As I see it, we’ve got two main camps today regarding people’s attitudes about money:
- The vulture profits and indulgence-oriented consumerism camp
- The anti-profit and anti-affluence camp
From my perspective, the first camp is convinced that creating profits requires sacrificing happiness, personal integrity and social responsibility, whereas the second camp is convinced that creating happiness, integrity and social responsibility requires sacrificing profits and affluence.
The assumption that sacrifice of one sort or another is necessary tells me that both camps’ positions are built around equally insane, immature and irresponsible definitions of money, happiness, and integrity.
The first camp has proved that money is possible without happiness. And they have abused this proof to justify their insane belief that it’s not only okay, but necessary, to sacrifice happiness, personal integrity and social responsibility, to create wealth.
The second camp has proved that happiness is possible without money. And they have abused this proof to justify their insane belief that money is evil and wealth is bad, and that happiness, integrity and social responsibility require sacrificing wealth.
These two camps’ diametrically opposing proofs and justifications are the source of the toxic attitudes each of these camps holds toward the other. And this in turn is the source of the toxic polarization that has been tearing apart the fabric of society. These camps’ equally insane definitions of money and happiness have equally contributed to the development of an insane economy, and this has created our insane ways of living, governing, doing business, and functioning as a society.
The good news is that the solution is right under our noses. That solution begins with grasping that simultaneously having happiness, money and integrity is more than possible. That having one doesn’t require sacrificing the other two. However, creating this integrated solution will remain impossible without a clear vision of what “money integrity” is.
As I see it, both camps are equally and “oppositely” clueless about what money integrity involves. Fortunately, money integrity is not complicated. All it requires is sane definitions of money, happiness and integrity, and clarity about how each of these there dimensions is inextricably connected with the other two.
Until we embrace integrated definitions of money, happiness,and integrity, succeeding with any of the following will remain out of reach:
- Generating root cause solutions to our severe economic challenges
- Establishing ethically profitable capitalism and create a preponderance of healthy businesses
- Making sustainable personal wellbeing a way of life for most people
- Building financial literacy in the majority of citizens
- Returning to constitutionally sound governance
Further, training in entrepreneurship that isn’t built upon sane integrated definitions of money, happiness and integrity, is nothing more than new packaging of the broken unethical business models that created the mess we’re in economically and socially. Proper training is particularly vital because creating a new generation of entrepreneurs is one of the biggest keys to getting back on solid economic footing as a country and as a planet.
I have spent a lifetime refining and integrating the definitions of money, happiness and integrity, and developing the mechanisms that convert those definitions into easily learnable skills and actions that are helping to create a new era of healthy economics, businesses, governance, social responsibility, and personal wellbeing.
In fact, my mission is to co-create a loving collaborative world in which integrity, happiness, health and prosperity are united and integrated. I do this by embodying this journey and facilitating it with innovative leaders in businesses, nonprofits, mental health, and governance.
I’d welcome the opportunity to provide you, your organization or your event, with the framework, skills and mechanisms that translate these values into realities. I hope you’ll contact me so we can explore the possibilities. (For more, read why now is the time to engage.)
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Watch the video below of Dr. Gruder being interviewed about “shadow” by Transformational Thought Leadership expert Hugh Ballou. Our shadow is the part of us that unwittingly undermines our success by causing us to not know about, deny the impact of, or attempt to justify, the self-defeating patterns that are secretly sabotaging us, including our money shadow. [To view the video, click on the “start” button in the middle it. Then, slide the progress bar all the way to the left to start the video at the beginning.]