KIYOSAKI ROBERT RICH DAD POOR DAD CHAPTER I-III LYRICS
Rich Dad, Poor Dad
As narrated by Robert Kiyosaki
I had two fathers, a rich one and a poor one. One was highly educated and intelligent; he had a Ph.D.
and completed four years of undergraduate work in less than two years. He then went on to Stanford
University, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University to do his advanced studies, all
on full financial scholarships. The other father never finished the eighth grade.
Both men were successful in their careers, working hard all their lives. Both earned substantial
incomes. Yet one struggled financially all his life. The other would become one of the richest men in
Hawaii. One died leaving tens of millions of dollars to his family, charities and his church. The other
left bills to be paid.
Both men were strong, charismatic and influential. Both men offered me advice, but they did not
advise the same things. Both men believed strongly in education but did not recommend the same
course of study.
If I had had only one dad, I would have had to accept or reject his advice. Having two dads advising
me offered me the choice of contrasting points of view; one of a rich man and one of a poor man.
Instead of simply accepting or rejecting one or the other, I found myself thinking more, comparing
and then choosing for myself.
The problem was, the rich man was not rich yet and the poor man not yet poor. Both were just
starting out on their careers, and both were struggling with money and families. But they had very
different points of view about the subject of money.
For example, one dad would say, "The love of money is the root of all evil." The other, "The lack of
money is the root of all evil."
As a young boy, having two strong fathers both influencing me was difficult. I wanted to be a good
son and listen, but the two fathers did not say the same things. The contrast in their points of view,
particularly where money was concerned, was so extreme that I grew curious and intrigued. I began
to start thinking for long periods of time about what each was saying.
Much of my private time was spent reflecting, asking myself questions such as, "Why does he say
that?" and then asking the same question of the other dad's statement. It would have been much
easier to simply say, "Yeah, he's right. I agree with that." Or to simply reject the point of view by
saying, "The old man doesn't know what he's talking about." Instead, having two dads whom I loved
forced me to think and ultimately choose a way of thinking for myself. As a process, choosing for
myself turned out to be much more valuable in the long run, rather than simply accepting or rejecting
a single point of view.
One of the reasons the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, and the middle class struggles in debt is
because the subject of money is taught at home, not in school. Most of us learn about money from
our parents. So what can a poor parent tell their child about money? They simply say "Stay in school
and study hard." The child may graduate with excellent grades but with a poor person's financial
programming and mind-set. It was learned while the child was young.
Money is not taught in schools. Schools focus on scholastic and professional skills, but not on
financial skills. This explains how smart bankers, doctors and accountants who earned excellent
grades in school may still struggle financially all of their lives. Our staggering national debt is due in
large part to highly educated politicians and government officials making financial decisions with
little or no training on the subject of money.
I often look ahead to the new millennium and wonder what will happen when we have millions of
people who will need financial and medical assistance. They will be dependent on their families or
the government for financial support. What will happen when Medicare and Social Security run out
of money? How will a nation survive if teaching children about money continues to be left to
parents-most of whom will be, or already are, poor?
Because I had two influential fathers, I learned from both of them. I had to think about each dad's
advice, and in doing so, I gained valuable
insight into the power and effect of one's thoughts on one's life. For example, one dad had a habit of saying, "I can't afford it." The other dad forbade those words to be used. He insisted I say, "How can
I afford it?" One is a statement, and the other is a question. One lets you off the hook, and the other
forces you to think. My soon-to-be-rich dad would explain that by automatically saying the words "I
can't afford it," your brain stops working. By asking the question "How can I afford it?" your brain is
put to work. He did not mean buy everything you wanted. He was fanatical about exercising your
mind, the most powerful computer in the world. "My brain gets stronger every day because I exercise
it. The stronger it gets, the more money I can make." He believed that automatically saying "I can't
afford it" was a sign of mental laziness.
Although both dads worked hard, I noticed that one dad had a habit of putting his brain to sleep
when it came to money matters, and the other had a habit of exercising his brain. The long-term
result was that one dad grew stronger financially and the other grew weaker. It is not much different
from a person who goes to the gym to exercise on a regular basis versus someone who sits on the
couch watching television. Proper physical exercise increases your chances for health, and proper
mental exercise increases your chances for wealth. Laziness decreases both health and wealth.
