How many athletes, movie stars, heirs and lottery winners do you know who have gone from filthy rich to flat broke? Although it is hard to create massive wealth, it is even harder to maintain wealth over a long period of time. Whether it is creating or maintaining wealth, the secret behind it is having the correct mentality. The truth is that rich people think differently than the average person. So, if you want to be wealthy, you have to have the correct mindset. Find out some ways in which the rich people think differently from the average people.
Rich Seibold, author of “How Rich People Think” spent almost three decades studying the thoughts, beliefs, habits and actions of the wealthy. He interviewed 1,200 of the world’s wealthiest people and found out that the difference between the rich and the average person is not about the education, background, gender, age or any other factors but rather lies in the mindset.
1. Money is GOOD vs BAD
Most people have been brainwashed to believe that money is the root of all evil. The bible has been misquoted multiple times by many believers.
For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.– 1 Timothy 6:10
A closer look at the passage indicates that it is not money that is the root of all evil but the love of money. There is nothing wrong with money itself. It only becomes evil when faith is discarded, and when the quest for money involves greed, deceitful means and hurts others in the process.
The rich understand that money is just a tool. Money is needed to buy food and to pay the bills. A life of abundance means having enough to be able to share it with others. In fact, the world’s billionaires are also the biggest philanthropists. Just think about how many people you can help if you have the wealth to do so?
2. CREATE vs ACCEPT your destiny
Most people think that they are poor because it is their fate to be poor. Their parents are poor, their grandparents are poor and so they are destined to be poor. They are experts at the “blame game”. If something bad happens, they will blame it on the government, their boss, their friend and their parents. They will blame it on anyone, everyone or anything around them but themselves. It is either the fault of the wealthy or the economy. They justify the situation as part of their destiny.
If you’re born poor, it’s not your mistake. But if you die poor, it’s your mistake.– Bill Gates
The rich understand that poverty is nothing but a state of mind. The rich believe that they create their own destiny. They control the steering wheel of their life. Neither destiny nor luck has something to do with it.
3. Dream of the FUTURE vs long for the PAST
A lot of people believe that the good days are behind them. They often struggle with unhappiness and depression. “If only I am younger…, if only it’s not traffic…, if only I have the money…”, their life is full of regret for all the things that they should have done then. They long for the days that have long been gone.
Rich people on the other hand are future-oriented. They know that they cannot change what happened in the past. All that is left to do is to learn the lesson and move on. What is important is what lies ahead because they know that their future is in their hands. They set goals and deadlines. They know that success starts with a vision. Long-term planning is how self-made millionaires are created.
4. Earn doing the things you LOVE vs things you do NOT like.
Many people are working on a job that they don’t like. They do it because they need the money to pay for their bills. They are burdened by mortgage payments, loans and credit card debts. In addition, changing jobs means starting over again. It involves risks and possibly a series of rejections. That is why many are scared to brave the transition.
Rich people on the other hand took professional risks to pursue their passion. They believe that passion is the key to success. Some argued that the rich can pursue their passion because they can afford to do so. But according to the study of rich people made by Thomas Corley, author of “Rich Habits”, it took the rich an average of 12 years of doing what they love before they become wealthy. This means pursuing passion comes first in wealth accumulation and not the other way around.
5. SPECIFIC KNOWLEDGE vs FORMAL EDUCATION
Most people think that the level of education is directly proportional to wealth. The higher their education, the more chances they have in getting wealthy. While opportunities do increase for people with a master’s or doctorate degrees, higher education is not that critical in acquiring wealth. In fact, almost one-fourth of the world’s wealthiest people did not finish college. It does not mean that the rich stopped learning altogether. That’s not the case. The average millionaire read at least two books per month. The difference lies in the kind of knowledge that they acquire.
The rich acquired their wealth through continuous acquisition of specialized knowledge. Napoleon Hill in his book “Think and Grow Rich” stressed the importance of specialized knowledge and lifelong learning as the key to acquiring wealth.
There are two kinds of knowledge. One is General, the other is Specialized. General knowledge, no matter how great in quantity or variety it may be, is of but little use in the accumulation of money.– Napoleon Hil
6. To BE something vs DO something
Many people believe that success and wealth is something that you pursue by being busy and doing something. They set goals and come up with a list of the things to do to become successful in that endeavor. And then, they look for results and ask themselves what went wrong.
The rich understood that success cannot be chased. Instead of asking “what do I have to do?”, the correct question is “who do I need to become?”. Stop focusing on what you need to do instead focus on what you need to become. If you want to be wealthy, study about wealth and finance then apply what you learn. If you are looking for the perfect partner, ask yourself first if you are the ideal partner. Educate and invest in yourself. Improve yourself first and success will follow you.
Success is not something you pursue. What you pursue eludes you. Success is something you attract by the person you become. If you want to have more, you must become more.– Jim Rohn
7. INVEST vs SAVE
Many people are scared of investing. Most of the time, they are scared of failure. They are scared of the unknown. Instead, they cling to their cash or place them in savings accounts where they can easily see and access their money. However, cash is always a bad investment as long as there is inflation. Rich people know this. They also understand how to make money work for them. This is why they invest.
Rich people invest their money on assets such as real estate, businesses, bonds, funds and stocks. In the long run, the investments that they planted will start bearing fruits on their own giving them more money in return. The poor on the other hand, will continue to work for money and save only to wake up one day to realize that the money in their savings account has already lost most of its value. This is the reason why the rich are getting while the poor are getting poorer.
8. LEVERAGE vs HARD WORK
Many people think that hard work is the formula to creating wealth. They work from 8 to 5 even longer, exhausting themselves thinking that someday their hard work will pay off. However, the rewards to working hard are limited to the number of hours of work they put in. Wealth is created not by working hard but by working smart. Working smart means using leverage. Leverage means using other people’s effort and resources to build assets. It is an essential principle in creating wealth.
To be wealthy, you need to learn to start using other people’s time, money, knowledge and expertise. You cannot do it all by yourself. Leverage allows you to grow and build your wealth faster without being restricted by your own capabilities. Collective efforts will be more productive than doing it all alone.
9. Focus on SOLUTIONS vs OBSTACLES
Look at the glass below? Do you see it as half full or as half empty? Rich people will look at the glass and think that it is half full. They will then look for ways on how to make it totally full. On the other hand, average people will think of it as half empty. Instead of looking for an opportunity, they would rather think of reasons why it is half empty and complain about it.
If you want to become rich, you need to get rid of all those negative things in your mind. Instead, look for opportunities or solutions on how you can make the situation better. By focusing on the positive, you are actually doing something to address the situation which is much better than standing still and complaining about it.
10. FREEDOM vs STATUS
Many people associate money with status. They see wealthy people using expensive stuff and automatically their brain interprets it as power-prestige. Money is seen as a tool to show one’s status in life. This money belief is one of the reasons why designer brands are a billion dollar industry. Even average people who cannot afford to purchase designer stuff buy them just so they could flaunt the huge logos for everyone to see.
Wealth for the rich is not about status but it is all about freedom. Being wealthy means having the freedom to choose the type of house they wish to live in, the kind of food they want to eat, the model of car they want to drive, the quality of clothes they want to wear and even how they wish to spend their time. The list of choices go on and on. Money does not just buy stuff, money buys choices.
In a nutshell, the rich mentality is so different from the lottery mentality. The rich don’t just wait to win the lottery to become rich, they create wealth in their own hands. As long as you have the correct mentality, you too can become like one. If you change the way you think, you can slowly change your life.
First published in Pinoy Smart Living 02.10.2018