Studies show that most of us live our entire adult life based upon the things we learned and especially experienced while we were young. Whether it is our eating habits, exercise or how we relate to others, most of how we behave as adults stems from our experience and teachings as a child. That’s what keeps psychologists in business. We go to them hoping they can reprogram us from the experiences of our youth.
This is especially true when it comes to money. People who grow up poor tend to be poor as adults. The same is true with people growing up wealthy, even if their parents don’t pass on any of the wealth to them. If we grow up in a middle-class family, chances are we will live middle-class lives as adults. It makes sense – this is what we know.
Of course, this is not always the case. Many athletes and others grow up poor and become rich as adults. I have several clients like this. A perfect example is my friend, Marshall Sylver. Marshall grew up very poor. Now he is very wealthy. Why? Like many who grow up poor, Marshall is driven to succeed so he will never be poor again. And, of course, we hear of wealthy kids who are lazy and lose all their money. Middle class, though, is the most dangerous of these positions. It is the most difficult to rise from.
Why? Middle class is comfortable. You aren’t starving or feeling a lack of basic necessities. You aren’t living on grits or oatmeal. So where does the drive come from to change so you can become wealthy? Here is where you have to change your mindset. You have to begin thinking differently about what is comfortable and what is important.
The same is true about anything we want to change. We have to start by changing our mindset. Even when it comes to taxes. Most people think taxes are scary and something they have to deal with once a year and something that is a necessary evil. One of my goals in life to to teach a new mindset about taxes. They don’t have to be scary. We need to deal with them throughout the year and, with proper planning, we can reduce or avoid a lot of them.
The wealthy understand this about taxes. It’s one of the things that differentiates their mindset from that of the middle class. And it’s an essential change of mindset for anyone who wants to move up the ladder from middle class to wealthy.