Success money prosperity: poverty is not sexy!


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Text comes from: Die 95/5-Formel: Warum viele wenig und wenige alles haben (2020) of Simon Hofer, published by Münchener Verlagsgruppe (MVG), Reprints by friendly permission of the publisher.
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The imbalance between rich and poor is great worldwide. But how do you manage to break out of the hamster wheel and live a prosperous life?

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Simon Hofer is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker and top coach.

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Being poor is not sexy

In der westlichen Kultur haben 95 Prozent der Menschen am Ende des Monats Probleme damit, ihre Rechnungen zu begleichen. Sie können kein Geld zur Seite legen oder gar anlegen. Sie verbringen den Urlaub – wenn sie überhaupt in den Urlaub fahren können – da, wo es das billigste Angebot gibt, und das »neue Auto« ist bestenfalls ein alter Gebrauchtwagen vom Fähnchenhändler.

They are always plagued with the same fears and worries. They also don't like to go to the mailbox because there are usually bills and reminders. After a 40-year career, 95 percent of people do not have enough to make a decent living from it and are now afraid of retirement and also of finally falling, not only financially but also socially, because being poor is not sexy. But what particularly distinguishes these people is that they are simply unhappy in their lives.

What do the 5 percent do better?

5 percent of people not only pay their bills on time, if they want to, they put money aside, earn money with investments and benefit from tax savings options. You own real estate, regularly buy new vehicles and travel to the dream destinations of the world. Most of them enjoy their work, they are good at what they do and they are happy. It seems like everything will be easy for them. Some retire early and then devote even more time to their hobbies and interests.

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What distinguishes these people from the other 95 percent? Were you just lucky? Did you enjoy expensive training? Do these people have an above-average IQ? Or were they just in the right place at the right time? In the end, are the genes that you inherited responsible for your happiness?

Take a trip to yourself

If you deal with successful people, you will quickly find out: Happiness, education, origin and intelligence played a subordinate role for success! Successful people differ significantly from the unsuccessful only in one point.

I would like to take you on a journey to yourself, because all of our actions, everything we do and think as human beings are wonderfully connected. You should use the latest findings from brain and gene research, because research has now clearly shown that the genes do not control us, but we control the genes. This new and exciting science is called epigenetics. These largely unknown research results will fundamentally change our way of thinking and acting in the coming years.

Know the right formula

But how do you manage to leave the 95 percent group and join the 5 percent group? For this, it is extremely important not only to know the 95/5 formula, but to understand that we encounter it again and again in all important areas of our lives. Only those who know and understand them can position themselves optimally in life and find happiness.

In my coaching sessions, I always use examples and stories that have happened to me or to people I know personally. Regarding the statements in the field of brain and genetic research, I have had to accept in the course of my life that there are different opinions even among the best scientists. But that didn't stop me from staying open and trying new things.

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Warum 95 Prozent der Menschen nicht denken und 5 Prozent erfolgreich sind

Manches hat für mich nicht funktioniert, anderes hat überraschend gut funktioniert, in einem Maß, wie ich es mir nicht mal erträumt hätte, obwohl ich plötzlich lesen musste, dass ein Wissenschaftler der Meinung war, dass aus seiner Sicht genau diese Methode gar nicht funktionieren könne. Das bringt die ganze Geschichte auf den Punkt. Niemand weiß, was für Sie genau funktioniert. Oft wissen nicht mal wir selbst, was für uns funktioniert, da wir es nicht versucht haben. Deshalb wünsche ich mir von Ihnen: Seien Sie offen für neue  Dinge und geben Sie ihnen eine faire Chance, Ihr Leben zu bereichern.

There are not many trends that are very similar worldwide and that have been running smoothly for many years. The imbalance between rich and poor is one of these few global trends. We know from recent studies that around 5 percent of people in Europe have no money worries. They own real estate and other capital investments, and their income and assets increase steadily. These people travel the world, buy premium and luxury items and are usually happy and satisfied. Within this 5 percent there is still a group of approx. 0,3 percent that owns more than 50 million euros. This is the group of the super rich, whose fortunes reach into the billions.

The curse of comparison

Doch was ist mit dem großen Rest, den anderen 95 Prozent? Was bleibt für die?  Die Gedanken dieser Menschen kreisen meist um offene Rechnungen, um Probleme in der Ehe, der Familie, der Partnerschaft und den Job, oder gar um die Jobsuche. Sie haben diese Sorgen, obwohl die allermeisten dieser Menschen hart arbeiten, manche haben sogar zwei Jobs, aber es reicht einfach nicht, um im Leben weiterzukommen. Wenn sich das Hamsterrad einmal dreht, ist der Ausstieg sehr schwer.

Außerdem kommt  hinzu, dass sich diese Menschen permanent mit jenen vergleichen, die mehr haben als sie, und das macht sie noch frustrierter und trauriger.  Es ist ein Trend, den wir aktuell weltweit betrachten. Ich nenne ihn die 95/5-Formel. Interessanterweise finden wir diesen Trend oder diese Formel nicht nur in wirtschaftlich stabilen Ländern in Europa, sondern auch in Ländern, die sich in den letzten Jahrzehnten wirtschaftlich erst entwickelt haben.

No short-term trend

The greater the economic progress in such countries, the more the 95/5 formula crystallizes. One could conclude that we are dealing with a new trend that has emerged in the past 30 to 50 years, but the impression is deceptive. If you go further back in time, you will come across this trend of one-sided distribution of wealth between poor and rich people over and over again.

