420. Money Zen – Break out of the cult of never enough

Oct 2, 2023 | 0 comments

Are you seeking empowerment in your economic journey, especially as a woman navigating through the financial world?

We’re overjoyed to host the phenomenal Manisha Thakor, a finance maestro with over 30 years in financial services, focusing on women’s economic empowerment and financial well-being. Manisha is a beacon in this sphere, featuring in eminent publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, NPR, PBS, CNN, CNBC, Real Simple, and Women’s Health. She’s not just an author of several finance books tailored for women in their 20s and 30s but also here today to unravel her latest masterpiece, “Money Zen.”

Manisha opens her heart about the motivation behind “Money Zen,” narrating her personal journey of self-realization and transformation, sparked by an illness that made her reflect on her life’s purpose. If you’ve ever felt like you were caught in the endless cycle of ‘doing’ and yearn for a deeper connection with your ‘being,’ this conversation with Manisha Thakor is your gateway to finding that balance.

Craving more insights on financial wellbeing and empowerment? Visit the1thing.com to delve deeper into mastering your economic journey with purpose.

To learn more, and for the complete show notes, visit: the1thing.com/pods.

We talk about:

  • Identifying the difference between workaholism and work engagement
  • Pushing back against the cult of “never enough”
  • Defining financial and emotional health
  • Uncovering the fictional financial lifestyles being portrayed

Links & Tools from This Episode:

Produced by NOVA Media


Nikki Miller:

Hey everyone, and welcome back to The ONE Thing podcast. We are so thrilled to have Manisha Thakor here, who has worked in financial services for over 30 years with an emphasis on women's economic empowerment and financial well-being, a nationally recognized thought leader in this space. She has been featured in a wide range of publications, including Wall Street Journal, New York Times, NPR, PBS, CNN, CNBC, Real Simple and Women's Health, author of several finance books for women in their 20s and 30s. And here today to talk to us about her newest book, Money Zen.

Manisha, I just I loved this book. And I'm so excited to unpack it with you and so excited to talk with you about it. But tell us what was the impetus for Money Zen? Tell us about this book and why you put this out because I can feel your heart in it.

Manisha Thakor:

Yeah. So I put it out because I face planted in a massive way as I was crossing over into my 50s. And I had this awareness because I had had an illness that literally stopped me in my tracks. And while I was recovering from that, I had this awareness that I had spent the last three decades of my life as a human doing, and not a human being.

And while I was on bed rest trying to recover, I thought, how did this happen? And so I thought, let me dive into the research and figure out what led me to this place and more importantly, how can I get out? And I had a hunch that there were probably a few other people out there that might identify with the journey. And so that's how the book came into being.

Nikki Miller:

I love this because you start the book with such a personal story and sharing how the spiral sort of started to happen. And it was funny because as I was reading it, I thought to myself, no, no, I'm not like this. I'm not a workaholic. And that's not me and I don't take myself or the work that seriously.

But then as you went through, one of my favorite parts of the entire book was the difference between workaholism and work engagement. And you underlied it with the emotions and motivation, motivational, emotional, cognitive and behavioral. And as you started to give the examples, I was like, oh, that's me, that's me, which all led to the side of the pendulum, which was not work engagement. That's the moral of that story. So when did you start to realize that you were also not in work engagement, you were in workaholism?

Manisha Thakor:

I have known pretty much throughout my adult life that I have been a workaholic simply because my modus operandi for the last 30 years is run as fast as I can. Hit a brick wall when I'm physically exhausted, collapse and then get up and wash, rinse, repeat. And so I knew it. But what I didn't viscerally understand was the cost of that. And I think it has a lot to do with society encouraging us to believe that what we do is who we are. You get positive reinforcement, particularly in financial services. They don't call working around the clock unhealthy. They call that being a good employee.

