If you’re reading this, great news: You’re wealthy! Or you’re on your way to being wealthy. At the very least, you have wealthy thinking versus poor thinking, a wealthy person’s temperament, which is the first step toward being wealthy. By virtue of reading this educational—and I might add highly edifying—blog post, you are exhibiting a trait that sharply separates the wealthy from the poor: reading educational material, which 88% of wealthy people do versus just 2% of poor people.
You may remember this statistic from a previous show that explored disparities in habits between the rich and the poor. As a brief recap, here are a few of the previously discussed habits, and a breakdown in the percentages of wealthy people versus poor people that practice them:
Focus on accomplishing single goal; 80% of wealthy versus 10% of poor
Exercise aerobically 4+ days a week; 75% of wealthy versus 23% of poor
Maintain a to-do list: 81% of wealthy versus 19% of poor
Believe they create good luck for themselves: 84% of wealthy versus 4% of poor
But there are some categories in which poor people excel:
Say what’s on their mind: 6% of wealthy versus 69% of poor
Watch reality TV: 6% of wealthy versus 78% of poor
This selection of habits illustrates the temperamental difference between the wealthy and the poor. This is not to suggest that if poor people exercised more and maintained a to-do list they would magically be wealthy. Rather, it suggests that one who is naturally the kind of person who would exercise and watch less reality TV is also the kind of person who would be wealthy. Wealth, along with exercising, efficiently prioritizing time, and being disciplined enough to not always says what’s on one’s mind, are all the result of thinking about the world in a certain way.
On this week’s show, we delved deeper into the thinking patterns of wealthy and poor people. By understanding how these two groups see the world, it is easy to understand why each group adopts different habits, and how these habits ultimately determine their financial fortunes. Consider the below examples of Rich Thinking versus Poor Thinking:
I create my life vs. Life happens to me
I play the money game to win vs. I play to not lose
I am committed to being rich vs. I want to be rich
I focus on opportunities vs. I focus on obstacles
I admire rich and successful people vs. I resent rich and successful people
I am willing to promote myself and my values vs. I think negatively about selling and promoting anything
I am bigger than my problems vs. I am smaller than my problems
I gladly receive constructive criticism vs. I do not accept criticism of any kind
I choose to get paid based on the results of my work vs. I choose to get paid on the time I spend on my work
I focus on my net worth vs. I focus on my working income
I can always learn something new vs. I already know everything I need to know
The differences in these modes of thinking demonstrate key personality differences between rich people and poor people. Primarily, it is the difference between being confident yet humble on one hand and insecure yet stubborn on the other. Rich people are optimistic about their potential to thrive in the world; poor people are pessimistic, and believe outside factors inhibit their potential.
These differences affect not only where these groups are but where they’re going. If your general outlook is that the odds are already against you, and you refuse to learn new things or acquire new skills—like investing skills—because you believe you know all there is to know, you have prevented yourself from not only discovering but pursuing new opportunities. You have lost the game before you even tried playing.
In the second hour of this week’s show, I used the example of renters versus owners to illustrate the differences between rich thinking and poor thinking. The impatient, imprudent, and undisciplined thinking that typically results in deciding to rent an apartment exhibits all the classic traits of a poor thinker. These will be recurring themes over the coming months, and one of the key advantages of Rich Thinking will become starkly apparent: It is able to adapt to changing circumstances, while Poor Thinking is not.
3-15-14 Wealthy Thinking Versus Poor Thinking