Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Keys to building Sustainable Wealth - Key 3 Building a Healthy Money Mindset

Relapse! is a painful word for those working in the mental health circles. It is even more painful to those fighting addiction and it is very painful to the alcoholic falling of the wagon after years of sobriety.

But why mention this in a post on a money mindset?

The answer is simple. Human beings easily relapse into old ingrained habits, beliefs and attitudes. Freud told us that people often revert back to previous ego states (modes of being), he called this regression. Regression often occurs when we are faced by a situation that is difficult to deal with. Regression happens when we struggle to deal with new challenges and fall back to old behaviors.    

We could speculate much about how regression works, but often old ways doing, old habits and old beliefs are comfortable and safe, and they very often prevent us from changing. For most of us our current behaviour, beliefs, and attitudes, have gathered enough momentum to keep going, the way they are going.  

Habits of thought, habits of action, habits of beliefs ...

The shocker is that our current behaviour, attitudes, beliefs and habits are producing the exact results they are designed to produce.  The results we find in our lives are the very outcomes of ingrained beliefs, attitudes, actions, and habits (credit goes to Steven Covey and David P. Hanna for this concept). 

It is logical that to be whole financially, we need a combination of the correct money mindset and money habits. I covered some ideas about basic money habits we have to implement in my previous post. Let's now consider some ideas on how to develop a healthy money mindset.  

Steps to Building a Healthy Money Mindset  

Spirituality, meaning, and purpose – Why is it important to include these into thoughts about career planning?

Hello everyone!

I am delighted to be back – let us add another dimension to how we need to look at the issue of career and life planning! As we have discussed before, when we are busy with any form or shape of career planning, it is really important to take due consideration of all factors, which may influence this process.

Previously we skimmed the surface regarding the ILP model’s ability to offer an integrative approach to career planning. Today we will introduce a topic so profoundly part of who we are, that it seems almost impossible considering any form of career or life planning where it is excluded…I am referring to the issues of spirituality, meaning, and purpose in life.

Let us take a brief moment to pause around the issue of purpose in life. When talking to working people – yes, this is intentionally written in old speak – a huge number of these people will quite easily tell you that they are working with the intention of getting paid, as this will allow them to buy things…and that this buying will in some way bring a sense of peace and fulfilment! When probing a bit more specifically, less than 10% of these people will be able to state that by working they are (also) fulfilling their life purpose. Of interest is the large number of people who regard work as a necessary evil, something they have to do, and if possible, something they would not mind giving up at any time! If we now turn our attention to the topic of the current posting, I think you will agree that what is lacking from the above picture, is being able to find our purpose (in life) in the work we are doing.

Although purpose in life can be described in many ways, this concept needs to form part of the discussion when people’s futures are under the spotlight. In previous models of career planning, a significant emphasis has been placed on finding the right job in the current time; managing a career would then be about finding ways within the selected job, to get to the top of the ladder. At no point did these approaches to career planning introduce the fundamentally important issue of purpose in life.

Further to the above, the large majority of career planning models have not sufficiently considered spirituality within the context of career planning and management. I guess there will be some detractors to the following statement, but that is their choice: people are fundamentally spiritual beings, and need to (also) take a proper look at the role of spirituality in our lives when making a career planning decision. According to one definition for spirituality, it is seen to refer to the sense of interconnectedness within all living creatures, and an awareness of the purpose and meaning of life the development of personal, absolute values.

How is it then, considering the above definition of spirituality, possible to make any career plan or engage in career management if we simply disregard the influence of purpose in life and spirituality?

Due to its integrative approach to career planning, The Integrative Life Planning model takes full notice of the issues of meaning, purpose in life and our spirituality; any career-related course of action where we exclude our personal take on the above issues, is bound to end in a place of unfulfilment and un-connectedness – in short, not a good place at all and the same place describing the 90% mentioned earlier in this post!

In my next posting I will spend a bit of time talking about a final principle underlying the concept of ILP – once this is done, we will start moving into ILP proper! Have yourself a brilliantly fulfilled and integrated day!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Success Tips - Reading Your Way to Riches

Yesterday, I used the Gautrain, (the rapid rail link now connecting Pretoria with Johannesburg) for the first time.  It was a great experience, it allowed me to listen to an audio book while commuting to Sandton. It was much nicer than being stuck, in traffic, on the often congested Gauteng freeways. I am very proud at such a world-class system South Africa has implemented.  

However, I am not used to traveling on such fast trains in South Africa. I must admit that I was slightly nervous at the idea of traveling at 160 km's an hour. I also experienced slight motion sickness when we pulled out of the station. Fortunately, it was very brief, and the commute back was wonderful, by that time I was used to it and I enjoyed it very much. 

