Ken Honda is Japan’s most recognizable and influential money teacher. Fondly known as the ‘Zen Millionaire’ in his home country, Ken has penned 58 books (including the New York Times bestseller Happy Money), been translated into 15 languages, and sold over 8 million copies and counting.
As a young boy, Ken discovered – the hard way – just how much of an impact money can have on our lives. After learning of a family friend who took both his own life and the lives of his family due to a run-in with loan sharks, Ken became determined to understand why something as ubiquitous as money could deeply influence our behavior.
And in some cases, with very tragic outcomes.
Ken would go on to build multiple successful businesses and achieve ultimate financial freedom at just 29. But his fascination with our relationship with money persisted. After surveying over 12,000 self-made millionaires in Japan while being mentored by the late Wahei Takeda (the ‘Warren Buffett of Japan’), he began noticing a common pattern among the richest, happiest, and most fulfilled people.
Building sustainable wealth was less about Money IQ (business and investment strategies) and more about Money EQ (our emotional intelligence surrounding money).
Ken’s financial expertise comes from owning and managing several businesses, including an accounting company, a management consulting firm, and a venture capital corporation. His writings bridge the topics of finance and self-help, focusing on creating and generating personal wealth and happiness through deeper self-honesty. Ken provides ongoing support through mentoring programs, business seminars, therapeutic workshops, and correspondence courses.
Ken is the first person from Japan to be voted into the Transformational Leadership Council, a group of personal and professional development leaders. He is fluent in Japanese and English; he lived in Boston, Massachusetts, for two years; and currently resides in Tokyo, Japan.
Please enjoy my conversation with Ken Honda.
The Japanese Art of Healing Your Money Wounds
Could A Disempowering ‘Money Story’ In Your Head Be Quietly Keeping You Stuck In A Financial Rut? Discover How To Rise Above Your Negative Beliefs, Build The Wealth You Desire And Finally Make Peace With Your Money.
Watch The Preview For This Masterclass
What You’ll Learn
- Are these 7 money beliefs holding you back?
Take this quick fire quiz to find out which beliefs you need to disrupt today to see an immediate rise in your levels of wealth.
- 3 surprising things self-made millionaires put their trust in.
After surveying 12,000 millionaires, Ken reveals the 3 unexpected golden threads that contributed most to their success.
- How to find the right balance between Money IQ vs Money EQ.
Discover what really determines long-term wealth, and why some of the smartest people in the world lose money as quickly as they earn it.
- Does the ‘Money Monster’ have a grip on your finances?
Heal one of the biggest money wounds that has left many paralyzed by fear… Could this mental model be responsible for keeping you stuck or even in debt?
- Why earning more will never make you feel rich…
Instead, learn how to adopt the ‘abundance on demand’ mindset that will quickly shift you towards a more wealthy, prosperous and secure reality.
- Ascend to Level 3 of Wealth Perception.
Learn how to radically shift your outlook on wealth so you can start experiencing life where you’re practically ‘breathing in money.’.
- Identify your Money EQ type.
We all have hidden childhood stories in our minds that are running our relationship with money – often with disastrous effects. Discover what yours are and how to permanently heal them.
- “Arigato Your Money”
Discover the secret technique investor Wahei Takeda used that fundamentally transformed his relationship with money and helped immortalize him as the ‘Warren Buffett of Japan’.
And Much, Much More
Listen to more great episodes at Next Level Soul Podcast
Follow Along with the Transcript – Episode 182
Ken Honda 0:00
If you are capable of paying back all the debt, I think it's a beautiful thing. Like somebody trusted me that I'll make enough money so I can pay back.
Alex Ferrari 0:10
I like to welcome to the show, Ken Honda. How you doin Ken?
Ken Honda 0:27
Hi Alex I'm so happy to be here. And your shows are amazing. So I feel so honored to be part of your show.
Alex Ferrari 0:34
Oh, that's so thank you so much. It's humbling for you to say my friend, I have been a fan of yours for a while I found you on Mindvalley years ago. And that introduced me to your whole world and your amazing book happy money. And I love your approach to money and the Zen philosophy behind it. And I've used some of your techniques. I, I always say thank you when I pay a bill, or, or to God, I think it is oh god, though. Or Thank you, or glass? Yes, in my world, because I'm Spanish. And when I pay a bill, and when I get money, I do it a lot. When I get money, I am not as good when I pay. I gotta get better. But we'll get into all of that. So my first question to you, my friend, is what started your journey with happy money and understanding money in general and the way you do?
Ken Honda 1:25
Thank you for such a great question. You know, to make it short. It's almost predestined when I come to think of it. I've listened to your past shows, and I think is this the whole simulation thing. And I think I agreed 100% Because I was born into a very unique family in Japan. Not many people talk about money. But money was just a daily topic in our household because my father was a very successful tax accountant. And he started teaching me about money since I was five or six. And since then, I He taught me everything about what needs to be learned about money, and business by the age of 10. So I could ask his my father's clients on weekends when they visited my father's office in our house. So I asked, I used to harass them when I was six or seven. You know, sir, no, what is your ROI? You know, what is the turnout ratio and stuff like that. And I didn't know what they mean. But I what that meant, but I really enjoyed looking at that they're confused face and look on their face like, wow, you know, so I was just very interested in kid asking adults about, you know, what's money for you? So, since then, I've been learning about money.
