Hello! Seiiti Arata. I remember a co-worker at one of my first ever jobs would always say: “ Man, I’m rich. I’m just a rich man who’s temporarily broke.” And I’d laugh and say” Me too! Now move over a bit, it’s way too crowded on this bus and I’m sweating!”
So a few years went by, and I ended up bumping into this co-worker again, who was doing really financially well. He kept working hard, he invested in himself, by doing training and a postgrad, and when I saw him again, you could definitely say that he was rich. The only difference being, he’s got the money this time round. A rich man’s brain and a rich man’s wallet to match.
The opposite is true too. I won’t name any names (because there is no need), but from that time on, there were countless cases of celebrities, artists, and renowned athletes going completely broke. You could say they had a rich person’s wallet but a poor person’s brain.
1. Rich person’s brain? Poor person’s brain?
That’s right. The type of brain we have will determine what kind of choices we make.
To be more specific in terms of vocabulary, “ rich person’s/ poor person’s brain” is not ideal, given that the word “brain” suggests there’s something wrong with the physical, genetic, hardware underpinning the grey matter in your head. That’s not the case! What matters is the software, the app, the mindset running through your head. And just like any software or app, you can change your preferences and settings at any time. All you need is to want it, and then, to learn how to do it. To learn more about the connection between changing your mindset and wealth, please visit arata.se/moneytaboo where this is discussed in more detail.
Let’s improve the terminology we use, and stop talking about the rich person’s brain. Let’s talk about the rich person’s mindset. We will stop talking about the poor person’s brain and talk about the poor person’s mindset instead.
And yes, there is such a thing a rich mindset and a poor mindset.
Your mindset can and must exercised. I’ll say that again: Our mindset has absolutely nothing to do with what our financial circumstances are looking like today . There are wealthy people with a poor mindset (who will probably spend everything they have and get into debt if they don’t change their behaviour), and then there are people with a wealthy mindset who happen to be temporarily out of money, just like the friend that I worked with many years ago. These people are on the path to financial profit.
2. Don’t confuse BEING with HAVING
First off, you’ve got to BE. Only then can you begin to HAVE. Choose to be wealthy now, and to pick the right course of action that will lead you to money.
Attitude begins with identity. When my friend said he was rich, although he didn’t have any money, he was making an affirmation on an identity level. This is very important, because our behaviour is based on coherence.
If I were to identify with poverty, I wouldn’t even bother to look into making investments because my mindset would tell me that I am poor and that therefore making investments isn’t something that I’m capable of doing. Why should I waste my time studying a subject that I’ll never be able to use ? Here’s a self-fulfilling prophecy for you: I don’t believe I can, so I do absolutely nothing about it, and obviously get nothing in return.
If I were to identify with wealth, even without a penny to my name, I would subconciously make the time to learn about investments, or entrepreneurship. I would take any opportunity to get things going, to earn a little money for my work, and to ensure it grows thanks to my efforts.
3. Understand time as a dimension.
People with a poor mindset don’t understand time as a dimension. They want an instant result. When you show them an investment opportunity, and explain that the money needs to stay invested for twenty years so that it can grow with accrued interest, what do you think happens?
Someone with a poor person’s mindset will turn their nose up at it. They’ll say they might be dead by then. They’ll say they haven’t got the patience. They’ll get suspicious and say that there is no guarantee they’ll get their money back. They’ll get creative and make a thousand excuses to justify their lack of interest in just learning a bit more.
Someone with a wealthy mindset will ask for further information. They’ll study factors surrounding the amount of risk that’s involved. They’ll reflect on the goals they could achieve and the dreams that could come true as a result of the investment. A person with a wealthy mindset sees investment as a way of opening doors to their dreams.
Understanding time gives you more clarity. An understanding of time helps you to make conscious decisions. This includes finding the strength to sacrifice a little to sew the seeds in the present, so that you can reap a lot of great results in the future.
To have a poor person’s mindset is to be a slave to instant gratification.
What happens when someone doesn’t have the calmness and clarity of mind needed to wait for the rewards?They’ll turn into a desperate, anxious person who ends up falling for the first get-rich-quick promise they come across. This is the kind of person that will always fall victim to any sort of hoax involving wealth.
4. Don’t be a 21st century illiterate.
Alvin Toffler said that in the 21st century, illiteracy isn’t defined as the inability to read or write. Rather, in this day and age, illiteracy is the inability to learn useful information. The inability to unlearn useless information. How to relearn what has changed. In other words, illiteracy today is not learning.
A poor mindset is one that isn’t interested in learning. It’s the fear of stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s to take one look at the world of investment, think it’s complicated, and stay well away. Anyone that avoids learning will never get rich. Ever. They’re a 21st century illiterate.
Pride is part of the poor person’s mindset. So is a lack of humility. Someone who is proud and lacks humility never wants to be wrong. They never want to admit that they don’t know something. They don’t want to ask for help, they’d rather protect their ego, their image as a superior person. For that reason alone, they play the game in the EASY mode, and avoid risking failure. That’s being fragile. Being fragile is when you avoid risk as much as possible because you believe that you’ll fail at the first hurdle, that the damage done will be irreversible, that you’ll be permanently broken. Fragility.
Curiosity, exploration, adventure, learning and growth are all part of a wealthy mindset. Going down that path involves making mistakes. Mistakes are part of it. Falling is part of it. Standing up and learning from your mistakes and getting better each and every time is also part of it. That’s what Nassim Taleb calls ANTIFRAGILITY. Learning from your mistakes, learning from the chaos, the unexpected, the disappointments, and the frustration, pain, and betrayal, the government’s bureaucracy and every kind of difficulty that seems to stand in the way of your progress.
An illiterate person is someone who doesn’t learn, doesn’t change, is a cry-baby who’ll look at a problem and complain. They’ll make out as if it’s not their fault. They’ll try to protect their ego, their self-image and say they’re a poor, helpless thing. That’s the poor mindset.
Someone who is literate is brave, and has a desire to learn. Obviously, they’ll think about it carefully before deciding to take a risk. They manage the risk. The way they expose themselves to risk is smart. They learn from their mistakes and get better every time.
Don’t be an illiterate who never learns. Be literate. It’s a matter of choice. You only need to want, in order to learn. Go to arata.se/moneytaboo now, and we’ll do just that together, with in-depth learning materials.
Once you’ve got the desire to learn, to change, to improve constantly, you design your identity and a wealthy mindset.
Here’s a series of clichés that summarise the wealthy mindset: Play your own game, instead of playing other people’s. Be the CEO of your life. Make your own destiny. Trust your gut. Decide what you want from life, and then go get it. Be proactive. We’ll talk about this more on arata.se/moneytaboo