Author: Kim Potgieter

The cure lies in the cause

Wellness is not a point in time, but a continuous cycle. It is a continuum of cause and effect. 

Stress, anxiety and trauma are the most common reasons why people are unwell today.

It’s not the actual trauma or stress that causes your un-wellness, but how you respond or react to these events, the emotions that flow from your experiences, that impact on your well-being.

These are the health lessons presented by Dr Riaz Motara at a recent Lifestyle event for our Retiremeant™ clients.  To say I was inspired by Dr. Motara’s views on wellness is an understatement. I was so enthused that I immediately set up a follow-up appointment: I wanted to learn more!

Dr. Motara’s view on the correlation between health and our thoughts substantiates our Retire Successful philosophy that a healthy mind supports a healthy life. It’s about keeping your body fit, your mind challenged and your heart engaged.

Don’t discount the impact of your emotions
Dr Motara joins many other experts in the field of holistic health when he says that “fear” is the most significant emotion that underpins everything that happens to us as humans. It affects how we approach life, the decisions and choices we make, how we act or react – in fact, fear subconsciously steers almost everything we do.

The difficult part is that our emotions are not really a conscious choice to make. We feel, because we react to something in a certain way.

While fear is the core emotion, how we negatively react or feel, based on trauma, are derivatives of fear: hate, anger, disappointment, discontentment, abandonment, loss, insignificance – and the list goes on.

It all sounds so complex, doesn’t it? To explain, I shared with Dr. Motara that the therapist I was seeing after my third high-jacking told me that I brought all this onto myself. That made me angry! No – fuming! Then Dr. Motara explanation made sense: my negative emotions became my self-talk and all my efforts to heal after the trauma were based on overcoming my fear. I was so fixated with fear that I ended up attracting fear into my life. The stress and anxiety actually caused me to become unwell in body and mind.

It’s a matter of the heart
The same applies to your health. Being a cardiologist, Dr. Motara dedicates much thought and research to issues of the heart. He has actually found a strong correlation between depression and heart disease. He says that by treating patients holistically, and by delving into past experiences, he is able to determine when the heart disease started. For example, a client with heart disease also tested for low levels of serotonin. Motara discovered that the feeling of “un-wellness” and heart disease started hand-in hand, shortly after a traumatic life experience.

Motara believes that 50% of the cure of any illness is having insight into what caused it. Ask yourself:

  • When did it start? When can I last remember feeling great?
  • What did I get exposed to?
  • Does this correlate with how I am feeling now?

The answers are inside of us. Unfortunately, it is not always easy to access traumatic memories, but if you delve deep enough, and try to make sense of your behavioural patterns, you could probably pinpoint your health to a specific cause and reaction.

The cornerstone of complete wellness remains a holistic approach. It is essential to consult a medical practitioner to treat your symptoms, but it is also important to work on managing your emotions and dealing with all the challenges that life holds, which most commonly includes stress and anxiety.

So, this winter, while it’s cold and gloomy and early morning walks are not as appealing as in summer, why not spend some time exercising your mind towards wellness. I’ll join you in that!

Keep warm and well.

Follow your Flow

If you love what you do, it’s play, not work

Kim Potgieter, Author of Retirement: Get more Meaning from your MoneyEver been so involved in a specific task or project that all else falls away? So immersed in what you are doing that nothing else seems to matter? And the best part – when you finally emerge from your complete absorption, you feel happy … even elated! And you can honestly say that this was the best day of your life.  Now imagine feeling like this all the time – this is following your flow.  

So, no, time does not pass faster because you are getting older; it flies swiftly when you are engaged with something that resonates with your true and deepest passion.  Research by McKinsey spanning a decade shows that people ‘in flow’ are 500% more productive and learn between 200% and 500% faster.

