In my work as a transformational and business development coach, I have spotted an interesting (but slightly concerning) trend. Prospective clients are much more likely to spend money on growing their business or furthering their careers than on their personal growth. It takes them less time to decide to invest and generally they commit for longer.
Let’s stop to think about this.
Which do you think is more important?
Which are you more likely to spend money on?
I have a sense that the answer to these questions might be different.
Why? Because somehow spending money on our business/careers is more justifiable than spending money on ourselves. It’s a cultural thing. We live in a society that, up until now, has been mainly driven by the material world. And to exist in that world, your most valuable asset is your financial wealth.
You can buy a house. You can buy a car. You can buy food. You can buy heat and light. You can buy accessories and trinkets. We have been brought up since the beginning of our time here to believe that these are the essential components of life. Not necessarily for a happy or a fulfilled life but most certainly for a safe and secure existence. Very few of us would be willing to experiment with giving up all of our material possessions to test this theory.
But what if you did lose everything?
We have seen too many natural disasters wipe away people’s lives in an instant.
Which leaves what? Take a moment to consider where you would live if you lost all of your possessions.
Crises like this take us all to the same place. We are moved from living in an external world to the bare and stark truth of our internal environment. So how cosy are you making your inner home?
Of course, I am not saying that everyone should immediately take on a coach or book a workshop (although I am available for both!). I am proposing that we dedicate as much time and effort to nurturing our sense of self as we do to furthering our career.
It just seems crazy to invest so heavily in the precarious nature of an external environment that can be taken away in the blink of an eye, doesn’t it?
And if I find myself stranded with nowhere to go and nothing to do, I am going to be spending a lot of time with myself. It probably pays to know that is a relationship that works!
The world is shifting. We can rationalise the economic problems of high street stores like HMV, Blockbusters and Jessops with logical explanations about the advances of online technology. And of course that is true.
But if we track the financial crisis back to its origins, where did it begin? Overspending on our material world in attempts to make us feel safe and in control.
Maybe we need to admit defeat. Do we really feel any more secure?
Financial wealth cannot buy us peace of mind. It cannot buy us happiness. It cannot show you the truth of your heart or the wisdom of your soul.
No one is asking you to give up your possessions or your wealth. But it could be that an hour spent meeting yourself is an hour very well spent.
Perhaps you will find that the quest for wealth through growing a business or advancing your employment is really secondary to the true richness that you will find in your heart.
Maybe learning about who you are is the best career you can ever choose.