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Wealth: Kickstart Your Attitude

Overview: if a plan and knowledge about investment is all it takes to become a self-made independently wealthy person, why are there so few of them? Is wealth important enough? Getting sucked into playing games with money prevents people from getting the first money to build with. Using possessions to make a statement. To start and maintain your endeavor is a mind-set attaching itself to a method (own business, investment, etc.) needing resilience over time.

Wealth is an attitude, and a methodology, leaving behind a trail of decisions.

The Driving Questions :
  • Why is the world filled with talented, intelligent, and gifted poor people?

  • How can we, as intelligent and highly skilled people, be smarter about handling our finances and building wealth so that we stop working for money, and get money to work for us?

  • If we live where plenteous opportunity surrounds us, knocking on our door, and filling our libraries—then what makes it that so few attain their Desired State of Plenty, Abundance, and Wealth?
  • If it’s not the lack of opportunity, then what explains the lack which so many experience, the lack of financial freedom and independence, the stress over finances, the everyday struggle to make ends meet?

In the Beginning

    In case you think this is another article saying what you have read in some of the current best sellers, here are a few questions to consider before you continue reading:

  • What is your definition of “being wealthy”?
  • Is it important enough to do what it takes?
  • How would you recognize it when you are in your definition of “being wealthy”?
  • Would you still want to be wealthy this way if you had to discover that a significant percentage of self-made wealthy people does not necessarily go with “gold on your arm in stead of gold in the bank”?
  • How does “being wealthy” fit into your bigger picture? Being wealthy, then what? How would “being wealthy” serve you? And your significant others?
  • If you imagined for a moment your are already wealthy, and you looked back on where you started from: what are you learning about your beginning, the times you had said “yes” and “no”, the price which you had to pay?
  • If you had also to write a book about your journey, and you wanted to share your wisdom, what chapters would you have in your book?
  • Could you now, quickly, list some of the “musts and shoulds” which will appear in your book? It might appear under the heading: “If I didn’t, I would have stayed how I was”. Would you be an example of your own chapter?
    What these questions have in common is that they explore a mind set about “wealth”. One inherent part of this mind set about wealth has to do with our attitude towards money itself. Money is by no means only the colored paper we hold in our hands. Money is loaded with symbolism, with meaning, and it is the meaning of money which can be like a thought virus in our thinking about becoming wealthy.

Money Means...

    With money in your pocket, you are wise and you are handsome and you sing well too.
Yiddish Proverb
    “Money is a singular thing. It ranks with love as man’s greatest source of joy. And with death as his greatest source of anxiety. Money differs from an automobile, a mistress or cancer in being equally important to those who have it and those who do not.” (J K Galbraith: Age of Uncertainty; taken from M J Cohen’s “Penguin Thesaurus of Quotations”).

    Have you noticed how people watch the color of the credit card a person uses? Or how many credit cards a person has in their purse to select from, and the ease with which they take one? What deductions are then being made of the person from their credit card? Deductions about their power, status, position, importance, etc.? But also, how these deductions affect you? Your appreciation, awe, wonderment, etc. of them. Just from a credit card! Clearly, it is not the credit card as an object, it is what the credit card represent, what statement it makes about the holder. People with money are... People with lots of money are... People like us are...
    John Searle (The Construction of Social Reality, 1995) offers a way to think about how the meaning of something changes from one context to another, and from one culture to the next. He offers the idea of the context specificity of meaning with the following “formula”: X counts as Y in C.
    In the above example of the credit card (X), the meaning the observer gives it, (Y), is dependent on the observer and those circumstances (C). If the observers financial position changes (C), the issue around credit cards and their color (X) would then mean something different (Y), for example, “we seem to be equal”. Try these questions to explore some of your attitude to money, and maybe wealth:
  • What Y have you attributed, imposed or given to this?
  • When does X count as this particular Y?
  • How do you know that this X counts as that Y?
  • In what C does this happen?
  • Does this happen in that/any other C?
    The “Y’s” attributed to money could range from “the means to basic food on the table” to “the reason for existence”. In other words, depending on whether you give money instrumental- or ends-value meaning, your behavior will be in line with the meaning you give it.
    Even more, the meaning money get will determine the expectations about it. The higher the importance money has in a person’s life, the more it becomes “charged” with intensity and focus/attention. Here is an interesting thing: Even thought it is really about the meaning (Y) of money, some meanings people in particular cultures or groups are reluctant to talk about. Money as the doorway to significance, self-appreciation, the right to power, as an idol, or as a compensation for low self-esteem, these are unspoken presuppositions in the talking about money in certain cultures. The talk you will hear are about Return on investment, about shareholders, profit, the bigger picture, etc. Money as a business goal, but not as a standard of personal well-being is what you will hear. Yet, if money was the answer to a question related to any one of the three S’s (significance, self-worth, security, or any other charged! personal meaning) then it will be the standard by which people will rate themselves and others.
    Money means different things to people. When the meaning given exceeds the purchasing function of money, then it seems whatever this meaning is, it may act like a thought virus which prevents people from doing the basics, namely keeping money to make money. This brings us back to the driving questions at the beginning of the article. Some suggested answers follow.

