320 – November 16
“At the celebration of the Chinese New Year, one of the most honored observations is that of paying off all old debts. And we send missionaries to China!”—Anonymous
After I won the trip for two to Hong Kong on a game show, my mom called to tell me that she was inviting herself to come along. Several friends of hers had been there, and she was itching to go. Then, as the two of us excitedly made our plans, dad said he didn’t want to be left behind, so we included him, too.
I wrote the Holiday Inn Harbor View to see if I could arrange for a rollaway bed in the room. I said I would pay whatever extra charge they might have for this service, but they wrote me back a lovely letter, saying that they were happy to have all of us at no extra charge.
I had the idea that since I had won this trip and the hotel wasn’t making any money from our stay, that we would get a simple room in an undesirable location at the back of the hotel. Nothing could have been further from the truth! We were treated like royalty from the moment we arrived, from the limo service (yes, the Black Limo!) to the three managers who greeted us upon arrival. They showed us to our beautiful room overlooking Hong Kong harbor. There was a basket of fruit, a spray of orchids and a bowl of candy waiting for us next to three plush bathrobes, slippers and the rollaway bed. It was delightful!
We spent the next seven days exploring all of Hong Kong—a fabulous city, teeming with life and energy. We shopped until we dropped, and every shop owner seemed to greet us with wide smiles and special offers (especially if we were the first customers of the day, as it was considered very lucky to sell something to your first customer).
The joy was contagious. I’m grinning to myself right now, just thinking about these people who radiated such positive expectation, I couldn’t bear to disappoint them. I think I bought something in every shop I visited.
Take joy in your customers, your co-workers, your boss. Treat every customer as though they were the “lucky first customer” of the day. Like them a lot, and let them see that you do. Make them feel good about buying from you. You’ll get rich if you do.
“I radiate joy and positive expectation for my very rich life.”
One o the participants in my Financial Stress Reduction teleclass wrote me a very interesting note about the upside and downsides being positive and upbeat, especially when you’re doing really well and others around you are not. Here’s what she asked:
Really enjoying your class so far! I loved today’s topic of managing time and money. Perhaps I need more than one week’s contemplation on this! 😉
Anyway, I have some general thoughts I wanted to run by you. My husband and I recently had an interesting discussion on making money and having money. We are by no means really wealthy, but we are comfortable and grateful for that. We live in a nice house and have nice things and take at least one nice vacation a year. We make more money than our parents and most of our friends. And over the last year, I’ve begun to feel a little uncomfortable in this area! …I want to be humble and don’t want to brag. But I also don’t want to act fake by being careful what I say so as not to be “too positive” or whatever.
In general, I am a positive person, but I worry that I sometimes come off as bragging, when I’m just being optimistic- or even just honest- maybe things are going great!
In yesterday’s class, you mentioned that people like it when you’re vunerable or just doing ok. Down and out is uncomfortable for them. Too much success is uncomfortable for them.
So, my question is- how do I strike a balance with all this? How do I feel ok about doing well and not seem like a jerk to others who maybe aren’t doing as ok as me/us? How do I stay positive when really that’s not what others want to hear?
I feel like I could really skyrocket my wealth, happiness and all other positive things in my life. That is IF I don’t limit myself. Have you ever felt this way? I’ll look forward to your thoughts on all this.
Here’s my take on this for all of you:
Ah, I understand what you’re saying, and you’re right – it’s a bit of a challenge to balance feeling upbeat and positive and not coming across with too much good cheer when others are suffering.
What naturally happens as some people rise in status, popularity, and financial success is that some of the old friends whose circumstances aren’t as rich or happy will drop away, and others who are in your same circumstances will appear. You will naturally attract and gravitate to more successful dolphins.
When people become richer and more successful, some people will complain that they got “too uppity” or “too big for their britches” and don’t talk to their old friends anymore. But that isn’t the reason their associations change. It’s because people in poorer situations sometimes start acting like “angry tuna”. They feel some anger, resentment, and jealousy towards people who are doing better and start expressing that – and that’s what drives the successful dolphins away. And you can’t ask your poorer friends to go with you to Europe for 3 weeks, eh? You’ll find richer circles of dolphins who can and will.
Being open and vulnerable doesn’t mean you have to be in dire straits or suffering – it means being compassionate towards others and giving support, advice, and help where you can by sharing when you also had a difficulty and what you did to overcome it. That’s what I do in my workshops, see? It’s not that I’m suffering now, but that I have had my own problems and have worked to overcome them. Some of your friends who aren’t doing so well will want to know how to improve and are willing to do the work, and they will stay close in your circle. Others won’t. Just like in school, some people advance to the next grade, some people skip a grade, and some people are held back a grade. It’s a natural attrition. People graduate to the next level where they will learn more and contribute more. No one’s life is perfect, you will always have challenges and new lessons to learn on your life’s path. The wisdom of when to share what and with whom is a lifelong study that we refine as we age in years and experience.
Don’t squelch yourself. You get to be happy, joyful, and rich! You can be low key about it with family and friends that you know are having hard times, but be sure to find those inner circle friends who are also doing well with whom you can share all the glories! You’re fabulous and you deserve it!!
Love and hugs,