And so it wasn't until I actually started in the research that I understood this difference. Up until that point, I thought you were either a workaholic or you are just lollygagging around. And this notion of work engagement was so powerful for me because I realized it doesn't mean that you don't work. It doesn't mean that you don't have passions and you want to grow professionally. But what it does mean is you shut it off. It's not in your head 24/7, and then you have the space to grow your emotional wealth. One thing that I found fascinating was this distinction came from an academic who is a specialist in workaholism. And so that's how rampant it is, that her whole body of research work is focused on this.

Nikki Miller:

Well, it's fascinating because you realize that this cult of never enough where high achievers, we probably just call this achieving. And really you break it down to look yourself in the mirror and say, is it achieving or are you part of this cult of never enough? And then you talk about how this destroyed relationships and health and mental well-being and self-esteem. So tell me how this realization really started to happen and how you started to -- you articulate this in such a beautiful way to the reader.

How were you able to find the science behind it, but also how to explain it to people to get them to actually receive it? Because I know as achiever, as someone who coaches a lot of achievers, when someone tells you that, you're like, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm here to make my mark and to do big things, and I'm going to keep working until I get there. That work life balance is for suckers.

Manisha Thakor:

So I used to try all the things meditation, yoga, box breathing, nature bathing, walking on grass without shoes on, and it would help for a little bit. And those are all very, very valid practices. But it was kind of a dimmer being turned on in terms of my seeing the light. My marriage ended because I was a shitty wife. I was never around. And so my ex found somebody who was around.

And I realized I had lost so many friends over the years because I didn't show up for them. I wasn't there for weddings. I wasn't there when they were having life speed bumps and needed someone to be there. And then my physical health, I had the first round that I had. I was in Laos with my ex-husband, and we were motorcycling through the jungles. I was not driving. I was on the back. And I got bit by an infected mosquito, got dengue fever, which normally isn't tragic, but in my case, there was a series of events that ultimately led me in the direction of potential organ failure, which is serious.

And right after that, so that was probably in my early to mid 40s, I swore I was going to change and then I didn't. So it's kind of like I had the wake up. And literally when I was struggling with the dengue fever in the emergency room, my family was called in from the East Coast and I think we all thought this could be it. And it is 110 percent true that you do not think I wish I had worked more. But a couple of weeks later, I'm feeling better and I'm like in bed and my assistant is at my side and we're continuing to work.

And so it wasn't until I had a second health incident combined with an experience at work that I didn't expect to have, which was running through my financials, which I did constantly, because that's what my profession is. But I was talking with a potential client who did not want to share her financials. She was very private. And so we wanted to show her how we really go deep with clients. And so we used my financials and the team interviewed me. And I mean, I was crying by the end of the meeting because I realized I had been chasing after getting to a certain number. I had hit it. Still thought it wasn't enough and that I was emotionally bankrupt.

Nikki Miller:

Wow. You talk about that in the book that part of this cult of never enough is that you just never actually hit the ceiling because once you get there, you'll still feel that way. You'll still feel like it's not enough for you. So one of -- the subtitle of the book is The Secret to Finding Your Enough. So was that the moment that you said, I've just got to figure out when I'm going to put the football down and walk off the field? I've got to figure out when enough is enough. And what was your journey to finding that and what's the answer for you?

Manisha Thakor:

I wish I could say I was so wise that I started off with the goal of finding my enough. I started off simply not wanting to be a psychotic workaholic and understand how that happened. As I unraveled the layers, I started to fully understand the multiplicity of factors that drove my behavior. And only then was I able to open up my mind to the concept of finding your enough. Certainly, I'd heard plenty of people talk about it, but it just felt outside. Like I couldn't feel that desire inside because I was so used to chasing and having the bar move forward.

And in my case, the chasing was money. I was living my life to optimize a very sick equation, which is self-worth equals net worth. But this can happen to anyone, a yoga instructor was telling me, for her, it's self-worth equals the number of students in her class and how many private lessons she's giving. An academic told me it was how many papers she's publishing and how many times those papers are cited in other academic journals.

