$7.38 Brought Joy To My Day: The interesting thought patterns that surround money.

By Peter Pfeffer

Money and Happiness

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I roll into Starbuck’s, pick up a venti Americano and after a short internal discussion about carbs, give in and grab a blueberry scone as well. I whip out my card to swipe and pay but nothing happens. I try again and nothing. The smiling baristas look sheepish and say,
“Guess it’s on us!” I reply, “Really?” They keep smiling, “Yep, computer issues, our problem not yours. Have a great day!” I smile and say, “That really makes my day, thank you.”

So for $7.38 my day is better. I’m either a cheap date or that little act of customer service had value. These two savvy cats realized that a series of $2, $3 or $7 losses during a 20
minute computer glitch were actually a priceless marketing campaign. I don’t think loyalty is for sale, but they made a down payment on mine that morning.

The whole exchange brings up the idea of money behaviors and the scripts that drive them. Why did a measly $7.38 make my day? There are predictable thought patterns and
behaviors that surround money. Those with money have a systematic pattern as do those with not enough money. The pattern can be identified and changed for the better. In Wired
For Wealth, Brad Klontz, Psy.D; Ted Klontz, Ph.D; and Rick Kahler, CFP; identified 10 disempowering money scripts that contribute to self-limiting and destructive behaviors in people with financial stress.

  • More money will make things better.
  • Money is bad.
  • I don’t deserve money.
  • I deserve to spend money.
  • There will never be enough money.
  • There will always be enough money.
  • Money is unimportant.
  • Money will give my life meaning.
  • It’s not nice (or necessary) to talk about money.
  • If you are good the universe will supply all your needs.

I thought I was wired up tight in my thought process about money and many other things. Apparently I was still running an errant script or two. This was evidenced by my joy at a free scone and coffee that I normally wouldn’t cross the street to get.

That’s the beauty of our adaptable, coachable, ever-changing human brain. What we think about and what we repeat with regularity is what we become.

Do you like what you’ve got and what you’re getting? Then keep up your present patterns and habits. Not so pleased with your situation? Then careful scrutiny of your choices and patterns will give clues on what may need to change.

$7.38 won’t make me or break me in the grand scheme, but it provided a little joy, a little fuel for self-reflection and discussion.

Peter Pfeffer is a doctor of chiropractic with HealthSource Chiropractic and Progressive Rehab in Alexandria.

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