As you know I am interested in making some positive changes in my life, including not only inner changes (such as mindset), but also outer changes (such as productivity).

I’ve seen some discussion relating to whether these changes should start from the inside and manifest outward, or start from external changes and be brought inward.  The latter kind of sounds like “faking it til you make it.”  The thinking is that if you are doing good things in your life, if you are taking the proper steps for success, your life will improve and as a result, your happiness and outlook on life will improve.

But then I kind of think about all those rich people who aren’t happy.  They have success.  They have money.  But they aren’t happy.  Why not?  Why doesn’t it come from the outside in for them?

Then I think about going from the inside out.  If you are feeling good you are probably going to approach situations from a different viewpoint and make choices that will allow you to continue to experience positivity.

Let me give you some examples from my life.

In the past I never really used to pay that much attention to my finances.  I mean, I had a general idea of how much money was in my bank account, but I would pretty much buy whatever I wanted, I didn’t set aside money specifically for saving, and I wasn’t really aware of how much little purchases can add up (like getting coffee every morning, for example).  My mindset was kind of “whatever.”  I read a book that kind of changed my thinking about it, though, and sort of made me start thinking about it all in a different way.  I thought to myself, I’m trying to be more positive and bring good things into my life, and wouldn’t my finances fall into that category?  Would having better control and understanding of my money in turn lead to more positivity in other areas of my life?

Absolutely it would.

So I began to practice more conservative spending habits, and made sure to reinforce them in my mind so I saw them as a good thing, a positive direction, rather than viewing them as “missing out.”  When I don’t buy coffee in the morning, I don’t think “this sucks, I’m not getting my coffee.”  That’s the wrong mindset and it would bring me down.  Instead, I think something more along the lines of “this coffee is overpriced, and I can make my own for much cheaper which means I can save money.”  Of course, saying that and actually believing it are two different things, but it’s to the point now where I really don’t want to spend money on frivolous stuff like that.  I met with an accountant to make sure I’m not missing anything when it comes to my property taxes, and I keep a spreadsheet of all my expenses so nothing gets too out of control without me realizing it.

So it’s kind of a combination of inner and outer changes reinforcing each other.