By Phillip Washington Jr. 

Sponsored by JPMorgan & Chase

For most of my life, I associated the process of making money with stress and pressure.  

When I reached my financial goal I felt a bit of relief and satisfaction, but it was short lived as I soon had to set my sights on the next goal.  

For a while this didn’t bother me because through sports I had built discipline, faith, and persistence into my mindset. I knew in my heart that as long as I applied those principles, there was nothing I couldn’t suffer through in order to attain my desire.

As my financial goals grew bigger, the stress and pressure increased, taking a toll on my mental health and affecting other areas of my life. To lower my stress levels, I adopted a new approach to managing my money: I started by asking myself the question, “Does making money have to be stressful?”

I already knew the answer to the question was “no” before I even asked it. Through observation, I noticed many individuals building substantial wealth while also having fun in the process and enjoying it more than the wealth itself.  

As the idea of the wealth building process being fun grew in my mind, my old beliefs about making money started dying off one by one. They were eventually replaced by new beliefs.  

Here are a few of my old beliefs:

  • “I have to grind it out and work long hours to make the money I desire.”
  • “I have to sacrifice family time as I build our financial empire.”
  • “I don’t have time for hobbies and having fun. I gotta get this money.”
  • “I will enjoy life later.  This is grind time.”
  • “I have to travel a similar path as those that came before me traveled in order to make the money they made.”

Here are a few of the new beliefs I replaced the old beliefs with:

  • “There is no correlation between the money I make and the time I work.  As a matter of fact, many (most) of the hardest working people I know don’t have much money.”
  • “My family (my heart) gets first dibs on my time.  Everything (including making money) fills out around that.  I can have it all.”
  • “My first priority is to enjoy Life.  Don’t take it too seriously.  Money is abundant and it comes to those who call it from a place of Joy. No stress necessary.”
  • “If I ever catch myself not enjoying what I’m doing in the moment, stop and go do something I enjoy.”
  • “Every person who has ever lived, who is living, and who will live has their own path based on their desires, beliefs, and life experiences.”

With some core limiting beliefs out of the picture and replaced by some new expansive beliefs, I was ready to begin receiving thoughts of inspiration that led me to codify how we operate our financial life today.  

Stress-free financial planning

I can break the process up into about 3 simplified steps:  

Step 1: Set aside time daily to visualize (Imagine) the goal being achieved

It seems so simple, but it’s such a powerful step.  Anyone who has achieved anything considered great, would tell you they first saw it happen in their Mind’s eye.  Their Imagination.  

What most of us don’t realize (I know I didn’t) is that our Imagination is always on and working feeding off the information we give it.  

To reach our goal of having $1,000,000, we need to go beyond simply looking at our current reality. We must feed our imagination with inspiring images that can help us get closer to our goal. This will also help to keep us inspired and committed to reaching our desired outcome. Additionally, breaking down the goal into smaller increments and tracking our progress regularly can help us stay on track.

Visualization can be done daily in many different ways.  It can be done through meditation, vision boards, journaling, and reviewing your financial plan.  I personally prefer to use all of those options at different times throughout the day.  

Important note: When reviewing projections from a financial plan created by a wealth manager, don’t really spend time thinking about the time frame the plan is projecting.  That doesn’t really matter.  What matters is showing your Imagination that it’s possible so it can work to adjust your beliefs over time.  

Step 2: Convert your goal into a feeling

How does having $1,000,000 feel to you?  

You might say words like, freedom, security, peace of mind, joyful, stress-free, and/or exhilarating.  

The key to successfully reaching our goal is to capture the feelings associated with it and to make sure those feelings are positive. Feelings are the driving force of our minds, and when combined with imagination this can help us to make meaningful changes. 

Said in a different way, in order to put and keep $1,000,000 in your accounts you have to first believe you are worthy of $1,000,000. 

This is a big reason why so many adult children who inherit large amounts of money from their parents, as well as lotto winners, young athletes and musicians, lose it all within 5 years. 

Our lack of belief in our ability to handle money can prevent us from achieving financial success. Without a strong belief system in place, we are unable to embrace the flow of money and make it work for us. Establishing a firm belief system is key to achieving financial success and unlocking the full potential of the wealth that is available to us.

Step 3: Keep an open mind and only implement the ideas that feel like your goal

Let’s assume for 20 to 30 minutes a day you are imagining the realization of your goal (step 1) and feeling how you would feel if the goal were accomplished in that moment (step 2).  

As your beliefs around how much money you believe you are worth begin to change, your eyes will begin to open to opportunities that have always been right in front of you.  You just couldn’t see them.  

Let’s say that the financial plan you and your wealth manager created had a time table of 20 years for you to reach your goal of $1,000,000 due to the amount of money that you were able to invest at the time the plan was created. 

It would not be a far-fetched idea for you to one day come out of your daily set visualization sessions with the inspiration to start a business that you were well equipped for and already had most of the resources needed to start.  

If the idea is the right idea, it won’t come with any fear attached to it.  It will feel secure, freeing, and exciting.  It should have a very similar feeling as your goal.  

Now here’s where you want to be careful.  

You may get excited about getting the idea and running with it by trying to figure out through mental force (assertion/effort) the resources that you haven’t yet realized through inspiration.  That’s not the right move in my experience.  

Think of the idea like a baby in the womb.  You don’t want to take it out too early.  

I have made this mistake many times in the past and so have other people I know who I speak with often who use a similar process.  

It introduces stress (resistance) into the process and leads back to wealth building with stress all up in the process.  

Give it time to gestate. You will feel when it’s right.  

That’s why step 2 is so important. You MUST know the feeling of the goal because that feeling or what people call Intuition will guide you each step down your path to reaching your goal.  

The self-reinforcing wealth-building cycle of fun

Soon you will look up and realize that you are making more money and have more than you anticipated in your accounts. This will be a sign that you are on a faster track to reaching your goal of $1,000,000. 

The most important benefit of the process is not the $1,000,000, even though it will feel great to have reached your goal.  

The most important benefit will be the habit you built in the “muscles” of your mind that has created a dominant emotional state of feeling good.  

You would have taught yourself that feeling good is the end goal of all of our life goals, and that we can choose to embrace this feeling at any time. Owning this feeling is essential for achieving success and living a satisfying life. 

This is the power of living unconditionally. We don’t have to be slaves to conditions, but instead we can bend them to our will. By having a strong vision and staying focused on our goal, we can manifest our desired outcome and reach success with minimal effort.

This is the way Life and making money is supposed to be.  We never had to leave Paradise.  We only thought we did because we conformed to the emotional state of the world, but that’s a topic for another discussion.  

Phillip Washington, Jr. is a registered investment adviser. Information presented is for educational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies.  Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed.  Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. Past performance is not indicative of future performance.

Sponsored by JPMorgan & Chase