One Key to Happiness: How to Frame Your Money Situation

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Audio One Key to Happiness

I think I’m frustrating some of my readers.

You know I believe strongly that every woman has to take personal responsibility for her money and for her financial future (whether she’s on her own or not).  I write about:

  • unique, more empowering ways of looking at money;
  • possible mistaken beliefs brought forward from childhood; and
  • actions and systems you can use to figure out where you stand financially, where you want to go and how to get there.

I approach the topic of money from many angles, because everyone learns differently.  An approach that resonates with one woman may leave another unmoved.  But eventually something clicks.

In return, I receive emails, IM’s, Facebook comments, letters and even flowers.  Each of these carries thanks for helping a woman get out of debt, restructure her expenses, increase her business income, have open money conversations with a partner and so many other achievements.

The thanks warm my heart.  These are women who took a piece of information provided to them, figured out how it applied to their specific situation and then took massive action.  Voila!  A positive outcome.

Occasionally I write about what’s going on in the economy and how to protect savings and funds set aside for investment.  Or I write about an issue that a client is facing now that she has her finances under control and is making decisions about the next step.

What Triggers Nasty Notes

Here’s what’s interesting: among the 1000+ comments I’ve received on my articles, the rare negative ones have come when I wrote about people’s successes.  Some just sounded disappointed; a couple were downright angry.

I’ve struggled to understand why.  And this morning, I found the explanation in a video sent out by Jeff Walker, founder of that iconic program called Product Launch Formula.

Jeff shared that his strategic coach Dan Sullivan says that one key to happiness is how you measure.  He says we’re really good at creating pictures of perfection in our heads, of how things would be if they were perfect.  And if we measure ourselves (or where we are today) against our ideal life, or business or whatever, we’re not going to be happy.  There will always be someone doing better.  And as we make progress, our picture of perfection will progress also.

The Real Key to Happiness

The trick is to reframe the issue.  Instead of measuring against our ideal picture of perfection (which will lead to disappointment virtually every time), why not measure against where we came from?  Why not be excited about how much progress we’ve made, whether it’s a lot or even just a little?

So when you read about a new tactic or idea related to money, what if you analyze it to see where (and even if) it fits into your personal journey to financial security and peace of mind.  If it doesn’t apply because you’re not there yet, let it go or bookmark it for later.

Instead of getting frustrated because you’re not there yet, look at how much better you are today than you were last month or last year.  Look at what you have improved and make that a reason to celebrate.

In short, apply Sullivan’s key to happiness:  set yourself up for happiness, not for failure.

(Thanks for the great explanation, Jeff!)

Let us know in the Comments section below how much further ahead you are today compared to this time last year.  And if you’re not, I have one question:  Do you have a clear plan?

xxxxxxx

Bio: Sharon O’Day fixes financial lives. She is a tell-it-like-it-is money expert with a successful career in global finance, plus an MBA from the Wharton School. Today she specializes in getting entrepreneurial women over 50 back on their game so they can have more money, less stress and more joy. With her “Over Fifty and Financially Free” strategies, they take actions that lead to their ultimate goal: financial peace of mind.

  • Susan Schiller

    Oh yes, I’ve experienced this recently when I took a few moments to write myself a letter as the woman I was 5-years ago. I wrote about how my life would be so much different, how problems would be solved, how success in some areas would be achieved… It wasn’t my original idea, but as I applied it, it made me astoundingly happy! I like that I wrote it down, because it helps me to remember the exercise and to be grateful.

    This is another fabulous, yet practical, article Sharon…and by the way, I completed the 5-questions exercise!!! I’m so glad that many other women, including me, are following in your footsteps, Sharon, through the practical and thoughtful exercises you tirelessly provide! Thanks!!!!

  • Robert Manea

    I am much further ahead then last year.. i have a fully launched website with many users, and traffic growing steadily..

  • Alexandra McAllister

    Oh, yes! Thank goodness, I’ve taken steps to get ahead…I’m in a better situation this year compared to last. I appreciate all your great tips. They are always so helpful. Thank you, Sharon.

  • Marilyn Arriaga

    I am doing so much better then last year, even 5 years ago. Thanks for sharing

  • I think if someone leaves an angry note on your site it is more about them and their failed attempts, than it is about your sharing success stories. I think that when you are persistent and keep moving forward and trying new things, you are more likely to be successful. Those who are angry likely gave up and are mad because they considered a business or a blog to be a quick way to make more money. Thank you for sharing.

  • Interesting information Sharon, people who are angry with others because of their success really need to reflect and look within, they too can become successful if they focus on bettering their lives rather than use their energy to be angry or jealous. This does take practice though because many people just react on their feelings rather than reflect on them and think of outlets to release these feelings to better their lives.

  • Carele Belanger

    This is really important. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  • Cindy Taylor

    Perspective is so important when trying to overcome any challenge that might be ahead of you….and reframing is critical to get past it! Thanks for this reminder!!

  • So true, Sharon, thanks for the wonderful reminder! Whenever I am about to fall back into that old pattern of comparing, I can feel the dark cloud descending. Thinking about what I have achieved, not only in financial matters, makes me feel good.

  • Daniele Holmberg

    I believe that when people leave nasty replies for others it is because there is something they are not happy about within themselves. They have their own internal issues that they need to deal with. I believe in always continuing to do what they love. Some people may not always agree or like our beliefs, but those are not people you have to interact with:)

  • Pat Moon

    Your article reminds me of counting my blessings. Sometimes when I am down, I count my blessings.. a wonderful way to realize all that I have to be thankful for. I believe that is similar to looking at your current situation in comparison to where you came from. Great article. By the way, those nasty comments are probably from someone who is jealous and hasn’t really looked at who they really are.

  • Robin

    Great point! Comparison and focusing on the destination instead of enjoying and celebrating the amazing journey, is a recipe for disaster. I still can’t believe how many ‘haters’ there are out there at others’ successes… it says a lot… and don’t think that you’ll EVER be successful, when you hate on other people for being successful. It’s almost as if they dont like success at all? It’s a strange phenomena and I’m just thankful that the people I surround myself with are all FABULOUS and all rejoice in each others’ blessings 🙂

  • Norma Doiron ´*•჻.

    I’ve learned that when someone attacks, it is about them and not me. Thank you for sharing this with us.