Money & Self Awareness. Value vs Attribute.

In this article we take a look at the most common perspective on Money as part of an individual’s value system. We look at another perspective of Money, considering it as an Attribute rather than Value, in order to develop a perspective better aligned to the truth, and enable a life aligned to the True Self.

For most individuals, Money forms an integral part of an individual’s value system. For some individuals, it may even be their primary value, driving behaviours overarching personal health & wellness.

Value vs Attribute

When we adopt something in our value system, we automatically assume more is better. Examples of personal values like patience, sincerity, compassion etc. If you measure your self worth based on how much money you make, it is essentially a part of your value system.

An attribute on the other hand is just a property, and its value to an individual depends on the context. An example would be frequency, or Color. Which Color is better – blue or pink?

  • Is $5000 better than $2000? Which option would you want?
  • Is the frequency 5KHz better than 2KHz? Which option do you want?

For anyone arguing how can money be equated to frequency, remember that an Asset’s valuation is reflective of its potential future frequency of use.

Money as a Value

When you incorporate something in your personal value system, your behaviour becomes driven by it. So, an individual whose value system comprises of money measures his /her self worth with money. He also measures others based on their monetary status. These individuals will also be driven to make major life choices based on Money.

The origin of Money as a value system lies in our upbringing. Many people grow up in poverty, and for all good intentions, parents may place an overwhelming high importance on Money, in order to ensure a bright future for their children, at least when it comes to material abundance. This can lead to Money becoming a significant part of an individual’s value system.

As I’ve stated in my previous article, the motive for money is caused by the need for it. But the drive for money can become autonomous in the long run, when an individuals continue to place a very high value to it, even when it’s marginal utility is reduced significantly.

An example of such a case would be wealthy individuals, with enough money to last their lifetime, continuing to work in jobs that they hate or that are not conducive to personal wellness. The will compromise one personal health & family time, in order to earn money that they donor need.

Money is an important metric for both the rich and the poor. But if it is part of your value system, you are driven by it. On the other hand, if you see it as an attribute of the choices people make, you are merely guided by it & not necessarily driven by it. It becomes a property of the choice you are making, and not the reason for the choice you are making.

As an example, lets say John wants to buy a car. If money is a part of John’s value system, he will be biased into thinking that an expensive car is better. And he is more likely to buy an expensive car, without looking into the details related to other aspects of engineering, or even ecological impact. That is why you see so many people buying expensive gas guzzlers that they do not need.

Money as an Attribute

On the other hand, if money is just an attribute of the choice of purchasing the car, John is more likely to evaluate his personal needs, and how the car’s engineering & design details meets his needs, as well as his personal values – that may perhaps include ecological impact, supporting local manufacturing etc.

When we look at Money as an attribute of our choice, there is more than the quantity that meets the eye. As an example we are also able to look at how our monetary choice affects social order, as well as what those choices mean for us & reflect about us. In the modern world, every choice we make – has a monetary attribute – but it also is a reflection of personal values, and is a vote that effects all three aspects of society in the long run – business, culture & politics.

An attribute comprises of three elements. The Quantity is an important metric. However, it is complemented by Order and Meaning. In the case of Money, Order implies how someone’s monetary choices affect social order? Meaning implies how your monetary choices align with your values? It implies asking if your method of making / spending money is aligned to your true Self.

Self Awareness Questions

  • At the individual level, how can we move to viewing money as a attribute, rather than value?
  • Which of your choices can influence your family / friends to do the same?