Riches don’t just happen to most people. Some, to be sure, get lucky and win a lottery, or are born into a wealthy family. Others happen to pursue a career or business that ends up raining riches on them.
Most of us, however, have to really work at it to become financially independent. We have to choose wealth.
What keeps you from choosing wealth?
Our upbringing, attitudes, beliefs, environment and the company we keep all influence our ability to become wealthy.
If you grew up in a poor household and were not ever exposed to the possibility that you could become financially independent, you are not likely to do so.
If you believe that riches are not worth pursuing, you are not likely to become rich.
If your neighborhood draws you into bad habits, causes you to overspend or become a criminal, you are not likely to choose wealth.
If you surround yourself with nay-sayers who don’t believe that you can change your financial circumstances, you are unlikely to do so.
How can you choose wealth?
Make sure that is what you want.
You have but one life. Before you start down the path to financial independence (which admittedly can be a long one), figure out if you want it badly enough. Figure out what wealth means to you. Is it really money or is it something else? What is your life’s dream?
Know that it is possible – for you.
Consciously take a look around – getting outside of your normal domain to see what there is to see. Figure out what your current environment is, what expectations of you there are, what influences you in your surroundings. Find and study other ways of living, earning, learning and dreaming. Travel, find a mentor, volunteer in another area. Seek out stories of people just like you who succeeded in gaining the wealth they sought.
Surround yourself with cheerleaders who encourage you to follow your dream.
Explore your talents.
What do you enjoy? What skills do you have? What innate abilities can be put to use to help you start the path to wealth? If you are good at something, typically you will enjoy doing it. If you enjoy doing it, you will persist. Persistence is of prime importance in choosing wealth.
Choose the a career that pays.
You know your talents, but perhaps some additional training will sharpen the saw. If you take post secondary education, consider not only what you enjoy studying, but also what you can do with the education or training you receive from the studies. Consciously determine if your choice of trade or major will allow you to become financially independent.
Get your family on board.
If you are married, make sure you talk the money talk, frequently, with your spouse. Set your financial goals together and you both will be more likely to stick to them.
Weigh each decision against your financial goals.
Should you spend the money on that new flat screen and sound bar, or save it for the emergency fund? Consider not only the financial aspects, but the life enjoyment aspects as well. Life really is a journey that you only travel once. Too great a focus on money may well hinder your ability to gain true wealth (as opposed to monetary riches).
Educate yourself and your family in personal finance concepts.
Once you have that dream career, paying enough to allow you to start to accumulate, you don’t want to loose your nest egg on an unwise investment. Take a class, read some books, visit websites like this one to learn all you can about things like borrowing money, paying off credit and loans, ways to save, how to invest and more.
Choosing wealth isn’t a one time activity. You will need to keep at it for awhile to gain headway. Persistence is a key to your success in becoming financially independent. Use every tool at your disposal to aid your persistence. Automatic payroll deductions and investments, scheduled money discussions with your spouse, budget reviews, measurements toward your financial goals and net worth tracking are just a few of these.
I chose wealth, so can you. Read more about it in my book: Choose Wealth! Be a millionaire by midlife.
Are you financially independent? How did you get there?