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Book Club - The Having

Each month as part of our Intentional Growth Club, we read a book and hold a discussion night to talk about our takeaways from the book.

Red book cover of The Having by Suh Yoon Lee and Jooyun Hong

This month, as part of our theme of "Mindset Reset," we read The Having: The Secret Art of Feeling and Growing Rich by Suh Yoon Lee and Jooyun Hong.

The Having is about the concept of “Having,” created by one of the book’s coauthors, Suh Yoon Lee. Suh Yoon is known throughout Asia as the “Guru to the Rich,” and has spent countless hours since childhood studying rich people and their lives to discern the secrets of becoming wealthy.

The book defines “Having” as, “abundantly feeling what you have at the moment of spending money.” It’s about changing your mindset to focus on what you have instead of what you don’t.

Former journalist Jooyun Hong visits the guru Suh Yoon several times to learn the secrets of Having and shares her journey to begin Having and being wealthy throughout the story. Here are the three biggest takeaways from the book.

1) Have An Attitude of Gratitude

One of the key components of Having is to be grateful for what you already have. So many people focus on what they are missing - a big house, fancy cars, lavish vacations - that they can’t appreciate what they do have.

If you’re constantly thinking about how you don’t have enough money, you will feel anxious and frustrated. You’ll start comparing yourself to others and envy their success. No matter how much money you make and save, or how many things you buy, it will never feel like enough with this mindset.

When you flip your mindset to what you have instead of what you don’t, you feel happy when you spend money. “I am thankful I can pay my water bill this month.” “How wonderful that I can buy this candy bar.” “I’m so lucky to be able to afford to pay for my children’s education.”

“Having begins when you can focus on the thought that ‘right now, I have money,’ even if you only have a single dollar.”

2) Live in the Moment

Another big part of Having is to live in the moment and fully embrace the joy of what you are doing and feeling. When you appreciate the current moment, you can appreciate what you have.

Throughout the book, the author describes how she enjoys the taste of her coffee, delicious food, the warm sunshine, and the beauty of the places she visits to meet with Suh Yoon. These small moments of savoring good things helps to put her in the mindset of happiness and gratitude.

Having isn’t just about having money, but having happiness too. After all, what is the point of having wealth if it doesn’t make you happy? And Suh Yoon believes you can be happy with what you have, no matter where you’re starting from.

Once you are embracing the moment, your happiness radiates outward. That positive energy attracts positivity and wealth back to you. You get what you give.

Whether you want to try practicing Having or not, I think most people would agree that living in the moment is a good thing. Instead of worrying about what might happen tomorrow, you can completely enjoy what you have and what you’re doing now.

“The sun is always there, even when we’re turned around. Just by changing our direction, we can enjoy the sunshine at any time.”

3) Pay Attention to Your Emotions

After the author starts to practice Having, she learns to pay attention to her emotions about spending money. Like many people, she struggles with feeling anxious about having enough money and whether she should buy something or not.

Although Having calls for you to spend money and feel happy that you have enough to buy certain things, Suh Yoon also cautions against being wasteful. Instead of buying whatever you want on a whim, you need to focus on your emotions as you prepare to buy something and discern whether this is what you truly want.

As I read the book, it reminded me of Marie Kondo’s KonMari method of cleaning. Does this object spark joy? If not, throw it away! The same way with spending money while Having - Does this purchase spark joy? If not, don’t buy it!

Of course, buying something like toilet paper isn’t as exciting as buying something like a new cell phone. However, even “boring” purchases can provoke a feeling of Having by feeling thankful you can afford such necessities and provide for yourself and your family.

And as a Social + Emotional Intelligence coach, I wholeheartedly agree with promoting the competency of emotional self-awareness. Whether you’re paying attention to your emotional state to practice Having or not, increasing your awareness of your own feelings is one of the keys to reducing stress.

“Our future is like cookie dough. Different possibilities exist in it. The energy we observe, perceive, and feel with our emotions is what shapes the dough. And when that completed dough is baked, it becomes reality in front of us. The shape in which the cookies are made and baked depends on our hands.”

Suh Yoon says in the book that most people are capable of having between three to seven million dollars. While I’m not sure if I’ll become that rich by practicing Having, I’m certainly going to continue working on having gratitude for the money I do have, living in the moment, and practicing emotional self-awareness.

Will you start practicing Having? Let us know in the comments what you thought about the book! Be sure to join us on Tuesday, June 28th at 6:30 PM (CST) for our book club discussion of The Having.

Next month’s book club pick is The Headspace Guide to Meditation & Mindfulness by Andy Puddicombe.

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