Alex Ferrari 2:52
Now, how did you incorporate these, these Zen ideas with money? And let me how can you first of all, the next question is how can you tell if your money is happy? And that whole concept is very strange to a western audience is like happy money, you know, because money money is a loaded question. It trigger is it just a lot of triggers in that?
Ken Honda 3:12
I find it so fascinating. I last year, I did a world tour. That time westbound. I'm going to start the eastbound again this year. But I thought it's fascinating to listen to people talk about money. So because in in the West, it's widely believed that more money is better. But I found out that I've met wealthiest people in Japan and the world. And not all of them are super happy. And in fact, some of them are more confused now most of us, so more money doesn't seem to solve the problem. Now, on the other hand, you know, if you're in a Spanish culture, you've seen the most blessed, happy people who own the street that they didn't save much money. So happiness doesn't really relate with money, but as we know, in in everyday life, if we have no money, we struggle. So we need some kind of money. So how much is enough? And how do we get the money and I realized that depending on how you receive money, how you make money, and how you spend money, the energy around money that is a source of your happiness, and also source of unhappiness. If we make money in a way that you feel so truths, true joy. And also when you spend money, you feel so happy. That will make you a very happy person. But if you make your money in a misery By the way, like try to take advantage of other people, or try to be dishonest to get the money. And then you feel bad lousy about yourself. And when you want to be stingy, when you need to pay the bills, you feel bad about that tube. And if you frustrated, that will also make you a very unhappy person. So happiness determines how you receive, and also let go of money. And that is a source of happy money.
Alex Ferrari 5:32
So how this is something that I've come across in my, my battles with money throughout my life, I was raised in a household where you work hard for your money, work ethic, you know, money is not easy to get, you have to work hard for it, you've got to save, don't spend, be careful. And that's called poor people mentality in many ways. Now, a lot of good came out of that work ethic. Excellent. I work harder than many people now I've actually figured out that I don't have to work as hard after start pulling back a bit as I get older. Because it's, you know, after 30 years of, of just I was I got my first job when I was 14. Illegally being paid under the table at a video store. You know, and that's how I got because I wanted to get in so hot. So, so bad. But this poor people mentality where like, you look at money. So scars scarcely affected income, I've noticed it. But the moment I let go, and started to not give that energy to the money, money becomes easier. It flows a lot easier. And I've just noticed that in my own life, not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but I'm happier. So how do you break through this poor people mentality, especially in the West, there's a lot of poor people mentality in generational tune, we'll talk about generational mindset as well. But my generation, immigrants, especially immigrants, work hard, work hard, work hard, work hard work hard. To the point where you don't even you can't even enjoy a vacation. Yes, that play. So can you tell us?
Ken Honda 7:12
Yeah, so you know, you may have the impression that Japanese people work harder. And I it's true. So I'm the very few people who have you know, guys who have long hairs and okay about the rules. The rebels in Japan. So I walk in this street with a T shirt, and everybody's wearing, like, at least my age is wearing, you know, serious suit. Like, what's wrong with you guys? Life is to be enjoyed. So that's why my books are so popular, I sold about 8 million copies. It's almost like one out of 10, you know, 12 Japanese people. The reason is that people need to realize that what life is for, but this scarcity mentality, we have to do something, we have to be somebody in order to bring food on the table, I understand it. But at the same time, how can you balance out, there's so many things to be enjoyed in life. So the first stage, you may have to work a little harder. But after getting out of survival mode, you have to switch into a more about life and joy mode. But a lot of millionaires and billionaires did cannot do that, because they're so driven, and they cannot let go of this energy, I have to do more, I have to get more. But you have to certain time could be something to do with age or something to do with your financial back, you know, status, but you have to know when is enough how much is enough. Otherwise, when you start dreaming about making, say $100,000 a year, because with inflation, that may not be enough to keep you going. So you might want to make $200,000. And if you reach that level, a lot of your friends would be making half a million dollars, then, you know, million dollars and then you realize that there's something called helicopters or private jets, and then your toys are getting more expensive and expensive. So unless you say okay, this is this is enough. I'm so happy with certain amount of money or certain amount of energy, otherwise, you will be driven in a washing machine. So you lose peace of mind. And also you lose the meaning of life. So you have to balance out what's in your life.
Alex Ferrari 9:54
Isn't it? Isn't it amazing though, especially in the West. How you know where pounded constantly with this, you need more, more more consumed more by more. And at a certain point, you need a box to live in a place to prepare food a place to sleep a place to go to the bathroom safety, security, a car to get you from point A to point B, and maybe a few other things. But at a certain point, how much bigger does your box have to be? Is 5000 feet enough? Is 10,000 feet enough? Is it so big that you're going into rooms, there's rooms that you don't go into the entire year, like how much is enough. And I think this, I think, at least in the West, it seems to be shifting a little bit, maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to be shifting into more of like, maybe I don't need it, especially with a pandemic, I don't need to work so hard. You know, I spend time with my family that's more important. Then another car, or a bigger box to live in, or a fancy t shirt, or a fancy watch, you start to you focus on where that money makes the most sense for your enjoyment of life. And you agree that the pandemic kinda was like a big Etch A Sketch, if you will, if you know what an etch a sketch is, from the olden days. You look so young, sir, as well. And but the Etch A Sketch which kind of shaped the entire world and kind of reset things. Do you agree?