While feeling a little green, I was listening to a book by Richard Cordock called the Millionaire Upgrade. The narrator, in all his wisdom, told me that to be successful we have to continually move outside of our comfort zones; ironic, isn't it? Especially while fighting nausea.

I got the point. In essence, to be successful we have to keep growing, keep facing our fears, keep challenging our comfort zones, keep developing, and keep doing the work that's needed to attain success. 

Yaro Starak, a very successful internet entrepreneur and internet marketer I actually admire, shares part of his entrepreneurial journey with us (worth the read).  In essence Yaro emphasizes that we have to keep pursuing our dreams, challenge our own comfort zones, and accept that entering the unknown will be uncomfortable. We have to live with ambiguity on the road to success. Sometimes we have to face the nausea.  

That brings me to the importance of reading. In the Millionaire Upgrade Cordock suggests that reading is an important way to stretch our minds, and I have to agree.   

Reading helps us to overcome mental apathy and stagnation. Reading programs our mind with options which may not have existed before. If you read, you expand your horizons, your opportunities, and possibilities.  Reading shapes one's mindset and to be successful one has to cultivate a wealth mindset.   

Some of the most interesting and successful people I know are all readers. Reading is crucial for a successful life.    

That being said, if you are looking for some cool books to read on the journey to personal success and achievement, you may want to check out our list of recommended books on amazon:

View our recommendations here: store

Another very cool website is Sinead Duffy's Great Minds website which lists comprehensive reading lists on a number of topics including books on success, personal development, and wealth building.

Cool, so developing a love for reading is a cornerstone of a successful life. But, what should we be reading? That is a topic on its own.  Something to consider that helped me a lot is Napoleon Hill's ideas on specialized knowledge.  

I am also very interested to hear which books you may have read that inspired and challenged you.  Please share that with us by commenting below. I am looking forward to your comments.  

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The need for finding connections and links in career and life planning – The Integrative Life Planning Approach

Hi – good to have you back! In the previous two posts I spent time investigating some of the principles on which Integrative Life Planning is based. Please allow me a few moments to give you a further introduction to what makes the ILP model so special!

If you have been around for a bit on the blog, you will recall that we previously looked at a variety of reasons why there is a need to take a different look at planning a career and doing life planning – as indicated from a holistic approach.

Since ILP is described as an integrative model, it seems just that it would take a closer look at all the issues and contexts, which may influence how we live and shape our lives. As a direct consequence of its aim to bring all life influences together in a model, ILP investigates the lives of people in a more or less layered approach. We can start off by looking at people on an (unobservable) spiritual level; we can look at how people think about themselves; we may consider people’s gender roles and their interpersonal relations; we may even consider how people live together in communities and societies; we can look at how societies are shaped and influence people; and we can certainly consider people from a national and global point of view. I agree that the further we move away from the individual, the less we feel connected to the discussion – it is, however, one of the points at the heart of ILP!

ILP is a holistic model, which not only helps us to dissect life into a myriad of bits and pieces – BUT to bring it all together in a way that allows us to move beyond feelings of isolation, and move to a place where we become able to celebrate the nature of man (and woman!). ILP helps us understand that the world as we know it at this very moment, is in fact changing, will keep changing, and that we need to find ways through which we can be equipped to handle these challenges and opportunities.

A fourth defining principle is the fact that ILP provides a lens through which we are able to observe – and change – various connections and links. The previous paragraph already hinted at ILP’s drive to integrate the various facets of which our lives may be comprised. A key strength of the holistic ILP model can be found in the way ILP makes it possible to see the connections between our family lives and work. If we cast our minds back to the era where it was commonplace to match a career to an individual – sometimes for life – we will recall that no single career and life development approach was known to integrate these two power-houses of life influence! While previous models of career choice and development assumed there was one ideal form of family, they tried their level best to keep work and family separate from one another. If, like the majority of individuals, you were assisted by an old-school career professional, chances are very slim that family and work would have been brought together in the decision-making process. It was more or less assumed that work was work and family another place where we would go after work…to rest and get back to work the following day!

As times have changed, the shortcomings of modernist career models have been exposed – no longer is it acceptable to offer career and life planning assistance without adopting an integrative approach. The ILP model, consisting of six critical tasks, manages to create a space within which true integration becomes possible and has the promise of creating long-term change. As we continue our discussion on the ILP model, we will present the case for integration and seeking wholeness from an individual as well as organisational perspective.

