3 wealth-killing habits you’ve got to kick ASAP
Bad, time sucking habit number 1 – keeping up with the Joneses.
This is the disease of suburbia: concentrating too much time and brain energy on what other people have, compared to what you don’t have.
“Ken and Brenda at number 46 are going on their THIRD holiday this year… Noel over the road just bought a new BMW X5… Stella at work just showed me her 14.5 megapixel camera… Steve and Ruth got their kids into the R30,000-a-term private school…”
If you’re always twitching your curtains and worrying about how your neighbours seem to be rolling in it, you’re spending less time on increasing your OWN wealth.
Your spare time is hugely valuable – particularly if you have a 9-to-5.
You should be concentrating every minute of it on putting more money in your own bank account rather than worrying about the size of friends, colleagues and neighbours’ bank balances.
When we live our lives relative to what other people have, we can never be fulfilled. Because someone will ALWAYS have a sportier Mercedes… a bigger TV… neater stripes on their front lawn… more athletic kids…
It could drive you mad.
Seriously, it’s not worth your time and effort trying to keep up with other people. There’s no point to it. Does it really matter what they have?
It says more about you if you constantly strive to project a certain lifestyle image than if you lived your own life without these material status symbols clogging up your world and adding to your debt.
Think about what the money you make (and save) could bring to your life. The smiles it could put on the faces of the people you love and care about. That should be your biggest motivator. Not to get a shinier Beamer than Noel.
Bad, time sucking habit number 2 – not forgiving others or yourself
Harbouring grudges is one of the most poisonous and pointless wastes of time in the world.
Some very close people to me – who I otherwise love and respect – are guilty of this: hanging onto bitterness for TWENTY YEARS or more.
That takes a LOT of energy. More than you’d realise. And negative energy tires you out much more quickly than positive energy.
More than that, it defines you.
People see you as bitter, twisted and incapable of moving on. They don’t want to be around you. You bring everyone down. You get to the point where your entire life is consumed and defined by one bad episode – when the truth is that life is made up of tens of thousands of different experiences.
Some bad, some mediocre, some dangerous, some challenging, some boring and some downright wonderful.
You can’t dwell on the bad stuff. Frankly, you don’t have time to.
Forgiveness is one of the most powerful emotions you can a) feel and b) dish out. And it’s positive. It frees up hours that you could spend on building wealth and creating a better life.
Isn’t that a better use of your time?
And while I’m on the subject: learn to forgive yourself, too.
You’re not a perfect specimen, so go easy on yourself. It’s impossible to get everything 100% right all the time.
The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up when you make a mistake. We all do it. Put it down to experience and learn from it.
Why criticising is bad for your internal organs
Constantly criticising others (and yourself, for that matter) turns you into an extremely ineffective human being.
There’s nothing worse – or more unattractive – than someone who constantly snipes about those around them. Aside from the negative image you project it’s just a monumental waste of time.
Internet forums are full of critics. I used to get into some terrible slanging matches with people in online forums – some who’d read my email and had decided to respond by calling me all kinds of names on a message board. Brave, huh?
Naively, I decided to defend myself – which achieved precisely nothing. It wasted valuable hours and didn’t change anyone’s mind.
In fact, if anything, it created even more squabbling.
Then I realised: there are what I call “professional posters” out there – people with nothing better to do with their time than to log on (anonymously) for hours and hours of an evening and throw poisoned barbs at whosoever they want.
You can’t get in the ring with these people. There’s absolutely no point. But here’s the kicker: Since I stopped bothering to check Internet forums my life has improved immeasurably.
The people still posting rubbish up there have not moved on one bit.
Constant criticism does not advance you as a human being. It’s negative, pointless and it shows you up to be an idiot. It takes your mind off what you should be doing with your life.
Then there’s the tension criticism places your body under. Whenever you get wound up about what someone else has done and start venting, you tense up.
Studies have shown that your internal organs respond to this tension by going into survival mode. Blood flows to them as if the body is being attacked. It places them under unnecessary stress.
This is bad. Forcing your organs to work harder than they need to – unnecessarily – can really affect your health.
I know it’s tough, ‘cos we all like a good gossip now and again, but do your best to avoid personal attacks on others.
When you feel yourself getting sucked into discussions about others that are nothing more than personal attacks, stop and take a step back.
Say to yourself: “This is a waste of my valuable time. Instead of criticising this person, I should be making MY life better.”
These three habits are the easiest things in the world to get drawn into. But they focus your attention on other people: what they have or what they do that makes you feel bad for some reason.