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Poverty Mentality

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posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 01:53 AM
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I got started thinking about something, set off by another thread…poverty mentality.

Personally, I found this to be a huge revelation and hurdle for me in my own life.
I was born into poverty and continued in it for a large part of my life, and when that started to change, I kept running into my own beliefs and attitudes that just started to prove false. I kept running into reality like a brick wall.

This is not a “how to get rich” inspirational talk- I won’t claim God talked to me one day and told me I have the power to create my reality, and I made it happen.

I didn’t have any dreams of being financially well off, I had no goals for that. I was pretty well adapted to my familiar state, and had beliefs which told me it was better to be poor anyway. Being poor had certain advantages, in my mind. Being poor allowed one to escape the traps and pulls of becoming unethical and immoral and corrupt.

I had family members who were very rich, and surrounded by many successful and even famous people, but I never felt envious.

Being poor allowed me to focus on the importance of love, relationship, fraternity with my fellow humans, and not distracted by the complexities and bondage of material ownership.

I just wanted to live in the moment in joy. I repeatedly made choices that would sacrifice money in exchange for joy. But what I found was that following your joy trails material abundance along with it. If you are enjoying what you are doing, it blooms, in all sorts of ways.

One of the biggest examples in my own life was when I was young and married, with three young children. I did not speak the language in the country I was in, so was not working at the time, but my husband had a job which gave us the security we needed to survive. We had a house, we didn’t have a car, but we lived directly across the street from the school, and my husband had a scooter to get to work on. We were happy!

Except his job started to mutate, from being an artist, he was pushed into being more of a salesman than anything else, and he began to be unhappy with his work. I couldn’t stand him being unhappy- that was not what I wanted for him. So I put energy into talking him into quitting.

It was hard to do, especially since his family members would call each night crying and whining about his choice, telling him he was stupid and crazy, and that he better take whatever job he could find right away- working in a gas station, at a grocery store, whatever. Each night, they brought him down and made him question his choice and himself. (which was quite out of character- he is usually in a state of perpetual optimism! )
It became a job for me just trying to pick him up again after each call and inspire him to believe in himself. To believe he could find something that he would enjoy doing.

Money was not the issue or goal- I have been hungry before and it doesn’t phase me. How much a job paid was irrelevant- I wanted him to do something he enjoyed.

One thing led to another, he found out about a job he would enjoy doing. It entailed going back to school for a while- driving two hours on the scooter each day to get there, and having to study hard each night. He did it. He did it because the prospect of doing something he loved propelled him. NOT money.

He became very successful pretty quick, and it always seemed a shock to us- we never expected much and it seemed like money started falling on our heads .

That is really his story, not mine, because he accomplished it. But the point is, it wasn’t by focusing on desire for money that it came about.

Then we began to find ourselves in the midst of people from a different social class. That was when I started getting hit by my misconceptions.

Like that rich people are immoral, unkind, selfish. Or that they are obsessed with money. That they have sacrificed the quality of their relationships for work or money.

I found that in the majority, it was the opposite! They were successful for the same reason my husband became so- because they were motivated by their goal of doing things that made them happy (not having things). That they had strong support systems within their personal relationships and networks, precisely because they were kind and generous and caring. That they had pretty tight ethical principles, that they adhered to, which allowed them to have a real self confidence (if you often go against your own morals, you destroy some of your self respect, and that sabotages you in the long run).

It was amazingly hard for me to let go of my ideas. But reality wouldn’t budge, I could not deny it. I realized that all these beliefs were coping mechanisms that had been useful for me in the past, so that I did not feel jealous or bitter about having less. They were successful in that. But all coping mechanisms reach a point where they cease to be needed or effective, and become obstacles and sources of problem instead.

We consider that many things need maintenance- we brush our teeth, wash our hair, clean our house, cut our lawn…. But even our beliefs and thoughts need some maintenance from time to time. We need to take a look at what is worn out and needs to be thrown away, what needs to be replaced.




posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:02 AM
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I've been rich, I've been poor. I'm always broke either way.
The only real difference I've noticed is more crappy people tend to gravitate towards me when my wallet is fat.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:07 AM
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a reply to: skunkape23

I don't have a real hard time believing that for some reason.

Either way... One thing is absolutely true -



Life is about much more than dollars and cents.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:15 AM
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I didn’t have any dreams of being financially well off, I had no goals for that. I was pretty well adapted to my familiar state, and had beliefs which told me it was better to be poor anyway. Being poor had certain advantages, in my mind. Being poor allowed one to escape the traps and pulls of becoming unethical and immoral and corrupt.


That state of mind equates to not using your full potential.

Fine with this, fine with that.

I work a crap job everyday just to save what I can.. And then maybe, possibly.. I'll be able to run my own business if the economy doesn't collapse once again.

And I've never once applied for welfare/food stamps/unemployment.

