Have you noticed that while some families, generation after generation, thrive in abundance, others wade in misery?
Let’s use the families of entrepreneurs and billionaires as an example. When we dive deep into a billionaire’s bloodline, we discover a line of successful people. They’re all successful, wealthy, and skilled in their own ways! Interestingly enough, the children of billionaires inherit both their parents’ talents and their formula for abundance. Is it up to chance? Is it a coincidence?
Of course, we can also think of the opposite case: when, generation after generation, the members of a given family cannot conquer poverty and stay “stuck in the mud.” In cases like these, you often look at them, saying: “Look at him! He is a loser just like his dad!”
Why does this happen? Does the apple really not fall far from the tree?
The truth is… to a large degree, your financial situation depends on your parents, just as your children’s financial situation depends on you!
I am not talking about the inheritance you may have gotten—or not gotten—from your ancestors. No. This is not about that. This is about the “financial code” that runs in your veins. “This is nonsense!” you may exclaim. Well, let me prove you wrong!
Let’s discuss the following situations:
- “Money is a taboo topic.” Even though your parents may have never discussed money with you, their attitudes towards money have undoubtedly shaped your understanding of money. How? Why? Throughout your entire life, you’ve observed your parents handling money. Their attitudes towards money have hence become the model you found to be correct—the model you mimicked yourself. You may have noticed how a member of your family sighs when paying the bill at a store or in a restaurant. Or, as you asked for a bicycle, you may have unconsciously noticed how your one of parents’ bodies and tone tensed.
- “I must do something to deserve money.” If your parents often required you to do something in order to get money, you may have come to this conclusion. You’ve probably carried this attitude into adulthood, thinking you simply do not deserve money. You feel as if you have to always do something extra, something new to deserve what you have. You push yourself to get good grades and obtain an honors degree, to work more hours at your job…
- “I never have enough money.” If you grew up in a family that could barely make the ends meet, you have probably grown up with the idea that you can never have enough money. As adults, you may either continue living frugally, earning just enough to stay afloat, or you can earn lots of money, which you then spend on things you do not need. In either case, you live your life, thinking you will never have enough money.
- “Money is evil.” If you have witnessed many fights over money, you may have come to believe that money stands at the root of all evil. Therefore, you avoid money, thinking wealth will make you evil—or bring evil into your life.
- “I don’t understand how money works.” Your family may have thought that money is something scary—something ungraspable and incomprehensible. Your parents may have said things like “Only smart people become rich, and we are not smart” or “Let the rich and competent think about it; don’t burden yourself with tasks you cannot carry out!” If you’ve heard these statements from relatives, you have probably grown up thinking that money is only meant for those smarter, better, and more successful than you.
We all inherit our parents’ attitudes towards money. There is no doubt about that. Therefore, if you find your family’s attitudes towards money are negative and limiting, you can adopt responsibility and cut the cycle of poverty. Change your attitude towards money and improve both your life and the lives of your children and grandchildren.
Psychologist, family therapist, author
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