The Principle Of Prioritized Outcome
The following discovery is one of the most fascinating and enlightening truths that a person can uncover. Time after time, I have watched individuals swell with an immediate sense of empowerment after grasping this simple, yet profound truism. It is not enough just to understand this principle. If you do not absolutely own this nugget of wisdom and cooperate with it, you will never experience sustained financial success.
Unfortunately, 90 percent of the people in this country today do not have the foggiest understanding of the principle of prioritized outcome, or they refuse to learn the lesson it is endeavoring to teach us. They mumble about their money shortages, cite many causes of their affliction, but the outside observer, who has gained this understanding, can quickly spot the true source of their financial failure. Observation of such an individual''s associates, spending habits, frequented establishments, and even normal conversation, soon reveal a person who''s priorities are turned upside down.
We absolutely must find out what makes us "tick." There are undeniable, though often subtle, driving forces that influence each and every daily decision that we make. As a matter of fact, our lives could be simply defined as a continuous string of choices, one right after the other.
Granted, that''s not a very glamorous-sounding definition of life, but it is a very accurate one. What time will I get up? What will I wear? Will I eat breakfast? What will I eat? And that''s just to get the day started.
If you were to ask, very few could spontaneously answer the most important question of all, "Why?" Most people can not explain the rationale that they use to make the simplest of daily decisions. It takes place habitually at a subconscious level of the mind and is rarely exposed, much less understood, unless it is seriously challenged. When a person is forced to seriously ponder the driving motivation deep within that is influencing the majority of his decisions, he comes to the realization that his external circumstances are not the result of "pot luck" or "karma." At the same moment of this startling discovery, it becomes painfully obvious just where his priorities have truly been focused as the acceleration down that path looms evident.
Sure, ever changing circumstances are determining the parade of choices with which we are faced. But before this current parade of choices, there passed a prior. It was the choices that we made on the day of that earlier parade that largely dictated the choices from which we will be able to choose today.
In examining today''s entrees you may notice there are one, possibly two, choices that seem unexplainable or untraceable--totally unexpected. But such choices are seldom, and it may be that we just lack the wisdom to accurately look back and see what brought them. However, the vast majority of today''s decisions were determined by the results of yesterday''s, and the day before.
That means there are some dreaded decisions that we will not have to make today, because we selected a previous choice that postponed it, deleted it, or satisfactorily solved it.
On today''s menu there are other choices that we would like to be there, but they are not. That''s right. They''re not there now, because we didn''t make the right choices over the last month, the last year, or the last ten years, to line up circumstances that breed such coveted choices.
These choices are relative to each individual, but perhaps one may be a decision such as where to spend the summer. In your beach house in Florida or your mountain cottage in Colorado? A person who makes such decisions made some real good ones, starting a good while back.
"What about those who inherited it?", you may ask.
Then someone in their family, perhaps their parents, made those good decisions which not only benefited themselves with such a parade of choices, but brought many of the same blessings to their children. And just as sure as the parents'' good choices are now benefiting their children, the now-grown children will eventually lose those inherited choices if they do not continue the same, good decision-making process that their parents wisely embraced.
This helps explain why a majority of lottery winners end up broke, again—many just within months of winning thousands of dollars. They are suddenly faced with a great melange of completely foreign choices. They never have learned how to make decisions that make money. That''s why they didn''t have any before. Most likely, their parents didn''t either. When such fortune is suddenly thrust upon them, without ever learning the fundamental principles to acquiring and managing wealth, it slips right through their fingers via poor judgment. The wiser winners realize that they are suddenly out of their element and hire a competent CPA or financial planner.
How would most people answer the following question? If you could become a millionaire, would you prefer to have achieved your wealth by winning a lottery or by working hard for it?
Your life will never be the same once you fully grasp the understanding that you, and you alone, overwhelmingly determine your external circumstances through your daily internal choices. So many people dream, pray and wish for things to get better financially, not realizing (or even outright denying) that they have control and are at that very moment making decisions that are guaranteeing there will be no changes for them except for the worse.