I look forward to seeing you here soon – we will continue our adventure on the road to wholeness and integration of all facets of our lives!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Keys to Building Sustainable Wealth - Key 2 A System For Wealth

A system for wealth ... sounds a bit like a grandiose claim, I have to admit.  Is it really possible to follow a system that will make you wealthy? If so, why do so few mention it? What does such a system look like in operation, and how do we implement it? Can it work when I am in debt?  

Firstly, I think that there are many ways to achieve one's goals.  In this posting (disclaimer time!) I am sharing information I found helpful to me, please speak to qualified financial experts before you bet the farm on my advice

(Actually, please don't bet the farm on my advice, the world's financial experts are well adept to lose our money if the 08 crash is anything to go by, you don't need my help to do that).

Before outlining the system, I want to look at some hindrances to wealth building. I will propose that a system for the accumulation wealth will run into much of the same problems a system used for losing weight does. 

We all know the story ... You start a new diet and exercise system (often involving awful green smoothies and modified medieval torture machines you buy online). It goes well for the first week, maybe the first month. And then something happens, our latest diet system crashes, we revert back to old habits, marry the coach and attack the refrigerator, gaining back all the weight we lost. 
I am no expert on health and fitness, but personal experience tells me that going to the gym and busting my chops for 5 hours is not sustainable. Overtraining leads to pain, demotivation and injury, which is a dead end for your exercise program.    

Healthy nutrition and exercising has to be sustainable,  day after day, week after week, month after month, and so forth... Consistent long term efforts produce much better results than crash dieting or  working yourself to death every now and then in the gym. 

Same goes for a system of wealth accumulation, consistent small steps should always outperform inconsistent big steps.      

A Sustainable System for Wealth Accumulation     

To be effective, such a system cannot ignore human psychology. An effective system has to motivate us to keep building wealth. Such a system has to balance our current needs and desires with providing for our future. Such a system has to allow us to enjoy the benefits of money we make now, while not slicing into our future provisions.  

As a starting point, let's consider three legs of our system for building wealth, we will only do the first, Growing in Discipline, in this post: 

1) Growing in Discipline, 

2) Developing a Positive Money Mindset, 

3) Growing in Our Money and Entrepreneurial  Skills 

1. Growing in discipline

Ouch! sounds painful. But the reality is that those of us fortunate enough having to build wealth from scratch, will 1) have to control our spending, 2) accumulate a surplus of funds, and 3) wisely invest those funds for growth (so we are told in Investing 101).  Controlling our spending  is the first step and that requires discipline.  

It is at this point where I often sabotaged my personal efforts at building wealth, I did this by:  

Overspending - overspending leads to debt, just as overeating leads to fat!  Debt decreases our ability to accumulate a surplus of money to invest.  If you're in debt, don't feel bad. Many of us are.  This system also has a solution for that. 

Misunderstanding why I had to save.  When you save money and that money has no purpose, you will surely use it for the first good enough reason you can think of. If you save for a rainy day, "it's going to be raining pretty soon". 

Trying to pay off debt before beginning to save for a surplus to invest. I think we have to start accumulating a surplus to invest at the same time we are working to pay off debts.  

Many investment pro's will lynch me for saying this. They will tell you that the returns you make on your investment will be reduced by the interest you have to pay on your debt. 

For example if you owe an amount on your credit card, at a 17% interest rate, and you invest a similar amount at 20%, you will only earn 3% interest on your portfolio (combined debt and investment). 3% will not even beat inflation, they will tell you.   

Investment pro's will often tell you to pay your debt of first, then to invest.  I don't really care. While their view makes perfect sense from a portfolio perspective, I have only been able to pay off one loan that way.  To me it was mainly a psychological thing.  Paying everything you can into debt is soul deadening to me. I felt like I was making no progress financially and ended up deeper in debt.            
Now, onto the system we can use to accumulate a surplus and pay off debt. 

This system is based on the The Richest Man in Babylon: The Success Secrets of the Ancients which I found incredibly motivating and helpful.    

Principle 1: Pay Yourself 10% of Everything You Earn

Make a commitment to keep 10% of everything you make "as yours to keep". This means that you actually pay 10% of all your earnings to yourself first.

See this 10% as the "seeds to your money tree". This is your surplus that must start to earn more money for you. Like a "golden slave" this stream of money that has to earn money for you.  Stated simply, this money has to earn more money for you. It is not money for a rainy day, it's money that has to slave for you.

Principle 2: Learn to Control Your Expenses

This requires discipline to live on 90% of your earnings (or 70%, if like me you want to get out of debt). Remember, we have to grow in wealthy disciplines, part of that is learning to live on 90% of what you earn.