I have spent much time reflecting on what brings meaning to my life.  I have realised that it is the people in my life – my family, friends, colleagues and clients – that fill my life with purpose, learning and wisdom.  The essence of who I am, what makes my life a meaningful adventure, rests in the sharing of what I have learned … and this is what my career has grown out of.  This is what it means to work in the flow.

Flow flavours life with purpose

The benefits of working in our flow is both tangible and intangible.  For me, a very important one is Gratitude.  It’s that feeling of happiness that blossoms from appreciation.  And the emotions of thankfulness just keep on flowing.  I am especially grateful for being able to do the work that I love and for the wonderful clients that share in my journey.

A tangible benefit expresses itself in the writing of my second book – and, for good measure, a whole series of e-books about our relationship with money, all with the aim of enabling a successful Retiremeant™. This journey allows me to spend time interviewing clients in order to share their insights and wisdom on money stories and work re-invention.  I am convinced that the success of my first book was partly because of the client stories. It is clear that people learn more from stories than theory. And stories are so powerful!

I am so grateful for the stories that our clients share.  Not only do these stories inspire me in my work and in writing my book, but the stories also inspire others in their RetiremeantTM ;journeys – they are encouraging and support people on so many levels.

Lynda’s story

I recently interviewed our client, Lynda Smith, Founder of Refirement Network and 50-Plus Skills.  You can read about her and her venture in this newsletter.  With this business initiative, Lynda is certainly working in flow. “If you love the work you do, it’s not work, it’s play,” she says.


Lynda is a prime example of merging her Passion with her Purpose to earn a Play-cheque.  But her journey did not just happen.  It took nine long years of thinking, planning, dreaming, and visualising her flow to get to where she is today. During those years, Lynda continued working for a salary to pay off debt and to invest towards her retirement fund.

Finding your flow often means a parallel process: the work that you are doing at the moment to service your financial responsibilities and the work you plan to do – work that you are passionate about, work that inspires you.

What I know for sure is that investing time to think about your flow, and, secondly, working in flow, can be so rewarding that it is absolutely worth the extra input of time and energy to reinvent your work-self in Retiremeant™.

Imagine the possibility of waking up every day and doing the work that speaks to your purpose – your flow.  What a glorious sunrise that would be!

Access the April issue of Inflight here

Kim Potgieter, Retirement Specialist at Chartered Wealth Solutions

Follow your Flow

My 50th birthday certainly marked a milestone in my life! And yes, I am still celebrating and excited about the adventures that lie ahead in fulfilling my passions.

I don’t think it has anything to with aging, but I am constantly reminded these days that time indeed flies when you are having fun. Have you ever been so involved in a specific task or project that all else falls away? So immersed in what you are doing that nothing else seems to matter? And the best part – when you finally emerge from your complete absorption, you feel happy! Even elated! And you can honestly say that this was the best day of your life! Now imagine feeling like this all the time.

So no, time does not fly because you are getting older, time flies swiftly when you are active on something that resonates with your true and deepest passion. And the added bonus – a research project by McKinsey and Co. spanning over a period of 10 years has shown that people in flow are 500% more productive and learn between 200 and 500 percent faster.

So yes, although I experience time flying at an immense speed every day, I am thankfully not getting older any faster. I have spent many hours reflecting on what brings meaning to my life, and have realised that it is the people in my life, my family, friends, colleagues and clients, that fill my life with meaning, learning and wisdom. My true happiness, my flow, does not only rest in the learning, but in the sharing. The essence of who I am, what makes my life a meaningful adventure, are these two things: learning and sharing. This is what it means to work in flow.

The benefits of working in flow just keeps adding up. I want to mention one more: Gratitude. That feeling of happiness that flows from appreciation. And the emotions of gratefulness just keep on flowing. I am grateful for being able to do the work that I love and for the wonderful clients that share in my journey.

