The other day I was fortunate enough to be invited to celebrate milestone achievements of fellow and dear colleagues originally from Kenya who now live in Australia. It is always inspiring to witness and celebrate the achievements of my clients, friends and relatives. The most important aspect for me is not the acquiring of the goal per se, rather it’s who we become in the process of accomplishing the goal that is truly important.
I write to you not so much to let you know of the celebrations that took place on the day albeit important, rather I want to share with you something that transpired during the festivities of the day, that I know is relevant and important to all of us as human beings.
I was approached with a great question, that I feel, although I did take the time to give the best possible answer, is very pertinent to all of us.
The question posed was in respect to how one can be successful and, specifically, how to overcome financial challenges and create wealth. Whilst I personally believe and know that we all do face challenges at some point along the journey of life, I will endeavour to give the best possible answer at this point in my life, based on my experience and from what I have learnt over the years.
How do you measure success?
Firstly, let’s define or agree on what we mean by success. To me the level of success is measured by how happy one is. It may sound rather strange however no matter what we set to achieve, the truth is that of all the things we desire to have, we want those things because we think that through having them, we will be happy. However, the reality is that you can have all the things you want and still be a very unhappy person. Conversely, we very well know of people who do live in poverty and yet they are very happy. Therefore, it is right to conclude that happiness is not dependent upon any external ‘things’ or ‘events’ rather it is internal. We make the choice to be happy or not. Now I know that some will tend to differ with my proposition. However, I have come to a place in my life where I have a knowing that there can only be two kinds of situations we can ever experience in life. Number one, situations that we can control and number two, situations we cannot control. Interestingly, people worry about both situations.
People worry over things that they have control over….and I always ask, if you do have control over something then why would one worry about it? All you need is to do something about it since you have the control. For example, as difficult as it is for most people to comprehend, the truth is we have absolute control over how we feel. I have had people tell me that they will be happy when they buy a car or when they get married or when they have money… However, the truth is that neither of these things can make one happy. It is true that there are people with money, and they are not happy, conversely there are people with money, and they are happy. Also, there are people with no money, and they are happy. So, one has to conclude that money has nothing to do with happiness. Don’t get me wrong – it is wonderful to have money – however, in and of itself it will not make one happy or sad. It is true that when we have a goal to purchase say a car, when we achieve our goal, we do get happy however it doesn’t last long. There are people who are married, and they are not happy just as there are people who are single, and they are happy. Hence, happiness has nothing to do with the circumstances we experience rather it has everything to do with the choices that we make. Making the choice to be happy irrespective of what happens is a great choice. The moral here, do not worry over things that you have control over.
Changing your focus
The other thing that people worry about are things and situations that they cannot control. Again, I always ask, if you cannot control something, then why worry about it? For example, one cannot control the climate or the political situation or the economy or what other people say or do etc. However, worrying about such situations will not be of any benefit since they are situations out of one’s control. One aspect that truly bothers a lot of people is what other people think. It is interesting to note that the only key distinct difference between human beings and any other creation is that we can think. And no one can think for anyone else. So, worrying about what people think is a losing game because we can never know what the other person is thinking. In addition, we have the choice as to what we think about. I have come to a place in my life where I do not care what anyone thinks. All I care is that those around me are happy and feel good about themselves – for I like being around happy people. Again, the learning here is that we must not worry over things that we cannot control.
On the basis of the above, you would have to agree with me that you no longer need to worry any more. Not to mention that irrespective of what may be happening, whatever the situation, we have the opportunity to always look for the good in anything. Remember you cannot have a right without a left just as you cannot have an inside without an outside nor can you have bad without good. Hence in every situation that you may deem ‘bad’ there would have to be something ‘good’ about it. Focus there.
How does this relate to overcoming financial challenges?
