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17 Life Lessons We Can Learn From the Wealthy

17 Life Lessons We Can Learn From the Wealthy

People look at wealthy people with a variety of notions. They are seen as snobs, arrogant, that they believe they are better than everyone else, or even that they are trying to buy happiness. Of course, many of these notions have been long-standing ones and are held by people who have never known a wealthy person well enough to comment objectively.

Despite the gulf between you and the wealthy, one thing is certain. The wealthy have learned life lessons that have been gained from earning their wealth. These are life lessons that the rest of us have not experienced, but can learn from:

1. Wealthy people don’t start out pursuing wealth.

Rather, they pursue a passion. Henry Ford pursued his passion–a horseless carriage. Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Warren Buffett pursued their passions. The thing about passion is this: it drives people to move forward, to continue to push themselves, and to not surrender to failure or discouragement. The rest of us pursue income.

We take jobs that will provide paychecks that will allow us to live comfortably; we get raises and promotions, and our lifestyles improve. We spend more as we gain more income, and so we chase more income to spend more. The wealthy, on the other hand, began with a passion for something–investing, cars, computer technology–and they were willing to starve if it meant that they could pursue their passions.

2. Wealthy people enjoy being uncomfortable.

The rest of us want to be comfortable. Wealthy people are driven by uncertainty, and they are happy taking risks when they do not know the outcomes. Ordinary people tend not to take big risks and do not like it when they are out of their comfort zones. Self-made wealthy individuals, throughout our history, have been willing to take big risks.

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3. Wealthy people look toward the future with optimism about what lies ahead, even if it may be uncertain.

Regular people tend to see the “better” life as that which existed in the past. Life was simpler, the music was better, people didn’t live on their devices, and a real man went out and earned a good living for his family. These people look upon the future with some pessimism, often claiming that the world is just “falling apart.” When people don’t look toward a brighter future, they become stagnate and have no big dreams. Wealthy people tend to be more optimistic, and move forward to make a better future.

4. Wealthy people have a Big Plan.

Ordinary people have goals and plans that relate to where they want to go in life, what they want for their kids, and even how they want to spend their retirements. Wealthy people, however, have big plans that do not involve their personal lives. They have plans that will change something in a big way. They want to make the world a better place with their Big Plan.

5. Wealthy people stay confident.

They have developed this confidence in a number of ways, not the least of which is experiencing failure. They fail, they learn from it, and they forge ahead. They cultivate self-assurance because they know this attribute is a great part of the “battle” on the road to wealth.

Regular people lack self-confidence when they are out of their comfort zones, and failure can injure or destroy their self-assurance. As wealthy people succeed, their confidence grows. Regular people who succeed get better jobs and higher income, but those things don’t increase self-confidence. Taking risks and ultimately triumphing, even after many failures, builds their self-confidence. Ultimately, they develop an attitude that there is nothing they cannot accomplish. Henry Ford summed it up when he said, “Whether you think that you can or you can’t, you are usually right.”

6. Wealthy people are careful with friendships.

Once wealth is achieved, old acquaintances and remote relatives will begin to appear in the lives of the rich. Their goals are pretty transparent–to get a piece of the wealth that has been accumulated. When their requests for loans and/or money are denied, they become hateful. Ken Fisher, billionaire owner of Fisher Investments said, “You see an ugly side of our human existence, which is the world of false pretenses seeking your money.”

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7. Wealthy people know the older you get, the less value money has.

As the wealthy age, their desires are for a simpler life, for health, and for more quality time. They spend less on themselves and more on others. This is perhaps a life lesson that all people to ultimately learn. Even the average person who was never wealthy, values these things in their elder years.

8. Wealthy people secure everything.

If you buy cheaply, you pay dearly. Those are words wealthy people swear by. While earlier generations of wealthy individuals secured everything in fire-proofed, locked files, today’s wealthy understand the value of having their important personal and financial information securely stored by a featured data storage company. Top notch protection and security for their valuable data is a high priority. They prefer to invest in security in advance, rather then going into huge debt when things unexpectedly go wrong.

9. Wealthy people know that wealth frees your brain.

Wealthy people can dream big; they can envision things that may or may not be possible, but they have these big ideas that they can pursue. Ordinary people, on the other hand, cannot free their brains for the big ideas. They are too mentally consumed with how to make a living, how to support themselves and their families, and when they will be able to afford a new car.

10. Wealthy people know accumulating wealth requires self-discipline.

This is especially true during the accumulation phase. They live below their means, wear inexpensive clothing, and do not own new cars and the best home that their income may allow. They know that to become wealthy they must save and invest while they follow their passions. Regular people want to buy things as soon as their income permits, because they have a desire or need to impress others with what they can afford to purchase. They do not save and invest, and rely instead on their retirement funds and social security to keep them comfortable in their old age.

