I recently started reading a book I heard about from Mr. Money Mustache – The Magic of Thinking Big. The message behind the book is that your life is impacted by the way you think. I see why MMM loves the book so much as it’s a great pick me up and an eye opener on human thought.
From my reading, I realized that our mindset is what determines our success. Most people like to blame their circumstances or disabilities for why their life is the way it is. The people who do this have negative mindsets though. Anytime you think negatively about your life, you’re putting limitations on yourself. If you can reverse your negative thought process, you’ll find yourself moving forward rapidly.
You are in control of yourself (or can be). When you realize that your input is what determines your outcome, it’s empowering. Some people don’t want this responsibility though. Whether you like it or not, you are responsible. Having a negative mindset will impact all areas of your life negatively.
You can’t move forward if you don’t believe
The first step to being successful with anything is to think there’s a possibility you could succeed. If you have doubts about yourself, those are called limiting beliefs. You need to eliminate any limiting beliefs you have in order to move forward.
How many times have you heard someone say “I could never do that” or “I wish I was as lucky as that person”? Probably a lot. We tend to look at people’s success and think it happened overnight. Almost always, the successful person has been working towards their success for years.
It seems that human nature keeps us in our safety bubbles. When someone comes along that wants to do things differently, they get a lot of backlash from society. A lot of times, people will reject you for being different, just because they’re jealous that they didn’t have the courage to stand out.
Take my eBay business for example. If I had listened to the people who don’t think there’s any money to be made on eBay, I wouldn’t be earning an extra $500+ a month right now. There’s literally no cap on how much you can make reselling and the sky’s the limit from here. As long as I stay positive and believe I can be a successful reseller, I will continue to earn more money.
Going to college
When you’re going to college, or thinking about going to college, your mindset is everything. A lot of people go to college not knowing what they want to do, but I would challenge you to only go to college if you know it’s necessary. The old thought process of “you have to go to college to make it in life” is old news. You can have a great career without ever stepping foot in a college. Again, it comes down to being willing to be different from the crowd.
I’m not saying that everyone should avoid going to college, but you shouldn’t just blindly go and get a bunch of debt because you think it’s the thing to do. Even if you get a job with a meager income instead of going to college, you’ll likely be ahead of most people who come out of college with debt.
If you decide to go to college, you can do it debt free with the right approach. With a positive mindset and hard work, you can find a way to fund your degree. Most people aren’t taking advantage of the opportunities they have through scholarships and other means of college funding.
Money is more valuable the younger you are. The sooner you start making money and investing it, the longer it has time to grow and compound over your life. You can invest a lot less money when you’re younger and be ahead of someone who invests more later in life. When the goal is financial independence, you can easily get a job paying a median income at age 18 and potentially “retire” before you’re 30 if you take the right steps.
Now that you’re in a career path, you have to keep the positive mindset going. If you aren’t careful, you’ll find yourself 15 years down the road and unhappy with how your life has turned out.
Don’t get complacent in your position. Always look for new things to tackle and ways to contribute. Always smile and be the one spreading positivity in your workplace. Everyone will like you and you’ll be rewarded nicely. Don’t complain. Ever.
You are never tied to your job. There’s a whole world filled with other, possibly better positions out there. Keep your finger on the pulse of the market and always be ready to jump into a new opportunity. Companies aren’t really rewarding loyalty anymore. Moving positions every few years can be the fastest way to grow your income.
Something I’ve noticed is that people get lazy when they find a decent job. They don’t keep their resume updated and don’t ever bother seeing what other jobs are out there. I want to slap these people when they complain about their job, but I realize it’s very easy to stay where you’re comfortable.
Starting a business
You’re definitely going to need a positive mindset if you decide to start a business. A lot of people avoid ever pursuing this because they have swam in the depths of negativity for too long. If you’re good at solving some kind of problem, chances are you could start a successful business.
It comes back to what you believe. I think Henry Ford said it best when he said “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t – you’re right. You’re going to need a good purpose for starting a business. If you’ve got a good enough why, you will keep going during tough times. Someone who believes in what they’re doing is much more likely to succeed than someone who’s just in it to make a buck.
If you’re stuck in negativity, you might let the opportunity to start a business pass you by. Becoming an entrepreneur is likely the quickest way to becoming wealthy, so this could be a huge missed opportunity.
Living in debt or paycheck to paycheck
When you’re trapped in the clutches of debt, it’s hard to be positive. Many people just accept that they’re in debt and that’s the way it’s going to be. This decision is costing people tremendously. No matter how much debt you have, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and you can reach it if you work hard enough.
You just have to think positively and adjust your spending so you can save as much as possible and pay down your debts. Becoming debt free will give you a lot of freedom in the future. When you don’t have massive bills to pay off, you can be a little more risky with the opportunities you pursue.
Psychology plays a big role in investing. First, you have to have the positive thought that you should put some money into the stock market so you’ll have more money in the future. You have to believe that your money is going to grow and have faith in the economy. The most important thing with investing is staying positive when the market is down.
I’ve only been investing for a few years now, and the market has been on a bull run the entire time. Everyone and their dog has been putting money into the market lately, because everyone is winning. The real test is going to be when we see another market crash. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to sell your stocks at the bottom of the market.
I had someone tell me one time that there’s no hope in investing because someone they knew had a lot of money invested and when the market dropped, they lost everything. This person must have gotten scared and sold at the bottom. If they had kept their money invested and continued to contribute as they usually did, their money would probably have doubled at this point.
They’ve done studies and have shown that the most successful investors are dead people. That proves that it’s best to never touch your investments until you start drawing income from them in retirement.
Start being aware of your thoughts. When you notice a negative thought come up, ask yourself why you’re thinking the way you are. If you can heal yourself of a negative mindset, you’re life is going to change directions rapidly.
Thinking positively is something I have to work on daily, but I know I’ll get better at it over time and my life should continue to progress. I know that any time I spend thinking negatively is wasted, and life’s too short to waste any of our precious time.
When you add up all the potential opportunity costs you get with a negative mindset, it’s easy to see that negativity could be your biggest life expense.
Nathan has been a personal finance writer since early 2018. He and his wife reached a net worth of one hundred thousand at the age of 25 and are on their way to financial independence. His favorite way to make money is selling things on eBay and has grown his eBay business to earn five figures selling part-time. He loves sharing what he learns about finance and any eBay tips he comes across. If you’re interested in becoming an eBay seller, check out his reseller Facebook group.