Extending Your Runway

I read a great quote from James Altucher about his motivation for making money. “My only goal with money is zero to do with buying things but everything to do with extending the runway to enjoy the other pursuits in my life.”

I love the runway metaphor. Making money for money’s sake is an empty endeavor. But living a full life is vital. Combined with your personal energy, money is the fuel for that life.

But think about all the baggage we carry around about money. The language we use: Mean green, money is the root of all evil, filthy rich, fat cats. Even the term “saving” money has a negative connotation. It implies denying yourself immediate gratification for your future good.

All that negative thinking about money is another way of giving your energy away. At the very least, these thoughts about money lower your frequency. Just try this experiment: instead of saving money, decide that you will “build wealth.” Does that feel different?

I played a trick on myself to change my thinking about money. My husband Tom brought home a rustic old traveling trunk and asked me if I wanted it. I loved its funky look, and knew exactly how I’d use it. The trunk was the perfect filing cabinet/table in my office. I began to think of the trunk as my treasure chest, holding all my important papers. Then I decided to make bill paying part of my gratitude practice. Yes, it was a stretch, being grateful to pay my bills every month. But really, I was grateful to have more than enough money to pay them, since I had been through a very scarce time. I’d sit down by my trunk, light a candle, and say a little blessing for myself and the people  I was paying. I visualized the flow of money around the world, including through me.

Changing my energy and my thinking about money also relieved the stress of paying bills. I look forward to it now as a ritual. We can apply the same shift in our thinking to building wealth by feeling grateful for the money going toward retirement, investment, or a college fund. Understanding the money we have as part of the abundance in our lives helps extend the runway to enjoy life.

How can you extend your runway?

See Amy's book, The Gratitude Connection,
for more on how gratitude can transform your life.