I am busy writing my second book – and, for good measure, a whole series of e-books around our relationship with money matters to enable a successful Retiremeant™. This journey allows me to spend  a lot of time interviewing clients so that I can share their insights and wisdom on money stories and work re-invention. I am convinced that the success of my first book was partly because of the client stories. People just seem to learn from stories, rather than theory. And stories are so powerful!

I am so grateful for the stories that our clients are sharing. Not only do these stories inspire me in my work and writing my book, but the stories inspire others in their Retiremeant™ journeys, it encourages and supports people on so many levels.

I recently interviewed a client, Lynda Smith, Founder of the Refirement Network and 50+ Skills. Lynda’s vision is to influence 10% retirees to work for 5 years longer by applying their passions and skills to make a difference. With this business venture, Lynda is certainly working in flow. “If you love the work you do, it is not work, it’s play”, says Lynda. Lynda is a prime example of merging her Passion with her Purpose to earn a Play-cheque. But Lynda’s journey did not just happen. It took nine long years of thinking, planning, dreaming and visualising her flow to get to where she is today. During those years, Lynda continued working for a salary to pay off debt and invest towards her retirement fund.

Finding your flow often means a parallel process with the work that you are doing at the moment to service your financial responsibilities, with the work that you plan to do – work that you are passionate about, work that inspires you.

What I can say for sure, is that investing time to think about your flow, and secondly, working in flow, can be so rewarding that it is absolutely worth the extra input of time and energy to re-invent your work-self in Retiremeant™.

Imagine the possibility of waking up every day and doing the work that speaks to your purpose – your flow. What a glorious sunrise that would be!

Small change for big change

I recently met with a client who retires in 13 months’ time. If you’ve read anything I’ve written, you’ll know I distinguish between the concepts of “retiring from” and “retiring to”. So, true to form, the discussion came up: “What is it that you are retiring to?” I asked.

My client is excited. He has an idea for a consulting business that will see him using what he’s learnt over the last 20 years, offering his skills and services to the private sector. It’s something  inspiring for him to retire “to”. But it won’t be on a full-time basis – and it won’t give him the equivalent of his current income. This means that he’ll need to start drawing an income from his investments.

It’s about more than the money
This is the where the real acceptance needs to kick in. In my experience, there’s an emotional adjustment that has to be made. This sounds simple enough, right? Because we all know that the day finally does come. Isn’t that what we’ve been planning towards for the last 40 years?

Trust me when I say this: no matter how prepared you are, retirement still comes as a shock. Regardless of how much you save, you have to be up for the change. Or changes. There’s a mental adjustment: you’ve spent decades saving and now you need to start spending it.

Then there’s the emotional – and financial – reality around the probability of you never working again. And even if you do work, chances are you’ll earn far less in retirement than you did while formally employed.

Another emotional shift is our sense of worth and how we perceive the value we add to our families. If you’ve been the provider for many years, you might struggle with how you derive self-worth. If this is you, please be encouraged: you only have the money you have now because of your foresight and discipline. The value you add continues into the future because of this very fact.

But the money is important
Another financial shift you’ll need to make? Realising that there is no point in drawing from your investments – only to put savings aside from that. It’s financially unwise, so just draw down less to start with.

My client admitted that some of these challenges are going to be real for him. He reminded me of his first money memory. It was something his dad taught him – that a fool and his money are soon parted – and it weighed heavily on him. What if he acted foolishly? Could he wisely manage drawing down from his investments?

This is why having an actual RetiremeantTMplan – and not just a string of investments – is essential. You need to know that you have enough so that the fear of running out doesn’t stop you from living.

But I promise you: this will not be enough to convince you – regardless of how disciplined about saving and investing you’ve been. You’ll still need to be open to change. But it takes time to accept a new reality, so be kind to yourself. It takes time to amend a mindset that has served you so well all these years. Remember, though, why you saved and invested in the first place – so that one day you could have the freedom to choose what you were going to do with your time, your money enabling that life. In the bigger scheme of life, your money is the “small change” that sets the tone for the big change – changes – you’ll need to embrace.

