Revisit Rich Dad Poor Dad

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

The first book that got me interested in investing, business, and gets out of the rat race is this book called “Rich Dad Poor Dad”. The worst advice to give to your children is to go to school, get good grades, get a job and buy a house.” That advice is outdated and it is no longer as relevant for today’s economy.

This is the same advice that my parents advocate and they are still telling that to my children. Actually, technology has changed the ball game, with the internet, there are too many ways to make money and it does not require a university certificate.

If you learn life’s lessons, you will do well. If not, life will just continue to push you around. People do two things. Some just let life push them around. Others get angry and push back. They do not know it’s life that’s pushing.

If you learn this lesson, you will grow into a wise, healthy, and happy person. If you don’t, you will spend your life blaming a job, low pay, or your boss for your problems. You will live life hoping for that big break that will solve your money problems.

I reckon that we compare ourselves at work, we ask why that idiot is getting the promotion when he logs off promptly at work daily, why is everyone getting the pay increment except me, why the boss does not recognize my effort? We are asking multiple questions but never stop to review that the root cause can be us – ourselves.

Life pushes you around

Or if you’re the kind of person who has no guts, you just give up every time life pushes you. If you’re that kind of person, you’ll live all your life playing it safe, doing the right things, saving yourself for some event that never happens. Then, you die a boring old man. You’ll have lots of friends who really like you because you were such a nice hard-working guy. You spent a life playing it safe, doing the right things. But the truth is you let life push you into submission. Deep down you were terrified of taking risks. You really wanted to win, but the fear of losing was greater than the excitement of winning. Deep inside, you and only you will know you didn’t go for it. You chose to play it safe.

And that’s exactly what most people do. They quit and go looking for another job, better opportunities, and higher pay, actually thinking that a new job or more pay will solve the problem. In most cases, it won’t.

That’s what exactly I did, I am not motivated to grow my career but care about the higher pay, thinking that it will solve my problem of not knowing what I want in life. I just keep hoping on to the next job which pays me a higher pay. Did it solve my problem? No.

“The poor and the middle-class work for money.” ” The rich have money work for them.”


Just know that’s it fear that keeps most people working at a job. The fear of not paying their bills. The fear of being fired. The fear of not having enough money. The fear of starting over. That’s the price of studying to learn a profession or trade, and then working for money. Most people become a slave to money and then get angry at their boss.

I am afraid of not having enough money. I was brought up in a very humble family. My father’s salary when I was 5 years old was around SGD 700/ month. My mother was a SAHM then. We were living in a 3-bed room HDB. We never fret over the next meal but we did not have much. We were contented. As I entered primary school, I would envy why my friends’ fathers were managers and they stayed in condos and some of them were business owners, they stayed in landed properties. The demarcation between the rich and poor started when I was young. There were other incidents when I was probably shamed by my friends and I was motivated that one day I want to be rich for fear of being poor.

Most people never study the subject of money. They go to work, get their paycheck, balance their books and that’s it. On top of that, they wonder why they have money problems. Then, they think that more money will solve the problem. Few realize that it’s their lack of financial education that is the problem.

One of the biggest traps is they work very hard, for little money, clinging to the illusion of job security, looking forward to a three-week vacation each year and a skimpy pension after forty-five years of work. Most people have a price. And they have a price because of human emotions named fear and greed. Firstly, the fear of being without money motivates us to work hard, and then once we get that paycheck, greed or desire starts us thinking about all the wonderful things money can buy. The pattern is then set.

The pattern of getting up, go to work, pay bills, get up, go to work, pay bills. Their lives are then run forever by two emotions, fear and greed. Offer them more money and they continue the cycle by also increasing their spending. This is what we call Rat Race.

I started my career not knowing what I want in life, thinking that I will start a business when I save SGD 100k. I saved that amount before age of 30 but did not launch any business. I plowed the money into stocks. Then I had a dream that I wanted to retire young and have the freedom to choose what I want to do with my time.