To start with this, make a list of your necessities and your desires. At this point we have to give up some of our desires in order to make our greater desire, such a financial freedom, come true.

This is also where a budget is needed.  A budget is tool that helps us to delay a multitude of desires for the attainment of a bigger one.

Then, after you have done that, enjoy the 90% (or 70%) of your money as far is it permits.
Principle 3: Make Your Surplus Capital Multiply

After having saved a surplus, we have to put our surplus to work for us. To do this, we have to invest. There are many options wherein to invest money, but I think one rule is crucial.

Never ever invest into something you do not understand. Make sure you can identify the risks and workings of an investment before investing. Or else, your money will surely be lost. Also, be very careful of whom you take financial advice.  Don't listen to the broker who is broker than you are. Listen to those skilled in the workings of making money.    

I have once heard of an old farmer who made a fortune investing in peaches. When asked why he invested only in peaches he stated that it was the one thing, the one market, he knew very well.  Let's learn from him.  

So, at this stage the 10% portion you saved should start to earn money.  We then have to reinvest those earnings to earn even more. "This is where money earns for you, and his children earn for you, and his children's children earn for you" (Clason, 2008)    

A Word on Debt ... 

I like the system suggested in The Richest Man in Babylon. For those of us seeking to get out of debt the book recommends that we save at least 10% of our income and use an additional 20% to pay of debt.  The 20% is evenly applied to all debt one seeks to pay off, until it is paid off.  

This allows the simultaneous growth of a money surplus and the paying off of debt. The growing money is good for your soul, it motivates us when we see our bank balance increasing and it feels good to receive money from investments. For that reason. I find the system to be sustainable and not burdensome. Read the book if you need more information on this part of the system.  

Thank you for bearing with me through this lengthy post.  I would really like to hear any comments, insight or advice on this topic.  



Friday, August 19, 2011

Keys to Building Sustainable Wealth - Key 1 Building Wealth Slowly

I like talking about money, it is a fascinating subject, but in reality I am not what one may consider to be wealthy or rich; yet. Like many of us I am also busy with a process of building wealth.

I have to emphasize the word process.  Process implies a plan and consistency. It also implies a long-term perspective. 

It is obvious that to build wealth, we have to position ourselves in the best possible spot that makes our potential for success most likely. 

Think about sports; football, ice hockey, rugby (etc). 

In such sports you firstly have to arrive on the field to be able to score.  You also have to assume the correct positions on the field, or else you'll miss the ball/puck/goatskin (or whatever). You also have to condition your body and mind to win, or you won't have the stamina to succeed. You probably also need a 'play', a team tactic, to use during the game. Those are variables, I am told, which underly success in sports. 

It is noted that such factors don't guarantee a win; but they enhance the possibility of winning. In the same way we have to assume the correct position, mindset, and behaviors that enhance our chances of building wealth successfully. That requires us to get the basics of wealth accumulation right.    

Why wealth is often built slowly
In order to accumulate wealth, we have to master a number skills and behaviors. Building sustainable wealth requires a combination of mindset, knowledge, skills and discipline. 

Yet, I think that our culture of instant gratification has led many of us to expect wealth to come quickly. The media often reinforces that perspective through the telling of the stories of the next successful billionaire.   

Indeed, great wealth has come quickly, for some individuals, in isolated cases. Think about Mark Zuckerburg  of Facebook, and Bill Gates of Microsoft. We may also mention many lottery winners here. 

But, the truth is that most people won't be able or in the position to start the next billion dollar company. So if it is unlikely for most of us to do that, what then? Should we just hope for success? Should we just  give up? Or do we have to follow a different road.  

The answer is that in most situations, for most wealthy people, wealth is built slowly and through a CORRECT DISCIPLINED MINDSET AND CORRECT ACTIONS. See The Millionaire Next Door: Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy.  Sorry, but this is not a get rich quick thing.   

Maybe, wealth builds slowly ... just like debt. At least in my opinion. 

Over the last couple of years, I have accumulated a lot of credit card debt. And I have to say, not through big ticket spending, but through an accumulation of small purchases: a coffee here, a purchase there, you know the story. Stupid, I know. 

I now realize my mistake and I am busy fixing it. But the amount staggers me, how did I accumulate so much debt, I often wonder.

Fortunately, wealth may also be accumulated in a similar way; through the accumulation of one small disciplined saving at a time.  Such savings need consistency, and consistency requires a system.   

I recently realized that building wealth requires a sustainable system, a system that balances your current needs with future needs. A system where you can enjoy your money now, without impoverishing  your future. A system that keeps you motivated in the present, as you're busy to provide for your future.   

