Suze Orman: Tough love girlfriend!

Panjee Tapales
Suze Orman's gift is making us see the truth of how important money is

Panjee TapalesMANILA, Philippines – Yes, girlfriend, she was here. When I got the invitation to hear Suze Orman live, I jumped. I have been taking baby steps towards my financial health and I needed a push. She delivered.

She put everything on the table by naming the 3 internal obstacles to financial success: fear, anger and shame. This immediately connected money to our attitude towards it, and how the latter informs the former in very powerful ways.

Her 2-hour talk was peppered with profound, spiritual-practical advice, starting with: “You get what you want and need in life when you understand who you are.” Just as we were recovering from that AHA moment, she delivered this swift admonishment: “Most of you are driving fancy cars to impress people you don’t even like. You have got to stop that!”

Be practical. Live within your means! They are such simple ideas that are at the core of financial health, yet it’s amazing how often we need to be reminded. Suze never fails to do the job.

Know what you have

Living within your means requires intimate knowledge of what you have.

Most women put their money in the bank and just hope all goes well. “Hope is not a financial plan,” Suze cautioned. I could feel the women around me shift in their seats. Really, until I heard it, I didn’t realize the H-word was part of my financial plan, too. Oops. We need to look at what we have, face the reality of our finances, and then take action: save, invest, and spend wisely on needs rather than wants.

“Power attracts money. Powerlessness repels it. You get powerful with money when you look at what you’re spending it on,” Suze said. “You’re not okay unless you know what you have, where it is and where you need to put it.”

Listening to her made me ask deep personal questions about my attitudes towards money. Though I’ve come a long way from being a person who left all money decisions to others, to someone who now makes my own investment decisions, I still would rather close my eyes and rely on hope. I could feel her words having the same effect on the mostly women audience. 

Every woman, married or not, must open her eyes and focus on her finances. The first step, she says, is to talk about it. We should talk about money! Talk about it. Figure it out. Face it. “If you continue to run away from money, it will never come to you,” Suze reiterated.

Stand up, be counted

“How many of you have credit card debt? Please stand,” Suze requested. A handful stood tentatively, and then more.  And more. Then she said, “How many of you have any kind of debt? Please stand.” And if that wasn’t traumatic enough, she then asked everyone in the room to stand and tell their seat mate how much in debt they were!!  

The room, at first slightly paralyzed with paranoia, began to buzz with release. They say the first step towards healing is to utter the truth. I believe many lives changed that day just from this moment of necessary discomfort.

Further proving that your wealth has everything to do with how you live, Suze spelled out 8 qualities that serve as guides towards financial wealth:

Harmony and Balance: What you say, think and do are one. If these are aligned, you are in a state of balance with both feet in the same boat. Imagine what happens when you have one foot in one boat and the other in another boat! You need your words, thoughts and actions aligned and both feet in the same boat. Then you have balance!  From that place, you are equipped to make sound judgments about your financial health.

Courage and Wisdom: You need to tell the truth to be who you are. That takes courage and courage allows us to assert ourselves. Every woman’s life experience gives her wisdom. We need that wisdom to make sensible financial decisions that respect our needs.

Generosity and Happiness: Generosity isn’t just giving. Generosity is getting as much as you give.  A true gift also means giving to yourself. Never put yourself at risk for someone else. Do not dip into your funds to help an ailing relative. That is not generosity. Through this generosity of giving and receiving, we can find happiness.

Cleanliness and Beauty: Money cannot dwell in filth. If you disrespect what your money can buy – your office, closets, your car – you will not attract financial health! Line up your bills in your wallet. Create order and cleanliness everywhere. When you have these qualities, you feel beautiful and you attract the same in you life.

Chatting with the crowd

Suze answered a few questions from the audience and reminded everyone: “Invest based on what’s happening in the economy and your emotional response. It’s not so much what you do but how it makes you feel. You will know if it’s right for you.”

One of the highlights of the event was Suze calling our very own Francisco J. Colayco , author of “Wealth within your Reach: Pera Mo, Palaguin Mo” to the stage. She promised they would work together to begin educating the Filipino towards financial health and freedom. 

Later, someone from the audience thanked Mr Colayco for all the money lessons she has learned and put to use from his books. Suze thanked her for thanking him, saying that it is a gift when you see how your work has changed someone’s life.

5 laws of life

As she finished answering questions from the audience, Suze left us with 5 more laws to take to heart:

    •    May every thought you think be etched in fire in the sky for the whole world to see, for in fact it is.
    •    May every word that you say be said as if everyone in the world could hear it , for in fact they can.
    •    May every deed that you do recoil on top of your head, for in fact it will.
    •    May every wish that you wish on another be a wish that you wish for yourself, because in fact it is.
    •    May everything you do be done as if God Himself is doing it, for in fact He is.

Suze Orman’s gift is making us see the truth of how important money is, not just because it feeds, clothes, educates and shelters us, but because it is both spiritual and practical currency and our attitudes, thoughts and emotions towards it define our wealth.

Last Wednesday, I spent a good hour at my BPI branch talking to their financial advisers about my money. In the end, we can only make our money grow if we take responsibility for it. No more running away. No hoping without action.

Thanks for the push, girlfriend!!!! –

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