One of the most important lessons learned by our forebears in the Great Depression was to be grateful for whatever you have. There is nothing like experiencing disastrous financial times to make us painfully aware of the potential for future hardships. Focussing on what you have rather than what you don’t have increases feelings of happiness and contentment and reduces the urge to spend. Our forebears combined their grateful attitude with a strong work ethic and avoidance of debt. Despite the difficult times they were able to use these values to gain financial security and independence.
Today’s beliefs and values are very different. Top of the list is an attitude of self-entitlement; that we deserve a certain standard of living regardless of how hard we work or how much we earn. This attitude is responsible for people spending more than they earn or, even worse, committing theft or fraud to obtain the standard of living they feel they deserve. Next on the list is a belief that what we want is what we need, or failure to clearly distinguish between wants and needs. What were once considered luxuries (for example televisions and mobile phones) are now considered to be necessities. In today’s society, spending has become an antidote for unhappiness or dissatisfaction with life. Unfortunately, it has only a temporary effect. The joy of a new purchase turns to remorse when it’s time to pay the bills.
Your ability to create wealth is directly linked to your beliefs and values. The best way to get rich is to:
- Be thankful for what you already have.
- Be clear on the difference between wants and needs.
- Be prepared to work hard.
- Find happiness in friends and family rather than shopping malls.
Follow these principles and grow rich gratefully!