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The Psychology of Money: Chapter 1
I am happy to be writing this article for Mundo, as I believe this is probably one of the most important and fundamental concepts that you need to acquire if you are to deal with wealth creation. Money is amental concept that is nothing but a series of belief systems.
I am not saying this in some sort of a new age transformational way (although this also is true) but in a concrete ‘scientific’ immediately observable way. Once you grasp this you will understand how obviously and basically true it is. Let me begin with some examples.
If you ask a person to think about a certain car, e.g. a Ferrari, he will begin to notice Ferraris everywhere, suddenly every few minutes he will see a Ferrari passing by whereas before he has never noticed them. He will begin to wonder why there are suddenly so many Ferraris on the street. Now add to this emotional attachment.
Let’s say a child really-really wants an ice cream. Have you noticed this with children that when they really-really want something? All their energy focus and attention goes on that object. Now this kid who is walking down the street will begin to notice ice cream shops everywhere, but the kid has no money. Does this stop the kid? – No, of course not: he will begin doing everything to get that ice cream from promising to do his homework , to crying and screaming, to even asking strangers to lend him money to buy an ice cream if he wants this badly enough.
Now it doesn’t matter whether you are a hardnosed materialist who believes the brain is a programmable computer or a mystical quantum physicist who believes the brain can manifest what it wishes for, the theory doesn’t really matter because the fact is that the brain/mind is capable of creating or obtaining anything it truly wants and or on the other side obtaining exactly what it doesn’t want or is afraid of. In other words it is true that the brain gets whatever it regularly concentrates on.
Let's continue with examples:
So, imagine two people who live by the sea: one person loves to fish, every day he concentrates on how to catch fish, he loves to catch fish, loves the shape and smell and feel of fish and is always learning about the habits of fish. The other person thinks fish smell, hates the sea to the point of fearing it because he cannot swim, knows nothing about fish habits and doesn’t want to learn.
If hunger comes and both of them have to feed the family by fishing it won’t take genius to guess which one will be able to feed his family with a fish dinner every day.
So, the first fundamental thing that must be understood about money is that you have to have the right attitude towards it from the beginning. This is one of the reasons why the majority of the world’s population is poor. If you look at the psychology of poor people you will find that what unites them is a negative attitude to money. Money according to them is “evil“, money does not buy happiness or love, rich people are bad. Other thought patterns that are common in poor people is that “we can never afford this“, “we have to work hard for our money” and in order to make a penny you must do “an honest day’s work” i.e. working in a hard manual labour position. Other variants of the attitudes born of ghetto are “money is shit”, “money is to be wasted (spent) not saved“.
This attitude is passed on by poor parents to their children in a never ending intergenerational cycle that is rarely broken. Poor people breed poor children. That is why around 90% of those who win immense fortunes in the lotto end up poor, why slum kids who have made it big as performers, boxers, etc. end up snorting their money up their noses and throwing it away on parties, etc. ending up broke.
This attitude is reinforced by the press, by the school system and society generally so that we are constantly asked to spend money on things for ourselves and others and constantly told how rich people are not paying their taxes and because of this the poor are suffering. Society’s message to us is that we should not even try to get rich but spend our money and pay our taxes .This message is not coincidental. Without poor stupid consumers the system would break.
The rich, especially the intergenerationally rich, love money in the true sense of the word. They study the laws of money, they surround themselves constantly with people and ideas that help them make more money and they feel completely comfortable around money and objects and things that represent money. Even when they have the misfortune to lose all their money they quickly make it back again because money is in their comfort zone. They are not obsessed with things or with spending but with the process of making and preserving wealth.
So, you ask but how do I become comfortable with money. Simply learn to love money, let me show you techniques for doing so.
About the Techiques to Get a Correct Attitude Towards Money
A. Clear or remove your misconceptions and thoughts about money
Because if your attitude is that money is evil you are not going to be able to change your state and therefore your finances will not improve. Changing this is to start thinking about the positive benefits money can bring you, your loved ones and the freedom it can bring you. You can do this by simply each morning meditating on money by thinking how abundant the universe is and how there is money everywhere and that you deserve some of it.
B. Surround yourself with wealthy people and expensive things
But that is only the first step, you should create a money slide, that is constantly envision yourself surrounded by wealthy people and expensive things and rather than thinking you cannot afford them. Believe you deserve them. If you like Gucci and have always wanted to wear it, begin by walking into Gucci store as if you intend to buy things, try them on, feel comfortable as if you were meant to buy them and had no issues. You will be amazed how this will expand your comfort zone with money.
Being comfortable around money is still however insufficient, since making money is a learned skill. You should constantly learn about money by subscribing to journals, videos and books about money and investing. Each day you should seek out opportunities to make money such as visiting real estate agents to look at opportunities in real estate, etc. The internet actually contains all you ever need to know about making money and all the courses you will ever need. Start learning today, do not put it off.
