Think of your ‘self’ as a bank and your life as an ‘economy of self‘. Everyday you deposit goodies (love, joy, laughter, smiles, happy thoughts,), you eat good food, consume or create good ideas, take positive actions, make healthy lifestyle choices, and a myriad of good decisions into your bank account. Your investment in your economy of self pays off with a positive bank balance that can weather any storm, any crisis you encounter, including every day withdrawals that deplete your resources of energy, time and money.
Withdrawals come in the form of everyday occurrences such as how you handle traffic jams that make you late, bank machines that are ‘out of service’ when you need them most, an angry partner, a run in your stocking, a soiled shirt, an empty bottle of shampoo when you are half-way through your shower.
Withdrawals are part of the yin/yang of living. How we handle them is what creates our positive or negative balance. Withdrawals deplete our account when we make negative choices. Unhealthy food choices, binges of anger, jealousy, envy, regret, and a host of other emotions — unforgiveness, non-repentance, uncompromising positions that undermine our peace of mind.
Withdrawals can be balanced with ‘goody’ deposits such as love, joy, laughter, sharing a good time with a friend, acts of kindness, volunteering, etc.
As long as deposits outweigh withdrawals, your bank account is healthy and happy. Your economy of self is balanced.
Big picture, when your deposits build resilience, good-will, contentment, balance, you have the resources to trust yourself to weather any momentary blips in the economy of self.
Write down the dollar figure $1,000.00 in the middle of the top of a blank page in your notebook.
Beneath it, draw a line to the bottom of the page dividing the page in half.
On the top left side write: Withdrawals On the top right side write: Deposits
Throughout the day, remind yourself to write down a value for every emotion you experience during the day.
Every emotion has a value of $1.00. Doesn’t matter if the emotion is love or anger — it has a value of $1.00 on the Deposit side of the ledger.
Now, if you notice that the anger lasts longer than the momentary ‘noticing’ of it, make a withdrawal. Every withdrawal is valued at $2.00.
For example, you are in a meeting and Joe from the corner office is, as always, late. The thought of Joe being late is a positive emotional deposit — lateness lacks integrity. However, the ‘as always’ component is a negative. Have you ever discussed the importance of punctuality? Have you found a respectful way to tell him about your feelings around his lateness? So, in this situation you have a $1.00 deposit and a $2.00 withdrawal.
As the meeting continues, Joe asks a question about something that was discussed before he entered the meeting. You reply, “If you’d been here on time you’d know the answer.”
That’s a $2.00 withdrawal. There’s no deposit because you’ve already given your emotions around his tardiness a say.
Later on, you go for coffee and Joe is standing in line in front of you. As you walk towards him, you smile, but in your head you think, “Ha. He’s never late for coffee.” That’s a $2.00 withdrawal.
Back in your office, the phone rings. It’s a supplier telling you they’ll be late with delivery. It’s the second time this month. You mention that fact and they apologize, explaining that they haven’t received the necessary components because their supplier is late. You agree on a new delivery date and you hang up. You get a $1.00 deposit because you handled the interaction effectively.
Later on, you are explaining to your boss about the late delivery and complain about the supplier, blaming them for the situation, yada yada yada. That’s a $2.00 withdrawal — and more withdrawals for every time you repeat the story about how they are to blame — like when you get home and tell your partner all about it, complaining about the supplier’s lack of responsiveness. Oh, and you also get a $2.00 withdrawal when you talk about Joe’s tardiness.
At the end of the day, add up each column. Are you in the negative or positive? Look through eyes of wonder at your bottom line and ask yourself, What can I learn? What can I do to change my bottom line? Be open, and joyful. Just in doing the exercise you have created positive well-being for your self.
The purpose of this exercise is to bring to your consciousness the impact of your complaints and critical, negative talk on your well-being.
When you invest time and energy into criticizing, condemning and complaining, you are making withdrawals from your economy of self. You are depleting your resources, running your balance down and creating stress — think about your real bank account. When the balance is depleted, do you worry about how you’ll make ends meet. How you’ll pay for the new tires, the furnace repair, that dress you really want for the Christmas party?
Criticizing, condemning and complaining are energy vacuums. They suck the ‘goodies’ right out of you.
Make a commitment to notice how much you criticize, condemn and complain on a daily basis. Offset the negative with positives. Keep focusing on the positive, on the deposits, and ease yourself away from making too many negative withdrawals. Life has its ups and downs. Someone will inevitably do something to hurt, disappoint, disillusion, betray…. you. It is inevitable.
How you handle the ups and downs makes all the difference in the world to your economy of self. Choose to create a bank account of well-being that is continually balanced with positive ‘goodies’ that will sustain you through any situation that may arise. Keep yourself in the black by continually depositing self-sustaining and enhancing well-being.
The question is: What’s in your bank account?