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Creating a Life of Material
and Spiritual Abundance

By Suze Orman, author of The Courage to be Rich

Suze Orman photo

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What would it take for you to change course in your life? For you to feel rich in every way possible, both in the way your bottom-line numbers read and in your heart, your soul, and the way you live each day? What would it take for you to say aloud to yourself in the mirror, "Things are going to be different, starting now"? The single most important quality you need in order to change the course of your life is courage. Can you remember the courage it took to endure a setback or overcome an obstacle in your own life--the unexpected loss of a job, the illness of a loved one, a devastating rejection from someone you cared about? That feeling of waking up in the morning with pain in the pit of your stomach, pain that stayed with you as you went through the day in a fog, wondering how you could possibly cope, how you could go on, let alone rebuild your life. But you did. What enabled you to go on was your courage. It takes courage to live with financial hardship, and, unbelievable as it may seem, it takes courage to be rich. Why? Because choosing wealth as a goal requires facing everything about your money bravely, honestly, with courage--which is a very, very hard thing for most of us to do. But it can be done.

The Courage to Have More and to Be More
When it comes to your money, what you think will direct what you say, what you say will direct what you do, and what you do will create your destiny. True richness begins with thoughts of true richness. True greatness begins with thoughts of true greatness, and the potential for greatness resides in all of us.

Over the years, I've heard from many people who think they don't have enough, that they will never have--or be--enough, that they can't: can't get out of debt, can't provide for their children, can't face the future. I have heard tales of sadness, hopelessness and despair. There is a vast difference between facing reality--bad as your particular financial reality might be at this moment--and thinking that you can't do anything about that reality. Whether you're wealthy or poor, constricting thoughts that tell you you can't are immensely powerful and terribly destructive. I have come to refer to them as thoughts of poverty, and they are insidious; they lead to words of poverty or defeat, and ultimately to actions of poverty and a legacy of poverty that can be passed down for generations. We must learn to still those thoughts.

Dwelling on the Highest, Richest Plane
What's keeping you from being rich? In most cases it's simply a lack of belief. In order to become rich, you must believe you can do it, and you must take the actions necessary to achieve your goal. Most of us, when asked, regardless of how much money we actually have, feel afraid. If you spend a lifetime pushing your fears away, I can promise you that ultimately you're pushing money away as well. The courage to be rich lies in the opposite stance, when you can give yourself the gift of believing in more.

It often takes tremendous courage just to keep going, to work hard to pay the bills every month, to meet the next financial or emotional challenge that comes along. The courage to be rich, however, goes beyond the chains and limitations of our minds and present-day circumstances, and it brings tomorrow into every today. This kind of courage is vision, and it refuses to let today's defeat block our path into the future. When the light of courage illuminates our way, we always find true richness at the end of the path. Courage is faith. Faith in a higher being, perhaps, or faith in the essential rightness of the world--that correct actions and beliefs are not only their own reward but also qualities that themselves will be rewarded. Is there a grand scheme to the world? I'm not equipped to say. However, if we live each day of our life as if there is, and with courage, we are living on the highest, richest plane of this earth.

Money and Guilt
What if you were to have all the money you needed and your financial ducks were all in a row? What then? Would you be happy? Or would you feel guilty about what you had? If you don't have as much as you'd like to have or you spend more than you should, do you feel guilty? Do you have enough money right now? Do you take great pleasure in it, or does it make you feel guilty?

If the relationship between you and your money is harmonious, regardless of how much you have, your financial transactions will be harmonious as well. By this I mean that you will take such pleasure in what your money brings to your life, what your money (weather large amounts of it or small) can do to help the lives of others, and what spending it on life's simple or sophisticated pleasures can do to enhance your quality of life and well-being. Let's face it, money is great. Then why does it--or the lack of it--make so many of us feel racked with guilt and misery? I have never met a person who feels guilty about how much they love their children, how much they love their parents, their family, their partner. I have never seen anyone hide the fact that they have a loving family. If there is lots of love in your life, if your family is close or your marriage is happy, you will tell me with pride and respect and gratitude how rich you feel, rich with love. No guilt there, not a bit. We never feel guilty when we have more than we could ever want of the things that money can't buy; it's only when money comes into the equation that guilt makes its way in, too.

When it comes to money, if you have it, you may feel that you don't deserve it--guilt. If you don't have it, you may feel that you should have it--guilt. If you are working toward having it, you may feel that all you're doing is working for money and you are not enjoying the process. And if it just happens to come your way, then guilt can keep you from taking what could be yours. Money guilt can take the joy out of what you have created as well as entice you to do things that are not necessarily in your best interest. At this very moment in time, each of us holds before us an offer of a bigger cup to fill with riches. If you are not achieving all that you can in this world, you can change course and claim your potential. If you are in debt, you can turn away from your guilt and self-pity, methodically get out of debt starting today, and put that money you have used every month into your future.

If you have everything you need yet remain plagued by guilt, you owe it to yourself and your money to make yourself worthy of what you have, embrace it, and send it flowing back out into the world--through investments, through contributions to charity, through careful spending on yourself and on your loved one's pleasure.

If you have not saved a penny for retirement and feel guilty about it, you can begin saving today. I am a financial planner, not a psychiatrist, but I do know that your net worth will rise to meet your self-worth only if your self-worth rises to accept what can be yours. Feeling guilty about money does no good whatsoever, is disrespectful to you and your money, and will keep more from coming to you. If you have accepted love into your life, then you must accept money as well, for ie you don't, you are implying that you are not yet worthy of money and are placing a higher value on money that you are on love--a violation of the first law of money: People first, then money. Make yourself worthy of money and money will make itself worthy of you.

Excerpted with permission from The Courage to be Rich by Suze Orman copyright 1999, published by Riverhead Books.

Related Info:
Deepak Chopra's Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
Creative Visualization
Celebrating Wisdom from our Healthy Heroes
Making a Difference in the World
Four Simple Steps to Manifestation 
When Happiness Comes True
Ten Steps to Personal Transformation

Align Your Career with Your Heart's Vision
Program Yourself for Success
Jack Canfield on The Success Principles


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