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May 16, 2011 – Is Money Really the Root of All Evil? – Master Key Coaching Teleseminars #41

Is money the root of all evil? That’s the question we explore in this, the forty-first episode of the Master Key Coaching Teleseminars.

That question refers to what was written in the Bible in 1 Timothy 6:10.

For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

That’s not why we’re exploring it, though.

I’ve been interested in personal development for about twenty-five years. I’ve been publishing personal development books for a little over ten years. Through all that time, it seems that every few years the self-help “gurus” jump on that quotation and use it as the scapegoat for why people — people like you — aren’t yet wealthy. Their reasoning is that since you were raised in a culture that more than likely was Judeo-Christian, that one line from the Bible has affected your thinking about money and wealth. They posit that since you “believe” that “money is the root of all evil,” you tend to shun money, either consciously or subconsciously.

So, before we go any further, lets see if that’s true.

Has Your Brain Been Affected By That One Line from the Bible?

At this point, I think it would help to tell you a little bit about myself. I was raised Roman Catholic. I went to a parochial school for grades one through six. I was an altar boy in church as well as a church lector. I also received all of the sacraments. Above and beyond that, I am one of the few people I know that has read the Bible cover to cover.

In other words, I’ve been through it.

Through it all, I don’t recall ever being hammered with the notion of money being the root of all evil. (Or even the love of money, for that matter!) I’m not stating that I never heard it, just that there was never any emphasis placed on it. In the very few times that line from Timothy was discussed, it was correctly quoted and correctly interpreted: that if one were to covet money so greatly that he would lie, cheat, or steal, then that would lead to his demise.

That’s how I learned it — and that’s how most people with whom I’ve discussed this interpret it.

That’s the first thing that lead me to think that the notion that people everywhere are not wealthy because of their “flawed relationship” with money based on that line was incorrect.

The next thing that made me pause was the fact that I have never met anyone — and I mean anyone! — who, when asked if they would like more money, refused the offer, be that offer come in the form of a pay raise, a gift, or simply someone’s generosity.

Think about it. Have you or anyone you’ve ever known ever run away from money?

Of course not. It’s silly. More often than not, we have to actively protect our money from being stolen from us!

The last straw, so to speak, is the fact that the United States was founded on the notion of what is referred to as the “Protestant Work Ethic,” which was coined by the sociologist Max Weber. In a nutshell, it means that if you work hard and get rich, then God loves you.

I think we can see the veracity in that. Think of someone in our society who is rich, be it Trump or Gates or Buffet. What’s the first thing we think about them? We usually say that they’re smart, right? We respect their opinions on things — even things not remotely related to business or money. Right? True, not the same thing as “salvation,” but the parallel is there. If someone is rich, we admire them and respect their views. After all, they’re rich and we’re not.

All of those reasons lead me to the conclusion that the notion of anyone being adversely affected in their money-making prowess because of that quote from the Bible is bunk. Plain and simple. It’s just another way for some folks to sell yet another book or course so that you can “heal yourself” of the bad attitude you have toward money.

I’ve seen it before. Many times. As I noted, this idea comes around every few years. The sad thing is that people buy into it — and buy the courses and seminars, of course — and never really address the issues that really cause them to not be earning their full potential!

Instead of addressing the things that could actually help them become what they want to become and earn what they deserve to earn, many people end up chasing chimeras like the “money is the root of all evil” thing.

So what I will address here are the real reasons why you’re not earning what you should. If you address these items, then you’ll find yourself ahead of the game. And not chasing chimeras.

The Three Reasons You’re Not Earning Your Full Value

As I usually make clear when I make one of these lists, these items are in no particular order. One may affect you more than the others, but generally, it’s best to take all of them in and work on all of them. That way, you avoid what I call the “gold medal effect.” In the Olympics, everyone remembers the gold medal winner (the number one); few remember the silver medalist; even fewer, if anyone, remembers the bronze medalist. That’s quite sad because all of them achieved something that very few ever will and they should all be applauded.

It’s the same with lists. More often than not, people remember the number one item and then run with it, forgetting the remaining items because they’re not as important. Thus, they’re only getting part of the picture.

Don’t let that be you! Take all of these items in stride and work on them.

Cool? Then let’s get into it.

1. Self-Confidence/Self-Worth

When it comes to earning what you deserve, then self-confidence and being attuned to your self-worth is the big one. You’ll see that the following two items are closely tied to self-confidence.

If you lack a good sense of self-confidence, then it is likely that you let people push you around. You more than likely just take what is offered rather than fighting for what you truly deserve. You don’t stick up for yourself, nor your ideas or the deeds you’ve done. You’re like Clark Kent, always getting the short end of the stick.

You need to become Superman — at least in some respects. Or, you have to really absorb what Haanel wrote in The Master Key System.

You must first have the knowledge of your power; second, the courage to dare; third, the faith to do.

