You would think the main thing that separates the financial winners from the losers is money. Obviously, the more money people have, the more things they can buy, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into happiness. Even people who make a lot of money can find themselves at its mercy if it controls their lives. Conversely, you probably know some people who make less than you do. Yet, somehow, they seem to be in control and enjoying life as if they had all of the money in the world. It all comes down to attitude. It takes a winning financial attitude to take control of your finances and get the most out of life no matter your income.
The Financial Chicken and the Egg
Your response might be that you could have a winning attitude if you could first get your finances under control. People who achieve success in life usually started when they were in a hole, and they are likely to tell you that it took a winning attitude to dig out from the hole so they could move forward. With money, people who look at it as the end-all, tend to find less satisfaction the more of it they make. Those who see money as a means to an end are better able to focus on its true value as a resource and are, therefore, more likely to treat it responsibly.
Even if you are in a hole financially, having a positive, winning attitude about money is more likely to help you get in control of your finances. While there are many things to dread about finances, such as taxes, debt payments, future financial obligations, by focusing on the aspects that you can control will make you feel more empowered.
When people create a budget and find way to cut a little bit here and a chunk over there to liberate a couple of hundred dollars for savings, they feel empowerment. “Hey, that was easy! If I could find two hundred dollars this month, then why not find three hundred dollars next month?” That’s a winning attitude. “A little bit more” means the difference between winning and losing.
The Characteristics of Financial Winners
Winners take action, any action. If you dwell on your plight, or all of the barriers standing in your way, you will lose. Actions taken, no matter how imperfect they may be, are positive steps. When you begin to view the barriers as mere hurdles to overcome, you start winning.
A winning attitude springs from having realistic and inspiring goals. For example, to be completely debt free, is not only realistic, it is inspiring. It’s tough to feel like a winner when you are buried in debt, however, it’s just a hole from which to climb. Saving for an emergency fund gives one a sense of responsibility and pride knowing that they are becoming self-sufficient.
Winners make commitments that they keep and they relish in their victories. With clear, quantifiable goals, you can check your progress and celebrate when you hit the benchmarks that signal you are getting closer to your goal.
Winners develop winning habits, stick to their principles, accept responsibility and follow a plan, and their focus is on how they handle their money, not how their money is handling them.
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