Money as Wealth

    “Creating wealth is simple. Yet most people never build it because they have holes in their financial foundations. These can be found in the form of internal values and belief conflicts, as well as poor plans that virtually guarantee financial failure.” (Anthony Robbins, p. 456).

Stanley Thomas suggets some answers to the driving questions:
    “After 20 years of studying millionaires, we have concluded that the character of the business owner is more important in predicting his level of wealth than the classification of his business.” (The Millionaire Next Door, p. 228)
“The reason that so few people are financially independent today is that they place many negative roadblocks in their heads. Becoming wealthy is, in fact, a mind game. And millionaires often talk to themselves about the benefits of becoming financially independent. They constantly tell themselves that it is very difficult to achieve that without taking some risks. Before you can become a millionaire, you must learn to think like one. You must learn how to motivate yourself constantly to counter fear with courage.” (The Millionaire Mind, p. 135).
    Two things noteworthy about the quotes from Thomas: Firstly, he talks about financially independent; Secondly, the mind set is linked to methods for doing what it takes to become financially independent.
    For "Financially independent" there would be many and more technical descriptions than thinking of it as “the amount of your passive income, linked to the question: “how long would you be able to maintain your living standard if you did not do any active income generating work?” (Paraphrased from the ideas in “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Kiyosaki and Lechter (1997), Warner Books.) The wisdom of both Thomas, and Kiyosaki and Lechter reflect an instrumental approach to money with an overlay of “objectivity” in it’s management and meaning. “If we command our wealth we shall be rich and free; if our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed” (Edmund Burke, Letters on a Regicide Peace).
    This mind set about money is then transparently linked to the methods and practices which the successful financially independent people take for granted, like the planning, the saving, the investing, etc. Some of the frames for this mind set are:
  • Setting Your Own Personal Frames for Wealth. How to identify and change any and all limiting beliefs, values, attitude, emotions, etc. about money, scarcity, prosperity, etc.
  • Aligning Values with a Prosperity Mentality—so that you don’t end up serving Money, but that Money and material affluence serves you and keeps you human, lovable, compassionate, etc.
  • Installing a Propulsion System to take you straight to your life passions and commitments from which your money goals will emerge
  • Create a Personalized Wealth Plan that you can live and work with. And to maximize your wealth building enjoyment.“
    The mind set for wealth building is an attitude consisting of a cluster of frames-of-reference. These frames are the attitudinal components that will support and enhance your ability to handle all key factors involved in wealth building and to maximize wealth enjoyment. Consider the people who make lots of money but can’t keep it due to impulsive spending or the inability to save. Consider those who can control their spending and gambling habits but sabotage their ability to take risks, extend themselves, smartly invest, etc. Consider those who let fear sabotage investment, who cannot strike a balance between keeping money and “spending” money on an investment. For the wise, the question even becomes, “Which money do I keep and which do I invest?”

    To become financially independent is an orientation that need to be maintained over a duration of time. I have yet to read a case study where a person by their efforts to become financially independent has not failed. But, they did what resilient people do, think in a particular way, learn from the “mistake”, and go at it again, and again, and maybe again.
Welcome to the journey where you master your “wealth” to gain wealth.

Use the following questions to determine some of your personal attitudes about becoming financially independent or just rich enough!

References

1. Hall, Michael (2001) Games Wealthy People Play. Institute of Neurosemantics: www.neurosemantics.com p.5.
2. From Rowe, Dorothy (1998) The Real Meaning of Money. HarperCollins Publishers, p.IX.
3. From Hall, Michael (2001) Neurosemantics Trainers Guidebook. Institute of Neurosemantics, www.neurosemantics.com ; p.43
4. Hall, Michael (2001) Games Wealthy People Play. Institute of Neurosemantics: www.neurosemantics.com p.5
5. Hall, Michael (2001) Games Wealthy People Play. Institute of Neurosemantics: www.neurosemantics.com