If you’re like most people, one of your Why’s is to be rich. You have a vision board full of exotic cars, jets, and yachts. You see yourself on cruises all over the world. Your dream home is a huge mansion with at least a dozen rooms you never use. I’m just curious, why do you really want that stuff?
I have a great story to help you ponder that question. In my first article, I told you that I visualize by writing stories about my future in the sense that I’ve already achieved my goals. In one story, I walk around my dream home and describe everything in as much detail as possible. Everything from the floor design, to the furniture, to size of the backyard.
I had an arcade room with lineups of machines on either side of the door as soon as you walk in. Plus a Sega Genesis, SNES, N64, PS1, and PS2 each connected to a different flat screen TV. A Bugatti Veyron, a Viper SRT, a Cadillac CTS, a Cadillac Eldorado, and a Lamborghini Insecta were in my garage. I had a gym that looked like an actual fitness center. I had an indoor pool and an outdoor pool. I had a balcony that circled the entire building. One room was an actual movie theater. My bedroom had a retractable glass ceiling. There was a baseball batting cage in my backyard.
One not-so-fine day, my computer crashed. Among other things, the unfinished story of my dream home was destroyed. In a way, this was a great thing.
Some time later, I was talking to a coach about my Why at the time. He asked me why I was working in my company, so I told him. He asked why I wanted that reason, and I told him. This went on and on, and every answer I gave him, he would respond with another why until I ran out of things to say.
This experience taught me to analyze my Why in everything I do. The things we consider to be our Why are usually the tip of the iceberg. Our true Why is submerged a few feet under.
So I applied this method to figure out why I wanted all that stuff in my dream home. Upon further inspection, I realized that I didn’t want it!
What happened was that I had programmed myself to believe that thinking big was about materialism and living extravagantly. Almost every dream board I’ve ever seen was filled with private jets, mansions, luxury cars, etc. I’ve seen people shamed for not wanting the shiny objects. Even some personal development coaches put a lot of emphasis on that stuff. I was under the impression that not wanting it was part of a lack mentality.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been the type to go for the cheapest stuff. In my old neighborhood, I’d go grocery shopping at 3 or 4 different places simply because each store sells at least one thing for less than the others. Now I’ll walk 15 minutes to a store that sells the same headphones as the store down the street from my current place, for $2 less. When I started building my fortune, I began to think these actions were a sign of lack mentality.
Who better to learn the lifestyles of the wealthy than wealthy people, themselves?
Everybody knows that Warren Buffet is third wealthiest person in the world. If you’re like most people, you would think Warren lives in a multi-billion dollar mansion, complete with a drawbridge in front, a forest full of talking animals in the back, and a Batcave underneath.
Warren Buffet has lived in the same (relatively) normal house since 1958. Relatively, as in it only cost $31,500 at the time (which is $260,264.12 today), and has 5 bedrooms, yet it looks plain compared to expectations. He doesn’t have a computer at his desk, nor does he carry a phone.
Ingvar Kamprad, founder of IKEA and second richest person in Europe, eats in the cafeteria with his employees. He even takes salt and pepper packets home. He lives in a one-story house and drives a 1993 Volvo. That’s when he’s not riding the bus!
Do you think the third wealthiest person in the world and the second wealthiest in Europe have lack mentalities? Technically, they do, or they’d be tied for first place. The point is, they make penny-pinching look cool. Anyway…
If you’re like most people, you can name several singers and rappers who had the hottest songs of the year(s), constantly showed up on TV, and seemed to be on top of the world. Maybe you’ve seen them literally throwing stacks of $100 bills around and bragging about how much money they have. Then a few years later, they disappeared. Some of you may have looked them up and found that their net worth is even lower than yours. What happened?
The majority of them had the same problem: lack of financial discipline. Those were the people who bought all the crazy stuff for their house. They paid full price, rather than buy the same thing at a thrift store. They’d be ashamed to take home free salt and pepper. They were living the way most of us think rich people are supposed to live.
There’s nothing wrong with living extravagant. The problem is when you buy all kinds of expensive, unnecessary stuff just because you can afford it or because you want to fit a stereotype. That’s a sign that your financial thermostat is set too low for your income. When you earn more money than your thermostat can handle, you subconsciously end up getting rid of the excess money. That’s why lottery winners rarely keep their prize for more than a couple of years.
When you become more disciplined, you tend to look at your expenses and cut out the excess spending. That’s what wealthy people actually do, and that’s why they keep their money. You think Steve Jobs cared if people laughed at him for refusing to buy a coat because it was overpriced, then walking back out to the cold?
In my case, I rarely play video games, so why do I need a Chuck E. Cheese sized arcade? How many cars can I drive all at once? Why should I pay extra for a house full of rooms I never use? I don’t play baseball, and I don’t recall what I was thinking when I once considered a whole field in my backyard!
I’m just curious, what would you buy if you were a trillionaire? Do you really want the giant house and multiple cars? Or are you just trying to impress people who did not earn your money and deserve no say in how you use it? That question can save your financial life.
Make a nice day!