My two dads had opposing attitudes in thought. One dad thought that the rich should pay more in
taxes to take care of those less fortunate. The other said, "Taxes punish those who produce and
reward those who don't produce."
One dad recommended, "Study hard so you can find a good company to work for." The other
recommended, "Study hard so you can find a good company to buy."
One dad said, "The reason I'm not rich is because I have you kids." The other said, "The reason I
must be rich is because I have you kids."
One encouraged talking about money and business at the dinner ,table. The other forbade the
subject of money to be discussed over a meal.
One said, "When it comes to money, play it safe, don't take risks." The other said, "Learn to manage
One believed, "Our home is our largest investment and our greatest asset." The other believed, "My
house is a liability, and if your house is your largest investment, you're in trouble."
Both dads paid their bills on time, yet one paid his bills first while the other paid his bills last.
One dad believed in a company or the government taking care of you and your needs. He was always
concerned about pay raises, retirement plans, medical benefits, sick leave, vacation days and other
perks. He was impressed with two of his uncles who joined the military and earned a retirement and
entitlement package for life after twenty years of active service. He loved the idea of medical
benefits and PX privileges the military provided its retirees. He also loved the tenure system
available through the university. The idea of job protection for life and job benefits seemed more
important, at times, than the job. He would often say, "I've worked hard for the government, and I'm
entitled to these benefits."
The other believed in total financial self-reliance. He spoke out against the "entitlement" mentality
and how it was creating weak and financially needy people. He was emphatic about being financially
One dad struggled to save a few dollars. The other simply created investments.
One dad taught me how to write an impressive resume so I could find a good job. The other taught
me how to write strong business and financial plans so I could create jobs.
Being a product of two strong dads allowed me the luxury of observing the effects different thoughts
have on one's life. I noticed that people really do shape their life through their thoughts.
For example, my poor dad always said, "I'll never be rich." And that prophesy became reality. My
rich dad, on the other hand, always referred to himself as rich. He would say things like, "I'm a rich
man, and rich people don't do this." Even when he was flat broke after a major financial setback, he
continued to refer to himself as a rich man. He would cover himself by saying, "There is a difference
between being poor and being broke. - Broke is temporary, and poor is eternal."
My poor dad would also say, "I'm not interested in money," or "Money doesn't matter." My rich dad
always said, "Money is power."
The power of our thoughts may never be measured or appreciated, but it became obvious to me as a
young boy to be aware of my thoughts and how I expressed myself. I noticed that my poor dad was poor not because of the amount of money he earned, which was significant, but
because of his thoughts and actions. As a young boy, having two fathers, I became acutely aware of
being careful which thoughts I chose to adopt as my own. Whom should I listen to-my rich dad or my
Although both men had tremendous respect for education and learning, they disagreed in what they
thought was important to learn. One wanted me to study hard, earn a degree and get a good job to
work for money. He wanted me to study to become a professional, an attorney or an accountant or
to go to business school for my MBA. The other encouraged me to study to be rich, to understand
how money works and to learn how to have it work for me. "I don't work for money!" were words he
would repeat over and over, "Money works for me!"
At the age of 9, I decided to listen to and learn from my rich dad about money. In doing so, I chose
not to listen to my poor dad, even though he was the one with all the college degrees.
A Lesson From Robert Frost
Robert Frost is my favourite poet. Although I love many of his poems, my favorite is The Road Not
Taken. I use its lesson almost daily:
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I
stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and
wanted wear Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for
another day! Yet knowing how way leads onto way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence; Two roads diverged in a wood, and
I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
And that made all the difference.
Over the years, I have often reflected upon Robert Frost's poem. Choosing not to listen to my highly
educated dad's advice and attitude about money was a painful decision, but it was a decision that
shaped the rest of my life.
Once I made up my mind whom to listen to, my education about money began. My rich dad taught
me over a period of 30 years, until I was age 39. He stopped once he realized that I knew and fully
understood what he had been trying to drum into my often thick skull.
Money is one form of power. But what is more powerful is financial education. Money comes and
goes, but if you have the education about how money works, you gain power over it and can begin
building wealth. The reason positive thinking alone does not work is because most people went to
school and never learned how money works, so they spend their lives working for money.
