The starting point of wealth is in your mindset, not in your assets. Having grown accustomed to certain beliefs about money and wealth, we have in us a self-imposed threshold of what we allow ourselves to wish for as our ideal lifestyle. Have you ever asked yourself what kind of life you really want? What does financial independence mean to you? How much money it will take to get you there? How far beyond that point are you willing to go? In this episode, Patrick Donohoe invites you to participate in this mental exercise that pushes your imagination to its limits and takes you to a world of possibilities. Do you want to know what wealth really means to you? Join in on this exercise now!
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Wealth Mindset Exercise: Visualizing The Ideal Life
Thank you for tuning in for this episode. I’m glad you’re here. I have some things to talk about that hopefully will be a good segue from the last two episodes before this. I hope you took advantage of purchasing that book series called The Tuttle Twins. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, head over to TheWealthStandard.com. You will learn about the two episodes specifically with my good friend, Connor Boyack of the Libertas Institute as well as the author of those fine books. For this episode, I’m going to pick up on that theme. The reason why I wanted to have Connor on is because there is a lot of angst based on some cultural divide or maybe a socioeconomic divide that calls for justice and more equality.
I wanted to have him on because sometimes given the fact that we are not taught to critically think and debate ideas and ultimately encouraged influence to choose a side. We don’t get to think through concepts and issues. I put myself in that category forming opinions based on certain things and not being open to other perspectives. I’m not going to get into that now but I look at wealth inequality. This is something I do for a living. It’s talk about money, investing and strategy. I feel that it’s my stewardship to keep talking about this because it’s prevalent in the news. That’s why I wanted to talk to Connor and get his perspective on things from a libertarian standpoint, but also talk about where we are with understanding ourselves, our beliefs about money, and then figuring out what to do about that.
That’s where I went to children because oftentimes, we’re masochistic in a sense. We have pain and anxiety tolerance, and it’s high. When it comes to our kids though, that’s where we start to draw lines. What we realized is that both our conscious and unconscious behavior about money is teaching and influencing them. Let’s get into it. Going off of Aristotle’s quote about excellence, “It’s not a onetime act, it’s a habit.” It’s having a certain mindset which I believe is necessary. A dollar amount in the bank will not create this amount of cashflow, and the number of doors or property and the amount of business interests will not replace this. I believe that this mindset and this perspective is irrespective of the amount of money and wealth that you have. That’s the starting place. From there, you have a strategy. There’s a formula that I use which state story and strategy. The most important thing is the state, which I believe comes from the belief system that you have about money and wealth, and what’s possible for you. That’s going to be the biggest barrier to you achieving what you want.
I’m going to take you through some exercises. I hope that this expands your view and your belief in what’s possible for you. I’m going to do some follow-up episodes getting into a specific calculator and formula that you can use to start having some breakthroughs, some realizations, and setting some goals potentially. You’re going to get a kick out of it.
The Ideal Life
First, wherever you are, I want you to think about on a scale of 1 to 10, how are things going financially? How’s your financial life? You can put one being that you’re on the verge of bankruptcy and all you do is worry about money and it’s affecting your relationships with yourself. It’s affecting your health and your work, then ten being financially free where you can do what you want, when you want, with whom you want. You feel completely free. I want you to rank yourself and understand that that ranking is a gut feeling.
We understand where we’re at, whether or not we’re able to look at our financial statement or our bank account. We have an idea of where we’re at naturally. I want you to first be aware of that. This next part is going to be interesting. Sometimes we have this what I call the infinite horizon which is this light at the end of the tunnel or this pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. It’s this thing in the distance that never seems to get any closer. Sometimes we have an idea of what an ideal life would look like but we’d never explore it. There’s a psychological way in which you can be open to what you want. That’s what I want you to start thinking about. What does life look like at a ten? What does life look like on your terms. If you were to be financially free, what would have to happen?
