LIFE 101
Everything We Wish We Had Learned About Life In School -- But Didn't



Many a time we've been down to our last piece of fatback. And I'd say, "Should we eat it, or render it down for soap?" Your Uncle Jed would say, "Render it down. God will provide food for us poor folks, but we gotta do our own washin'." GRANNY
We have so many conflicting beliefs about money in our culture. Some are uplifting, some are "downpushing." It's little wonder that the way most people feel about money is simply confused.

If you want money, here's how to get it:

  1. Reduce the number of limiting beliefs you have about money.
  2. Increase the positive beliefs you hold.
  3. Do what it takes to get money.

Money is simply a symbol of energy. I use money so that, as an author, I don't have to carry books with me and trade them for whatever it is I want. ("How many scoops of vanilla fudge almond can I get for a book about life?")

It's a convenience. Can you imagine the chaos if you had to trade your marketable skills for the things you needed? Can you imagine a conversation between a secretary and the owner of a plum tree?

"I'd like some plums."

"What do you have to trade?"

"I can type a letter. I'll type a letter for a dozen plums."

"I don't have any letters."

"Well, then I'll type one for you."

"I don't need any letters. What else you got?"

"I can Xerox."

"I don't have any letters. I don't have anything to Xerox."

"I can send a fax."

"Facts about what?"

"No, fax. Facsimile. You use it to send letters."

"How many times do I have to tell you? I don't have any letters."

"What do you want?"

"I want a chicken."

"I don't have a chicken."

"Do you have a duck?"


"A goose?"

"I don't have any poultry of any kind."

"Do you have a color TV?"


"I'll trade you a dozen plums for a color TV."

"That's not a fair trade."

"All right. Two dozen plums. And a rooster."

"You have a rooster? I thought you wanted a chicken."

"The rooster wanted the chicken. I told him I'd help him out. But if I get a TV, I don't care about the rooster."

From birth to age 18, a girl needs good parents, from 18 to 35 she needs good looks, from 35 to 55 she needs a good personality, and from 55 on she needs cash.


Do you see how much more cumbersome life would be if we had to barter for everything? Money, as a symbol of energy, makes it easier. For a certain amount of energy, you are given a symbol. You can then trade that symbol for something that requires someone else's energy.

Let's look at the limiting beliefs some people have about money. They aren't true, by the way. The one you want to prove to me is true is the very belief you would probably do best to dis prove for yourself--if you want more money, that is.

To disprove any of these, all you have to do is show that they are not true for one person . If one person did it, you can be number two. The statement, "All birds are red," can be disproved by finding just one bluebird.

It takes money to make money. There are stories galore of people who started with nothing--sometimes less than nothing (they inherited debts)--and made great fortunes. It takes effectiveness and perseverance, not money, to make money.

Poor is pure. Some of the grinding poverty I have seen is hardly "pure." It's often filthy, fly-ridden, and disease-laden. It doesn't seem to induce inner purity, either. Not that there aren't pure poor people. I, however, happen to think they'd be just as pure if they were rich. I have also met some people I'd consider pure who have lots of money.

People resent rich people, Some people resent rich people, some people resent poor people, some people resent people who resent other people. Some people also respect rich people.

Wealthy people are snobby. I've met some down-to-earth poor people, and I've met some dirt-poor snobs, too. Some people snub others for not being "enough"--not pretty enough, not smart enough, not evolved enough. Money's just one of the things snobby people get snobbish about, regardless of income level.

Lack of money is the root of all evil.


It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God. That's from the Bible, quoting Jesus (Matthew 19:24). Actually, it's not hard for a camel to get through the eye of the needle. I got through. "The needle" is the name of a gate in Jerusalem. The "eye" is the small doorway in the larger gate. When the main gate was closed, the eye would open. In order for a camel to pass through the eye of the needle, the camel must (a) stand in line (when the main gate is closed and only the eye is open, there tends to be a line); (b) have its cargo removed; and (c) go through on its knees (which camels have no trouble doing).

