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17 Life Lessons We Can Learn From the Wealthy

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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

Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 20, 2021

How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

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How to Overcome the Fear of Public Speaking (A Step-by-Step Guide)

You’re standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body – your heartbeat has gone off the charts.

Don’t worry, you’re not the only one with glossophobia(also known as speech anxiety or the fear of speaking to large crowds). Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.

Your body’s defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood – the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:

1. Prepare yourself mentally and physically

According to experts, we’re built to display anxiety and to recognize it in others. If your body and mind are anxious, your audience will notice. Hence, it’s important to prepare yourself before the big show so that you arrive on stage confident, collected and ready.

“Your outside world is a reflection of your inside world. What goes on in the inside, shows on the outside.” – Bob Proctor

Exercising lightly before a presentation helps get your blood circulating and sends oxygen to the brain. Mental exercises, on the other hand, can help calm the mind and nerves. Here are some useful ways to calm your racing heart when you start to feel the butterflies in your stomach:

Warming up

If you’re nervous, chances are your body will feel the same way. Your body gets tense, your muscles feel tight or you’re breaking in cold sweat. The audience will notice you are nervous.

If you observe that this is exactly what is happening to you minutes before a speech, do a couple of stretches to loosen and relax your body. It’s better to warm up before every speech as it helps to increase the functional potential of the body as a whole. Not only that, it increases muscle efficiency, improves reaction time and your movements.

Here are some exercises to loosen up your body before show time:

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  1. Neck and shoulder rolls – This helps relieve upper body muscle tension and pressure as the rolls focus on rotating the head and shoulders, loosening the muscle. Stress and anxiety can make us rigid within this area which can make you feel agitated, especially when standing.
  2. Arm stretches – We often use this part of our muscles during a speech or presentation through our hand gestures and movements. Stretching these muscles can reduce arm fatigue, loosen you up and improve your body language range.
  3. Waist twists – Place your hands on your hips and rotate your waist in a circular motion. This exercise focuses on loosening the abdominal and lower back regions which is essential as it can cause discomfort and pain, further amplifying any anxieties you may experience.

Stay hydrated

Ever felt parched seconds before speaking? And then coming up on stage sounding raspy and scratchy in front of the audience? This happens because the adrenaline from stage fright causes your mouth to feel dried out.

To prevent all that, it’s essential we stay adequately hydrated before a speech. A sip of water will do the trick. However, do drink in moderation so that you won’t need to go to the bathroom constantly.

Try to avoid sugary beverages and caffeine, since it’s a diuretic – meaning you’ll feel thirstier. It will also amplify your anxiety which prevents you from speaking smoothly.

Meditate

Meditation is well-known as a powerful tool to calm the mind. ABC’s Dan Harris, co-anchor of Nightline and Good Morning America weekend and author of the book titled10% Happier , recommends that meditation can help individuals to feel significantly calmer, faster.

Meditation is like a workout for your mind. It gives you the strength and focus to filter out the negativity and distractions with words of encouragement, confidence and strength.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, is a popular method to calm yourself before going up on the big stage. The practice involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing and then bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future – which likely includes floundering on stage.

Here’s a nice example of guided meditation before public speaking:

2. Focus on your goal

One thing people with a fear of public speaking have in common is focusing too much on themselves and the possibility of failure.

Do I look funny? What if I can’t remember what to say? Do I look stupid? Will people listen to me? Does anyone care about what I’m talking about?’

Instead of thinking this way, shift your attention to your one true purpose – contributing something of value to your audience.

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Decide on the progress you’d like your audience to make after your presentation. Notice their movements and expressions to adapt your speech to ensure that they are having a good time to leave the room as better people.

If your own focus isn’t beneficial and what it should be when you’re speaking, then shift it to what does. This is also key to establishing trust during your presentation as the audience can clearly see that you have their interests at heart.[1]

3. Convert negativity to positivity

There are two sides constantly battling inside of us – one is filled with strength and courage while the other is doubt and insecurities. Which one will you feed?

‘What if I mess up this speech? What if I’m not funny enough? What if I forget what to say?’

It’s no wonder why many of us are uncomfortable giving a presentation. All we do is bring ourselves down before we got a chance to prove ourselves. This is also known as a self-fulfilling prophecy – a belief that comes true because we are acting as if it already is. If you think you’re incompetent, then it will eventually become true.

