visualize money through different narratives

We’re All Hooked Into A Game Cartridge

Have you ever noticed how some days you might meet your colleagues at work, and they might be in a completely different mood than the day before? It’s as if they and you too, are like old-school Nintendo consoles. One day they’re plugged into one game cartridge, and the next day another.

I had a similar experience while foraging for herbs this spring. The herbs surprised me with how big and ripe they were, intermingled with the old. Playfully, my subconscious started strategizing the quickest way to harvest only the fresh leaves. I experimented with different methods: plucking with one hand, then both, and even grabbing a bunch to sort later. I was so tuned into my visual periphery, scanning for patches of lighter green leaves, that I got faster as time went on. The dopamine buzz made it feel like an arcade game. I was so focused that I probably would have missed a pink zebra quietly galloping past! Only when I stood up to leave did I realize I was in a beautiful forest.

The Power of States and Cartridges

We’re always in a state. This state acts like a video game cartridge that plugs into your game console—your mind. It filters all of your sensory information to present a ‘movie’ on your mind’s display screen. Just like plugging a different game cartridge into a Nintendo changes the game on the screen, the cartridge you choose can evoke different moods and ways of perceiving the world. It’s easy to forget that this representation you experience is not reality but an artistic rendering based on the cartridge you have plugged in. When you recognize you’re in a heavy or unhelpful state, remember, you can change the cartridge. That’s what this article is about: the power of your narrative.

Your Narrative

Your narrative comprises everything you think, say, and believe. It’s the story you tell about why you are the way you are or why you suffer from certain conditions. Often, the real reasons are almost never what we tell others. Your narrative is tied into your identity. When someone asks, “What do you do?” how do you respond? Does your answer reflect your profession or something deeper about what you actually do?

The words you use shape your perceptions. Charged emotional words color your experiences much differently than neutral ones. ‘Smelly’ or ‘gross’ have a different impact than ‘odorous’ or ‘unappealing’. It becomes a problem when we get stuck in a narrative that traps us in a stress-focused mindset.

Sometimes, the narrative we tell isn’t even our own. It’s inherited and causes suffering. Changing just one word in your narrative can shift your entire perspective.

Placebo Thinking

Why do placebos often work? They trick the mind into positive thinking, activating the parts of the subconscious that manage healing. Suppressing emotions or expressions, like a frown or a smile, stores stress in your body. If it’s not processed, it can manifest as a psychosomatic illness.

Your narrative shapes what you think and believe. By rewriting your narrative, you can harness the placebo effect—no pills necessary! Consider that by changing your narrative, you’re not just changing the cartridge but also the console that generates your reality.

In the same way that placebos can be used for good, repeating thoughts charged with negative emotions and cycling through them does your body the opposite. It’s the difference between repeating a list of positive words vs negative words. It’s not necessarily the words themselves but your association with those words. What your mind dwells upon it amplifies and manifests. Placebos are but a tool to trick non-believers into positive thinking. Imagine how much you could do by becoming a believer. You can skip the pill and make use of your body’s natural healing mechanisms and here’s how. To start you can consider a topic about which you feel insecure, possibly money… I’ll share my process.

Money Narrative: An Example

For most of my life, money caused me stress. Mom got into massive debt putting us through school and though we rarely didn’t have any money, I often felt the lack. My relationship with it was tainted from the start since my parents violently yelled at each other over money issues. As a result, I learned to see it as destructive. I heard of greedy bankers like Enron and it tied in with my narrative. To compensate, I got good at holding onto money and not spending on what wasn’t necessary. For years, I didn’t have a money problem, because I was stingy with it and my narrative still saw money as a necessary evil. Any news I heard of soulless billionaire bankers fed into my narrative-making game console and it would’ve stayed the same had I not come to this crossroad. Things changed when I learned I was going to be a father. My savings started running dry and I didn’t get that high-paying job. Something had to change, either I try again to earn money as I used to or I rework my narrative and go from there.

Bite-Sized Beliefs

The beauty of beliefs is that they usually don’t reflect absolute truth. Beliefs are true to us only when we believe them and the opposite becomes true once our beliefs switch to accept them. The concept of what’s true gets murky but that’s beyond this article.

Want to change a belief? For starters, pick a topic that’s light but sometimes irks you, like a pet peeve. I’ll bet that you hold unconscious beliefs that aren’t serving you there. In my example, what did I have to gain by believing money is a necessary evil that destroys families? I had a foolproof narrative that could argue tooth and nail proving why it’s so but what good did it do to be right if just mentioning the topic raised my stress levels? It’s the same theme in all relationship problems, when we quarrel with others, it’s tied to a specific narrative that we have of them that gets challenged. One could say it’s our ego that doesn’t want to have to change or be wrong. It was easier for me to believe bankers are greedy because of money than to consider an alternative where some work for good because that might require me to question other strongly held narratives. That’s what makes this work fragile because you can’t change one thing without changing everything; there will be consequences.