Because I was only 9 years old when I started, the lessons my rich dad taught me were simple. And
when it was all said and done, there were only six main lessons, repeated over 30 years. This book is
about those six lessons, put as simply as possible as my rich dad put forth those lessons to me. The
lessons are not meant to be answers but guideposts. Guideposts that will assist you and your children
to grow wealthier no matter what happens in a world of increasing change and uncertainty.
Lesson #1 The Rich Don't Work for Money
Lesson #2 Why Teach Financial Literacy?
Lesson #3 Mind Your own Business
Lesson #4 The History of Taxes and the Power of Corporations
Lesson #5 The Rich Invent Money
Lesson #6 Work to Learn Don't Work for Money CHAPTER TWO
Lesson One: The Rich Don't Work For Money
"Dad, Can You Tell Me How to Get Rich?"
My dad put down the evening paper. "Why do you want to get rich, son?"
"Because today Jimmy's mom drove up in their new Cadillac, and they were going to their beach
house for the weekend. He took three of his friends, but Mike and I weren't invited. They told us we
weren't invited because we were 'poor kids'."
"They did?" my dad asked incredulously.
"Yeah, they did." I replied in a hurt tone.
My dad silently shook his head, pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose and went back to reading
the paper. I stood waiting for an answer.
The year was 1956. I was 9 years old. By some twist of fate, I attended the same public school where
the rich people sent their kids. We were primarily a sugar plantation town. The managers of the
plantation and the other affluent people of the town, such as doctors, business owners, and bankers,
sent their children to this school, grades 1 to 6. After grade 6, their children were generally sent off to
private schools. Because my family lived on one side of the street, I went to this school. Had I lived
on the other side of the street, I would have gone to a different school, with kids from families more
like mine. After grade 6,these kids and I would go on to the public intermediate and high school.
There was no private school for them or for me.
My dad finally put down the paper. I could tell he was thinking.
"Well, son," he began slowly. "If you want to be rich, you have to learn to make money."
"How do I make money?" I asked.
"Well, use your head, son," he said, smiling. Which really meant, "That's all I'm going to tell you," or
"I don't know the answer, so don't embarrass me."
A Partnership Is Formed
The next morning, I told my best friend, Mike, what my dad had said. As best I could tell, Mike and I
were the only poor kids in this school. Mike was like me in that he was in this school by a twist of
fate. Someone had drawn a jog in the line for the school district, and we wound up in school with the
rich kids. We weren't really poor, but we felt as if we were because all the other boys had new
baseball gloves, ,,,y
new bicycles, new everything.
Mom and dad provided us with the basics, like food, shelter, clothes. :, But that was about it. My dad
used to say, "If you want something, work for it." We wanted things, but there was not much work
available for 9- , year-old boys.
"So what do we do to make money?" Mike asked.
"I don't know," I said. "But do you want to be my partner?"
He agreed and so on that Saturday morning, Mike became my first business partner. We spent all
morning coming up with ideas on how to 1'make money. Occasionally we talked about all the "cool
guys" at Jimmy's beach house having fun. It hurt a little, but that hurt was good, for it inspired us to
keep thinking of a way to make money. Finally, that afternoon, a bolt of lightning came through our
heads. It was an idea Mike had gotten from a science book he had read. Excitedly, we shook hands,
and the partnership now had a business.
For the next several weeks, Mike and I ran around our neighborhood, knocking on doors and asking
our neighbors if they would save their toothpaste tubes for us. With puzzled looks, most adults
consented with a smile. Some asked us what we were doing. To which we replied, "We can't tell you.
It's a business secret."
My mom grew distressed as the weeks wore on. We had selected a
site next to her washing machine as the place we would stockpile our raw materials. In a brown
cardboard box that one time held catsup bottles, our little pile of used toothpaste tubes began to grow.
Finally my mom put her foot down. The sight of her neighbors' , messy, crumpled used toothpaste
tubes had gotten to her. "What are you boys doing?" she asked. "And I don't want to hear again that
it's a business secret. Do something with this mess or I'm going to throw it out."
Mike and I pleaded and begged, explaining that we would soon have enough and then we would
begin production. We informed her that we were waiting on a couple of neighbors to finish using up
their toothpaste so we could have their tubes. Mom granted us a one-week extension.
