Over a year ago I was in a frenzied financial book-reading phase. I read several books, as fast as once a month (that was fast for me ha). I felt so full of knowledge and inspiration and it was therefore easy to share what I was learning with all of you! Life happens and I started a book that was meh, stopped reading entirely and now it’s been months since I picked up a book. I decided to check out what my local library had in the realm of e-audio-books related to finance. I figured I could use my commute to “read” a book and get some more knowledge. The first book I listened to was “How to Be Rich,” a compilation of concepts and excerpts from a variety of wealth classics such as Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich.” While the audio reading was a bit dry, I tried to focus and really got a lot out of this book!
So here is my synopsis of the book, in list-form of what I found really interesting/ingriguing:
- This was no step by step book on money and investment managing, it was an instruction manual on how to THINK. Which was really cool, and really terrifying at the same time. The fact that your success is all about your mindset is so simple and complicated at the same time. I know if I can just change my mindset, I will be happier, less stressed, more efficient, more successful – an all-around better person! But it will take a lot of work and discipline to alter my deep-seated habitual thinking.
- The books referenced and quoted were pretty old! Written in 1910, 1937, etc. And yet, they still had a lot of applicable wisdom to wealth-building today.
- The excerpts talked a lot about God and spirituality. Probably because they were so old, many of the various authors referenced God, the Bible or a general divine higher power and how your spiritual mindset was so closely tied to your success in building wealth.
- There was a lot of “mythbusting” about God wanting us to live in poverty. I don’t know about you, but I definitely grew up thinking (and I still struggle a bit with this today as a Christian) that focusing on money and building wealth was equivalent to greed and sin. I loved how these authors tried to debunk these scripture interpretations and pointed out that God doesn’t want us to live in poverty, he wants us to be happy and successful. I do believe that! The key is that you’re helping others be successful while on your own success journey. You don’t have to help others at the expense of yourself. This topic reminded me of the verse, Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
- The creative versus competitive mindset. You will be more successful building wealth with a creative mindset, believing there is an infinite supply of wealth to be had, enough for all people to achieve. Most people have the competitive mindset where they envy other’s success and try to take it from them, rather than rejoicing in other’s success. This hit home with me in my personal journey of financial blogging. I’ve entered this world that feels saturated with so many other bloggers who are much more successful than me. But I don’t have to envy them, I can learn from them, support them, and hope that I will get some of that karma back. In a practical sense, people don’t have to “pick” one blog to read, they can read as many as they want. I prefer a world where we help each other grow and be successful versus a corporate dog-eat-dog ladder-climbing rat race.
- The mental attitude of gratitude. I have a friend who teaches a weekly exercise class and she closes every session instructing everyone to hold their arms outstretched, palms up, and heads lifted up – “Be thankful for something today, there is ALWAYS something to be thankful for.” It’s so true! And a few months ago my pastor recommended starting a daily gratitude journal, so I started this discipline myself. Since I’ve been doing this for a while now, I can say most days it is quite easy to find something to write about. There have only been a handful of blah days where I had to dig down deep to write something positive. All this to say, I definitely value gratitude to the point I’m trying to develop this attitude more each day. I loved how the book linked gratitude with success. Gratitude brings us closer to the divine power that gives us our blessings. It keeps you in harmony with the creative thought and the good of all. The law of gratitude, like a law of physics, states that every action has an equal reaction. The more we dwell on good, the more good we get in return. If we dwell on the negative and inferior, we surround ourselves with inferiority and become inferior. I don’t want any part of that, do you??
- The paralysis of fear and worry. This topic hit home with me, and well, filled me with fear and worry, of course! My mind is constantly spinning with thoughts, many of which are worrisome. What if my mind were focusing only on the positive and believed so hard that good things would come to me and I didn’t think about the details of how all that good would come about? I’m sure it is no surprise to hear that fear and worry are paralyzing! We have to believe in our own self control to STOP rampant thoughts of fear and worry. I think we would also all agree that the happiest people are those that do NOT worry and fear. There is nothing to be gained with fear and worry, only much to be lost. Man, this is a hard one, but something I really need to work on!
- Our dreams are divine. We only have dreams and visions for things which we have special talents and abilities. You don’t REALLY have a burning desire to be a concert pianist if you’ve never laid your hands on a piano. The longings of our heart are there for a reason. It’s what we’re meant to do and be. They are put there by a higher power. This concept reminded me of another Bible verse, Psalm 37:4 “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” If you are truly connected and in harmony with God (or whatever higher power you believe in), the desires of your heart will be HIS desires for you, placed there by Him. Of course this hit home with me and my passion for helping others be financially successful!
- The power of visualization and meditation. Create a mental picture of your dream, visualize it in detail and dwell on this vision and it will come to fruition. Do you think this sounds hokey? Maybe. It can’t really do any harm though, so it’s worth a shot! Meditation also helps with focusing on your vision and your intention for good. Coincidentally I had the opportunity to participate in a meditation session at work last week at the same time I started listening to this audio book! Meditation can help clear your mind of the useless negative worrisome thoughts and focus instead on your ultimate vision and dreams. This is something else I want to try and start doing to help change my mind – literally!
- People don’t get rich by luck, it is intentional.
Phew, that synopsis ended up being longer than I intended, but this book was chockfull of great nuggets! Probably because it was taking the best from several different books. 🙂 What do you think of these principles? Do you believe that your way of thinking is the key to being rich?