Ward’s project went on for seven long years. He lowered his living expenses. He found a full time job making films for nonprofits and foundations, and put any extra money he earned into the film. He used up all his savings while he kept writing grants, meeting prospective donors, and looking people in the eye to ask them for support. Eventually, nearly 200 people gave him money to make his dream a reality.
His consistent, persistent actions, aligned with his money message, led to the completion of The Heart of the Game, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005 and earned a distribution deal from Miramax Films. The film was shown in theaters all over
the country and received rave reviews from USA Today; Ebert and Roeper; O, the Oprah Magazine; Jay Leno, and many more.
Ward and I collaborated on the writing of this book for five years. I saw firsthand the paralyzing grip Ward’s money baggage had on his life. I saw him struggle to listen to his soul’s calling. To find the words to create his money message. And then to find the courage to continue to take actions consistent with his money message.
There were days when we met that he was literally down to a few hundred dollars in funding for the film and he needed to raise tens of thousands more. At those moments I returned him to his money message and encouraged him to continue to take actions consistent with it. It wasn’t easy. Despair and rejection took its toll. But little by little, step by step, one thing led to another and the film became a reality. A reality beyond his wildest dreams. Ward shared:
I learned so much from this process. It is hard today to even recognize the guy who, seven years ago, was afraid to ask anyone for help. I am astonished at how deeply ingrained my belief patterns were. Outwardly I may have appeared confident, but I was scared most of the time, thinking subconsciously that I didn’t deserve support. I had spent most of my life living a lie about myself, and it did not go away overnight. I got counseling, I asked friends for emotional support, and though scared a lot of the time, I kept taking little steps forward. The process of transforming my old belief
patterns into a new vision of myself, one that resulted in the making of my movie, has given me a quantum leap in confidence in myself and in the universe to support me.
Ward is a perfect example of how to transform old beliefs about money into a promising future. His story illustrates what is possible when the limiting bonds of one’s money baggage are replaced with the limitless possibilities of a new money message. In order to
create a truer life for himself, he had to first recognize the limits of his money baggage and how it ruled his life. He then created a new money message and took some action.
The most important lesson to take from Ward’s story is to keep taking actions in alignment with your new vision even when you are afraid. It took many years but now he is living that new vision. He gave the world a gift in the form of the story of his movie and Ward’s life will never be the same. He told me the other day, “I’m already half way through life but I feel this great sense of promise about the future.”
My sharing all these stories is an attempt to get you to recognize some of the limiting beliefs you carry, and then to create a new vision for yourself. Though afraid or unsure, if you continue to trust your money message and take actions in alignment with this new
vision, one day you will find yourself living that new life.
Initially, as you are creating you new money message and experimenting with it, you may feel a bit uncomfortable about it. Your money message may even feel a bit false and too unrealistic. That is to be expected. You’ve lived all of your life up until this moment
weighed down by your money baggage. After all, you have a lot of evidence that your money baggage is true, and you may have no evidence—zero, none, zip—that your new money message is true.
Your money message is like new shoes that take a while to break in. Your money baggage, however, is like an old pair of comfortable slippers. It is human nature to stay with what is more known and comfortable. These old slippers are your old patterns of thought. And sometimes those old thoughts come back and inhibit us from acting in line with our money message.
It happened to me recently concerning a decision I faced. I needed to expand my business, to add more office space and hire more employees. As I turned the details over in my mind, I became increasingly anxious. I was wondering about a downturn in
the economy. I was worried about the added overhead, and that we wouldn’t have the business to support it. I knew I would have to work harder to support the growth. So there I was, smack dab in the middle of my old money baggage again: I have to work really hard to make money, and even if I do, I’ll never make enough.
One morning, I was fretting about all of this when I remembered my money message. It is my birthright to have abundance in all areas of my life and I give generously from this abundance. I breathed deeply a few times and began to reorient my thoughts back around
my money message.
Even though it was a stretch to expand my business, I went ahead. Over the ensuing months I experienced a few moments of panic, but I decided to trust and keep going. I hired the staff I needed and as a result have been able to serve more clients and become
more profitable as a business.
When I give money away, with every check, with every donation, I trust it will come back to me multifold so I don’t have to live in the scarcity of holding on. This trust allows me the courage to take new actions, take more steps, and to keep on when I get afraid.
In Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, after Scrooge has his awakening, he takes some actions right away that mirror his new world view. We might assume that Scrooge’s money baggage is: I need more, more, more. Money is more important than love. When his night messengers come and take him on his series of dreams, he is able to witness the sadness and pain his closed heart has caused in the world. Finally, he is taken to see his own grave. When he wakes and finds out he is still alive, Scrooge undergoes a complete change in consciousness. We might say he has discovered his new money
message: Living my life from a place of generosity will make me richer than I could ever imagine.
He doesn’t just think this; he immediately sets out and takes action. He tells the boy in the street to go and buy the biggest turkey he can find and have it delivered to Bob Cratchit’s house. He is filled with a joy and new-found generosity in his heart, and he shouts that joy to the world.
If we could follow Scrooge throughout the rest of his life, there would inevitably be times when he would find himself back in his money baggage, alone on a cold night counting his money, wondering how he could get more, and feeling the old fear that propelled his greed. But he would have already taken some baby steps to start to turn his life around. He’d bought a turkey for a poor family. He’d called out good cheer to the people in the streets. Maybe over time, he would have built a new home for the Cratchits or an orphanage for all the street waifs running about.
Changing your reality involves a dance with faith, and requires you to act. You don’t take your new money message up to a mountaintop and sit in its glory, expecting your life to be transformed, wanting the universe to do it all. Nor will just verbalizing your money message over and over make a difference.
There is an old Zen saying, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” Even after turning over a new leaf, even after insights, the work is still there to do, the action still there to implement.
If you are going to have a new life empowered by your money message, you need to decide what actions are consistent with the money message, and then get out and take them. If you do, good things are going to happen to you. This practice will become a habit,
and after some time you will find yourself living amidst a new reality and relationship to money.
Next time- Money Message Principle #16: We Can Only Think One Thought at a Time