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Mindset games to cope with financial difficulties
I have seen both great financial times and really scary poor financial times and I have managed to survive both of them. In fact it were the poor times, which I personally found the most challenging and when my life becomes challenging I design mindset games to cope with the situation. I gave a talk a few days ago about stress and did a poll of the people in the room of what causes them to get stressed and for some it was indeed lack of finance.
In my book “Leading the boss in the mirror” I shared 21 mindset games I used to deal with financial difficulty and they worked for me. Here are 6 of them:
Game number 1: Opportunity-Spotting. Some of the things you do will be to curb your expenses and some of the things you do will be to create opportunity. Let’s say you spot a barber business down the road and you say, “Well, maybe I could wash my hair there. Maybe I could do something for them.” Maybe there’s a new type of business on the market and you say, “Ah, maybe I could do that.” Maybe there’s a job that you could go to and you could have opportunities – your circle of friends or maybe people that do things that you say, “Ah, I didn’t think of that. Maybe I could also do that.”
The next financial mind game is: 30-Minute Music. Face the music in regards to your factual financial situation. What I would say is when you’re doing this analysis of facts, do it to your favourite theme song and really have it be a happy song, so that you have happy music playing, yet you are dealing with your realities. Play the song. In one sense, it will always cheer you up because music has a very powerful impact on our mindsets.
Next mind game is: It’s Got to Be Free. Share with your friends, share with your family by saying, “If we’re going to have fun, it’s got to be free. Right now, I’m not in a position, let’s say, to go to the movies or to pay for things. So if you want to invite me out, I’d be delighted to meet up, but let’s make it free fun.” You can go for a walk. You can still meet in the park. You can do a lot of things that don’t actually have to cost you money. You can invite friends to come over to your house. You can go to their house. Everyone brings a little amount of food and hey, presto, you have a whole lucky-bag, food-dinner buffet together.
Next mind game is: Zero Day a Week. I had a day a week when I spent nothing. How many zero days per week could I do? I did my shopping once a week, so that was a definite spend, but all the other days until I needed to go to the shop again, I had zero-spend days unless I was paying bills. So how many zero days a week can you have? Have fun with it. Have fun with going zero and next week, maybe have only two. So play with it. Have fun with it.
The next mind game is: Random Acts of Kindness. When you haven’t enough money and you may not have a job, doing things that are of value is still important. I actually do a lot more charity work than I used to do before. I volunteered a lot more because I have more time to give. In the end, any bit of kindness that you give will always be returned either with a thank you, another kind gesture or in other ways. I would say, have one random act of kindness everyday, whether it’s just helping somebody across the road to giving an hour in a charity shop. Do whatever you can to give of yourself that is of value.
I also had a game called: Maximum for a Minimum – so a maximum product for a minimum price. That was also a shopping trolley tactic especially when things were super-tight. I said, “What’s the maximum product I could get for the minimum spend?” Make that as low as possible a spend and the highest number of items. Obviously, that would still be the items I needed in terms of food, so definitely Maximum for a Minimum was sometimes a fun game.
As I said, I had 21 mindset games for coping with financial struggle, which are all described in my book, which is available for sale from Amazon, if you click through on this link:
What are your coping games for financial difficulties?
If your life was a game, then what game would it be?
First of all I would love to know your answer and why you say that. In my case if my life was a game, I would consider it an around the world sailing race. I am a sailor and have played crew in some competition in Ireland, not around the world however. In sailing you depend on the elements, the equipment and the skills of the crew. I wouldn’t say I was a top class crew member, but rather an enthusiastic helper with a willingness to learn and get stuck un.
Back to the analogy of the race around the world and my life though. It takes a bit of time to gain enough experience to embark on this kind of journey and I believe in my childhood I was testing the waters, only to find out I had a sense of adventure and set sails to foreign shores. In my life there have been years were it was plain sailing and all was working well and coming together, I have also experienced some severe storms which left a scar here and there and on occasion they made me tack into a new direction in order to gain fresh winds and clear seas. At times I also felt as I was in the Doldrums, nothing much going anywhere and no winds to benefit from. Other days I had to reign things in a little because life was moving too fast. And as I keep embarking on new adventures, it is the boat with my skills, personality and courage that keeps me going forward to face the wind changes that life brings
So what is your game?