Often you’ll hear people say, “They’re poor because they’re lazy.” What people mean is that it takes hard work to get rich. The problem is that it is only partially true. It does take hard work to get rich, but it also takes financial intelligence.
The other is that people who work hard are also some of the laziest people around.
We have all heard the story of the businessman who works hard to earn money, spending long hours at the office and bringing work home on the weekends, only to see his wife and kids leave him. Rather than work on his relationships, he stayed busy at work.
Today, I meet people who are too lazy to take care of their money, their health and their family or get a financial education. They work hard, but that is really a way of staying busy so they don’t have to face these things.
They are lazy. Nobody has to tell them. Deep down they know, and if you bring it up they get irritated.
And if they’re not busy with work, they’re busy with TV, fishing, playing golf, or shopping. They stay busy to avoid important things in life.
If that rings true for you, it’s essential that you overcome laziness in order to become rich in terms of both money and life. So the question is, how do you overcome laziness?
The answer: with a little greed.
Spare the guilt trip
I know what you’re probably thinking, “Isn’t greed bad?” Many of us were raised to think this way. “Greedy people are bad people,” my mother used to say. Yet, if we’re honest, all of us have a yearning for nice, new or exciting things.
To keep that yearning under control, parents often find ways of suppressing it with guilt. “You only think about yourself,” was one of my mom’s favorites. “You want me to buy what for you? Do you think we’re made of money?” was my dad’s. It wasn’t the words that hurt so much as the angry guilt trip that came with them.
But the reality is that there’s nothing wrong with wanting nice, new, or exciting things. The only thing that is wrong is how you go about attaining them. Will you be lazy and steal from your family’s future by pulling out bad debt and spending all your money on them, or will you increase your financial intelligence and find ways to build your wealth so that you can enjoy the finer things in life? Will you say, “I can’t afford it,” or will you ask, “How can I afford it?”
How can you afford it? (click)
My rich dad forbade the words, “I can’t afford it,” in his house. In my real home, that’s all I ever heard. Instead, Rich Dad required his children to ask, “How can I afford it?”
The words, “I can’t afford it,” shuts down your mind to possibilities—you don’t have to think. It is a poor and lazy mindset. The words, “How can I afford it,” open up your mind, forcing you to think and search for answers. It is a rich and creative mindset.
Most important, asking, “How can I afford it,” releases the potential of your human spirit to battle with the lazy mindset. Most people think using the words, “We can’t afford it,” teaches them to battle greed, but really it teaches kids to find excuses, which leads to laziness.
Tune in to WII-FM
I have a radio station that’s my favorite. It’s called, “What’s in it for me?” Or WII-FM. OK, it’s not a real station, but it’s an easy way for me to remember that important question.
We need to often sit down and ask questions like, “What would my life be like if I never had to work again?” “What would I do if I had all the money I needed?” Without the desire to have something better, progress is never made. And wanting something better, whether we acknowledge it or not, takes a little bit of greed. It means asking, “What’s in it for me?”
Our world progresses because we all desire a better life. New inventions are made, we go to school and study hard and we make sacrifices, all because we want a better life. So whenever you find yourself facing something so hard that you’d prefer to avoid it and be lazy, ask, “What’s in it for me?” Be a little greedy. It’s the best cure for laziness.
Don’t be too greedy
Finally, a word of caution. Too much greed, as almost anything in excess, is not good. Michael Douglas in the movie Wall Street said, “Greed is good.” Rich Dad said it differently, “Guilt is worse than greed. Guilt robs the body of its soul.”
Don’t feel guilty about wanting a better life and working hard to attain it, but also don’t become guilty of sacrificing the most important things in life, your family, health, and integrity, to attain them. Because at the end of the day, money is only important if you can enjoy it with the ones you love and with a clear conscience.
Copyright Robert Kiyosaki