So whatever is on the other side of your self-worth equals question mark, if it's unhealthy, then most likely you are struggling with this cult of never enough. And being able to redefine, if you will, the equation that you're using to optimize your decisions around your scarce resources of time and money can be life transforming. And I wish I could give a crisper answer than that. But I think it's important to know and hear that it's kind of fuzzy because most of us who struggle with this, we want an instant answer. We want three tips, too. And I wish that's how it works, but it's not. They say the way out is going through. And nowhere is that more true, I found, than in this process of finding your enough.

Chris Dixon:

And if I understand, correct me if I'm wrong, but at a really high-level, Money Zen, for you, is this combination of financial health and emotional wealth. And in the combination of those two produce, what is your Money Zen and what's relative to you. Is that fair to summarize it that way?

Manisha Thakor:

Chris, yes, absolutely. That's spot on. And I expand upon that definition when it doesn't resonate with people immediately to explain each of those three pieces independently. So when I think about Money Zen, I define that as a place where you are feeling calm, confidence and clarity around the role that money plays in your life and your relationship to money. And what I learned through the research and my own journey is that the way you get to Money Zen is by finding for yourself, because it's different for all of us, what is financial health? What does that mean to you? And what is emotional wealth?

And I'll define each and then we can chat more about it. I define financial health as the place where for the type of life you want to have, you can meet your current obligations without feeling any stress. You know you have something set aside to help if there are emergencies. And you feel comfortable with your plan for the future in terms of what you are saving and what you're saving for. And there's not a number to that. So that's a very important piece. And oftentimes in this process, people have to redefine what financial health is to them. It might be a lower number. It might be a higher number.

And then emotional wealth to me is I call it all the things that make your heart sing. And people know it when they see it. So, for instance, when I first started on this journey, I had no idea what it was because I had no hobbies, I had no friends, I had nothing outside of work. And for me, it started with my nephews and my niece and realizing when I played with them, I was in flow. And gradually then, it moved on to, oh, I'd like to pick up a new language. I'd like to start playing piano again. I'd like to try Zumba.

But in the beginning, for so many of us, it's hard to define. And as with anything, you go through seasons in life, so your emotional wealth definition will change with seasons. My parents are in their early 80s, so the ability to provide elder care right now is a big source of emotional wealth for me. That's how I define the equation.

Nikki Miller:

I love that, Manisha. I think that what I'm hearing is this sort of underlying theme that in order to define your enough, you have to define what it is that matters to you. You have to know yourself and you have to know what brings you joy. And you have to spend some time with that, which sometimes when you've been in the cult of never enough for long enough, you lose sight of that. What was that discovery like for you? I mean, I have to imagine it was sort of like getting to know yourself again or maybe for the first time ever.

Manisha Thakor:

For me, and what I think for readers will be surprising, but incredibly powerful, is the notion that you don't start the process with trying to define what emotional wealth is for you. Because so many of us workaholics, we've done programs where we've read tons of books on positive psychology or what are your life values. I can't tell you how many times I've done the Wheel of Life Circle. If people haven't done it, Google Wheel of Life, and it helps you identify what values are.

There's another exercise I've done in so many different retreats and contexts where there are a hundred different words on the page and you identify the first 20 for your values and then you cut it back, cut it back and identify your five strongest values. So I did all that stuff. I knew what my values were, but I wasn't living them. And the reason I wasn't living them was I did not understand what were the factors that were bringing me to this place where I was behaving in this manner.

And so in the book, I talk about the four buckets that I identified. And they range from personal small T traumas, which are things that happen to us before the age of 25 that on the surface may seem really small, but that imprint on us a certain kind of behavior that continues and becomes more and more toxic as we get older. There are cultural norms, this notion of who we are, what we do. Derek Thompson from The Atlantic calls it worshipping at the altar of workism.

Then there's societal influences. We're bombarded with all kinds of unrealistic media images far beyond just social media. And then there are also evolutionary biological influences. Things that trigger our amygdala in ways that our brains were not intended to use that amygdala. And so understanding which of those buckets in kind of what degrees, is the key to getting to the point where you can truly not just intellectually know your values, but emotionally and logistically live your values.

Chris Dixon:

Yeah, I was just going to say, each of those that you mentioned, the trauma, cultural norms, societal influences and I think biological influences, those all feel like --

Manisha Thakor:

Evolutionary biology, yeah.

