We are so often conditioned in life to think in a literal, emotional or logical way. When we read or see something we internalise it and then put our meaning to it. Our perception is our reality or our truth. Think about the following statement, “If you were born poor that is not your fault, if you die poor it is your fault”.
Most people when reading this quote would align it directly to a financial situation and then either agree or disagree. The way they think would depend on where they are in life. However, I am going to challenge your thinking with regards to this situation.
A statement like this could have many different meanings and relate to other situations that you are currently facing or experiencing in your life. Let’s explore and challenge ourselves to think about this particular statement.
POOR could be our state of mind, it could come from a condition or a situation in which we have placed ourselves. For example, if you have a bad relationship with your spouse, child or a family member that could also be classed as poor. If you have an unhealthy living style and you are not looking after your health that could also be classified as poor. When it comes to finances you could be earning in excess of R100 000.00 per month but you spend an R110 000,00 a month, you would be poor and your mindset would be poor.
We can go on and on with many different situations and examples. There are many other examples to which we could associate this meaning of poor too. It ultimately comes down to what is between our ears and what goes on in our brain, in other words, our thoughts. Poor, therefore, could be described as having a bad mental attitude or mindset relating to a certain set of circumstances.
What causes us to think or act in a certain manner? Why don’t I have more money? Why am I always time bankrupt? What causes me to always have bad relationships? Why do I have the mindset that I have?
I would like to explore two situations that could explain my thought process.
Have you ever really thought about your upbringing? What would your parents say to you? I am pretty sure that you have heard statements like “Money doesn’t grow on trees” How did that sentence affect your thinking? How did your parents conduct themselves and who did they associate with? Do you come from a broken home, does this impact the way you think about relationships today? Were your parents always late and did you use this to change your behaviour or do you do the same? What were their thoughts on health, were they diligent in taking care of themselves? All of this is conditioning which could cause you to think in a similar manner.
Maybe you can relate to my story. I come from a single-parent family and my dad was an exceptionally hard-working man. He would regularly sit us down and say “the harder you work in life, the more money you will make”. I later worked out that this statement is not entirely true. Lots of people work hard but that does not mean they will be rich.
Personally I was conditioned to believe that if I didn’t work hard and spend time at the office, I would never be wealthy. Most of my life I had a spending mentality not a return on investment mentality. Please don’t get me wrong my dad was not trying to hold me back in any way he was just emulating what he had learned.
The question is, will you learn from your past or will you live in your past? Have you used your childhood experiences to uplift you or are they holding you back?
The one aspect in your life that you have complete control of, is who you associate with. This would also include, who you choose to listen to. A story that illustrates this well is that of the Japanese Koi Fish. If you put the fish into a bowl and feed it, the fish will grow to about three centimeters. If you put the same fish into a pond it will grow to be about half a meter. It grows according to the environment in which it resides. This is similar in life, we grow according to the environment in which we choose to reside in.
In my early years my choices were limited to the school I went to, the area where we lived and who I chose to hang around with. Later in life, I had the choice to choose who I would associate with.
As the years have gone by my association has also been impacted by what I choose to read and whom I choose to listen too. When my wife and I decided to go into business together we chose to associate with people who would challenge our thinking and grow us. People with the same values, beliefs, and morals.
I have always said that if you hang around with drug addicts it won’t be long before you become one. We wanted positive influences in our lives as well as our children’s lives. We made a deliberate decision not to hang around with toxic people who would pull us down, create negativity or not lift us up.
Finally I would like to say, if you want to change your mindset from poor thinking to abundance you must understand that you and only you are in total control of your actions to make it happen. Every morning you wake up you, and you have a choice to choose who you associate with and what you say to yourself.
There is only one person who is able to give you the life that you were born for and that is you. You are in complete control to live a fulfilled and significant life. We were all born unique and have our own strengths. Focus on what you want, keep learning, associate with people that will lift you up but challenge you all the way.