The Advantages of Being Poor

The Advantages of Being Poor

To some, being poor is embarrassing and shameful, but to a select group of people, being poor is something they’re grateful to be. They embrace it and use it to their advantage to achieve better lives for themselves and for those around them.

If you were poor or are poor don’t fret because you’re in good company and you’re actually at more of an advantage than those with bigger bank accounts.

Being poor empowers and motivates

It may seem hard to believe for some, but having little money can drive people to greatness. But it can also drive individuals to destroy themselves. It all depends on the way a person reacts to a financial situation. Here are a few tips for empowering and motivating yourself if you are poor:

Don’t become jealous, become even – When you see someone richer than you, you should only be jealous for so long. You must turn that jealously into a competitive edge. But don’t become too consumed by one-upping these people because the grass isn’t always as green on the other side as you think.

Your rags-to-riches tale will inspire – Whenever I feel frustrated I read a rags-to-riches story. There are so many of them, and new ones are being written every day. These stories aren’t unique to the United States either. Some of the most well-known of these stories are:

  • J.K. Rowling
  • Andrew Carnegie
  • Tamir Sapir
  • Chris Gardner
  • Oprah Winfrey
  • Felix Dennis

By rising above poverty, your story will go down in history inspiring people for generations to come. This is motivating because simply by positively changing yourself, you will positively change others.

What do you have to lose?

Think you need money to achieve your dreams? Bob Dylan in “Like a Rolling Stone” thinks otherwise. You’re so much better off with little to no money, even if you’re launching a business. When you have no money, you have the freedom to pursue your dreams without the fear of losing money or putting yourself in financial ruin. Fear is the biggest deterrent of success. The fear of losing money is probably the biggest for most. So you can easily be fearless by being poor because what do you have to lose?

I know there will be people with rebuttals saying that you do need money to achieve a lot of dreams. I still beg to differ, especially since I launched Lyved with $14.14. Through Lyved, I’ve been able to achieve my big dream of reaching many people with my writing. Numerous others have been able to achieve a lot with very little. Often, it just takes longer.

Here are a few tips to achieve your big dreams with little money:

Use your talents – You can develop many talents over your lifetime, but there are some that you were born with and were meant to use. They give you an advantage over other people. Harness their power and you’ll find that you can achieve what you desire in life. “Use what your mama gave you” is another way to put it.

Use the internet – If you’re reading this article then you have access to the internet. The web is one of the greatest and cheapest (often free) tools to help you chase your dreams. It’s a time suck for some people, but if you can stay focused, the internet can be a place of limitless opportunities.

Grow your mind – Knowledge doesn’t discriminate. Rich or poor, you can have all the knowledge you desire. You might not get the greatest education in school, but you can take it upon yourself to learn and fill in the gaps that public and higher education misses. Knowledge has more power than any pile of money. Read articles on the internet, watch educational TV shows, or borrow books from the library. It’s up to you to become educated.

You have something to live for

Most parents may think it’s best to give their children everything they desire. But the only thing that this does is stifle ambition. When you have everything, what do you have to strive for or even live for? We all need a purpose to get us out of bed every morning. When people have everything they often ask themselves, “Is this all there is to life?” It’s almost like you’ve hit a dead end in your life. Now don’t get me wrong, not everyone born with a silver spoon in their mouth lacks ambition. But I rather have the ambition that only comes from being poor. It’s unstoppable.

You aren’t as poor as you think

If you’re reading this article, then you really aren’t that poor. You have internet access (and its limitless opportunities), which means you have a computer or mobile device, which means you have electricity, which means you have a roof over your head. In most books, this isn’t considered being poor, no matter what government statistics say. You have more luxuries than many people of the world have necessities. Even if you’re reading this at a library because you can’t afford a computer, you’re less poor than plenty others (and look at all the knowledge around you that you can obtain!). So before you read any further, please get the misconception that you are poor out of your mind. YOU ARE NOT POOR.

“The best things in life are free!”

The old cliche saying is true, “The best things in life are free.” You can’t buy love. You can’t buy real friends. You can’t buy family. You can’t buy happiness. You can’t buy time. There are so many things that make life great that you can’t buy. Even though you are “poor,” you have access to the most valuable parts of life. So I guess if you think about it, you’re as rich as they come.

*Author’s note to the critics:

I know the critics out there will say there is nothing great about being poor and tell me to think about all the children dying in poverty stricken countries because of lack of access to food, clean water, and medical care. There are many horrible and tragic things that result from poverty. My intention with this article is to inspire people who think that they are poor to take action and achieve more in life. They’ll change their life, the lives of those around them, and by doing so, they’ll change the world.

What are other advantages of being poor? Open our eyes and make us think by posting in our comments section below!

*Author’s Note #2 (August 2014)

Edited to clarify reference to Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone,” clarify reference to “The best things in life are free,” and to make a few other changes.

Photo by Namphuong Van via Unsplash

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  • Andrew Galasetti

    I’ve grown up in a “poor” household (I put the quotes there because we were only poor financially; that didn’t stop us from having a lot of laughs and trying to make the best of our situation). It certainly is difficult being poor. Being poor financially can affect your mental state, leading to an overall “poor” life, where you think you can’t be happy or succeed because you don’t have a lot of money. That’s just not true.

    I’ve often wondered what I would be like now if I grew up with financial wealth. Not in a negative, “Why can’t I be rich?!”-type of thinking, but I wonder how it would affect me as a person. It’s hard to tell. I don’t think I’d be nearly as ambitious.

    *Edited 9/2/2014 to add a sentence.