Chris Dixon:

Yeah. They all feel like in a way triggers that if you're not aware of them, could cause you to move out of alignment with your values. Like so being conscious of what these things are for you. Because if you have a kind of a, I don't want to call it aspirational, but a place that you know you'd like to operate into. Like your values are X, Y and Z. And if you don't live those, then you do feel out of alignment. You feel like your life's full of resistance or you're not fulfilled.

So if I understand what you're saying is you need to be aware of the trauma that may have been imparted on you or some other cultural norms, societal influences, your amygdala's response to fight or flight in your environment. If you don't know what those triggers are for you, you can quickly skip out of alignment with your values and then be running an uphill battle. If I understand you.

Manisha Thakor:

You've nailed it. And I'll give a personal example to illustrate. When I was in college, I spent my junior year abroad at Oxford. And I remember vividly on the plane ride back, writing on a cocktail napkin, reflecting on what I'd learned and what my vision for my adult life was going to be. And I drew an equilateral triangle. And at the top I wrote simplicity. I wanted that to be the driving north star of my life. And the lower left-hand corner, I wrote small joys. And in the lower right-hand corner, I wrote financial independence.

Growing up, my mom always instilled in me this notion that particularly for women, money gives women voices and choices. So that financial independence was not about getting a NetJets share. But what happened was, over my working years, the triangle flipped upside down and it was all teetering on financial independence. And I had lost all semblance of small joys and simplicity in my life, even though I knew those were deeply core values for me. And just knowing that, I was unable to, no matter how many spas or retreats I went to, I was unable to create a life rooted in simplicity and small joys, which after the book process, I feel I have.

If you'll allow me to tell one more story, I'd love to explain how those four buckets led me to that place. In my case, I grew up mixed race in a small town in Indiana. Back then I was chubby, and I had a skin condition called psoriasis. It was very patchy and scaly. And Indian girls who go into puberty oftentimes get facial hair and on their upper lip.

And in India, it's not a big deal. The mothers know what to do and you go to a threading studio and that's that. But in a small town in Indiana with an Indian father and American mother, they had no idea what to do. And they didn't think it was a big deal. But the kids would call me things like cow butt and thunder thighs and mustache mouth. And that was from fourth through sixth grade. And that was so painful. I felt so rejected from my peers. Clearly didn't fit in with the cheerleaders and football players.

And the way I coped with that was by throwing myself into academics. And I felt connected to and seen by my teachers. And so you keep moving and you get into the adult world and what replaces grades and approval and recognition from teachers, but money and promotions and titles. And so it became a runaway trait, something that helped me protect myself as a young person, ended up cascading into something that was very toxic and that I no longer needed to be doing. But I couldn't see that until I understood the roots of where that behavior came from.

The small T trauma was probably the biggest one for me, but I also experienced things with cultural norms and societal influences and evolutionary biological influences as well. My observation from the women that were incredibly brave to share their stories with me all describe different paths to getting to this place, but it's the understanding of that, that enables you to start, there's a phrase before, emotionally and logistically living your values.

Nikki Miller:

Well, I think what's so fascinating about this, Manisha, is that you identified really what the catalyst was for you to have these experiences, and for you to have the drive that you have and had. And you're right. I think so many professionals get trapped in this because I always say money just becomes the scoreboard of adulthood. Because you going back to all those people who maybe made you feel less then, you could have gone back to them with, well, my life is so simple and I have all these small joys because in the scoreboard of adulthood, that doesn't mean anything. Even though it could mean something amazing to you.

And so, so many high achievers do get trapped in this because this is the only way for us to go backwards and say, man, I told you so. I told you that I belonged here. I told you I'm going to show you that I'm capable and I'm going to show you and myself really is what it ends up coming back to at the end of the day, that I'm able to do more or achieve more or this is the way that I'm going to find value within myself and within the world. So I think having clarity on that is so important.