Ken Honda 11:24
Yes, definitely. Because we just happened to be thrown into a box the life in a way, you know, because of the lockdown. And in many, many major cities, you know, people realize, like, Why did I work so hard? So in that sense, we are forced out of trance, but working hard and busy. And then you realize, oh, what was the thinking. So that's why many people are now coming back to the workplace, that seems to just rate raise up the rage, wages higher, so it causes inflation. But because of all this, we just we are forced out of Transnet. Once again, I think this year is going to be in such an interesting year. The people who have who have too much will worry, people who have too little will worry too. So in the middle people, people don't have to worry as much. But I guess people who have too much, we'll realize that having too much is a cause of your own happiness. At the same time, having too little could be also the cause of your life worries too. So if you have too much, you have to let go of too much. Because the money you think you you thought it you had is gone. And for the people who are suffering, you have to figure out the ways to live, you have to get out of this like I have to survive mentality. You have to find who you are. And you have to find what your gifts are. And by sharing your gifts, you can live a better life. But for most of us, we need to be out of the trance.
Alex Ferrari 13:08
Well, let me ask you this because a lot of people listening right now might be in survival mode. And it's really easy to talk about a lot of the concepts we're talking about when you have money. When you are more comfortable you like you know, you shouldn't work as hard, maybe you should relax a little bit more enjoying life. But if you can't pay the you're stressed out about rent or food, this is a more difficult conversation. So what what advice do you have for people in that situation?
Ken Honda 13:35
So in that sense, in a sense, we are all forced to live a different life. So say if you're in San Francisco or New York, or in LA, you know, maybe this is a time to move out to the sea, you know, so I thought I did. So if you listen to somebody like oh X, oh, gee, maybe I should move to Santa Fe, or, you know, some someplace nice. And then when you just move up the city, like, wow, there is a world out there outside of LA. It's a lot of trees and what Oh, no trace, you know, so beautiful. You know, why did I work so hard in a in a in a city where you have to pay some incredible rent, but I don't have to pay, you know, so much. So maybe it's time for you to reevaluate your life. Is this the way you want to work? Is this way you want to work? Is this how you want? Is this how you want to work? And then you almost like get enlightenment move out of the city. And I think a lot of people are doing it. So I think we are going to be in a very interesting age where people get to choose where to live and where to stay and where to work. So we used to be somewhere tribes, you know, we have to be somewhere to do something, but we're just many of us are moving into anywhere tribe where we can do anything anywhere. So I think we are in a process of transforming our lives. So if you have a hard time making both ends meet, maybe you're in the wrong place in so many ways.
Alex Ferrari 15:21
Absolutely. I left Los Angeles after 13 years because of that specific reason why, why are we spending all this money? It's not that we couldn't afford it. But it's like, why are we throwing this money away, when we could be traveling more with this money, buy a bigger house that makes more or that we're more comfortable, and it was so many reasons to move. And we've never looked back? Very, very happy. So it is something that that hopefully, people listening might, there's opportunities now that there weren't before the pandemic, before you really needed to be in some big cities to make a living, but with remote with remote work, that's become different, very, very different. Now you speak about money wounds, what is a money wound.
Ken Honda 16:02
So this is the cause of all of our unhappiness, you know, since we are four or five, we start to realize that there is something called money. And by the by the age seven or eight, you kind of figure out what kind of situations financial situations that your your families are in, I met kindergarten boy who said, I don't get I will not get the Christmas present. Because my, my, my house is my family is poor. And I asked him, Do you know, though, do you know what it means to be poor? And he said, I don't know. My mother told me we are poor. So, you know, we just begin to realize that there is something called money. So since then, we get we've been hurt so much about not getting the right president not getting to go to summer camps and not getting the same toys that my all our friends seem to get. And so we just feel so bad about money, and how we've been treated. In our, in our family. And we've been how many times have we been scolded by our parents? You know, saying like, don't waste money. What did you do? You know, do you think we are Rockefeller families? I have a collection of all the terrible words. That apparently is to say, it's so universal one time, there's a saying in Japanese, if you don't have money, that means you don't have a head. That gives me nightmares for day. So I grew up, oh, I have no head because I have no money. So those scary sayings are kids, you know, that we grew up. I think parents wanted to make sure that their kids are okay. But I think they're doing it too much. So money can be such a scary monster chasing after you. If you're not careful. If you don't study hard, if you don't do something, right, it's going to catch you. So instead of just saying, you know, money can be your best friend. So just do whatever you love in your life, and then money will follow you. So just enjoy money, because life is to be enjoyed. If all our other parents used to say that I think we're having a different life, probably a lot less stress, and worries
Alex Ferrari 18:30
Without question. Now. What about cultural money wounds, which is something that that can like I like I just talked about a little bit ago, where my parents weren't my grandparents were immigrants, my parents were immigrants. And that kind of leaned into what I am. And even even my wife and I, who's also an immigrant, trying to not do that to our children. And we catch ourselves and we are conscious of it. And we're catching ourselves by doing it. But it still seeps out of us because it's so programmed in us. We're like, no, no, we can't No, no, we got to pull back on that. So what about those kinds of money wounds?
