In relation to financial status, there are three common types of people in this world: the poor, the middle-class, and the rich. There are people who are financially privileged; they own a house and lot, a car, a business, and more. But there are also those whom people call millionaires or even billionaires. These people do not only have a house and lot, they own large land properties; not only a car, but lots of cars; not only a business, but even a corporation. These millionaires are the people who almost have no risk of poverty anymore; they have full financial security. However, not everyone can attain this status in life. There are many people who are intelligent as well as hardworking enough and have a high academic attainment, yet they are not included in the list of the world’s richest people. Hence, the question is how they got into that kind of situation, where they have lots and lots of money? Who can be a millionaire?
In the book The Millionaire Next Door, the authors suggest that accumulating great wealth “takes discipline, sacrifice, and hard work” (Stanley and Danko 5). Specifically, the book covers seven characteristics of wealthy people, which one may seek to have as well. Here are they: living well below their means; allocating time, energy, and wealth efficiently and in the way that is conducive to gaining wealth; having the thinking that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status; having the parents provided with economic outpatient care; having the adult children economically self-sufficient; being proficient in targeting marketing opportunities; and choosing the right career (Stanley and Danko 5). These things are not at all beyond the reach of any person. If one will be passionate enough to pursue having wealth sufficient for this life, then he/she will certainly be able to have such things. This paper will focus on the theme of wealth and the characteristics written above.
The theme suggests that gaining wealth also requires sacrifice. It is a reality that everyone seeks pleasure. But not every pleasure lasts; there are just temporary pleasures and there are those that last. Sometimes, there are people who do not consider how they manage their resources and other assets in life. They keep on spending as long as there is something to spend, without considering that every single thing that one has can be of great value. One thing included in the book, which contributes to this “wasteful” habit of some people, is the Economic Outpatient Care (EOC) practiced by most of today’s parents (even grandparents). If parents will still provide for the needs of their children, even at their adult age, children will never learn how to be content and work hard to deal with their financial challenges. Also, in the book, the first description of a wealthy person is being frugal. However, frugality in this context is not simply saving money or avoiding spending, which could be mistakenly considered as cheapness. Rather, frugality can be defined as a value of a person, wherein he/she looks at the quality and not the quantity (Farrell 8). Therefore, we can say that frugality means not wasting money and resources but buying or spending it only when it is really necessary. If there is something not very important and meaningful for one’s success, then there should be no room for spending much for it. Thus, one value that a person needs to have in order to be wealthy is being wise with handling money and avoiding wasteful spending for things not worth spending on at all.
The next value addressed in the book’s theme is discipline. Honestly, many of us want to have things in the easy way. Almost everyone wants the “short cut,” even if it is not short at all. But reality attests to us that the best things mostly require harder work for one to have them. For example, victory in a war cannot be gained by simply having the whole army sleeping and drinking for months, without having any intense preparation for battle. Even in the context of world competition in sports, athletes work hard for months – and even years – just for one thing, which is the best thing for them, a “gold medal”. Discipline of oneself is very important in seeking financial success. In order to make most of your day, you must discipline yourself from doing any activity that does not contribute to your goal, even if it was once your favourite thing to do. In order to concentrate on what you are doing, you must discipline yourself from distracting on other things. Thus, one important value someone needs to have in order to gain financial success is discipline or self-control.
The last value addressed in the book is hard work. This value may be put into another word – passion. Frugality and discipline are not enough. Like an engine that needs gas to fuel it up until the vehicle reaches its desired destination, so it is with a person. One needs passion in order to bring him/her into the desired goal of having enough riches or wealth. In his book Hard Work, Michael Crews says, “I learned that if I worked hard enough, I could achieve things that seemed impossible” (Crews 20). It is true that actions create more than words and thoughts do. One example included in the book is choosing the right career. In relation to this, hard work is not simply choosing a career, but making every effort, spending more time, and using skills related to that career as well. Hard work is also the thing that makes one have discipline; without intense passion to reach your goals, you will not have enough strength to discipline yourself and to focus on what you need to do. Hence, it is very essential that one should be diligent in every work in order to succeed.
To conclude, everyone desires to be financially stable like some millionaires. In fact, it is not impossible to attain. However, there are specific qualities a person longing for wealth and success must have. Thus, one must learn to be content and frugal. Also, one has to have self-control in order to focus on what needs to be done. Furthermore, it is essential that for one to be hard working in order reach the desired goal in life.
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