It is amazing how many people watch movies about fighting, dream about being black-belt martial artists but actually never even bother to take a single lesson in martial arts or to practice. Money, like martial arts, is a learned skill that takes constant daily practice and commitment.
C. Change your social circle
The hardest thing you will have to do however is to change your social circle and surroundings. As I have said earlier, poor people have bad attitudes and habits around money that they reinforce with each other and their children. At social gatherings they talk about how hard life, is how expensive everything is getting and how they can’t make a living. They like distracting sports like football and money wasting activities like gambling. The wealthy will talk about the next stock option or deal and if the economy is bad will talk about the fire sale opportunities it brings.
It is amazing how many of my wealthy clients do their business deals, investing decisions at social gatherings and outings. You may at this stage say that it is impossible to change ones social circle but in today’s internet age it is easier than ever. There are hundreds of ways to meet people who are wealthy or interested in wealth. These include seminars, online forums, clubs, and even renting an apartment in a certain neighbourhood and joining the local golf or polo club or sending your children to the right school. Indeed as many wealth gurus have repeated for over 100 years: you are the sum of the five closest friends you hang out with. They influence your thoughts, your actions, your beliefs and your values. Indeed there have been many studies demonstrating that sane people placed in mental asylums for sufficiently long periods, themselves become clinically insane. Indeed early French psychologists have shown that new born babies raised by an insane mother obtain the same clinical pathologies and delusions that the mother has; they even coined a clinical term for this ‘folie a deux’ or the ‘madness of two’.
I do not wish to go into the rabbit hole of insanity and sanity, however as you should be careful to associate with people who carry deadly transmittable disease like the bubonic plague you should equally protect yourself and your family, and close friends from the financially insane, i.e. the people who believe that poverty is somehow a god-given blessing and money is evil. Remove these people like a infected wound from your life and you will immediately see your wealth and your attitude to wealth change for the better.
D. Change your bad habits for good ones
And I have saved the best technique to the last. Of the hundreds, actually thousands of books and articles, and seminars on wealth, that I have personally read and attended, this point alone synthesises everything into one set of simple easy to follow techniques. I guarantee you if you use this technique alone and use it religiously, it will change your financial life immeasurably. Indeed, I am so certain of this that if you try it and it doesn’t work I will give you free personalised coaching for a year until it does. This technology has been written about before, as there is nothing new under the sun but I believe that in the manner I have synthesised it below, it is original. So please pay close attention.
Let us begin with the premise or thought that a human being is a collection of habits. This is now basically accepted by human behaviour scientists and is generally observable as true. Over the years you can ingrain habits into a human being and the series of habits that they have forms their life. For example, the habit of drinking creates an alcoholic, the habit if gambling finally becomes the gambler and the habit of eating becomes the obese man.
Now the primary cause of bad habits is anxiety. In terms of money poor people usually feel anxious about money meaning they are uncomfortable with it, they want to avoid the feeling caused by lack of money (anxiety). So, they have various anxiety avoiding behaviours that eventually become ingrained habits. Before I go on I want you to understand that anxiety is neither a bad or good thing, indeed, it exists as a biological early-warning system that something is wrong. Like, for example, feeling anxious when walking down a dark street where you are likely to be mugged. It is the response to anxiety that can make the difference between a word leader and a street bum.
Let us look at the example of typical working man’s habits in response to say the stress of a poorly paid job or an uncertain economic future.
The working man’s habits which can be termed “poor” anxiety avoidance habits could be listed as the following:
1. He switches off his brain by watching TV. Indeed, for instance, working class Americans spend up to 5 hours a day watching TV.
2. To make himself feel good he spends money. He doesn’t have to buy things he doesn’t need by maxing out his credit card on a shopping spree and then spends the year paying it off.
3. In order to get some chance at making money he ends up gambling what he earns and playing lotto daily even though his actual chance of becoming wealthy from these activities is virtually zero.
4. To make himself feel good on the little he earns he takes them to eat junk food (or takes drugs) ending up obese and in bad heath.
Now obviously each person has their own set of anxiety avoiding bad habits, but in financial terms it is fairly simple to make a list of these bad habits and to determine how they affect your financial present and future. It is easy to see that the constant “practice “of the above four habits would practically guarantee that the person practicing them would always be poor and would actually become poorer as he grows older.
Let us now write down anxiety avoiding or reducing habits that would be the very opposite of the above four habits but would over time make the person rich. Let us assume that this was the very same person with the same wage and the same class and education but he had instead four diametrically opposite habits to the above that over time would make him rich.
Thus let us cal him Johnny. Like his co-worker, he comes back from a hard day’s work and is anxious about his financial future.
These are the four habits that Johnny has:
1. Instead of watching for 4-5 hours a brain numbing television, Johnny has taken an online course on investments, he spends the time educating himself and getting degree or diploma in investing. This, ultimately gives him better ideas on where to put his money but also up-skills him, so he can do online consulting as a financial adviser, for example, allowing him to get a better career and, hence, increase his pay check. This behaviour like watching TV avoids or lessens the anxiety of not having money but it is a positive anxiety-avoidance behaviour and therefore eventually reduces or removes the problem that causes the financial anxiety i.e. lack of money.
