Tag Archives: Emotional Intelligence

Know Your Competition

We start competing the moment we are born.  Competition is everywhere.  Completion is natural.  It is the cycle of life.  Eat or be eaten.  We must compete every day.  Only the strong survive.

When I was a boy, our dog had a litter of puppies.  They too were competing from their earliest days.  They would compete to get to the bottom of their basket to stay warm.  The puppies would compete with their brothers and sisters to get closer to mom to eat.  When I would watch and care for this litter, it did not take long to establish who the alpha of the litter was.  He always ate first and would not roll over when playing with the other pups.  How could such a young and tiny dog have established such will?

You might not see yourself as an alpha or even a competitive person.  If you are working on reaching financial independence, odds are you are more completive than you might think.  I would guess that you are very competitive.

Before I really gave it much thought, I never saw myself as a competitive person.  For the most part, I am a laid-back guy.  Growing up, I played baseball but was not very good.  The only football that I have ever enjoyed playing was when I played Madden.  The chess club or the debating team were also not for me.  I always saw myself as a Type B personality.

The first time that I realized how competitive I truly was when I read about capitalism.  I realized that I was competitive when I read that capitalism as an economic system where trade and industry are controlled by private owners who compete for profit.  I have been competing for a buck since I started earning a paycheck.

Even though I have only won a few trophies and awards in my life, I am hyper-competitive.  My whole adult life has been focused on competing.  I am not referring to being in competition with my neighbors.  What they have is not my concern.  The type of competition I am referring to is competition with myself and society to reach my goal.

I set a lofty goal.  My goal was to become financially independent.  For anyone to reach financial independence, there will be a great deal of competition.  On the road to that level of success, a person will have to face off against and defeat internal and external competing forces.

Postponing gratification is a form of competition.  The ability to save money is always at odds with the desire to spend money.  It is like there is an angel on one shoulder saying to save as much as possible.  On the other shoulder, there is the temptation to spend and waste money.  Temptation says if you want to be happy, buy that new car, house, or boat. You can afford it and you deserve it.

It is easy to give in to temptation.  Who wants to work hard and sacrifice to get ahead?  How can anyone sacrifice for decades to become financially independent?

Spending and having a good time is much easier than saving and investing for the future.  Internal competition is fierce.  At times, It is an internal fist fight.  It certainly felt that way for me.  As the saying goes, it is harder to conquer yourself than to conquer a city.  in order to conquer self, a person needs to develop emotional intelligence.

While it might be harder to conquer yourself, the external competition is also not exactly easy.  Most resources are limited.  Everyone is fighting to get ahead.

If you own a business, you are competing with other businesses and market forces to be successful.  Even if it is a side gig, there is still competition.  To survive, a business owner must provide the best products or services at the lowest price.

While it might appear that being an employee is easier than being an entrepreneur.  Being an employee is far from being easy.  An employee must compete to land a job.  There is competition to keep the position.  There is competition with peers to advance in the organization.  If your boss is a jerk, dealing with them brings on a level of competition.

The competition does not end after you earn the money.  There are competing forces who want to take your money.  Marketers are out to sell you stuff that you do not need.  They don’t care if you land in debt.  They are just competing to sell you something and to take your money.

You might have to compete at home to keep your money.  You might have your emotions under control, but your family has their own needs and desires that need to be considered.  It is not easy to keep a family on a budget.  It takes creativity to keep a family satisfied and not bored.

They might be the most difficult completion that you have to face.  You should not play a zero-sum game at home unless you want to have your family resent you.  It is wise to approach this level of competition with good faith and to negotiate.

Competition truly is all around us.  We face competition daily.  It does not mean that you are not competitive just because you were not the captain of the basketball team in high school.  For some people, it takes longer for their competitive drive to develop.

If you have decided that you want to be successful in this world, that thought alone requires a competitive nature.  If you are taking the required steps to get ahead in life, you are more competitive than you give yourself credit for.  If you are working on reaching financial independence by paying off debt, saving, sacrificing, and investing, you are extremely competitive.

Do you see yourself as being competitive?

Please share in the comment section below.