And the trap that I see so many achievers fall into is that they end up operating from that space for so long. And to your point, for a period, sometimes having that chip on your shoulder can help and it can drive you forward. But if we don't come to terms with it, then we stay stuck there forever. And then so many high achievers I see don't want to get unstuck because they're worried that if they do find they're enough, if they are able to identify it or if they achieve it, that they maybe won't work as hard or won't have the same drive. Do you see that come up when you have conversations with people? Or did that come up for you when you were going through this experience?

Manisha Thakor:

Absolutely. I think the reason this comes up is what you referenced, that there are times where those behaviors genuinely provide great benefits. I'm grateful that I work so hard in my 20s and 30s that I didn't have time to spend my money. So I was saving buckets of it all the way up into my mid 40s. And as a result, I have strong financial health now in my 50s. Had I not been that driven, my financial picture would be different than it is today. It's not necessarily good or bad, but it's just factual.

And I did worry who I would be if I didn't have my armor of my title and my profession. And even right now, we're just chatting a little bit before we started taping. My partner Jay and I, we bought a condo, a loft. I've always wanted to live in a true, authentic warehouse loft in Washington, DC. So in making chit chat, one of the first things that the real estate agent asks is, so what do you do? And the answer that I give now is so different. And I could see in their eyes kind of glazing over like, well, you must not be very powerful. I hope you can make the down payment. I viscerally could see that and that would have terrified me before I started this journey.

But now I think, well, I know who I am. And, okay, that's how you're reacting to me, I'm fine with that because I understand you've been trained by society to judge people in that kind of way. But many, many, many of the women I encountered. And my whole career is focused on economic empowerment for women. I have a very strong hunch. Many men will relate to exactly what I'm saying, the fear of taking off the professional armor can be paralyzing.

Nikki Miller:

Very much so. And I think I want to go back to something that you said earlier, which was the influences on our belief system. And one of the things that you mentioned was the social influence. And to your point, you had that moment in that conversation with the agent of what if she doesn't think I'm important? Or when you are in those board meetings, what if I don't belong here, which sometimes in our world we might call imposter syndrome.

And that comes up for so many people, especially because of the social influence and the widespread influence of social media, the availability of people. And that I always say social media is the highlight reel. We can create whatever story we want to create about our lives. It may not be true, but we're certainly not going to share that we can create any story that we want. And in the book, you talk about this widespread cultural trend that encouraged fictional financial lifestyles, which I thought was just such a great way to put it. Can you say more about that?

Manisha Thakor:

Absolutely. I think many, many people feel pressure to strive because of this fictional financial lifestyle umbrella under which we live in modern society, and most of us don't even realize it's an umbrella. And what I mean by that is that we are exposed to almost nonstop images that are financially unrealistic of the way in which people that we think are just like us are living their lives.

So to give you some examples, if you take a look at almost any movie, any TV show and you pick a character, I happen to do this with a paralegal on the show, Suits, in the book, but I've done it with all sorts of other characters and professions. And what I find is to live the way these shows portray, let's say in New York, which is a humid city, yet the women never have any frizz in their hair when they go to work. So they've just had a fresh blowout and their nails are always perfect. So they've got weekly mani pedis and the clothes they're wearing clearly have been tailored and you can see the quality of the fabric through the screen and they're out for $15 drinks with their friends and they live in these great apartments.

And so people make fun of like the apartment that Rachel had on Friends or Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City. We know that, but it's this more insidious thing where I'm seeing police officers and nurses and all kinds of individuals who, when I look at the average income for those positions in those cities, they would have to earn 30 to 50 percent more than those positions pay in order to afford that lifestyle. And that's the thing I believe that makes so many of us feel like, well, if they can do that, I should be able to do that.

And now the biggest change financially over the last 40 years has been easier and easier access to credit. So now we can start looking like them, thanks to credit. But we don't know -- well, so there's the TV and media images, but then as we all start to try and emulate that, we see our neighbors doing it, our peer group doing it, we don't know if they're funding that on debt. The aggregate statistics tell us the vast majority of people are funding that on debt, but that's where this vicious cycle starts coming from.

