The President says the economy is improving, and even a Federal Reserve study released this summer shows an expanding economy. Despite what the numbers say, public sentiment paints a very different and rather ugly picture.
Fewer Americans now consider themselves ‘middle class,’ according to new numbers released by the Pew Research Center. The report says that in 2008, 72% of Americans considered themselves to be either middle class or upper-middle class. Today, however, that number has dropped to 57%. Worst of all, those who identify as lower-middle class or lower class increased from 25% to 40%.
Even more, income inequality continues to increase as the rich get richer. Why does one group continue to see positive growth and more money flooding their bank accounts, while the other group is frustrated and feels as if they’re going nowhere fast?
At its root, it’s a mindset.
The rich see money through the eyes of freedom, possibility, opportunity, and abundance. The middle class is looking at it from a fear and scarcity point of view. The rich are thinking about how to make more money, while the middle class is worrying about what they’ll do if they lose their jobs, become ill and are unable to work and run out of money.
No matter what your situation, if you want to earn more money, it starts with your thinking.
Stop waiting to be rescued from financial mediocrity.
The middle class lives in a perpetual waiting game for outside forces to come to their aid and grant their every wish. They are operating at a level of consciousness that encourages them to passively wait for life to improve. The hero they are waiting for may be God, government, their boss, or their spouse. It’s the average person’s level of thinking that breeds this approach.
Start creating a daily plan of action that will move you closer to building financial independence. The rich are savvier about money because they follow a plan of action, not because they are more intelligent. They don’t wait for their ship to come in. They build their own ship.
Examine your expectations.
The masses have a deep-rooted belief that wealth, prosperity, and great success is only for the chosen few who possess extreme talent, specialized knowledge, or just plain luck. The middle class struggles because they expect to struggle, and their expectations create a self-fulfilling prophecy. When they experience a windfall, achieve uncommon success, or get what they want unexpectedly, they’re convinced it’s a lark and their good fortune won’t last. Years of middle class programming has created this losing cycle that usually follows them to the grave.
The wealthy have polar opposite beliefs that tell them success, fulfillment, and happiness are the natural order of existence. This single belief drives the great ones to behave in ways that virtually guarantees their success.
Do you expect to experience good fortune on a regular basis? Raise the level of expectation you have for your life and do not be surprised when good things happen. While the middle class experiences good fortune and can’t believe it, the wealthy experience good fortune and wonder what took so long.
There’s no mystery.
The masses are always looking for reasons why the wealthy are so much more successful, when the answer is staring them right in the face. In an effort to resolve the mystery of why some people are more successful than others and absolve themselves of the work it takes to get there, they search for unfair advantages granted only to those who are rich. If they can’t find evidence to substantiate their hypothesis, they fabricate it. Examples are political favor, illegal shortcuts, and superior education.
After studying millionaires for the last 30 years, I can state with authority that their biggest advantage is their focus, dedication, and hard work. While on the surface this seems self-evident, the hard work I’m referencing is not back-breaking toil. Hard work to the rich is applying persistent thought day after day to solve seemingly unsolvable problems.
The rich know their most valuable asset is their ability to think, and because they use their mental powers so often, they become very good at it. Build your thinking muscles by pushing yourself every day to solve new problems that are directly related to amassing wealth.
The bottom line: There’s no reason we should be seeing such disappointing numbers from Pew Research about a growing middle to lower class. Start examining how you look at money. If you change your thinking about money, you’ll change your beliefs which will change your actions.
Ultimately, this will change how much money you earn. It’s time to get mentally tough and pull up your bootstraps and get going. Remember, money flows to great ideas like water. The secret is learning to turn on the faucet.