The Habits of the Rich

I’ve studied wealthy people for 40 plus years and helped many of them get richer, and the one trait they had in common is that they always acted as if they believed they could have what they want.

When money gets tight most people do one of two things, they cut down on spending, or rebel by spending money they can’t afford.  There is a balance between the two.  The last thing you want to do is reinforce a poverty consciousness by acting poor, so to be richer you need to adopt the habits of the rich, but do it in a way that you can afford right now.

Simple habits such as setting the table nicely, picking flowers for your house, or carrying a certain amount of money in your wallet can make you feel richer.

If you are acting like a rich person take note of what you talk about, you can’t talk about how tough things are, or complain about money.  It is much better to say nothing.  This is not play-acting or burying your head in the sand, it is focusing your attention on what you want.

When something is lacking it’s very easy to get caught in the trap of treating symptoms.  Symptoms could be debts, or never having any money left over for you, or possibly always living beyond your means.

When you face your fears they are often not as bad as you think

When I worked as a financial planner one of my clients inspired me to work more with attitudes to money. Myra experienced constant anxiety over money and couldn’t even afford to have coffee with a friend.

My first contact with Myra was on the phone when I noticed how abrupt she was.  She was also very tense at our first meeting.  For the previous 20 years Myra had not lodged a tax return and she lived in fear of being discovered.  Finally overcome by guilt, she confessed, ‘I cannot stand it any longer.  I realise I may lose my home and even go to jail.  Every time I drive past a women’s prison I think I’ll be in there one day’.  When I explained that the worst that could happen was that she would receive a fine, she didn’t believe me.

Another of her problems was that she had barely enough money to live on, although she earned a good salary. She hadn’t been brave enough to fill in a tax rebate form that would have automatically reduced her tax, because she didn’t want to alert the taxation department to her situation.

It only took minutes to assess that Myra had paid too much tax and was due for a substantial refund.  We could only find records dating back seven years, and the Taxation Department was happy to accept those. The end result was a tax refund equivalent to $60,000 and no fine as the Tax Department owed her money.

The change that occurred in Myra when she faced her fears was amazing. She had inherited half of her parent’s house, which her sister had been living in rent free for years. When she didn’t have to worry about going to jail Myra sold her half. She started carrying a reasonable sum of money.  She bought a new car, new clothes and adopted a new attitude. Myra passed away 15 years years after I first met her and while I was sad to see her pass at a relatively young age, I was happy that I had been able to help her enjoy her life.

Money has no power only the power you give it

As it is virtually impossible to ignore money, make money your slave.  Once you master money it no longer controls you and will lose its importance and this is when it’s easy to attract more of it into your life. It is only when there is not enough, or you fear losing what you have, that you  worry about it, talk about it, and constantly look for solutions.

Money has a host of myths associated with it, some of these are: you have to work hard to make money; money only comes through work; if you have more than your share then someone will do without; you can’t make money being honest; artists, or certain professions have to struggle; it’s different for some people; money changes people; rich people are snobs; or, you only get one chance.

If you limit yourself by accepting any of these beliefs then your life will not change.  Good fortune may fall into your lap but you will lose it somehow. Desire is the most important ingredient and if you want something badly enough you can achieve it. Prosperity is not just about making lots of money, it is being happy with whatever state you choose.

A mistake that some of my friends and I made when we first started practising positive thinking was to believe that if we spent and thought positively, the money would come. Sometimes it did, but mostly it didn’t.  You cannot ‘fake it till you make it’ by living beyond your means and running up debts. This is not acting prosperously, nor does it change the real cause of your problem.

The habits of the rich

  1. Pamper yourself. This encourages you to allow more into your life and as you become accustomed to small luxuries you start to believe you can attain some of your larger goals. Make a list of items that make you feel prosperous. They need not cost money and could be something as simple as having coffee out in beautiful surroundings each week, or having a bubble bath with candles burning. Whatever you choose it should be something you can afford, and that you pay for with cash.
  2. Live within your means. When you never have enough money it’s hard to focus on being wealthy, so if you already live outside of your means look for ways to change that situation now. You may need to consolidate some debt or make a realistic plan for reducing debt, take on extra work for a short period of time, or seek professional advice.
  3. Never put all your money toward debt reduction, you need to be moving towards what you want, so allocate some savings to your most important goals, and don’t worry if the amount seems insignificant to the amount needed. Your actions and how you feel about yourself is what is most important.
  4. Always have some money in your wallet. Most people can access their money through an ATM machine but there is nothing like having cash in your wallet. What makes you feel wealthy, a lot of small notes, or several large ones? Choose an amount that you always carry with you and aim not to spend it unless you absolutely have to.
  5. Aim to not have to think about bills by setting up automatic deductions as much as you can.
  6. Always allow some money to fill your most important needs on a regular basis. This doesn’t have to be a lot, but enough to make you feel like you can have what you want.
  7. Share what you have. By giving regularly you draw more into your life.