Ken Honda 19:05
It's there, because it's so embedded in us. It's almost like DNA. So I gave a couple counseling and family counseling. And I usually need to go back to two generations. And so that means like, your grandparents, or great grandparents, had a hard time getting over the Great Depression in 1930s. It's because of those what what happened in 1930s and 40s. gave so much scars to our ground, grandfathers, grandmothers, and then scarred grandparents did so terrible job at raising our parents, which was a cause of our misery. So we need to go back to these two generations to figure out what's in us. So when you are afraid of starting your business, why is that It's because your parents used to teach you, if you don't have money, you'll be in big trouble. Why did why did they say that? Because the same thing. They're their parents, which is our grandparents used to this to say, when our parents are small. Why is that it's because our grandparents had such a tough time, during the war, or depression or right after the war. Because of that, we have a different cultural background. And, and it's got some pros and cons, you know, like, I have a huge respect for Latin American cultures, because you respect family, and also bonding, that's great. But at the same time, this bonding could be risky is such a restricting, restricting energy to, so he has some good and bad. And then most of the western culture. We're taught to be, be alone be independent. But too much independence gives you isolation, too. So when you're having a hard time, both financially and socially and emotionally, you have a hard time reaching for help asking for help. So we're so good at giving help, but we're so bad at asking for help. So that's because of this, we have to be independent. So in North American culture in general, except the Latin American or some immigrant cultures, it's almost unthinkable to ask help among brothers and sisters. And also, I was so shocked in North America. You know, your best friends and don't talk about how much how much money you make each other, like asking money questions is such a big taboo. Oh, yeah. So in Japan and in Asia, we casually like a high school Union, we can ask about, Hey, Alex, how much are you making? Like, oh, you're making so much all this gray, I'm so happy for you. But in North America, if you get asked, you know how much money you make a year, in a college reunion, like you get out of here, right?
Alex Ferrari 22:11
Might as well just ask about religion or politics while you're at it.
Ken Honda 22:15
And also you have another fight too. But these days, you know, we have such a cultural taboos in so many different areas, by the way, in a Japanese guys don't care about how the questions like how much money they're, they're making, they don't care about it. But when it comes to sexual issues, there's a big taboos. So then you can freak out all the American business people about how much money they make. So you can ask Japanese to business and then how's your sexual life?
Alex Ferrari 22:47
Right. And, by the way, vice versa, somebody will ask to answer a question about their sexual life in America much quicker than they will ask to tell you how much they'll give you details that you don't even want to know about. Yes, before they tell you how much they make.
Ken Honda 22:59
Yeah, it's so interesting, you know about what is what brings you so much excitement and what brings you so much shame. And money is such a great extractor of shame in any culture. Because when you talk about how much money you make, how much money you you don't make you don't make or that effort, the whole area brings out so much shame. So unless you heal this embarrassment, or shame or guilt, you cannot really enjoy money.
Alex Ferrari 23:33
Absolutely. Now, how about debt? Debt is you were speaking of shame, debt is such a massive thing of shaming, guilt about that, how can we if someone's in massive amounts of debt? This is a difficult conversation for them to listen to? And if the stats are correct, most Americans are in debt. And because that's the way the system is built here, yeah. What do you have? What do you have to say about it?
Ken Honda 24:02
So you know, I often talk about that in very different ways that probably you think in in your entire life, instead of feeling the heaviness of the debt. I just asked you to turn around and look at debt in a different way as energy. So when you borrow money, what did you do? You just, you know, sign the papers, and you just say, how much money you make your college graduate or whatever that is, and the bank or your friends or somebody gave you the money? Why is that? Because they had a complete trust in you that you were going to pay back. So in other words, they had they had the belief they believed that you are capable of paying back and I think it's a huge amount of trust that you got there. Like five years ago, 10 years ago, when you're in college, you got a you got a college loan, that means means not after college, they believe the bank believes that you are capable of paying back all the debt. And I think it's a beautiful thing, like somebody trusted me that I will make enough money so I can pay back. So instead of feel, instead of feeling the heaviness of the debt, you can feel the joy of the trust that somebody placed in you. Wow, I thought it's a heavy burden. But it's not, it was a huge trust, that that you will be more abundant, you will make enough money. So you can pay back the debt. And after paying back the debt, you'll be more prosperous. That's why I'm just giving it alone. So going back 510 20 years and thinking like, Hmm, so somebody trusted me enough. So I, I'll do better. So, to answer the trust, I'll make sure that I'll pay back every month. And the interest I'm paying is to show my appreciation to the trust that somebody or the bank showed in me. So the bank or whoever, you could be your uncle's. Just say Uncle, you know, Uncle Lee, thank you so much, you know, for the trust and paying back every month to answer that, answer your trust. So that can be translated into love and trust, if you want to.
Alex Ferrari 26:29
It's fascinating hearing you talk about it, because you're absolutely right. It is a perspective change. You change your perspective, you change the way you think about it, and it does change the way you approach it. But being from someone who was in massive amounts of debt when I was younger, in my 20s, because I had no idea about how to do anything with my money. I'm thinking back to if I would have been listening to this in my 20s, I would have been like, Man, this is, this is gonna be tough. It's a tough, it's not easy. Like when you've got you know, you're $100,000 in debt, and you're only making 30 or $40,000 a year, you don't have a lot of money to throw around. You start to change this is I think mind blowing, and also can really change the way you look at how you move forward in life money. It's a beautiful, poetic way of looking at it. But I know a lot of people listening going, Man, that's gonna be hard to do. Very hard.