Change is hard. Not many people like change. But you are not alone as you face what’s ahead. If you don’t feel ready for the retirement road ahead, please book some time with me. Let’s talk small change – and big change – over a cappuccino.

Take a chance on dance

This month we focus on relationships. It’s February, after all – the month of romance, of connecting and of celebrating the people special to us.

Each week – each day, really – the world presents new research, a new angle or scientific finding that slightly shifts the way we see the world around us. And last year was no different.

New research has shown that older people who participate regularly in some kind of physical exercise can undo aspects of the mental signs of ageing – both physical and mental.

But did you know that dancing has the most powerful effect of all of them?

Dance as if no-one is watching

I have never been a great dancer myself. I have tried ballroom dancing but my tendency to aim for only perfection made it a job rather than a joy.

Then, recently, I signed up with a wonderful friend of 10 years who runs a Nia dancing class – I love it! It is free dancing, so no right or wrong moves, and I have found it so much fun … but it is also good for my health, according to researchers.

A recent study assigned older volunteers – on average, aged 68 – to an 18-month weekly course of learning either dance routines or endurance and flexibility training. The findings show that both groups exhibited an increase in one area of their brains – the hippocampus. This part of the brain is easily prone to age-related decline and therefore affected by the various types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease. The hippocampus helps with memory, leaning and balance.

That physical exercise helps to slow down age-related decline is no surprise. As Dr. Kathrin Rehfeld, lead author of the study and an expert based at the German centre for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Germany, explains: “Exercise has the beneficial effect of slowing down or even counteracting age-related decline in mental and physical capacity.”

But that dancing was the more effective of the two is what piqued my interest. The non-dancing group did normal exercises, exercises that were repetitive – as most exercise is (too much so, if you ask me!). The dancers, however, were presented with a new challenge each week.

Dr. Rehfeld adds that in comparison, it was only dancing that led to noticeable behavioural changes in terms of improved balance. This was because the dancing group was given changing dance routines with different rhythms and steps. That’s the creativity of dance for you. In her view, “Physical activity is one of the lifestyle factors that can contribute to this, counteracting several risk factors and slowing down age-related decline. I think dancing is a powerful tool to set new challenges for body and mind, especially in older age.”

So, we have it from the experts then: dancing can improve overall health, brain speed and memory. Moving and learning from something as lovely as dance? What a graceful way to age. Or, as the case may be, not age. 😉

Happy dancing!

Find and live your Flow

A challenge for you in 2018

For me it is going to be a personally powerful year. It’s the year I turn 50. Fifty is such a turning-point, a significant stepping stone that speaks to a life lived – and a life still to live.

Being the personality I am, I plan to celebrate in as big a way as possible. And what better way than to celebrate each and every decade – literally. Yes, I’ve come up with one “thing” for each of my five decades. I’m calling them my “five fabulous things”.

Here they are:

  • going on a cooking course in Greece with four of my school girlfriends (of forty years!);
  • listening to Andrea Bocelli on his farm in Tuscany;
  • working towards my dream of meeting Brené Brown (author of Daring Greatly, my favourite book of all time) come true;
  • throwing a dinner party in my home to honour some of the special people in my life, and
  • continuing to spread the message of the importance of exploring our relationships with money through the work and writing that I do. 

The point of sharing these details with you is that what is encompassed in my dreams for 2018 are three of the things I’m most passionate about: travelling, cooking and learning. These three things represent me at my most inspired. Because finding your flow is about what makes you feel alive. I love how Ariel Gore, author of Bluebird: Women and the New Psychology of Happiness, puts it: “In a typical day that teeters between anxiety and boredom, flow experiences are those flashes of intense living – bright against the dull. These optimal experiences can happen when we’re engaged in work paid and unpaid, in sports, in music, in art.”

