If you want to be wealthy and successful but find that you’re not, perhaps you need to consider how you really feel about the ones who are.
Is This You?
You drive a car that’s more than five years old. Maybe it’s more than 10 years old. You have concerns about its reliability and sometimes you go places where you’re embarrassed to be seen pulling up in it or parking it. At the same time, you might be proud of how long you’ve kept it running. Perhaps you feel defiant about it when you have to turn it over to a parking valet: “Not fancy enough for you? Tough.” You may have made your “financial modesty” a virtue. You wear your old car like a badge of honor.
You live in an apartment and can’t see how you will ever be able to afford a house. Perhaps you’ve never even allowed yourself to consider the possibility. Or you live with a roommate or family because you can’t handle the rent single-handedly.
You haven’t taken a vacation—a real vacation, where you drive or fly somewhere else, far from home, and stay for a few days or a couple weeks—in more than five years. Perhaps you’ve never taken one.
You live paycheck to paycheck and have little or no savings. And, until you read this sentence, you probably hadn’t given it any thought to savings in a long time.
Your situation may be like this. It may be worse or better. If you read this and said with a smile, “Yeah, that’s me!” and feel okay about it, that’s fine. But if you read it and didn’t feel so good about it, keep reading.
If you’ve read this far, it is assumed that you consider yourself to be neither rich nor successful … but you’d like to be.
There may be all kinds of reasons for failing to become wealthy and successful, but there’s one that comes up so often that it’s worth taking a look at:
What is your attitude toward rich and successful people?
Be honest. Do you mostly admire them or mostly resent them?
The simplicity of this question is that, if you resent wealthy and successful people, it’s because you feel there is something bad or wrong with them or with wealth and/or success.
No one wants to be something they consider bad or wrong.
The point here is not to lead you into some kind of web-based psychotherapy, so let’s keep this simple: It’s possible that you’re not rich or successful because, at some time, you concluded that wealth and success were bad. Or that a particular wealthy and successful person was bad and you would never be like them. Instead, you would be totally the opposite of them.
We all strive to do the right things. So, if wealth is somehow bad for you, the only way to be right is to not be rich.
It’s possible that you adopted this attitude from someone you admired.
The wild thing about this is that you probably did not draw this conclusion consciously but rather without thinking about it too deeply. You may not be able to name a particular person. Maybe you don’t even need to.
This could be totally wrong, but, for a lot of people, it’s at least worth a look.
One thing is for sure: whoever it was, they don’t care. It’s not affecting their wealth or success; if anything, it may be affecting yours.
In this book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, entrepreneur and author, T. Harv Eker addresses this perspective: “Rich people admire other rich and successful people. Poor people resent rich and successful people.”
The solution isn’t to identify why you chose to resent wealth or which wealthy person in particular you concluded was bad. The solution is simply to admire wealth in any way you can.
You may not make an immediate 180-degree flip in your attitude, but you can start somewhere:
- Instead of sneering at that driver in the shiny new Mercedes or BMW who’s speeding up, let them into your lane and generate as much admiration as you can for their ability to afford a nice, new car.
- Drive or walk through an affluent area and look at the houses. Feel some admiration for a fellow human being who can afford to live in a luxurious house or a mansion.
- Choose a successful business and write the owner a message (letter or email) telling them how much you admire their success.
If you can’t grant admiration to a Mercedes owner or a mansion owner today, then click it down a few notches: go for Mini Coopers and more modest houses.
Above all, be sincere in your feelings of admiration. Don’t just paste a fake smile on your face and tell someone how much you admire them while wishing you could kick them.
Contrary to what you might think, you can control your thoughts. And by becoming mentally friendlier toward wealth and success, you will make it more likely for yourself.