The Inner World of Money

I've decided that this year I'm going to create a blog post for each of the books I read (or make an attempt to read!).  I want to be able to go back at the end of the year and see what I've managed to accomplish in the reading realm.  And who knows, maybe some of my reads might tweak the interest of someone who actually reads one of my blog posts!

I tend to read what I refer to as two kinds of books, novels and reference books.  Most of the reference books I tend to not read word for word.  Instead, I peruse through them and pick the parts that mean the most to me or that I feel will teach me something I can hopefully use. 

Today's read was by Marty Martin, The Inner World of Money: Taking Control of Your Financial Decisions and Behaviors.  I used this is a reference book and barely skimmed through chapters dealing with communicating about money as adults and talking with your kids about money.  Since I'm single with no kids, I didn't feel these chapters would offer much I could use. 

I did find the chapter about impulsive-compulsive shoppers or spenders interesting.  I definitely do not consider myself a compulsive shopper or spender, but I can be impulsive.  I often find that I go to the grocery store or Target or the mall for one or more specific items, and end up with more than I went for.  I would categorize that as impulsive.  For expensive or luxury items, I do tend to follow the recommendations of the author to wait for 30 days.  This gives me time to determine if I really to want the item, and do to research on where to get it for the best price.

I think the chapter I enjoyed the most was, "Am I Searching for More Money or More Happiness?: Insights and Evidence from the Emerging Science of Positive Psychology and Happiness Studies." References were made to the country of Bhutan and how they have a Gross National Happiness (GNH) indicator, just like many countries measure their Gross Domestic Product (GDP). I learned about Bhutan (a country in the Himalayas) in 2008 when it was featured during the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. There are three themes during each yearly festival, and that year the themes were Bhutan, NASA, and Texas.  I even managed to scrounge up several photos that I took during the festival!  (Archery is the national sport in Bhutan.)

This chapter mentioned two books that I plan to check out further, Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill by Matthieu Ricard, a Buddhist monk, and Nichomachean Ethics by Aristotle.  Aristotle is said to have believed that happiness is voluntary; "that nobody can make you happy.  You have to commit to happiness."

Overall, I consider myself a happy person.  I can't say I'm happy every minute of every day, but by and large, life is good.  I always remind myself when I have a bad day that if we didn't have any bad days, we wouldn't appreciate the good ones! 

The author near the end of the book quoted from William Ernest Henley's poem "Invictus". 

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
I ended up looking up the entire poem, and learned that the last two lines of the poem were quoted in Casablana by the character Captain Renault.  I don't remember that, so I guess I'm just going to have to watch the movie again!



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