Money is a wonderfully complex topic, one that raises a wide range of emotional responses. You’ve most likely heard the old adage that you should “never discuss money, politics, sex or religion when in a social setting”. Do you know why that is? The advice is based on the belief that we (in the broadest sense of the word) are so emotionally attached to our beliefs on all four subjects that discussing them in mixed company could easily lead to confrontation. Fair enough, most of us would probably agree with that. The real question though, is “when and how did we become so emotional about money?”
Despite the somewhat cheesy title, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, by T. Harv Eker, is a quick read worth checking out. The premise of the book is simple: you can learn all the investment, saving or wealth building tips in the world, but if you’re not mentally prepared to own and maintain that wealth – unless your “financial thermostat” is set to a higher amount – the money will go as soon as it arrives. While even that description may sound a little too “warm and fuzzy” for some, I found Secrets of the Millionaire Mind to be full of practical and easy to implement concepts, all of which are geared around the goal of mental reprogramming.
The Mental Blueprint
"I’ve had thousands of problems in my life, most of which never actually happened."
Eker suggests that all of our thoughts and beliefs about money come from three sources: Verbal Programming, Modeling and Specific Incidents. (I’m certainly not a psychiatrist, but it seems these could apply to virtually any aspect of life… but I digress.) Eker believes that these three sources create, at a very young age, our attitudes and beliefs when it comes to money. What he stresses is that our “understanding” is simply a story; programming that we let ourselves believe to be fact. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind is a book about re-writing that story; creating productive mental “files” that can be used to replace our current beliefs.
"There is no such thing as a really rich victim!"
In the above quote, “rich” could really be referring to anything – rich in love, rich in peace of mind, rich in philanthropic spirit, etc. In this case we’re talking about money, but the fact is universally applicable – you will never attain greatness if you insist on being a victim. A victim, for clarification, is someone who deflects responsibility. Anything bad that happens to them was beyond their control, and anything positive… well, victims rarely have a ton of good luck now, do they? To determine how much you fall into the victim category, monitor yourself for a day and see how often you use one of these victimization tactics: Blame, Justification or Complaining.
The good news is that if you (or someone you know) is playing the victim, it’s never too late to change. Eker offers a great starting point: “Here’s some homework that I promise will change your life. For the next seven days, I challenge you to not complain at all. Not just out loud, but in your head as well.”
I’d do it for a week regardless, even if you’re not a victim. Good things happen when you shift from complaining to solving problems.
Leaving Port, Anyway
"'Ready, fire, aim!' … Get ready the best you can in as short a time as possible, take action; then correct along the way."
Did you know that for most of the time spent in any given voyage, a sailing vessel is off course? Same with airplanes. They’re hardly ever flying directly towards their destination. The fact is that the elements make it impossible to always be going in the ideal direction. So should the captain wait until there is no wind, or the ocean is as smooth as glass? Of course not. The captains of these vessels understand that the majority of their job is course correction. If they waited until conditions were perfect, they’d never go anywhere.
Get started. Action gives you energy and energy gives you confidence. Confidence is crucial to success. Take chances, and stretch your comfort zone; especially in regards to money. One of the best ways to reprogram your mental blueprint is to create new, real world experience that you can then draw from in the future – experience that supports the new attitude you’d like to have towards money. Get out there and do something – anything – that challenges you to grow.
Secrets of the Millionaire Mind is a brash, in your face, grossly over simplified comparison of “rich people” mindsets to “poor people” mindsets. Eker is over the top and relentless… and it just might work. The fact of the matter is these lessons have been taught before and, so long as the majority of North Americans are effectively living the exact opposite principles, they’ll be taught some more.
If you’re not living the financial lifestyle you’d like right now, do yourself a favor and get informed. Get a coach (even if he’s hiding in the pages of a book rather than live) and get started on creating the lifestyle you’ve always wanted. If you’re not a victim, you’re taking charge. So take charge. Secrets of the Millionaire Mind isn’t only informative, it’s a heck of a lot of fun, too. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what it’s all about?