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An Abundance Mindset

An abundance mindset is the opposite of a scarcity mindset.  A scarcity mindset is one where a person is consumed by fear, desperation, and self-centeredness due to the obsession with not having enough resources to live and thrive.  An abundance mindset is a mindset where a person feels that there are enough resources and opportunities for everyone to succeed and live a fulfilling life.

There are many things in life that we do not have control over.  We do not get to pick our parents, how we were raised, or what resources were available to us as children including nurturing, food, medicine or education.  As adults, however, we do have the power to make the decision as to how we think and react towards every situation.

Our ability to think and how we view situations is a powerful tool.  It is critical to developing a healthy perspective if we want to be successful in life.  Just as negativity attracts negativity, positivity attracts positivity.

I am not referring to a Pollyanna mindset.  Nor am I referring to faking your positivity to the extent where it is transparent and the people around you just label you a phony.  I am referred to a hopeful mindset.  A mindset that will allow you to be happy, help people, and expand your horizons.  The best mindset to have to achieve all of those goals is to develop an abundance mindset.

Honesty

Honesty is a resource that we cannot have too much of.  Many people think of honesty as not telling lies or taking something that does not belong to them.  Yes, you should always be truthful and not steal.  In this context, I am referring to gut-level honesty.  This is the type of honesty that will allow you to be true to yourself and not fall victim to a scarcity mindset.

Do you have self-respect and value who you are as an individual?  Do you accept your current lot in life as a starting point for what’s next?  Do you have personal, professional, and financial goals that you are currently working on?  A person who can answer yes to those questions is highly likely to have an abundance mindset.

Fear

There is positive fear that tells you to look both ways before walking across a busy intersection.  There are also negative fears.  Scarcity is a negative fear.  Scarcity is negative because it consumes you and holds you back from taking the calculated risks that are needed to succeed.

A person who has an abundance mindset is sure to feel fear along the way.  To overcome that fear, they take hold of the steering wheel.  They do not let their emotions hold them back.  They pick up the ball and run with it.  They might fail.  They might fail more than once.  They might never succeed, but it will not be due to the lack of not trying because fear held them back.

Esteem

Many people in society have a scarcity mindset.  They live in fear to some extent.  They are afraid to take risks because they might lose their positions, money, or some other sense of security.

People who have an abundance mindset have high self-esteem.  They have to have healthy self-esteem because they are aware that they are different from other people.  Nobody generally likes feeling different from their fellows.   It does not, however, seem to bother these people who have an abundance mindset because they embrace their difference by moving forward towards their next success.  They do so while those with a scarcity mindset sit back and wallow in fear or envoy.

Comfort

Those who have an abundance mindset often appear cool.  They display grace under pressure.  They wear life like a loose fitting garment.  They are comfortable in their own skin.

There is a reason for their aura.  Don’t confuse it with being blasé.  They are in competition, but not with other people.   They generally see people more as conduits than threats. They are in competition, but it is based on winning by executing a plan.  They do not harbor negative feelings towards their competition.

If it is a competition between two people and they do not win, they humbly congratulate the victor.  They do not fall prey to resentment.   A person who has an abundance mindset is grateful for the challenge and for the opportunity. They feel that there are other opportunities for everybody to succeed and move on to the next challenge.  They have a growth mindset and will diligently prepare to do better when the next opportunity presents itself.

Big Picture

People who have an abundance mindset do not settle.  They think big.  They focus on the long-term.  That is why they are successful investors.  Where a person might cower at the thought of volatility, a person who has an abundance mindset does not fall victim to shortsightedness. They have above average emotional intelligence.  They know that change is constant and embrace it.  When others are selling low, they are looking to buy value.

Conclusion

It is rare to find people who have an abundance mindset.  Unlike unicorns, they do exist.  There might not be any in your inner-circle, but I can tell you where to find them.  They can be easily found online.  They gather on blogs and on forums.  There is a whole community of these folks who are working on achieving financial independence by embracing an abundance mindset as well as empowering others to do the same by sharing their stories.

These folks come from many different walks of life and can be found at different stages of the journey. Some are just starting out in their careers and working on eliminating debt.  Some are millionaires by mid-career.  Others are multi-millionaires and retired while they were still young enough to live out all of their dreams.  If you want to meet some of these folks, check out my Resources Page.  I hope you get to meet some of them and take advantage of what they freely have to offer you.

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