It is popularly believed that an Ostrich, when threatened, will bury its head in the sand. It does this to hide, not realising that only its head is hidden and the rest of its huge body is clearly visible.This is a hilarious visual image. This huge bird thinking that it is now invisible because it can no longer see the threat.
Unfortunately, there is no scientific merit to this belief. Ornithologists rubbish this by saying that the ostrich is over 140 kilos and that’s heavier than most predators. It can run at close to 70 Km/Hour – that’s faster than most predators.
And they have been observed kicking a lion to death with their massive strong legs.
So they don’t really need an excuse to hide. This myth started because ostriches lay their eggs in holes in the sand. Put their heads in, to turn the eggs every few hours. People thought of this as hiding and so the myth was born.
While the Ostrich may not be burying its head to run or hide from its problem. We humans definitely do!
How do you feel every time you look at your Bank Balance? When I have asked this to a room full of people their first answer is always. Sad. Depressed. Need More. Not earning enough. Etc. What is interesting is that I get the same answer if I ask a student, a young executive or a business tycoon.
I almost never get someone saying, “I feel happy”!
As a result, we try and shy away from looking at the bank account. We avoid it if we can help it. The only time we check the account is to see if the salary has come in or not!
There are 3 big problems that come from such a mindset and behaviour.
The first is that we start developing an unhealthy relationship with money. We keep thinking about money as something that we lack.It creates what is known as the scarcity mindset. And living from a scarcity mindset is a very dangerous thing. It makes you feel that what you are going through in life, right now, is permanent. So you will always feel broke.No matter how much money you have in the future you will never feel satisfied. A billionaire with a scarcity mindset.
Secondly, It creates a state of envy. We always believe that someone else’s bank account is bigger than ours. It’s almost taken for granted. Living in a state of envy is dangerous because we don’t appreciate what we have. You never feel like an equal to others. The constant comparison leads to stress and unhappiness.
The third most dangerous effect is that of overspending. Interestingly when we begin to operate from this scarcity mindset, we overspend. This happens because we look for instant gratification. If there is money, then spend it fast! Because we don’t know if it will be there for long. So we spend recklessly…and then feel like we don’t have money. Sounds familiar? Most lottery winners blow through their winnings in the first two years. All because of this scarcity mindset.
So then, how do we change how we spend our money? What can we do to slowly move away from this mindset. We must realise that this mindset is unhealthy. Financial health is just as important as our body health.
The first step towards this change is to start being aware. In this case, awareness is knowing how much money you have.
So your super simple habit for changing your mindset towards money is to check your bank balance everyday. Look at it everyday not from a feeling of lack. Not from a feeling of envy. Not from a feeling of scarcity.
Look at the account just to be aware of what is there. Now take a decision on spending or saving. Don’t think of how you can increase it. Just look at it and keep track of how it changes through the month.
You will immediately notice that you by default become more aware of how you spend it. If you check it everyday you will notice that you have by default saved some money at the end of the month, instead of having spent it all.
The power of awareness is important. Don’t be the mythical scared ostrich and shove your head in the sand. Ignorance is not bliss. Be proud like the real ostrich and kill the lion of scarcity. Kick it’s head in, starting from today!