With the upcoming federal election just around the corner, there seems to be an inordinate amount of talk about the economy – C’mon, you know what I mean; pick up any paper or turn on the news and you’ll find the party leaders busy bashing each other’s economic plans, the Feds are neither confirming or denying that Canada is (or is not) in a recession, not to mention that every day we’re beaten over the heads with a billion statistics about growing poverty levels in the inner cities… I don’t know about you, but all this economic talk drives me batshit crazy!
But here’s the thing: I’ve come to believe that none of these things matter to me, because as an individual I truly don’t believe that I can affect the big picture in anyway. Oh sure, I can do my research about which politician I will vote for, eat more pork and beans in case the bottom falls out of the market (again), and donate to my local food bank on a regular basis; but as noble as each of these efforts are, if we are honest with ourselves, we’ll have to admit that none of them will truly make a difference in the big picture.
It’s true: Whether we do or don’t do these things, Canadian politics will always operate basically the same way it always has, the market will recover (and thrive) again one day, and there will always be a segment of people in our country who feel poor and neglected by society – so no matter what we do as individuals, our efforts will never affect any of these things in the big picture”.* This is a hard truth, but the truth nonetheless. And you want to know why I feel this way? Harv T. Eker.
One of the biggest influences in my life has Harv T. Eker, the wildly successful creator of Peak Potentials Seminars and author of the N.Y. Times bestselling book “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind”. I love this book, and here’s why: It’s a no bullshit, common sense look at the difference between the habits of those who are financially stable, versus those who struggle from paycheque to paycheque. It’s full of solid advice and quotable maxims that when followed, can put anyone – and I mean ANYONE – on the road to a more prosperous future.
So despite what doom and gloom I hear from the media, I think of Harv’s quote “Don’t worry about THE economy; worry about YOUR economy” and use it to guide my family’s economic plan in rocky financial times. The book has taught me to ask myself thing like: “Am I spending wisely?” “Am I saving wisely?” “Am I investing wisely?” “Am I eliminating debt?” “Am I thinking about future income streams?” “Am I managing all my downsides?” and then adjust my plan to ensure that I am taking the best care of my families financial future as possible.
As Harv taught me in his book, the only way for us to become wealthy is to be completely responsible for all aspects (including our perception) of our personal economies; and that relying on outside influences (governments, employers, bank rates, etc.) is nothing more than us giving up the locus of control of our personal futures… and how’s that working out for those who do it? Again, a hard truth – but for those who choose to embrace this idea, it’s also one that’s extremely liberating.
Beliefs of the Rich; and of the Poor
According to Harv, there are some very distinct and different ways that the rich and poor think, all of which affect their approach to money and finance. From his book, here’s a sampling of what he says:
1. Rich people believe “I create my life.” Poor people believe “Life happens to me.”
2. Rich people play the money game to win. Poor people play the money game to not lose.
3. Rich people are committed to being rich. Poor people want to be rich.
4. Rich people think big. Poor people think small.
5. Rich people focus on opportunities. Poor people focus on obstacles.
6. Rich people admire other rich and successful people. Poor people resent rich and successful people.
7. Rich people associate with positive, successful people. Poor people associate with negative or unsuccessful people.
8. Rich people are willing to promote themselves and their value. Poor people think negatively about selling and promotion.
9. Rich people are bigger than their problems. Poor people are smaller than their problems.
10. Rich people are excellent receivers. Poor people are poor receivers.
11. Rich people choose to get paid based on results. Poor people choose to get paid based on time.
12. Rich people think “both”. Poor people think “either/or”.
13. Rich people focus on their net worth. Poor people focus on their working income.
14. Rich people manage their money well. Poor people mismanage their money well.
15. Rich people have their money work hard for them. Poor people work hard for their money.
16. Rich people act in spite of fear. Poor people let fear stop them.
17. Rich people constantly learn and grow. Poor people think they already know.”
Now whether or not you agree with these ideas isn’t really the point; I know people that will argue there are many people in society who don’t have the opportunity to grow their personal wealth, and these ideas do not apply to them. If I’m going to be honest, I’d respond to this statement with two things:
First, if you read the list you’ll notice not one thing is actually about making money, etc. but rather about having a pragmatic and positive approach to how you see money. Successful people also notice that these ideas apply to life in general.
And secondly, if someone were to make this claim, I’d come to the conclusion that (a) they had financial challenges themselves, (b) they hadn’t read the source material and (c) nothing will ever change for them, until they learn to change themselves first… Hard truth #3!
All I’m suggesting is this: Don’t worry about what the television news and the politicians and MSNBC are saying: Manage all aspects of your money yourself, and be aware of what you are spending, saving, etc. and take 100% control and chart your own financial course! Do this and I promise you that when all the doom and gloom shows up on the front page of the paper, you will have the confidence of knowing you are in control of your own economy; and it’s a much better way to live than constant financial worry and stress.
Oh, and if you really want to kill it, then read Secrets of the Millionaire Mind – you’ll be glad you did!
*I’m not suggesting we shouldn’t do these things; I’m just saying we need to be realistic about the effect our efforts will have in the grand scheme of things