The date to begin production was moved up. The pressure was on. My first partnership was already
being threatened with an eviction notice from our warehouse space by my own mom. It became
Mike's job to tell the neighbors to quickly use up their toothpaste, saying their dentist wanted them
to brush more often anyway. I began to put together the production line.
One day my dad drove up with a friend to see two 9-year-old boys . in the driveway with a
production line operating at full speed. There was fine white powder everywhere. On a long table
were small milk cartons from school, and our family's hibachi grill was glowing with red hot coals at
Dad walked up cautiously, having to park the car at the base of the driveway, since the production
line blocked the carport. As he and his friend got closer, they saw a steel pot sitting on top of the
coals, with the toothpaste tubes being melted down. In those days, toothpaste did not come in
plastic tubes. The tubes were made of lead. So once the paint was burned off, the tubes were
dropped in the small steel pot, melted until they became liquid, and with my mom's pot holders we
were pouring the lead through a small hole in the top of the milk cartons.
The milk cartons were filled with plaster-of-Paris. The white powder everywhere was the plaster
before we mixed it with water. In my haste, I had knocked the bag over, and the entire area look like
it had been hit by a snowstorm. The milk cartons were the outer containers for plaster-of-Paris
My dad and his friend watched as we carefully poured the molten lead through a small hole in the top
of the plaster-of-Paris cube.
"Careful," my dad said.
I nodded without looking up.
Finally, once the pouring was through, I put the steel pot down and smiled at my dad.
"What are you boys doing?" he asked with a cautious smile.
"We're doing what you told me to do. We're going to be rich," I said.
"Yup," said Mike, grinning and nodding his head. "We're partners."
"And what is in those plaster molds?" dad asked.
"Watch," I said. "This should be a good batch."
With a small hammer, I tapped at the seal that divided the cube in
half. Cautiously, I pulled up the top half of the plaster mold and a lead nickel fell out."
"Oh, my God!" my dad said. "You're casting nickels out of lead."
"That's right," Mike said. "We doing as you told us to do. We're making money."
My dad's friend turned and burst into laughter. My dad smiled and shook his head. Along with a fire
and a box of spent toothpaste tubes, in front of him were two little boys covered with white dust and
smiling from ear to ear.
He asked us to put everything down and sit with him on the front step of our house. With a smile, he
gently explained what the word "counterfeiting" meant.
Our dreams were dashed. "You mean this is illegal?" asked Mike in a
"Let them go," my dad's friend said. "They might be developing a natural talent."
My dad glared at him.
"Yes, it is illegal," my dad said gently. "But you boys have shown great creativity and original
thought. Keep going. I'm really proud of you!"
Disappointed, Mike and I sat in silence for about twenty minutes before we began cleaning up our
mess. The business was over on opening day. Sweeping the powder up, I looked at Mike and said, "I
guess Jimmy and his friends are right. We are poor."
My father was just leaving as I said that. "Boys," he said. "You're only poor if you give up. The most
important thing is that you did something. Most people only talk and dream of getting rich. You've
done something. I'm very proud of the two of you. I will say it again.
Keep going. Don't quit."
Mike and I stood there in silence. They were nice words, but we still did not know what to do.
"So how come you're not rich, dad?" I asked.
"Because I chose to be a schoolteacher. Schoolteachers really don't think about being rich. We just
like to teach. I wish I could help you, but I really don't know how to make money."
Mike and I turned and continued our clean up.
"I know," said my dad. "If you boys want to learn how to be rich, don't ask me. Talk to your dad,
"My dad?" asked Mike with a scrunched up face.
"Yeah, your dad," repeated my dad with a smile. "Your dad and I have the same banker, and he
raves about your father. He's told me several times that your father is brilliant when it comes to
"My dad?" Mike asked again in disbelief. "Then how come we don't have a nice car and a nice house
like the rich kids at school?"
"A nice car and a nice house does not necessarily mean you're rich or you know how to make
money," my dad replied. "Jimmy's dad works for the sugar plantation. He's not much different from
me. He works for a company, and I work for the government. The company buys the car for him.
