Friday, August 28, 2009

Why the Rich get Richer and the Poor get Poorer

Tony Robbins sent me a video a couple days ago that I just got around to watching last night. In it, a couple of internet marketing gurus are visiting him to get a better understanding of why people who buy their products don't utilize them fully and what they can do to get people to put more effort into achieving results.

The video is about 40 minutes long and I'd love to link to it but I doubt it'll be available for a long period of time, unlike this blog.

Most of what Tony was saying, is the same things Tony is always saying, but he did surprise me with a couple really cool things which I want to share with you now.

In answer to the poised question Tony acknowledged that it's the same factor that makes a person complain about their weight and then eat a chocolate or be told by their doctor they have to quit smoking and then light up.

People want to make the change but lack the sense of certainy that they can.

What he did next really excited me because it made a somewhat complicated idea really simple to grasp. He drew four boxes, two over two. In the first box (and it doesn't really matter which is first) he wrote in 'Potential'. This represented the potential people have, which, generally is actually unlimited but greatly affected by your own perception of it. The second box was marked 'Action' for the amount of effort people put into their goal. So the more Potential someone has (or rather thinks they do) the greater the Action taken.
The third box (below) was named 'Results'. The greater the amount of Action the better the achieved Results. The last box was labeled Beliefs. The greater the Results achieved, the more you believe you can and will succeed which immediately pours into your Potential.

This very effectively explains why the rich get richer and the poor gets poorer.


A person who already has achieved a level of success has a new idea. Since he's succeeded before he feel pretty positive about his potential in this new venture. He puts in a corresponding amount of action into it achieving positive results. Maybe not as much as he would have hoped or liked but positive results which means he can do it which then strengthens his beliefs which in turn increases his potential, resulting in greater action, better results, stronger belief, more potential and so on spiralling ever upward. The rich becomes richer. Even if initial results were below expectations.

Another person has the same idea but has never achieved anything that they consider noteworthy. They have little faith in their potential but a desire to achieve so they give it a go. You can guess what happens. With such a low (stated) potential they don't put too much effort into their actions (expecting failure), poor action nets correspondingly poor results, which fuels the belief that they will not succeed, which limits their potential, which reduces their action, decreasing their results, compounding their negative belief, and so on and so on and so on. The poor get poorer. Sadly, even if they achieve better than expect results, their poor beliefs will often attribute it to luck. If better than expected results continue they will begin to spiral up but generally as soon as they achieve less than expected results they drop quickly into a negative spiral again.

The lynchpin is belief. If people can be given a sense of certainy that they will succeed then they'll put in enough action too succeed. But people are naturally doubting Thomas', so how do overcome that?

Pain. Pain is one answer. People will always avoid pain naturally. For many who have succeeded, the thought of failing to achieve the goal was greater pain than the fear of failure itself. In other words, they felt they HAD to achieve the results, for whatever reason. In this case, they realize they may fail, but may is infinitely better than the will that will happen if they didn't even try. Failure is not an option. If they don't get the results they want they continue to try, since they don't feel they have a choice, until they do.

Visualization is the other answer. As per usual, Tony gave the example of Roger Bannister the first man to run a mile in under four minutes. Prior to him breaking the record (and according to Tony he had to repeatedly break it in his head mentally before he actually did physically but I am not able to substanciate that) it had never been done in all of recorded history but once he broke that mark, it was subsequenty broken by 24 people over the next two years. Now that is partly because athletic training was improving but also, truly, because the mental belief that it wasn't possible had been shattered. Today some high school students are running the mile in under 4 minutes.

More interestly than his tired Roger Bannister story was the fact that those two internet marketing gurus had themselves broken all concept of what was possible to acheive in online sales. One having set a record my earning $600,000 in a mere 7 days, only to be bettered by the other who subsequently earned one million in one day, a terrific result quickly bettered again by his peer.

Then Tony did a neat thing which I encourage you to try as well. He had the men put one arm up, finger pointing out in front of them and then asked them to turn around as far as they could without moving their feet and without strain. Once they had done this Tony had them put their arm down and repeat the exercise, only in their minds, but to see themselves going twice the distance. Then again doing three times the distance. Once they had visualized that he asked them to try in again in real life. Both comfortably, and effortlessly turned about 50% further than they had before. A result I also achieved as I did it with them to my own amazement. According to Tony, most people only do 25% better but this is a nice example of the power of visualization.

So by using visualization one can change their Belief, increasing their Potential, resulting in greater Action, producing better Results and giving credence to their Belief. However, visualizing success cannot be done once. It must be a habitualize way of being. You must always see yourself achieving the result you want even without any reference to support that. The golfer Jack Nicholson always visualized hitting the ball exactly as he wanted, before actually taking a swing at it. He was one of the very best in his day. Again, it was habitual, he always did it and consistantly produced results as a consequence.

There's much more I could say on this topic but I'd highly recommend you buy Tony's book (see link on the side) Awaken the Giant Within which goes into great depth on this matter.