Knowing that Jesus often taught in parables, what do you suppose might have been the message? In order to enter the Kingdom of God (which Jesus said was "within" [Luke 17:21]), a rich man must (a) be patient; (b) unburden himself of his cargo (he can keep it, he just can't be attached to it); and (c) be humble, or in a symbolic posture of reverence (on his knees). That makes sense to me.

If you don't like this interpretation, there are stores for rich people that sell great big needles and little teeny stuffed camels. You can then sit all day long, if you so choose, putting a camel through the eye of a needle.

If I were rich I'd have The time that I lack To sit in the Synagogue and pray, And maybe have a seat by the Eastern Wall.
And I'd discuss the Holy Books With the learned men Seven hours every day. That would be the sweetest thing of all.


Money is the root of all evil. Back to the Bible. (Is it any wonder this has been called the world's most misunderstood book?) This one's from 1 Timothy 6:10. The full sentence is, "The love of money is the root of all evil." In the New International translation, it reads, "The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil." In that sentence, a more accurate word for love is lust. The sentence then is, "Lusting after money is a root of all kinds of evil." I have no argument with that. Lusting after anything can be a root of all kinds of evil. Money in itself is neither good nor evil. It can be used for either, depending on the user's actions.

You need training and education to get money. There are many stories of people who made great fortunes, with which they endowed great educational institutions, while they themselves never graduated from elementary school. It's what you know and how you use it, not the amount of time you spent in school, that determines your ability to make money.

Money can't buy me love. As a friend of mine pointed out, "Whoever wrote that doesn't know where to shop."

You can't take it with you. True, but anywhere you can't take it, you wouldn't want it anyway.

Money is too much responsibility. If you have that much money, you can hire people to shoulder the burden of all that responsibility.

It takes hard work to make money. It takes smart work to make money. (In other words, being effective, not just efficient.)

Money isn't everything. No, but it's something.

The best things in life are free. As the same friend of mine pointed out, "Whoever wrote that doesn't shop where I shop."

Money isn't spiritual or holy. And poverty is? In fact, if you had lots of money, you could spend lots more time praying, meditating, buying yachts for your guru, putting a new wing on your church--whatever would help you get closer to God.

Eliminating limiting beliefs about money is a good way to get more money. Another good way is enhancing uplifting beliefs. Just to show you I'm not the only one who has a high regard for money, here's what some other people have said in praise of money:

Lovey Howell: You know, I really wouldn't mind being poor, if it weren't for one thing.
Thurston Howell III: What is that, my dear?
Lovey: Poverty..

Gilligan's Island

A private railroad car is not an acquired taste. One takes to it immediately.


Here are some suggestions on how to have more money:

  1. Remember that money is just a symbol of energy. What you do with the energy will determine the money's effect on you and those around you.

  2. Money is a method--not an intention, belief, or experience. Money in and of itself will not make you happy, joyful, fulfilled, content, or anything else. It will make you rich, but that, too, is a symbol. Money is a tool. You can build things with tools, but the tool is not the thing you want built.

  3. Be open to receiving money from any source, in any amount, in any form, at any time. Learn to say, "Yes, thank you," when people offer you things that have financial value.

  4. Be open to spend. Life is cycles of giving and receiving. We breathe in, we breathe out. The exhale is as important as the inhale. If we stop inhaling or exhaling for any period of time, life becomes remarkably uncomfortable. Also, keeping the money flowing about you allows for more of the experiences you wanted the money for in the first place.

  5. Affirm money. Use affirmations that contain the words, money, cash, dollars, and so on. (As with the word death, we seem to avoid using the word money. If you want money, ask for money.) "I am enjoying the large sums of money that flow into my life, quickly and effortlessly, this or something better for the highest good of all concerned."

  6. Give 10% away. This is called tithing. By giving 10% away (to your church, your favorite charity, any cause you believe in), you are not only passing some energy along for good use, you are saying, "Thank you. I have more than I need." This is a major statement of abundance. Be a joyful giver so that you can also be a joyful receiver.