You cannot allow yourself to be a lowly whelp pushed and pulled by the whims of others. To earn what you’re worth, you have to have the self-confidence to stand your ground, to fight if need be, and to demand what you deserve.

Please let me note that this is not an invitation to be arrogant! It’s not about being boastful or haughty. Those are perversions of self-confidence. (They actually indicate that someone is rather lacking in the self-confidence department!)

This is about being cool. About being strong. About being “the Man.” (Or “the Woman.”)

Many times, though, we have a terrible perception of ourselves. We don’t think our ideas are good enough. We’re afraid to speak our minds for fear of being laughed at. When faced by someone we perceive as more powerful, we simply acquiesce silently.

If you’re one of those people, then you need to work on your self-confidence. It can be a long road. Changes won’t happen over night. They will come, though, and you will be glad that they did.

So, the first reason that you’re not earning your worth is that you lack the self-confidence to go out and grab it. Work on that and chances are likely that you’ll find your income increasing.

2. You Don’t Realize the Value of What You Have

This is a lot like self-confidence, instead it deals with what you have or do rather than just with yourself.

Here’s an example: Let’s say that you sing and that you sing wonderfully. If you take it for granted and sing at every wedding and bar mitzvah that comes along for a bottle of water and one trip to the appetizer bar, then chances are likely that you’ll never earn what you deserve.

The point of that example is to illustrate that your talent — or your skill or whatever it is that you do — has value and that value demands to be paid accordingly.

This may be a point of self-confidence. Many times, though, it is a point of not truly knowing what price your talent or skill demands. This comes from not being in tune with the goings-on in your industry. If you’re the singer from our example, you may not know how singers get paid nor how that pay is scaled. Thus, you sing for drinks and perhaps applause — and nothing more.

Picture it like this — and maybe you have heard something like this happening: Someone finds a painting in their attic. Seeing it only as junk, they place it with the garbage in front of their house. Another person, who happens to be driving by that house, sees the painting. There is a difference, though: this person knows a little something about art. He recognizes the painting for what it is: a Picasso. This person slams on his brakes, steps from his car, and takes the painting and sells it for a huge sum.

The latter person knew what he had. He knew the value of it.

That’s how many are in their chosen profession. Yes, self-confidence plays a part. More often than not, though, it is a matter of not knowing the value of what they have in the industry in which they are working. In other words, it is a matter of ignorance.

The remedy is simple. Get to know what’s happening in your industry. With that knowledge, objectively evaluate what your value is worth. Then, demand that value.

3. Protecting the Downside Too Much

People are generally risk averse. We like things to be safe, known, and without surprises, especially the bad kind. This is usually a bad thing, as safety is good. It can be taken to extremes, though.

When taken to extremes, in personal development it’s called staying in one’s “comfort zone.” To break out, one must take a little risk and stretch beyond the boundaries one has imposed on himself.

There is another version of this. It stems from a business adage:

Protect the downside and the upside will take care of itself.

In business dealings, if you take care to protect yourself from the things that can potentially go wrong, then all you have to worry about is the upside — the making of the money and making sure that things go smoothly. We even use this in everyday life: we take a spare tire with us when we travel so that we can rest assured that in the event of a flat tire, we’ll be OK. We protect the downside; the upside — getting to our destination safely — takes care of itself.

Unfortunately, many people over-protect their downside — to the point that they make no moves toward their potential upside. Instead of looking to advance their business through whatever means or channels, they stay where they are. After all, why risk anything? Instead of looking for better career prospects, some people will cling to the job that they have, all the while saying that they’re just lucky to have any job whatsoever never mind reaching for a “dream job.”

When we over-protect what we have, then we run the risk of stagnation. Of course, we also never really take the chance to earn what we’re truly worth. We end up “living” according to this old adage:

Those who fear death never truly live life.

It’s good to be safe. It’s even better that we don’t take unwarranted or foolish risks. We shouldn’t jump blindly into a pool.

We shouldn’t over-protect either. Or, as the band Pink Floyd put it in their song “Wish You Were Here”:

And did they get you to trade your heroes for ghosts?
Hot ashes for trees?
Hot air for a cool breeze?
Cold comfort for change?
And did you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?

Because we try to be too safe — because we “exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage” — we often neglect or pass up opportunities that can get us what we truly want from life and what we truly deserve to earn. Mind you, it’s not about being foolish; it’s about being wise and taking advantage of everything that life has to offer.

Yes, protect your downside, but don’t make protecting your downside your life’s purpose. Make your dreams and your goals your life’s purpose.

There You Have It

There you have it: The three reasons you’re not earning what your worth. It has nothing to do with having bad “beliefs” about money. It’s all about what you believe about yourself and how you approach life. When you work on these items and stretch from where you are toward where you want to go, you’ll find yourself accumulating everything you need to get you there.

Try it. You’ll be glad that you did.

Until next time, please get for yourself the best of everything!

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