We'll look at such a system in my next posting.     

Thank you for reading.  If you have any suggestions to share on how to accumulate wealth sustainably, or any other comment, I would like to hear from you.  Please leave your comments below. 

Some recommended reading, for those interested in this topic:

On the psychology of money: A Look at Psychological Realities of Money (published on

On money negative money scripts and beliefs: 10 Poor Money Beliefs You Have to Conquer

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The celebration of diversity and inclusivity – ILP’s holistic approach to dealing with these challenges

Hi there! Let us continue our journey of discovery within which we consider some of the challenges towards attaining wholeness.

According to Hansen, Integrative Life Planning (ILP) offers a model which provides a space within which newly gained insight about “career and organisational development, gender roles, multi-culturalism and diversity, and social and personal change into a unified framework for practice” can be harnessed.

The ILP model’s focus on diversity and inclusivity are described as unique discussion points in terms of areas existing career and personal development models. As you can imagine, the linear models of career counselling, which were discussed before, are in no way capable of providing practitioners with a sufficiently fluid model, which celebrates difference as well as sameness.

ILP is further described as an approach, which can be applied to both the career professional rendering a developmentally-related service, as well as his or her clients. This is also a fresh new approach, since previous models were known to emphasise the expert role of the career professional. By providing a framework within which self-reflection can take place, ILP is not just offering lip-service to the notion of diversity and inclusivity – it is allowing the client and the professional space to encounter themselves and to encounter others. By so doing, both participants are enabled to assess whether their skills, knowledge, and attitudes, are geared towards adding value, or towards creating further division.

Hansen also states that the ILP model offers an alternative to those individuals, who have managed to master Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and who need to move or be moved beyond.

Let us take a minute to consider the importance of being able to celebrate difference as well as sameness by examining three recent examples:

· The recent spate of riots and violence in the United Kingdom serves as a clear indication that there seems to be an over-emphasis on difference. Diversity is not celebrated, but is used by all involved – rioters and police and everyone else perpetuating the situation – to create further division.

· The horrific incident in Norway where Anders Behring Breivik shot and killed 76 individuals whom he regarded as different. How could this situation have been avoided if there were a celebration of diversity and inclusivity?

· The last example I want to introduce, is the killing of dolphins on the Cove in Taiji, Japan. Video footage on the event has shocked the world, and has led to an outrage amongst Western nations. If there were a greater appreciation of diversity and inclusivity, a better solution for all stakeholders would have been possible. Instead of identifying a strategy aimed at addressing the fears of all, the main emphasis was placed on difference!

I think the above examples speak for themselves! ILP offers an approach, which celebrates difference or diversity, as well as sameness or inclusivity. In postings to follow, we will continue discussing the value the ILP approach can add to the world of career planning, but also on other levels.

Please let me know your thoughts on the issue – feel free to write comments and let us get a discussion going!

See you next time!

10 Poor Money Beliefs You Have Conquer - Part 2

Welcome back to the second part of this discussion on poor money beliefs we have to overcome in our journey to financial wholeness.  If you missed the first part, you may read it here.  

I have recently realized money, in itself, to be neutral thing. However, we attach much of our personal ideas, beliefs, emotions, attitudes and ideologies onto money. This made me think of a common opinion in linguistics which states that meaning resides in people, not in the objects of the outside world (real philosophical quicksand, I know) 

I am simply suggesting that as people, we attach our unique meanings to the objects of the external world. We don't see the world as it is, "we see the world as we are".  Same goes for money.  We will never see money as an objective thing, we'll always see it through our personal 'money lenses'.  

If your lenses are broken, you won't be able to see the correct picture (and you may visit the optometrist to get new ones, making him very happy)  To see an accurate picture we have to fix our lenses. Same applies to our money lenses.  

Wrong beliefs produce, wrong behaviors and consequently wrong results. Let's assume there are different perspectives and beliefs about money. Let's also assume that some of the beliefs are more beneficial to our financial wholeness than others. 

That implies that we have the power to choose one belief over another.  And we have to do that constantly on the journey to personal success and meaning.  

Let's move onto the next five wrong beliefs about money we have to change.  Credit goes to Brad Klontz and Ted Klontz who did much work on this topic, this discussion mainly follows their ideas.  


Monday, August 15, 2011

10 Poor Money Beliefs You Have Conquer - Part 1

Welcome back to this discussion on the psychology of money.  This forms part of a series looking at financial wholeness.  Getting the money issue under control is an important part of the journey to wholeness and a balanced life. 