11. Wealthy people do not fear failure.

They know they may fail, and they know they could lose all of their money on a failed venture. They also know that the next venture is around the corner, and it could be the very one that satisfies their passion and makes them wealthy, too! Ordinary people have a fear of striking out. They fear not having enough money; they fear losing their steady income from their job. People who live is such fear will never accumulate wealth. Most of all, however, they fear failure, because it will bring about all of the other things they fear.

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12. Wealth helps you find more freedom.

Wealthy people are not tied to jobs and debt. If they get ill, they can afford the best doctors. If they have legal troubles, they can afford the best lawyers. If they want to “winter” on the Riviera, they can do it. The average individual is controlled by his boss, by his government, by his debt, and by his need for security. Once you stop caring about all the possible restrictions, change your mindset and start looking and creating possibilities for yourself, rather then just going with the flow. You are able to achieve the same freedom and some extra money along the way. Change your perspective. Stop thinking about how miserable and unfortunate you are and start thinking of ways you can change. For instance, if your student debt is high, consider teaching English in South Korea or Taiwan. The money you’ll earn will let you pay off your deb by the end on the year, plus generate some extra savings to blow up traveling or starting your own business.

13. Wealthy people tend to make friends with even more wealthy and successful people

Why? Because these are the people with whom they not only have common interests, but as well can learn. While they are often criticized for this, in fact, they are just like every other human in this regard. People who like to hunt and fish hang out with others who like to hunt and fish; people who love sports will hang with others who do. Somehow, it is normal and acceptable for average people to do this, but not for the wealthy. It makes them “snobbish” and “arrogant.” When, really, they are just seeking out people with whom they share something in common.

The one simple, yet often overlooked key to success and wealth is to meet and make friends with people who inspire you and whom you’d like to take after. Become friends with the wealthy, smart and successful if you’d like to become one too!

14. Wealthy people understand the difference between assets and income.

It is the goal of someone seeking wealth to accumulate assets, not income. And once those assets are substantial, the wealthy live off of the income from those assets. Regular people strive to accumulate higher income, not assets. Thus they work until they retire, dependent upon that income. For the wealthy, assets, once accumulated, do the work of bringing in income.

15. The desire for wealth is finite.

As a poor person, you probably think – no way! Yet the wealthy reach a point at which they realize that there really is nothing more to buy to make them happier. How many cars, how many vacation homes, and how many airplanes does one need? At this point, time becomes the most valuable possession. Steve Jobs summed it up like this, “My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.” Never forget that no matter how many dollars you have on your bank account.

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16. Family are not people who love you unconditionally.

Relatives of the wealthy family member often feel that they share the wealth with family members, especially when they are experiencing some financial difficulties. If the wealthy individual does share, it will never be enough. In all of their asking for money, moreover, none of these relatives will ask for investment or asset-building advice. Once you accumulate certain wealth, you quickly realize that not all of your family loves and keeps in touch with you because you are a great person. Some do it just for possible financial gain. Wealthy people know that family does not have to be just about those related by blood or marriage. Family can be those that are there for you, not for your money.

17. Wealthy parents teach their children about finances early

Children of the very wealthy, at least those who are self-made, have spent their early lives not being wealthy. They have thus had the early values training that came before the wealth did. Grandchildren are quite another matter. They have been born into wealth and can easily develop a sense of entitlement and superiority. However, those that became wealthy can be more vigilant in teaching their children how to save, invest, and appreciate hard work.

Featured photo credit: Fashion Male With Vest, Cigar And Smartphone/Ed Gregory via flickr.com

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Elena Prokopets

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

7 Ways to Get Rid of Negative Energy and Become Positive

Negativity affects ourselves and everyone around us. It limits our potential to become something great and live a fulfilling, purposeful life. Negativity has a tangible effect on our health, too. Research has shown that people who cultivate negative energy experience more stress, more sickness, and less opportunity over the course of their lives than those who choose to live positively.

When we make a decision to become positive, and follow that decision up with action, we will begin to encounter situations and people that are also positive. The negative energy gets edged out by all positive experiences. It’s a snowball effect.

Although negative and positive thoughts will always exist, the key to becoming positive is to limit the amount of negativity that we experience by filling ourselves up with more positivity.

Here are some ways to get rid of negativity and become more positive.

