-Money buys…

How can I explain why I’m so busy smack in the middle of Summer? With the Solstice past and the sun setting, and the Solar eclipse on its way, you would think the world is in perfect alignment.

Well it’s not.

Teens and young adults are flocking to get help for break-ups, transitions, college stress, depression, social anxiety and lack of support. I’m glad they’re trying to get stronger. The world can be an unforgiving place without the right resources. But somehow money cannot fix these things. Money can get you out of college debt and it can buy you a car. Money can give you a plane ticket outta here, and give you a new perspective. Money can help you meet people less fortunate than you. It can even help you start a business or volunteer. But the things I hear have relatively little to do with money.

It all starts with security.

1. Money doesn’t help a break-up. Almost like a rite of passage for girls, a break-up can be devastating to your basic sense of self. Girls tend to lose themselves in their first love. Boys, in general, do not. All the money in the world doesn’t bring back that equilibrium but time and patience do. Time and patience make you stronger than you think you are. And sets you up for the next time, which you will inevitably be different.

2. Money doesn’t help too much partying. At college the themes of day drinking and night partying and frat boys and hook-ups are all too familiar, sometimes with hazing and tragic outcomes. How can you know how much is too much if you never experimented before? That’s a rhetorical question. All the money in the world cannot help you know if you have a tendency toward addiction or binge-ing. Seek help early and often to prevent a life-time of negative behaviors.

3. Money doesn’t help you to learn how the other half lives. My daughter found out in college that many kids have zero home lives from which to launch. They came to college as the best and brightest in their classes in spite of their parents, not because of them. Don’t take your parents for granted! They are in your lives for a reason. Their support is paramount to success.  If you don’t have that, seek it elsewhere from a relative, mentor or counselor.

4. Money cannot buy concentration. If you are dying of a broken heart, depression and/or crippling anxiety, money cannot make you crack open that LSAT book. You have to force yourself to do a little at a time. For me, morning is best to get things done. By 3p, I’m toast. Find a window every day for work before play. You will thank yourself later.

5. Money does not buy prestige. The most mediocre kid in my high school went on to be the biggest fortune. He was so average he redefined average. But the right place at the right time, and the drive and preparedness and yes, even hunger to go out of his comfort zone, that’s what launched his career to the top. That and a little luck.  So be confident and try new things.  I mean look at Steve Jobs…  He started not one but three new industries before he died tragically young.

6. Money does not guarantee a healthy life.  Take care of yourself!  Eating, sleeping, moderating, focusing, discipline, exercise and motivation do not come in a package at Starbucks. They come from you.  Money can buy a trainer and a gym membership, even your own pool, but it cannot buy the will to do it.  If you meditate even ten minutes a day, you will not regret it.  It gives you calm, focus and perspective that no vacation can — and it’s free!

7. Money does not break your phone addiction.  You cannot stop.  You sleep with your phone cord around your head.  You check and double-check.  You interpret every like and lack of like as a sign of meaning.  You are consumed and can no longer sit quietly and read a book.  You need immediate attention and validation.  You post pictures of yourself in wildly compromised positions.  You think this is the only way to get boys.  You have lost all sense of reality.  Put it down!

From there your luck may change, or not.  But at least you have a little more control than you had yesterday.  And that’s something to build on that’s 100% free of charge…