Ask Andrew W.K.: How Do I Overcome the Guilt of Unwittingly Taking Someone's Virginity?
Dear Broke As a Joke,
Money is funny--it seems to hover between the "best thing in the world" and "the root of all evil." It's time to take control of money instead of it taking control of you. With just a little reflection, we can study our own feelings and ideas about money. Do we think of it as good or bad? How did we develop those thoughts? Have our attitudes about money helped us or held us back?
I used to think money was bad. I'm not sure why I started thinking that. I had a lot of friends who lived without much money, and they seemed to think making money wasn't cool. They didn't like having jobs, so they did everything they could to get by without needing much money--they probably put more effort into not making money than they did into just working and earning a living.
A few years ago, a very wise person explained to me that money is just "magic paper," and this magic paper allows you to do amazing things. Money itself is neither good nor bad--it's just a tool. Just like a hammer can build a house or smash someone's face, it all depends on how you use the tool, but the tool itself is neutral.
When you have money to spend on friends, family, and making your dreams come true, it suddenly becomes one of the greatest and most powerful things in the world. It's true that the best parts of being alive don't require money, but that doesn't mean money can't improve life. Everytime you start feel stressed out about money, take notice of the emotions, distance yourself from them, and study them objectively. Tell yourself, "I'm taking care of it! I'm kicking ass!" and then refocus on working hard and not taking the whole "money thing" too seriously.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with letting that fear help motivate you. Fear is what alerts us to the important parts of our life. Working hard and making ends meet is important to you and there's nothing wrong with that. But don't mistake that fear for something more than motivation, and never allow money to get the better of you, and drain your energy. You don't have to be greedy or a scumbag to appreciate money and feel OK about it. Earn money, spend money, and enjoy the whole strangeness of the process. You ARE making money and you will continue to! Say that to yourself and believe it! You will pay off your debt! It's OK! And money is OK too, especially when you spend it on partying.
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