A Money Guru Explains How Your Emotions Impact Your Wealth

Written by Jooyun Hong

Image by Tatjana Zlatkovic / Stocksy

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"She's a woman destined to make others rich…"

Those words echoed in my mind when I was on my way to meet Suh Yoon Lee, a famed and fascinating guru heralded as the "Master of Mindset" and "Guru to the Rich." I, a former journalist, was searching for the key to increasing wealth without sacrificing happiness and thought that if anyone could show me the way, it was her.

Let's back up: Suh Yoon Lee, an attractive and magnetic woman in her 30s, was identified as a guru at the age of 6 by her grandmother. She then set off on a course of study ranging from classical Asian texts to economics to an analysis of 100,000 case studies, in an effort to find the "secret" of wealth. She's now revered by the wealthiest residents in South Korea, and most of the top 1 percent who seek out her guidance walk away with even greater financial success—and a deeper appreciation of what they already had to begin with.

The key to creating wealth is emotions.

When I wrote to Suh Yoon for an interview about the secret to financial well-being, she invited me to Lake Como, Italy. With that glimmering lake as a backdrop, she offered me a magical smile and completely novel, groundbreaking approach to wealth. She explained, "The key to creating wealth is emotions. The secret that will pave the way to a better future without becoming a mere component of a society dominated by reason is feelings. If you use your emotional energy well, it can be a source of wealth for you."

Here are some of the top tips Suh Yoon went to share about growing wealth by tapping into your emotions:

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1. Feel what you have right now.

First, Suh Yoon introduced me to a simple emotion she calls Having: "Having is abundantly feeling what you have at the moment of spending money. This is the simplest and most effective way to become wealthy."

Let's look at that in practice: Let's suppose I just bought an Americano. Once I've paid my money and received my coffee, I can take a sip and try to feel Having: I "have" money to easily buy a cup of coffee without worrying about it. 

"If you focus on what you have right now, you can feel profound joy and abundance," Suh Yoon said. Ideally, I'd experience the same thing when I buy things while practicing Having. I'd be happy from head to toe and feel as if I could soar into the sky because my purchase was proof I have the money to invest in the future I envision. Suh Yoon further explained, "Having is the way to change our lens from seeing what's missing to seeing what's there. It easily enables you to bring yourself greater riches, even with the same amount of effort, and to find the path to become your true self."

2.    Remind yourself that wasting is not "Having."

I have a friend who spends her whole salary shopping like there's no tomorrow—buying luxury bags, clothes, shoes, and the like. Then, when it's time for her monthly credit card payment, she inevitably feels anxious about what she has spent. Do wasteful people like her also become rich while they're happily spending money, I asked?

To this question, Suh Yoon responded firmly, "Waste is not Having." Let's suppose there are only 24 hours until you die. How would you then feel when you spend money? You wouldn't be happy at all. You would feel anxious, distressed, and even afraid of the future. If you pay attention to what you truly want, you'll naturally distance yourself from wasteful and ostentatious purchases," she continued. "The flow of wealth is as natural as riding a wave. All you have to do is stay in the boat floating in the water."

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3.  Pay attention to your instincts, and they'll keep guiding you in the right direction.

So then how do we know whether or not we're Having when we spend money? "If you feel uneasy, worried, and uncomfortable when you're buying something, that's not Having. That's worry and discomfort," Suh Yoon said. "If you act contrary to your inner voice, your mind and body will be uncomfortable. When your body and mind are sending signals to you, you'd better stop what you're doing." In contrast, she said that spending should feel comfortable and second-nature. "Think how natural it is to do what you truly want. It's as easy as water flowing."

When approached this way, you can always rely on your instincts to guide your purchasing decisions. And they'll only get stronger with time. "With Having, your attention is constantly on your inner voice. That little bit of comfort and warmth in your mind will grow as your feelings become more clear.” 

Adapted from The Having: The Secret Art of Feeling and Growing Rich. Copyright 2019 by Suh Yoon Lee and Jooyun Hong, published by Harmony Books.

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