It’s no sin to be born poor. However, it’s certainly a sin to stay poor. This isn’t said to be smug or judgmental, but to reflect one of the most insidious aspects of both poverty and poverty consciousness: How your current situation can perpetuate a similar outcome in the future. Small limitations created by not having enough money can snowball into bigger challenges in the future and turn a temporary situation (being broke) into a permanent condition (living in poverty).
As an example, you might not be able to put out the cash for regular teeth cleaning, checkups, and x-rays. Then at some point you might have no choice but to shell out a couple grand for a root canal. When money is tight, you might make the decision to avoid scheduled maintenance on your car or air conditioning unit, only to end up paying a repair bill ten times worse. You could think of this as a cruel twist of the universe, essentially a “poverty tax” on the people least able to pay it. But that belief won’t serve you. A more empowering way to view it is as a rite of passage: a test you must pass to enter the next stage of your life journey, the path of prosperity consciousness.
Poverty is a vicious cycle – one that is exasperated by poverty consciousness – and requires a bold act of faith to break it. This means making difficult decisions and even sacrificing in some areas, to create a breakthrough in other areas.
Is it fair that a parent has to forgo career advancement or even their own necessary health care to provide for their children? Of course not. Life is frequently and inconveniently unfair. But you can complain about it or choose to take matters into your own hands and put yourself in a better position.
That might mean you work three jobs, miss some special occasions, or mindfully sacrifice in one area temporarily to get ahead in another. There were times I skipped meals, walked instead of cabbed, and even sold my furniture and slept on the floor in order to keep my business alive. But I was determined to change my life from trading hours for money as an employee, to leveraging earning opportunities as an entrepreneur.
Back when I launched my speaking consulting company, I did $300,000 in revenue the first year. I lived on $11,000 and poured the other $289,000 back into growing the business. Year two generated $660,000 and I treated myself to a $30,000 income. Pretty much every entrepreneur you talk to will share a similar tale.
Some people are born into money, and a minuscule few are born into both money and true prosperity. But for most of us, we will have to juggle priorities, make difficult decisions, and endure hard sacrifices to manifest a prosperous life. Fixating on the advantage others have over you, ruminating on the unfairness, or commiserating with other people who feel bitter only take you down the path to victimhood. You have to volunteer to take the test of the rite of passage, to transform and come out victorious on the other side.
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