There’s only one way for you to rise up out of the ashes in any area of your life. And it’s to combat a disease, a mindset that has poisoned the minds of millions. If there’s one thing that’s sure to kill your dreams and goals in life, it’s learned helplessness. If there is one ounce of this in your brain, dig it out. Because if you don’t get rid of it it’ll grow and become a poison that stops you from living the good life. I talk more about learned helplessness in Step 7 of my 67 Steps Millionaire Mentor Series.
Psychologists Martin Seligman and Steve Maier conducted an experiment where they put dogs in a locked cage and gave them electric shocks. At first the dogs jumped, and yelped, and tried to get out but eventually they just lay down and took it. They learned to be helpless. The psychologists then left the door of the cage wide open and shocked the dogs again, but the dogs stayed in the cage because that’s what they’d been trained to do.
You and I have a medieval mindset. Back then, if you contracted a disease it would most likely kill you. Germ theory didn’t exist until a couple of centuries ago – our ancestors didn’t even understand that they could prevent transfer of disease just by washing their hands. 500 years ago life was like a box – you were caged in. If you were born poor, you died poor; there was virtually no way to get a better life.
But guess what? It’s a new year, it’s a new century, and we’re free from these cages. What plagues us is the voices of 10,000 generations whispering that the cage is still locked. In my last video I talked about Stephen Hawking, who was able to look past his debilitating disease and live an abundant life. We’re not hampered by the environment, we’re hampered by the mirage of this cage that we feel over us. It’s been transmitted by our DNA so in a sense it’s not our fault, but it is our responsibility to change it
I read an interesting book about internal rebel forces in WWII. In France there were freedom fighters who rose up to sabotage the Nazi forces on behalf of the allies, and died for their beliefs. The author argues that these deaths were a complete waste because the sacrifice made by the rebels didn’t really help the war at all. What ended the war was industrial power – having more tanks and weapons than the enemies. Rallies and protests might make you feel like you’re making a difference, but at the end of the day they don’t really help much.
A study in “The Millionaire Next Door” found that the average high-net-worth individual worries about things within their control, while poor people tend to worry about things that are outside their control. That’s learned helplessness – if you feel for too long that you can’t fix your situation then you lie down in the cage and stop trying. Protesting won’t solve anything. What you should be doing is reading a book on finance or health, finding a mentor, travelling the world, and saving more money.
Focus on what’s in your control. Before you start protesting, read a book about your cause. Allan Nation used to tell me, “Before you can change anything you have to understand why it is how it is.”
Earn the right to be a protestor.
Start the revolution in your own brain.
What’s the biggest area of learned helplessness in your life and what can you do to fix it?