Forget your education skills or connections when it comes to making money. The most powerful tool you can harness is your mind. Unfortunately, many people’s mindsets are holding them back from realizing their full financial potential.
In fact, there is a clear divide in mindsets between the rich and the poor and until you adopt the right mindset you will be poor forever.
If you look around you will begin to notice that the majority of people follow these same paths in life.
In western culture, the typical life path includes going to school getting married and starting a family, followed by working a job for 30 years or more and then retiring.
Well, so many people prescribe to this way of life. Does anyone ever stop to think that maybe this isn’t the optimal life path from a financial and life satisfaction perspective?
Signing up to work a job for multiple decades and counting down the days until retirement is reflective of the mindset that is keeping so many people broke.
This path in life is indicative of the mindset that 99% of poor people have.
And when I say poor what I really mean is those who are living below their financial potential from a solely statistical perspective.
We already know that 78% of people are living paycheck to paycheck. So, this group of people is definitely living in a suboptimal financial State.
In fact, most people in the middle class also face many trade-offs in their day to day lives that could be avoided if they were to adopt the right mindset.
The reality is that very few people possess the mindset that will make them rich.
But let’s first go over the mindset that one possessed will ensure you stay broke forever in life.
There are two mindsets you can hold an “offensive mindset” and a “defensive mindset” and if you hold the lighter than chances are you will never lead a life of financial abundance.
You see the defensive mindset manifests itself in many forms and can show up in all aspects of our lives.
For instance, if you’re in college then there are two mindsets you could hold an offensive mindset and a defensive mindset.
One will hold you back and the other is bound to make you a top performer. In the academic context having a defensive mind that looks like this:
You work two weeks out from writing a final exam and you know that you need a 65% on the test to pass with a 50 in the class.
You plan out your study sessions to minimize how much material you’ll have to learn to get the 65% you need. So that you can get your credit and move on to the next class.
The offensive-minded student thinks differently. For them, they disregard what marks they need to pass the class because they want to excel and score perfectly on the final exam.
So the student studies non-stop for the next two weeks leading up to the test and as planned is able to get a hundred percent on the test.
For their hard work, they receive an increase in their scholarship for the following year and learn that putting in maximal effort does pay off.
In life, this same divide takes place in the working world also. When you leave college there are typically two paths you will choose to go work for.
The government or in private industry. Government jobs are generally synonymous with job security, reasonable pay but low growth potential.
The private industry, on the other hand, is more competitive resulting in much less job security but salaries and growth can be significantly higher.
let’s use the example of my friends Victor and Robert to see how their lives would be different depending on how they approach this major life decision.
After graduating college Victor was talking to his parents and like most parents they want Victor to work at a steady job and have a reliable paycheck coming in every two weeks.
They themselves both worked in the government for their whole careers and knew that if Victor were to take a job it will be a government job only.
Because he would never have to deal with the stress of losing his job. Convinced by his parent’s Victor decides to take a government job.
Robert is also being suggested by his parents to get a government job and while the modest salary and pension are tempting. But Robert feels like he is up for working in private industry.
During the first few years, Victor is liking his government job. The day-to-day work is palpable.
The pay is good and he always gets to leave at 4 p.m. meaning that he has a perfect work-life balance.
Robert, on the other hand, is making much less than as government working peers while also putting in 50-hour weeks.
But the vast amount of learning he is doing on the job and the exciting projects he gets to be a part of our keeping them interested in the role.
Fast-forward five years and both men are in quite different circumstances than when we first met them.
Victor is still working in the government and now has a family. The good thing is that his job allows him to spend a lot of time at home with his newborn.
He figured he’d be making more at this point in his career and while his paycheck was enough when he was single. He begins to face financial challenges as his expenses increased.
Sure he could move into the private sector and hope to make more money but giving up this secure job and pensions seemed like too much of a risk. Especially now that he has a child.
Robert is still working in private industry and is now a manager at a reputable firm. He too has started a family and while he does still work more hours than the average person.
He still finds time to be the great dad that he always wanted to be. Robert often looks back on his earlier workdays and he is glad that he put in the time that he did.
