from the rest of us? Is it because poor people are lazy or financially irresponsible, especially when on public assistance? Is it because the government unfairly favors the rich and big business?
Here’s my question. Who cares?
How much money they have has nothing to do with how much money you have. There is an unlimited amount of money available to all of us, and the key is not figuring out why they have more than you do, but rather why you don’t have as much as you want.
Here are some reasons we have trouble creating more money in our lives:
#1 – People think money is a “thing” or a fixed entity
Money is energy. Dollars bills and coins are merely symbols of the life energy we exchange and use as a result of the service we provide to the universe and to each other. Thinking of money as an object restricts our ability to create it freely. By learning to acknowledge it as energy, you will have unlimited access to it.
#2 – People think there is a limited supply; that if wealthy people have too much, it takes away from my supply.
Back to reason #1. There can be no limit because money is not a fixed entity. There is an unlimited supply. How much someone else has does not affect how much you have now, or will have in the future. Ever!
There are too many examples of people from the poorest and most difficult backgrounds, who found great fiscal success (like Jobs and Gates and Rowling) to give any credence to the notion that the top 1% could somehow keep me from earning as much money as I want.
#3 – People think that money is directly related to their own, personal worth.
People have the mistaken notion that you have to "deserve" money and therefore justify why wealthy people shouldn't have so much, because no one "deserves" that kind of money. Who came up with this idea of “deserving” anyway? To say “all that I deserve” puts a limit on it. How do you know if you deserve it? Who decides if you deserve it?
Money is neutral. It doesn’t care if you deserve it or not. You have as much money as you have created up until now. End of story.
#4 – We are told that it is more noble to be poor than rich, and that rich people are selfish.
The interesting thing about this is that you can probably do more good with money than without it. However, stories often portray the rich as unfeeling and stingy, and the poor as benevolent and generous.
#5 – People think that you have to have money to make money.
Since money is energy, it can be created from nothing. Don’t believe me? Try this. Just ask someone for money. (Someone that you know will give it to you.) You ask, they give, and you have it. There! Created from nothing!
I read a story once about a woman who did a seminar where they were instructed to go out in to the world and just ask people for money. They did not give any reason for wanting it, or tell people they were in a seminar, they just asked for it. When all the participants returned, they had collected thousands of dollars, which the organization then donated to a charity.
#6 – We receive mixed messages about money
We’re told “Money makes the world go round” yet “money is the root of all evil.” “Money can’t buy happiness”, but we’re convinced that we’d be happier if we had more of it. No wonder money seems so perplexing.
#7 – We are not skilled at receiving money.
Actually, we’re usually not skilled at receiving in general, but money in particular presents challenges for people. It stems back to reason #3 (we don’t think we deserve it) and reason #4 (if we accept it we’re not good people.)
I have a personal policy – whenever anyone ever offers me money, I take it. I want the universe to know that I am open to receiving money at any time. So, I always say yes!
The makers of the video I mentioned before compare the bottom 20% of the US economic strata with the top 1% and despair at the vast chasm separating the two. However, if we took the bottom 20% of the US demographic and compared just that portion to the demographics of most "developing" nations, it would likely fall in, if not the top 1% then at least the top 10 or 20% of a graph of all those nations.
Think of it this way. First, put yourself somewhere on this scale:
Most "middle class" people put themselves somewhere around “managing” or “struggling”. Now, think about the photo of that African child that Unicef sends out when soliciting donations - the one that hasn't eaten for a month and has a distended stomach and two parents with AIDS. Now, compare yourself and your situation to that child, and now place yourself on the scale. Compared to him, you're affluent.
Back to my original point. How much the 1% has, while certainly unbalanced, is irrelevant to how much money I have the OPPORTUNITY to create. For that, we’re all on equal footing.
Liz Wolfe has lead trainings professionally for over 20 years. She is originally from Western Pennsylvania where she grew up on a sheep farm. She began her public speaking career as a child, doing spinning and weaving demos at local festivals with her family. In her formative years, she was money poor but resource rich. Her days on the farm supplied her with a wonderful foundation to learn about the abundance of the universe.
She came to New York City in 1987. Since then she has created a successful business with her husband, Jon, that focuses on helping companies and individuals realize their full potential.