By taking small consistent action steps towards your dreams you start to develop a prosperous mindset, and that is when unexpected opportunities often come your way.









Make Living in a State Of Flow Your New Normal

Business has been flowing nicely lately and because I want to live in a state of flow I have been affirming, “This is my new normal”. One thing I know for sure is that even when life isn’t flowing life always supports me, particularly when it doesn’t appear that way.

In my life coaching classes we use a style of questioning that helps people get to the root cause of what is holding them back, then together with the client we devise strategies, often based on values, to assist them to create a new normal. Both techniques are equally important because we can’t stay in a state of flow while we are carrying around with us hurt feelings, anger or memories that take us away from the person we want to be, or the life we want to create.

For most of my life I lived with a lot of self doubt because I worried about what other people thought. Instead of procrastinating I took the rebel’s path, and forged ahead, acting as if I didn’t care what anyone thought but I still did. I used force to achieve a lot of goals and while it can work, it is a very exhausting, stressful way to live. I often asked myself why I couldn’t take an easier path, why I couldn’t settle for less rather than always pushing myself to my limits and the reason I couldn’t do that was because my needs provided me with the motivation to move through my fears. The greatest need that’s driven my entire life is my need for freedom and I now know that freedom for me is about being myself, not pretending, not holding back, not settling for less than, it’s about whole hearted commitment to being the person I know I was born to be.

I used to say face your fears but even though I have done that many times, the fear remained. I now suggest that people move through their fears. We do this by feeling all of our emotions then gently and consistently acting like the person we want to be.

During one period in my life, when I needed to move through a lot of fear, I used two affirmations. One was ‘I trust’, and the other was, ‘What I think of me is more important than what anyone else thinks of me’. During that period I felt as if I was constantly criticised, and every time it would start up I would say to myself over and over again, ‘What I think of me is more important than what anyone else thinks of me’. Those two affirmations, followed by acting as if I trusted supported me to move forward. I see trust as being like a muscle, the more you exercise it, the easier it becomes to know when to trust.

Of course whenever you trust you need to combine it with discernment because not everyone is trustworthy. So, rather than just being foolhardy, establish the habit of pausing, checking in with your intuition if this is a person you should trust, or if you this is the right decision for you to make.

To create a new normal you need to move through any emotions that regularly challenges you. You can do this by feeling the emotion as it occurs without talking about it or getting caught up in the story around it. If you have buried your emotions then maybe journaling will help them come to the surface. Then look at what opportunity life is presenting you with. Do you need to exercise self care more? Could you let go of judging others or yourself? Is there an opportunity to be kinder or more caring? Or, are you resisting the direction life is taking you in, in which case you need to trust.

When you make acceptance of what is your automatic response, while looking for the opportunity to grow, life becomes so much easier and it flows.



How do you know when life tells you it’s time to face your fears?

Several years ago I started coaching a man who was tired of working in the corporate world. At our first session Carl (not his real name) told me about a business that he had always wanted to own, but he dismissed that idea by saying, “There is no money in it”. Not long after we started working together, Carl was offered a well-paying position in the corporate world which he accepted.

Carl continued to work with me on and off over the years and made progress in his personal life and he improved his management skills, but he still wasn’t really happy in his job and didn’t know what he wanted to do. It took another change of job, which precipitated a midlife crisis before Carl finally listened to his heart.

Carl has now invested his life savings in the dream he told me about at our first session. He doubts that he will make as much money from this venture as he did as a corporate executive, but he’s chosen lifestyle and personal satisfaction over money. I personally think he has such great ideas, skills and such passion that he may surprise himself, but time will tell. When I caught up with a very excited Carl he said, “What always held me back before was fear. I simply wasn’t ready to face it.”

I hear a lot of reasons as to why people can’t have what they want ranging from: confusion, lack of money, lack of support, no skills, insufficient time, not intelligent enough, and not good enough. These are only the outer manifestation of fear. Problems, confusion or dissatisfaction, are mirrors which show you the fears you have yet to face.

Some people think that they are facing their fears, and have gone after their dream, but it didn’t work out and they settled. The reality is often that it was easier to give up than to face their real fear.

When I started my life coaching business I knew I had found my passion so I made a commitment to myself to do this work regardless of whether I made a living from it or not. I was prepared to get a day job that paid the bills and coach in my own time if I needed to, and there were times when I did just that. There have been times when my business has flowed and times when it’s been tough, but one of the things that I love about myself is that I never, ever give up. If it feels right, and I love what I am doing, I look at what I have to learn from the situation and then I address the fear.

Face Your Fears

The gifts that comes from facing your fears are freedom and joy. Freedom to live life on your terms, to be yourself, and joy that makes waking up each day worthwhile. There are too many people who just get by, don’t be one of them. The only thing that stands between you and the life you were born to live is fear. When you face the fear, accept responsibility and take steps to turn your dream into reality the people, money and resources come into your life to support you to turn that dream into reality.

It’s been a few years now since Carl started his business and business is booming. He said he is happier now that he has ever been.