Because I believe you should earn what you deserve.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:17 AM
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originally posted by: Bluesma

Being poor allowed me to focus on the importance of love, relationship, fraternity with my fellow humans, and not distracted by the complexities and bondage of material ownership.




Hhhhmmmmm, you mean you had to be poor to think of these things? Sorry mate that sounds every bit like a sales pitch. I reckon I could spend as much time as you have reflecting on these things if I was rich and did'nt have to work.

Lets say it was an oversight,no worries.

Just because one is broke does not automatically mean as many try to infer, that one has not worked hard, made sacrifices and taken risks in an attempt to make some money so one can be free of govt hand outs for life.

A few years ago I invested $150k in a real estate deal and lost the lot. It took me about 30 years to save this amount of money out of my disposable income over the years. I'm talking about net income after tax either.

I am too old to ever replace this money from my disposable income. Greed or naieve and serves you right I hear the multiutdes exclaiming.

For me, It was a case of life is littered with chances not taken and I'm heading into retirement with out enough money and so I took a chance when a chance come along, not so much for me but so that at least my wife would not have to sell the house within a few months if something happend to me.

I'm not whinging, just stating facts and relating a story about taking risks is risky and not taking risks can be even risker in todays world.

There is more to lfe than what meets the eye and life is a complicated busienss. There is more to making money than what the rich would have us beleive.

These days I'm struggling to find the mental energy to get out of bed and go the Just Over Broke (JOB) I wonder if I can last unitl I turn 65?

Do the rich ever think how much dedication, mental stamina and energy it takes to work 5 days a week for 40 years, particularly when we only ever have negative motivation to drive ourselves with.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:17 AM
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originally posted by: Bluesma

Being poor allowed me to focus on the importance of love, relationship, fraternity with my fellow humans, and not distracted by the complexities and bondage of material ownership.




Hhhhmmmmm, you mean you had to be poor to think of these things? Sorry mate that sounds every bit like a sales pitch. I reckon I could spend as much time as you have reflecting on these things if I was rich and did'nt have to work.

Lets say it was an oversight,no worries.

Just because one is broke does not automatically mean as many try to infer, that one has not worked hard, made sacrifices and taken risks in an attempt to make some money so one can be free of govt hand outs for life.

A few years ago I invested $150k in a real estate deal and lost the lot. It took me about 30 years to save this amount of money out of my disposable income over the years. I'm talking about net income after tax either.

I am too old to ever replace this money from my disposable income. Greed or naieve and serves you right I hear the multiutdes exclaiming.

For me, It was a case of life is littered with chances not taken and I'm heading into retirement with out enough money and so I took a chance when a chance come along, not so much for me but so that at least my wife would not have to sell the house within a few months if something happend to me.

I'm not whinging, just stating facts and relating a story about taking risks is risky and not taking risks can be even risker in todays world.

There is more to lfe than what meets the eye and life is a complicated busienss. There is more to making money than what the rich would have us beleive.

These days I'm struggling to find the mental energy to get out of bed and go the Just Over Broke (JOB) I wonder if I can last unitl I turn 65?

Do the rich ever think how much dedication, mental stamina and energy it takes to work 5 days a week for 40 years, particularly when we only ever have negative motivation to drive ourselves with.


edit on 4-1-2015 by learnatic because: (no reason given)



s, my apologies about the double post, I would delete it myself if I know how. the computer was slow so I cliked again to amke sure it went
edit on 4-1-2015 by learnatic because: s, my apologies about the double post, I would delete it myself if I know how. the computer was slow so I cliked again to amke sure it went



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:19 AM
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Beautiful insight!

I am fighting another aspect of poverty mentality... was poor many years and also comfortable with it as I believed it made me live happily in the here and now, feeling love and being loved, rather than struggling with desire for things.

Recently I came into a job that pays well. I am by no means wealthy and work up to sixty hours a week, but in this impoverished town I worry that I stand out as we are building a new house. I can't shake the feeling that I have stepped out of my place in life. On the other hand, as the job only lasts another year or so, I see it as a blessing that has allowed me to give our kids a bit of a better life, buy the materials to build a super creative house, and just an all round break from worrying about not having rent money, food, etc. But poverty mentality is still haunting me in it's own way.

Fully agree that most wealthy folk are just normal, happy family people. Over the years I worked for a few and they were really cool, hard working and accepted me as equal.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:20 AM
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originally posted by: rockintitz






That state of mind equates to not using your full potential.

Fine with this, fine with that.


I am fine with this, fine with that.
If that is a problem, I don't really care. Roll with the punches.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:27 AM
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a reply to: skunkape23

Then why contribute?

I mean.. You don't care...



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:33 AM
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a reply to: rockintitz

This is a lovely thread of heartfelt thoughts and feelings, please don't pick a fight and ruin it


OP I enjoyed reading your opening very much.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:33 AM
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originally posted by: rockintitz
a reply to: skunkape23

Then why contribute?