As he now is making more than enough money to cover his living expenses. So for him and his family money is important to stress.
If you extend the story’s timeline, not much changes. Victor will continue to live a financially mediocre lifestyle.
Well, Robert will continue to grow in his career and as such his income will grow over time.
The difference between these two situations comes down to each man’s mindset.
Victor wanted these safe routes and his defensive mindset led him to make the most conservative decision possible.
Robert, on the other hand, knew that working in private industry had its risks but harnessing an offensive mindset was able to reap much greater rewards in his career.
Now let’s introduce a third character named Mike. After college Mike rejected the typical nine-to-five path and instead started his own business.
Six months into his entrepreneurial venture Mike wasn’t making much progress and was starting to wonder if he had made the right decision.
You see all of Mike’s friends decided to go to college and most were very judgmental of his decision to pass on school.
About a year into his journey Mike was still not where he wanted to be financial.
And one day his friend called him and advised him to sign up for college in the upcoming year.
His friends saw that Mike was suffering and knew that he was always an excellent student and that going to college and getting a job would be easy for a smart guy like him.
However, Mike told his friend that he knew he could go to college and get a decent job after graduation.
But that didn’t appeal to him even if it would offer a reliable income. His friend asked him why he was willing to suffer in poverty when he knew he had other options.
Mike explained that sure getting a job and receiving paychecks every month would make his life a lot easier and would protect him against poverty.
But his goal wasn’t to be protected against poverty his goal was to become rich and no job was ever going to allow him to achieve this goal.
In due time Mike was able to figure out his way in business. He builds a profitable company and reaches all his financial goals.
However, it all started with having the right mindset or more specifically an offensive mindset.
Like I said earlier this defensive mindset manifests itself in many forms and another instance where it is prevalent is in investing.
Like it or not investing does involve some sort of risk. Well, the market has an average provided a 7% return over the course of its history.
There is no doubting the fact that certain years are better than others and that the risk to lose money exists for those playing the money game in defensive mode.
The risks involved with investing are often too much to bear. However, not investing can often be just as detrimental to your finances as if you were to invest.
You see most people who hold a defensive mindset want to reduce financial risk as much as possible.
Because their life consists of making just enough money to live and the thought of losing any of that little nest egg they’ve been able to save up is unfathomable.
So they stick their money in a savings account thinking that this is the best way to shelter their money.
However, with the average savings account providing a return of just 0.09 percent annually.
When compared against the inflation rate these people are actually losing money.
But wait, wasn’t investing going to lose the money and saving it would keep it safe.
If that same amount of money was invested in the market and received a conservative 5% return, even after inflation is considered those who invested would be ahead.
Sadly well the statistics support the benefits of investing the reality is that still, most people fail to leverage this financial tool.
In fact, the numbers show that it’s those with offensive mindsets that are reaping all the benefits of investing.
Recent figures show that 84% of all the stocks are owned by the wealthiest 10%.
Therefore going on with the offensive mindset and letting your money work for you definitely appear to be the main contributor to the achievement of financial success.
But beyond your career or your investing strategy, the mindset you hold whether it be a defensive or offensive one will permeate all aspects of your life.
You see from a broader perspective, there are two kinds of people in our world.
People who will focus on what they don’t have the power to change and people who focus on what they can change.
Most people I know and meet usually focus on what they can’t change.
They focus their attention on how they were raised, who are their bosses or what government is in power.
This is a sign of defensiveness because you attribute your lack of success to external factors.
However, the offensively-minded person assesses the situation they are in and finds ways to make it work for them.
For instance, if you have a bad boss why not look for a new job, not getting paid enough instead of complaining like a defensive-minded person would, why not take classes at night to increase your skills and get a higher paying job.
The reality is that obstacles exist in the lives of every single person. Those with defensive mindsets see the obstacle and accept that it will always impede their path to success.
However, those with an offensive mindset see through the obstacles and as a result, find ways to get to the other side.
So now that you know the two types of mindsets which will you choose. Thanks for reading.
Original Author: Tanuj Sarva