About two weeks ago, I read a book about the history of my continent, Africa. I read about powerful kingdoms and great kings. I read about imperialists and conquerors. I read about the slave trade and colonialism. I concluded that almost all human history has been about a strong desire to defeat and conquer.
We as humans want to rule others. Sometimes this desire hides in our ambitions, occasionally through unreasonable wars and oppression. Sometimes we just do it, even in public. Humans and desire are inseparable, but there are some desires society doesn’t encourage, and one of those is the desire to be rich.
In most of our societies today, riches is closely associated with fraud, lies, deception and so on, so the desire to be rich is regarded as evil and that’s why so many people are poor despite enormous opportunities in the world today.
What Riches Means to Me
Sometimes last year, I discovered that some people who know me were going to Google to search for my net worth. I never expected that so I became surprised. But why do people care about my net worth? Well, we’re living in a world where most people think Bill Gate is richer than Seth Godin, which isn’t true. Yes, Bill Gate has tens of Billions, and Seth Godin only has a few million, but in the real sense of what money is needed for, $50 Billion isn’t different from $3 Million.
Here is what I mean; anyone who can afford what to eat, what to drive, and where to sleep with absolute comfort is rich, and you don’t need a billion dollars to do that.
While I don’t think it’s a sin to become a billionaire, it’s not my goal. Instead, the freedom to live the way I want, to afford anything I need is my goal.
Now that you understood what I mean whenever I talk about being rich let’s go into how to defeat poverty, which to me is the inability to afford your freedom.
- Desire. Desire. Desire
Almost all of us have read the book “Think and Grow Rich”, but it’s easy to forget great lessons in such books. To me, the most important lesson in Think and Grow Rich is that every individual that ever became rich had a desire, strong desire to be rich. I love to use the word, DESPERATE because I think it conveys the message better than the word DESIRE.
Do you wish to defeat poverty? Then you must have a strong desire to be rich. You need to be desperate and because the word DESPERATION connotes negative behaviour, let me tell you a personal story.
In the year 2008, I left school without any degree or certificate and decided never to sit down in a school classroom again in my life. I had almost no money, but I was willing to sacrifice a decade of my life if need be. I believed that if I could figure out how to turn a dollar to two and two dollars to five and continue doing that, I could eventually turn one dollar to a hundred thousand dollars and then a million dollars, even though it might take years.
With this mindset, I was not afraid of making mistakes. I was not afraid of failing multiple times, and I wasn’t afraid of ridicules and rejections from fellow humans.
For eight long years of struggling, I got all of the pains I mentioned above. I made several mistakes, lost businesses, got ridiculed and rejected and remained broke for years, but in 2016, I had my first breakthrough and things changed for me very fast from then.
Now, let me ask you; what do you think is responsible for some people’s ability to endure pains? What do you think is responsible for some people’s commitment, even in the face of death? Why do you think Napoleon Bonaparte wants to conquer the world? Why do you think Nelson Mandela refused to give in to the enemy even after 20 years of imprisonment? Why do you think people dare difficult things even though they could lose their lives trying?
Desire. Desire. Strong desire which I love to call desperation, I mean, holy desperation.
If you want to defeat poverty, you must have a holy desperation. By holy desperation, I mean, you have to be willing to make sacrifices, do difficult things and forget whatever other people think about you.
Holy desperation doesn’t allow you to lie, cheat or commit fraud. Holy desperation doesn’t allow you to hurt other people for your own good or vested interest. Instead, what holy desperation means is that you’re willing to put your life in line, dare your dreams and confront your fears.
- Desperation & Fear
I know a few intelligent poor people. There are millions of smart individuals all over the world who can’t afford a good life for themselves. But why is this so? Why are smart people broke?
Fear. Fear. Fear. Many people have dreams that can help humanity and make them rich, but such dreams often come with some risks. Many people know they can do better with their lives than what they are doing now, but the fear of the unknown kept them from living out their callings.
So many people have what they call GREAT IDEAS but never execute them because of fear.
Fear, fear, fear is by far the greatest enemy of human progress, but there’s a piece of good news, and that is, a drug that cures fear. That drug is desperation, holy desperation.
When your desire for success is greater than your fear, you’ll dare your dreams no matter what. When your desire for financial freedom is greater than your fear of failure, when the spirit of holy desperation possesses you, you’ll fear not succeeding than you fear failure.
This is what I mean. Most people focus their lives on what might go wrong if they try something new or different. I focus my life on what will happen if I don’t try something new or different.
These are two different ways of looking at life.
Take, for example, if you have a well-paying job, but you’re not happy because something else is your dream.
You have two choices. You can either focus on all that might happen if you leave your job to follow your dream or you focus on what would happen in the next 30 years when you’ll look back at your life and have a lot of regrets.
Most people like to focus on what will happen if they fail. Don’t focus on what is likely to happen if you make mistakes or fail. Instead, focus on what will eventually happen in the future if you don’t dare your dream now.
A personal example of this is when I was starting out in the business world. Almost everything was against me, and the best I could have done with my life is to seek for a good job. While having a job isn’t a bad thing, but with what I know about myself, I will be the most miserable human, even with the highest paying job in the world.
I love building stuff. I love trying out things. I love doing things my way, and a job will never allow me to live that way so instead of focusing on what might happen if I fail in business, I focused on what will happen if I didn’t follow my dream.
Larry Ellison said, “Great achievers are driven, not so much by the pursuit of success but by the fear of failure”. In other words, you should actually fear what life would look like if you don’t achieve your dream, so much that, you don’t fear the mistakes or temporary failures you might have now.
Poverty is powerful. Just like Satan, it’s evil, and just like every powerful obstacle, you can’t defeat poverty by merely thinking about crushing it.
You have to be positively ruthless!
You need to have a strong desire for freedom and wealth!
You must be willing to sacrifice everything except your righteousness if indeed, you want to defeat poverty!