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Thinking and Believing August 12, 2009

Posted by shaferfinancial in Finance.
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I have a strange practice.  I work with folks on opposite ends of the wealth spectrum.  It’s funny how I ended up here,  but it does have its advantages.  Take this week for example.  I have talked to several high income folks who are looking into ways to parlay that into greater wealth.  I talked to one person who is classified as super-wealthy [net worth over $10M] and two people who are in debt and have a negative net worth.  All these people are intelligent, educated, have good job histories, etc.  They all know a whole lot about their specialties. Two are in debt the others are either in process of acquiring wealth or already there.  There is a real divide in their thinking and ultimately what they believe.  I know the reader will think I am simplifying, but I am not; the only difference between these folks is the WAY they think.  I see this again and again and again.  The research on wealthy individuals has documented this for the last 100 years.

It is often said that people either run away from negative experiences or they are drawn toward positive experiences.  People that run away from negative experiences keep playing that same movie in their heads; they have a loop going on in their heads that has them building up anxiety and worrying and becoming even more anxious as the loop continues.  You can’t avoid trouble by thinking of the stupid things you might do and constantly examining the negative feelings you have. The choice is either plan and take action, move in the direction you want to go or try to cope with the thoughts, feelings, and experiences that are trying to overwhelm you.  The first strategy is called thinking, while the second is called reacting. You either react or think and plan.  It is really that simple.*****

I teach people to think and plan at the Shafer Wealth Academy.  It is very fulfilling work.  Getting people to think and believe is the easy part.  Getting people to first understand that how they have trained their brains to think, is their real financial problem, is the hard part.

*****Thanks to Richard Bandler for accumulating the literature on personal change for which I borrowed the language in this paragraph.*****

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