Is your relationship with money holding you back from finding financial success? Many of us have a rocky relationship with money, but if we looked at our capital from a different perspective this could possibly change our outlook and relationship with money.
To aid us in improving our connection with our funds and uncover the trick we need to change our relationship with money, Wes sits down with Ken Honda, a worldwide, well-known author whose books have sold more than 8 million copies, including his latest book called Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace With Your Money. Ken shares how the Japanese look at retirement, explains happy money versus unhappy money, and talks about fairness when it comes to how much money you possess. He also reveals two ways to find peace and happiness with money, how appreciating your funds can help you appreciate other things in your life, and defines invisible and visible assets. To wrap up the episode Ken and Wes touch on teaching children about money, happy money for senior citizens compared to children, and a problem he sees with poverty.
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Read Show Notes From This Episode (click to expand and read notes from the full interview)
- Ken Honda is a world wide, well known author. His books have sold more than 8 million copies. His latest book is called Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace With Your Money.
- Appreciate money
Appreciate the money you have coming in and going out. Appreciate the source: clients. Everyone on every income scale can work on coming to peace with their money.Retirement
Ken retired at the age of 29 for a few years so he could raise his daughter. It allowed him to understand what it’s like to be retired. He didn’t wait until 60. He wanted to experience it sooner. He did it for four whole years: changing diapers, doing nothing. Now he’s 55 He wants to do so much more.
The Japanese look at retirement a little differently. Ken refers to the concept of Ikigai. The ideal life is to keep working until you die because the hope is that you love your work so much. Ikigai gives you a sense of purpose. Retiring early is not a respected thing. (Wes says, “no wonder my books haven’t sold in Japan.) But, Ken says there is a FIRE movement in Japan. A lot of young people are against the idea of working until you die.
Happy money is money that makes you smile. Unhappy money is money that makes you feel small and contained. It’s not so much about when you retire. It’s more about how you retire.
Money means something different to different generations. Money in your 20s, money in your 60s. The same thing but completely different meaning. In your 20s money is for clothes, impressing a potential mate like a peacock. In your 60s, after doing all sorts of things, you’re going to the enlightenment stage. You go beyond money. Money becomes a security but not a means of impressing other people.
Money is a tool that is used differently by different generations.
If you think money is your self-worth suddenly you feel so threatened by the fall of the stock market, potential lawsuits, or something to decrease the amount of your assets. So, if you’re emotionally attached to money, it’s going to drive you crazy. Ken thinks it’s a bigger problem when people have too much vs. too little.
Money creates a lot of emotional stress. There’s a study done about the number of complaints that happen in an airplane. They compare a plane that has first class/coach with a plane where all the seats are the same. There are more complaints on the plane that has a first class section. If the meal service is slow, the people in the back think it’s because the rich people are getting their food first. But if the plane is all one class, people don’t complain. It’s not about the money you make. It’s about a sense of fairness.
Having a lot of money doesn’t fix the problem of wanting more. Example: A friend of Ken’s said he always feels so small when he drives into the private jet hangar because his jet is much smaller than the other private jets.
You have to find peace with money in your own way. Ken says it’s so easy and simple. Appreciate your money. It only takes one second. Both are coming in and going out. By appreciating your money, you can start the cycle of appreciation in your life.
Wes says when he goes to get sushi, he can easily appreciate money because he used it to buy something delicious. But what if he gets a parking ticket? How does he appreciate that? Ken says that money will go to pay for the salary and safety of the town. The efforts of the parking enforcement of traffic cops are keeping everyone safer. Thank the officer for reminding you of breaking the law or the policy to keep everyone else safer. To appreciate living in a safer environment.
Appreciating the money coming in: out of all the people who wanted to work at a certain place you were chosen. That means your boss trusted you with that money. Feel the trust and appreciate your boss.
2 ways to find peace & happiness
In North America we have a lot of ambition to make more. Is that wrong? Ken says the most important thing is how you feel about it. There are 2 ways of finding peace and happiness in life. If you look for it and go for it, that’s an exciting life. The other way is to look inside. If you enjoy what you’ve already got, that brings happiness, too. There’s a never ending hell for someone who only wants more more more. It’s like drinking sea water in a drifting boat.
