Consumption and Contribution: Crutch or Congruence?
A question for you ...
Is your consumption or contribution a crutch for confidence or an act of soul-nourishing congruence?
Being conscious about your consumption and contribution habits is a great step towards greater levels of financial fulfilment; sometimes it can be pretty tough to look inward but as you strip back layers of complexity and conditioning it all becomes worth while for the massive breakthroughs that follow
Consumption and contribution can BOTH be wholesome and nourishing or self-destructive and wholly un-nourishing if left unchecked
In my last email, I spoke about the breakthroughs that students of the M.A.D Money 365 year-long coaching program are having with the weekly Fantasy Friday exercise (and gifted you the Fantasy Friday calculator used in the coaching program)
The idea that consumption and contribution may be a crutch for self-confidence comes directly from a student post on our private page (it's got to be private as there's some huge and very personal financial breakthroughs being posted)
In relation to buying lipstick, the student wasn't able to figure out what "need" was being met (if you requested the Fantasy Friday Calculator yesterday, this is the Human Needs Driver column)
Was the consumption decision to buy lipstick meeting a need for uncertainty, certainty, significance, connection, growth and/or giving?
It seems crazy to be SO introspective about consumption or contribution behaviours that might at first glance seem small, insignificant and hardly worthy of consideration
BUT dig a little deeper and you'll see that EVERY decision to spend, save or serve is rooted in your desire to meet one of your six's human needs;
Uncertainty: the need for risk/variety
Certainty: the need for security/stability
Significance: the need to be noticed
Connection: the need to be loved
Growth: the need to get better
Giving: the need to help others get better
Every action and behavior we engage in is rooted in the identity we hold for ourselves at any one time; sometimes these identities, and corresponding behaviors are constructive and other times destructive
My father always used to warn that one day my excessive consumption (spending beyond my means) and excessive contribution (giving beyond my means) would catch up with me and that I may struggle emotionally if/when I run out of money
This was an excellent pre-warning and almost premonition because that's exactly what happened in late-2011 when I returned home from volunteering in Rwanda for UNECA; my credit line had run dry and I was in huge amounts of debt from having given away more than I could afford.
More soul-wrenching than that, I had to abandon the people who needed my help the most; something I vowed never to do again
On returning home in absolute pieces, my self-inflicted predicament forced me to consider exactly what had driven my reckless consumption in a previous life and my guilt-driven giving in Rwanda
Over a period of time, I realised that my staggering levels of unsustainable contribution and totally reckless consumption were a desperate attempt to overcome a deeply held need to feel significant in the face of huge self-confidence issues. I was using consumption and contribution as a crutch
It was an unsightly time for me but one that helped me reconcile the two paradigms of making money and making a difference. And ultimately one that led to the global M.A.D Millionaire Movement that is working to redistribute £1billion in capital from the top 1% to the bottom 1%.
By interrogating your own consumption and contribution behaviours in the face of human needs, you start to identify whether the behaviours are a crutch that you'll fall over without, or an anchor that you could replace with something/nothing else should the opportunity be arise or be forced up on you..
Where are you consuming or contributions beyond your means? And what's it all about, really?
Some food for thought...