The sugar company is in financial trouble, and Jimmy's dad may soon have nothing. Your dad is
different Mike. He seems to be building an empire, and I suspect in a few years he will be a very rich
With that, Mike and I got excited again. With new vigor, we began cleaning up the mess caused by
our now defunct first business. As we were cleaning, we made plans on how and when to talk to
Mike's dad. The problem was that Mike's dad worked long hours and often did not come home until
late. His father owned warehouses, a construction company, a chain of stores, and three restaurants.
It was the restaurants that kept him out late.
Mike caught the bus home after we had finished cleaning up. He was going to talk to his dad when
he got home that night and ask him if he would teach us how to become rich. Mike promised to call
as soon as he had talked to his dad, even if it was late.
The phone rang at 8:30 p.m.
"OK," I said. "Next Saturday." And put the phone down. Mike's dad had agreed to meet with Mike
At 7:30 Saturday morning, I caught the bus to the poor side of town.
The Lessons Begin:
"I'll pay you 10 cents an hour. "
Even by 1956 pay standards, 10 cents an hour was low.
Michael and I met with his dad that morning at 8 o'clock. He was already busy and had been at work
for more than an hour. His construction supervisor was just leaving in his pickup truck as I walked
up to his simple, small and tidy home. Mike met me at the door.
"Dad's on the phone, and he said to wait on the back porch," Mike said as he opened the door.
The old wooden floor creaked as I steppedacross the threshold of this aging house. There was a
cheap mat just inside the door. The mat was there to hide the years of wear from countless footsteps
that the floor had supported. Although clean, it needed to be replaced.
I felt claustrophobic as I entered the narrow living room, which was filled with old musty overstuffed
furniture that today would be collector's items. Sitting on the couch were two women, a little older
than my mom. Across from the women sat a man in workman's clothes. He wore khaki slacks and a
khaki shirt, neatly pressed but without starch, and polished work books. He was about 10 years older
than my dad; I'd say about 45 years old. They smiled as Mike and I walked past them, heading for the
kitchen, which lead to the porch that overlooked the back yard. I smiled back shyly.
"Who are those people?" I asked.
"Oh, they work for my dad. The older man runs his warehouses, and the women are the managers of
the restaurants. And you saw the construction supervisor, who is working on a road project about 50
miles from here. His other supervisor, who is building a track of houses, had already left before you
"Does this go on all the time?" I asked.
"Not always, but quite often," said Mike, smiling as he pulled up a chair to sit down next to me.
"I asked him if he would teach us to make money," Mike said.
"Oh, and what did he say to that?" I asked with cautious curiosity.
"Well, he had a funny look on his face at first, and then he said he would make us an offer."
"Oh," I said, rocking my chair back against the wall; I sat there
perched on two rear legs of the chair.
Mike did the same thing.
"Do you know what the offer is?" I asked.
"No, but we'll soon find out."
Suddenly, Mike's dad burst through the rickety screen door and onto the porch. Mike and I jumped
to our feet, not out of respect but because we were startled.
"Ready boys?" Mike's dad asked as he pulled up a chair to sit down
We nodded our heads as we pulled our chairs away from the wall to sit in front of him.
He was a big man, about 6 feet tall and 200 pounds. My dad was taller, about the same weight, and
five years older than Mike's dad. They sort of looked alike, though not of the same ethnic makeup.
Maybe their energy was similar.
"Mike says you want to learn to make money? Is that correct, Robert?"
I nodded my head quickly, but with a little intimidation. He had a lot of power behind his words and
"OK, here's my offer. I'll teach you, but I won't do it classroom-style. You work for me, I'll teach
you. You don't work for me, I won't teach you. I can teach you faster if you work, and I'm wasting
my time if you just want to sit and listen, like you do in school. That's my offer. Take it or leave it."
"Ah... may I ask a question first?" I asked.
"No. Take it or leave it. I've got too much work to do to waste my time. If you can't make up you
mind decisively, then you'll never learn to make money anyway. Opportunities come and go. Being
able to know when to make quick decisions is an important skill. You have an opportunity that you
asked for. School is beginning or it's over in ten seconds," Mike's dad said with a teasing smile.
"Take it," I said. '
"Take it," said Mike.
