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Decoding Money Behavior: Understanding Your Financial Habits

Lessons learned from Brent Kessel’s – It’s Not About the Money: A Financial Game Plan for Staying Safe, Sane, and Calm in Any Economy


Every journey begins with a destination. Have you ever found yourself asking the question or exploring?

What is money to me?

How am I with money?

When I reach my financial goal what would feel and look like?

In tracing back my steps to understand my money journey, and define what my money destination looks like for me, I recently came across the concept of financial archetypes.  Brent Kessel’s book – It’s Not About the Money: A Financial Game Plan for Staying Safe, Sane, and Calm in Any Economy. Brent is a Yogi and financial planner, a combination that brings a refreshing take on the “get all on you can, more is better” money culture in our world today.

Learning more about the financial archetypes (I’ll have to write a separate post on that) but found so much more in the book around psychology, peace, and purpose around money. All elements of money are not touched upon in the media, in conversations, or in our minds.

What is Money to you?

Accept your journey with money

What is your financial core story

Understand your wiring. The more we want, the more we want

The wanting mind

Learn that things do not have to change for you to be happy

Be disciplined when making investing decisions

What is Money to you?

Money is beyond the medium of exchange, the measure of value, store of value, and standard of deferred payment that makes our world go round today. How you are with money all begins with your relationship with it. The emotions money triggers in you would drive the majority of the financial decisions you make. All of this combined is what forms Money behavior.


Money behaviors can be closely linked to childhood, when, where, and the era in which we grew up. Your worldview adds another layer of complexity to the mix.

Reading this book made me dig deep into my values and patterns with money, why I crave more money, how much I need, and how much is enough.

Why chase after money in the first place? There is no wisdom in chasing after things or going after goals without really understanding the whys.

For me studying patterns uncovered an unconsciousness not to embrace abundance, and struggles with finding the place of contentment.

The book also particularly addresses the challenges of acquiring the right balance between acquiring more and a satisfying financial life. It also encourages a life without the constant anxiety or worry about the future.

1. Accept your journey with money

While you work at your money, embrace the inner journey you are on. You don’t need things to change externally to be happy inwardly. Do the work to banish internal conflict and stop the internal war. Find the intersection of drawing the lines around greed, attachment, and desire. An external fix would not always be the solution to an internal problem. We all have to find our peace and ease with money.

2. What is your financial core story

The concept of the financial core story – It represents the deepest belief and feeling we hold about money. Stories we are unconsciously telling ourselves. The power of the unconscious plays out into the conscious. The core story runs the financial show of our lives. It is the basic script that plays out in our financial life. Unconscious beliefs about money are formed at a very early stage of life, mostly from the family we grew up in.

3. Understand your wiring. The more we want, the more we want.

Wired for wanting but also wired to avoid pain. It’s the premise of the human existence. It always seems like there is never enough in the world to satisfy my dissatisfactions.  Steadying the voice of “if only” and “not enough”, learning to detach because you don’t always end up happier after a want is met.

Learn to sit in your being.


4. The wanting mind is something we’ll have to deal with.

If you’ve ever had the never-ending feeling of wanting you are not alone.  The human mind constantly wants and wants. A bigger house, once that comes then an even bigger house in a nicer neighborhood. And so it goes, it is how the mind tricks us that once we get what we want, life will be bliss but we all know this is not always true. Wanting can have a financial toll in the world of consumerism that we live in today.

There are so many times I have wanted a better job with a bigger pay and then once I get that job it doesn’t appeal as much, it comes with its challenges – long hours, a toxic culture, and an endless list of unpleasantness.

This can also come in the form of wanting a fashion piece so badly, feeling elation on the first use, and then the elation decreasing with every subsequent use. Is anyone relating yet?

Interesting to draw that the level of life satisfaction when the world’s 400 richest and Inuit people of Greenland were compared, was the same. Does that mean money doesn’t add any more satisfaction to life? Why does it feel so untrue especially when my mind tricks me into believing I’ll be happy once I get that next thing – house, car, job, holiday especially when all these wants are so justified?

Consciously pause when you want something. If you still want it that bad, then pause again before taking action on it.

Where the answers lie, is to steady the wanting mind. It is not a call to stay complacent but to stay content. Be happy where you are, and work towards the things you aspire to achieve and live.

5. Learn that things do not have to change for you to be happy.

The promise of a happier future the mind constantly plays out isn’t always true. Desires are after all endless.

6. Be disciplined when making investing decisions.

Never let your wanting mind make financial decisions for you. The lure of bigger returns or the fear of a market downturn can lead to a path that is slippery and financially devastating.

True freedom will come when you understand the root of your behaviors and desires. It is beyond financial resources, ignoring the constantly shifting bar of success.

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