One day while surfing the net during some leisure time (thanks to the lockdown), I came across a video on Happy Money. I had never heard the term ‘Happy Money’ before so I decided to find out more. In the video a man by the name of Ken Honda was talking about the concept of happy money. All that he was saying was instantly resonating with me. I watched the entire video and watched a few more. Ken Honda had just released his book Happy Money and I decided to read it. I purchased the kindle version of the book on the same day and started reading. I have since read the book three times and currently reading it for the fourth time. That’s when I thought I am in a pretty good position to share my insights with all of you.
I had read many books on money and frankly speaking, was a bit tired of them. They all spoke the same thing i.e. savings, investment, earning more, visualizing etc. etc. The self-help books had nothing new to offer. That’s when the book Happy Money brought with it a breath of fresh air. This is not a self-help book on how to manage your money but rather about your actual relationship with money.
Unlike other money related books, Happy Money deals with money EQ. Ken Honda particularly focuses on our feelings on matters related to money. Other books solely focus on money IQ completely ignoring money EQ which is more important than money IQ.
Ken Honda is Japan’s number 1 bestselling personal development authors and guru. He is known as the Zen Millionaire as he shares his insights on how to achieve peace of mind when it comes to money. Ken highlights in Happy Money how money can be the source of too many negative emotions such as fear, stress, anger, greed and jealousy. Money has been the cause of many relationship breakdowns and ruined lives.
In the book, Ken focuses on the importance of staying fully present in to the moment without regretting the past and worrying about the future. The first start towards achieving the mindset of happy money is to start by saying ‘arigato’ to your money when it comes in and again saying ‘arigato’ when it goes out. ‘Arigato’ in Japanese means thank you. The fact that our relationship with life will mirror what our relationship is like with money is brilliantly explained in the book. According to Ken, many of our deeply ingrained thoughts and beliefs about finances were adopted from our experiences with money when we were little children. The particular section deals with how we were raised and how our parents approached money made me take long pauses to reflect upon my life.
One of my favorite lines of the book is a simple phrase, “Find abundance in yourself and security in people, not money”. This one quote is worth 5 start rating for this book.
Let me caution you, this is not a good book for people who are struggling financially. This book will not provide any talisman of making money and becoming financially free. This book would rather help you become more comfortable and happy with the wealth you already possess.
The book primarily focuses on using our money to good use that can give us a feeling of joy. Giving money to your favorite charity, helping a friend or relative in need and buying gift for someone are some of the examples. Keeping a tight clutch on money and saving every penny that comes to your hand will create a miserable life. Money must be put to good use that can create lasting memory. Spending money on experiences is one such way to create lasting memory.
Ken generously praises his mentor Wahei Takeda in the book. Wahei was a Japanese billionaire with interests in many business sectors the chief among them was his candy business. Wahei takeda was fondly called the Warren Buffet of Japan for his wealth and wisdom. Ken Honda attributes everything he knows about money to his mentor Wahei Takeda.
Ken is an avid reader himself and divided his money books into two categories; technical books and mental attitude books. Happy Money is more of a mental attitude type of book. Technical books tend to become obsolete with time due to external factors but mental attitude is something that you carry with you forever.
At the last part, Ken lists every one of the five stages to happy money: move out of the scarcity mindset, forgive and heal your money wounds, discover your gifts and get into the flow of happy money, trust life, say arigato always. My favorite is “trust life.”
In author’s own words, “the moral of the story: What you own isn’t the most important thing in life. People are. You are. So focus on your life, what makes you feel most alive while you’re here, and create as many wonderful memories as you can. Spend your time, your money, your energy—your Happy Money tokens—on the people who matter most to you, the people you love and appreciate.”
Overall, a highly recommend read.
You can buy the book here.