Be fearless to follow your flow

I was having dinner with some special clients recently. Five years ago we had had a meeting that changed their lives. They had come to see us because their life was at a crossroads – a difficult one. My client, a busy businessman (unhappy in the field he was in), was struggling with cancer. In our meeting, we were running scenarios of what working one more year would look like for him, the implications of restructuring his business – and of then downsizing it. At some point, I put this to him: “So, are you telling me that you’re going to carry on doing more of what you don’t like for longer?”

Hearing it like that changed the course of his life. It was his “aha” moment: right there, he and his wife started envisioning the life they actually wanted. They started to feel the flow into what saw him leave his job, move with his wife to a more peaceful place, change their lifestyle to a healthier one and be more in touch with themselves spiritually. Today, they are happy and healthy. And they’re grateful for all they have.

That is being in the flow.

If you are looking for your flow, have a look at my five ways to find your flow tips in the January issue of the Inflight newsletter … and let me know how it goes.

Warm regards

Loving the Languages of Love

There is no doubt that this is a time of year for family and friends.  If you haven’t read Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages, please do. Because reading a book all about loving the people in your life will honestly add to the joys of your season – as well as to theirs.

If you’ve read it, you’ll know that people generally have a preferred way of receiving love. Some people like gifts – something special that reminds them of you. A couple of my closest girlfriends would much rather meet for lunch and a laugh than do too much gift-swopping. Another of my girlfriends loves getting hand-written cards – something filled with words that make her feel special.

We’re all wired to connect differently, which is why Chapman writes about what he calls “five love languages”. They are:

  1. Words of affirmation
  2. Acts of service
  3. Receiving gifts
  4. Quality time
  5. Physical touch

His view is that feeling connected is about giving and getting in a way that resonates. Your grandson  might love hugs, and your granddaughter might prefer shopping with you. Think of the people in your life right now. Which category might you slot them into? What are your love languages?
(Click here for the online test.)

I read a recent article with practical ideas on “speaking” these languages. Here are my own suggestions to spark some creativity – and fun – for the festive season ahead.

Words: Give a loved one a jar filled with a month’s worth of pieces of paper, each with a written word or phrase with what you appreciate about them. This will appeal to both gift- and word-lovers. I went to a coffee shop recently that served milkshakes on pages of old books. While I’m not suggesting we destroy books, there was something special about a dining experience served – literally – on beautiful words. Use old magazines as gift wrap for a wordy person you know: they’ll love the thought. Or start a new tradition: at your next family birthday, go around the table and have each person say something special about the birthday boy or girl. Working words into your connecting can be a beautiful way of bringing people together.

Acts: If you have someone in your life who values what you do for them above what you say to them, then the challenge is on to work out what will be best. What about popping in with a homemade cake? Or having pizza delivered to their home? Keep an ear open for what needs “doing” in their lives. Anything from making a cup of tea to helping with a DIY chore to feeding a friend’s pets while they’re away shows love.

Gifts: If someone you love likes gifts, then make mental notes (or written ones on your smart phone) of the things they love. Your gifts don’t have to be expensive: sometimes a care pack with their favourite kind of tea and biscuits will feel like the most extravagant gift in the world. They also don’t need to be big. They can even be the opposite of big, in fact: a gift-lover loves opening gifts – that’s half the fun – so what about a box in which you have more smaller gifts beautifully wrapped, letting the special person in your life savour the gift-opening. Gifts are often about feeling known rather than feeling spoilt, so look out for ideas to help you literally share the love.

Time: You’ll spot the quality-timers: they linger at parties, happy to chat all night. The thing to do with your time when it comes to a loved one who loves quality time – is give it to them! Factor in face-to-face time with these people in your life. If your time is limited, why not tie in an activity you both love? Some kind of exercise or craft is a great idea. One or two meaningful engagements let special people know that they are loved.

