The mind is a powerful thing. To waste it would be an absolute shame. But this is something that I see happening every single day. When I’m at work, I look around me and see a bunch of gifted people who have resigned themselves to a life of dull monotony. This isn’t the case for everyone, as there are of course those in my office who genuinely want to be there and are putting their skills to good use. No, I’m talking about the people who have immense talents, but aren’t making use of any of it. Instead, these people are trapped in a routine, doing the same “useless” things, day after day. They are simply existing to make ends meet… And squandering their potential in the process.
Outside of work, I take a look at some of my friends from High School and observe the same thing. Many are much smarter than me, and a few even tutored me back in the day. These days, they are just drifting through life… They’ve given up on their goals, dreams, and ambition. Rather than putting their brains to good use, they’ve accepted the mediocre life of: partying, getting wasted, and worrying about tomorrow, tomorrow. Some have even conceded to me, “what’s the point, anyway? Life is just too damn hard so I’m not going to bother to try. I’m just going to have my fun instead.”
When you limit your own potential, you close off your mind. You place artificial barriers that hinder you from going out and seeking more. Even worse, you let your sub-optimal thinking influence the decisions of others around you.
Speaking in specifics, when I first started looking at rental properties, I got a lot of comments such as the following:
- “Aren’t you afraid of failing?”
- “What if you go into foreclosure?”
- “What if you lose not only your house, but all your savings?”
- “I know this guy who bought a house and lost it all…”
- “It seems risky, man.”
Had I listened to this advice (coming from those who had never done it themselves before), I would have missed out on the most opportune buying window of my lifetime… Who knows when the next opportunity will arise? And there may never be another one just like it…
Now that the ship has sailed, everything is hindsight and 20/20. Those same mediocre thinkers are now saying how obvious everything was. “Well, duh, you should have been buying stocks and houses in 2012. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to know a bargain when there was one. Everything was half off! It was like going to an out-of-business sale where EVERYTHING must go!”
When we don’t have the benefit of hindsight, a sub-optimal thinker will always look for reasons why something WON’T work. However, we’d all be so much better off if we used our energy to devise a plan that COULD work.
Don’t limit yourself and your potential! Stop operating with a poor person’s mentality! Why do most people not ask these questions, instead?
- “What if I succeed brilliantly and never have to work again?”
- “What will I do with all that cash flow coming in? I don’t think I could spend it all…”
- “Why stop at ten properties, or forty stocks? Why not keep building up my wealth empire?”
- “My kids are going to seriously have a good life. At what age would be a good time to fill them in?”
- “When my empire grows, do I want to manage myself or outsource the work?”
All good “problems” to have! If you want success, you must first learn to envision it on a daily basis. Granted, I’m not saying anyone should dive in headfirst without first formulating a carefully thought out plan. I’m just pointing out how influential your own thoughts can be.
You should ALWAYS be adaptable — willing to take on fresh, new ideas.
When I first started dividend investing, I had no clue how much I should invest each month. When I looked around, I saw guys like JC over at Passive Income Pursuit, and Jason at Dividend Mantra regularly contributing $1000 to $2000+ like clockwork. And their portfolios were taking off! It was very inspiring stuff to see, and I very much wanted the same thing to happen for my own investments. Since I knew that my savings each month would also allow me the capability to do something similar, I re-worked my mentality and joined in on the fun.
When I first started real estate investing, I had no clue how high I should aim. Before I started, I thought that owning a SINGLE home in my lifetime would be a tremendous accomplishment.
And it was. Then I bought another one. Now I own five properties and seven units… When I converse with other real estate investors, though, I’m always opening my eyes and expanding my possibilities. I met a Bay Area investor who bought 15 homes during the last downturn. Eric, over at No Nonsense Landlord owns and manages 25 units. He’s financially free and kicking ass in life. When I browse the REI forums, it’s not uncommon to come across landlords who own 100 units… or even 1000 units. So, the sky’s the limit!
You can do it! You just have to believe in yourself and re-wire your brain to accept infinite possibilities. I’m not advising you to go out and invest in stocks, or real estate. Just always keep an open mind, and find the path that works for you. It’s your life and you deserve the absolute best.
I’m rooting for you! Let’s do this together. We’ll even go out to celebrate once we cross the early FI finish line.