A life long romance with poverty isn’t anyone’s idea of a great life – even those who have actually taken the vows of poverty. This is because, a life of poverty, to a large degree, means you’ll always be on the receiving end of all of life’s nasty ‘treats’ for heavens knows when. It also means that your ‘destiny’ would be determined to a large extent by some forces outside of your immediate control (and at your detriment too).
However, many persons find themselves on the side of poverty in life – consciously or unconsciously. Sadly, they also keep habits that ensure that they would never leave the great circles of poverty.
So, what are these habits and how can you help yourself out of them?
Herd Mentality Keeps You Poor – Indefinitely
There is a reason each one of us was bestowed with an individual brain in our heads – we are supposed to be thinkers! However, when you deliberately refuse to use yours, then, something is definitely not far from you…that something, most often, is poverty.
The herd mentality exhibites itself in a variety of ways: dogmatically following trends and fashion fads, refusing to be different from others even when you know they are wrong (because of fear of being looked upon as unpopular) or even refusing to change the beliefs you brought up with even though they are long past their usefulness or simply do not work any longer!
Herd mentality is really strong – and in most cases, the victims are persons who are really outward or have a tendency for being extroverts. These set of people (while definitely not the only ones plagued by the herd mentality challenge) are by far the most hit…the idea of popular culture resonates soundly with them and most do not wish to be ‘left behind’
How To Know You Have A Case Of Herd Mentality:
- You do not question anything – especially ‘authority’ and what is popular (even if they are both stupid).
- You do not worry about your personal comfort/opinion when choosing things/making decisions…what is popular simply goes – and is acceptable by you.
- You have nagging headaches whenever you have to give serious thought to an issue bothering you…you prefer instead to share it with a ‘friend’ and go with whatever the friend says.
How To Tackle Herd Mentality:
- Buy only the things that would serve you and your interests – even if they are unpopular. The world really does not care; neither does it give a damn!
- Before you seek advice from anyone (if you must), make sure that you already have about 80% idea of what the answer is – seek only the remaining 20%.
- Always think things through before accepting (or endorsing them). If you have a challenge with that, kindly conduct independent research before you decide.
Buying Things Because They Are Fashion Statements (And Not For Their Value) Means You Aren’t Prepared For Wealth Yet
In my latest eBook, I did argue that without money, it is very difficult to achieve anything worthwhile. This is because, at one point or another, you would need money to cross ‘one bridge’ or another ‘hurdle’. Unfortunately, there is a strong correlation here too: if you buy things because they are fashion statements (and not because you need them), how on earth will you ever be rich?!
Sadly, this is the reality of the world today.
Daily, people around the world change clothes, houses, automobiles, electronic gadgets etc. for a very trivial reason: they are no longer in vogue! The sad fact is that the replacements contain frivolous features that these persons (which may include you), do not need!
An instance may surprise you: there was an old friend of mine who had to change his 2001 Nissan Pathfinder to the 2010 Landcruiser. While I congratulated him on the purchase, I was interested in knowing while he had let the old trusty Pathfinder go. His reasons were simple: the Landcruiser had more class – and ability! While this was true, my friend only used the Landcruiser to drop off his kids at school and his wife – to go grocery shopping. And then the shocker: the cooler box was used by him to store CD packs (and as a temporary trash can!) Can you imagine?!
So, why on earth did he pay those hefty dollars for, especially when his older Pathfinder still delivered excellently? Class…
How To Detect You Are Buying Things You Don’t Need:
- You change your old stuff (cars, electronics, bikes etc) for the simple crime that they are no longer in vogue!
- You get new stuff (cars etc) whose features you are either ignorant of or cannot figure how to use or how they would make your life better.
- You seriously crave the attention new ‘toys’ bring. That ‘wow’ look on the face of your admirers is something you love above all else!
How To Buy Things For Their Value And Not Becaue They Are Fashion Statements:
- Even if something is 100 years old (and is still performing fine – and without risk of injury or breakdown), never change it. How would you manage to justify such a change anyway?
- Before you get something new, make sure you understand it’s features and have need for them.
- Even when something is spoilt – or broken, consider a fix/repair before contemplating a total replacement. Usually, you save thousands of bucks that way – yearly!
Insisting On Excellence (Even On Idiotic Ventures) Keeps You Well Below Average
Seeking excellence in (nearly) all that we do is often a great idea. However, when you start desiring excellence in trivial things, you wind up looking cheap and actually getting yourself poorer. The reason is simple: why some things matter, others are curiously irrelevant and acquiring/insisting that they should be of a superior class or pass the ‘excellency test’ usually does not change the fact that you are (inferior – and maybe poor) if that is what you are. In the long run too, you wind up poorer than you ever imagined!
