Good Rich or Bad Rich?

Do you want to be rich?

Ask that question to a group of people. What kind of answers will you get? How do you answer the question?

There are, of course, a lot of ways to define “rich.” Today, let’s focus on rich in the sense of material wealth, possessions and influence. Is it good or bad to be rich? Is it good or bad to aspire to be rich?

In 2011 Zuccotti Park in New York City’s financial district was the focus of a widely recognized social protest against economic inequality. It became known as “Occupy Wall Street.” Frequent references came from the occupiers about “the one percent.” By most definitions, the one percent are “the rich.”

Before the Occupy Wall Street experience, and certainly since, I sense that some people are uneasy about the idea of personal wealth. Some demographic groups more than others seem to shun or renounce wealth. In a discussion of wealth or of the concept of getting rich, I hear frequent and commendable reference to “giving back” and to “making a difference.” These are offered as alternatives to wealth, as if the choices to do good and to do well are mutually exclusive.

Not only recently, but over the course of world history, there are vivid examples of the use of material riches for bad (really bad) outcomes. The news media is reputed to use the phrase, “If it bleeds, it leads.” There is a tendency to highlight the worst and to de-emphasize the good. It’s easier to focus on the lurid, the negative, the tragically sensational. Is that why being rich has become an increasingly bad thing?

Being rich progressively removes limitations and controls to which most people are subject. Being wealthy expands choices and opportunities. The range of choices for most people is limited and tied to where they have shelter and where and how they earn money. Most people don’t have the option to choose a different city, state, country or continent where they will eat and sleep tomorrow. Once a person is no longer required to do something every day to ensure that they can get food and shelter, options emerge.

Options. Choices. Alternatives.

Let’s re-ask the question from the beginning and replace the concept of “rich” with the concept of choice or options. Do you want more options?  Would you like to have more available choices? Most (not all) of the apprehension people might feel or express about being rich or wealthy disappears when the concept is expressed in terms of choices or options.

What, then, is the challenge that many people have about being rich?

Money is neither good or bad. Money is a tool, a resource or a raw material. Like any tool or resource, it can be misused and abused. It is certain that an abundance of money has the tendency to reveal the true nature of the person with the money. Being rich tends to magnify the character of the person.

What good things do you want to do? Who do you want to help? What changes in society would you like to be part of? How do you want to live? Your time, influence and your wealth are the means you have to achieve those dreams. Your time is limited. If you have more wealth, your opportunities to do well and to affect good grow and so does your influence and ability to attract the time, influence and wealth of others.

One of my friends is fond of saying, “If you love money and use people, you’ve got it wrong. If you love people and use money, you’ve got it right.”

A good foundation for your material possessions starts with knowing clearly what you want and what you want to do. It also starts with fundamental respect for others and for yourself. There is no room for believing the worth of another person is attached to the quantity or lack of their material possessions.

Riches are a tool. Wealth provides opportunities and options. What kind of a person are you? A desire to be rich, in the hands of enough good people, changes their community and changes the world.

Let’s eliminate the stigma around being rich. Rich isn’t good or bad. It is the person that makes it one or the other. What many people lack is a clear and determined plan for their life, including an idea of what material wealth they want to accumulate and how they want to use it.

Ironically, most of us have some wealth and potential wealth flow through our lives. It is enough in many cases to “make a difference” if we will use it with purpose. The issue, in my mind, is how purposeful do you want to make your life? How will you use what you have? And, will you plan to create and accumulate more wealth than you already have?  Along the way, you’ll make some mistakes. Welcome to humanity. Do better next time. Get up from the fall and move ahead.

Good rich or bad rich? It isn’t the “rich” that should be the question. My overall experience is that the creation of wealth and the use of wealth have the potential to spread and increase wealth in general. It can be the rising tide that lifts all boats. Done right, wealth is not a limited resource that reduces another’s portion when someone gets their piece.

Do you want to do good? Wealth is one of the ways to make that happen. It’s OK if you don’t want to pursue material affluence. At the same time, let’s not discourage or criticize others who pursue riches to accomplish good. We need a healthier attitude toward material prosperity. We need more people who live their lives with clear purpose to get and to use wealth to further good causes. Call it: Cause Capitalism.

I’m going to believe that you are a good person. So, let me ask the question again. Do you want to be rich?  It’s OK to say, “Yes!”

Change any Negative Emotions that get in the way of Success

While working on your Financial Vision and goals, I’m sure that you realize that you are solely responsible for the successes that you gain in your life. Unfortunately, countless men and women go through life grumbling and complaining about earlier, unhappy experiences, and blaming their problems on other people and circumstances. Many people are angry about something that one of their parents did or did not do) 20, 30 or even 40 years ago!  They are trapped in the past and can’t get free.You’ll find that the greatest enemies to happiness and success are negative emotions such as: fear, self-pity, envy, jealousy, feeling of inferiority, and ultimately anger.  Negative emotions of all kinds hold you down, tire you out and take away all your joy in life.