Many others have been taught that they really don''t have control. It''s not their fault; they''re victims of circumstance. How sad to teach a child that they are permanently destined to any predisposed condition because of circumstance. Such a child will grow up blaming people, places and events for his own shortcomings, just as he was taught. He is doomed to a life of bondage. A prison built not of bars, but of illusive "dream stealers." "I could be somebody, if my father would have stuck around to help me," he might say. Or, "I could catch a break and get out of this neighborhood, if I had been born another color." Perhaps, "I could make a lot of money if my parents hadn''t been too poor to afford me a good education." Or, "I too could become successful in my own business if I didn''t have this disability." All of these circumstances are difficult, and this life is not totally fair.
Everyone does not get to start on an equal keel, but everyone does have the raw ingredients to better themselves in proportion to the amount of focused energy they expend toward that end. Those with more challenges to overcome will have to exert more effort and more resolve, but they are fully capable of achieving equally satisfying results. But they will never even try if they have been convinced that their life''s outcome is not, and has never been, their responsibility. They have no control in such a case. They are powerless to change anything. How can they change anything? In their mind, it''s not their fault. They have surrendered!
One thing is certain. When you understand that any final outcome is "your fault," you''ve recognized and properly assumed your power to alter or change that outcome. You didn''t have control of your starting position, but you have a great deal of control over your finishing position. Some educators are attempting to remove individual responsibility by removing the concept of "wrong" and "failure." In so doing they are removing individual freedom.
What is more humanly desirable than individual freedom? Freedom is not free. Freedom has a price tag. And that price tag is individual responsibility. Accepting and embracing the one gives you clear title to the other!
An individual who has bought into the losing "out of my hands" philosophy must find a way to breakout of the prison created by his old, molded thinking and begin making new choices. The starting point is to first become aware.
From there, it could be launched by something as simple as making the decision to pick up a financial self-help book instead of a shopping catalog.
The information in the new book begins to create a new pattern of thinking that begins influencing other decisions. Further down the road, instead of applying for a vacation loan, he''s now applying for an education or business loan. If this benevolent "mental virus" continues to grow in this person, over time he will find himself surrounded by a whole new set of choices--many, more pleasant choices.
His life is now becoming more like the one he used to dream about. It''s a new life and it all started when he realized for the first time that the overwhelming majority of unwanted circumstances affecting his life were the result of a flawed decision-making process, either his own, his parents, his teachers, friends, or all of them combined.
Although the initial reaction may be a gasp followed by a gnawing pit in the stomach area, afterward, there is a grand reward for discovering and courageously accepting that we are ultimately responsible for our surrounding circumstances rather than vice versa. That reward is the sense of control that we gain from understanding that "cause and effect" must work both ways.
If wrong priorities yesterday led to a flawed decision-making process which then materialized as unwanted circumstances today, then by reorganizing our priorities now, we can change the result and ultimately the circumstances for all of our tomorrows.
But before we can correctly evaluate our current set of priorities, we first must understand what the possibilities are. How many different reasons can there possibly be that motivate an individual in the millions of choices that individual will make in an average lifetime? Two hundred? Five hundred?
One thousand? Yes, you may be able to come up with hundreds if you begin defining them as specific to each type of situation, but that type of specific breakdown isn''t necessary. Every motivation that drives you, and everyone else on earth, could be categorized under one of only four general motivating desires or needs shared by all men and women.
The Four Motivating Ps
Fortunately, there aren''t two hundred possible answers to the question "Why?"
No, there are only four. And they are easy to remember because they can each be labeled with words that start with "P." Every single thing, big or small, that you do from the time you get up until the time you go to bed is due to one, or a combination of, the following motivating factors:
[Excerpted from How To Borrow Your Way To Wealth.