  7. Enjoy the money you have. If you think you don't have enough to enjoy yourself now, you will probably not have enough when you have millions. Remove the "unfun" you may have attached to money. Take some money and do something enjoyable . Right now.

    Money-giving is a very good criterion of a person's mental health. Generous people are rarely mentally ill people.


  8. Be grateful for the money you already have. When I was in Egypt, I stopped at a town on the banks of the Nile. The richest man in town had something no one else in town had. It was this one possession that made him the richest man in town. Everyone knew he was the richest man in town because he had this. With great pride he showed it to me. What do you think it was? A TV? A dishwasher? A blender? No. The town had no electricity. A bathtub? A sink? A toilet? No. The town had no running water. The man was the richest man in town because he had a cement floor . It was cracked, it was filthy, it was falling apart, but he was proud of it because everyone else's floor was dirt. Be grateful for the money (and things you bought with the money) you have.

  9. I don't have a number 9, but most lists of ten things have a number 9, so I thought this one might as well.

  10. Keep 10% of your increase as a "money magnet." Keep it, in cash or tangible valuables. As it grows, it attracts money to you. How? The more you have, the less anxiety you feel about money; therefore the more you are likely to get.

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.

Woody Allen

I don't like money, actually, but it quiets my nerves.


The Power of Partnership

A friend is a gift you give yourself.


The support you can gather from good friends, groups, and your Master Teacher is formidable. The encouragement you can give them in return (yes, even Master Teachers need a little encouragement) is substantial.

To use your goals and aspirations as small talk over dinner dissipates their energy. But to meet with like minds and discuss the challenges and triumphs of mastering your life; that has power, splendor, and esteem.

Nothing shortens a journey so pleasantly as an account of misfortunes at which the hearer is permitted to laugh.


One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.


How Much Is Enough?

I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.


People often wonder: How long will this take? How much work is enough? How much affirming, planning, and acting must I do to get what I want?

The answer is very simple: when you have what you want, it was enough.

This is not the answer most people want to hear. We are so used to delivery schedules and travel timetables that precisely pinpoint when it (or we) will arrive, it's often hard to accept the ancient wisdom, "It'll shine when it shines."

Sorry. That is the only answer I have.

Our estimates of time are only estimates--best guesses. Some things will happen sooner, some later. If your goal is not reached in the time frame you set, set a new time frame. Do whatever else needs to be done to succeed. When you've done all that and it's still not enough, do some more. When do you stop doing? When you've gotten what you want.

People sometimes stop when they are so close to their goals because they become discouraged. When you take the dis off discourage, you have what you need to press on: courage.

Do whatever it takes to achieve what you want. Don't accept the limitations of other people who claim things are "unchangeable." If it's written in stone, bring your hammer and chisel.

When you have what you want, that was enough.


I am open to receive With every breath I breathe.


Some people select their goals, do the necessary work, and still don't have what they want. These people need to do more work--but maybe it's not external work. Maybe it's on themselves.

When we work for something, we must be open to receive. This may seem silly, but some people have some rather definite limits on what they can receive and how they can receive it. If you try to give them a million dollars, they'll accept it, but only if the million dollars is in new $100 bills and delivered to the back door, at 4:15 sharp, next Wednesday.

If we want more, it's helpful to know how to receive more. We receive more by saying, "Yes." If they want to give you a million dollars in pennies, take it. If they want you to pick them up, say you'll be right over. If they want to deliver the money, tell 'em, "Pick your door."

Just as you have many methods and behaviors for fulfilling your desires and intentions, life has many ways to give you what you've been asking for.

Remember, too, that you are worthy of all the good that comes your way. How do I know? If you weren't worthy, it wouldn't come your way. If you want a relationship, and someone "over and above" your dreams appears on your doorstep with flowers and candy, don't say, "You must have the wrong house"--invite the lucky person in.


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