From childhood onward we all develop ideas and beliefs about money.  Like any idea or belief, money beliefs may bring you closer to your goals, or take you further away from them. Consider the right perspective on money, as part of the tools needed to prosper and accumulate wealth.

Correct beliefs underlie correct behaviors;  erroneous beliefs underlie wrong behaviors (logical I  know). Erroneous beliefs may, and often do, cause us pain.  Just ask the kid with the Superman outfit standing on the roof of the family home, really believing he is able to fly like Superman. Ouch! 

In life, we often have to change wrong beliefs in order to grow.  This applies to beliefs about money too.  The authors Brad Klontz and Ted Klontz did much work in this area.  They identified 10 wrong money beliefs they claim can lead to financial mIsfortune.  Lets consider the first five: 


1. Having more money will make everything better

While it is true that 'enough' money makes a huge difference to people in poverty, research seems to show that, above a certain threshold, changes to income levels make little difference to our life satisfaction. This is the classic case of more stuff not necessarily making you happier. 

My responsibility: There are things money can buy, and things it can't. It is my responsibility to determine  what money can and cannot do for me.   

2. Money is evil or bad

This belief often emerges from religious views about money or wealth.  It may flow from an idea that rich people are greedy or that wealth is gained only through exploitation.  

My responsibility: I have to realize that money in itself is neutral, but it often acts as a magnifying glass exposing the wishes, desires, and beliefs of my heart. If you are a greedy person, money will magnify your greed. What is money teaching me about myself? What is it exposing? Do I have the courage to change that?     

3. I am not worthy to have money

Klontz and Klontz tell us that this belief is often found among people who received unexpected windfalls of money, and often among those in the helping professions. They also identify this belief as dangerous, one that keeps us poor financially and emotionally.  

My responsibility: again the issue is not really money, but self-esteem and beliefs about personal worth. I have to determine why I am expecting such little reward from life and I have to change the beliefs that underlie that. 

4. I deserve to reward myself by spending money   

This belief often leads us to overspend on credit cards, to save little money for future needs, and to spend over our budgets. The issue is not the spending of money, but the reckless overspending of it.  

My responsibility: while I firmly believe that we may enjoy our money, we have to guard against attempts to validate our self-worth through spending and buying stuff.  Money cannot validate us, validation is an issue pertaining to our spirit and the latest gadget cannot reach that side of us. We need a higher transcendent reality for that. 

Also keep in mind that the pleasure you gain from a big ticket item, may only be marginally more than the pleasure gained from a smaller purchase.     

5. I will never have enough money

This belief is played out by those who hoard money in fear that they will never have enough of it. They may overwork and sacrifice health and relationships for more money.  While they may have much money, such individuals are often living as if they are in poverty.

My responsibility:  I am responsible to rid myself of the fear of poverty, and to focus on the cultivation of a healthy wealth mentality.

Fear nullifies faith, and it is impossible to attain our goals without faith. Napoleon Hill tells us that the fear of poverty programs the unconscious to produce poverty (see Pink Elephants, Garbage and the Unconscious Mind for on this).

We have to replace a poverty mentality with a wealth mentality.

That's it for today, we'll delve into the next five wrong money beliefs in the next post. Please feel free to tell us about your own experiences in the comment field below.

Some further reading on this topic:

Mind over Money: Overcoming the Money Disorders That Threaten Our Financial Health by Brad Klontz and Ted Klontz

The Financial Wisdom of Ebenezer Scrooge: 5 Principles to Transform Your Relationship with Money by Brad Klontz and Ted Klontz

Think And Grow Rich: The Secret To Wealth Updated For The 21St Century by Napoleon Hill


ILP is a Holistic Approach to Life Planning – what issues do we need to consider?

Welcome back! After a brief absence from the blog, I am back and want to spend some time talking about Integrative Life Planning as an approach, which can be considered from six perspectives. As we have discussed before, ILP is a comprehensive model, aimed at offering life-changing assistance to individuals – ILP is a truly holistic approach, and as we will be discussing today, consists of various facets of significance.

When one starts planning a career, the whole picture needs to be taken into consideration. The approach to life planning, which is described by the ILP model, can be viewed from six distinct perspectives. The first perspective that we will now be looking at, has been alluded to already: ILP is a holistic approach, which is used to help all individuals look at themselves within the various contexts they are functioning in.