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Bereits in der Bronzezeit, also vor rund 4000 Jahren, in der frühen Ackerbaukulturzeit Europas, bildeten sich zwei Lager von Menschen, bei denen die einen sehr viel und die anderen sehr wenig  hatten. Man geht davon aus, dass zu Beginn der Bronzezeit noch rund 10 bis 15 Prozent der Menschen die Ressourcen kontrollierten und somit zu den Privilegierten oder Vermögenden gehörten. In den nächsten 2000 Jahren, als der Ackerbau immer mehr an Bedeutung verlor und es einträglicher war, Handelsrouten zu besetzen und dafür Abgaben zu verlangen, kristallisierte sich zusehends die 95/5-Formel heraus.

The structural division is repeated

Even with the development of modern humans, our behaviors have hardly changed. Today in the 21st century we find the same structures of division between rich and poor as we did thousands of years ago. My research showed that the journalist and writer Napoleon Hill (1883-1970) already published a relationship between in his 1928 work The Law of Success, which later became the world-famous title Think and Grow Rich Poor and rich, speaking from 98 percent to 2 percent.

His thoughts on the one hand reflected the opinions of his mentor, the then giant of the steel industry Andrew Carnegie (1835–1918), who was probably one of the richest men in the world at the time. On the other hand, his statements also corresponded to the worldviews of personalities such as Henry Ford or Thomas Edison. This division is not new, on the contrary.

Imbalance has manifested through generations

As a result, many people have started to simply accept this imbalance across generations, true to the motto: It has always been this way and will always remain so. But, as is so often the case, it is worth taking a step back and taking a second look at things, in this case the division of wealth between the poor and the rich.

It is striking that the group of the rich 5 percent changes again and again in its composition. Only about 1 percent of wealthy families manage to stay in this circle for several generations or centuries. These are mostly the super rich. But even within this group it can happen that one or the other family dynasty becomes impoverished for generations despite once immeasurable wealth.

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New and old players

Diese Gefahr besteht insbesondere dann, wenn das Ego eines Tages die Größe des Vermögens übertrumpft. Es gibt also viel Bewegung im 5-Prozent-Kreis der Reichen. Besonders, wenn »neue Zeiten« angebrochen waren, gab es häufig große Umwälzungen in der Zusammensetzung dieser Gruppe. Als der Ackerbau damals an Bedeutung verlor, haben viele Reiche den  Sprung nicht geschafft.

With the advent of the industrial age, many new faces appeared in the 5 percent circle, even among the super rich. The same thing happened again with the advent of the information age in the 80s. New players have entered this circle and others have left it. So all of this shows that there is always room in the circle of the rich, for everyone who understands the rules of the game. We live in a world today where all information is available!

Information is openly available

Even secret state information finds its way to the public on an unprecedented scale. Edward Snowden or Wikileaks are just two prominent examples from many. But there is also other enormously valuable information. The digital age has given us the Internet, among other things. There is probably no relevant information that we cannot find there. The problem is rather to find the relevant among all the irrelevant ones. Ever since the term “fake news” has wandered around the world, everyone has known how difficult it can be.

Eines der immer wieder verwendeten Argumente aus der Gruppe der 95 Prozent, laut dem die Reichen Zugang zu Informationen hätten, die Arme nicht haben, zählt somit nicht mehr. Man kann argumentieren, die Reichen hätten immer noch einen Vorsprung, da sie wüssten, welche Informationen relevant sind und wo und wie man diese finden kann, aber letzten Endes haben wir diesbezüglich heute Chancengleichheit.

Wealth is not a matter of luck

Weiter wird argumentiert, die Reichen hätten eben mehr Glück, bessere Ausbildungen genossen oder seien von der Natur mit einem hohen IQ gesegnet oder, ganz schlicht, bereits reich geboren worden. Die Liste der populären Gründe, warum manche alles haben und andere nichts, ist lang und seit vielen Jahren dieselbe. Ich habe diese Gründe auch für mich selbst als Argumentation und als Rechtfertigung vor anderen verwendet. Es hatte viele Jahre  gedauert, bis ich schlussendlich entdeckte, dass es nur einen einzigen relevanten Unterschied zwischen Arm und Reich, Glück und Unglück gibt.

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If you deal with the rich, you quickly find that it is not luck, not expensive training or an above-average IQ that make the difference. For some rich and successful people I've met, the IQ is even more in the lower range. You may also know one or two people who have asked themselves shaking their heads: how the hell did he get this far?

The secret of success

I have spent many years unraveling the secret of why so few have everything and so many have nothing. Why is everything so easy for the successful? What secrets do those I don't know know? I tried many paths, often made a wrong turn and only came back on the right path after a long, difficult detour. But I didn't give up and kept looking until the obvious was in front of me and I rubbed my eyes in wonder and asked myself: Can it be that easy?

If you now think that never giving up is the secret, let me say two things. Sometimes you have to give up, plain and simple, to be able to follow a different path if you are on the wrong path. And as for the secret: there is no secret to happiness, success, wealth and fulfillment. It is more of a key, a key that we all have but are still not on the radar. We use it a thousand times a day and still have no idea how it works. Or can you explain how our thinking works?

A question of thinking

Yes, exactly, the way of thinking is the big difference that separates the poor and rich, that ensures that some have so much and others have so little. We have about 60 thoughts every day and are not even aware of it. A single thought can take our life in a completely different direction. I will show you this on the basis of personal experiences.

The day I started thinking about thinking changed my life from the ground up. I have got to know a new world, one in which everything is possible and dreams suddenly become realistic and tangible goals and happiness, success and fulfillment suddenly appear possible. A world in which you suddenly have 60 potential opportunities every day to do and achieve what you want. It was a fascinating moment.

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