03/26/2014 05:35 EDT | Updated 05/26/2014 05:59 EDT

How To Stop Living Large and Start Thinking Big

I don't know about you but I crave authenticity in my life with people, places and things. Most people in my life are authentic and each time I am around them my experiences are real, filling and deliberate. We connect on a level that is real -- authentic. There are no falsehoods or pretentious moments because we have nothing to prove to each other or ourselves.

Before we go any further, let's agree on the definition of authenticity. Wikipedia says ..." Authenticity -- concerns the truthfulness of origins, attributions, commitments, sincerity, devotion, and intentions." Authenticity finds its roots in really simple emotions most of us can understand. Living more authentically is about being real with ourselves and of course how we spend our money.

Our spending habits say a lot about us and the choices we make with our money. When we become real and authentic with ourselves, we don't use our money to impress people or seek status, because we have nothing to prove. When we are authentic with our money, we are making conscious and mindful choices with it. We are very present and self-aware.

Many of us may spend our money mindlessly with little thought or consequence. Sometimes it can feel good to spend money. Living large is spending money to the extreme with little thought to the long term consequences or outcomes. Many of us know people who are "living large." Their credit card bills and lines of credit are maxed. Yet, how could they stop it when they are in the vicious cycle of living large -- living in a pattern -- big mortgage, extended line of credit, and holding debt that is crippling while going everyday in to a job they hate. They can't afford to quit. Some people may find themselves in dead end jobs that drive these behaviors. Ouch.

If you find yourself living large, the easiest way to stop living large is to stop living large. There is no magic fairy dust or special potions needed other then some inner strength and the conviction to want to live differently. Always think big, but act small. And with a winning mindset, your energy will propel you in right direction.

When we spend our money in a way that is authentic or real, we are conscious about our choices and outcomes. We know where our money goes. They are no surprises. Money can be used as a tool to live an authentic life when we engage in mindful spending and conscious choice. This is a powerful yet simple statement.

In the spirit of living more authentically and living a life of meaning and purpose, here are a few tips that will definitely give you a boost.

Tips for Getting More Real:

1.Hit the pause button. Take stock of where you are and where you are going. Course correct if you are on the wrong path. Plan ahead but enjoy the goodness you have today.

2.Evaluate how you are living your life daily. Find purpose. Every statement, action or choice you make says something about you. Be deliberate. Choose wisely.

3. Live by a budget. Nothing is more powerful or real then living with a budget and by a simple truth that spending must find its way within our means.

4.Engage in mindful spending. Spend in the context of your values, goals and beliefs. Don't waste your money on things have little intrinsic value.

5. Impress yourself (and maybe others) with your talents, not money, things or trappings. There is no one more important on this planet than you. Remember "the grass is always greener where you water it." (Neil Barringham)


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