If you ask 10 people about their financial goals, 9 of them will tell you they want to be financially successful. Yet only a tiny percentage of people actually succeed at elevating their financial capability. The rest fail at it or at worst, they don’t even try.
Certainly, the problem is not a lack of information; because there is an unlimited number of books, courses, training materials, workshops, seminars, blog posts and videos on how to make more money; keep more money and grow more money. So why is it that with so much information available, only over 99 percent of people who truly desire to be financially successful fail?
Let me explain it to you with a story you may be familiar with.
Do you remember the story of the three blind men and the elephant? In the story, each blind man was asked to walk up to the elephant, feel it with his hands, and describe what an elephant is. The first blind man puts his arms around the leg and decides the elephant is firm and strong, like a tree. The second blind man grabs the swinging tail and defines the elephant as a rope. The third blind man holds the trunk and believes the elephant is like a snake.
From their individual perspective, each of them was partly right to describe an elephant like a tree, a rope or a snake. But from the bigger picture, they were all dangerously wrong. The reason is that the makeup of an elephant is more complex than the narrow experience of each blind man.
What does this have to do with succeeding or failing with financial success?
You see, just like each blind man described an elephant from a fragmented perspective, most of the wealth building teachings are taught from a fragmented perspective. They don’t incorporate the entire picture. The common knowledge people adopt on building wealth can be broken into three camps;
- The attraction camp
- The activity camp and
- The ability camp
The attraction camp teaches prosperity based on the law of attraction; the idea that you can think your way to manifest wealth. People in this camp believe that when you change your thoughts, you attract success.
The activity camp teaches that your actions are what create results; the idea that you create wealth by working hard. Success is all about action. The harder you work, the more you achieve.
The ability camp teaches techniques and know-how; the idea that with the right knowledge and strategy, you can create wealth. In other words, your success is a result of what you know.
In a nutshell, each of these camps believes that all you need to succeed is thoughts, actions or knowledge. Just like the blind men and the elephant, each camp is partially right but totally wrong because you cannot build wealth by focusing on one perspective.
If you have the right knowledge and take action without the right mindset, you will be overwhelmed by setbacks and disappointments. If you have the right mindset and take action without the right knowledge and ability, you will make grievous and unnecessary mistakes. And if you read all the self-help books in the world and have a positive mindset without working hard on what you know, you will be one of those well-read people who are out of touch with reality.
You are more likely to succeed at becoming wealthy when you learn how to integrate the three camps into one. Wealth is just a result of continuously and successfully maintaining a positive mindset, developing the right knowledge and strategies while taking massive action to work hard on what you know. These are the 3 chains of financial success; thoughts, ability and action. People fail to reach their financial capability when the chain is broken.
The first link is broken when you don’t believe you deserve wealth, or falsely conclude that wealth isn’t really possible for you. Thinking negatively about yourself, wealthy people, investing, or money breaks the connection between your thoughts and your action.
The second link in the chain is broken when your action is insufficient to create the desired result. Maybe your financial security does not take high priority in your daily life, or your daily actions aren’t based on your highest priorities due to a lack of clarity. Whatever the reason, your action is inadequate, which means your results will equally be inadequate.
The final link requires you to develop a plan to achieve wealth based on proven success principles. This link is broken if you have no real plan to achieve wealth, your plan is poorly designed, based on incorrect assumptions, or is out of touch with your resources and abilities. Breaking only one link in the chain can set you up for financial failure, and that is why so few people actually succeed at building wealth.
How do you fix this?
Most people are typically strong in one camp of wealth building and weak in the other.
For example, analytical people are good at strategizing, while driven people are strong action takers. Visionaries and creative types are good at the thinking aspect. Very rarely is someone naturally good at all three types. Where people make mistakes is focusing on the education that is most comfortable to their personality. Many people use beliefs and magical thinking to avoid the responsibility for being strategic and taking concrete action. But this is a trap that often leads to frustration and false entitlement. And for the most part, it is irresponsible.
The Right Mindset
If you’re stuck in your thinking, have negative beliefs about yourself or money, or can’t imagine yourself financially successful, then your starting point should be developing the right mindset. No amount of action and strategizing can save you without the right mindset.
A prosperity and abundance mindset will drive you to take develop strategic plans and take greater actions. But never use thoughts and daydreaming as a substitute for planning and action. Nobody is entitled to wealth, and no amount of positive thinking and manifesting can substitute for quality planning and decisive action.
Your financial strategy is what brings purpose, focus, and consistency to your actions and thoughts. Without a strategy based on proven success principles, your actions will be disjointed or maybe pointing in the wrong direction. A well-designed strategy can help you achieve your financial goals with less effort and faster results. Some of the principles at play for an effective strategy include leveraging technology and human resources, developing high demand skills, forming positive habits, risk management, building quality relationships, asset investment and more.
But you have to be careful not to fall into the common trap of “analysis paralysis” syndrome, where planning becomes a substitute for action. You can’t get wealthy by attending seminars and reading books – you must take action. You can’t just intellectualize the process – you must make it happen.
Action is the bridge that connects your thinking to your strategy to produce results. You may envision extraordinary financial success and develop genius plans to achieve it, the only thing that will make the difference is what you actually get done.
The trap here is to falsely believe that the harder you work the closer you will be to financial success. Hard work will likely be involved in building wealth, but what is really required is working smarter.
Action is most effective when it is used to convert healthy financial beliefs and well-designed plans into reality. In other words, don’t get too heavy into action until your strategy and your thoughts are proven. Test small and keep risk to a minimum until you have a proven strategy. Then roll it out with maximum action for maximum results.
99 percent of education on wealth and finance do not offer a complete elephant perspective to achieving financial capability. The result is wasted time, and wasted energy. You must balance all three perspectives; thoughts, action and ability. Fail at one, and you won’t achieve success. Few people are good at all three perspectives. Your job is to balance yourself by strengthening your weak part.
Until next time, YOUR SUCCESS MATTERS!