Instead of telling the truth about how they feel, they react to their feeling, fail to think. They feel the fear, they go to work, hoping that money will soothe the fear, but it doesn’t. Fear has them in this trap of working, earning money, working, earning money, hoping the fear will go away. But every day they get up, and that old fear wakes up with them. For millions of people, that old fear keeps them awake all night, causing a night of turmoil and worry. So they get up and go to work, hoping that a paycheck will kill that fear gnawing at their soul. Money is running their lives, and they refuse to tell the truth about that. Money is in control of their emotions and hence their souls.

I am afraid of tendering my resignation in December 2021. I like receiving the money at the end of the month. However, I do not like the problems that I need to solve at work. I do not like the long working hours. I do not like the fact that I need to be far away from family to make a living. I am really afraid to tender without a job or an employment income.

In 2020, after running my self-employed business as an Independent Financial Advisor for 9 months, I was starting to gain momentum then the COVID-19 struck. I wanted to earn fast money so that I can have the cash flow to buy more shares with the ambition to recover from my stock losses and receive more dividends to achieve financial freedom earlier. I went back to work.

Greed or Desire

Another emotion is called greed or you can call it “desire”. It is perfectly normal to desire something better, prettier, more fun, or exciting. So people also work for money because of desire. They desire money for the joy they think it can buy. But the joy that money brings is often short-lived, and they soon need more money for more joy, more pleasure, more comfort, more security. So they keep working, thinking money will soothe their souls that are troubled by fear and desire. But money cannot do that.

The reason many rich people are rich is not because of desire but because of fear. They actually think that money can eliminate that fear of not having money, of being poor, so they amass tons of it only to find out the fear gets worse. They now fear losing it. Many are emotionally desperate and neurotic, although they look rich and have more money.

When a person says, “I need to find a job.”, it’s most likely an emotion doing the thinking. Fear of not having money generates that thought. People do need to pay bills. It is often fear that is doing the thinking. If the fear of not having enough money arises, instead of immediately running out to get a job so they can earn a few bucks to kill the fear, they instead ask themselves this question. “Will a job be the best solution to this fear over the long run?” The answer is no, a job is a short-term solution to a long-term problem.

How do you feel when your boss tempts you with a pay increase? Did you notice your desires rising?

Source: Pixabay

Most people live their lives chasing a paycheck, pair raises, and job security because of emotions of desire and fear, not really questioning where those emotion-driven thoughts are leading them. It’s just like the picture of a donkey, dragging a cart, with its owner dangling a carrot just in front of the donkey’s nose. The donkey’s owner may be going where he wants to go, but the donkey is chasing an illusion. Tomorrow there will only be another carrot for the donkey.

As we get older, the toys we chase become more expensive, a new car, a boat, and a big house to impress your friends. Fear knocks on the door, and desire calls to you, enticing you towards the rocks. That’s the trap.

Never forget because the two emotions, fear, and desire, can lead you into life’s biggest trap if you are not aware of them controlling your thinking. Spending your life living in fear, never exploring your dreams, is cruel. To work hard for money, thinking that money will buy you things that will make you happy, is also cruel. To wake up in the middle of the night terrified about paying bills is a horrible way to live. To live a life dictated by the size of a paycheck is not really a life. Thinking that a job will make you feel secure is lying to yourself. That’s cruel, and that’s the trap we want to avoid. Money runs people’s lives, don’t let that happen to you!

Going into our fear and confronting our greed, our weaknesses, our neediness is the way out. And the way out is through the mind, by choosing our thoughts. Choosing what we think rather than reacting to emotions. Instead of getting up and going to work to solve your problems, just because the fear of not having the money to pay your bills is scaring you. Thinking would be taking the time to ask yourself a question. A question like, “Is working harder at this the best solution to this problem?” Most people are so terrified at not telling themselves the truth- that fear is in control- that they cannot think and instead run out the door.

Read here for Lesson 2 – why teach financial literacy.

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  1. Revisit Rich Dad Poor Dad – Lesson 2 | JC Project Freedom
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