Chris Dixon:

So there's so much value in first coming from a place of what is enough for you and figuring out what that is, not what society tells you. And that's the kind of the root of your equation. There is like know what you need to be happy knowing what's valuable to you and versus letting it be dictated by external forces. And then you end up in this rat race of debt cycle and rinse and repeat.

Nikki Miller:

I really connected with this from the perspective that you bring in the book of joy-based spending too. I myself, like I said, very much personally connected with it because I'm from LA. And here what you drive is as much a symbol of anything. And to me, it's never really been something that was important to me, but I always felt sort of this societal pressure to drive a nicer car.

And I'll never forget a couple of years ago, I was walking out to my car and I had spent so much money on this stupid car that frankly, I didn't even like. I didn't even enjoy driving it. It really wasn't my favorite car I had driven, and I was paying so much money for it. And I almost came to a place where I started to resent it because I just bought it to fit in with everybody else.

And I had a moment where I said to myself, this brings me no joy. It really just gives me stress. And at this point I resent the car itself. And literally within a week I had sold the car and gone and bought something that was much more within my means and really brought me joy because I looked up and said, I'm really impartial to the car that I drive. It doesn't really matter to me. And I'm in a place where everyone's dinging your doors and you're probably going to get rear ended at some point in traffic anyway.

And so it just sort of was this moment for me where I said I'm only going to spend money where I feel that it matters which I resonated with in the joy-based spending. Can you talk more about that and how you came to this conclusion and also what it actually means and how people can practice this?

Manisha Thakor:

Sure. Throughout the years working in financial services, I noticed pretty much uniformly, if I used the word budget, people would just viscerally react in a very negative way, which is understandable because we associate budgeting with constraint and restriction and lack of joy and lack of choice. So I started using this term joy-based spending, and people would light up. And over the years, I crystallized it. And it now has three steps.

The first one is to do a joy audit where you ideally for a month write down everything you spend money on so you capture that monthly car payment, you're capturing that rent or that mortgage payment. And so the idea is at the end of the time period, you take a yellow highlighter, you don't add anything up, you just take the yellow highlighter out and you highlight anything that did not bring you joy during that time period. I've noticed nobody wants to write down what they've spent for a month if they know the end goal is going to be adding it up and judging. But when the end goal is to identify what brings you happiness, that's a whole another exercise. And then you take a look at everything you didn't highlight.

And of course, there are the usual things, utility bills, blah blah, blah. But generally what I find is people will find a range of small things to really big things, small things could be, example might be going out with friends. You don't drink. They love to order the most expensive bottle of wine and you split the bill evenly and you come away feeling frustrated every time. So either don't hang out with them or invite them over to your place. BYOB.

And another example, I see this with a lot of working moms trying really hard to make sure that their kids are having all the opportunities to participate in extracurriculars. Maybe feeling a little guilty about working so much and yet -- let's just use an example from the book where there's a woman who her kids hated soccer and soccer practice, and they hated the coach, and she hated driving them there. And so you eliminate that from the expenses and you free up leaky money that you can now reallocate towards the things that bring you joy. And sometimes those items are exactly the example you gave, Nikki. Exactly that. It could be a car or a home that you change.

The second step is something called the hourly wage tool, and it serves as a ruler. This is inspired by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez' book Your Money or Your Life that they wrote back in 1992. It's kind of a classic in the frugality movement. The idea is that most of us have money because we worked for it or somebody we love at some point worked for it. And so the money was an exchange of life energy. And so when you spend your money, you're spending your life energy.

Most of us work or have work related activities for about 2000 hours a year. So if you're earning $100,000 income, that means divided by 2000, you're earning $50 an hour before taxes. So now if you see something that costs $500, you can ask yourself, is that worth ten plus hours of my life's energy? And there's no judgment. It's up to you. And the answer very well may be yes, this loft that I just purchased is an example of something when I look through the life energy spent. It's a pretty significant amount of life energy, but it's going to bring me exquisite joy. On the other hand, I drive an 11-year-old Mini Cooper because the cars don't bring me joy. And so that hourly wage test can be a great way to assess something, a big purchase or a small purchase.

