The title to today’s blog refers to the old adage “you are putting the cart before the horse”.
In my last blog entry, I mentioned a friend who was looking for security through financial abundance, and two of her “schemes” involved buying re-possessed property and trading on the Stock Exchange”. As expected I was taken to task on my statements there and last night we had a long telephone conversation which started as a request for a “brain-storming” to come up with creative ideas to make money.
There was an unusual resistance from my side to engage in this exercise, and I kept coming back to the standpoint of “take money out of the equation, what would you want to do if money was not a factor?”
For those who might not have noticed, I’m a strange creature, and one evidence of my strangeness is that I think better when I am quiet, or more often, while I am writing, anyway, the conversation went on until late, and there wasn’t much conscious thought given to what was said afterwards, because, quite honestly, all I wanted to do thereafter was sleep!
But, this morning, I woke with such a clear realization that I had to immediately write this entry. One of the “solutions” my friend envisages is coming up with some invention/service that is unique and needed, which in turn will make lots of money immediately and thereby free one to live the life of ones dreams.
All of the teachers are unanimous on one point here, “take money out of the equation, ask ‘what can I do to add value?'”
Now this was something I accepted at face value, not giving much thought to, but in my sleep last night, my sub-conscious must’ve put it all together.
Financial incentives kill creativity;
There was an experiment conducted, a group were given a box of thumbtacks, a candle and matches and were told to attach the candle to the wall. The participants tried all kinds of ways to get the candle to stick to the wall, the thumbtacks were too short to pin the candle to the wall, some tried to melt wax and glue the candle to the wall, but the solution was to empty the thumbtacks from the box, use some of the thumbtacks to pin the box against the wall, put the candle into the box and use that as a holder for the candle. You see, most merely saw that box as a holder for the thumbtacks, quite literally the solution required some “out-of-the-box” thinking!
So the researchers tried different variations to this experiment, they found for example that presenting the items with the thumbtacks outside the box led to a higher percentage of the participants finding the desired solution because now they saw the box as a usable item instead of just a holder for the thumbtacks. But the most enlightening (in this context) variation was when they added a FINANCIAL INCENTIVE to finding the correct solution, LESS people were able to find the solution when they were offered a financial reward for doing so! The conclusion therefore to this, and many follow-up experiments and observations has been that financial incentives only increase productivity where purely mechanical effort was involved, that on the other hand FINANCIAL INCENTIVES KILL CREATIVITY.
Yes there have indeed been many people who “got rich quick” as a result of inventing/discovering something, a little bit of online research has revealed that these inventions fall into the two broad categories of “extremely useful products that benefit humanity” or “useless novelties sold through intensive marketing”, lets ignore the second category here since that falls into the whole set of ills that infect humanity.
The automatic pool cleaner, I choose this example first since it was a South African invention, the inventor identified that people hated cleaning pools and set about creating a solution,
The Rubik’s Cube, here i quote directly from http://www.rubiks.com/about/the-history-of-the-rubiks-cube “In 1974, a young Professor of architecture in Budapest (Hungary) named Erno Rubik created an object that was not supposed to be possible. His solid cube twisted and turned – and still it did not break or fall apart. With colourful stickers on its sides, the Cube got scrambled and thus emerged the first “Rubik’s Cube”. It took well over a month for Erno to work out the solution to his puzzle. Little did he expect that Rubik’s Cube would become the world’s best-selling toy ever. As a teacher, Erno was always looking for new, more exciting ways to present information, so he used the Cube’s first model to help him explain to his students about spatial relationships.”
I could go on and on, but the point should by now be made, yes, some individuals have made enormous sums of money inventing something that changes the world, but, if one is to look deeper, you will find that without exception, the invention was conceived to “add value”, the money followed but WAS NOT THE MOTIVATION behind the needed creativity. In fact sometimes the money was a pleasant surprise!
So, it appears as if the advice “how can I add value” has scientific backing and historical proof.
The Javelin Anti-tank weapon warhead costs $ 80,000. Let that sink in… In South African terms, that is R 1,200,000! This was recently brought to my attention by way of a Facebook meme with the catch line “fired by someone who doesn’t make that amount of money in a year, at someone who doesn’t make that amount of money in a lifetime”.
So, you want to make LOTS of money? Manufacture weapons, and then manufacture wars to consume the weapons!
Banks are required by law to only have to keep 10% of their cash reserves as cash, the rest can be loaned out, the loan recipients generally store the loaned money in the bank, so the bank may now re-lend 90% of THAT (repeat to infinity), but yet they may take away your assets if you are unable to meet the required payment schedule.
So, you want to make lots of money? Open a bank, give out loans, if the suckers pay you back you triple your money, if they don’t, you take their property. If people don’t lend enough, create the desire for lots of shiny pretty things…
The Pet Rock, “this adorable (albeit pointless) stony companion profited 15 million in the first six months it was on the market. Each rock was sold for $3.95, profiting Dahl $3 per sale. They came with a hay bed, a pet carrier, and a manual on how to deal with this “hassle-free” housemate.”
So you want to make lots of money? Glue googly eyes on a rock, use an ad-campaign to brainwash children into “needing” a pet rock, and let them do the work of extracting the money from their parents.
There are millions of ways of “making money”, but prosperity and abundance is about more than digital bytes of data stored in a banks servers. Prosperity/abundance is a holistic condition, which encompasses, health, happiness, honour, love and freedom.
I have both experienced, and observed, people literally killing themselves at a stressful job, whoring themselves out to a wealthy sexual partner, stealing from the poor, profiting from death and disease, neglecting their children… all in the name of chasing financial “security”.
I have also observed those who are content with what they have, enjoying their lives to the fullest.
Yes, it’s a crazy, sick society, and many out of ignorance and conditioning have run this hamster wheel their whole lives, but pure insanity, is facing the evidence and still choosing to live a life controlled by fear.
What then IS the answer?
The answer is beautiful simplicity itself. Identify your passion, find that one thing you LOVE doing, become a master at it, simplify your life to the bare essentials and boldly step forward into the light. I concede that for most it is not as simple as resigning tomorrow and taking a leap of faith into the unknown.
But that also is not permission to continue indefinitely without change. I share here an “inspirational” from my downloads, The strong language aside, this should be everyone’s mantra.
Stop looking for excuses, stop trying to justify your fear of making a change, stop fooling yourself, for indeed, the only one you are fooling… and hurting… is YOU
Go Forth and be AWESOME!!!
All My Love