With the recent events on Wall St, the prospect of economic uncertainty is foremost in the minds of many. Dr John F. Demartini, human behavioural specialist, philosopher and best selling author of several best selling books, including HOW TO MAKE ONE HELL OF A PROFIT AND STILL GET TO HEAVEN, spoke to Australian Women Online about what it takes to not only build wealth but to keep it.
The hierarchy of your values determines your destiny
The cornerstone of Dr. Demartini’s thought-provoking wealth building strategy is an understanding that all of us have a set of values that dictate how we see and act upon the world. “Your life demonstrates your values,” Dr Demartini said in a recent interview with Australian Women Online.
Dr Demartini says when it comes to building monetary wealth the potential for this happening is dependent on not only where it sits in our hierarchy of values, but whether or not we value wealth and money as a means to an end or an end in itself.
What so many people who set goals around attaining wealth fail to realise is that what they are really valuing is what wealth can buy not wealth itself; they want the house, cars, clothes, travel, children’s educations etc. This mindset values money only as a means to an end, so even though many may have managed to get themselves into a position where lots of money is coming in they will not become wealthy unless money is valued enough to have a strategy for keeping it. This means that saving money would need to be one of the top values if wealth is to be built. Otherwise it will flow straight back out again to buy or pay for those things that are placed higher up in their hierarchy.
Dr. Demartini says that those with low values on saving money will more often than not, raise their standards when more money starts coming in; they get a bigger house, better car, clothes etc.
There is no right or wrong in what each person chooses to do with their money. Most people are not aware of their true values, so they unknowingly set goals that are incongruent with what their life is demonstrating as important to them. If they have wealth building and saving low on their values and yet still keep expecting to build wealth, they become frustrated and feel like a failure because they are unable to reach their financial goals.
Dr. Demartini explains, “If you aren’t already wealthy or very much on your way to creating wealth, then the probability that you will become wealthy is not high. Often creating wealth is a whim and there is no commitment in the long-term, you might do it for a while, but will eventually move onto something that is actually a higher value.”
Dr. Demartini has found that if people truly want to change their financial destiny the most effective strategy is restructuring their value system. He says it is the single most significant factor and will only work if saving and building wealth becomes part of the top 5 in the hierarchy.
RESTRUCTURING OUR HIERARCHY OF VALUES
The inner conflict between “heavenly good” and “hellish profit”
Dr. Demartini’s motivation for writing his book, HOW TO MAKE ONE HELL OF A PROFIT AND STILL GET TO HEAVEN was based on his observation of the inner conflict so many people have around money and wealth. He found that even though some would outwardly acknowledge their desire for great wealth, they would inwardly feel guilty about acquiring it.
He says that people often believe that in acquiring wealth they’ll somehow become evil, fear that it can only be done at the expense of others or by compromising their higher spiritual values and virtuous nature.
“It’s better to give than to receive”, “money is the root of all evil” and “filthy rich” are just a few of many time honoured favourites that pervade our culture. It’s no wonder that the prospect of restructuring one’s hierarchy of values in order to attain wealth strikes fear into the heart of many “good” folks.
“There are two driving forces in human beings, spiritualism and materialism,” Dr Demartini said. And yet because most people have the two divided, they don’t acknowledge or appreciate that all of the great human achievements have both.
In keeping with the ancient maxim, “Spirit without matter is expressionless and matter without spirit is motionless”, Demartini likens intangible spirit and tangible matter to two sides of a golden coin, where the rejection of either side prevents you from ever holding its whole richness. He describes heaven as a state of gratitude for the magnificence and perfection of divine order, whereas hell is its opposite – it is ingratitude and the state of “dis-grace”, often based on a lopsided view of reality and is a source of diminished self worth.
Confronting as this may be to some, if we are honest with ourselves we too can observe that the religions of the world have always understood the value of material wealth, and anyone that’s ever worked for a not-for profit organisation or tried to start up a charity knows all too well that regardless of how altruistic the intention, one of the top priorities is always to raise funds or capital.
So when we truly look we can see that in reality there is always both giving and receiving. Dr. Demartini has found that until we have gratitude for both, until we embrace and appreciate both equally we will struggle to unleash the exceptional power of one of the greatest of all spiritual, material and financial laws – the principle of fair exchange. The sign that you value yourself is that you are willing to have fair exchange.
In his book Demartini says that “Human emotions interfere with wealth building more than anything else”. Along with unresolved guilt and shame he identifies seven fears that commonly sabotage our willingness to receive. These are:
- the fear of breaking some perceived authority’s morals or ethics
- the fear of not knowing enough, being smart enough or creative enough
- the fear of failure
- the fear of the loss of money
- the fear of losing loved ones
- the fear of rejection
- the fear of not being vital, beautiful, handsome or energetic enough
Through his work, Dr. Demartini has found that these seven fears, along with our guilt and shame, stem from the past and create baggage that lowers self worth. When this happens people move into altruism as a way of compensating because they feel others are more worthy than they are. They want to give disproportionately to what they receive.