"Good," said Mike's dad. "Mrs. Martin will be by in ten minutes. After I'm through with her, you ride
with her to my superette and you can begin working. I'll pay you 10 cents an hour and you will work
for three hours every Saturday."
"But I have a softball game today," I said.
Mike's dad lowered his voice to a stern tone. "Take it or leave it," he
"I'll take it," I replied, choosing to work and learn instead of playing softball.
30 Cents Later
By 9 a.m. on a beautiful Saturday morning, Mike and I were working for Mrs. Martin. She was a kind
and patient woman. She always said that Mike and I reminded her of her two sons who were grown
and gone. Although kind, she believed in hard work and she kept us working. She was a task master.
We spent three hours taking canned goods off the shelves and, with a feather duster, brushing each
can to get the dust off, and then re-stacking them neatly. It was excruciatingly boring work.
Mike's dad, whom I call my rich dad, owned nine of these little superettes with large parking lots.
They were the early version of the 7-11 convenience stores. Little neighborhood grocery stores where
people bought items such as milk, bread, butter and cigarettes. The problem was, this was Hawaii
before air conditioning, and the stores could not close its doors because of the heat. On two sides of the store, the doors had to be wide open to the road and parking lot. Every time a car drove by or
pulled into the parking lot, dust would swirl and settle in the store.
Hence, we had a job for as long as there was no air conditioning.
For three weeks, Mike and I reported to Mrs. Martin and worked our three hours. By noon, our work
was over, and she dropped three little dimes in each of our hands. Now, even at the age of 9 in the
mid-1950s, 30 cents was not too exciting. Comic books cost 10 cents back then, so I usually spent
my money on comic books and went home.
By Wednesday of the fourth week, I was ready to quit. I had agreed to work only because I wanted to
learn to make money from Mike's dad, and now I was a slave for 10 cents an hour. On top of that, I
had not seen Mike's dad since that first Saturday.
"I'm quitting," I told Mike at lunchtime. The school lunch was miserable. School was boring, and
now I did not even have my Saturdays to look forward to. But it was the 30 cents that really got to
This time Mike smiled.
"What are you laughing at?" I asked with anger and frustration.
"Dad said this would happen. He said to meet with him when you were ready to quit."
"What?" I said indignantly. "He's been waiting for me to get fed up?"
"Sort of," Mike said. "Dad's kind of different. He teaches differently from your dad. Your mom and
dad lecture a lot. My dad is quiet and a man of few words. You just wait till this Saturday. I'll tell him
"You mean I've been set up?"
"No, not really, but maybe. Dad will explain on Saturday."
Waiting in Line on Saturday
I was ready to face him and I was prepared. Even my real dad was angry with him. My real dad, the
one I call the poor one, thought that my rich dad was violating child labor laws and should be
My educated poor dad told me to demand what I deserve. At least 25 cents an hour. My poor dad
told me that if I did not get a raise, I was to quit immediately.
"You don't need that damned job anyway," said my poor dad with indignity.
At 8 o'clock Saturday morning, I was going through the same rickety door of Mike's house.
"Take a seat and wait in line," Mike's dad said as I entered. He turned and disappeared into his little
office next to a bedroom.
I looked around the room and did not see Mike anywhere. Feeling awkward, I cautiously sat down
next to the same two women who where there four weeks earlier. They smiled and slid across the
couch to make room for me.
Forty-five minutes went by, and I was steaming. The two women had met with him and left thirty
minutes earlier. An older gentleman was in there for twenty minutes and was also gone.
The house was empty, and I sat out in his musty dark living room on a beautiful sunny Hawaiian day,
waiting to talk to a cheapskate who exploited children. I could hear him rustling around the office,
talking on the phone, and ignoring me. I was now ready to walk out, but for some reason I stayed.
Finally, fifteen minutes later, at exactly 9 o'clock, rich dad walked out of his office, said nothing, and
signaled with his hand for me to enter his dingy office.
"I understand you want a raise or you're going to quit," rich dad said as he swiveled in his office
"Well, you're not keeping your end of the bargain," I blurted out nearly in tears. It was really
frightening for a 9-year-old boy to confront a grownup.
"You said that you would teach me if I worked for you. Well, I've worked for you. I've worked hard.