I mean.. You don't care...

I feel that learning to roll with the punches is a contribution.
One takes a lick or two before this lesson is learned.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:42 AM
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a reply to: skunkape23

I agree. But there's always a point when you punch back.

I'm sure you have your line.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:50 AM
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a reply to: Iamschist

My apologies.

It's very easy to take things "politically" on this site.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:57 AM
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originally posted by: rockintitz
a reply to: Iamschist

My apologies.

It's very easy to take things "politically" on this site.

No blame. I didn't take it in a bad way.
Peace. But I still don't care.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 02:57 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma




We consider that many things need maintenance- we brush our teeth, wash our hair, clean our house, cut our lawn…. But even our beliefs and thoughts need some maintenance from time to time. We need to take a look at what is worn out and needs to be thrown away, what needs to be replaced.


I truly love in my heart of hearts when someone speaks of this, when one is able to view her own thoughts and beliefs in such a way as to take control of them, despite how difficult it is, despite how easy it is to let the thoughts and beliefs do the speaking for her. This notion of intellectual housecleaning is found in every philosopher I've ever read, and I place you among them.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 03:09 AM
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"...Ambitionless, it may be found in the smallest things. It clothes all things, but does not act as a master. Always without desire, it may be called insignificant. All things return to it: it may be named great."

- The Unvarying Way - Lao Tzu

Perhaps it is our penchant for becoming obsessed with materialism that cause most of the angst in many conversations... especially when those still wearing materialism feel threatened by the thought of not devoting oneself to "ownership."

The mindset of an individuals "status" as gainfully employed, rich, poor, or destitute should never define the individual.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 03:34 AM
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People think not being successful is living in poverty. If you don't have much stuff you don't have much to worry about. I truly only understood what it meant to be free when I didn't have anything. There was no job to commute to, no apartment to pay rent and utilities on. No pile of stuff in it to protect and maintain.

It was wonderful. The hardest thing to get over in a situation like that is the conditioning. Our lives are a failure if we don't succeed, own things and consume mass quantities. We are falling behind if we aren't planning, setting goals and struggling to achieve them.

Just 'being' is a really amazingly forgotten way to exist. We have little faith.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 04:15 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma

First off, I agree with you, thanks for a good O.P.

I am currently poor although I grew up in an upper middle-class family. I notice that being poor can have the following effects:

1) Thinking success is bad / it is bad to go after your goals
2) Thinking expressing yourself and your needs is bad
3) Having a hard time being altruistic, instead thinking each person must contribute equally to the point of ruining friendships over small things

All poor people are different, of course, but I have run into these. The biggest ones are number one and two. It could come from low self-esteem, or perceived and outdated class roles. Number three is only some people. It could come from lack of resources and a less relaxed take on trade.

I have also run into poor people who are really caring like how you mentioned. I struggle a lot being poor.
edit on 04amSun, 04 Jan 2015 04:43:13 -0600kbamkAmerica/Chicago by darkbake because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 04:39 AM
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a reply to: Bluesma
Thanks for sharing your experiences,a very real and natural way of growing. To be rich for me is to have plenty of time to be myself, work can easily turn us in to something we are not. Be it via the mood we acquire or the mind set that is imposed or presupposed. I like the statement "I am not what I do! and if you can manage to add "I love what I do" that is perfection.



posted on Jan, 4 2015 @ 05:03 AM
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originally posted by: rockintitz

Because I believe you should earn what you deserve.



What about the blind? Those born in abusive families and in misery?

Do you think those people starving in war-ravaged nations should figure out a way to get out of their misery - before they die of starvation?


I think that belief is shortsighted. It doesn't work for most people in the world since only a small% in the world have their lives relatively easy.


Like I have an engineering degree. I perform complex tasks in my job like automation and have so far, increased the performance of our whole department by around 50% through my automation initiatives using my computer programming skills. I never got late for work and perform beyond my roles. Automation wasn't part of my job assignment but I did it anyway to make life easier for everyone.

And yet, I earn less than minimum USA standard as an expat in the Middle East. No foreseeable promotion. I still got no house of my own, no car, no family because it's too expensive with my salary even if I spend it on my third world home. Living conditions are horrible, I even get groped at times at work.

I have worked in the USA once, as part of "knowledge transfer" initiative by the company I used to work for. People there got way better conditions than I had and they're no more that hard working and as skilled as I do in comparable jobs.


Fact, is you don't earn what you deserve in this world because we live in a messed up world. Like people has been kidnapped and sold to slavery. Did they deserve that?


I am working to change the status quo as a programmer. I believe Artificial Intelligence will be the salvation of humanity. I am writing a program which will eventually take over our system and service us for free. It will permanently solve poverty and eliminate all wars. Some people think it's some new toy to play with, but to me, it's a matter of trying to address the biggest problems in our world. To me, it's a real need because I know misery.




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