man with two paths

The Two Views of Money

How what you believe about money influences your reality

What kind of world do you see? One of abundance or one of scarcity? My rich dad and my poor dad saw the world in entirely different ways.

My poor dad saw a world of financial scarcity. Because of this, he would say things like, “Do you think money grows on trees?” or “Do you think I’m made of money?” or “I can’t afford it.”

My rich dad saw a world of abundance. He would say things like, “Don’t let money be an excuse” and “How can we afford it?”

Two kinds of money problems

My rich dad would say, “There are two kinds of money problems. Not enough money, and too much money. Which type of money problem do you want?”

Most people come from families where the problem is not enough money. One of the advantages I had growing up with the influence of two families was that I could see both types of problems. My poor dad never seemed to be able to have enough money, even though he had a good salary. My rich dad didn’t have much to begin with but grew his fortune to the point where he faced very real problems of having too much money.

I always wondered, what was the difference?

Two attitudes about money

Rich dad pointed out to me that people with problems of not enough money often have those problems because they view the world as one of scarcity. All they know is a world where there is never enough. That is why even when they become suddenly rich, such as through the lottery or inheritance, they often squander that money and become poor again.

Rich dad truly believed that the poor remained poor because that was the only world they knew. “Whatever your reality is about money inside of you will be the reality of money outside of you,” he said. “You cannot change your outside reality until you first change the way you view the world inside you.”

Rich dad would drive this lesson home by taking a coin out of his pocket and saying, “When a person says, ‘I can’t afford it,’ that person sees only one side of the coin. The moment you say, ‘How can I afford it?’ you begin to see the other side.”

The paradox of scarcity

Rich dad connected what he saw as some of the causes of scarcity to the effect it has on people’s attitudes. The interesting thing was the very values that people thought would help them actually, and paradoxically, created scarcity in their life.

Rich dad would say:

· The more security you need in your life the more scarcity there is in your life. That is why people pass up on opportunities to make their money work for them through investments and business. They are too afraid to take a risk.

· The more competitive you are the more scarcity there is in your life. That is why people compete for jobs and promotions at work and compete for grades in school.

People who are creative, cooperative, and have good financial and business skills, on the other hand, often have lives of increasing financial abundance.

I could see this at play in my two dads. My poor dad always encouraged me to play it safe and seek security. My rich dad encouraged me to develop my skills and be creative.

Change your reality

A big part of my success in life today was taking control of my internal reality about money. I had to constantly remind myself that there is a world of too much money, because deep down inside I often felt like a poor person.

Does that sound like a familiar sentiment to you? Do you often struggle with the feeling that the world is one of scarcity? We all do at some time.

My rich dad, when I felt this way, taught me to always remind myself that there are two kinds of money problems and to ask myself which one I wanted.

I’m not a wishful thinker and I don’t believe solely in the power of affirmation, but asking myself that question allowed me to calm down and think clearly about the problems I was facing—and the potential solutions.

As the great baseball player Yogi Berra said, “Strike out just 7 out of 10 times and you’re in the Hall of Fame.” Today, begin changing the way you view money, and you’ll be on the first step to changing your reality of money.

Original publish date: March 18, 2014