A funny thing happens in New York. People throw out pennies. You find them on the street, lost and lonely little pennies. I’ve witnessed people hurling them into the street. My wife, Yoko, was shocked about this. This just doesn’t happen in Japan. People may leave their money at Shinto temples but money isn’t just thrown out like that.
I’ll share a little secret. Every now and then, I bend down and pick up these tossed away pennies. Because it’s more than you would earn a day in savings accounts these days? No. It’s because money is energy. When I pick up a penny it’s to reaffirm a message to myself that I am a director of energy through money.
Er, you are a conduit. All kinds of energy comes into you and leaves in a different form. A lot of that is involuntary but there is also a lot of room for choice. You have input choices: food, information, et cetera. You also have output choices: how you move your body, treat and speak about others, etc. You can come from your day at the munitions factory, eat fast food, watch five hours of escapist television and be mean to people. No. Please. Don’t.
Bending down to pick up a penny is just a physical reminder to myself that I am a conduit, a conductor of wealth. Even if you make $20,000 a year for the next 50 years, it’s a million dollars of energy that will flow in and out of your life. You get to direct that energy to support more energy. You get the chance to orchestrate the direction of that flow.
By keeping a money journal years ago, I started to become aware of financial patterns and changed them. For example, the money that used to go my every other day ice cream addiction might go to investments, acupuncture treatments, jamplay.com guitar lessons, or a chance to help a friend or stranger in need.
Small Counts: Think Big Act Small
Picking up a penny is also a way of honoroing the small. Big results are often the result of the accumulation of small choices. I don’t know if anyone knows much about Shakespeare’s writing habits. (Bill, if you are reading this now, I am sooooo totally open to “channeling” opportunities.) However, I’m pretty sure he didn’t write all of his works overnight. He had to get up, sharpen his quills, and make small decisions that added up to his compleate [sic, man, sic] works.
Toni Morrison, in an interview in Paris Review, explained how she became a dawn writer, waking up at the pre-dawn before her two small children woke up. James Arthur Ray, author of Harmonic Wealth: The Secret of Attracting the Life You Want, describes Morrison as “writing at the edges of time.”
In 100 Ways to Create Wealth, Steve Chandler and Sam Beckford explain that the extra five minutes on a project that you are thinking on giving up on can make all the difference.
Small counts. The other day I visited Big Booty, Chelsea bakery with excellent “pan de yuca” and an outrageous name. After making a small purchase, I reached into my coat pocket to get a tip and pulled out some quarters and some pennies.
“I am sorry about the pennies,” I felt obliged to say.
“No need to apologize, thank you very much,” Elvis, our favorite bakery guy, replied warmly.
You don’t have to pick up pennies. Move into the small corners and moments were the creativity energy lies. Pick up that pen or legal pad. Dust off that guitar bag and open it. Pick up a penny of your dreams.