ILP, as an approach to career and life planning, considers every single element, which is known to have an impact on our personal experiences and lives. I agree, this indeed sounds like quite an ambitious statement – let us take a closer look at what these specific issues are.

v Local, national, and global change – this can include literally anything, which someone planning a career, will in one way or the other need to consider. Granted, issues of global change will take longer to impact my day-to-day life, but invariably does.

v Work, family, education, and leisure changes – these elements describe both our private and public lives, and are duly considered as a function of the holistic nature of the ILP approach

v Cultural changes and subsequent changes seen in the roles of men and women – this makes up for another element, which is considered in terms of ILP’s holistic approach to life planning and patterns

v Change in our life roles, which include learning, loving, relaxing, and work – these elements, when discussed in terms of the ILP approach, are duly considered as additional facets to consider when we are engaged in the process of planning for a career; the integration of these areas are given centre-stage in the ILP life planning play!

v The need for personal reflection, especially in terms of one’s own priorities for issues such as personal and career life planning – this is a need, which was not sufficiently catered for by the previous linear models of career planning and life development; and lastly

v The impact and importance of the notion of change itself – change is often viewed as the only constant in our lives! We are all experiencing change in one form or the other – ILP considers the manner in which change impacts on individuals in all their complexity and uniqueness.

The manner in which career professionals approach the life and career planning of clients, simply has to give full consideration to the above issues. If we opt for fully-fledged career counselling, the above areas simply have to be included in the process; if a career coach was to employ the ILP model, the truth would be unchanged and the value of ILP as holistic approach would again be realised.

When we meet again, we will continue our current discussion of the six perspectives from which the ILP life planning model can be viewed – I look forward to talking to you soon!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Look at Psychological Realities of Money

Money is a complicated psychological concept. One that greatly affects our lives. A friend of mine once commented that if it weren't for money, we'd all be rich. The truth is that money is a reality most of us cannot escape, we need it to survive and we have to deal with the reality of money on a daily basis.

Apart from the material nature of money, money also affects the soul of man, money is not just something physical, it powerfully links to the soul and the spirit of man. If you have ever wondered why money is such a problematic and complicated human issue, you may want to read the following article that list some of the psychological realities of money that affects our lives: A Look at Psychological Realities of Money (published on  

Monday, August 8, 2011

Is Your Unconscious Keeping You Poor? Money and the Soul Part 3

Welcome back to our blog! This is our third posting about the psychology of money. A very fitting topic indeed, this has been a troublesome month.  

News about the US debt ceiling crisis circulated the globe.  Many individuals have considered the real possibility of the collapse of the US Dollar and yet another implosion of the global economy.

Anxiety, uncertainty and panic seem to linger just below the surface of the western world's collective unconscious, just another testimony to money affecting our lives in very real ways.  

My previous posts showed psychological money issues as complex. For this posting I want to delve deeper into the reality of limiting and destructive money behaviours and beliefs. Many of us, perhaps all of us, to some degree have developed self-limiting and self-destructive money beliefs, attitudes, and emotions.

Let’s call these negative mental programming about money for simplicity's sake.  That also requires a mention of mental schemas and scripts about money.  We’ll look into that a bit later.  Firstly we must recognize the importance of childhood experiences with money.    

Childhood Money Experiences

The psychological researchers, Paul Klontz and Brad Klontz propose that our beliefs about money are developed during childhood, passed from generation to generation along family lines, usually settle in the unconscious, and drive much of our financial behaviour.  

Linking to this, psychologists, such as Harry S Sullivan and Sigmund Freud have also proposed that experiences during childhood are crucial determinants of our personality and behaviours later in life.  

Clinicians will tell us that childhood money experiences are often negative and may involve lots of anxiety. Seeing your parents fight over money may cause one to develop pervasive negative feelings and beliefs about money (this is indeed a possibility, since money issues are a prevalent cause of marital conflict). Regular exposure to money related conflict,  certainly will affect your perspective on money later in life.  

Sullivan's insight tells us that experiences with anxiety seems to leave lasting imprints on the unconscious mind.   Such imprints often settle on a sub-verbal and unconscious level in the mind.  That suggests that childhood anxiety about money makes the topic hard to address later in life.   

In a person, this may manifest as inexplicable anxiety surrounding money topics, which may be mixed with (mal)adaptive behaviours, and other ego defense mechanisms, used to protect the soul from anxiety associated with money.

Often this may take the form of avoidance behaviour, or, perhaps, an unrealistic fascination with money, where one may perceive ‘more money’ as the symbol of freedom from unconscious money related anxiety (note that I am only speculating here).   

Klontz and Klontz seem to agree with the idea of ‘financial flashpoint experiences’ that leaves lasting impressions and money beliefs in our minds. 

Thinking about my own life, it is easy to recall some very bad experiences with money and the negative money beliefs these shaped in my thinking and behaviours around money. 

Personally, I love and hate money.  I hate the sense that it controls so much of our lives, but I also like it, like the benefits and good things money can do and bring.    

