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Truth About Our Brains and Money

Jun 12, 2024

Our brains are like super computers - we process so much information each day.  We also experience and process lots of emotions too, which is what makes us "super".  Like any computer, we need to program it in a way that is actually going to give us the outcome that we want - which is ultimately happiness and success for ourselves and our families.

What does happiness and success actually mean though?  It is different for everyone, and is something each of us needs to figure out.  Without that clarity, our life's "barometer" will be set to "react" versus "act".

Then, let's add in money and all the complexity and undertone that goes with that.  So many beliefs and stories that we take on.  Generational stories, gender stories, secondary experiences and perceptions, and then comes our own actual personal experiences.  It's no wonder it all feels so confusing and overwhelming!

So, what do we do about all this?

Step 1 - awareness.  Becoming aware of all this is key to beginning to make changes.  Recognising that our brains have certain pre-conditioned programing is important, because until we realise this, we continue with this programing without question

There are 3 key elements to be aware of which starts with awareness and progresses to making improvements:

  1. Survival
  2. Change
  3. Habits.


At the core of the programming in our brain is survival.  Think back to when we didn't have supermarkets for our food, or governments for infrastructure, or proper housing and shelter.  We were primal, protecting ourselves and our villages from predators, starvation and the elements.

This is what consumed our thoughts and energy - staying alive.

Fast forward to the present day, and our brains are still trying to play catch up.  So much has changed in a relatively short span of time.  We now not only don't have to worry too much about where our next meal will come from, or where we'll sleep each night, or whether a wild animal is going to attack us, but we have... the internet!  We have to worry about what everyone else is doing, and how we "compare" with that.  Talk about a wild swing from one experience to another!

So, our brains are still stuck in this survival mode, at least from how we feel.

Our brains are wired to make sure we survive (it isn't interested in thriving), and this is done through making sure we remain with what is familiar to our brain.

How do we then make changes...  Read on.


Our brains see change as a threat to our survival, as the change may hurt or kill us. Rejecting the unfamiliar is something we do in every area of our life, and our brains will say "you've survived this long without [looking at your finances], so you'll be fine to continue in the same way - don't rock the boat".

So, we need to make any kind of change, incrementally.

Firstly, you need to clarify what isn't going well that you need or want to change.  What outcome do you want?  To save $X each month, or to increase your superannuation each year by $X, or to go on a holiday that will cost you $X, or increase your revenue by $X per month? 

Be specific.

Then, figure out what you specifically need to change to make this happen - behaviours, actions, thoughts.  Again, be as specific as you can.  Then, focus on one at a time, and make small changes, regularly and consistently, until they become a habit...


Everything takes energy.  Our brains have so much to process each day, that anything which reduces the energy exertion is welcomed. Habits reduce the mental load and energy exertion that goes with change, we need to embed as much as we can into a habit, which requires consistency.

Once you have the clarity you need to make change, keep that new thought or behaviour going for at least 90 days, so that you can start to embed it into your suite of habits that your brain doesn't have to work as hard to process.

All this takes conscious effort, and being aware is a great place to start.  Understanding yourself better also helps make all this much easier.  Pay attention, look at your patterns and start to write them down (which is why journaling is so powerful).  Once you reliase how you operate, you can start to reprogram your brain and how you see money.