There are of course people on the other end of the extreme who overvalue themselves, they become narcissistic and feel they are more worthy than others; they want to receive disproportionately to what they give.
Dr. Demartini says this greed leads to the kind of situation now faced on Wall Street where investors got caught up in the emotional exuberance of overinflated prices and became blind to the fact that the market will always correct itself. However, he also points out that people who have lasting wealth are conservative with their money; they have a strategy and stick to it regardless of the emotional highs and lows of the money market.
Demartini has observed that any time the market goes up or down by more than 10% people without a strategy do foolish things. Warren Buffet, the world’s richest man (2008) and noted philanthropist says, “Until you can mange your emotions, don’t expect to be able to manage money.”
MANAGING YOUR EMOTIONS
At the heart of Dr. Demartini’s life’s work is what is called “The Demartini Method™”. This method is part of his two day program, The Breakthrough Experience® seminar that is designed to give you practical and scientifically based tools to clear unresolved emotional baggage and discover your life’s purpose.
Dr. Demartini has a simple philosophy – “If you intuitively feel that this program is not for you, don’t come. If you feel that it may make a difference to your life then please come along.”
The program is not a “rah, rah” motivational seminar; rather it’s hard work, it’s deep, and it is truly profound. I actually attended a Breakthrough myself back in 2001 and can vouch for the fact that it is a life changing experience.
In the meantime Dr. Demartini suggests the following exercise as your first step in managing your emotions:
1. Write down a list of everything that you feel guilt, shame or remorse about. Whether it is something you said, did, failed to do, experienced, write it all down.
2. For each item on your list, write down how it served the people involved.
In our own lives we often experience it as an inspired moment when we realise that what at first glance seemed like a disaster turned out to be a gift. This process requires us to count the “blessings” in any area of life we feel “bad” about. By looking at the past in this way we can dissolve our emotional baggage, raise our level of self worth and in turn money automatically rises on our hierarchy of values.
The reverse is also true, so it is possible to do the above exercise listing anything we feel elated or extremely positive about and then list the drawbacks for the people involved. When we do this exercise we open ourselves to the idea that the truth of any situation lies somewhere near the centre.
Just like the stock market, when our emotions fluctuate to either positive or negative extremes we can do foolish things, whereas when we are centred and poised we become present, powerful and purposeful. It is in this state that we are free. We are able to get in touch with our true life’s purpose and determine the monetary value in a way that honours our commitment to receiving in direct proportion to the service we give – in other words, our willingness to have fair exchange.
MANAGING YOUR MONEY
Dr. Demartini suggested the following practical steps for the readers of Australian Women Online:
1. Whatever you earn, save a portion of it. Establishing the habit of saving is the most important thing. It is often wise for couples to have both joint and separate accounts as you will often have different values around money and this can be a source of conflict.
2. Establish both personal and business cushion accounts. The amount needed for each account should be at least 10 times your volatility (approx 60-90days of income). So if your earnings vary between $0 and $5,000 a day, then you would need to have at least $50,000 in your personal account. Do the same for your business. If you do this you will have more stability; when you have more stability you make wiser business decisions.
3. Make a list outlining why making money will be of value to you, your community and the world, remembering the greater the cause the more potential there is for building wealth.
4. For every value that is above saving money on your hierarchy of values, write 1000 reasons how saving money will help you serve that higher value.
5. Know that if money is not managed wisely it gets taken away.
6. Understand that the majority of people spend their life working for money, but if you value money to save it, in the end money will work for you.
7. If you have your money in superannuation, don’t panic and sell out when you perceive a market crisis or you will loose your money. Now is the time to buy.
THE LAW OF ATTRACTION
Dr. Demartini was one of the featured philosophers in the worldwide hit, The Secret. He spoke candidly with us about his work as it relates to the law of attraction.
“There are a lot of fantasies and idealism that sell in the marketplace that people want to believe in. Absolute abundance is usually an idea put forward by people who don’t have money. Our mind and ideas are abundant, but resources are finite – there is not an unlimited supply of money. However, even the wealthiest man on the planet has only a tiny proportion of the world’s overall wealth; abundance is relative.”
“We are all masters of The Secret based on our true values. However, I think the “Law of Attraction”, which is not really a law but a term, is better understood as the fact that we all have a set of values and we are attracted to, and take action on, those things that are highest on our values because we tend to think about what is most valuable to us. What is usually happening when people say the law of attraction doesn’t work is that they have set goals that are not congruent with their true values, so they don’t see the opportunities available to them. That was one of the criticisms of The Secret, that there was no action behind it. “The Opus” which is a new movie focuses more on action.”
“The people I know who have money and wealth have a balance, they are grounded and inspired, they have a vision of service to people, they are willing to go out and do the service, and at the same time they have a healthy deserve level and they work hard and they receive. There is a little bit of truth in the metaphysics but I don’t want to teach an incomplete thing.”
IN THE END IT’S SIMPLE
“Don’t try to get something for nothing or give something for nothing. Give and receive, it’s the wisest thing,” Dr Demartini said.