None of us would welcome a crisis if we knew about it in advance. Whether
the crisis is about our health, our relationships, or our finances, a
crisis brings challenge and unwelcome complications to our already
hectic lives. But, you have to admit that a crisis can certainly get you to
pay attention and ask questions that might otherwise have gone
unasked. It's a difficult blessing: A crisis forces you to
engage around issues you may have been tempted to avoid.
When a crisis occurs, the first and correct response is to do something
to handle the immediate problem. You must find a way to pay your
mortgage, renegotiate your credit cards, or if you are suddenly
unemployed, find a new job. But, simultaneous to these urgent actions
should come some questions: How did this happen? WHY did this happen?
When you ask WHY something happened, you are getting into murky waters.
With money it's easy enough to blame the obvious things that have been
all over the news: the inflated securities being traded between
financial institutions, the lack of financial oversight, and perhaps
even pure greed on the part of a number of individuals and corporations.
However, there may be other causes that are as close as your own back
yard, as intimate as your own relationship to money. If you are having
financial problems, what if the problems are a signpost for something
else? This could be a very good time to make an honest assessment of
your life and ask questions that you might not have otherwise
considered. For example, if your home or lifestyle is at
risk, is there some part of your life that isn't working? Are you
tired of your job, is your relationship in need of help, or have you been
putting off a decision or a change?
The list of possible reasons could be very long and I don't want you
to wear you out with endless questioning. What I do want to do is
encourage you to consider that this financial crisis could have
meaning for you above and beyond the pure survival of paying your bills
and supporting your standard of living. It could be personal, too.
Human beings are very complex and the reason for our behaviors isn't
always obvious. We’ve all heard the stories of individuals in crisis who were forced to make significant life changes, and that they were ultimately grateful. If
you were to treat this financial crisis as a genuine blessing in
disguise, what changes would you be challenged to make that could
ultimately lead to a better life? If you find an answer to that
question and take action, you may discover that the pathway to riches isn't
always simply a financial one.
Sometimes, it’s not about money at all.
– Deborah is founder of The Money Coaching Institute and an expert on
helping people address common money management problems from a
psychological perspective. She is the author of Money Magic: Unleashing Your True Potential for Prosperity and Fulfillment .