Recently, I finished How Rich People Think by Steve Siebold and wish to share its high points. In doing so, I’ll share what this book meant to me as well as passages I enjoyed. By the way, it’s not challenging to read at all, which means it’s quite accessible to young people who can benefit from thinking about money and financial independence.
In a review, I wrote:
Siebold delightfully summarizes every preemptive money-shaming, crab mentality-inspired verbal exhortation (e.g., “Money is evil!”, “Nobody should be a millionaire!”) ever uttered by those with an unhealthy, inappropriate interest in what another’s attitude about, or relationship with, money might be. This has been especially problematic in today’s preachy, politically charged times. If there were one value that’s long overdue for a comeback in modern U.S. culture, it’s the value of minding one’s own business. But oh well. I’ve sifted every person who imposed the slightest money shame or crab mentality-inspired drivel out of my life. I appreciate this book for providing a look back at these folks and describing the basic psychological underpinnings behind this insanity.
Siebold’s observations about society:
The world class believes in self-reliance as a guiding principle in their lives, but at the same time they realize the tendency of the middle class to fall into a victim mentality that expects someone else to take care of them. Entire economies are based on this philosophy of penalizing the rich by forcing them to fund their less successful countrymen. Through fear and scarcity-based thinking, this seems not only fair, but the most socially evolved method of government… [T]his type of funding is the surest way to psychologically paralyze the population into believing [they] can’t take care of themselves and have no hope of ever accomplishing anything on their own. Some of the powers that be know this, and use it as a tool to control the masses. (p. 111)
In a capitalistic society, a small group of people will always own the majority of the wealth; not because the masses lack opportunity, but because fear will stop them from taking advantage of it. It’s easier to criticize the wealthy and condemn them as insatiably greedy and heartless than it is to make your own million. (p. 166)
The great ones take the time to educate their kids on a subject that ranks among the most maligned and misunderstood. There are more self-limiting, middle-class beliefs in the area of sex, politics, religion and money than almost all other areas combined. For some reason, these four topics are approached almost exclusively through emotion, with logical and critical thinking far behind. Talk to a middle-class thinker about one of these topics and you’ll hear little data or proof to back up their beliefs. The litmus test is taking an opposing view. If it’s a middle-class thinker, watch out, because when a person operating out of emotion is challenged, they will attack you for taking an opposing viewpoint. (p. 190)
“Don’t let the opinions of the average man sway you. Dream and he thinks you’re crazy. Succeed, and he thinks you’re lucky. Acquire wealth, and he thinks you’re greedy. Pay no attention. He simply doesn’t understand.” — Robert Allen