This is where I’m going to stretch the perspective. I did an event with good friends of mine who are also in the financial services space. I love doing events with them. We meet every week, we brainstorm, and we come up with cool ideas. We do an event for financial advisors. We had a guest speaker who I consider a good friend. He’s also a colleague. He’s been a mentor of mine. He has inspired me in many different ways. His name is Garrett. He did an exercise on this event that I was impressed by. I also have thought about a bit, but never connected its relevance to the topic we’re on until my preparation for this. I feel that the purpose of this exercise is to connect with who you are, what you want, and then what growth means. I want you to take another moment. You’ve ranked yourself on a scale of 1 to 10 and get a gauge of where you’re at and now understanding what a ten looks like. What I’m about to do expands beyond a ten, which allows you even more room to understand what you want.Excellence is not a one-time act. It’s a habit. Click To Tweet
First, I want you to imagine that starting next month, whatever month it is next, you receive an additional $1,000 of income on top of everything that you’re making. What would you do with that? Would you save it, pay down debt, go out to dinner at your favorite restaurant a couple of times or take out? What about an additional $5,000 a month? If $5,000 additional money came in every single month on top of what you’re already making, what would you do? Would you maybe look at moving where you live? Would you look at putting money away for college education, savings or build up a reserve? Now, $10,000 a month. If every single month on top of what you’re currently making, what would you do with an additional $10,000 a month? Would you get a new car, upgrade your wardrobe, pay off debt, give money to your kids, go on vacation? What would you do with an additional $10,000 extra per month?
What about $30,000 extra on top of what you are already making? What would you do with that money? Would you get your dream home, quit your job, start your own business or go to an event? Would you move your parents to a nicer place? Would you put money away or save it? If you had an extra $50,000 a month coming in every single month on top of what you’re already making, what would you do? Go to $100,000 a month more than what you’re making. Now $250,000. Every single month, money came in. What would you do? Every single month, $500,000 showed up in your bank account more than what you’re making. What would change? How would you feel? What would you do? What would you not do? $750,000 every single month on top of what you’re making right now, and then finally $1 million extra every single month.
I want you to think about those dollar amounts, the exercise, and I want you to connect with something. Number one, at what dollar amount did you not know what you were going to do? I also want you to connect to at what dollar amount did you start thinking about giving money to others where your lifestyle was complete? You are living in the home of your dreams. You had no debt. You were making investments. The worry factor of money was no longer there. Maybe a new worry set in which is, “With all this money, what am I going to do?”
Breaking The Threshold
The reason why I wanted to do that exercise is because I do believe that there is a threshold to what our ideal lifestyle looks like, what the ideal life is, and what it takes financially to achieve that. I don’t think we ever had this conversation with ourselves or anybody else, whether you feel guilty or you feel that you shouldn’t have that type of lifestyle and that others are more deserving of that. I don’t know. These are all belief systems. I want you to start connecting to that and opening up your mind as far as where you’re at, the money that you’re making, the thresholds, the glass ceilings that do exist. They exist for all of us. I want you to start positioning yourself now on what I consider a hierarchy. I talk about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs every single episode. It’s something that’s important to me because it helps me categorize, formulate, and structure ideas and lots of different information in a simple way.
When I look at that exercise, it’s to merely open you up to possibilities. Opening your mind to what would you do and what do you want. Subsequently, it breaks beyond the threshold of you and it gets to others. What would you contribute? Who would you help? What experiences would you create for those that may not have the blessings, the opportunities, and the drive that you have? This is where the hierarchy of needs, that physiological, that carnal need like your food, shelter, clothing and those survival instincts from a financial standpoint. This is the category where people are in debt like credit card debt and high-interest debt. They’re living paycheck to paycheck. It’s a survival mentality. They don’t have any savings. They’re struggling to get by. They spend every single dollar that’s in their bank account and go into overdraft every month. This is like that physiological section where you’re surviving.
Graduating from that as you start to resolve those things, you start to pay off debt and eventually get out of debt. This is the safety tier-two of the hierarchy of needs. Maybe you have a good credit score now and you’re responsible. You purchase a home instead of renting. You start saving a double-digit percentage of your income starting at 10%. You have liquid reserves, 6 months, 12 months. You’re essentially creating that safety net for yourself. I look at the next stage, that tier-three as a relationship. It’s where you’re incorporating the building blocks of good, financial wherewithal starting with having a budget, saving money, establishing a will and trust, potentially a college fund for your kids or an education fund. You maybe start investing. You started looking into ways in which you can make more money.
