I have this memory of when I was 12 years old. I wanted to go skiing with school. There was a big ski trip organised and I desperately wanted to go.
Back then my Dad worked away. He was a long distance lorry driver, only returning once a week for a few hours. Money was very tight back then, with my mum solely responsible for 3 young kids. I remember that I really wanted to go skiing – all my friends were going. It was the talk of the school. I wanted to ask my mum but deep down I already knew the answer.
Eventually I plucked up the courage to ask her. I remember, she was sitting in the armchair, my brothers outside playing. I could hear them. “Do you see the money tree out there in the back garden?” she said, pointing out the window. “Money doesn’t grow on trees you know.”
I felt dejected. I felt deflated. I felt upset that I wouldn’t be able to have this experience with my friends. But, I didn’t let it show. I didn’t want my mum to feel bad in anyway.
So, I internalised it. Over the years, I continued to hear talk of this money tree out there in the back garden.
I know millions of kids all over the world, from different backgrounds and cultures and in different languages, all hear talk of this money tree.
Let me take you back to 1968.
I want to tell you the story of a little girl. A girl who found a real love of reading early on in life. She learnt to read at the age of 3. Her grandma taught her. Her mother lived in extreme poverty and moved away to earn a living, leaving the girl with her Grandmother, until she could provide for her. The girl spent her early years in Mississippi with her Grandma. She moved a round a little as a child, moving to live with her mother, then on to Nashville to live with her Dad.
At the age of 9 she was sexually abused. This continued for a few years. The girl started to act out. She would skip school, date boys and steal money from her mother. Coming from a low income family and mixing with wealthy kids at an affluent high school, she was embarrassed by her financial situation and so she stole money from her mothers purse, to try to fit in with her peers. Fitting in was essential to this girl. You see, she was the only African-American student in an all-white school.
Fast forward 50 years. This woman broke ground by becoming one of the richest self-made women in America. Her Net Worth is $2.8 billion dollars. She’s gone from extreme poverty to America’s 1st black billionaire. Who is this girl?
I am, of course, talking about Oprah Winfrey.
From a young age, Oprah had a belief that she would make something of herself, despite the challenges she experienced in those early days.
All those messages you heard – and internalised as a child, you have a choice. You can accept the illusion that has been created for you, or you can create your own reality. You have the power to limit or expand what you get in life. And it all starts with the thoughts you think.
Money is energy and wealth is a state of mind. Think negatively and you will experience scarcity and lack. Think of money with love, gratitude and appreciation and you will increase your wealth – and happiness.
There is only one thing that blocks or restricts your wealth. And that is YOU. The best bit is… you have the power to change that in a heartbeat.