Winning 001: You win when you start believing you can


One of the most difficult aspects of winning is accepting to change.  In many of my seminars on the Winning Mentality, I have realized that many people are interested in becoming free financially but do not have the mental desire to change.  
In one of my talks, I was listening to a spouse of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) who is heavily in debt.  She was receiving a monthly allotment of about P100,000  from her seaman husband.  She told me that what I am saying is true but is not easy to do.  That’s precisely the point of this commentary. 
My intention in writing this piece is to pummel your minds the message that we can actually be winners financially.  We will not necessarily become multi-millionaires but we can be free to become what we have dreamed about.  The key to a positive change, both personally and financially, is the willingness to change.  This boils down to destroying negative family values about money and cultural mindset of poverty.  This takes time and is a significant process to focus on.  
In my research on finding the best approach to help people, I have realized that most books on personal finance have focused only on the mechanical part–the number crunching.  On the other hand, there are also books that look only on the emotional part, which is the mind setting.  I have not seen a single book that attempted to put them together.  This is reason why these self-help personal finance books are best sellers, and yet we still see a lot of people unable to move to financial freedom.  
Just the other day, the famous author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad (a must read), Robert Kiyosaki, filed for bankruptcy.  How ironic!  The man who had influenced people around the world to win the battle against personal mediocrity actually is bankrupt.  But what does it matter. Kiyosaki’s influence has given birth to a number of people now preaching personal finance freedom, myself included.  By influencing people to believe they can, they already won regardless of the background of the teacher. 
Starting with this commentary, we will start teaching some mechanical aspects with emotional banging to ensure that we will, at least, attempt to change certain habits that brought us to where we are now.  We can start by believing that we can make a list of our assets and liabilities.  It is simply a listing of everything that we own personally so it could be clothes, jewelry, books, furnitures, appliances, etc and then a listing of whatever we owe, whether officially, relational or even from informal lenders.  
Why do we need to do this exercise? People do not change until they know what their exact condition is.  But others will start moving only when they know they are in the danger zone. How do we know this? Logically, our assets must be greater than our liabilties.  If it is the other way around, then we are in a serious situation that needs to be reversed immediately. This is why change requires combining both our “emotional” and “mechanical” situations. 
I am sure you have not done this exercise of identifying assets and liabilities.  Do it now!  There are no right or wrong answers, but the exercise will surely help you situate where you are right now.  Then we can begin to talk about change because by doing so, you have already believed you can and you can be a winner!  God bless.
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For investment advice, or any questions about personal finance, email to  

For my colleagues in the Economics profession and interested friends, the Philippine Economic Society (PES) will celebrate its 50th anniversary this Nov. 27.  The speakers will be former PES presidents  and Secretary Arsenio Balisacan of the National Economic and Development Authority.  For more details, please email or call (+632)9292671 c/o of Ms. Charm Escueta.  Looking forward to seeing you there.
About Alvin P. Ang

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