Have you ever looked or read about millionaires and thought about how they live and how they do their jobs?
Is there anything different that they do from “normal” people?
Is there something that we can learn from them?
Let me share with you one specific thing that everyone else does, but not the successful people. And if you want to become one, you must stop doing it.
Once you read this article, you will understand the difference in the mind set. You have to get rid of it as soon as possible; seriously, it can only cause harm to you.
So what is that? Believe it or not, it is COMPLAINING!
One of the golden rules Shark Tank cast member, Robert Herjavec, believes led him to success, as opposed to just working hard and having an idea, was that his dad taught him to not complain, no matter what, even in the worst of situations.
Seriously, it’s not likely that you’ll see many extremely successful people moping around complaining. Sure, they are successful millionaires; why would they complain? But here is something to think about: do they no complain because they are successful millionaires, or do they become millionaires because they don’t complain? What comes first?
Well, this is no longer a dilemma. In a book by T. Harv Eker “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” published February, 2015, the author identifies a seemingly harmless daily habit average people engage in that the rich refuse to: complain! He was researching the concept of the “Millionaire Mind” and a collection of “mental attitudes that facilitate wealth,” and complaining was one of the primary habits that requires change in the mindset.
“When you complain, you’re focusing on what is wrong with your life — and what you focus on tends
to expand.” (T. Harv Eker)
His point is that successful people don’t spend too much time on failures. They fail (of course), learn the lesson from it and move on.
There’s no point in spending a vast amount of your energy thinking about “what if” scenarios. Past is in the past, and you should keep looking ahead. And to be honest, it makes sense. We live in a time where there are plenty of problems to complain about. On a global level, we live in a time where the unemployment rate is high, or some big corporation decided to move its operations off-shore, or there is global warming coming up, or there is major increase in population.
On a local level, you might have even more problems: no customers, company operational problems, liquidity, or change in the need of your market. (I am sure you can think of a large list of them.) But even on individual level, there is always something wrong, or that can done better: not enough time, hard to find the right partner, or not sure how you will survive until the end of the month. Seriously, I can build a large list of problems that we can all complain about.
Problem to Opportunity
Now comes the key concept – try to replace the word “Problem” with the word “Opportunity”. This switch in the mindset changes everything. The high unemployment rate is the perfect opportunity to start a service-oriented company and find good available employees. The challenge of global warming is full opportunity to find a solutions that can help improve the planet (and allow you to make a living while doing so). Are you starting to get the point? Can you find a solution for some of the operational problems or the new opportunity in the market?
And even on an individual level, looking at the problems as opportunities gives you a different perspective. Can you now reflect on all your problems, and try to look at them as opportunities? If so, what changed from 15 minutes ago? Has this new “way of thinking” given you a new perspective in life? I truly hope so.
Now, how can this change your life?
Next time, when you think of complaining about something, think about this article, and stop. Reflect on what the problem is, and try to think of it as opportunity – what opportunities can emerge in order to solve your problem? Are there many other people who have the same problem? Can your solution help others as well?
If so, congratulations, you have a potential for good business. You have the power to actively observe the environment around you, and try to find problems that can be translated to opportunities. That is the “millionaire mindset” that you should pursue. If you look closely enough, you will notice many opportunities.
Now, sit down for a second, and give it some thought – what problems in your surrounding environment are worth your commitment, energy and devotion in order to solve them? Maybe something in healthcare, infrastructure, education or renewable energy? Will it make the world a better place to live, and does it have a market? That is the power of active observation.
But why stop here? Let’s take it a step further. In addition to your problems, have you thought about hearing other people’s complaints? People are a great source of information. Think about actively listening for other people’s complaints. What problems do they need solved?
They will complain a lot – and it is up to you whether you will join them, or start looking at them as opportunities for new solutions. Here is a quick, 4-step guide you should have in mind during conversations in order to actively listen for problems. The process should not take more than 30 seconds:
- Actively listen to what other people complain about.
- For each complaint, quickly try to think about what the problem is (the core of the problem, not a
- If you found the problem, consider if there are many people with the same problem? Is it worth
- If yes, then you have a problem that needs to be solved. Write it down, and dedicate time to solve it as
well as possible. If the solution is good, you have a product/service that satisfies a client’s needs.
If you’ve managed to transform a negative habit of complaining into active observation for problems in your surroundings, or active listening for opportunities from the people near you, you are a step higher on the self-development ladder. Here is my final advice. This requires frequent self-awareness of your thoughts in order to ensure progress and eliminate complaints.
Start keeping a diary, and write down all the complaints and problems that you come up with through your active observing or active listening. What problems have you identified? Write them down; one of those can be the next million dollar idea. This is what makes successful people different.