Money isn't important...I don't care about money... Money doesn't matter...."

Have you ever noticed that the people who go around saying things like, "I just don't care about money," or, "Money's really not important," are generally people who are either flat broke or near broke? It's those people whose financial lives are not working that deny the importance of money.


Don't Confuse Poverty With Spirituality

Then there are those who have somehow gotten the idea that poverty is "holy." I know. There was a time when I felt that way. (Yes, "I know how you feel, that's how I felt....") Well, here's what I found: it's self-depreciating and self-defeating.

The truth is, poverty doesn't bring out the best in people. (With the admitted exception, perhaps, of certain truly holy folks who've chosen genuine poverty as a sincere way of life--not just wound up that way inadvertently through failure!) All you need do is visit the poor section of town. What do you see--elevated levels of holiness? Ah, I thought not. Are these folks more concerned with helping each other--or is there a higher crime rate? Probably the latter. I've never seen a case where poverty has brought out the best in anyone. How could it? If you are concerned with your very survival, how can you be concerned with your fellow human beings?

If you talk to successful people, those whose lives are working in all areas (including but not limited to money), you will hear a different story.

"I've been rich and I've been poor, and believe me, rich is better." That line has been attributed to Sophie Tucker, Mae West, Gertrude Stein, Pearl Bailey and Frank Sinatra. No matter who said it, it's true!

Please don't misunderstand: I'm not suggesting that you worship money or that it's of supreme importance. But it has its place. Money is a tool; like fire, it can be used to build or to destroy. There are a great number of people who are doing a lot of good in this world because they have the financial ability to do it. Philanthropists throughout history have given to society because they were able to do so.


Don't Apologize for Your Success

You deserve it--and you are earning it. You see, we can have all the wealth and abundance we want if we are willing to do something for it.

Enjoy your success! Don't be like the multi-millionaire I knew who ate in second-class restaurants because he was too stingy to go to a decent place. He had a pile of money but never learned to enjoy it.

If you have produced wealth and success, spread it around. Enjoy the lifestyle you can now afford. After all, what is all the work for in the first place? Of course it's prudent to save a certain amount for your future in the form of secure investments--but you'll be that much more motivated to continue creating wealth if you are receiving pleasure from the money you earn.


Give Back

In addition to enjoying the fruits of your labor, learn to give back. One of the greatest feelings of personal satisfaction comes from being able to give to others, especially those who are less fortunate. There are many ways you can use your wealth to enrich your community and people who need a helping hand. And there is an added payback for you: it is virtually impossible to give without receiving.

The practice of tithing (from the Old English word for "tenth") is a universal law, written about in most every book on success and spirituality. Tithing a percentage of your income, usually ten percent, to your church or other spiritual organization not only helps that group but also sends a signal to your subconscious that you are wealthy enough to afford to do this, which powerfully reinforces your prosperity mindset.


Don't Let Your Possessions Own You

As comedian Steven Wright said, "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"

Avoid the trap of becoming a slave to your stuff. Make sure you own your possessions, and not the other way around.

I once learned a wonderful lesson about non-attachment to material things that has since helped me to keep my life in perspective. I was invited to visit the home of my Yoga teacher and his wife. On the drive over, I tried to imagine what the home of a spiritually-focused yogi would be like. I imagined sitting on orange crates in a sparse room with bare floors, eating a simple meal of brown rice and tofu.

I was floored at what I encountered. Their home was in a beautiful garden apartment complex, complete with swimming pool. I entered to find a lovely, spacious apartment, carefully decorated with white, deep-pile, wall-to-wall carpeting, fine teak furnishings, a top-of-the line stereo and beautiful artwork and wall hangings. I realized that although they had all these beautiful things, they were not attached to them. They enjoyed their material possessions but remained centered in their values; if it were all to disappear one day, they would not be devastated. This lesson in non-attachment enabled me to keep my sanity when, a few years later, I did in fact lose everything!

Don't let money and material things control your life. You control them. Enjoy them--and remain true to yourself and your core values.

Wealth is your birthright. You deserve all the prosperity and success you desire. Paul Zane Pilzer says it best with the title of one of his books: God Wants You to Be Rich!



JIM DONOVAN is a motivational speaker, business coach and the author of Handbook to a Happier Life. More articles and his free newsletter are available at