Ever wondered what money is? I know I did and not only once. The shortest answer I get when I ask around is: “pieces of metal or paper which can be exchanged for goods”. People don’t seem to have any difficulty whatsoever when giving me this answer. They even smile, like it’s the simplest thing in the world.
Well, while still being true, I don’t think this is even remotely complete. I mean, yes, you can use money for that. But what’s the thing that differentiates the small paper rectangle of a one dollar bill from a white, empty paper rectangle of the same shape? What makes money worthy, precious?
The answer, as simple as it is, bewildered me: it’s the agreement. Exactly. An agreement that you made inside your own mind. It’s a thing that can’t even be seen. That’s why we had to create material proofs of it. Coins and notes, precisely.
It’s Inside Your Mind
At the superficial level, it’s true: money is just a piece of paper. It even behaves like a piece of paper, it can get wet, you can write on it, you can set it on fire. But still, you can exchange that piece of paper against some goods. And here’s the place where things are getting trickier: that value doesn’t come from the paper. It comes from your mind. Specifically, from your agreement to evaluate that bill to a certain value. You agree that one dollar bill is equal to something called “one dollar”.
The piece of paper is just a carrier. The value is always inside your mind. It’s in the agreement you made when you identified that piece of paper with an abstract notion called “one dollar”.
And The Minds Of Others Too
But it gets even trickier: in order for your “one dollar” to be sustainable, it’s absolutely compulsory that a whole bunch of other people will do the same. Namely, the people with whom you interact. It’s crucial that when I say: “one dollar” you and I will get the same value.
Imagine going to a shop and buying something priced at “one dollar” but with a 50 cents coin. You’ll never get it. In your mind, the 50 cents coin may be evaluated at “one dollar”, but guess what, the other guy, the one at the end of the exchange, didn’t agree. So you won’t have an exchange, because you didn’t have an agreement in the first place.
If we don’t reach to an agreement, we will end up living in our own worlds, worlds in which “one dollar” may have a totally different meaning. We won’t be able to communicate. We’ll drift away, isolated and lonely.
Yes, the most powerful force in the universe is the agreement. The money example is just the easiest one to understand because money is the most common thing in the modern society. But agreement plays a much more important role in our lives.
Relationships And Agreements
If we’re in a relationship, for instance, we must first agree on that. And we have to agree with ourselves first. We may generate all the external proof for that, like wedding rings and signed marriage contracts, but still, if the agreement is not inside, the exchange won’t exist. We will not be in a relationship. We will just play a trick to the other person in the relationship, and, which is the most unfortunate part, we will play a trick to ourselves.
If we’re not in a relationship anymore, we also have to come to an agreement with that. If we don’t want to be there anymore, we have to agree with that. And also send out the message that we’re not in it anymore. I’m sure many of you were here. Like agreeing on the inside, but still keeping the appearance. That’s a broken agreement. Nothing good comes out of this, usually.
But what happens when one half of the relationship still thinks she or (he) is still inside? Like “I don’t want you to leave me, because I still love you”? The inside agreement is not broken, the person still agrees that he or she loves the other, but the other is out of agreement. Well, as harsh as it may sound, that’s plain bullshit. We don’t have an agreement at all. There is no such thing like a individual agreement when it comes to a relationship. You need two to tango.
So, what do we have, if we don’t have an agreement? We have a very common situation when people are in love with their own projections. They are in love with their own thoughts or expectations about the other person. It’s like watching a movie at the cinema. Internally, you’re emotionally involved, but you’re involved with some colored, unsubstantiated shadows over a white screen.
For me, this approach is most of the time a sign of extreme lack of adaptation and fear. Yes, you do have a coin in your pocket, and you think your coin is worth “one dollar” but you can’t buy anything with it. The guy at the end of the exchange won’t buy it. You’re not adapted for a potential exchange and you’re too afraid to see how much your coin really is.
Keeping internal agreements is ok, as long as you don’t need them validated by the environment. Let’s say you can’t cover your daily expenses and you never make ends meet. But at the same time, you hold this internal agreement that you’re the king of the world. The richest man in the universe. You strongly believe that. And there’s nothing wrong with it, anyway.
Well, as long as you won’t need the environment to prove you that you’re the king of the universe, you’re all right. But the moment you initiate an exchange with someone who wants you to prove that, you’re in trouble. Because you won’t be able to do it. Your internal agreement that you own a huge fortune won’t be paired not even with a dime in the real world. The agreement won’t hold. There will be a very powerful contrast between your internal agreement and the environment.
And what happens now? Most of the time you’ll start spending a lot of time and energy re-enforcing your internal agreement. For you it’s true, anyway. But the environment will keep kicking you away. Sooner than you think, all you’re going to do will be feeding your internal agreement, against all environment feedback.
Now, let’s suppose you cover your daily expenses, you also make ends meet and you can also put a little bit aside. You also have a fair internal agreement of what you can spend and, subsequently, what you can acquire in terms of goods or experiences with the money you have. Not being the king of the world, but being able to take a lady out for a nice dinner, for instance.
Now, if someone will want you to prove that, you’ll be just fine. I bet you will be able to pick the right restaurant, with the right atmosphere and the right food. Even more, you’ll do this with the right woman. Your internal agreement will be completely matched by the environment. The energy exchange will take place. Your internal agreement will be matched by reality.
Why Is This Important?
If your internal agreement will be matched by environment, you will always have more energy to put into it.
Otherwise, you will spend your entire energy in denial. If you get rejected and don’t start to adjust and adapt, you will focus on feeding your internal agreement, despite of what the environment will tell you. Everything you’ll do will be directed towards the continuous re-enforcement of the internal agreement. And what happens next? In no time you’ll become an unadapted, energy-leaking and isolated individual.
Every time you have only the internal agreement, without a confirmation, without a real exchange, you’re in a weak link. On the other hand, every time you’re in a full agreement, every time you complete an exchange, you’ll be in a strong link.
A weak link will weaken you more. A strong link will empower you more.
In Plain English, Please!
If you don’t like where you are right now, look at your internal agreement. Who do you think you are? If you think you’re better than everybody, but everybody keeps pushing you back, the agreement is not validated. Step back. Look again. Maybe you’re not better than everyone else.
If you’re keep pushing your luck towards this potential partner you’re so attracted to, but you don’t get back almost anything for your efforts, stop thinking she or he “is playing hard to get”. It may be that he or she is not into it. Your internal agreement that “I love this person” is not reinforced. You’re in love with a shadow, a personal projection.
But if you do get what you want, stay there. Keep replicating that agreement, because, eventually, the energy will grow bigger and bigger. Every time you feel a “grip” in something you do, your agreements are validated. Grow your internal agreement and look out for validation signs.
Or, in much simpler words: just be aware.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.