2. Johnny also borrows money, but instead of spending it on things he starts an online business to sell things, with the money his colleague spends on shopping sprees Johnny starts a small web based online shop for, say, car parts for vintage cars. This allows him to follow his hobby which is vintage cars. Since Johnny knows a lot about vintage cars, his web site will become a success and more and more people will visit the site and buy used car parts. Since the used car parts business gives about 100% return on investment upon witty application, Johnny can make a tidy nest egg.
3. Johnny does not gamble but instead opens a brokerage account to invest some of his savings into the stock market. The sensation he gets from the TV screen when he watches stocks is the same as gambling but Johnny knows that the more he learns and the more he plays the share trading game, the more likely he is to preserve and increase his capital. So, rather than a gambler, Johnny has become a stock investor which is the rich man’s way of gambling.
4. Johnny knows that junk food is for poor people. He wants him and his family to stay healthy because he knows that health habit is a key to financial success. Thus, instead of taking his family to junk food pig outs, Johnny takes them exercising together and hits the gym. Gym and exercise also reduce anxiety and create pleasure and are addictive. However, the result is that Johnny is happier, healthier and therefore more alert and more likely to be able to spot and develop business opportunities when they arise. It is an obvious fact that sick people find it much harder to keep up business activities or relationships.
Now the amazing thing is that the brain desperately seeks a set of actions to avoid anxiety that when practiced becomes a habit. The brain does this unconsciously either through being taught these habits by peer groups, schools, social groups or parents. What is most amazing is that the unconscious part of the brain that follows the habit finds no difference between a bad or a good habit. In other words it is just as easy or difficult to teach someone a bad habit as a good one.
The difficult part is teaching anew habit, whether bad or good. For example, it is equally difficult for a healthy fit person used to training two hours a day to learn to watch television for five hours a day (whilst eating junk food) as it is to turn a couch potato into an athlete . Both have to give us ingrained habits to do so.
But the good news is that it only takes 90 days to create a new habit or replace a bad habit with a good habit. Thus, if for 90 days the couch potato gets up and goes to the gym and trains religiously at the time he would have been watching TV, after those 90 days he will get so much pleasure from training and feeling fit that you won’t be able to drag him back to his old habit. The key is consistency i.e. daily practice and never to try to change more than one or two habits at a time.
Thus, all you need to do is make a list of the habits that you have that are bad for you financially and replace these habits with those that are good for you financially and practice these religiously every day for 90 days. Over the course of years you should replace most of your bad habits with good habits and then you will be unstoppable.
What I want to leave you with is the understanding that poverty, like wealth, is simply a habit or set of habits that has been taught by society. 99% of society is made up of the two classes of people: rich and poor who have entirely different attitudes and habits about money. The poor class of people who are deliberately taught poor habits that are reinforced by everything and everyone they come into contact with, the other 1% of rich people are exposed to a entirely different set of habits from birth designed to make them increase their wealth.
Wealth and poverty are mind sets or habit sets nothing more and nothing less.
SUMMARRY: THE 10 HABITS OF RICH PEOPLE
1. Create new attitudes around money by changing your old limiting beliefs about money. Money is power, money is good, money is freedom, and money is abundant.
2. Regularly come into contact with expensive things, clothes, places, so that you learn to feel comfortable around wealth (but do not buy), e.g. browse around in a Gucci site.
3. Create a money slide by regularly feeling yourself a wealthy person. A good way to do this is to visit a real estate agent dressed like a wealthy person to discuss purchasing an investment property. In this slide you must actually fully believe that you are willing and able to buy the investment property.
4. Start seeking out wealthy friends and frequent clubs and places where wealthy people go.
5. Learn to notice or seek financial opportunities everywhere. Believe that the universe is abundant with money and there are lots of money making opportunities available.
6. Regularly educate yourself about and study money.
7. Save at least 10% of everything you earn.
8. Invest what you save.
9. Do not buy personal or luxury items on credit (in fact, get for you a debit card and lock away the credit card).
10. Find your bad financial habits and replace them with good financial habits
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eugene Freeman is the nom de plume of one of the world’s top trust and asset protection lawyers who has specialized in establishing Family Offices for some of the world’s wealthiest people.
He has practiced in multiple jurisdictions and has particular expertise in the construction and management of family office structures.
Mr. Freeman has lectured on numerous international seminars and appeared on such sites as International Wealth, Escape Artist, International Living, Worldoffshore Banks, and has consulted and has acted as counsel to figures such as Jeff Berwick and many crypto millionaires.
His new book “Avoiding Death and Taxes” describes the upcoming global collapse and the strategies used by the world’s wealthiest families to hedge financial risk and grow the money.
The book shatters modern misconceptions fostered on us by the system and teaches its readers to utilize strategies to preserve and make wealth intergenerationally.
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