Going on two years ago I read a column on Consumerism Commentary called “Nothing bad is my fault: Toxic financial attitudes.” The author, Luke Landes, urges us to look at our personal philosophies, “to determine how they are helping or hurting you.”
I left a comment (more on that in a minute) and always meant to write about it. Better late than really late.
As a young man, Landes looked for “external reasons” (i.e., excuses) when things didn’t go his way. Ultimately a boss called him out on it, suggesting he examine his own thoughts might prevent him from succeeding.
Landes applies the same principle to money mindsets that might hold us back, such as:
- “I’m in debt because of a financial emergency.”
- “I keep getting charged fees by my bank, and it’s due to their policies.”
- “I lost money on my investment.”
Rather than be stunted by these attitudes, he asks that we examine “the effect your choices have on your success and failure.”
Understand: Landes is acutely aware of the very legitimate reasons some people do not succeed. He’s written about why poverty is a bit more complicated than laziness or lack of motivation.
But he’s also convincing when he calls on us to recognize what we could be doing to help ourselves, even – and especially! – if we don’t know quite how or where to start. This advice applies to life situations other than wealth-building.