The Mental Habits of Financial Health


In this week’s episode of Retire in Texas, Darryl Lyons, CEO and co-founder of PAX Financial Group, breaks down the psychology of poverty and the mindset that perpetuates it. Reflecting on personal experiences and observations, Darryl explores the habits and beliefs that distinguish a poor mindset from a wealthy one, regardless of actual financial status.

Key highlights include:

*Darryl’s personal anecdotes on the mental fog of financial struggle and its impact on decision-making.

*A comprehensive list of 20 thoughts and behaviors that characterize a poor mindset.

*Insightful discussions on the victim mentality, distrust of professionals, and the reluctance to seek help.

*The significance of loving one’s work, avoiding negative influences, and maintaining a positive reputation.

*Practical advice on shifting from a scarcity mentality to an abundance mindset, and the importance of investing and long-term thinking.

Darryl’s candid insights aim to help listeners identify and change the poor mindset, fostering better financial habits and outcomes. Tune in to gain a deeper understanding of how your thoughts influence your financial health, and visit PAXFinancialGroup.com for more resources.

If you enjoyed today’s episode, make sure to leave a comment and share the show with a friend!


Hey, this is Darryl Lyons, CEO and co-founder of Pax Financial Group. Thanks for tuning in. And as always, this information is general in-nature only. It’s not intended to provide specific investment tax or legal advice. Visit PAXFinancialGroup.com for more information. 

And then also I want to encourage you, if you haven’t ever met with a PAX advisor, it’s a good idea. I’m really proud of our team and there’s a “Connect Now” button on the website. That you can get a 15-minute console just to see if it’s a good fit. 

And so, I would encourage you to do that just to see if maybe PAX and you can walk life together and we can guide you through all these money decisions, but especially as we come into this election year and all the noise that’s coming at us.

So, all right, well, I want to talk about being poor. And you know I was – this was, born a few years ago. I was in my 30s, early 30s, late 20s and I was – somewhere around there, and I was driving to H-E-B, grocery store for those that aren’t in the South Texas area. And I was pulling into a spot with shade, like a shady spot for my vehicle.

And then I also found a curb so that the probability of somebody digging my car goes down 50% because there’s only one car will go next to me. But here’s the thing. When I pulled in, I go, “How come I never thought of this before?” Like, I wasn’t like happy that I had this newfound idea of parking. I was actually asking myself, what the heck you know, this has been, I’ve been driving for 20 years. Whatever. 15 years. 

Why am I just now thinking of this? And I thought about it, and I realized that when I was worried about debt and credit cards and paying bills, like that’s where your mind is. It is so cloudy and so foggy when you’re broke and when you’re poor that you just don’t think of these little things. And so I really want to unpack the thinking behind being poor.

And for those that don’t know, I, you know, I didn’t grow up with a lot of money. We had stops and starts financially. And that experience growing up without money really made me think deeply about money. And so, being poor is very interesting because if I were to ask a group of people, like let’s say 100 people in a room and I said, “Who in here is poor?” No one would really raise their hand because it’s all relative. Like I’m poor relative to who? 

And when we think about being poor, we also think about, like contrast that to broke. Now I will tell you broke is temporary, but poor is permanent. Poor is really a state of mind. It’s a way of thinking, a way of thinking that leads to habits and behaviors and ultimately outcomes in life.

Like you could even still, you could even have a ton of money right now, but still be poor. In you’re thinking. I’ve seen it. I’ve seen it with lottery winners or think about athletes. I’ve seen – there’s plenty of rich people with this poor mindset. 

So I’ve been reflecting about this. What is this poor mindset all about? And so I created a list of 20, that I’m going to go through, 20 thoughts that poor people have.

Again, poor mindset. Don’t get all squirrely about me that I’m picking on poor people, at all. My intent is to help you get out of this mindset. Whether you’re rich or poor. Doesn’t matter. Get out of this mindsense, this nonsense, mindsense. Nonsense of a mindset. 

So here it is. Here’s the list of 20. You know you’re poor if. You know you’re poor if…

Number one, you’re a victim. 

If you’re always blaming others. Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, said it really well. He said that the most successful executives and CEOs and leaders have a window mirror point of view in life. When things go well, they look out the window, but when things go bad, they look in the mirror.

Number two, you know you’re poor if you don’t trust professionals. 

If you always think of professionals trying to rip you off. “Oh that doctor, he’s just sending me to a lab because he just wants to make more money. Or an attorney, he’s just making me do this trust because he just wants to make more money.” Yes, there are bad people out there, but if you are constantly, constantly bashing professionals and not building relationships with them over time, yeah, that’s a poor mindset, 100%.

Three, if you don’t ask for help, you know you’re poor if you don’t ask for help.

I had a friend the other day that called me and he’s like, “I need your help, but I don’t want my wife to know I’m calling you.” I’m like, “Why? I mean, I don’t understand.” “Well, you know, she just likes to keep things private.” And I get that, but I’m a professional in this space of finance, and you need help.

And what I’m hearing is that your pride is not going to get you to a place where you’re trusting a professional. So tell me, how is that good for you? So if you don’t ask for help, the really, the root of it is pride. And that’s just a state of mind by poor people. 

Number four, you know you’re poor if you don’t love your work, you don’t love your work.

Now, you may have not chosen your job. You know you hear about all this, “Hey, find a job you love and you never work a day in your life.” And many people just get a job because they just have to survive. 

And if you don’t, if you’re in a situation where you didn’t choose your job, you do have a choice to love your job. Hear me out. You have a choice to love your job and stop complaining and delight. Hear me out. Delight in serving others and that’s where you will find love for your job. 

You know you’re poor if number five, you want to drag other people down, you want to drag other people down. 

