One of the areas begging sorely for our awakening is the arena of business and money. As advanced as we are in commerce, many of us still subscribe to limiting fear-based ideas and attitudes that keep us from thriving. Over many years coaching and training thousands of clients to forge new paths to success in business, I have found three groups of people who struggle with their money and their jobs.
As I have come to know these clients and the groups they represent, I realize they are a lot more alike than different. They have all gotten out of balance and failed to integrate their inner life and their material world. Somewhere in their minds there is a split between money and passion, between worldly success and soul reward. One group works for money but has lost their soul. Another group has remained true to their passion and functions well in the marketplace, but the daily grind has eclipsed their joy. The third group doesn’t care about money, but they have to deal with it. This group is thriving spiritually but malnourished materially. Members of each group have a piece of the puzzle, but do not see the larger picture into which their piece fits. They don’t believe they can have it all, so they settle for what they have and still feel empty.
We are not doomed to be caught in the chasm between passion and material reward. The seemingly disparate worlds can be bridged. The challenges we face at work are not punishments, curses, or impassable obstacles. They are opportunities to discover where we are limiting ourselves and how we can grow beyond those perceived limitations. They point us to where we have gotten out of balance so we can restore it. You can get paid well for doing what you love and enjoy a thriving personal life as well.
I am qualified to map this path because I have struggled with the same issues you may be facing. Many years ago I wrote a book, The Dragon Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, for the sheer joy of creative selfexpression. I couldn’t find a publisher to print it, so I published it myself with my mother’s life savings. To my surprise, the book caught on by word of mouth and became a bestseller. Before long I was jaunting around the globe presenting lectures to thousands of people and selling books by the case, generating huge checks for more money than I knew what to do with. I had to set up some structure to manage my activities, and suddenly I was thrust into the business world. In spite of my desire to just write books and teach seminars, I had to establish a corporation, negotiate contracts, do spreadsheets, set up marketing campaigns, maintain a certain income to pay my mortgage, make detailed travel arrangements, hire and fire employees, wade through recessions, pay taxes and insurance, and all the other accoutrements that come with being a business owner in today’s convoluted world. If I delegated some of those tasks, I had to manage the people to whom I delegated, which was a job in itself. Of sheer necessity I had to learn how to handle all of those details, deliver quality products and services to my customers, and still have a life besides work.
Now, some 35 years later, I realize that the tasks of business I so vehemently resisted provided some of the most powerful transformational lessons of my lifetime. While business has been a demanding taskmaster, it has also been a sterling teacher and a dynamic liberator. Although I would rather have sat in the woods writing books, the spiritual insights I gained from learning to work in the marketplace have empowered me far more than simply writing. Those insights have, in fact, made me a better writer and teacher. It is said, “What’s in the way is the way.”
If your world of business and finance seems to be in the way for you, I would like to show you how it is the way. How can you make the workplace your friend and let it empower you rather than debilitate you? Invest in yourself, the most valuable commodity you will ever handle—and ultimately the most profitable. Whether you are a corporate worker, an entrepreneur, a creative spirit, or simply looking for a more effective way to integrate your money with your life, recognize your inherent worthiness and expand your field of vision to create space for inner and outer riches. While your job and the money you handle are ostensibly about your vocational journey, they are more fundamentally about the journey of your soul.
The first step to removing any obstacle is to discover and dismantle the beliefs that are keeping you stuck. Where are you denying your aliveness? What do you believe you have to do first before you can do what you really want to do? Who or what seems to be limiting your income? If you experience any struggle, strife, or lack in your livelihood, you must believe some lie. Truth does not require sacrifice; only fear, the enemy of joy, demands suffering. Every fear masks a truth that, when unearthed, liberates massive earning potential. Working harder will not erase false beliefs, but only reinforce them. Only the spotlight of courageous honesty will dissolve what entraps and reveal your authentic prosperous path.
Spirit Means Business is a triple entendre. On one level, it means that Higher Power is the source of prosperity. As you align with universal principles, everything you need will come to you. The Creator wants you to be wealthy in every way and will gladly help you achieve all the material success you need. Infinite supply, not the stock market, is the source of your good. On another level, even if you do not believe in a Higher Power, the spirit in which you conduct your work carves the difference between success and failure. Optimistic, upbeat people soar above the crowd, no matter their religious beliefs. Finally, this title affirms that Higher Power is uncompromisingly serious about getting things done. Universal laws always work when you work them. Deny them, and you flounder. A Broadway play sported the title, Your Arms Too Short to Box with God. Yet if you knew that the universe is always working on your behalf, why would you want to fight it? To box with God is to fight yourself. When you drop your gloves, doors open.
If you are going to create a new kind of success, you must create more space in your mind to accommodate it. You cannot keep thinking about your career and money in the same way and get a different result. Einstein explained that you cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it. If you think that the way business is, is the only way it can be, you have painted yourself into a dark corner. If, however, you entertain even a little willingness to rethink how you have been approaching your livelihood, we can work miracles together.
If the universe were random, we would all be in trouble. But life is founded on rock solid truths that make our journey both joyful and successful when we apply them. With universal laws at your back, you are established in certainty and power that anxiety-based striving cannot sustain. Money and passion become inseparable. When you cross the bridge from soulexpression to success, you will have access to both worlds because you realize they are the same.
Adapted from Spirit Means Business: The Way to Prosper Wildly Without Selling Your Soul, by Alan Cohen (Hay House, 2018).
Alan Cohen, M.A., is the author of 27 popular inspirational books, including the best-selling A Course in Miracles Made Easy, the award-winning A Deep Breath of Life, and the classic Are You as Happy as Your Dog? His work has been featured on CNN and Oprah.com and in USA Today, The Washington Post, and the book The Top 101 Experts Who Help Us Improve Our Lives. His books have been translated into 28 languages. Alan hosts the popular show Get Real weekly on Hay House Radio, and he has been a featured presenter in the award-winning documentary Finding Joe, as well as other inspirational documentaries. Alan is the founder and director of the Foundation for Holistic Life Coaching, and he keynotes and presents seminars in the field of life mastery and vision psychology. For info about Alan’s programs, books, videos, free daily inspirational quotes, online courses, and weekly radio show, visit alancohen.com