Everyone wants to become a millionaire, right? At least, many people want to be considerably “well off” or secured so they don’t have to worry about financial problems any more. But we also care about money not just for consumption, but also for status. Because of our need for income in order to survive (physically and socially), our society has become money centric.
Although it is logical for each of us to look out for ourselves first before helping others, but it seems most of us (although not all), is becoming unconsciously obsessed with becoming millionaires, instead of making our community, country and world a better place.
Perceptions can enable or limit us
Right now, many of us obsess over stories and lifestyles of the rich and famous and you may not be even aware of it. But what we should talk more openly about our own personal finance, however, this is taboo because it exposes socio-economic inequalities and most of us don’t want to be in a vulnerable position for fear of being exploited.
We unconsciously want to know where we stand as far as status is concerned. When we disclose our income or investments, we are afraid to be hurt of the outcome because the result will be that one will be above us or below us and either way you will feel some guilt. All the more for debt discussions because no one wants to feel like a loser for being in that situation.
The first thing we need to change is our perspective and be not afraid to ask for help or professional advice.
The dangers and potential damage
There is an entire cottage industry of books that help us emulate the rich, focused on the key topics people are most interested in how to possess similar character traits, lifestyles; how to do exactly what they're doing in order to become rich ourselves and so on and so forth.
Although there are opportunities in that particular industry, this is also damaging to our perception of hard work, entrepreneurship and personal finance.
* Our goals change, and instead of striving to solve problems in our society, we just pursue money
* This in turn makes one even more susceptible to get-rich-quick schemes
* Starting a business becomes a trend or a medium to get money instead of pursuing one’s passion and servicing others
* In terms of personal finance, there are more tips on making money (E.g. “Become a millionaire through the stock market, forex, real estate ..etc..”) rather than managing the money we do have; not just in the pursuit of retirement or financial freedom, but also for a better, fuller life.
As humans we naturally compare ourselves to others, but we need to take control and shift our perspective. See money not as the primary goal but as a by-product of doing the right things.
The most successful people I know – both financially and in other ways, are very helpful. They’re skilled at understanding other people and helping them achieve their goals. They know their success is ultimately based on the success of the people around them.
So, stop thinking about getting your first million and start thinking about serving a million people.
The writer is an RFP® - registered financial planner of RFP PH, Licensed Real Estate Broker and Director of CERTA, Inc., a family estate planning and investment advisory firm. To know more, please visit www.certa.ph
Originally Published in Philstar - The Freeman Newspaper last October 11, 2016.