Ken Honda 27:21
Yeah, so let me just share a story of my friend who inherited his father's business about 1520 years ago, he inherited his father's business, which was losing so much money. So when a few months after his father passing his father's accountant show, he showed him the paper and fought his father's company was $3 million in debt. So here's a question to you. If your father left your company, with $3 million in debt, what are you going to do? You have two options. You inherit your father's company, and you become a CEO. You leave your nice paying job, and start working in a terrible company with like five employees, or just say, Oh, no, I'm not going to inherit any of his that any of his things. So I'm a free man, you have a choice. You know, you can just sign a waiver that saying, I'm not going to inherit his dad, or his money, and then you're off the hook. I think 95 or 98% of the people would say, Oh, I'm not gonna say, Sorry, Daddy. Like, I'll just leave the thing legally. So I'm okay off the hook. A lot of people would say that. But my my friend is a very unique guy said, my father borrowed $3 million. And I think as a son, I feel responsible to pay him back. So not only he quit his very nice job, very secure job. He started he, he got his father's business. And he struggled because he didn't know nothing about anything about management. But because of his Strongwell to pay back all the money and because his father was trusted by his friends and his colleagues and among his, his community. So he had to he had to pay all the money. So his father's name will not be in shame. Do you know what happened? He worked so hard, so he started paying back the debt every year. It took him 10 years to clean out the bill. But that means he made about a million dollars every year in profit to pay back $300,000 loan. So he paid back all the money in 10 years, and that only he paid back all the money. He got the earning power. He kept going. So just think about how much money you would make how much money you'd have if you keep making $1 million in profit. So in a few years, he became a millionaires. And looking back, after 1516 years, he appreciated his father so much, because he didn't his father didn't leave him a debt or terrible company. His father gave him a big training machine that's called a small business was that it, which is losing a lot of money. And with this opportunity, his son got a training of making money and being serious about life. So he's enjoying his life, in a beautiful home with his beautiful wife and children. So look at what happened, he didn't know that something like that happens after 15 years of hard work. But when it gets go, Look, go back. Like, because of the education you had, you know, with a college degree and a lot of parties, and a lot of friendship and a lot of knowledge and experiences. You are you become a better person, you become more productive person. So you can make more money along the way. So instead of feeling the heaviness of the debt, just look at look at in a different perspective, you see a whole entire beautiful future ahead of you.
Alex Ferrari 31:35
Well, the thing is to that the example you're using is of a positive good debt, which is either for education or a home or like these are good debts that you have. Or even even your your business, your friend's business had debt, but it was good that to help the business. But a lot of people have horrible debt, that they have credit card debt and massive debt, that they feel shameful of like, Oh, my God, I can't believe like I did. I can't believe I was 100 because of doing stupid things. But with all of that said, looking back on it, I want to change the thing, because the education I got from dealing with it, getting out of it. All of that was life life, education that I needed to this day, where I don't have to worry about that. I don't have to worry about doing things like that. But so people listening, I just hope that even if you've had that kind of, quote unquote shameful debt, of like, I bought too much stuff. And you know, and I maxed out my credit card, and all those kinds of things. This mentality that you're talking about will change the way you look at things. And you can't beat yourself up for what you've done in the past. If you continue to move forward with this new perspective that you've done, can help you move forward in a very positive way.
Ken Honda 32:49
Yeah, so I want to give you one fun affirmation. You know what, when I whenever I do something stupid, and a lot of us do. Oh, no, what did I do? Why do I do that? There's a beautiful affirmation I often use, when I'm find out, I made a terrible mistake. And the other thing I say is, I'm human, I can help it. And so stupid mistake, you can say I'm a human, I can't, I couldn't help it.
Alex Ferrari 33:21
Exactly. And you can't beat yourself up over mistakes, you know, you made them it happened, move on, learn from it and move on. And that's the way it is. But again, this the way you're looking at debt and the way you're looking at money is a helpful positive way of moving forward, not this shameful guilty way, which becomes help heavy and hurtful and you have a different mentality around money, which my next question is, we talked about poor people mentality? Do you have any advice on how to reprogram ourselves from poor people mentality to a more positive relationship with money?
Ken Honda 33:53
Not only for poor people, or financially challenged people, I'd say the attitude or relationship you have with money will determine your life. So my, my advice to you is to start appreciating money in your life. If you start appreciating money coming in you how much can you appreciate the money coming in? A lot of us are complaining, I can't pay all the bills with this salary. Right? Instead of saying that, just say, wow, you know, I don't have a college education. I don't have any skills, but people pay me this much. Thank you so much, you know, for the money that you give it to me. And when you pay the bills, thank you so much for the electricity. Thank you so much for the food. So I don't have to stop today while my families can eat. So if you have that appreciation mentality. People notice you. One time there's this TV interview. The factory was shutting down because the factories are going somewhere else. So this woman was crying so hard. And then she was saying, After 30 years of hard work, our factories shutting down. But I so appreciate the management, and the co workers for working with me. I don't, I didn't have any college degree. But because of the 30 years of factory work, I could send three of my kids to college, I forever appreciate that. And I feel so sad about this setting down with the coat, factory. And then the next guy was angry. He was just, you know, using terrible language. And then, and he was yelling at the reporter. And after the show, a lot of calls to the TV station asking for this woman's contact number, because they wanted to hire her after a factory shutdown, what's your reaction? You can be super, super upset and angry, or somebody like her, she's shown her deepest appreciation and love for the co workers and the management. So who would want to hire her get upset over a little things? Or who appreciated for the for the situation. So the people who appreciate a little thing in life can be appreciated by other people. So once you're in this appreciation mode, it takes only a few weeks, few months, could be a year or two, to get out of this terrible scarcity mentality plays that everything doesn't work. So the key is appreciation.