It seems that we pick up ideas about life, the world, and money, during childhood.  Such beliefs become deeply rooted in the soul and we may not even be aware of them. 

The Money Autopilot
Many of us are living with our “money autopilot” fully engaged.  Meaning we are automatically living out the money scripts and ideas that were shaped during childhood. 

Klontz and Klontz define money scripts as internalized and often unconscious thoughts about what money is (and what we believe it can do for us).  

From a psychological perspective a script refers to a series of (programmed) behaviours we follow in specific situations.  This forms part of mental schemas – collections of associated information, emotions, behaviours surrounding a topic. 

We all follow our money schemas and money scripts to guide our money behaviours. Yet, these scripts and schemas are not always beneficial to our psychological health.    

Without some form of intervention, we tend to live out childhood scripts in ways that make them stronger (in self-fulfilling ways). Such scrips are often unconscious.   

If we are unable to align our behavioural scripts with the laws of money (a topic for another time), we will surely not be able to accumulate wealth and financial wholeness. 

So, yes I do think that one's unconscious can keep you poor. Since our (unconscious) money behaviours and beliefs are mostly on autopilot, we will cruise to a predictable destination, that is until we decide to change our beliefs and behaviours.

Again, I am suggesting the need for the cultivation of a balanced perspective on money. To achieve this we have to consider the relevance of our money scripts, schemas and behaviours. Let’s look into that in the next posting.

Thank you for reading, I welcome your feedback and personal insight on this topic.       

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Conceptual Clarification of Integrative Life Planning – Part III Moving towards Integration

Hello – good to have you visit our blog! The topic for today’s posting is to take yet another look at some of the theoretical concepts underpinning the ILP model. In today’s blog, we will consider the move towards integration, as it is encountered within the ILP model.

Within the context of life planning and management, there is a move towards wholeness and connectedness. In actual fact, the move is picking up some speed and hence all theoretical models would be required to include this notion into its conceptualisation of the reality they are describing. If you have read the blogs before the current one, you would have seen that the ILP model has taken full notice of this change – therefore the model has gone through some stages of fine-tuning since its original conceptualisation.

In the early days of the ILP model, there was an emphasis on the integration of work and family, as well as the roles and relationships of men and women. Being sensitive to the demands of the theoretical and practical environment, Sunny Hansen came to the realisation that the post-industrialised society is characterised by many (more) facets, which all need to be given due consideration in any attempt to move towards theoretical and practical implementation.

If we take a historical view of the concept of integration, it becomes apparent that the first use of the concept of integration was done in an effort to convey the existing connection between family and work. According to Hansen, the following are additional examples of aspects of our lives, which need to be considered when integration is attempted: connecting

· Connecting education and work: in the current timeframe, one would easily be able to build a case in support of this link; quite often we will think of work and ask what form of education is required for success in that field. A question, which comes to mind, would be what this picture of integration would resemble if we turn our attention to under- and unemployed individuals within the South African context?

· Learning and work: if we assume that some level of learning will always be associated with any kind of work, the link seems quite obvious; again, we would need to spend some time trying to determine how the link between learning and work may be described in a non-ideal situation?

· Work and leisure: more often than not, the majority of people continue looking at these concepts as non-related; if, however, we want to move towards a fully integrative model of life and career planning, we will have no option but to define the nature of the links

· Work and family: according to Hansen, there is still a degree of reluctance to integrate these concepts. How many of us are able to state that they have found the perfect balance between these two facets of life? What does this connection look like?

A key challenge we need to address in the here and the now, is to answer whether the concept of family is brought into the mix when career planning and management is on the agenda! I would venture a guess and say that the level of integration is still highly limited – how would you currently describe the level of integration between your professional life and family?

When we consult literature on the topic, it is relatively easy to find evidence supporting the notion that the concepts of wellness and wholeness are gaining more credibility in the context of academic psychology – it is also encountered more and more as far as practical application is concerned.

Hansen makes an appeal for career professionals to do a better job of realising the extent of the connectedness between these concepts. Career professionals, in whatever guise or form, need to utilise models, which make an attempt to integrate all of the following aspects of our lives:

· Rationality and intuition

· Work and spirituality

· Full integration of women’s and men’s lives.

In Hansen’s view, we would all need to make a concerted effort towards achieving a full integration of the physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, social and career development.

In our next discussion, we will continue addressing the principles underlying the ILP model. Once we have all gained a working understanding of the underpinning theoretical assumptions of the ILP model, we will start addressing the practical application towards full integration.

Please feel free to make comments to the above; I look forward to hearing from you!