Whatever your standards of success are, it's probably pretty certain that money issues are involved somehow. Whether the amount of money you have or earn is a measure of your wealth and success, or a tool to attain your needs and desires, increasing your understanding of your attitude toward money will enhance your sense of wealth and abundance. Here are some ideas collected from proven experts in the field.

Responsibility vs. Blame:
Barbara Sher, author of "Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want", writes, "Any amount [of money] you don't have--whether it's $5,000 or $500,000--will appear to be a mountain. Almost any amount you do have will not appear to be enough to pay next month's bills!...[Lack of money] is one of the best excuses not to go for your dreams. It gets you much more sympathy than being fat." If you choose to delay your happiness until you have more of something else, you give away your power to external conditions. Taking responsibility for your own happiness means literally choosing what your response to your situation will be.

One way to stop blaming your lack of success or happiness on your financial condition is to shift your attention from what you lack. Meditate on affirming beliefs of your relationship to money. As Napolean Hill stated in "Think and Grow Rich", "Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve". Cultivate a sense of gratitude for your talents and what you already have in life that enriches you. Share your gifts with others. It feels good to give something away, and at the same time it strengthens what you have.

Creating a Sense of Luxury:
No matter how much money you earn, it is always possible to enhance the presence of luxury in your life. Even if your financial situation seems bleak and creditors are breathing down your neck, or your earnings are spread thinly, you can create a sense of abundance and luxury in your life today. Julia Cameron, author of "The Artist's Way", says that luxury comes from attention to personal care and pampering. She suggests making a list of ten things that cost less than twenty dollars that make you feel luxurious, and rewarding yourself with gifts of these weekly. You can also make a list of free or low cost things that you love to do but rarely give yourself the time to do. Find new ways to create a sense of luxury and abundance regardless of your current financial situation.

Another valuable tool is Julia Cameron's "Counting Exercise" (also in The Artist's Way), which is designed to be a non-judgmental look at how you're spending your money, and to illuminate your priorities and values. In a small notebook, write down everything you spend for at least a week (even seemingly petty amounts). You might find, like I did, that you're frittering away small amounts on things that you don't really care about, while denying yourself treats you think you can't afford.

When I did this exercise I discovered I was spending too much on prepared food, because I didn't think ahead to what might be appealing to eat that wouldn't take much time to prepare at home. I started a fund to reward myself for every meal I prepare by putting a set amount in a jar, which I eventually use to splurge on one of those things I used to complain I couldn't afford.

Defining "the Good Life":
One of the most empowering things you can do for yourself is to take the time to determine what your true criteria for personal success is, and make some small changes now. This gives you some momentum for the bigger changes you want to make and helps you be more patient while you're working toward your larger vision. Making these small changes is a way for you to take responsibility for your situation and work with where you're at in life; the simple act of creation itself provides a climate of abundance.

Discover your purpose and passion in life and let everything you do be a reflection of it, including how you make decisions to earn and spend money. Know the conditions for feeling truly successful in your life. And although it is important to have compelling goals for your life, and having a plan to achieve them, don't get so excited about the vision that you forget to celebrate who you are and what you have in the here and now.

Author's Bio: 

Sheila Adams, M.A. draws on 16 years in business as entrepreneur, executive, trainer, and coach, to guide you toward living your vision. For more information about workshops, teleclasses, and coaching customized for your success, visit The Learning Edge Coaching web site at www.TheEdgeCoach.com or send email to LiveYourDreams@VibrantWomen.com.