Reaching our full potential, accomplishing our goals and dreams, obtaining our personal successes, and even acquiring wealth requires change - a change in perspective which results in a change of habits. Although we literally can become and accomplish anything, the majority of people everywhere live far below their potential because they are ignorant of (or simply just accept) how our society, generally, ingrains into them a mentality that is detrimental to their potential. This article covers various finance related topics, and the goal is not only to change your perspective, attitude, and mentality about these topics, but to inspire you to change your actions so your can realize your dreams and goals, accomplish your successes, and truly become wealthy.
1) Money is NOT Evil - Re-program Your Mentality of Money: The first and most important thing one must do is to completely re-program their mentality towards and misconceptions of money. Unfortunately, the majority of people have ingrained into their minds that money is evil. Money is NOT evil; it is the pride people develop from possessing and accumulating money that causes others to perceive money as being 'evil.' A wealthy person's snobbish attitude, condescending comments, assumed superiority, and arrogant actions are what is 'evil' - not the money! 'But the money created the pride,' some may wrongfully say; no, the choice to become prideful is what created the pride. Money is absolutely necessary for our daily survival; and if we choose, our excess money can also free up our time and create opportunities and resources that help and bless other people's lives. We need more people who choose to acquire wealth for charitable purposes, and less people who develop the strength to financially suffer because they ignorantly believe 'money is evil.'
2) Becoming Wealthy vs. Appearing Rich: Being truly wealthy is completely different than earning substantial amounts of money, owning material possessions, or having large bank account balances. An individual who makes 5 million dollars a year, and yet spends 5 million (or more) a year is not wealthy at all (not to mention the fact that the majority of those who do earn that amount of money spend 80+ hours in the office working each week, which is not my definition of wealth). Likewise, living in a large house, driving a fancy car, wearing nice clothing, and going on expensive vacations is not wealth - these actions are often the mere demonstration of and appearance of wealth, and are usually accompanied by great debt. Wealth is a state of mind and a result from hard work and mental reconditioning. The individual who thinks in terms of buying appreciating assets compared to depreciating liabilities is wealthy. The person who creates passive income, rather than trades time for money (or devotes a 'career' to an employer) is wealthy. The individual who works towards financial independence rather than retirement is wealthy (or will become wealthy ... much sooner). And although people continually fail to understand this concept, wealth is measured in terms of net worth, not material possessions. Although acquiring wealth certainly requires a lot of work and persistence, the reality is that the reason people are wealthy, and the reason people are poor, comes down to the same thing - what they believe and think in their own minds!
3) Eradicate Excuses & Misconceptions That Limit Your Financial Potential: Far too often, we allow our society to convince us that our success is measured and potential is determined by certain qualifications and circumstances. These fallacies range from GPA's to standardized test scores, institutions attended to education obtained, work experience to titles held, social connections to family heritage, and from the color of our skin to the anatomy of our body. Other excuses might include how people actually believe they need money to make money, or that they will pursue their dreams when they have more time (which never happens), or that they were not born with the knowledge or talents necessary to be successful. Actually, the reality is that very few are born wealthy or initially have the money to make money; and the people who have become successful are those who made time, obtained the knowledge, and developed the necessary talents. The reality is that we can become and accomplish anything; or, in terms of finances, we can earn as much as we desire. Our potential is created and determined by ourselves. And yet, most people are not ignorant of this reality, they just simply are unwilling to put in the work necessary to achieve success - or wealth!
4) The Great Flaw of our Educational System: From day one, we are taught to get good grades, study hard, go to college, and get a degree so that we can find a good job. Unfortunately, our educational system ingrains this mentality into us, and the result is the creation of millions of employees who often let the 'system' define their brilliance, ability, success, and potential. No - a person's GPA, standardized test scores, degrees earned, or subjects studied do NOT determine their potential! We should not just get a degree; we must obtain an education and continually increase our knowledge. And yet, never forget that despite our knowledge, despite the degrees earned, despite the GPA's, and despite the schools attended - we create and determine our own potential. Dreams and goals are realized, and wealth and advancement are obtained most often through desire, belief, taking risks, overcoming fear, learning from failure, taking action and never quitting. This is what our educational system fails to teach!
5) The Typical Employee Mentality Must Be Overcome: What is the 'typical employee mindset'? It is thinking in terms of 9-5, manager and employee, weekends and holiday's off, that is not my job or responsibility, and doing just enough to keep the job. Getting out of this mentality though requires one to do more than they are paid to do, to think and be different, to take risks, and to put forth action. Because it is much harder to put forth such action, the majority of employees become content with mediocrity by continually trading time for money, believing that job security is really security, actually thinking that a pay raise or promotion is the solution to their problem, and being convinced that an IRA or company-matched 401(k) is the road to financial independence. This detrimental mentality not only limits one's ability to earn substantial amounts of money, but unfortunately, it also carries over into every other aspect of our lives and produces people who don't take responsibility, who are uncreative and risk-averse, who are unassertive and don't take initiative, and who allow others and circumstances to determine their potential rather than believing in themselves and going against the 'culture' to actually achieve their dreams and goals in life. And never forget that the person who is willing to sacrifice freedom for the illusion of security will be sorely disappointed when security is never obtained and freedom is forfeited in the process.
6) Becoming the Boss or Starting a Business is NOT the Answer: Always remember that earning more income, obtaining that next pay-raise, or receiving the desired promotion is not the path that leads to true wealth or financial independence. Usually, as income increases, so do expenses; as promotions occur, responsibilities also increase and free time diminishes. And yet, once people actually see the wisdom in this concept and get out of the typical employee mentality, the natural thought is to start their own business. This approach is certainly a necessary stepping stone, but must not be the end result. Granted, starting a business provides one the opportunity to substantially increase their income, but remember that earning more income is not the same as becoming wealthy. If you become the boss or the business owner and just trade more time for more money, you have defeated the purpose. The goal must be to earn more money to be in a position to buy appreciating assets that create passive income, which eventually allow the business owner to hire others to work for them. Then, this investor (not boss) will wisely take advantage of how their employees, assets, and money will continually be making money for them. This is the great secret of the wealthy - they don't advance in a career, trade time for money, work towards retirement, or even become the boss - they create passive income, buy appreciating assets, create multiple streams of income, have others work for them, and work hard to obtain financial independence far sooner than retirement would ever come.
Never forget, however, that as important as these financial concepts are to understand, like any other success in life, wealth is obtained by applying the secrets of success. When all is said and done, a person becomes successful and obtains wealth as a result of their desire and belief, ability to overcome fear, willingness to take risks, hard work and persistence, learning from failures, and determination to never quit. Perhaps more importantly, one must always remember that if wealth is obtained at the expense of the much more important priorities in life, then they have not accomplished anything. A person who is truly wealthy is the individual who puts God and family first, develops integrity and character, and uses their time and resources to bless the lives of others.
About the Author: