1.5: Money Maxims

To see the world differently, see your language differently; train yourself to use certain words and phrases as reminders to stop and think things through

Learn things so well that words become works. – Seneca, Letters from a Stoic

…the parrot, catching the sound of a word belonging to his vocabulary, was moved to interfere. Parrots are very human. – Joseph Conrad, Nostromo

What this chapter is about

Practical steps – Everything ultimately boils down to these Maxims. These are the steps that change the way you are wired to live with money. But starting from the Maxims doesn’t work. They can help only in the context of the understanding built up in the whole of Part One.

Designing your environment to encourage thoughtfulness – The point of these concepts, phrases, and words is to train yourself to pause when you hear them. To stop and remember to question whether the automatic beliefs you attach to are helpful, or have to be true.

What this chapter isn’t about

Prescriptions – Stopping and thinking is different to stopping and believing a different thing. I am not telling you what to believe. Sometimes more expensive is better. The point of these Maxims is to make sure you check.

Expectations of immediate success – Rewiring a brain takes time. These Maxims are designed to mould your mind in a meditative fashion. For that’s the only way that works. Know that you’ll ‘fail’, but keep coming back to them. Maybe you catch 1 in 10, then 1 in 5, then 1 in 2, until eventually you hear each of these as easily as you do your own name.