Avoiding One of Life's Biggest Traps



Aug 3, 2020
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Fear and greed. The beginning of this section covers Mike's father offering the two boys $.25, $1, $2, and finally $5 per hour to do the same work they had initially done for $.10 and then nothing per hour. Weeks earlier, Robert had complained to Mike's father (rich dad) about how little he was getting paid. After that, he agreed to work for no money at all. And now, he was being offered $5 an hour to do the same thing, yet both Robert and Mike turned the offer down. Mike's father was testing the two young boys and they passed because neither of them accepted the money.

Mike's father claimed that their denial was a good start. That they had turned their focus from making an hourly wage to learning about how money works. About how they could free themselves from the trap so many others had fallen into. Mike's father said that fear was the primary motivator for people to wake up every morning and trudge off to a job they hated. Fear of being penniless. And then once these workers began making a bit of coin, they became greedy and wanted more. More money to go out and buy all the stuff they lust after. Mike's father described the cycle of making money to buy stuff to making more money to buy more stuff as the rat race. He said that so many people are trapped in the rat race and they hardly any of them knew how to get out.

The next part of this section I found very interesting. Mike's father said that fear of not having money is what keeps people going to the jobs they hate. That fear paralyzes them and makes them do things they wouldn't ordinarily do. And what's worse is that many people lie to themselves about it. They say things like, "Well, I have to do it for my kids." Or, "Well, this is the way life is. There's nothing I can do about it." Or, "My parents made good lives going to work for someone else like I am." They never acknowledge their fear of going broke, so their emotions keep them running on autopilot.

Have you ever met anyone who felt like they didn't have enough money, yet they refused to change how they behave? They kept doing the same thing that put them in their position and if someone gave or lent them some cash, they'd treat it like a fix. As if someone just gave some drugs to a drug addict. These people are all over the place. They absolutely refuse to think about anything other than making that next buck and because of that, they never see the paradigm they're stuck in. And because they can't see, they don't change. Yet, if they learned a bit about how money and taxes work, they actually make more money. It's frustrating to see.

Neurotic. That's now Mike's father described those who have amassed giant fortunes born out of fear, only to fear losing their fortunes more than they ever feared losing their money when they were poor. He said that more money doesn't necessarily calm or sooth one's soul. More money can actually make their fear worse than ever.

So basically, he's saying that the fear of being poor is the primary motivator of a person getting off their duff to go out and make some money and that greed or desire is what keeps people coming back for more. It's these two emotions that essentially turn a free human being into a slave of money. They find that they can't live without it because it's those two things that control them. Obviously, people need money to survive, but if emotions control the earning of that money, the chasing of the money will always control the person. Mike's father simply wants the boys to learn how to control their emotions and not let their emotions control them. Because, as you may have noticed, people make horrible decisions when they're based on emotion.

Mike's father continued on talking about how desire is just as bad as fear. That it's what keeps people motivated to make more money - so they can buy more things. Whether they be nice houses, fast cars, or beautiful furniture. Money can easily control when those people do a lot of shopping in their minds. If they continue to think about all the wonderful things money can buy, they'll likely do whatever is necessary to earn their money, even if that means a slow degradation of values and pride. You may have seen this type of thing out there. An employee begins a job and is perfectly content being a simple worker. One day, they're offered a raise and a promotion. They gladly accept both, but come to realize that their new position requires them to fire some of their once colleagues. They don't like doing that, but they do it because they've already purchased a new bedroom set and plan to send their child to a better college than they anticipated. Time goes on and they accept another raise and promotion, but this time, it involves closing an entire division, costing thousands of jobs. They go along with it. The cycle continues because of where they put themselves with their spending. There really comes a point where the company would be able to make that employee do whatever they asked. This is the power than the fear of being broke has. It's also the power that desire has. If there's no control over these things, people will do pretty much anything.

Now, this isn't to say that fear and greed/desire shouldn't exist; they absolutely should and must. We can't get rid of those two things. A person should realize what those two things are though and realize when they're getting out of control. When a person thinks with their mind as opposed to their heart, they can make better decisions. They can ask themselves if there's a better way to live than they're currently living. If there's a better way to make money. To sleep at night. To pay their bills. To take back control of their finances and emotions.

This post is part of a series: Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki
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Avoiding One of Life's Biggest Traps was posted on 06-05-2021 by LukeLewis in the Finance Forum forum.

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