I've given up my baseball games to work for you. And you don't keep your word. You haven't taught
me anything. You are a crook like everyone in town thinks you are. You're greedy. You want all the
money and don't take care of your employees. You make me wait and don't show me any respect. I'm
only a little boy, and I deserve to be treated better."
Rich dad rocked back in his swivel chair, hands up to his chin, somewhat staring at me. It was like he was studying me.
"Not bad," he said. "In less than a month, you sound like most of my employees."
"What?" I asked. Not understanding what he was saying, I continued with my grievance. "I thought
you were going to keep your end of the bargain and teach me. Instead you want to torture me? That's
cruel. That's really cruel."
"I am teaching you," rich dad said quietly.
"What have you taught me? Nothing!" I said angrily. "You haven't even talked to me once since I
agreed to work for peanuts. Ten cents an hour. Hah! I should notify the government about you.
We have child labor laws, you know. My dad works for the government, you know."
"Wow!" said rich dad. "Now you sound just like most of the people who used to work for me.
People I've either fired or they've quit."
"So what do you have to say?" I demanded, feeling pretty brave for a little kid. "You lied to me. I've
worked for you, and you have not kept your word. You haven't taught me anything."
"How do you know that I've not taught you anything?" asked rich dad calmly.
"Well, you've never talked to me. I've worked for three weeks, and you have not taught me
anything," I said with a pout.
"Does teaching mean talking or a lecture?" rich dad asked.
"Well, yes," I replied.
"That's how they teach you in school," he said smiling. "But that is not how life teaches you, and I
would say that life is the best teacher of all. Most of the time, life does not talk to you. It just sort of
pushes you around. Each push is life saying, 'Wake up. There's something I want you to learn.' "
"What is this man talking about?" I asked myself silently. "Life pushing me around was life talking to
me?" Now I knew I had to quit my job. I was talking to someone who needed to be locked up.
"If you learn life's lessons, you will do well. If not, life will just continue to push you around. People
do two things. Some just let life push them around. Others get angry and push back. But they push
back against their boss, or their job, or their husband or wife. They do not know it's life that's
I had no idea what he was talking about.
"Life pushes all of us around. Some give up. Others fight. A few learn the lesson and move on. They
welcome life pushing them around. To these few people, it means they need and want to learn
something. They learn and move on. Most quit, and a few like you fight."
Rich dad stood and shut the creaky old wooden window that needed repair. "If you learn this lesson,
you will grow into a wise, wealthy and happy young man. If you don't, you will spend your life
blaming a job, low pay or your boss for your problems. You'll live life hoping for that big break that
will solve all your money problems."
Rich dad looked over at me to see if I was still listening. His eyes met mine. We stared at each other,
streams of communication going between us through our eyes. Finally, I pulled away once I had
absorbed his last message. I knew he was right. I was blaming him, and I did ask to learn. I was
Rich dad continued. "Or if you're the kind of person who has no guts, you just give up every time life
pushes you. If you're that kind of person, you'll live all your life playing it safe, doing the right things,
saving yourself for some event that never happens. Then, you die a boring old man. You'll have lots
of friends who really like you because you were such a nice hard-working guy. You spent a life
playing it safe, doing the right things. But the truth is, you let life push you into submission. Deep
down you were terrified of taking risks. You really wanted to win, but the fear of losing was greater
than the excitement of winning. Deep inside, you and only you will know you didn't go for it. You
chose to play it safe."
Our eyes met again. For ten seconds, we looked at each other, only pulling away once the message
"You've been pushing me around" I asked.
"Some people might say that," smiled rich dad. "I would say that I just gave you a taste of life."
"What taste of life?" I asked, still angry, but now curious. Even ready to learn.
"You boys are the first people that have ever asked me to teach them how to make money. I have more than 150 employees, and not one of them has asked me what I know about money. They ask
me for a job and a paycheck, but never to teach them about money. So most will spend the best
years of their lives working for money, not really understanding what it is they are working for."
I sat there listening intently.
"So when Mike told me about you wanting to learn how to make money, I decided to design a course
that was close to real life. I could talk until I was blue in the face, but you wouldn't hear a thing. So I
decided to let life push you around a bit so you could hear me. That's why I only paid you 10 cents."
"So what is the lesson I learned from working for only 10 cents an hour?" I asked. "That you're
cheap and exploit your workers?"
