Why should you rewire your brain for wealth? Have you ever caught your brain dwelling on negative experiences?
Have you ever wondered why human beings are usually more attracted to sensational or negatively charged headlines?
It turns out the brain naturally gravitates towards negativity and painful memories.
In psychology, this phenomenon is called the brain’s negative bias. I recently discovered the book “The power of bad: how the negativity effect rules us and how we can rule it,” by social psychologist Roy Baumeister and journalist John Tierney.
The book scientifically explains how the human brain gives more weight to negative experiences and share methods to overcome that bias. Not being proactive to combat this bias can negatively impact your mood, decisions, relationships, and life.
When you learn to rewire your brain against the negative bias, you can make small everyday changes that can have a long-term impact on how you approach life. Here are a few things I learned.
What does wealth mean to you?
What is your relationship with money?
Most people define their relationship with money, success, or wealth based on their upbringing, life experiences, and society’s expectations. What are your views on money, success, and wealth?
I recently had a conversation with a friend who acknowledged that growing up, she was afraid of money.
She associated wanting money as a bad thing until she took the time to take a closer look at her relationship with money.
She realized that she needed to repair her relationship with money to accomplish the things she wanted and build her wealthy life.
For my friend, it meant better managing her money and treating money as an ally, a means to an end as opposed to the end goal. Once she took the time to redefine her relationship with money and redefine wealth on her terms, she noticed changes.
She started attracting more money, but her spending also become more aligned with her values, and she started creating more wealth in her life.
How is your relationship with money? How can money be of service in your life? Do you believe it can help you accomplish your goals? Do you have money and feel unsatisfied?
What place does money have in your life?
What does wealth mean to you? Have you taken the time to define wealth and what it means to you beyond the material aspect? This often-overlooked step is essential. It will not only give a place to money in your life; it will also help you focus on how you can use money for your greater goals or purpose. People often skip this step, making getting rich the goal and sometimes delaying their happiness in the process.
But that approach rarely leads to more happiness. In a recent study published in the Harvard Business Review, 1,000 college students across various social and economic backgrounds took an assessment to measure what they valued more, money or time.
The test results for 40% of the students revealed that they valued money more than time. A year after graduation, the study showed that those students’ happiness level was lower than those who prioritized time over money.
Determine what wealth means to you.
Does that mean you should turn down money or not aspire to have more money, or that you should want to live in poverty?
No, money certainly has its perks. But it highlights that once your needs for shelter, food, and other necessities are met, the more money you make is unlikely to increase your happiness level significantly.
It is up to you to determine what wealth means and how you can use money as a tool to build your wealthy life. It is up to you to rewire your brain for wealth.
Related post: “What Do You Want Your Legacy To Be?”
Acknowledge negative thoughts and redirect your brain to a positive thought.
Monitor the negative thoughts going through your mind.
Now that you have determined what a wealthy life looks like for you, what can you do? You can be proactive about fighting the brain’s natural urges to spend more time visiting negative experiences or thinking of the many ways things can go in the wrong direction.
Pay attention to the thoughts coming to your mind. Do you notice a negative thought hanging around for more than a few seconds? Acknowledge what is happening and redirect your brain towards a more joyful idea.
How to prompt your brain to think more positively?
Can you think of something that makes you smile? Maybe it’s a happy memory, a joke, or someone you deeply care about. Perhaps it’s thinking of something you look forward to doing or something you like that can help distract your attention from the negative thought.
Whenever you notice your brain holding on to the negative, you can redirect your brain to one of those happy places after calling it out what is happening.
If you sit in traffic because of an accident on the road, instead of thinking about the time you are wasting in traffic, consider how blessed you are not to be in an accident; use the time to listen to music or anything that uplifts you.
How I benefited from this technique.
Recently, I decided to launch a podcast. The podcast will go live in February of this year. Click here to find out more about the podcast, but the process to get on board with this thought that kept popping up in my head involved two key steps.
The first step was to acknowledge the negative thoughts such as “why would people want to come on your podcast?”, “what are you going to talk about for 30+ min” “what if nobody listens to it,” “you won’t have the time to do it consistently,” “you can’t reach out to this guest yet.”
The second step was to think about all the good that could come. I decided to focus on thoughts like these “You get the opportunity to inspire people to live their best life,” “somebody can benefit from your life experiences,” “you have an entire book to talk about”you can make it work and be consistent if you stay organized, “what do you have to lose by reaching out,” “by inviting a well-established guest on your platform, you are giving them access to an audience no matter the size.”
Related post: “Five Tips To Stay Motivated No Matter The Season.“
How does that benefit you?
It can help you focus on the positive that you already have, and motivate you and help you attract more positivity in the process.
By redirecting my brain towards more positive thoughts, I was motivated to go through with it. I also realized the podcast fits perfectly with my idea of a wealthy life, which includes encouraging and empowering others. Once I realized that, the rest came naturally.
While it is important to know the risks of any potential decision, it is also essential to give yourself space to think about what would happen if things were to go right. Positivity breeds positivity, but the reverse is also true.
As human beings, we spend so much time focusing on the worst-case scenario and cut ourselves short in the process. Hardships are temporary; they only become permanent if we surrender to them. Focusing on the negativity can hinder growth. That’s why thinking positive thoughts is very important.
What will it take?
Does it mean that overnight you will rewire your brain for positivity and wealth? Probably not. We’ve all heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit.
According to a study published in the European Journal of Psychology, it actually takes 66 days for a behavior to become automatic. You have to be patient with yourself as it will take time, but it is a key step to rewire your brain for wealth and happiness.
Watch your surroundings and attract more positivity.
Take a close look at the people around you.
How are the people around you? Do they tend to be more positive or negative?
How is your energy level when you are around them? Do you feel like you vibrate at a higher frequency when you are in their presence or do you often feel like your energy level is lower or even depleted?
Be intentional about spending more time with positive people.
As much as you can, surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you, people who are driven by their values rather than money.The ones who uplift you, challenge you and inspire you.
Sometimes we hold on to people because we’ve known them for many years. But if their presence in our lives doesn’t bring out the positive, if they are always complaining, being negative, maybe it’s time to reconsider the relationship.
Think about the people who bring out the best in you, the ones who are so positive that it’s contagious.
Those are the kind of people to keep around. Their positivity can only have a positive impact on you.
How would you describe the five people you spend the most time with? What is the first word you would use to describe them? Are those qualities aligned with who you want to be?
If not, you have a decision to make. If you want to rewire your brain for wealth and happiness, you should surround yourself with people who bring those feelings out of you, people whose presence makes you feel wealthy no matter how much money you have.
The process to rewire your brain for wealth and happiness is not easy. It requires monitoring the brain and going against our normal instinct as human beings to fall into the negativity bias.
It also involves taking inventory of our circle and reassessing certain relationships. As difficult as it is, the upside is worth it as it can help us live a wealthy life on our terms and increase our happiness level.
“The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change her future by merely changing her attitude.” Oprah Winfrey
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