Personal Finance Series

When searching for personal finance advice, people never think about the impact of their own education, lifestyle, or upbringing on their search.

They look for personal finance spreadsheets, home budget worksheets, programs that offer personal finance in excel or they seek help from experts who have created a personal finance career.

Generally, people look outside themselves for answers in managing money, yet a major characteristic of the wealthy and the happy is their self awareness, a trait embedded in their childhood. They didn’t get mugged by the marshmallow!

Self Awareness: Why “Leaving The Marshmallow’ Is Important

Dr Walter Mischel conducted a famous experiment with a group of children and marshmallows. In the experiment he offered young children a choice between a marshmallow resting on the table in front of them, which they could eat now – or two marshmallows if they waited for him to come back into the room. Then he left and observed the kids.

He then tracked the success of the same children in later life and concluded that those who waited, were much more successful as a group, than those who didn’t. Those who waited and delayed their gratification had a higher level of self awareness, understanding the investment they were making by waiting, which means that in matters of personal finance budget management and financial planning, the ability to know oneself, and having self control is a core part of building wealth.

Self Awareness: Why Happy People See Success Everywhere

Happy people are self aware – they know the impact and influence they project onto others and can adjust their behaviour accordingly. Having emotional self awareness is to understand your feelings, what causes them and how they impact your thoughts and actions.

People with this competency understand how their needs impact their relationships with others, know their own values, and try to maintain a focus on what they consider to be most important. They resist the pressure to put on a false mask of success by projecting trappings of wealth as symbols of achievement.

Self Awareness: How To Negotiate Successfully In Any Situation

A critical benefit of self awareness is to anticipate your own reactions and extend a sensory acuity onto your negotiating opponent. Successful negotiation, in matters of personal finance and life in general is a matter of seeking a mutual win, rather than an outright victory so by ‘sensing’ when to agree and when to back off thus making much better decisions in the moment.

So to successfully negotiate in any situation, simply prepare in advance with the following 7 questions.

  1. How often do I change my approach to things?
  2. When was the last time I experimented with something new?
  3. How important is it for me to fit in
  4. When did I last notice something about someone else while ‘people watching’?
  5. Who do I look up to most in life?
  6. Do I think that giving in is a sign of weakness or a hidden strength?
  7. Do people think I always stay true to myself, no matter what?

Money happy people understand that all the money coming in must be given a job to do, either in enriching life or growing assets. These assets can be children, property, relationships, as well as the more conventional financial services products.

Self Awareness on its own though is limited in the power to ensure financial success and wealth, it is only one of the 6 critical wealth skills, yet when combined in a simple system of personal finance budget software online, is one of the strongest.

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