Have you ever wished someone would just give you a different life? A new identity. One where you could bag up all the rubbish. Bin it. And then change your neighborhood entirely with none of the financial baggage you created this side of the fence?
How easy that would be. Pick up sticks and leave. Thank-you-very-much.
That is how I see a lot of people approach change. They want a new “financial identity”, but not the hard work (sometimes emotional work) of changing their minds. I’ve heard a lot of people say ‘I need to change’, but I’ve not met too many people who actually said ‘I’m now willing to change my mind’. In today’s essay I discuss some scenarios where it’s actually OK to change your mind.
Whenever we have elections, the inevitable happens – each candidate gets accused of being a flip-flopper as a massive negative. We’re told that anybody who changes their mind isn’t fit to lead because they can’t be trusted or aren’t strong enough to “stick to their guns.”
I beg to differ.
Being able to change your mind based on new evidence or experiences is a positive. Isn’t that what we want in a leader? Somebody who doesn’t blindly stay the course when there’s overwhelming evidence to the contrary? In other words, changing your mind and consistently testing your foundational beliefs will help you grow and learn and succeed in life.
Unfortunately, this is incredibly difficult because our minds put up one hell of a fight. The resistance is the voice in the back of our head telling us to back off, to do what we’ve always done and to resist change.
The resistance grows in strength as we get closer to an insight, as we get closer to the truth of what we really want. That’s because our brains prefer things to be consistent.
Usually, this is a good thing. You’re consistent and reliable, and you’re able to stand up for what you think. In fact, a big part of my ebook, The Financial Freedom Formula talks about having unwavering convictions.
But sometimes, you’ll find yourself in a situation where you have to change your mind – and perhaps even go against what you’ve said to friends, family or colleagues. And there’s not necessarily anything wrong with that. In fact, being willing to change your mind – to be “open minded” – is hugely important in a world which changes fast.
Here are two situations where you’ll want to think about changing your mind…
When Reality Doesn’t Match Up to Your Expectations
Sometimes, you’ll have an idea which seems fine, but which doesn’t really work in the real world. For example, maybe when you were young you bought into the whole idea of getting a good education, then getting a good job, and then you’ll be able to easily retire at age 65. But if it were that easy, why is the average person still struggling to make ends meet at retirement age? Most people are forced to build a life in the evenings and their days-off. They find themselves more inclined to spend heavily on entertainment and conveniences because they rarely have any free time with income that buys less and less each year. They buy silly items for a few moments of happiness before getting bored and moving on. They feel a need to keep up with fads, or to fulfill their childhood vision of what adulthood would be like. They replace psychological needs with material items. There is a better way. It involves delaying expenses just long enough for your money to multiply and then investing the surplus. Before long, you’ll start to see your net worth increasing. Keep at it, and you can become financially free, retire before age 65 and live life on your terms. Remember, it’s OK to wake up one day and not like your current financial situation. The simple solution is to change your mind and get on a new path to prosperity.
When You’ve Outgrown a Belief or Idea
I expect that you had strong beliefs as a teen or student which you don’t necessarily hold now. Perhaps you had a fixed idea on how the world should work. Most of us are able to outgrow our rather juvenile beliefs – but we sometimes struggle to change our minds about things to which we’ve subscribed to in adulthood. The truth is that we all continue to grow, change and learn – throughout our lives. Just because you were certain about something ten years ago doesn’t mean you need to believe it forever. For example, it’s only guys in Brioni suits who drive Mercedes and have stock tickers in their penthouses that invest right? It’s not for “normal people” who take public transit and live in studio apartments. The reality is that anyone, even you, can invest. And it’s one of the best ways to grow your wealth. If you are starting from zero, become a student of investing by reading everything you can about the topic. Bury yourself in your local library, read all the best sellers on investing and study the greats like Warren Buffett. Then, sign up for a brokerage account. It’s the fastest, easiest way to get your feet wet in investing. You can get started today, right now. Once you’re comfortable you can start investing. But it’s important to get started learning how to invest ASAP. If you’ve never invested, the solution is simple. Change your mind. Remember, a cherished belief that’s false is like a guillotine – just as heavy, just as light.
We’re living in a time of incredibly rapid change. Fifteen years ago, dialup internet (or no internet at all) was the norm – now we’re used to wireless broadband not only at home but also in cafes and public spaces. New websites and applications like Facebook, Skype, Twitter and YouTube have only come into existence within the last decade.
If you’re holding onto historic beliefs about money, maybe given to you by your family when you were young, I have a question for you – are those beliefs working for you today? Have they made you prosperous? Remember, the bank statement doesn’t lie.
If you’re not where you wanted to be in life, it’s due to your thoughts. Our thoughts inform our actions. The two are never in-congruent. So, if you want to be in a better place financially around this time next year, change your mind…and you’ll change your life.
Be free. Nothing else is worth it.
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P.S.S. What’s this got to do with you? If you don’t take action, absolutely nothing. But remember this – most people fail to achieve what they want in life simply because they never start. If you’re ready to escape the rat race and live life on your terms, don’t wait. There’s nothing for sale on this blog. I just provide actionable advice for free. What do you have to lose? Start today.
Ready for more tips on how to achieve the free life? Check-out more articles from the blog archives below: