12 Toxic Myths of Wealth: The Personal Growth Industry’s Bankrupt Notions of Prosperity

So, how do us hippies relate to money?

Not an easy question. There are so many people with strong opinions about this. And it can be easy to swept up into something because it ‘sounds good’.

I feel an urgency because of what I’m seeing in my travels leading workshops for holistic practitioners, life coaches and others in the personal growth field.

Maybe you’ve seen this too . . .

A smart, progressive person. They do yoga, enjoy their smoothies and soy chai lates. They go to a lot of workshops. They consider themselves ‘green’. And then they get involved in pyramid schemes, crazy investment deals, currency trading, land development etc. with no consideration at all for the impact they might be having on the world. Getting caught up in greed. The lure of easy money.

Critical thinking, due diligence and any real investigation into the true sustainability is thrown out the window. They find themselves involved in questionable activities because they money is so good.

Money . . . The end of their financial struggles. Getting out of debt. Being able to afford good organic food, that juicer and the supplements. Being able to take a vacation. Get adequate child care. Ease. An outbreath. Space. And contribution – “If I make all this money, then think of the good I can do!” None of these needs or desires are foreign to any of us I suspect.

They read a lot of books – like those pictured here. They’re trying, you see, to get over their limiting beliefs about ‘having a lot of money’. Being rich = good. Being poor = bad. What could be more clear?

Somehow – the efforts to heal our issues around money has actually become another form of poison. Somehow, the beautiful intentions of growth and healing have been completely co-opted by the forces of capitalism and greed.

But done so slickly that it feels like empowerment. The cure has become worse than the disease. Rather – the cure is the disease.

And, it’s . . . disturbing.

I want to write about this. I want to challenge this.

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while. The Personal Growth industry has a certain point of view on wealth. I think it’s actually remarkably well summarized below (these mostly come from the work of T. Harv Ecker).

The statements below are, of course, painful simplifications, distortions and distractions.

But they’re hardly new. I suspect you find versions of them woven through the fabric of civilization. And certainly through the industrial era.

And I want to write a critique of them. It may end up becoming a book. A book written for those involved in the personal growth movement who feel like something is ‘off’.

I would love to invite your thoughts on any of the twelve statements below. Perhaps we can all collaborate on this. I will weave comments you leave into an article (you’ll be referenced).

Are you game?

This piece is a critique – I’ll be exploring alternate views in future work.

Feel free to post links to articles, quotes etc.

MYTH #1:

Rich people believe “I create my life.” Poor people believe, “Life happens to me.”

MYTH #2:

Rich people play the money game to win. Poor people play the money game to not lose.

MYTH #3:

Rich people are committed to being rich. Poor people want to be rich.

MYTH #4:

Rich people think big. Poor people think small.

MYTH #5:

Rich people focus on opportunities. Poor people focus on obstacles.

MYTH #6:

Rich people admire other rich and successful people. Poor people resent rich and

successful people.

MYTH #7:

Rich people associate with positive, successful people. Poor people associate with negative or unsuccessful people

MYTH #8:

Rich people are willing to promote themselves and their value. Poor people think negatively about selling and promotion.

MYTH #9:

Rich people are bigger than their problems. Poor people are smaller than their problems.

MYTH #10:

Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time.

MYTH #11:

Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.

MYTH #12:

Rich people know that money is just energy. Poor people think it’s paper and coins.

Questions before the house:

1) How do you feel about the myths below?

2) What’s wrong with them? Where are they ‘off’? What do you see as the heart of the issue here? Is there anything missing?


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