So far in the “Ten Commandments For Making Money” series, you’ve learned Jewish wisdom about being a leader, knowing yourself, why you shouldn’t pursue perfection, the dignity and morality of business, and extending your connectedness.
Today I’ll reveal commandments #6, 7, and 8 from the book by Rabbi Daniel Lapin “Thou Shall Prosper- Ten Commandments for Making Money”. With these commandments, you will learn about managing change, how to foretell the future, and why knowing your money is important.
So without any further delay, let’s put the smackdown on some more ancient Jewish wisdom!
Commandment #6- Constantly Change the Changeable, While Steadfastly Clinging to the Unchangeable
This commandment is all about the concept that change is necessary, and even inevitable. However, there are some things that are unchangeable. The changeable and the unchangeable are both necessary to human existence, and the two should be in balance.
The Star of David
The changeable and unchangeable are represented by the two triangles found in the Star of David. The triangle shape is a closed element. It is the strongest element used in engineering (just take a look at the steel girders in a railroad bridge, you’ll see lots of triangles). Since it is a closed shape, each side depends on the other for strength.
Each point in the triangle is represented by God, humans, and the material world. One triangle in the Star of David represents the changeable, while the other represents the changeable.
The star is a reflection of how a human should function. It’s a representation of three sides bonded together to form a structure that will stand strong, but will fail if those bonds are interrupted because one or more elements is missing.
The upright triangle in the Star of David represents those core things in life that are unchangeable. God is at the top, and He laid out the unchangeable design for the creation of Man and the material world we live in. Those unchangeable things, such as the laws of physics, moral truths, and such will always endure no matter what’s going on in the world. God is unchanging, in control, and always will be.
However, as time progresses and humans gain more knowledge, they move away from God toward humanity and the material world.
The upside down triangle resting on its point represents those things that are changeable. Humans and the material world are always in a state of change that never ceases.
At the bottom point of the triangle is God, from which humans and the material world emanated, and the widening angle from the point of God represents ever increasing human knowledge that takes us away from God. This triangle represents the change that is inevitable due to the nature of humans and the material world.
Balance is Necessary
Superimposing these two triangles upon one another represents the balance that we should strike between what is steadfast and unchanging, and that which will always be changing and moving forward.
Giving too much attention to one is to blind yourself to the other, and will not allow you to grow and prosper as a human being. The Jews believe that innovation and change are a necessary part of life and should be embraced, as they make the world a more prosperous place.
Innovation and change, though painful in the short term, creates more prosperity than maintaining the status quo. This process of “Creative Destruction” (getting rid of the old in favor of newer and better) is an essential element of wealth creation that brings forth long term prosperity, even though it may cause some turbulence in the short term.
Takeaways from Commandment #6 for Making Money- There are things that are changeable and those that are unchangeable. In order to create long term wealth and prosperity in your own life and in the world, they should be kept in balance. Change is inevitable, and the creative destruction of change must be embraced if you want to be successful.
Commandment #7- Learn to Foretell the Future
This commandment is not about becoming some kind of a prophet. It’s more about becoming someone who can make a reasonable prediction of the future by learning from the past, taking time to analyze the present, and spotting trends.
There are several things you can do to become someone who can foretell the future:
- Recognize What Will and Won’t Affect You- Will the decline of the Peruvian Poison Dart Frog affect the future of your business? Probably not. What about the decline of real wages in America? Probably so. You should be aware of what kinds of circumstances will help or hurt your career, business, and personal life, and keep up with what’s happening in the world that can affect those areas.
- Interpret Events Without Emotion- If you’re emotionally involved in the outcome of a particular circumstance, you can’t evaluate it well. Whether business or personal, you have to have emotional distance to be able to see anything clearly. Always make sure you evaluate the risks and any down side to your plans for the future. Just because a woman loves the cutest man on Earth doesn’t mean she should spend the rest of her life with him. She better be able to step back emotionally and evaluate if he treats her well and can hold a job!
- Look Backward Before Looking Forward- History can always teach you something. There is always a precedent for whatever present circumstance you may be going through. It’s all been done and there is nothing new under the sun. Before you look to your future and the direction you should go, look first to the past and understand what can be learned from those that came before you.
- Watch For Patterns- In every life, every relationship, every business, and every thing, there are patterns. In order to mold your future and direct your path into your best future, you should be able to recognize the natural patterns that happen. You should know economic patterns, business trends, population trends, and anything else that helps you more accurately predict what business and life will look like in the future. However, don’t blindly follow trends and patterns; be aware of them and let them inform your thinking.
- Block Out The Noise- Take time to disengage and focus on the future without any distractions. Block out regular time to think about what’s coming and what faint signs you may be seeing to help guide your future plans in the right direction. Much like the Jewish Sabbath causes the faithful to step back from using any technology for one day and be shut off from the distractions of the world, you should make regular time to reflect on your future without distraction.
- Visualize Your Future- Learn to see your future as you’d like it to be. Get creative and let your mind visualize many different scenarios. Some may be crazy, and others may be more well thought out, but when you engage your creativity by visualizing many different futures, your ultimate plan for the future can become much more crystal clear.
- Educate Yourself- Use plenty of resources to help yourself see the future. Know what’s happening in your area of expertise and what the future looks like in that area. When you’re educated on what’s coming, you can prepare for it and take advantage of it.
Takeaways From Commandment #7 For Making Money- Know what’s happening in the world and learn how to spot trends. There is nothing new under the sun, so look back first to aid yourself in planning for the future.
Commandment #8- Know Your Money
Knowing how money works is essential to becoming successful in business and for building wealth in general.
But what is money?
The chapter detailing this commandment explains that money has no intrinsic value, it’s merely a system of trade that’s built on trust.
Trust is what any good monetary system is based upon, and where there is a lack of trust, the economic system breaks down. The U.S. Dollar is the most widely used currency in the world because the U.S. has developed the most widely trusted monetary system available. It’s even used in many countries that have their own monetary system, but due to a lack of complete trust in their own system, the dollar is preferred by most people in those countries.
You also need to know how money works in your personal life. On an individual scale money is still about trust, but in a different way than in the macroeconomic sense. On a personal level, money is a representation of relationships and creative energy. If you don’t have good working relationships and you bring little or no value to other people, you are very unlikely to gain monetary compensation for yourself.
Money is a physical representation of what you’ve done for others. It’s a metaphor for the strength of your human relationships and the degree to which you have developed your own trustworthiness and usefulness to others.
Rabbi Lapin wrote that “There is more to you than money, but there is nothing more to your money than yourself”
Speak The Language of Money
The Rabbi goes on to say that you should also learn how to handle money well so it can work for you. That means you should be doing things like budgeting, minimizing debt, understanding financial statements, and making sure you save and invest wisely.
You must be able to speak the language of money. You don’t have to become a Certified Public Accountant, but knowing how to keep track of and interpret the numbers in your personal and business is an essential skill that will serve you well and make you successful.
Takeaways From Commandment #8 For Making Money- Learn all you can about money. When you understand money on a macro level as well as a personal level, you can make better decisions in business and in life that will help propel you to greater wealth and success.
Learn More About The Ten Commandments of Making Money
Learning about how money really works, how to manage change, and foretelling the future are all valuable skills you can develop right now that will serve you well in life and business. If you’d like to get a much deeper understanding about these and all the other commandments for making money, I encourage you to get the book that these concepts came from. I guarantee that this book will change your life permanently when you learn to practice these commandments in your own life!