You need to find the right money container size. Some people are born with bigger containers, some are born with smaller containers. If you try to push money into your container it’s going to crack so you have to know the right size. You find your size by looking at what you make, what you spend, and what makes you anxious.
Did Ken struggle with unhappy money? Yes. He used to work with his father and brother, both tax accountants. That brought on a family obligation. It meant you’re “supposed to do” what your dad does. Ken wasn’t happy because his true passion and calling was to inspire people. If you find the right fit for you, you almost feel like you aren’t working. Do what you love. That brings happy money into your life.
Abundance vs. scarcity
What is the effect of abundance relative to this sense of scarcity? Scarcity is a place where you feel like you don’t have enough for your survival or your satisfaction. On the other hand, an abundant mentality is where you always feel like you have more than enough.
Anxiety creates an illusion that one day your life will be really bad. You have to really find peace inside. The key is your connection with people. Ken is teaching a lot about creating invisible assets (trust, friendship, generosity, kindness) instead of visible assets (stocks, bonds, real estate).
To Taboo or NOT to Taboo: talking about money
Talking about money brings about so many emotions in North America. A lot of shame, a lot of guilt. If you can talk about it with your own family members it’s going to help a lot more. North Americans and Europeans are individualistic so it’s hard to talk about money. In China and Japan it’s still a little taboo to talk about money but much less so.
Ken says in Asia, financial issues are spoken of more freely than North America but sexual issues are more taboo. Flip flopped. You can give a Japanese business man a heart attack by asking about his sex life.
Families fighting over money, property, land
Ken says it’s once again about fairness. It’s a matter of being appreciated and treated with respect.
Overall, Ken believes in a fair universe. If you’re not being treated fairly here, you’ll end up being treated fairly somewhere else. So he doesn’t get upset. Maybe it means you’re in the wrong spot and you need to find another spot. It’s not realistic for everyone to get equal compensation down to a penny but Ken believes the important thing is fairness.
Teaching your kids about money
Ken says the best way is to live your life with gratitude. Ken’s daughter has seen how Ken works. One day Ken was talking to about 2500 people. His daughter was 8 or 9. Wow, all these people came to see you, dad? He was so proud. He asked her why she thought so many people were there to hear him talk about money. She said “I think they came in because they love you.” Ken says he cried because he thought he was giving to the crowd but in his daughter’s eyes, the crowd was giving to him. He realized that there was this arrogance in him. He got famous, his books sold millions, and he was here to love the fans or the crowd. But, in fact, they were the ones who bought the copies and got all the money. And so, his daughter taught him a lesson.
Ken says if you can explain what you do and how much you make it helps your kids put it in perspective. One time he and his daughter were standing in a long line for ice cream. He was trying to tell her that his book sales were paying for the ice cream. She asked “how much money are you making per book sale?” He said “I make 50 cents per book.” She asked “Can I still eat my ice cream?” because it was $4.
The problem with poverty is depression. People don’t see hope and they get depressed. It’s a vicious cycle. If you’re depressed you won’t feel motivated to do anything and that causes further depression. Unless you break out of this pattern you won’t get out of poverty. Appreciation shifts you out of this poverty consciousness.
Money is energy. If you look at it that way you’ll see a lot of flow in your life. Sometimes people make too much money that’s not really theirs. If you overcharge your client then, yes, you get the money but it contains unhappy energy and that hits you and your family members. That guilt gets you upset and maybe you take it out on your spouse or kids because you know you have bad energy in your system.
Only accept happy money. That’s why Ken has a 100% money guarantee system for his services. If people aren’t satisfied they give all the money back.
Make sure that everything coming in has a good spirit to it.
Happy money for senior citizens relative to children
Older folks are more worried about health issues. Medical bills can be such a tricky thing for people who retire in North America. Without adequate coverage, you will be very worried about all the bills you have to pay. Ken recommends a book called Die With Zero: Getting All You Can from Your Money and Your Life by Bill Perkins.
Tells the story of someone who only had about $10 in her bank account when she died. He thinks it’s one of the most beautiful things ever. She spent some of the last of her money on funerals and then died. You can’t take money with you when you die, so it’s great. Money is meant to be enjoyed so you can celebrate the last years of your life and have all the happy memories. Don’t feel too afraid. Don’t be afraid to ever do anything fun like go on a vacation. Spend money.
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Ken hopes you’ll feel more peaceful with your money and more peaceful with your life.