What’s Your Financial Vision?

What’s Your Vision For a Great Economy for Yourself and Others?

Imagine it’s a year from now and the economy has improved in many large and small ways.

Imagine you are sitting in a large room where people are celebrating the many ways in which life is richer. Everywhere you hear snatches of wonderful conversation.

Last year, at the end of 2008, I was out of work; now at the end of 2009, I have a new job with people who appreciate me, more money than before, and more time for family life.

Last year, our nonprofit organization was near bankruptcy. Now it’s thriving after we learned better ways to market our services and take better care of our money. It’s really exciting that many of the people we used to serve are now thriving and happily donating.

Even when the economy was tanking at the end of 2008, I was doing well. Now I am doing even better.

Imagine that the energy in the room is excited but free of hype. Words like integrity, meditation, and spirituality mingle easily with words like return on investment, due diligence, and business plan. Imagine that instead of competition or ego, you feel a grounded camaraderie among people from all races, many types of jobs or businesses, many faiths.

Imagine people talking about how, even before the end of 2008, a Great Change had already started to happen.

“It was so awful, I had to do something, not wait for a miracle from Obama or anyone else,” says a young man. “Remember how people kept quoting Einstein’s comment that it’s pure insanity to try to fix a problem with the same thinking that created it?”

“Yes,” says a woman of an age that used to be considered way past doddering, but now is honored as a time of wisdom and joy. “Remember how self-responsibility and working together became more popular than the ‘greed is good’ motto of the 1980s?”

Imagine, for a while, just listening to story after story. Notice that some of the stories are quite dramatic, but most report a series of small steps, like assessing the family finances in detail, evaluating the satisfaction value of each expense and adjusting the budget based on vision and values.

Imagine how each person’s conscious and caring relationship to money affected others. Imagine that by the time Obama took office, the renewed calm helped him and his team make wiser decisions. Remember the many stories you have heard of government and business employees finding savings from careful assessment of expenditures and imagine that they are true. Remember how often you have heard examples of people who took off their unconscious money blinders and paid attention to money reality.

Finally, you’re ready to tell what happened for you between late December 2008 and December 2009. Like other stories, your story is filled with juicy details that are meaningful to you and inspiring and informative to others. Here’s what you say: ________________.

So what would you say? I invite you to listen carefully to the longings in your heart and soul for money sanity, money harmony, money integrity or whatever term you use for what it’s like to be able to earn, spend, invest and share sufficient money with absolute integrity, purpose and joy.

Listen past current fears or voices that say you dream too big. Dream past any concern about how you are going to make your vision come true, and any doubt that it is possible. We’ll deal with that later. For now, just write down what your heart and soul envision. Use the future present tense (?I go,? ?I have?), and include whatever is meaningful to you. See what parts of your vision inspire your own grounded actions for a better economy for yourself and others.

Need some help with visioning? See www.workwithmeaningandjoy. In the section on vision, you’ll find an article on “Finding Visions for Work and Life” and a poem called “Dare to Dream, Dare to Do.”

One last hint: Don’t strive for perfection. One of the neatest things about visioning is that it’s fluid and your vision can be edited at any time. And many of the best visions announce themselves while you are going about your daily business.

Blessing for today: Even though I may have learned to quash my imagination in the process of growing up and learning how to make a living, I open myself again to this divine gift. May I dare to dream again, dare to hope again, and dare to speak my dreams, even if only to myself.

That’s all for today. Do what you can, share your vision in the comments section if you wish, then come back again real soon.

Pat McHenry Sullivan