May I quote the great author Napoleon Hill who wrote the all-time best seller, Think and Grow Rich. He said, ‘Within every problem therein lies the seed of achievement’. If we are facing financial challenges, no amount of talking about it will change the situation. If anything, if we keep talking about the problem, the only thing that is sure to happen under such circumstances is to attract more of the problem. The truth my friends is that things are not brought into being by thinking of their opposite. It is not possible to think about ‘no money’ and attract money into your life. Just like it is not possible to think disease and expect to be healthy. A great example was Mother Teresa. In 1967 when they asked her to go and march against the war in Vietnam, she refused. She said (I am paraphrasing here), ‘I will never march against the war but if there is a march for peace I will be there’.
Some facts about achieving wealth
So, every time we are faced with a financial challenge what we must do is to acknowledge ‘yes’ there is a challenge and then spend 95% of your time and focus thinking of how to create more money. Thinking of the solution. When we read and observe people who have really created massive amounts of wealth, we find the following facts.
- Making money has nothing to do with education. If it did, then all educated people would be wealthy and non-educated people would be poor. Today we can see in society people who are not educated and have wealth. Also, we do have educated people who are wealthy just as we do have educated people who are not wealthy.
- Wealth has nothing to do with circumstances. We know of people whose circumstances were doom and gloom at some stage in their life and today they are very wealthy. Just as there are people who find themselves in great circumstances and opportunities and yet they do not create wealth. Hence, circumstances have nothing to do with wealth creation.
- Creating wealth has nothing to do with environment. If it did then it would mean that only people living in certain environments would be wealthy. The people in one city would be all wealthy while those of other cities would be all poor. Yet that is not the case. We see wealthy and poor people living in the same environments and at times even in the same vocation.
- Getting wealthy has nothing to do with what we do. Two people can do exactly the same thing i.e. be in exactly the same kind of business, one does very well and the other doesn’t.
- Being wealthy has nothing to do with talent. There are many talented people who are not wealthy, while others with very little talent are wealthy.
From the above we can concur with Wallace D Wattles, the phenomenal author of The Science of Getting Rich, that getting rich or wealthy is the ‘result of doing things in a certain way’. If getting wealthy is the result of doing things in a certain way, then any man or woman who does things in this certain way will invariable get rich. To do things in a certain way we must think in a certain way. It is therefore imperative to study and adopt thinking in a way that will bring you riches. The interesting factor is that ‘thinking is the highest and most noble thing we can learn’, yet it is not taught in schools. When we purchase a computer or a mobile phone, it comes with an operation manual. If we used analogies here, I would say that the human mind is like the computer. Yet we do not get a manual nor are we ever taught how to use it. This is the reason why I am a big advocate of studying, acquiring knowledge and understanding oneself. For it is a known fact that the humanity suffers due to ignorance – not knowing. And it is only through study that we can acquire knowledge. And when that knowledge is put to use, we can thus transform our lives for the better.
Make a decision to shape your own destiny
If you want to be wealthy, the first step is to make a decision. Decisions are what shape our destiny. If you reflect back into your past and the decisions you have made, it is a fact that if you had made different decisions, your life would be different today. Good, bad or indifferent I do not know however I am certain it would be different. What determines what will happen in the future will be the decisions that you make today. As Tony Robbins puts it, ‘It is in moments of making decisions that your destiny is shaped’.
Once you have made the decisions then the next step is to take action. Do something towards the decision you have made. Action is the key. Note that the opposite of action is procrastination. And society today is plagued with procrastinators.
At this stage before I conclude, if you are truly committed to creating positive changes in your life, I recommend that you take some form of action towards your goal.
I trust that I have shed some light on the subject of wealth, and that you will be inspired to make appropriate decisions for you.
I have found that the way to create lasting wealth is to ensure that we are being of service to as many people as possible. You will realise that our financial success is determined by the number of people we can serve, how difficult it will be to replace us, and most important is that our success is in direct proportion to how much we develop ourselves.
Experience an awesome time.
To Your Success
John K Ngatia