Motivational coaches tout that positive mantras and affirmations tend to boost your confidents for the moments that matter most. Say to yourself: “I’ll ace this speech and I can do it!”

Take advantage of your adrenaline rush to encourage positive outcome rather than thinking of the negative ‘what ifs’.

Here’s a video of Psychologist Kelly McGonigal who encourages her audience to turn stress into something positive as well as provide methods on how to cope with it:

4. Understand your content

Knowing your content at your fingertips helps reduce your anxiety because there is one less thing to worry about. One way to get there is to practice numerous times before your actual speech.

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However, memorizing your script word-for-word is not encouraged. You can end up freezing should you forget something. You’ll also risk sounding unnatural and less approachable.

“No amount of reading or memorizing will make you successful in life. It is the understanding and the application of wise thought that counts.” – Bob Proctor

Many people unconsciously make the mistake of reading from their slides or memorizing their script word-for-word without understanding their content – a definite way to stress themselves out.

Understanding your speech flow and content makes it easier for you to convert ideas and concepts into your own words which you can then clearly explain to others in a conversational manner. Designing your slides to include text prompts is also an easy hack to ensure you get to quickly recall your flow when your mind goes blank.[2]

One way to understand is to memorize the over-arching concepts or ideas in your pitch. It helps you speak more naturally and let your personality shine through. It’s almost like taking your audience on a journey with a few key milestones.

5. Practice makes perfect

Like most people, many of us are not naturally attuned to public speaking. Rarely do individuals walk up to a large audience and present flawlessly without any research and preparation.

In fact, some of the top presenters make it look easy during showtime because they have spent countless hours behind-the-scenes in deep practice. Even great speakers like the late John F. Kennedy would spend months preparing his speech beforehand.

Public speaking, like any other skill, requires practice – whether it be practicing your speech countless of times in front of a mirror or making notes. As the saying goes, practice makes perfect!

6. Be authentic

There’s nothing wrong with feeling stressed before going up to speak in front of an audience.

Many people fear public speaking because they fear others will judge them for showing their true, vulnerable self. However, vulnerability can sometimes help you come across as more authentic and relatable as a speaker.

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Drop the pretence of trying to act or speak like someone else and you’ll find that it’s worth the risk. You become more genuine, flexible and spontaneous, which makes it easier to handle unpredictable situations – whether it’s getting tough questions from the crowd or experiencing an unexpected technical difficulty.

To find out your authentic style of speaking is easy. Just pick a topic or issue you are passionate about and discuss this like you normally would with a close family or friend. It is like having a conversation with someone in a personal one-to-one setting. A great way to do this on stage is to select a random audience member(with a hopefully calming face) and speak to a single person at a time during your speech. You’ll find that it’s easier trying to connect to one person at a time than a whole room.

With that said, being comfortable enough to be yourself in front of others may take a little time and some experience, depending how comfortable you are with being yourself in front of others. But once you embrace it, stage fright will not be as intimidating as you initially thought.

Presenters like Barack Obama are a prime example of a genuine and passionate speaker:

7. Post speech evaluation

Last but not the least, if you’ve done public speaking and have been scarred from a bad experience, try seeing it as a lesson learned to improve yourself as a speaker.

Don’t beat yourself up after a presentation

We are the hardest on ourselves and it’s good to be. But when you finish delivering your speech or presentation, give yourself some recognition and a pat on the back.

You managed to finish whatever you had to do and did not give up. You did not let your fears and insecurities get to you. Take a little more pride in your work and believe in yourself.

Improve your next speech

As mentioned before, practice does make perfect. If you want to improve your public speaking skills, try asking someone to film you during a speech or presentation. Afterwards, watch and observe what you can do to improve yourself next time.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself after every speech:

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  • How did I do?
  • Are there any areas for improvement?
  • Did I sound or look stressed?
  • Did I stumble on my words? Why?
  • Was I saying “um” too often?
  • How was the flow of the speech?

Write everything you observed down and keep practicing and improving. In time, you’ll be able to better manage your fears of public speaking and appear more confident when it counts.

If you want even more tips about public speaking or delivering a great presentation, check out these articles too:

Reference

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