Money and Happiness…

“Your Best Thinking Got You Here”

financial problems and wise stewardship

Of all the assets we have talked about, Money is the one people fret over the most. Yet the very thing we consider as first in the list of priorities actually comes last. Albert  Einstein is credited with the above quote, and when applied to our finances, introduces this transformational idea: If your best thinking got you here, and you don’t like where you are, then maybe it’s time to change the way you think about Money.

Most people have bought into the equation that the world is selling us:

money = happiness.


In my experiences dealing with millionaires and the retirement plans of thousands of individuals, I can tell you that this equation never adds up the way you think it will. Money alone doesn’t equal happiness and money alone never will.

We have erroneously given pieces of paper a value higher than that of the people it was meant to serve.

The scarcity mentality we talked about last week really kicks in when it comes to dollars in the bank, leading to disparaging beliefs such as money is the root of all evil, money corrupts, and you need a lucky break to become rich. This begs the questions: Is money good or bad?

Money by itself is neutral.

It’s what you do with the money that becomes either good or bad, right or wrong. The context in which the money is used has nothing at all to do with the money itself, and everything to do with the person using it.

Imagine the people who are closest to you and picture them standing with you on the shore of a wide river. On the other side is a beautiful island. On the shore behind you is a raging forest fire.

Now people are running and jumping into the water, pandemonium breaks out and you spot a man at the Marina selling rafts. You quickly buy one, giving the man everything you have, putting your family on the raft and rowing them to safety.

You had a thousand dollars in your pocket and as the flames roar behind you, you think, man, what a great deal!

You are so pleased with the performance of the raft that you pick it up and carry it with you everywhere you go. Six months later, the island turns brown and the river dries up in severe drought. It’s time to relocate your family, but you can’t leave without your raft!

You strain and stress, taking it with you everywhere you go, despite the fact that doing so causes great harm to your physical health.

So is the raft good or bad? The raft was good when it saved your family, and bad when it caused you stress. The raft in this story represents money. Like money, it is a vehicle to help you get from here to there.

The value came from its ability to get you to where you wanted to go, and like money, its value increased depending on the number of people it was serving.

On land, the raft wasn’t worth very much. On water, it was worth a fortune. When we apply this idea to money, we call it context.

Thinking of dollars in terms of how they are to be used, how they will help you get to where you want to go, is essential to achieving your RichLife.

Good stewardship of money puts the emphasis on context and the people it serves. As it applies to your RichLife, you want to invest in yourself first, your Life and where you are going. Here are three things you can begin doing today that demonstrate wise stewardship of money:

·        Develop the discipline of paying yourself first. Set aside a portion of every paycheck, regardless of how small, and learn how to live on less than you have coming in.

·        Invest in your education to further a career, in tools to start your own business, or with mission driven advisors to help raise your financial IQ and increase your knowledge.

·        Remember that money used in the service of others will only increase and help you to become more prosperous. It all depends on context.

It is my purpose to help you achieve the richest life possible, meaning I want you to have full access to all the assets, human, physical, and financial. When it comes to money, to do what we have always done and expect different results is a form of insanity. How many of us behave this way without even realizing it? Are you willing to change the way you think about money?

For more tips on how you can apply the principal of wise stewardship to your everyday life, get a copy of Beau’s newest book, The RichLife, 10 Investments forTrue Wealth at  

About Beau Henderson

Beau Henderson is a financial advisor, author, coach, radio personality, and CEO of RichLife Advisors. He has helped over 3,000 clients to not just improve their relationship with money, but to live the life of their dreams.


  1. denny hagel on May 28, 2011 at 9:33 am

    Excellent article and great advice Beau! The analogy of the raft really put things in perspective!

  2. Sharon O'Day on May 28, 2011 at 10:32 am

    Isn't it amazing, Beau, how we humans turn over so much power to something that was created to facilitate our lives … as a mere medium of exchange? 
    As I work with women to take back their power … then catch something on TV that perpetuates the concept of "Money is Everything" … I redouble my efforts.  I know you do too.

  3. Elvie Look on May 30, 2011 at 1:54 am

    Yes, great article and as Denny said, I too loved the analogy of the raft and forest fire.

  4. Susan McKenzie on May 30, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Beau, your perspective on money is always refreshing to me…. especially at this time – thanks so much!

  5. Rachelle on May 30, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Beau, I really like the 3 things you listed for wise stewardship of money, for us tithing is the first thing.

  6. Beau Henderson on May 30, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Thanks Denny! I too love the raft analogy to show how context defines the value of anything…… including money.

  7. Beau Henderson on May 30, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Yes Sharon,
    It is an uphill battle for sure.

  8. Beau Henderson on May 30, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Thanks so much Elvie and Susan.  I hope it truly adds value for you!

  9. Beau Henderson on May 30, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    It's one of those basic disciplines that most people miss that really prepares us to have more.  Thanks!

  10. Carol Douthitt on June 2, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Loved this article!  "Thinking of dollars in terms of how they are to be used, how they will help you get to where you want to go, is essential to achieving your RichLife." So are you saying money should be used as a "tool" instead of a "gauge for how we are doing"?

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