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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Learn From Your Financial Mistakes

Learn From Your Financial Mistakes

Most of us grew up thinking that mistakes are bad and should be avoided at all cost. We tend to correlate mistakes with low intelligence: The more mistakes you make, the dumber you are.
However, the truth is, mistakes are opportunities to learn something new. “There’s a bit of magic hidden in every mistake,” Kiyosaki said. “That magic is called learning.” Instead of telling yourself on how to avoid mistakes, learn from your mistakes to turn into an opportunity to gain wisdom.
It’s not very easy to learn from our mistakes and setbacks. How we react to them tells us who we are. In the world of financial literacy, Kiyosaki devised a cast of characters to describe different reactions to financial mistakes. Which character are you?

The Liar: The Liar completely denies everything. He seems to sound ignorant about the things happening in his surroundings. As such, any mistake that he commit is not his fault. He says: “I don’t know how that happened.” Ignorance is not an excuse. It is part of the mistake. You must learn on how things work.

The Blamer: As the name implies, the blamer blames everybody except himself. He blames his customers, the economy, the President, etc. This is the most common mistake that I personally see in our country. People keep on blaming others for the lack of opportunity. If other people can strive hard for their success given these instances, why can’t you? There must be something wrong within yourself. Stop blaming others for your misfortune.

The Justifier. The Justifier is the person who is good at logic. He has always something to say to justify his claim. In Filipino, we call it “Pilosopo”. Again, he doesn’t admit that his financial mistake is his own fault. He can say: “I didn’t want to be rich anyway."

The Quitter. I call this type of person a “loser”. Quitters are simply losers because they easily give up. Life is full of challenges and these challenges should make us stronger. They often say: “I told you, it would never work. This is too complicated. I give up.”

The Denier. The Denier pertains to the type of person who is overly confident. He is full of positivism to the point that he ‘escapes’ reality. He doesn’t want to admit and acknowledge that there is really indeed a problem and so he cannot advance to think of possible solutions into it. Acknowledging a financial mistake is the first step towards solving it. He often says: “No, there is nothing wrong. What mistake? Things will work out.”

In one way or another, I believe that each one of us become one of these characters when we are faced with a financial mistake. The point is, do not let these characters to take over you. However, eventually you need to let another character, the “Responsible You”, take control of your thinking. As Kiyosaki says: The Responsible You asks, “What priceless lesson can I learn from this financial mistake?”

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