Alex Ferrari 36:39
I'm telling you it work for me I was doing arigato is it domo arigato?
Ken Honda 36:44
Yes, yes. Arigato your money.
Alex Ferrari 36:46
I got all your money. So I was able to get all my money left and right. And my wife was like, did you just say adding up? I'm like, Yes, I did. She's like, What are you doing? I'm like, I'm thinking when the money comes in, anytime a sales comes in, I say thank you. And then occasionally I remember, when I pay a bill, I am out to dinner or something. I go, thank you, you know, or to God, though, because it's, it's thank you for the ability to pay this bill, thank you for the ability to receive this money. And it's a different mentality on how you look at money. Now, you've talked about the money container concept, what is that?
Ken Honda 37:22
So I realized after meeting a few clients, on the same day, many they are about the same age, like there are 38 or 39, they have about the same college education, the same skills. But the second one was making five times more money because I was doing the paper, right. So I know how much exactly how much they make, Nick. And I always, you know, they have the same background, same kind of guy. But what's what made this whole difference, and I realized that there is something called Money container. And every one of us was born with a certain money size. Some, some people are born big, you know, somebody like Elon Musk or Bill Gates, they're, they're born here, do big things, and then get a lot of money. And other people. Like my uncle, you know, he has a small container. He's working in a small factory. And then he doesn't make much money. But that's who he is. And he doesn't have this ambition to learn new things to do something big. And so he has a modest lifestyle here, he doesn't have any debt. But his his money container is so small. So you may have your parents or your friends who a school teacher or nurse, or whoever that is, oh, who have a small container. So some of us are born with a bigger container than others. And it's almost like a predestined. And of course, you can make it bigger. But just think about this, you know, if you are born, and by the age 30 or 40, you kind of figure out how much you're gonna make for the rest of your life. And then based on your mind container size, you can make it bigger, or you can satisfy yourself with a presence container. Otherwise, if you're trying to make it bigger, too quick, you're gonna crack the container. You know, the a lot of lottery winners. They ruin their lives by winning like $5 million of salt. It's because too much money cracks and they're mighty containers.
Alex Ferrari 39:35
Isn't it interesting, though, with lottery winners. That lottery winners I think it's something I don't know the exact percentage but 90% 80% Within five years lose all their money again. Are Dead are bankrupt or broke or some of they lose their family. They don't know how to do it. Would that just because you wouldn't say that cracks your container. If tomorrow, I was given $20 billion? I would, I think I could figure something out. But it would be difficult because that's it's so much, you don't know how to even handle that your mind can't wrap your head around it. And even these billionaires, it, they gradually grew to this building their skill sets to be able to handle that kind of money. So even when we're rushed in with a lot of money, that's why people with a lot that win the lottery, they don't, they just can't deal with it. Right.
Ken Honda 40:35
And I'm more curious about who's the leftover 10% You know, who didn't go for that. And I have a friend who just want a million dollars, you know, you know, I'm actually not at least five or six people who leaned who won more than a million dollars, because, you know, I have a huge network, and then there's a person at the end of the party can do you know what, I want $3 million in a lottery. Do you know what happened? So I hear all the sacred stories. So the people who didn't get influenced by money, Alex, just guess who they are, you know, that they were wealthy before before winning the lottery. So winning another million dollars didn't really affect them at all. So, so they're just celebrating the winning, and then they're just just doing a little research? And what can we how can we have so much fun with this extra $1 million? So you know, like, do you think I should donate to dogs or just charity? Or other causes? So they are just enjoying the fact they want extra money? But that doesn't influence them? Because they're already wealthy? So?
Alex Ferrari 41:56
Yes, no, I was gonna tell you that I was. I was younger. My younger years, I did a series of documentaries, I worked on a series of documentaries of lottery winners. Oh, no. And I went to their houses and interviewed them. And it was all walks of life. Some people went crazy, lost their entire family and friends, and self destructed. And then there was one family, I never forgot. Working Man, factory man, salt of the earth, one 10 million. Didn't move out of his house, refused to leave his job. Because he didn't want to lose his pension. I'm not kidding you. He's like, nothing changed in his life. He's like, You know what, every once in a while when my wife walks by a window at the mall, and wants to buy a dress. You buy it for her? So it was I think it was a completely, they just didn't bother dealing with it. They just put it away, which I feel it was a little bit to extremes need to be in the middle somewhere. Because when you have that much wealth and been blessed with that much wealth, there is a responsibility to be responsible with that energy that came into you. Right?