“A man, as a general rule, owes very little to what he is born with – a man is what he makes of himself”     -Alexander Graham Bell

We believe that negative emotions have done more harm to individuals and societies than all the plagues of history.  If you want to be truly happy and successful, one of your most important goals should be to free yourself of negative emotions.

Most negative emotions are caused by four factors. Once you identify and remove these factors from your thinking, your negative emotions will stop automatically. The positive emotions of love, peace, joy, hope and enthusiasm will flow in to replace them and your whole life will change for the better.

The first root cause of negative emotions is justification. You can only be negative as long as you can justify to yourself and others that you are entitled to be angry or upset for some reason. If you cannot justify your negativity, you cannot be angry.

As long as you continue to justify negative feelings, your negative emotions will control you and absorb much of your life and energy. As soon as you stop justifying your negative emotions you will become calm, clear and focused on your goals, as soon as you stop justifying, you will become a more positive and effective person.

The Second root cause of negative emotions is rationalization.  When you rationalize your attempt to give a socially acceptable explanation for and otherwise socially unacceptable act.  You rationalize to explain it away or to put a favorable light on something you have done that you feel bad or unhappy about.  You excuse your behavior or actions by creating an explanation that sounds good even though you know that you were an active agent in whatever occurred.  This rationalizing keeps your negative emotions alive.

Rationalization and justification always require that you make someone or something else the source or cause of your problem.  You cast yourself in the role of the victim and you make the other person or organization into the oppressor or “bad guy”.

The Third root cause of negative emotions is an over-concern or hypersensitivity to the way that others treat you.  For some people their entire self-image is determined by the way others speak to them, or about them or even look at them.  They have little sense of personal value or self-worth apart from the opinions of others.  And if those opinions are negative for any reason; real or imagined, the victim immediately experiences anger, embarrassment, shame, feelings of inferiority and even depression, self-pity and despair.

The Fourth root cause of negative emotions ,and the worst of all, is blaming. The antidote for negative emotions of all kinds is for you to accept complete responsibility for your situation.  You cannot say the words “I am responsible” and still feel angry.  The very act of accepting responsibility cancels out any negative emotions you may be experiencing.  You can free yourself from negative emotions and begin taking control of your life by simply saying “I am responsible”

It is only when you free yourself from negative emotions, by taking complete responsibility; that you can begin to achieve goals in every area of your life.  It is only when you are free mentally and emotionally that you can begin to channel your energy and enthusiasm in a forward direction. This is why without the acceptance of complete responsibility, no progress is possible.  On the other hand, once you accept total responsibility for your life, there are limits on what you can be, do and have.

-From now on refuse to blame anyone for anything past, present or future.

-From this point forward, refuse to make excuses or to justify your behaviors.  If you make a mistake say “I’m sorry” and get busy rectifying the situation.

Every time you blame someone else or make excuses you give your power away. You feel weakened and diminished, you feel negative and angry inside. Refuse to do it.

-To keep your mind positive: refuse to criticize, complain about or condemn other people about anything. Every time you criticize someone else, complain about something you don’t like or condemn someone else about something they have done or not done; you trigger feelings of negativity and anger within yourself and you are the one who suffers.  Your negativity does not affect the other persona at all.

Being angry with someone is allowing him or her to control your emotions and often the entire quality of your life.

Positive emotions of love, excitement, happiness and enthusiasm make you feel more powerful and more confident.

Negative emotions of anger, hurt or blame can make you hostile and unpleasant to be around.

Once you decide to accept complete responsibility for yourself, your situation and for everything that happens to you; you can turn confidently toward your work and the affairs of your life.  You become the “Master of your fate and the captain of your soul”.

Never put roadblocks in the way of success. To fully take charge of your life, develop your own strategic plan for your life.

Your next workout is broken down into five parts;

  1. Begin overcoming negative emotions in your life that will keep you from achieving your goals. Identify your biggest problem or source of negativity in life today. In what ways are you responsible? Make a list of your answers.
  2. Resolve today to stop blaming anyone else for anything and instead accept complete responsibility in every area of your life. What actions should you be taking?  Make a list of your answers.
  3. Stop making excuses and start making progress. List some of your favorite excuses. Now, imagine that they have no basis and act accordingly.
  4. See yourself as the primary creative force in your own life. You are where you are and what you are because of your own choices and decisions. What should you change?  Make a list of your answers.
  5. Lastly, make a list of anyone you need to forgive in your life. Now, resolve today to forgive anyone who has ever hurt you in any way. Let it go! Refuse to discuss it again. Instead, get so busy working on something that is important to you, that you don’t have time to think about it again.

When you complete this process, you are going to love the way you feel!

For more information on what we offer, please visit our programs page. 

If you want to learn more about the visionary and creator of Financially Fit, Steve Down, Click Here!

Thank-you for reading.