Expensive clothes, accessories and gadgets are a classic example. What is the rationale of using a $80,000 wrist watch when a simple one of $10 keeps time in precisely the same manner? Or of using a 24k gold plated iPhone when an ordinary one costs about 50 times less? Or buying a suit stuffed with diamonds…What exactly are the points?
How To Know You Unecesarily Insist On Excellence:
- You prefer everything you own to be fully customized from your house to your cuff links.
- You like the idea of having the only version of any product – and as a result, detest products readily available in the market.
- You crave old artifacts that are no longer available – for obvious reasons.
How To Fix Things:
- Attach premium only on very few (and seriously important) things; the rest, be glad to forget about/be content they are ‘ordinary’.
- Shun things that are expensive for no good reason especially artifacts and monuments.
- Insist on paying only for the ‘functionality’ that you are buying. An iPhone that is plated with gold for instance does not make calls any faster – neither does it produce money on its own!
Practising The Statement: ‘No Knowledge Is Wasted’
Many persons go about claiming that ‘no knowledge is wasted’…to fully practicalize this silly statement, they go about cramming just about everything into their brains – things they will never use their entire lives or worse, things that do not have a direct bearing on their immediate success – today or in the near future! This is really sad and quite pathetic.
…Unfortunately too, you may be one of such!
When you believe that no knowledge is wasted, it leads to an information overload which in turn ensures that you gather all the garbage in the world into your head – leaving no room for what is truly important and beneficial to take stock. Usually too, garthering just about every garbage you can into your head ensures that you do not only feel confused, but actively remain confused – especially as the garbage you accumulated usually conflicts with other (otherwise) excellent ideas you have, seated deep in your head.
How To Know If You Gather Trash:
- You enjoy learning many things which you cannot explain their importance or the bearing they have (or may have) on your life.
- Personally, you enjoy learning what is easy (and most times, petty) even though you always have the option of the harder and more practical course.
- You prefer learning to be easy – and on a platter of gold; any stress associated with learning makes you want to change course, immediately.
What To Do If You Are Known To Gather Trash:
- Always determine the benefit(s), immediate or remote, of any body of knowledge you seek. If it isn’t relevant, forget about acquiring it!
- When you are desirous of learning something new (and it proves hard), simply devise an easier way to master it instead of abandoning it completely.
- Invest in technology that makes learning easier, spontaneous and fast. Access to the internet, technology and gadgets such as the iPads helps a lot.
Poor Time Management
There is no magic on the earth’s surface that would make a person versed in poor time management successful! Things simply do not work out that way. You simply have 24 hours in a day and how well you either use or fail to use them will determine in the long run where exactly you’ll fall when people are being classified as rich or poor.
Right here on the NTP blog, I have argued severally that that poor time management can only lead to one thing: poverty in life. You can check out this entry, this one and still, this one to get a grasp of what I’m saying.
Your success in life is directly proportional to how well you manage (or fail to manage) your time.
How To Detect That You Manage Time Poorly:
- At the end of each day, you constantly wonder what you’ve done.
- You argue (fervently too), that a 24 hour day isn’t enough for you.
- On many a day, you wish you had three hands: one doing things you should have done yesterday, another achieving the business of the day and yet a third, holding still the hands of time!
How To Manage Time Like A Pro
- Keep a ‘to do list’ everyday – and religiously follow it.
- Understand (and utilize) the 80/20 rule.
- Delegate ruthlessly.
Lincoln wrote a very fine letter to his son’s teacher that is worth reproducing here. This letter, simple as it is, embodies all the fine qualities that are worth emulating and habits worth constantly practising. Here is the letter:
He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just, all men are not true. But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero; that for every selfish politician, there is a dedicated leader.
Teach him that for every enemy there is a friend. It will take time, I know – a long time, but teach, if you can, that a dollar earned is of more value than five found.
Teach him, to learn to lose – and also to enjoy winning. Steer him away from envy, if you can; teach him the secret of quiet laughter.
Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books. But also, given quiet time to ponder on the wonder of the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, and flowers on the green hillside.
In school, teach him, it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat.
Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if anyone else tells him they are wrong.
Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with tough people.
Teach him to listen to all men but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good one that comes through.
Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad. Teach him there is no shame in tear.
Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to the highest bidder but never to put a prize tag on his heart and soul.
Teach him gently, but do not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel.
Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself because then he will always have some sublime faith in mankind.
These are big orders, but see what you can do. He is such a fine fellow, my son…
I wish you the best in your quest to live a bigger, better and more glorious life. However, remember:
- It’s always up to you, always.
- If you are determined to succeed, nothing can really keep you down.
- Finally, I (or anyone else for that matter) cannot wish you more than you actually wish yourself…you’ve thus have to really wish yourself big!