At a time when the vast majority of Americans, Europeans, and most people that live on this planet, are nervous about their retirement, upset about the rising price of gas and other commodities, and losing sleep because of anger over their financial situation, one man is working with a group of clients whose incomes have actually been rising.
That man is Gary Douglas, best selling author and founder of Access Consciousness. Awareness is the key to knowing where to turn, even more so in difficult times than in easy ones, according to Douglas. One of the best ways to raise awareness is to ask questions.
“Don’t just question authority—question everything!” Douglas says. Questions increase awareness, whereas conclusions, answers, and decisions about what’s right limit awareness and therefor block the very success at surviving in challenging times that you’re looking for. Answers about what’s going to be profitable in the future also limit your ability to make choices that can change your financial situation.
Douglas has been teaching seminars on awareness, including awareness about money, worldwide for more than 20 years. Seminar attendees and private clients who have followed his advice have seen their incomes increase, and even if some of their assets have fluctuated in value with the changing times, they tend to not experience losses like the rest of the world.
Douglas has written two books on the subject with his business partner, Dr. Dain Heer, Money Isn’t the Problem, You Are, and Right Riches for You.
The steps Douglas recommends are deceptively simple. They can be implemented immediately by anyone in any financial situation.
The five practices Douglas recommends to change your financial situation are:
1. Save 10 % of every dollar you receive for you. (click here and watch a video)
While this may seem impossible to those suffering from financial stress, Douglas finds it imperative to change one’s financial situation.
“If you’re one of those people that pays your bills first, what you’re telling the universe is that you like bills. It will honor you by sending you more!” he observes.
Conversely, if you take the first 10 per cent and put it away, you are telling the universe that you honor yourself and you like money. The universe responds by sending money where it’s welcome—to your savings account. For this to work as well as it can, you have to be putting the money away to honor you. It’s less likely to work if you do it because you read it here or someone else told you to.
Key to this working is the equal commitment NOT to spend it no matter what.
Many of Douglas’s clients have tested this, only to discover that their finances headed south when they tapped into their “honor money.”
“Beg borrow or steal, go out and earn more, create some money some way, just don’t spend your 10%!” admonishes Douglas. If you do fall into the trap of spending your 10%, don’t worsen the situation by beating yourself up. All that judgment won’t help. Just start again.
One of Douglas’s clients who struggled with money issues started doing this from her husband’s paycheck. To her surprise, she found out it was no harder to make ends meet with 90% of the check than it was using all of it. The huge difference it created in her family’s life was the financial peace of mind having that money accumulating in the bank created.
If you’re one of those folks that wonders why you would bother to save money you couldn’t spend, you’re exactly the kind of person who needs this practice the most. “If the only reason you see to have money is to spend it, you will never have money,” states Douglas. The only way to have money is to be willing to have it, and this exercise creates this willingness to have money.
2. Carry the amount of money a rich person would have in your wallet or pocket at all times.
How much money do you think a rich person would have on them at all times? Whatever that amount is, that’s the amount you need to carry on you at all times. If you’re wondering how to build up this stash when a shortage of cash is your problem in the first place, you can use the 10% you’re saving to build up this reserve.
Again, the key is never to spend it. If you keep it in your wallet in front of your spending money, you will be reminded you have money every time you open your wallet. Make sure you have some spending money behind it so you don’t have to spend your honor money.
3. Know exactly what it costs you to live each month.
Calculate to the penny how much you spend on necessities, but also on things that make life worth living such as entertainment, self-improvement, and vacations, as well as the 10 % you’re saving.
You have to know how much you require in order to know what to request from the universe, and most of us underestimate our requirements. How can you ask the universe to send you what you really require if you don’t know what that amount is?
4. Retire those past expenditures.
Douglas refers to debt as past expenditures because of the similarity between debt and death. Whatever you call them, they are a form of enslavement you will rid yourself of if you’re smart.
Some people confuse the ability to borrow money with having wealth. While credit is certainly useful in certain situations, it is not the same as wealth—it is only the ability to create debt.
Douglas recommends dividing the amount you owe by 12 to determine how much more money you would need to earn each month to pay these off. (If the total is more than $40,000, you could divide by 24 and pay them off in 2 years.)
How much would you have to work? How many more hours, sessions, or jobs do you have to do to create that income? Then do it!
5. Diversify your assets by investing in things with intrinsic value.
While having cash on hand provides you with choices that may not be available otherwise, Douglas also recommends diversifying your assets. When the dollar has decreased in value 50% against the euro in the past year, investing in tangible assets is a strategy worth considering.
Items with intrinsic value include not only precious metals, but also jewelry, antiques, and collectibles—the kinds of things that could quickly be sold for cash if required. Many of these items retain their value or even increase in value with inflation.
Douglas has been recommending his clients invest in gold and silver since gold was at $150 an ounce. He doesn’t recommend blindly following his advice, but instead relying on your own awareness. This involves asking questions. “Ask a question about the gold,” he recommends, to find out what it will do.
You can do this by asking, “Will it go to $1500?” “$1600?” “$1700?” Whichever feels lightest to you is what the gold is telling you it will do.
Being aware of the effect of earth changes can inform your awareness of what will be valuable in the future. One oil spill could wipe out oyster beds that pearls come from, for example, making them much more valuable. Political changes and economic changes overseas, ignored by most American press and the population, can have a big effect on the economy elsewhere.
The world is changing, and what is considered real and valuable is changing. Only by keeping yourself informed will you know where you can put your money so that it will increase in the future. Ask questions! Most financial advisors of all kinds have their own interests at heart, not yours. Your own awareness is the key to your own financial survival and success.
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Jun 8, 2011
Love your whole approach…only one thing I take issue with, in the last paragraph “most financial advisors of all kinds have their own interests at heart, not yours”.
Admittedly, I sometimes feel the same way. In fact, that’s what led me from being a straight up CPA to being a financial planner. That being said, I happen to be one who emailed this article to new client, and put a link to it on all my social media sites. I couldn’t agree more with your approach, and I encourage all my clients to cultivate that kind of awareness, and take the kind of ultimate responsibility for their financial situations that you describe.
Ok, you did say “most” so I can’t get too upset 🙂
I just think it would serve your readers better to encourage them to find an advisor (if they choose to work with one) with whom they feel really philosophically aligned, and in whom they really trust, rather than to lump us all (ok, most) into one bucket.
So, to your readers, I say:
There are good and bad doctors, lawyers, etc. In every profession, you will find the best, the worst and everything in between. Good advisors do exist. If you need help, you CAN find an advisor that is right for you. Don’t settle. Be clear about what your needs are and look for someone to meet them. I promise, you will find him/her.
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