Physical touch: Not everyone wants to be hugged tightly but for loved ones who respond to touch, something as simple as a pat on a shoulder or handshake can mean the world; a hug might light up someone’s day. Ever thought of giving a foot massage “voucher” to a loved one as a gift? Or painting someone’s nails? Don’t underestimate how transforming touch can be.

So, no pressure to celebrate the season for giving – a little differently, this time. And, if you do try to “speak” a new language this holiday, let me know how it goes.

Lots of love – all five kinds – to you then, over the holidays.

Warm regards

Mind over money over matter

We are living in uncertain times. Both globally and locally, our political and financial landscapes are shifting, leaving many people anxious about the returns on their investments. This type of anxiety can affect our emotions. And, making decisions based on how we feel is never a good recipe for financial planning, long term.

In the face of fear, many people are tempted to convert their investments into cash. But once you do that, how do you know when to re-enter the market? What if you shouldn’t have got out of it in the first place? A move like that brings a whole set of new questions, making us even more anxious than we were before.

So it is that we find ourselves fuelled by fear and living our worst – instead of our best – lives.

Something that can put our thinking back on track here is an illustration by Carl Richards, who produces a weekly sketch for the New York Times. It consists of two overlapping circles. The first circle represents things that matter, the second, things you can control. His advice is simple: the only place to focus your energy is where the circles intersect. In other words, what is it that matters to you that you also have control over? Carl’s view is that uncertainty equals reality. And he’s right. Unpredictability is the new norm. So, the best thing we can do is make peace with the inevitable risk of being alive.

In essence, we just cannot control everything. Something as simple as the Serenity Prayer can be your mental calm in a storm. Your soul is searching for the serenity to accept the things you just cannot change, the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to be able to tell those things apart (my article on the Serenity Prayer can be found here:

Here are some Top Tips for Uncertain Times:

  1. Don’t fight the fact that we live in an uncertain world. It’s a reality that we all need to accept.
  2. When you feel overwhelmed, try to cut out some of the negative noise. Choose carefully what news you follow and every now and then, take a break from it altogether.
  3. If your stress levels are affecting your health, get help. Stress is dangerous and too much of it compromises your body.
  4. Take some time out to reflect. Could your panic be a trigger from the past? A childhood memory sitting beneath the surface of your stress? Dig deeper into the belief you’re holding. Is it true? And is it serving you?
  5. Make a list of what matters to you that you can control. Keep your mental attention there.
  6. Your financial plan was designed for the long-term. Have a long-term approach to it and stick to your plan.
  7. Spend within the plan you’ve agreed on with your planner to make sure your money lasts.
  8. Make daily decisions to make sure you are living a meaningful life.

It’s not just our financial plans that are long-term commitments. Life is a long-term business too. So, take the time you need for developing the mental fortitude to outfox your financial fears.

Casting an ear to Courageous Currency

The Courageous Currency series of conversations with Kim Potgieter and Classic FM’s Michael Avery is worth a listen. Take a journey to understand where money stories come from and how they affect our decisions and behaviour around money, and learn how to approach these challenging conversations.

Why Courageous Currency Conversations?

Money is such a taboo topic. Many people consider it rude and inappropriate to chat about it at social gatherings, never mind in relationships! We may feel uncomfortable, as the topic can dredge up feelings of dread, inadequacy and failure. People who talk about successful money transactions are often believed to be arrogant and egotistical.

So, we don’t often talk about money. This certainly does not mean that we are not worrying or thinking about it, or even just wanting to share some ideas or get advice. It is just a difficult subject to approach. And it takes a whole load of courage to start these important conversations.

Here is a snapshot of what each of the podcasts is about – choose the one that appeals to you … or listen to all at: www.kimpotgieter.co.za/kim-media

How money memories can influence your money story

What is a personal money story? What is the value we assign to it: power, security, happiness or even fear? It is empowering to become aware of your money story, the factors contributing to your relationship with money and how you can consciously create the life you really want.

