We all have two mindsets: a fixed mindset and a growth mindset.
The truth is that money doesn’t make you rich, your mindset does. It’s the dividing line between those who are successful in life and those who are not.
No matter how successful you become, at some level, you’re affected by your mindset and past conditioning. As a result of this past conditioning, some people have a seriously flawed view when it comes to money.
When you believe that your qualities are carved in stone, that you were born with characteristics that can’t change, it creates a necessity to constantly prove yourself. There’s a need to feel strong in your “unique” qualities because you believe it’s all you have.
This drives people to look for confirmation in their jobs, relationships, hobbies, etc. The fixed mindset revolves around these questions: will I look smart or dumb? Will I succeed or fail? Will I win or lose? Will I be accepted or rejected? It replaces growth with worrying.
The growth mindset says that the traits you have are not simply a hand you’ve been dealt and have to live with. This mindset believes that the hand you were dealt is just a starting point and that you can develop.
In contrast, the ones with a fixed mindset feel dumb when things get difficult and they have to put forth an effort. They think, “If I’m really smart, I shouldn’t have to work hard. Therefore, if I’m working hard at this, I’m dumb at it — and I don’t want anyone to see me being dumb so I won’t try this anymore.”
In reality, you have the power to cultivate your own qualities. Everyone will have different talents, interests, and abilities but anyone can change and grow through application and experience.
Here’s how you can retrain yourself to move beyond self-limiting beliefs.
Two Dads, Two Mindsets
My two dads exemplified the two different mindsets. Though my poor dad was a well-educated man who continued to pursue academic learning his whole life, he didn’t stretch himself beyond what he saw as his natural talents.
My poor dad stuck with the tried-and-true, following the career path that was accepted, even as he struggled to pay the bills or retire comfortably. If he failed at something, he dropped it and went back to what he knew.
I was lucky enough to have another example of how to approach life. My rich dad had a growth mindset. During times of what some would consider a failure, rich dad believed he could get better. He would grow and push himself.
Those with a growth mindset are lifelong learners. They know there’s always room for improvement.
As rich dad said to me years ago, “Getting rich begins with the right mindset, the right words, and the right plan. After you have that, the action steps are easy.”
Retrain Your Thoughts
My poor dad never broke out of the traditional path in academia. He didn’t go into a field he didn’t have multiple degrees in; he didn’t do anything to risk his state pension. But he also never found financial independence or the kind of success that would give him the life he wanted.
My rich dad was the opposite. He wasn’t afraid of risk, and he wasn’t afraid of failure. He wasn’t worried that something he did might offend someone or make people think he wasn’t smart. If he tried a business venture and it failed, it didn’t mark him as a failure. It was just a learning experience that made him smarter and more able to find success the next time.
The day I rejected my poor dad’s path and decided to take my lessons from my rich dad was the day I began my path to success. It wasn’t a straight upward trajectory with zero setbacks. But the setbacks didn’t define me. I had learned from my rich dad to use those failures as a way to sharpen my skills and hone my strategies.
If you welcome failure and challenges and mistakes, keep it up. There’s a lifetime of growth ahead of you.
However, if you feel like you’re stagnating but the thought of risk is keeping you scared and rooted to where you are, then you’re likely using a fixed mindset. Start paying attention to your reaction to obstacles and mistakes and you’ll start to identify the areas of your life where you’re applying fixed thinking.
Retrain your thoughts. Focus on the ultimate goal and view your failures not as game enders but as game-changers. Learn from your mistakes and use that knowledge to help you escape the rat race.
It takes hard work and endless practice to become a world-class musician, or athlete, or surgeon, or chef, or entrepreneur. It takes a willingness to admit what you don’t know, to become smarter.
Play it smart,
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily