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#1 Key Ingredient to Wealth: Grit, Strong Motivation and Determination

Everyone wants to be wealthy but the sad reality is that not everyone can eventually achieve it.

Why is that so?

It is because many do not have the grit to endure and achieve wealth.

Where you want to grow your networth to

When you are deep in $50,000 debt and your net worth is negative, you will find it difficult to think that THERE IS a possibility of eliminating the $50,000 of debt.

Your lofty goal of achieving $1 mil in net worth looks so far away.

It is better to to make myself happy now since thinking about this $50,000 of debt makes me so sad. There is no way I could be able to clear it.

Why am I thinking of such negative things?

Hey it looks like there is another Taobao sale happening now, lets see what I can buy to cheer myself up…..

You may have seen the above conversation taking place with yourself, or overhead a co-worker or relative going on with their problems.

Wealth Problems looked very difficult to overcome that procrastination take place. The easier route is to chuck the problem aside.

This is not constraint to wealth problems. A career that goes nowhere, weight that skyrocketed and more and more health problems.

Why do some overcome such big problems in life to build vast amount of wealth, while others continue to degenerate from the same point?

Today, I am going to show you what I believe is one of the key ingredients that you need to have or build up in order to successfully build wealth: Strong Motivation / Determination / Being Intentional about Wealth

And I will go through some tools that will help you become more gritty, more determined about building wealth.

Why is motivation important?

Because you are doing something that is more challenging then what you are used to. You are doing something that is not easy. You are doing something out of your comfort zone.

If building wealth, or changing your health comes easy to you, then why are you reading things like this article in the first place? (other than trying to validate that what you been doing is correct)

It is not easy to scale a very tough mountain:

  1. Pay off a $10,000 credit card debt
  2. Earning much lower than your peers
  3. Building up a $4000/mth cash flow from your wealth machine to be financially independent
  4. Save $100,000 in 20 years for your children’s education
  5. Saving while seemingly all your take home income hardly make ends meet

The difference that separates those who manage to build wealth and those who still give themselves excuses, or procrastinate on things is how motivated.

A strong determination to overcome allows you to push through many barriers that were stopping you from achieving your goal.

Does Wealth have a high priority in your Life?

Your Motivation to Build Wealth

Motivation like all things is a meter. You are normally not always unmotivated about having more money, or you are not driven with insane thoughts of making a huge pile of money.

Most of the time you have little motivation about building wealth.

You THINK you are motivated, but you are not. You are just a little motivated.

How do I tell that?

Here are some evidence:

  • Your boss is not promoting you, not giving you the increment, you don’t see this job going anywhere, yet you still stay in the same working place
  • You said you want to be rich. When someone tells you there is this free book on how Warren Buffett builds his wealth, you said you are not so much of a reading person
  • You said that you shouldn’t be spending so much, and then proceed to eat out at premium restaurants every night
  • You are in debt, you told your girlfriend that you will not get into debt once you pay off the debt, but when you see a limited edition Playstation 4, you beg your girlfriend to let you buy it.
  • You think you need more money now that you have a child, but in your free time, which is a lot, you spend more time playing video games then finding a second job to supplement the main income

What are the similarities with the evidence? There is little actions that show you place Wealth as a PRIORITY.

The people who use their poor circumstances as fuel to motivate them will do things rather differently:

  • They do not know how to get themselves out of debt, but seek mentors, family or agency help to provide some kind of solutions to their wealth problems
  • They are so busy with work, yet their fire to break this cycle is so great that they use the little time they have to build up competency in one form of wealth building
  • While their friends are enjoying the free time in their university breaks, they take the time to attend the modules that they think will enrich them, take on 2 students to teach tuition
  • He knows he always doesn’t like to read, but the motivation to get out of poverty is so strong he starts reading numerous articles on how to build wealth, watch hours of YOUTUBE videos on building wealth
  • They take on 1 more weekend job so that they can clear their debts faster
  • While he likes to eat at cafes and is something that he cannot see himself not doing, he decides to stop going because it will drastically go towards paying down his debt

The best testament of how motivated you are to build wealth is this:

If I go through a plan with you, showing you step by step what you need to do, to change in your life so that you can start building wealth, and continue to build it, what is the probability you believe you can successfully reach your wealth goal?

You would probably say 40%- 70%

What if I capture and take your son away, and said that if you do not have that sum of money, you are not going to see your son again?

Your motivation level is likely to be closer to 100%.

We all have different motivation levels and having more of it makes you more likely to push yourself towards the goal. And strong determinations translate into ACTIONS.

You may want to help a friend who is deep in debt, or unable to save money.

How do the person’s motivation level change?

Rock Bottom

Usually people wake up and feel a need to cut away their pain when the pain threshold build up to a certain level that becomes intolerable.

The hardiest of people who are most stubborn and unwilling to listen to you softens when they have no other places to turn to.

If it is a good friend or a family member, be around them, do something not directly connected with them to place a marker in their head that you tend to have solutions to these type of problems, or you are the most rational thinker in the group of friends or family member.

When the time comes, it is easier to bridge the connection and provide the encouragement, the systems/processes and the environment to increase their motivation and make the decision to improve their state of wealth.

Build Trust

This sounds very manipulative but to be able to influence the person to increase his or her motivation, they got to trust you first. If  not how else are you going to get started.

Some of the most difficult folks to tackle are sensitive people, and they probably do not listen to much people, except people they respect a lot.

That would probably mean carrying yourself in a manner that people look up to.

This doesn’t always work, if not find out what the person respect more, convince the person to shift his thinking.

Spiritual / Higher State

In my experience, many drug addicts or folks in deep problems change when they reconnect with their faith or develop a connection to a particular faith.

For people deeper into their faith, they have more trust in the messages conveyed through their faith.

It would be easier to shift the person’s beliefs and values through religious teachings to be more aligned with the importance of building wealth.

Shifting your Beliefs and Values

Whether it is helping another person or motivating yourself, what can be a valuable tool is shifting the beliefs.

Cayden Chang from MindKinesis shared with me that while the Spiritual level and a persons identity might be difficult to connect and change, strategic shifts in a person’s belief and values can be carried out.

Often this involves imagining the positive feelings that reaching such a state of wealth can bring to you or the person.

Then the set of negative belief will be able to be shifted and then more positive questions such as “how can I go about reaching that state of wealth?”

When the Wealth Goal turns out to be nearer than they IMAGINE

When we do not have knowledge or wisdom, we sometimes think that, to get to where we are satisfied, we need a sum of money that look so far away.

Because the goal look so far away, we do not have enough motivation to work towards it.

Many software engineers in the USA said that their motivation level shifted to a higher gear, when they realize the goal to reach financial independence is closer than they think.

how much wealth you need versus how much you actually need

Over here at Investment Moats, what we do is to let you know how to know where you are and how to work out where you needed to get to, to reach the state of wealth to match your aspirations.

When we do not have the facts and knowledge to work things out, goals look far and motivation level is low.

But what if you realize that you can gain Financial Security with just $300,000 for a single person? Perhaps for a person earning $80,000 a year, it could be motivating for you to save 70% of your income for 5 years to reach that goal.

Developing Grit

Grit is a trait in us that is seldom talked about. Perhaps because we tend to favor IQ and being smart in our society more than anything else.

However, what if a smart person encounters failure without grit?

Grit is the character trait in us to be very determined to ENDURE FAILURES and push past them to reach success.

Many of the worlds top business people have to learn from each of their failures to reach where they are now. That is Grit.

It isn’t something that is taught a lot in today’s school because it doesn’t condone failure and trying.

It is mostly in failure that you learn what doesn’t work in this situation and how we can pivot.

In building wealth, you will encounter many failures:

  1. You realize the wealth building method makes you lose a lot of money
  2. Despite how determine you are to build wealth, your family member keeps squandering the money away
  3. Almost all the wealth building method you tried doesn’t work

If you have grit, you will push through and find what works.

In wealth building, smarts is important but you do not build and retain wealth based only on smarts but also strong determination to stay the course.

You need Grit in Wealth Building.


Ask yourself the same question again. How motivated are you to build wealth?

Be truthful to what extend you are willing to go.

In life you don’t have to have a large amount of wealth, and that is OK.

But if you want a certain amount of it, you got to be determined enough to prioritize your life to get it.

Determination acts as the rocket fuel to to push you along wealth building, but motivation and determination alone is NOT ENOUGH.

I will be going through the other 3 key ingredients that determines your success in building wealth.

P.S: you will realize you can easily replace building wealth with getting a trim stomach, removing anxiety from life, eating healthy or having a wonderful career. The ingredients to having lots of money are the same for other life goals as well.

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Sunday 20th of February 2022

"Ask yourself the same question again. How motivated are you to build wealth?" - I guess I'm more motivated to avoid pain and discomfort than building wealth.


Tuesday 5th of January 2016

Hi Kyith

Yes, the key to financial independence is our saving rate and our expenses. Our savings rate is dependent on our savings motivation.

I have an interesting observation about savings motivation. It’s hard to explain. I will try to describe to you. Let’s use the 100k saving target as an example • When bank account is less than $500 bucks, saving motivation is zero. (try so long, still no result, what’s the point) • Breaking the first 10k – I see a bit of result… however, there is still the “ save so hard still so little) • Breaking the 30k mark – feeling more motivation to save. Became more active in saving. turned into a penny pinching monster and hanging out in frugal sub in reddit. • Breaking the 50k mark – full scale hoarding taking place.

I think it becomes easier to save when there is a decent balance in our piggy bank.


Wednesday 6th of January 2016

hey colin, thanks for this!

i somehow think that its so much hurdle to ever be successful by motivation. i think the other ingredient is much more conducive.

i felt that a system and motivation together works better.


Tuesday 5th of January 2016

May be some of them haven't meet real person with real story to share with them without marketing gimmick.


Tuesday 5th of January 2016

I agree. The task seems more difficult or impossible for ppl actually in the situation. Motivation will best come from someone who has been thru it and succeeded climbing out of debt.

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