What you think, you become.
The other week I went to listen to the fearless, determined, strong and committed Virginia Czarnocki talk about stepping outside your comfort zone. She talked about how making a change in our life is literally as simple as taking a step, then another step, and then one more. Virginia's words really resonated with me, both in my life, and also in the work that I do helping women. She reminded the 30 or so women attending that the path of our life is entirely within our control. And she’s right. It’s all about our mindset and how we look at things. When bad things happen do we pick ourselves up, take that step, then another and make the change. Or do we blame others, wallow in self-pity and fester on all the things ‘that have been done to us’.
One of the things I love most about my job is the psychology (I have a masters in Biology) and there is this relatively new field of neuroscience called neuroplasticity, which is the study of how our brains are wired and how they can be REwired. It’s all about making the change, breaking the habit and literally realigning the pathways in our brain. And it’s really possible, science has shown it.
“The mind is everything. What you think, you become”
Recently, researchers have started studying the key financial behaviours and traits that lead to building wealth. People started to realise that some have an inherent ability to build wealth, regardless of their income, and some don’t. I have seen it time and time again. I have clients on modest incomes who have overtime built portfolios worth millions of dollars through commitment and consistency. And I have clients earning hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars a year who struggle to save each month and invest.
One particular researcher, by the name of Sarah Fallaw (her father wrote the book ‘The Millionaire Next Door’) has dedicated her business to studying these so-called ‘wealth building traits’. She has identified them as conscientiousness, financial literacy, social indifference, financial focus, composure and responsibility.
Viriginia touched on a few of these in her talk. She talked about the power of genuinely not giving a **** about what anyone thinks (social indifference; the opposite of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’). And it’s so powerful in both building wealth and also in living a life that is purposeful and meaningful to YOU. How many of us get caught living a life that other people want us to live, or a life we feel we SHOULD live? How many of us buy stuff, that we don’t need (or really care about) because we feel pressure from the way OTHER people live their lives?
She also talked about responsibility. That is believing that YOU, and YOU ALONE, are responsible for your outcomes in life. And this particularly applies to your financial outcomes. Because if you don’t believe you are responsible for your financial life, but instead think things like ‘the market lost me my money’, ‘my company don’t pay me enough’, or ’my parents didn’t give me enough’ then you will never move forward. You will not find a reason to save, because it might just all go away. You will never find a reason to invest, because the market just might lose it all (speak to me about why the market can't lose it all). You will live in the mindset of 'I’m equally likely to lose my money in a disaster or win the lottery. So it’s doesn’t really matter what I do. Let’s just see what happens'.
However, if you take responsibility and realise that you have the power to save, you have the power to earn more and you have the power to change your destiny then you will find your freedom much sooner than you think.