The next rung is self-esteem. Self-esteem is where I would put maximizing your income. Realizing that one of the best investments is in yourself and taking some money in getting a course or getting a certification or learning something new. It allows you to be more valuable to others and subsequently earn more money. This is a stage where you have a spending plan as opposed to a budget. The spending plan is different. Spending plan is, “What lifestyle do I want and how can I create a spending plan where I can have that lifestyle and enjoy life at a different level?” Spending plans and budgets are different. This I believe is when you start to identify with that ideal lifestyle. Maybe some of those thoughts came to mind when you were doing this exercise a moment ago. At what dollar amount would you be able to do what you want to do, live where you want to live, and have fun with the people that you love?
My parents live on Cape Cod in Massachusetts and usually every year we go and visit them. A few years ago, I got to take my dad on this little plane and do a tour over Cape Cod. He had never seen Cape Cod that way, but it was awesome to have that experience with him. I prepaid for a great white shark excursion on Cape Cod to have one of those other experiences with my brother, my nephews, my dad, my uncle and my son. Unfortunately, there’s a wind storm and it knocked out power to the little airport. We did usually was the spotter plane for this boat that went around. Someone was probably looking out for us and that wind soar came in that we did not do the shark tour. That’s on the bucket list. I have some big bucket list items to contribute to the experiences of others.Your belief systems are what stand in your way to achieving what you want. Click To Tweet
Those are examples of what I’m talking about. This is where you start to put together what you dream about and what you want to provide as experiences for yourself, your family, and then subsequently people that you love, that may not be able to have the same experiences as you. Finally, you get to self-actualization. It’s this final rung, which you’re growing for different reasons. You’re maximizing your income for different reasons. You’re investing for different reasons. It’s now outside of yourself. You’re growing to contribute to others. It’s not just live a lifestyle that you love, but you do the things that you’re passionate about. You support causes, you create memories and you establish your legacy. Also, self-actualization like career on your terms. You’re working to live. You’re investing, you’re managing to live because you have connected to that lifestyle and not the other way around.
I hope that you guys are connecting with this. The reason why I want to do it is to start getting you to understand that there is a position you’re at financially. That position that hopefully expanded you into $1 million a month. What would I do with $1 million a month? Also, it connected you to where you’re at in the pecking order of things or the hierarchy of things. Are you in desperation? Probably not because you’re reading this blog. Are you in safety, in a relationship, or in self-esteem? Are you in self-actualization? That would be amazing. I want you to connect to where you are and then over the course of the next few episodes, we’re going to speak about what life looks like at those stages above and beyond where you’re at now, and then subsequently, ways in which you can quantify that. You can establish some potential milestones on the way to whatever that ideal lifestyle is for you.
Make sure you stick with me because I’m doing this for a number of reasons. Number one, I’m trying to connect a lot of the previous episodes to actionable things that you can do. Also, I’m hoping you realize by now that the majority of this is psychological. What you believe about money is what you believe about yourself. It’s what you believe you’re worthy to achieve. I look at many different influences that have caused us to think about money and most of them I would say are limiting. Connecting with those and realizing those are simply beliefs. You didn’t necessarily consciously create those barriers for yourself. That will open you up to the importance of strategy and how do you implement strategy, because changes need to be made in order to get to the next level. If the cause is not worthy of the efforts to establish goals, change habits, then you’re not going to do it. It may be an act here and there but as Aristotle said, “It’s not going to be a habit.”
We’re going to connect potentially some spreadsheets. You know that I posted the Hierarchy of Wealth spreadsheet calculator on the website, TheWealthStandard.com as well as the Financial Independence calculator and other spreadsheets using some of the things I’m talking about. I’m hopefully formulating a way in which there’s a program created so that you can go through some goals, go through ways in which you quantify those goals, and subsequently start charting a path to achieving those goals. That’s where we’re going. Thanks for reading. It’s a shorter episode but I appreciate your attention. I appreciate your participation. Hopefully, you gained from these exercises and there will be more to come in the subsequent episodes. Head over to the website. We have some cool resources there. If you like what you read, give us a great ranking on iTunes because that always helps. Share this with your friends and family. That would be amazing. You are awesome. Thanks again. I’ll talk to you next episode.
- The Tuttle Twins
- Libertas Institute
- iTunes – The Wealth Standard
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