Understanding your relationships with money

It takes hard work to unpack our thinking patterns and preconceptions about money, especially since we use it to measure our self-worth. As soon as we realise that our money story can translate into a better one, we are free to compose a new script for a happy and fulfilling life.

Can Money buy Happiness?

Money plays an important role in our lives and can certainly buy us things that we want … a step closer to happiness. But, we often put our “happiness” on hold until we have enough money. Separate money from happiness, define each term separately and consider what a truly happy life would look like.

Crucial money conversations in families

It is so important to have these difficult conversations with your partner and children. How do you broach money conversations in a family, and make it a non-judgmental process that allows each family member to voice their views, concerns and dreams?

Midlife crisis and money issues

A midlife crisis can unleash feelings of being out of control, confused and conflicted; you are living a life very different from the one you dreamed of. People deal with this inner conflict in different ways, often destructive to their personal finances. View your mid-life crisis through the eyes of personal truth and internal needs, not only in terms of finances.

Protecting our families and assets upon death

Wills and Trusts help protect our families and assets on death. Discussing these documents with your partner or children is sensitive and difficult, but once concluded and the document is safely locked away, you have the peace of mind that your children, money, property and assets will be looked after according to your instructions.

How to get tough on family who bleed you dry

There is a growing trend of parents who support their adult children financially. How do you open money conversations with children? How do you teach important money lessons children from a young age? “Tough love’ is at times the best choice and more beneficial for the health, happiness and love of both parents and their children.

Making sense of money stories

We learn through stories – it’s how we understand and remember. We tell stories every day – to make sense of something, to remind us, to imagine a possible outcome. A story depicts a journey and is held together by an account of memories, whether real, remembered or fabricated.

Sometimes, in stories, the line between fact and fiction becomes blurred.  How we remember things may not be an actual account of what really happened, but how we perceive it having happened.

This is because a lot of our behaviour patterns and belief systems downloaded in the first years of life become automatic.  We behave in a certain way, or think about things almost intuitively – an automated, ingrained response.

I consider my own money journey.  My parents had a very dysfunctional relationship with money, and I realise how it has shaped my own attitude towards money.

In our house, my father was in charge of all the money and gave my mom a housekeeping allowance. Watching television during the day was forbidden (a waste of electricity), the tumble drier was locked in the garage (too expensive to run) and the telephone was always locked. I remember the anxiety as my mom pleaded with my father to give her extra money to buy Christmas presents.

Don’t misunderstand me: we had money – more than enough of it. It’s just that my dad bullied my mother by restricting the amount of money she could access.

I have always resolved to have my own financial independence. So that I cannot be controlled by someone else. I often need to remind myself that my past is not my present.

Neuroscientists estimate that 95% of our behaviours and beliefs are pre-programmed in the subconscious mind, operating on autopilot.  We rarely ever observe these behaviour patterns and beliefs because they are subconscious.

We don’t see things as they are – we see things as we are. (Talmudic tradition)

Your story about money relates directly to who you are – it’s the subconscious tale about how you perceive yourself.  And this story is mirrored by what money means to you and the decisions you take around it.

Let’s look at an example: a common money journey is the fear of poverty.  You don’t actually have to be poor for poverty to be your story. Stories have to do with your perception of reality and not necessarily reality itself. When the fear of poverty looms in your mind, be very careful. This story can be a destructive and debilitating one to live out. This story is often a story about self-worth, or more accurately, the lack of it.

The truth is that stories are powerful; if we believe our own stories, they will come true. If you keep telling yourself that “you’re just managing to get by” or that you “will never be debt-free” – whether you do so consciously or not – then that is how the story of your life will go.  How you choose to think or feel about money will influence your money journey.

A clear understanding of your money journey can start a whole new chapter where you are able to change that story, rewrite that chapter and start making money serve you – instead of the other way around.

A good question to ask yourself “ How much of my money memory is reality and how much is based on a belief I hold onto?”