Behind your narrative, your beliefs are the driving motors that shape the words you use to describe your narrative. They’re the bite-sized chunks you can work with to rewrite your narratives to not just change the cartridge but to upgrade your console. If you find the beliefs that cause you the most friction, you can rewire the belief to have a change that resonates in all areas of your life.

Enter Affirmations

One way to change your narrative is to consciously rewrite and affirm your new or soon-to-be beliefs through affirmations and self-hypnosis. Here are the steps to change your beliefs with affirmations.

  1. To change a belief you must want to change it.
  2. Write down what you believe now that you want to change. (In my case, I believed money was corrupting and evil.)
  3. Write down what you want to believe. (I wanted to believe money is like blood that carries vital nutrients between the body’s parts, which synergize when it flows therefore money comes in when money can flow out.)
  4. Visualize your new belief, see what you want to have, hear and feel what you would if you believed that.
  5. Reformat that belief into a positive affirmation: (The following I snagged from the great works of Dr. David Snyder from his lectures on the Law of Attraction).
    • For the body of your affirmation, use present tense ‘I am’ or present progressive ‘I am becoming/growing/etc’ as if you are already living it. For example Every day in every way I am growing richer and richer
    • Add a ‘because‘ clause, which doesn’t need to make rational sense because our minds aren’t naturally logical. They’ll believe whatever sounds believable. For example …because every breath I take is proof that I am worthy of it
    • Add a ‘that means‘ clause, which also doesn’t need to make sense. For example … that means I am growing more valuable by the minute
    • If you want, add a ‘therefore‘ clause afterward.
    • What you end up with is a statement that your subconscious mind can’t argue with as it would if you only used the affirmation that you start with.
  6. Repeat this last step to create as many affirmations as you like to target as many aspects of yourself that you want to start believing

Here’s what one of my affirmations looks like:

Every day in every way I am growing richer and richer and richer because I attract capable people wanting to work with me to mutually benefit each other along with many others who want to and are willing to pay me a lot of money to learn and experience what I want to share with them and guide them through, that means I am living and growing in abundance therefore wealth is circulating through me.

Brainwash yourself into believing

Once you have your affirmations, there are several ways you can employ them.

One way is to memorize your affirmations. If you meditate on a daily basis, you can get into a deep state where your affirmations can go much deeper than when you’re in an active conscious state. Whether you meditate or not, what’s important is to repeat these affirmations at least 3 times every day. In the same way your parents instilled beliefs in you growing up, through repetition, you instill new beliefs in yourself.

Another, possibly more effective way to reprogram your beliefs is through self-hypnosis the easy way. To start, record yourself speaking and repeating your affirmations on your phone. Then when you go to sleep, put on headphones and listen to your recording.

This approach is like hypnosis because before you fall asleep, you pass through a hypnotic state. When you’re awake, your brain is in an active beta state, which is good at resisting beliefs that aren’t already engrained in you. As you drift off you pass through a meditative alpha state where your resistors are more relaxed and you’re more receptive to new beliefs. Then your brain descends further into a deep hypnosis-like theta state, in which your subconscious mind accepts and installs what it hears. Lastly, you fall asleep in a delta state. The same happens in reverse upon waking, though good luck timing listening to the recording then.

The Consequences

If you keep the practice, you may find that your body no longer tenses up when you think about said topic, and when it comes up unexpectedly. Your body stops generating stress and you become lighter because you have one less trigger to set you off and you become calmer. It’s not rocket science that stress is one of the leading causes of sickness, hence you nip it in the bud. This whole article is another way of viewing and working with your limiting beliefs and to learn about the positive results you only need to google ‘limiting beliefs testimonials’. The only way to know what will happen is to experience it firsthand. If you’re daunted, start with a topic that doesn’t bother you too much, like you’re narrative about people who don’t wipe down the toilet seat after they’re finished. Start small, notice the differences, and work your way down when you’re satisfied.


In conclusion, your mind is like a gaming console. Depending on the cartridge you’ve got plugged in (your state), you will perceive reality in a certain way. The cartridges you filter through depend on the console that’s able to support them. Just as you might choose a different game cartridge to enjoy a new game, choosing a new narrative can transform the game of life you play. If you affirm your new narrative, you can change your state. Maintain the practice and you will change your life from the inside out.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of narrative work. Leave a comment if you’d like more in-depth write-ups on this topic.

Marius Miliunas

Successful ex-burnout and now full-time life-enthusiast, I am Marius. In my old life I was a web developer in the States, selling my potential to earn big bucks, while destined for an early grave. All of that changed, when I got out to attempt to build my own startup. That company's failure was a blessing...