Cash in your head, but not your heart.

18th Century satirist Jonathan Swift (Gulliver’s Travels) delivers one of my favorite quotes about money, which inspired this post’s title.

Swift said, “A wise person should have money in their head, but not in their heart.” We should feel good about what we do, deep in our hearts, and know our worth.

At the same time, isn’t it unwise not to think about money? We need to know about it so we can deal with it consciously, and make sound choices.

Speaking of choices, another favorite money quote comes from circus-man P.T. Barnum: “Money is a terrible master, but an excellent servant.” Wow, right?

Why do they call cash “cold” and “hard?”

  • Maybe it’s because when you come into some money–a payday or a gift or found money–you can’t really cuddle with it.
  • Maybe it’s because cash is made of paper and metal and numbers on spreadsheets–it isn’t alive; it has no feelings.
  • Maybe it’s because cash money can’t become warm or soft unless it is handled and used–it receives and transfers heat and energy

Maybe all those reasons and more.

When you make good money, you learn that money is only a tool. Or as Ayn Rand put it, “It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver.”
That from the woman who would create “Objectivism” as a philosophical approach.

In this way, money has a lot in common with Barnum’s circus–The Greatest Show on Earth..We need to use our heads to master money. But for it to be of service, we need to use our hearts.

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