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The Power of Choice and the Key to Being Rich

Choosing to be rich starts with the decisions you make today

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We all long for the freedom to choose. This is why throughout history people have fought for, and given their lives to, the cause of freedom. This is why families will leave everything to emigrate from an oppressive country to a free one. This is why we celebrate great men like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi.

But like most freedoms, choice can be a double-edged sword.

When we're free to choose, we can make both good decisions and bad ones. Often, what separates the rich from the poor is the choices that they make.

Financially, we have the power to choose our future: to be rich, poor, or middle class. Our spending habits reflect who we are and what we value. Poor people have poor spending habits. Rich people have rich spending habits. Poor people choose to be poor. Rich people choose to be rich. It may sound harsh, but in my experience, it’s overwhelmingly true.

If you want to be rich, it's important that you understand the power of choice and know how to make good financial choices.

Choose to be rich every day

As a boy, my rich dad taught me to think like the rich think. “Most people are wealthy by choice,” rich dad said. They choose to invest in assets and not waste their money on liabilities. He taught me the difference between an asset and a liability. Thanks to my rich dad, I chose to be rich as a young boy. I knew all I had to do was learn to acquire assets.

Most people choose to be poor. Learning how to make the decisions that will help them be rich is too much of a hassle. So instead, they'll say things like, "I'm not interested in money," "I don't have to worry because I'm still young," "I'll never be rich," and "My spouse handles all the finances."

This way of thinking robs you of two important things: Time and learning, your most important assets.

If you want to be rich, you must stop having excuses and start having a new mindset. You must make the choice every day to invest your time into learning about money and how it works. You must choose to find great deals and assets. You must be wealthy by choice. It does not happen by accident.

I choose to be rich, and I exercise my power of choice each and every day.

The power of choice and the brain

I often observed that people generally say one thing but do another. I was curious as to why this was the case. So, over the years, I've done a lot of research on the brain.

For instance, I might ask a person, "Do you want to be rich?" His response might be, "Yes," but instead of doing what is required to become rich, he will often do things that instead make him poorer, not richer.

An example of this would be a man who has an investment opportunity with a great potential for return and instead saves his money and passes on the investment. Another example would be a woman who has a growing business that requires her to quit her job to go to the next level, but instead she closes her business and stays as an employee.

These are decisions ruled by fear, which is what often rules our brains. What I’ve discovered is that those who are rich often have the power to control their brain…to exercise a higher level of the power of choice. To understand this it’s helpful to understand how the three basic parts of the brain work.

The left brain

This part of your brain is generally accessed for reading, writing, speaking, and logic. It’s the kids who do well in school that are left-brained. And left-brained people excel at such professions as writer, scientist, lawyer, accountant, and schoolteacher.

The right brain

This part of your brain is generally accessed for pictures, art, music, and other things associated with creativity and imagination. Right-brained people don’t always excel in school because they don’t thrive in rigid environments. Designers, architects, musicians, and other creatives are generally dominated by right-brain thinking.

The subconscious brain

The subconscious brain includes the “old brain,” often called the primitive brain and is most like an animal’s brain. Because of this, it’s the most powerful part of our brain—and often the part that controls us.

The subconscious brain doesn’t think. It reacts. It fights, flees, or freezes. The subconscious brain also involves our intrapersonal intelligence, how we relate to others in a given situation. Because of this, intrapersonal intelligence is the biggest factor in whether or not you will be successful or a failure in life, love, health, and money.

The power of choice and the subconscious

Can you control the subconscious? The short answer is yes.

Those with a high, intrapersonal intelligence have the ability to control their subconscious brain’s desire to fight, flee or freeze. They have the intelligence required to choose the appropriate subconscious response to a given situation. This means that if they’re angry, they can remain calm. If they’re afraid, they can confront and overcome their fear.

Most people don’t have the ability to control their subconscious, and most people are ruled by the fear that lives in their subconscious.

If you want to be rich, learning to control your subconscious mind before thinking and making decisions is vital.

The power of choice and accepting new ideas

Many people choose to follow the same old rules of money when it comes to money: go to school, get a good job, buy a house, save money, and invest in a balanced portfolio of stocks, bonds and mutual funds. The problem is that those are no longer valid. Not only that, following them will make you poor.

One of the keys to growing as a person and overcoming the subconscious is found in neural plasticity. Simply put, neural plasticity is the ability of the brain to change both structurally as a result of learning. The only way this can happen is if you are open-minded to new information. When it comes to literally growing your brain, the first step is to open your mind. This is why children grow at such an amazing rate mentally. They have not formed rigid ideas. They are fully open to the world and its possibilities. If you want to be rich, you must in some ways become like a child again and be open to new ideas.

Choosing to be open-minded is the first step to choosing to be rich. This means not following the conventional wisdom about money, and instead, thinking for yourself. There are many intelligent people who argue and defend when a new idea clashes with the way they think. Their intelligence is really arrogance. A truly intelligent person welcomes new ideas.

The rich choose to listen and learn when presented with new ideas. This is why the rich are some of the most humble people I know.

Today, you can choose to be rich

For most people, fear of failure holds them back. Teachers use this fear of failure to motivate people in school. “If you don’t study hard, you won’t get a good job.” Bosses use it to motivate you to work hard. “If you don’t work long hours, you’ll be fired.” For many, fear is a prison that holds them back from their potential.

For example, I have an attorney friend who earned straight A’s at Harvard. He’s one of the smartest men I know. He wants to change, but he can’t. He wants to do something new, but he’s afraid of failing and not making enough money. He told me, “I’ve been an attorney for so long that I don’t know what else to do. Who will pay me what I’m making now?” He’s left-brained and controlled by his subconscious brain.

The problem for my friend, and for many people, is that he primarily spends his time with people who think, act and talk like him. He can’t stop thinking, acting and talking like an employee because every person and environment he engages in reinforces the mindset of an employee in his subconscious.

In order for my friend to change his mindset, he must change his environment. The same is true for anyone who wishes to become rich.

If you want to be an entrepreneur, start hanging out with entrepreneurs. If you want to be an investor, start hanging out with investors. As you change your environment, you’ll see your mind begin to change as well.

This is a choice, and it’s not an easy one. The easy choice is to continue doing what you’re already doing. The hard choice is to begin the process of changing your mindset—the process of choosing to be rich.

This starts with increasing your financial intelligence through financial education through books, seminars, and coaches. Through these endeavors you’ll find people who will help you change your mindset. And as you change your mindset, you’ll find it easier and easier to control your subconscious and overcome your fear.

I challenge you to choose to be rich today. Will you accept the challenge?

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Original publish date: July 03, 2012

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