I think about money a lot this time of year and you probably do too. All the tempting sales make our greedy meters go up, and our credit card bills jump up huge with all the holiday gift shopping and travel costs. Meanwhile we’re also wondering if we’re going to get a raise or bonus at work, or praying we don’t get laid off, wincing as we cut checks for property taxes, donating to charities, signing up for open enrollment benefits, and preparing for our upcoming income tax filings. With money on the brain, it’s a good time to analyze your personal finance habits, update your budget, and set new financial goals for the next six to twelve months. There are lots of things not to do if you want to be rich and happy after all.
A few year back I read a good book entitled, “Fortune At The Bottom Of The Pyramid” by CK Prahalad. The premise of the book is to help eradicate poverty through profits and innovation in lower income communities. It’s a fascinating read and the book has helped me think about ways to build a business that has a positive social aspect to it as well.
Help And Hard Truths
Come to think of it, perhaps the reason why I like my work as a writer so much is because I’m able to reach people of all different backgrounds all over the world as long as they can get access to an internet connection. I provide all of my content for free and try to be as helpful as possible on practical topics of use such as business, careers, personal finance, self improvement, and travel. And I try and throw in some humor and personal touches too. 🙂 I’m able to provide all of my content for free because I earn a little bit here and there from advertisements and recommending products and services that I love and use myself. Being able to help people is one of the most rewarding reasons to become an entrepreneur and you can let your creativity run free. Maybe you won’t become super rich starting your own business, but you will be happy and have a lot of fun trying!
It can be a challenge helping people though unless the recipients are willing and eager to grow and change. One method to encourage folks to recognize their faults and weaknesses is to tell hard truths. People tend to get quite upset if you tell them they are lacking talent, have clouded perspectives, are unhealthy, and stubborn, but sometimes you’ve just got to do it if you love someone. Just try and be sensitive and respectful if you do so. Most of us tend to course correct naturally if we veer too far, but a kick in the pants is for our own good. Since I don’t know each of your individual situations, I tend to keep my advice positive, friendly, and objective.
Want Wealth And Happiness? Then Avoid Doing This!
There are many lists on things you can do to build wealth and become more financially independent. But what about the things NOT to do if you want to be rich and happy? If you have been doing any of the things on the below list, it’s time to stop!
* Get offended by criticism. Take things very personally and refuse to see what the other person is trying to say.
* Have the attitude that the world is out to get you. Always believe that someone is trying to keep you down. Never believe that your mind is your worse enemy.
* Give up early. As soon as the going gets tough, quit. Life is too short to put in your dues.
* Be constantly jealous of others. Instead of focusing on how to improve your own situation, focus on complaining about other people’s success. The more you complain about them, the more attention they will receive.
* Believe in all the promises of politicians. The more you rely on the government, the more you won’t focus on doing something independently for freedom.
* Refuse to think for yourself. It’s much easier to keep your opinions to yourself, follow the herd, and only do what someone else tells you to do instead of follow your own heart.
* Ignore your faults. You are perfect. Don’t ever let anybody tell you otherwise.
* Refuse to accept the other side of the story. It’s your way or the highway. Why learn another language or visit other countries when everybody should come to you?
* Expect the world to owe you something. Even though you know nothing when you first join a company, expect a promotion and raise without paying your dues.
* Don’t wear a condom. There’s only a two to four day window to get pregnant. What are the chances?
* Lavish your kids with praise in spite of mediocrity. Even though nails on a blackboard sound better than her violin solos, praise her incessantly and pay for more and more expensive lessons so she will never uncover her true talents.
* Keep increasing your debt. Credit limits were made to be maxed out. Having massive debt is hip, everyone’s doing it and so should you.
* Always go with your gut. Forget about thoroughly researching something big you are about to do. Your gut is never wrong.
Your Life Is What You Make Of It
The ability to succeed in America is so much easier than the ability to succeed in a lot of other nations due to our culture, laws, and infrastructure. But no matter where you are, effort trumps talent over the long run. If you want to stay poor and miserable, don’t work hard and expect a lot in return.
Remember though there’s no magic number that you have to hit in order to be rich. Being rich more than just having money after all. If you want to live a comfortable, rich and happy life, start thinking positively and get active!
Untemplaters, have you or someone you know struggled with things on this list before? Why do some people think they are entitled to things they haven’t earned? Have you ever helped someone improve their financial situation and outlook on life?
Copyright 2013. Original content and photography authorized only to appear on Untemplater.com. Thank you for reading!
David Eberhart says
Accepting that we’re flawed creatures and then being willing to do something about that is one of the great things about being a human being. We don’t have to accept where we are at this moment. We can change. We can say “no” to old habits and “yes” to new habits. We can do “the next right thing” that will take us to the next level.
Paul @ The Frugal Toad says
I look at criticism as an opportunity to improve, that is of course if I respect the speaker! There is always a better way of accomplishing a task and I enjoy that type of problem solving. Happy Holidays Sydney!
Bryce @ Save and Conquer says
Nice turnabout on the typical lists. My worst was that I used to ignore my faults when I was young. Now I realize that I have lots of faults, and work to correct them.
Great list – I think the most important one is learning how to not give up too early. Most millionaires will tell you to never give up. This is the one thing that got them to where they are today!
Little House says
So true .. hard work trumps talent any day. And I do wish parents would stop telling their kids how great they are when they are NOT. (okay, that’s the teacher coming out in me.) I say it’s fine to be average….that just means you have to work really hard to be more than average. Great list!
Stu @ Poor Student says
One of my favorite sayings is “winners never quite and quitters never win”. I also laughed at your point to wear a condom.
Pura Vida Nick says
I especially like the one about being jealous of others. This is the root of envy and keeping up with the joneses. Constantly thinking about others who have more, bigger, better (houses, success, spouses, etc.) leads to debt, and perhaps even more importantly, not being happy.
Mr. Utopia @ Personal Finance Utopia says
There’s so much negativity in this world that it becomes all too easy to let negative thoughts creep into our brains. When that happens, those thoughts can start manifesting into actions or reactions that sabotage ourselves. It can be difficult to realize it’s happening to you too. This is a good list to periodically review in order to analyze if you have been guilty of such defeatist thoughts. If yes, then internalize it and take corrective measures.
Thanks for the post Sydney, love the advice. I’ll be honest, it’s hard for me not to take criticism personally, but one thing that has helped me is reminding myself of the intentions of the person giving it.
My friends and colleagues want me to succeed so getting their input and criticisms is way for me to fix a blind spot or a weakness.
Financial Samurai says
It’s so easy to be grumpy about other people’s success and not focus that grumpiness on improving ourselves. I’m not sure what’s going on with America, but there seems to be a HUGE dichotomy between those who crush it and those who give up and just accept their fate.
I’d rather struggle and fail than ever give up while I’m still young.
Excellent list Sydney! The one I love the most is ‘Refuse to think for yourself’. Weigh the facts, make your own decisions.