Why Your Money Mindset is All Wrong

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Have you heard about the Pareto principle? It's the 80/20 rule that says that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Sounds pretty simple, right? If we apply this to money and income generation, we can say that 80% of the world's money is earned by 20% of the population.

The crème de la crème of society take up a huge chunk of the metaphorical 'cake', leaving the 'rest of us' scrambling for a sliver of a slice. Because it's all about luck and taking advantage of poor people, right?

Well, if that's what you believe... no wonder you're only destined for a slice.

See, the thing is, it's not about your goals, it's about your attitude. What I mean by this is if you're always complaining about how rich people only get rich by exploiting others, you're inherently implying that to be rich, you'd have to exploit someone. You wouldn't want to do that, would you?

And hence you don't get rich.

Do you see what I mean? It's all about the psychology behind it. There's a difference in the way poor people and rich people see money, and that's the reason some people never make it big in life. I used to be the same way, and I'm sure most of you are. Growing up, the media and society teaches us that money is bad. It makes you a spoilt, bratty person. It makes you hurt other people in order to rise to the top. Haven't we all heard this before?

The problem is that none of those things is true! But it doesn't matter if something is true or not. What matters is if you believe it. And if you do associate money with something negative, you're always going to subconsciously walk away from monetary opportunities, even if you're consciously trying to make it big in life.

There's this great book I read (or rather, am still reading - been in a reading slump for a few days now) called The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz, PhD which talks about how believing in your abilities and aiming big is what will get you ahead in life. Apply this to money as well. Believe that money is something you deserve, and aim to earn millions, and then work towards it. Then see how you go places in life.

“Think you are weak, think you lack what it takes, think you will lose, think you are second class - think this way and you are doomed to mediocrity.” ― David Schwartz, PhD

Rich people think that they can have their cake and eat it too. Poor people think cake is bad for them and they should only have one tiny little slice. Rich people believe they deserve to be rich. Poor people think money makes you do bad things, so maybe being poor is for the best. Rich people think positive. They ask themselves, "What happens if I take this risk and make money?" And on the other hand, poor people think, "What happens if I take this risk and lose my money?" Rich people know they can create their own destiny. Poor people believe they're dealt a certain number of cards and they're stuck with them for life.

Sound familiar?

The first step to changing your money mindset is to know that you've got a wrong one. Now that you've admitted that you've got the wrong attitude about money, the next thing you should do is step back and take a look at your thoughts about money. Your thoughts shape your beliefs, which shape your actions, thus shaping your reality. You need to work on the way you think about money before you can change your attitude. For example, the next time you look at someone's success stories and feel jealous, remind yourself that more often than not, that person - or that person's kin - has shed a good amount of tears, sweat and blood to get to where they are today. It's not because they're a bad person or simply 'lucky'. You determine your own luck by changing your attitude and working hard. Remember that.

“I'm a greater believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it.” ― Thomas Jefferson

The third step is to change your subconscious wiring. I like to listen to and say aloud affirmations relating to money before I go to sleep, to put me in a positive money mindset. I use an app called 'My Affirmations: Live Positive' which you can find on the Play Store. Some examples of the affirmations I say are 'I see abundance everywhere', 'money comes to me easily and effortlessly', and 'I have the power to attract money'. Now, you may think this is silly or stupid, but trust me, it's effective and makes you feel more confident. You have to rewire your brain into believing that you deserve money.

The fourth step is to realise that you don't need money. The difference between poor people and rich people is that the former think they need money, whereas the rich know they deserve money. Needing money implies a lack of money. If you focus on the lack, you'll always be counting bills and calculating your losses, instead of knowing that you deserve money, and that your next paycheck is right around the corner.

The fifth and final step is to take action towards changing your attitude. Give to charity. Take risks. Invest in the market. Up your savings. Do everything a rich person would do, even if you're not there yet. I'm not saying you have to save 50% of your income. If you're currently saving zero (as I know many people my age do), increase it to 10% for starters. You don't have to put all your money in the market. Take the advice of a trusted finance whiz and see what the best options are. You don't have to donate a million rupees to an orphanage. Pay the autowala and don't ask for change. Buy food for a beggar, or buy the red roses the poor boy is selling at the traffic signal.

It's easy as that! Five steps and you're on your way to being a richer person, one day at a time. Stop worrying that money will make you a selfish person. Stop thinking that life means suffering due to a lack of money. Stop thinking that you don't deserve everything Bill Gates or Mukesh Ambani has earned. Because you do. You deserve all of it, and then some.

So don't dare think otherwise.

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