From an interview with Ken O'Donnell for the magazine Bons Flúidos, (Brazil) "Follow the Money Trail" F. Wilson D. Weigl / Milton Trajan.
Building a prosperous life is not just balancing earnings and expenses. The abundance of material goods, professional recognition, the control of monthly bills are deeply connected with values such as generosity and detachment.
K: As in a reaction of cause and effect, when we set less selfish goals and direct our talents to providing well-being for others, we attract what is called luck or good fortune. This is nothing but a sign that the universe returns what we do for other human beings.
Does money brings happiness?
K: If this answer were yes, all millionaires would be immensely happy and the poor, who are the majority on the planet, unhappy. Associating money with happiness depends not on how much we have, but on how we use and how we relate to our resources. Of course, a person with modest means will have many concerns, such as paying bills and the schooling of their children, but a rich person needs to protect him/herself behind walls, and pay for armored cars and guards. From this point of view, a nomad living in a tent in the desert would be happier.
Purposes attracts wealth?
K: The higher our goals, the more the Universe contributes to our material achievement. Whoever pursues egotistic goals will hardly get the cooperation of other egos. Rather, when we want to not only improve our financial situation but also that of a lot of other people, it mobilizes more energy for this purpose. For example, when I think about opening a business, beyond yielding money, it can employ other people. When we have a useful purpose that serves the world, the world always find a place for us.
K: Indian children play a cruel joke on mpnkeys. They put a glass with peanuts in front of the monkey. It tries to grab as many peanuts as possible. The poor animal fills its hand, but can’t pull it out of mouth of the glass. In its eagerness to eat the peanuts, and not wanting to drop them, it smashes the glass on the ground and cuts its hand badly. This analogy illustrates our need to monitor ambition to a healthy limit. Do we really need everything that we want? We're not wasting energy chasing after status symbols or something that we don’t lack in the slightest? This should be a constant reflection, otherwise we run the risk of injuring ourselves in our eagerness to get something at any cost, just like the monkey.
Masters or slaves to money?
K: In India there is an expression that shows the relationship between the human and material life: tan, man, dhan. In Hindi, tan means body, man means mind and dhan, wealth. They are together like a coachman (man), a horse (tan) and cart (dhan). This rhyme teaches that, depending on how we focus our mental and physical energies, we can steer ourselves well on the road of life or, if we put the cart before the horse, be dominated by materialism. Real wealth is self-control.
Just as the driver has to drive the cart, we need to be constantly observant as to how our mind conducts our actions when the goal is of attaining wealth. The danger is to invert tan, man and dhan, when there is a danger of letting greed, attachment and thirst for consuming control our lives.
K: We need to know how to find true balance, a sense of security and sufficiency in ourselves, and not externally. If we place all of our expectations on an achievement or on material goods, or anything outside of our own inner resources, if it fails or runs out, we will lose our structure.
In the dictionary, the meaning of the verb to be attached is to be trapped or stuck to something or someone. But this is fairly futile, especially in today’s world. At this time of such rapid and drastic changes, we need to sustain ourselves on our own inner bases.