I was watching the BBC documentary about Money and Wealth training seminars last night. It was carefully put together to leave the viewer in no doubt that the only people getting rich from wealth training are the people providing the training. There was lots of footage that made me squirm, of young people who had gone into debt to attend the seminars, totally ‘believed’ that they were going to get rich and yet had not made a single penny.
Clearly, this is not the only possible outcome. There are lots of people who attend such seminars and implement what they learn to get good results. At least I hope there are, although I’m not sure I actually know any personally.
The thing that really made me uncomfortable was the sight of people reciting affirmations about their ability to manage money, and in some cases about their (non-existent) wealth. This was all in the name of cultivating the right mindset.
So what’s the problem? One is that no amount of affirming something that you absolutely know to be untrue (such as “I am a millionaire”) will make it true. And the cognitive dissonance that results from such an activity might be what leads to the total belief we saw on the documentary. Total belief in something that had no evidence to support it.
Now, I’m a great believer in the power of the mind, as you know. But what creates wealth (or indeed any desired result) is not blind faith, it’s purposeful activity and making the most of opportunities. I’m all for working on your mindset, as long as it’s not the only thing you work on.
I also think it might be more honest to acknowledge, that as well as having the right information, the right mindset and the motivation to implement what you have learned there is something else that’s needed to make money. It’s the intelligence to make the right decisions.
In the anyone-can-do-it atmosphere of personal development seminars, there seems to be no account taken of the varying ability of people to assimilate complex information, keep multiple ideas in mind at once or logically predict the outcome of their actions. You may not need a string of academic qualifications to make money, but you do need intelligence in its broadest sense.
I’m beginning to think that in the pursuit of equality of opportunity we’re losing sight of the actual inequality of capability.
Time to shut up before I say something that offends someone...