We have so many beliefs about money that for most of us these beliefs feel like facts. “Money doesn’t grow on trees” or “You have to work hard for your money” are just beliefs. Understanding our thoughts about money will allow us to create new thoughts that will give us better financial results.
Two Components to Money
25% comes from the “math” side of money. This includes such things as income, expenses, budget, debt, interest rates, and is the skill most people think they need in order to achieve financial success.
75% of our financial results comes from our thoughts/beliefs about money. My first date in college will illustrate this point. Prior to attending college, I constantly heard how hard college was financially. Comments such as “college students have no money” and “college is so hard financially” really stuck with me. So, the summer between high school and college I got a second job and saved $4,000.
The first day of school I met a girl and set up a date for the following week. Trying to save my $4,000 I took her to a fast food chain for dinner! Unfortunately, I didn’t stop there. I asked her to buy one of three specific meals so that we could use my 2-for-1 coupon! W-O-W. Obviously there was no second date. It was my thoughts about money that put me in this situation. If I’d been thinking, “$4,000 is plenty to carry me through the year” I would have taken her to something nicer.
Thoughts Determine Our Success
Assume you have a 14-year-old daughter who is trying out for a soccer team. She’s been to all the practices and gets extra training from her friends. The morning of the tryout she says, “I don’t stand a chance, everyone else is so much better than me.” What kind of effort will she put into the tryouts? What are her chances of succeeding if she doesn’t believe in herself? This seems like an obvious scenario but one you probably haven’t applied to your current financial situation.
“Positive thinking” alone will not bring you financial success but is not possible without it.
The 4-Minute Mile Supports this Point
Around 1850 the professional running community started pursing the idea of running a mile in under 4 minutes. For 90 years no one got close, until someone finally ran it in 4:01. But, for another 15 years still no one could get below the 4:00 minute mark. Doctors declared the human body couldn’t run that fast and people started believing it. Then, on May 6, 1954, John Bannister ran it in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds!
Just six weeks later John Landy beat his time by a full second (watch it on YouTube). Over the past 65 years more than 1,400 people have run the mile in under four minutes with the current record at 3:43, a full 17 seconds under 4 minutes! It’s now been beat over 1,400 times. Why could no one beet the time for over 100 years and in the past 65 years it’s been broken over 1,400 times? In an article for the Harvard Business Review, Bill Taylor asks and answers this question:
“Was there a sudden growth spurt in human evolution? Was there a genetic engineering experiment that created a new race of super runners? No. What changed was the mental model. The runners of the past had been held back by a mindset that said they could not surpass the four-minute mile. When that limit was broken, the others saw that they could do something they had previously thought impossible.”
Steve Siebold wrote a book called “How Rich People Think“. Here are 3 quotes from the book:
The middle class focuses on saving, the world class focuses on earning.
The middle class sees money as a finite resource, the world class sees money as an infinite resource.
The middle class sees financial scarcity, the world class believes in financial abundance.
What are Your Money Beliefs?
Given that thoughts impact your results, you need to understand your current thoughts/beliefs about money before you can change those thoughts.
Most beliefs about money come from one of three sources: 1) Previous experiences, 2) Upbringing, 3) Education. Download and complete this simple worksheet to help you discover your current money beliefs.
Next we’ll learn how to create new thoughts to get the desired results.