Like if you see somebody maybe studying or starting a business, you’re like, “Man, hey, just don’t take life so seriously. Come hang out.”

I mean, I got to tell you on my journey to starting a business, I had many of people in my life, they’re like, “Man, just relax. Just just come on and hang out and don’t worry about it.” Like, get away from those people. 

But if you’re one of those people that drag people down every time they’re trying to make a difference in their life and trying to move forward, if you’re that person, then you’re probably poor.

Number six, you’re probably poor, or you know you’re poor if you give the government too much credit, if you give the government too much credit. 

And so, I asked somebody a long time ago, “Why do you, you know, why do you vote Democrat?” And they said, “Well,” – this is a true story, “Well, my paycheck always goes up there on Social Security. My paycheck always goes up when I vote Democrat.”

Now, this is just somebody who is expecting way too much from the federal government. I find that people who are successful, they’re going to strap down that chin strap and crush through that wall, regardless of the resources they get from the government. And,  hear me out with an election coming up, they’re going to press forward regardless of who’s in office.

Number seven, you know, you’re poor if you neglect your mind. 

You know, rich people, they breed, they think deeply. You know you’re poor if you spend hours scrolling on Reels, except mine, you can do mine. But Instagram Reels, Facebook, if you’re doing that hour after hour, it is, it is absolutely destructive to your brain. 

Number eight, you know you’re poor if you think money is bad, if you think money is bad.

Doctor Rabbi Lapin, he studies the Jewish population, obviously Jewish. And he said that what makes the Jewish people different is not this secret society or this really unbelievable intelligence. What makes them different is this, collectively, they believe sincerely that money is honorable and good. You might be poor if you think money is bad. 

Number nine, you might be poor if you don’t invest.

I’ll do it tomorrow. I, you know what? No one, and I know has regrets. No one that I know has regrets for investing over the last ten years, regardless of returns. Almost everyone says, “I wish I would have done more.” You know you’re poor if you don’t invest.

Number ten, you know you’re poor if you discount the power of reputation.

This is huge. And something I tell my kids and you know this, takes years and decades to build up a reputation and they can be destroyed in seconds. I feel that pressure personally. I know that’s there. Seconds and we see it all the time. 

11, you might be poor or you know you’re poor. I gotta say might, know whatever. You know you’re poor if you work and then spend the money and work again.

I was talking to a friend who lives in a small town in East Texas, and he said, “In this small town, people will work. Then you won’t hear from them again once they get a paycheck. And then when they spend all that money, they come back and work again.” You know, you’re poor. If that’s the way you do life.

You know you’re poor if you play the lotto, if you play the lotto, which is a tax on poor people. 

You know there’s no Hebrew word for winning. For winning. That’s really not, that’s not the way we do life, is winning. We do life, rich people do life by earning.

Number 13, you know you’re poor if you think in terms of payments. 

You get a new truck. These sales people, they’ll love you to death. “Oh, what’s your payment?” “Well, I can afford 500 bucks.” Awesome. So all they do is stack on all the goodies, all the insurance, a little bit more interest rates, and they just extend it out from a seven year term to a ten year term. You’re a sucker. If you’re thinking of payments. 

Number 14, you know you’re poor if you don’t do favors for others without keeping a record.

So rich people in general, rich people state of mind, keep this in mind. They’ll do favors for others and just do favors. Poor people do favors and then hold this list and hold somebody accountable and bring it up. They could bring it up aggressively or passive aggressively. They keep a record of any favor. Any favor. 

Number 15, you know you’re poor if you’re scattered.

Oh, I got this new day trading thing. “Oh, I’m buying this other cryptocurrency. Oh, Hey, do you wanna, let me tell you about this new vitamins, multi-level marketing is everywhere in the church.” People don’t stick to anything. They don’t have any focus. They’re new ideas of the week. 

You know you’re poor if you have an “only live once” mentality, this is number 16.

You know, I was at an AT&T store years ago and buying a new iPhone. And, I go in there and she said, “Hey, I’ve got these headphones, they’re on sale. AirPods. And they’re on sale, 150 bucks.” I said, “Well, I didn’t plan to come in here, buy those, so I’m not going to buy them.” And, you know, she told me, she goes, “Well, you only live once.” That’s what poor people say to justify bad decisions. 

Number 17, you know you’re poor if you have a scarcity mentality, scarcity mentality.

You can Google this up. It’s a lot of research done here. Scarcity happens when you have a hard time celebrating somebody else’s success. Poor people have a scarcity mentality and they won’t celebrate somebody else’s success. 

Number 18, you know you’re poor if you say, you may not even say this, but you believe that you deserve it. 

I’m going to get mine. You know, thieves always have an excuse, “Why I stole from him because, you know, he should have been paying me more money or you know, I didn’t get my bonus check.” Thieves always have an excuse. They deserve it. 

Number 19, you might be poor, you know you’re poor if you’re an impulse buyer. 

In marketing people love impulse buyers. But rich people, wealthy people, they wait, they breathe, and they negotiate.

And finally, number 20, you know you’re poor if sleep doesn’t matter, sleep doesn’t matter. 

You stay up late watching nonsense shows. You drink alcohol so you never, you drink alcohol before you go to bed, so you never really hit that good REM sleep. There’s all kinds of nonsense. And then you wonder why your mind’s not functioning at a high capacity later in the day, or you’re tired. Poor people don’t think about sleep.

So there it is. Some of those might have been you. And remember, poor isn’t a financial condition. It’s a way of thinking about money that ultimately leads to bad habits and then bad outcomes. So if you find yourself wrestling with any of these habits, I do suggest that you fix it right away. Otherwise you may or may not know it, it is costing you a lot of money. 

So think differently. And when you think different, you think long-term. Have a great day.

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