Ken Honda 43:10
Yes, definitely. So it's a how you play with money, energy. You know, I often talk about money is energy. If you're dealing with a happy money, energy, you'll become happy. If you're dealing with competitive energy, or busy energy or fast energy or violent energy, your life will become that. So you have to really watch out what kind of energy you're being surrounded by.
Alex Ferrari 43:39
Now, can you discuss saving versus spending?
Ken Honda 43:45
So there's good spending and bad spending, you know, when you spend money in a bad way you regret, you know, one of the fun key line talk tagline in near shopping center of my house is like, shop now regret at home, is what they say. So these are honest. Yeah, I really enjoy that, you know, the shop owner. Wow, he's so honest about his thing. And but he has a good sense of humor. So you either say, or we shop, you have to ask yourself, Is this is this crucial for my survival? And in fact, a lot of shoppings are not. So if you're struggling, you're spending too much. You know, I've done a lot of money counseling sometimes for free. And the people who don't have money, they tend to spend more wealthy people don't spend money because they they think they can buy them anytime. So a lot of financial challenges. People spend a lot of time at a cheap shopping stores like dollar shops, and they buy things that they don't even use. So it's because there's a Hungry inside a thirsty inside by shopping, you want to feel that. So you have to really ask yourself is this crucial. So by not buying tender thing, you can save $10. So if you are, if you feel like you're struggling with money, you have to shop less and start making more money problem, it's it's got only two problems, you're making too little, or spending too much. And financial challenge people, they have both problems making too little, and spending too much.
Alex Ferrari 45:37
Very true. Now you also spoke about a life script, what is a life script? And how do you read it?
Ken Honda 45:43
So a lot of us are born with a life script. If you're a children of immigrants, you know, as Alex said, you have a working hard mentality. And if you're born and brought up in a middle class America, now they're probably like two different kinds of groups, people who are moving up, and people who are moving down, depending on what they think of life. So I guess if you are thinking that life is to be enjoyed, you bump into a lot of things to be enjoyed. If you think life is suffering, a lot of things happen because you believe that. So you have to change your perspectives. And if you want to, if you think about it, if you're a writer of your own movie, you can change a script. So instead of asking, Well, what are the five horrible things that are going to happen in my life for the next 10 years? You can say, what are the great miracle that will start happening from today. So if you just can't or if you're a writer of the the fields, the scriptwriter for your movie, you can start writing incredible stories like 20 years ago, I started writing before then I had no career, I had no skills. And I had no idea if I was going to become a writer. But I started changing, I guess, my life script. What if I become an author? What if I become a best selling author? What if I start making money by what I loved, so I just just changed my life script. Otherwise, I'd have been working in a in an office, shorter, shorter hair, baby a suit as an accountant. But now, I'm much happier because I changed my life script, to more of what I really wanted to do in life. So you have to do what matters most in life. So if you want to put that in the center of your life, your life will be so much your life will be filled with so much joy, and abundance. But if you think life is there for suffering, it becomes that so you have to really watch what you wish for Christmas, or holidays.
Alex Ferrari 48:10
Very, very, very true. Now, we've mentioned a couple times about bad spending or spending too much on things that don't matter in life. How do you deal with the feeling of guilt, because that is a very powerful feeling like I can't believe I bought this dress, I can't believe I bought this, this this bar that I'm putting in my garage. Or even better than that piece of workout equipment that now just hangs my shirts on that these things that cost $1,000 2000 Whatever it is dealing with the guilt of that how because that does stop the energy flow stops the energy of the flow of money coming into your life. So how do you deal with that?
Ken Honda 48:52
So first of all, can you forgive yourself for being stupid? For being for being careless? Or for for being just a fool? So if you can, that will be the first step can you forgive? And once again, I said, I did that I screwed up because I'm a human, and then you can you hug yourself. Like, you know, you're not so bad. You're not a bad boy or girl. And then I'll probably ask myself, why did I do that? You know, I didn't want a dress. I wanted to have the excitement of shopping, you know, showing the credit card I can afford that. I wanted to have the feeling not the dress. So instead of just focusing on on the stupid things I did, I learned something new today. You know, I shouldn't have bought that. I know that but instead of blaming myself because if you keep blaming, you're going to do another thing. It's like getting into a diet and then if I if I just slip out of a diet. You know what the heck I have to eat more potato chips and then going in a different way. So it's the same thing. So can you forgive yourself, and just look what happened. And then for next opportunity, you know, I'll just do better or just, if you're a compulsive shopper, don't go near the mall, you know, that is a good advice. Don't look at a shopping site on on online. So maybe those things can help. And otherwise, if you have all the potato chips, and all the cookies, and all the fun stuff in your kitchen, you're going to eat them. But if you don't have them, you cannot physically eat them. So you have to kind of restrict yourself from shopping too much. That will be the first and practical advice for the people who are spending too much. And I have all the tips, but I cannot really share everything, you can just find all the information on my site. So and,
Alex Ferrari 50:54
Or your or your book. Absolutely. There is. There's something that I've learned in my days, again, fighting this poor people mentality. And when I say poor people, Mentality is not people that are poor. It could be rich people who have poor people mentality, well, where you are spending and I know people have friends like this, they will spend 10 hours researching the cheapest, the, the the the cheapest price, the cheapest version of whatever you're trying to get. And they'll spend 10 hours researching it, until they finally pull the trigger and buy it. And then a year later, it's broken. Because they went after the cheapest. Now there's two problems here one spending obscene amounts of time on that which you could have done so many other things with your time other than doing that. And too, I found that when you buy something that's a little bit better quality, might be more expensive, it just lasts longer. And at the end, that cheap version will end up costing you more, because you'll have to buy two, three or four of those, as opposed to just going out. And like, if you're gonna buy a frying pan for $5 at a discount store, that thing first of all, is probably going to give you cancer. Secondly, it's probably not going to last more than a month or two before it doesn't work anymore. Or you can spend $100 And that pan might last you a year, a year and a half if you take care of it. So can you can you give any tips on how to break that mentality a little bit?
