What’s more important to you: love or money? Would you rather your heart be fuller than your pockets? Or do you prefer that your bank account keep you warm at night? Our culture tells us that to be successful we must have both…and it’s not simply a cultural mandate.
A study came out a few years ago entitled, “Happiness Equals Love + $75,000,” which found that love is the most central element to human happiness. And while money adds to our sense of wellbeing, its influence on our satisfaction levels off after we make about $75,000 a year. Clearly this study wasn’t done in D.C. or L.A. but I digress.
Whether or not that figure is accurate, many of us are taught either directly or indirectly that we’re supposed to collect as many coins as possible to be happy. To accomplish the goal of making tons of green, we’re required to go to school, which teaches the vast majority of us HOW to be effective employees, so that we can get a good job, get promoted to increase our income, and save for our retirement.
On average, we spend almost 20 years year in school, then another 40+ years working for someone else, doing something for which we generally have no passion. All of this in order to have maybe 15 years at the end of our lives to do what we actually enjoy and to spend the money we were *supposed* to have saved.
We invest quite heavily in preparing for and sustaining our financial success. The average cost of a 4-year degree is as low as $40,000 for in-state residents at a public college to as high as $130,000 at a private university. We also join professional societies, career mastermind groups, and let’s not forget all of the continuing education credits and on the job training we’re required to complete.
Maybe you haven’t done every single one of those things to get where you are professionally, but if you consider yourself successful in your career to any degree, I guarantee you’ve benefitted from at least one of those options.
When I asked whether love or money was more important to you, what did you choose? If you chose money, and your career is thriving more than your relationships, thanks for reading this far, but you don’t have a problem because your stated priority matches the results of your actions.
However, if you say that love is more important and you have a thriving career, but you’re single and can’t see how to make your relationships last, let the reading begin…with questions:
Have you ever bought a membership into a relationship mastermind group?
Have you ever worked with a relationship coach? (Not a therapist)
Have you ever invested in an educational program or training course to develop your relationship skills?
If you answered, “no,” to each question, it’s likely already clear to you that your incongruence is the source of your troubles. If you answered, “yes,”to any of the options but are still struggling in the heart department, ask yourself how much time and money you haveinvested in learning how to be an effective lover versus learning to be an effective employee. In either case, your video isn’t aligned with your audio and that’s why the movie of your love life is hard to watch. How can we expect to get a return on an investment we haven’t made?
In addition to all the time, money, and energy we invest in acquiring the knowledge and skills to be effective employees BEFORE we start our careers, many of us enlist the help of mentors and business coaches to help us stay sharp and continue to grow WHILE we’re in our occupations.
Yet, many of us believe that relationships are supposed to be this magical experience that randomly finds us and we’re supposed to figure it out as we go…like learning to fly a plane while we’re already in the air. Then, when things go wrong, we either break up or seek counseling. In other words, we’reproactive in our professions but reactive in our relationships.And THAT very reason is why your career will be better than your relationship, if you can ever sustain one.
You might be thinking, “what about all the people whose relationships do work out? How are they able to accomplish their relationship goals?” The simple answer is that they have something you don’t – but it’s not what you think.
When it comes to any goal we have in life, whether it be a relationship goal, a career goal, or otherwise, there are three things we must have in order to accomplish what we desire.
The first is a plan. Without a roadmap, you don’t know if you’re heading in the right direction. The plan also includes a list of the tools, skills, and resources needed for its implementation. What skills do you need to develop before you get into a relationship and what is it going to take to develop them? How many dates do you plan to go on per week and how will you evaluate them? What do you actually need from a partner in order to be happy and how can you ensure he has the capacity to meet your needs now versus the potential to meet them at some undefined time in the future…like two reincarnations from now?
The second is accountability. Whether it’s self-accountability or having a friend, coach, or mentor hold you accountable, if you don’t do the work it’s not going to work. We all know what it takes to lose weight: eat less and exercise more. Burn more calories than you take in. We all have the information, but information is not transformation. Information is like a magical pill that cures your problem immediately: it doesn’t exist. There is no magic pill, but there’s always a magical process. Unless you go through the process, unless you implement the plan with fidelity, you don’t get the result. As simple as that sounds, we all know what it’s like to wake up tired on the third morning of committing to our body goals, decide to sleep in “just this once,” then realize six months later that we haven’t stepped foot in anybody’s gym! Many of us think we can do it alone, (and by “it” I mean any goal we set for ourselves) but if we could, it would already be done.
The third, and most important, is mindset. Mindset encompasses all of the beliefs and perspectives that condition you. You cannot live a life outside of your mindset. Your mindset dictates your actions, and your actions dictate your results. If you want to be a millionaire, you don’t get the millions and then develop the mindset, you have to develop the mindset and that’s what generates the millions. As evidence of that fact, 70% of lottery winners go bankrupt according to the National Endowment of Financial Education. Now think of the countless examples of self-made millionaires who went bankrupt and then built bigger fortunes than the ones they lost. You can literally give millions to people without a millionaire mindset and they’ll sabotage themselves. You can literally take the millions away from a millionaire and they’ll create new money.
Do you have an effective relationship mindset? Are your beliefs in sync with your goals? Do you believe there are many people who can meet your needs or that there’s only one and you have to spend your whole life searching for him? Do you believe that all gay men cheat? If so, how can you expect to trust someone who you already believe will disrespect you BEFORE you even meet him? I’ll say it again, you cannot live a life outside of your mindset. Very few people can change their mindset without assistance as it’s difficult for most people to see themselves objectively. Blind spots are a consequence of every mindset. We all have them.
All three, the plan, the accountability, and mindset are needed to accomplish any goal. It’s not your fault that you weren’t taught how to have effective relationships or what you’re missing, but now that you know what the problem is, if you don’t take responsibility for investing in your love goals, the outcome of your relationship future IS your fault.
So you have two options: change your priorities or change you actions to align with your priorities.
Love, Peace, and Glitter,
You can download a free copy of Amari Ice’s international best-selling book, “Lasting Love at Last: The Gay Guide to Attracting the Relationship of Your Dreams,” at www.lastingloveatlast.com