And then the last one is the power of the pause, which is everything around us is set up online and in stores to make us want to purchase right now. And so if it's not an absolute essential, I encourage people to put it if it's digital shopping into their cart and wait a week and if it's physical shopping, take a picture of it for a week. Then you separate your emotions and your amygdala that the stores are set and designed to stir up. And you can use the other two tools to kind of complete the loop of joy-based spending. And I've never met anyone who's tried it, who has not found leaky money to reallocate into the things that bring them more joy.

Chris Dixon:

You said something that I wanted to go back to on, this money equals life energy. And I think so, so many people can, most people can relate. And especially, the example you gave, $100,000, 20, 80, roughly 2000 hours per year is going to give you about $50 bucks an hour. And you can do that equation. There's probably a group of people, too, and many who are listening that they've gotten to a place in life where they've been successful on the journey that you described earlier for yourself where it's like, hey, I leaned into this, maybe not for the right reasons, I'm not saying you did, but for the wrong reasons have become very wealthy.

And there's potentially a disconnect then in that equation because it's just not quite straight math anymore where it's like my money equals life energy. It's like I've got so much money that there's not a real connection to how it correlates to my life's energy. And do you see there being a big risk in that side and not being kind of forced into that intentional straight math of like one plus one, it gets a little foggy.

Manisha Thakor:

Chris, that's a really interesting question. You're the first person to ask me that question. And I feel like it's kismet because I have just literally made one of those purchases where if I do the life energy, it's a meaningless number at this stage in my life. But I stop and think when I look at my net worth and what income I have coming in now that I'm in this slowing down stage of my life, the return on joy of spending that money is very high. And so I think when you reach a point in your life where you've gotten to a place of extreme financial health, you shift. And the way you think about is on return on joy. So it's not a mathematical number. It's a Nikki number, right? Does this car really make me happy? And that's how you make the decision.

Nikki Miller:

I love that. And I think to me, all of this goes back to how beautiful it is to really spend time getting to know, and to your point, and a continuous journey of getting to know your own values and how you're going to make those manifest within your own life. Manisha, at the end of every single one of these podcasts, we always ask our guests to give the one thing that they would want to share with our listeners, the one thing they would want anyone listening to this or watching this to take out of this conversation, to take out of their book or the life lesson you want to pass on. What's that one thing for you?

Manisha Thakor:

Connection to yourself, to friends and family, to community. Connection is a superpower. And what I find at the end of this entire journey is -- one of the experts I interviewed, Mary Loverde. She suggested a mantra, connection creates balance. And that any time you feel out of sync with yourself, the question to ask is to whom or what do I need to connect in order to move incrementally forward towards happiness? So please connect.

Nikki Miller:

So beautiful. Thank you so much for this conversation today. I know as I shared with you at the beginning, I love the book. I love getting to actually have some time to spend with you. Thank you so much for being here. If our listeners want to learn more from you, where can they find you?

Manisha Thakor:

Sure. Well, first, if you're not certain, if you are struggling with this problem, I've created a quiz six questions at moneyzenquiz.com. And then to connect with me, because I'm now rooting my life in simplicity and small joys, everything in my life lives at moneyzen.com.

Nikki Miller:

Love that. And would highly encourage everyone to read the book. It was absolutely wonderful. Thank you again, Manisha, for being here and we'll see everyone next time.

Manisha Thakor:

Nikki, Chris, thank you.


Thanks for listening to The ONE Thing podcast. If you're a bold risk taker who wants to dream big and achieve a higher level of success in your life or business, visit theonething.com. There you'll find information on one-on-one coaching our exclusive community membership program and customized workshops that will help you get your team or organization aligned and rowing in the same direction. That's T-H-E, the number one.com to start living the life you've always dreamed of today. Be sure to follow the show to stay up to date on weekly episodes, guest interviews and more. Plus, we would love to hear from you. Send us a voice note by going to speakpipe.com/theonething or email us at podcast@theonething.com. We'll see you next week.