Ken Honda 52:24
Yeah, so everything about those is secure scarcity mentality, you know, you have to shop at a cheaper place, you have to do something that makes financially makes sense financially. But we are humans once again. So we make stupid, stupid mistakes. And even the hedge fund managers, you know, they are the they are the smartest people on Earth, but they still make it. They still make stupid mistakes, emotionally. So we have to keep reminding us about how stupid we are. So by just doing this, things that don't really make sense. Can you love yourself? I'm so bad. You know, why did I spend 1010 hours in front of my computer? And my eyes are tired, and I feel so bad. But can you forgive yourself, that's your first step. So if you can forgive yourself and accept yourself more, you make a less stupid mistakes. And then you can learn better. If you just bought a cheap place, you're not saving any money, you're just wasting your money, then you learn a lesson. So next time, instead of just trying to find the cheaper places, you probably spent the same amount of money, trying to figure out which product is the best one, when it comes to, you know, lasting longer, or like good solid product quality. So I think we all learn from our mistakes. And unfortunately, we cannot learn everything without making any mistake. You know how many times we fell over, when we're trying to learn how to run a bicycle many times so with money too, we make a lot of mistakes on which is okay. So, you know, preferably ideally, we can learn these things when we were in in teens, but we didn't. So we have to do it over in your 40s or 50s and 60s, and it's not too late. Yeah.
Alex Ferrari 54:29
I know people in their 70s and 80s are still learning those lessons, my friend.
Ken Honda 54:34
Because, you know, in a sense life on this planet earth is a fun playground. And if you feel like okay, different game, you know, starting a new chapter. You can start over anytime. So, if you're in your 60s and 70s don't think your life is over. You know, there's a lot of fun stuff ahead of you
Alex Ferrari 55:00
Without question. Now Ken, I'm gonna ask you a few questions. Ask all my guests. What is your definition of living a good life?
Ken Honda 55:06
Living a good life. When it comes to my mind is feeling content. Not even feeling happy. Like, I'm okay with where I am. I make so many mistakes, and I make so many terrible jokes. And then, at night, I always regret Oh my God, why do I say that? But with all that, that's me. So I am content with who I am. I'm content for being 40%. Perfect. So I'm, I'm less than perfect, but I'm okay. So I guess, being content, being able to feel content with less than perfect is, I think, a happy living a good life.
Alex Ferrari 55:59
What is your definition of God?
Ken Honda 56:03
God for me, I want to see him or her after I die. So I can't wait to see her and him I have many questions.
Alex Ferrari 56:15
And what is the ultimate purpose of life?
Ken Honda 56:18
For me, enjoying every moment with people that I care about. And I'm excited to meet new people, too. So learning and have fun. Having fun with people is my life purpose.
Alex Ferrari 56:37
And where can people find out more about you? And where can they get this amazing book happy money?
Ken Honda 56:42
Thank you, I think you can find them on Amazon. And you can go Ken Honda as in a car. Even though I drive Toyota probably, easy, Ken Honda. And you can find all the information at Kenhonda.com. And I'm translating a lot of free information to English. And I hope I can share more information in the future so you can find all the information there. And I started our English community called arigato living community. It comes from people come from 20 different countries, we learn about a happy money we get together once a month, and we share a lot of tears and laughter together. So if you're interested, please look at the website.
Alex Ferrari 57:32
And do you have any final words for our audience?
Ken Honda 57:35
Alex, you're such a beautiful human being I so enjoy every second of my time. Today, and I'm here tomorrow. This is such a fabulous way to start my day. So um, I understand why your shows are so popular because you're such a wonderful person. So I send you all the blessings and all the all my love to you and all the viewers life is to be enjoyed. So I know you know things don't work out. Always as we plan but that's part of life. So when you make a mistake again with gigs, I'm human, it's okay. And I hope we can forgive ourselves and each other and have fun.
Alex Ferrari 58:21
And thank you so much for those kind words. I appreciate that for you being on the show and for the amazing work you're doing and helping people make happy money in their life so I appreciate you my friend.
Ken Honda 58:31
Thank you so much. Love y'all. Bye bye.
Alex Ferrari 58:34
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Links and Resources
- Ken Honda – Official Site
- FREE Masterclass by Ken Honda: The Japanese Art of Healing Your Money Wounds
- Book: Happy Money: The Japanese Art of Making Peace With Your Money
- Earthing.com: End Inflammation Today – Discover the Science-Based Healing Powers of Earthing/Grounding
- FREE Mindvalley Spiritual Masterclasses
- MUSE 2: The Brain Sensing Headband – Meditation Tracker Headset Device
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