Most people believe the solution to the widening gap of wealth inequality is to take from the rich and give to the poor; or to just distribute the world’s wealth equally. Let’s assume we took this advice. We agree to divide all the wealth in the world equally to the 7.8 billion people on earth. Everyone gets about $32,500. That’s a lot of money for most people. End of poverty, right? Well, before you answer that, let’s look at what is likely to play out afterwards.
Most people will put their money in the bank and in safe investment portfolios. Few people will take the money from the bank, to create products and services for these people that now seem to have a lot of money to spend. They will offer vacation services, designer wears, and more products and services for people to enjoy their wealth. Majority of people will look for that dream car, home, vacation and latest gadget to pay for. More than few will develop the skills to keep making more money.
In five to ten years, we’ll probably return to where we started off; or may be a little worse because we’ll now have more poor people with inflated sense of entitlement. If you doubt this, ask lottery winners. Here is the point; poverty is not a problem of lack of money. If we don’t change the mind, nothing will change. With that in mind, here are 10 mindsets of poor people compared to rich and successful people. Before we get to it be sure to subscribe to After School Africa for more insightful videos like this.
1. On Risk and Comfort
Life is a risky game, whether you decide to take risk or not. It’s even riskier if you decide to live a risk free life; because life is seldom kind to the victim.
Life is also like a football game. As a player in the pitch, you can choose to worry about breaking your legs or playing to win. Even when you know there is no guarantee you are going to win, you still get on the pitch, put your body on the line and you play like someone intent on winning. Poor and average people are more focused on the possibility of getting injured or losing the game after putting in all the preparation. So instead of train harder to increase their chance of winning, they rather not train too much or play too hard; so that when they lose, they take comfort in the fact that, at least, they didn’t risk too much.
That is what the life of comfort looks like. Have all the dreams, but don’t do too much, else your fall will be more disappointing. Just keep it easy and comfortable. However, rich and successful people do the opposite. They believe it’s not the destination that matters but the journey. They put their best effort, their ego, time and energy on the line. When they fail, they fail greatly and when they win, they win greatly.
2. On taking Responsibility
There has been a long held disagreement between capitalists and socialists; conservatives and liberals. The two extremes of social construct. The capitalists believe in individual productivity, and responsibility as the fundamental building block of the society. People should be responsible for their life’s choices and its outcome.
The socialists on the other hand believe in collective responsibility and productivity. Regardless of your choices, and level of responsibility and productivity, everyone is entitled to similar outcome.
Although we are morally obligated to look out for our neighbor and be our brother’s keeper when we can, but in this context, rich people’s mindset is generally capitalist and poor people’s mindset is generally socialist.
You can’t help anyone if you are poor and have a poverty mindset. If you really care about helping people, your first responsibility is to not be a liability to the society. You have to take responsibility for the outcome of your lives choices and decide to be a more productive human being. The foundation of every success begins with taking responsibility for one’s life and accepting that your choices largely influence your outcome.
3. On Managing time
According to Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad Poor Dad; “The only difference between a rich person and a poor person is how they use their spare time”.
If there was a video camera recording people’s daily routine, it will be pretty easy to predict how people’s life will turn out. We all have 24 hours a day; and we all have our priorities. People choose what to do with their time based on their priority. Poor people prioritize based on emotion and what comes easily to them; whereas rich and successful people prioritize based on what’s important, even when it’s not the easier decision to make.
Life is tough. You cannot keep postponing making the difficult decisions and taking the difficult actions, and expect to have the kind of life you desire. The poor are victim of time. They do the easy thing first and keep the hard things for later. But rich and successful people value their time more than anything else. So they protect and prioritize time. They delegates where necessary and focus on doing the hard things first.
4. On managing Financial
When it comes to managing money, the difference between the poor and the rich is that the poor spend more on liabilities, whereas the rich spend more on assets. This is the primary reason why distributing wealth equally will not solve the inequality problem. The average person doesn’t know how to defer gratification when dealing with money. They see money earned as money to gratify desires and wants. On the other hand, successful people see money earned as a seed to be sown. They invest in themselves, in valuable relationships and in assets that have the potential to make more money. Rich people are always looking for ways to grow their money. While average people spend money they earn on emotional gratification, rich people make their money work for them and only use the offspring of their money to fund their luxury lifestyle. For the poor, money earned is the fruit of their labor. For the rich, money earned is seed to be planted.
5. On Education
Most poor and average people believe their education is solely the responsibility of education institution. They believe academic qualification or lack of it offers all there is to know, and form opinions about everything out of emotion and feeling of victimhood. How many poor people have a mini-library in their home? They believe reading that book, taking that course or working with a mentor are all waste of time and money. Rich and successful people on the other hand take responsibility for their education. They go out of their way to learn what they need to know through every possible means. They believe life itself is a journey of education. Jim Rohn summarizes this nicely, “Formal education will make you a living; but self-education will make you a fortune.
6. On relationships
“Your network is your net-worth” We often throw this quote around, but most average people don’t carefully consider this when dealing with other people. The world is one giant social network. And the people who succeed with the least resistance are people with influential and open networks. ‘Influential’ is not necessarily people in high places, but people that have a level of influence in the scheme of things.
Poor and average people typically build relationships for what they can get from it, with little consideration for what they can offer. They form partners with people that shared their ideologies. Rich people on the other hand, make the effort of surrounding themselves with smarter people. They are more interested in meeting people they can synergize or collaborate with; and are willing to invest in such relationships.
7. On Dealing with Problems
Problems and obstacles are often opportunities in disguise. But for the average person, problems and obstacles must be avoided and complained about. Instead they look for shortcuts out of their problems. For example, the rate of gambling today is quite alarming. New betting businesses are created almost every week. This says a lot about how poor minded people in our society approach problems; they would rather gamble and jump into financial schemes than invest in more productive activities. They believe in luck and wishful thinking. However, a rich mindset understands that it takes focus and consistent effort to achieve anything worthwhile. They focus on what they can change or learn to live with what they can’t change.
No doubt, there are poor people in circumstances that are beyond their control. But if could watch this video, I can safely say that you have the power to change your life, if you will accept to take the responsibility. Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!