1. Become Grateful for Everything

When life is all about us, it’s easy to believe that we deserve what we have. An attitude of entitlement puts us at the center of the universe and sets up the unrealistic expectation that others should cater to us, our needs, and our wants. This vain state of existence is a surefire way to set yourself up for an unfulfilled life of negativity.

People living in this sort of entitlement are “energy suckers”–they are always searching for what they can get out of a situation. People that don’t appreciate the nuances of their lives live in a constant state of lacking. And it’s really difficult to live a positive life this way.

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When we begin to be grateful and appreciate everything in our lives–from the small struggles that make us better, to the car that gets us from A to B every day–we shift our attitude from one of selfishness, to one of appreciation. This appreciation gets noticed by others, and a positive harmony begins to form in our relationships.

We begin to receive more of that which we are grateful for, because we’ve opened ourselves up to the idea of receiving, instead of taking. This will make your life more fulfilling, and more positive.

2. Laugh More, Especially at Yourself

Life gets busy, our schedules fill up, we get into relationships, and work can feel task oriented and routine-driven at times. Being human can feel more like being a robot. But having this work-driven, serious attitude often results in negative and performance oriented thinking.

Becoming positive means taking life less seriously and letting yourself off the hook. This is the only life that you get to live, why not lighten up your mood?

Laughter helps us become positive by lightening our mood and reminding us not to take life so seriously. Are you sensitive to light sarcasm? Do you have trouble laughing at jokes? Usually, people who are stressed out and overly serious get most offended by sarcasm because their life is all work and no play.

If we can learn to laugh at ourselves and our mistakes, life will become more of an experiment in finding out what makes us happy. And finding happiness means finding positivity.

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3. Help Others

Negativity goes hand in hand with selfishness. People that live only for themselves have no higher purpose in their lives. If the whole point of this world is only to take care of yourself and no one else, the road to a long-term fulfillment and purpose is going to be a long one.

Positivity accompanies purpose. The most basic way to create purpose and positivity in your life is to begin doing things for others. Start small; open the door for the person in front of you at Starbucks or ask someone how their day was before telling them about yours.

Helping others will give you an intangible sense of value that will translate into positivity. And people might just appreciate you in the process.

4. Change Your Thinking

We can either be our best coach or our best enemy. Change starts from within. If you want to become more positive, change the wording of your thoughts. We are the hardest on ourselves, and a stream of negative self talk is corrosive to a positive life.

The next time you have a negative thought, write it down and rephrase it with a positive spin. For example, change a thought like, “I can’t believe I did so horribly on the test–I suck.” to “I didn’t do as well as I hoped to on this test. But I know I’m capable and I’ll do better next time.”

Changing our self-talk is powerful.

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5. Surround Yourself with Positive People

We become most like the people that we surround ourselves with. If our friend group is full of negative energy-suckers and drama queens, we will emulate that behavior and become like them. It is very difficult to become more positive when the people around us don’t support or demonstrate positive behavior.

As you become more positive, you’ll find that your existing friends will either appreciate the new you or they will become resistant to your positive changes. This is a natural response.

Change is scary; but cutting out the negative people in your life is a huge step to becoming more positive. Positive people reflect and bounce their perspectives onto one another. Positivity is a step-by-step process when you do it solo, but a positive group of friends can be an escalator.

6. Get into Action

Negative thoughts can be overwhelming and challenging to navigate. Negativity is usually accompanied by a “freak-out” response, especially when tied to relationships, people and to worrying about the future. This is debilitating to becoming positive and usually snowballs into more worry, more stress and more freak-outs.

Turn the negative stress into positive action. The next time you’re in one of these situations, walk away and take a break. With your eyes closed, take a few deep breaths. Once you’re calm, approach the situation or problem with a pen and pad of paper. Write out four or five actions or solutions to begin solving the problem.

Taking yourself out of the emotionally charged negative by moving into the action-oriented positive will help you solve more problems rationally and live in positivity

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7. Take Full Responsibility, Stop Being the Victim

You are responsible for your thoughts.

People that consistently believe that things happen to them handicap themselves to a victim mentality. This is a subtle and deceptive negative thought pattern. Phrases like “I have to work” or “I can’t believe he did that to me” are indicators of a victim mentality. Blaming circumstances and blaming others only handicaps our decision to change something negative into something positive.

Taking full responsibility for your life, your thoughts and your actions is one of the biggest steps in creating a more positive life. We have unlimited potential within to create our own reality, change our life, and change our thoughts. When we begin to really internalize this, we discover that no one can make us feel or do anything. We choose our emotional and behavioral response to people and circumstances.

Make positive choices in favor of yourself.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny” ― Lao Tzu

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Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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