Rich dad rocked back and laughed heartily. Finally, after his laughing stopped, he said, "You'd best
change your point of view. Stop blaming me, thinking I'm the problem. If you think I'm the problem,
then you have to change me. If you realize that you're the problem, then you can change yourself,
learn something and grow wiser. Most people want everyone else in the world to change but
themselves. Let me tell you, it's easier to change yourself than everyone else."
"I don't understand," I said.
"Don't blame me for your problems," rich dad said, growing impatient.
"But you only pay me 10 cents."
"So what are you learning?" rich dad asked, smiling.
"That you're cheap," I said with a sly grin.
"See, you think I'm the problem," said rich dad.
"But you are."
"Well, keep that attitude and you learn nothing. Keep the attitude
that I'm the problem and what choices do you have?"
"Well, if you don't pay me more or show me more respect and teach me, I'll quit."
"Well put," rich dad said. "And that's exactly what most people do. They quit and go looking for
another job, better opportunity, and higher pay, actually thinking that a new job or more pay will
solve the problem. In most cases, it won't."
"So what will solve the problem?" I asked. "Just take this measly 10 cents an hour and smile?"
Rich dad smiled. "That's what the other people do. Just accept a paycheck knowing that they and
their family will struggle financially. But that's all they do, waiting for a raise thinking that more
money will solve the problem. Most just accept it, and some take a second job working harder, but
again accepting a small paycheck."
I sat staring at the floor, beginning to understand the lesson rich dad was presenting. I could sense it
was a taste of life. Finally, I looked up and repeated the question. "So what will solve the problem?"
"This," he said tapping me gently on the head. "This stuff between your ears."
It was at that moment that rich dad shared the pivotal point of view that separated him from his
employees and my poor dad-and led him to eventually become one of the richest men in Hawaii
while my highly educated, but poor, dad struggled financially all his life. It was a singular point of
view that made all the difference over a lifetime.
Rich dad said over and over, this point of view, which I call Lesson No. 1.
"The poor and the middle class work for money." "The rich have money work for them."
On that bright Saturday morning, I was learning a completely different point of view from what I had
been taught by my poor dad. At the age of 9, I grew aware that both dads wanted me to learn. Both
dads encouraged me to study... but not the same things.
My highly educated dad recommended that I do what he did. "Son, I want you to study hard, get
good grades, so you can find a safe, secure job with a big company. And make sure it has excellent
benefits." My rich dad wanted me to learn how money works so I could make it work for me. These
lessons I would learn through life with his guidance, not because of a classroom.
My rich dad continued my first lesson, "I'm glad you got angry about working for 10 cents an hour. If
you had not gotten angry and had gladly accepted it, I would have to tell you that I could not teach
you. You see, true learning takes energy, passion, a burning desire. Anger is a big part of that formula, for passion is anger and love combined. When it comes to money, most people want to play
it safe and feel secure. So passion does not direct them: Fear does."
"So is that why they'll take a job with low par?" I asked.
"Yes," said rich dad. "Some people say I exploit people because I don't pay as much as the sugar
plantation or the government. I say the people exploit themselves. It's their fear, not mine."
"But don't you feel you should pay them more?" I asked.
"I don't have to. And besides, more money will not solve the problem. Just look at your dad. He
makes a lot of money, and he still can't pay his bills. Most people, given more money, only get into
"So that's why the 10 cents an hour," I said, smiling. "It's a part of the lesson."
"That's right," smiled rich dad. "You see, your dad went to school and got an excellent education, so
he could get a high-paying job. Which he did. But he still has money problems because he never
learned anything about money at school. On top of that, he believes in working for money."
"And you don't?" I asked.
"No, not really," said rich dad. "If you want to learn to work for money, then stay in school. That is a
great place to learn to do that. But if you want to learn how to have money work for you, then I will
teach you that. But only if you want to learn."
"Wouldn't everyone want to learn that" I asked.
"No," said rich dad. "Simply because it's easier to learn to work for money, especially if fear is your
primary emotion when the subject of money is discussed."
"I don't understand," I said with a frown.
"Don't worry about that for now. Just know that it's fear that keeps most people working at a job.
The fear of not paying their bills. The fear of being fired. The fear of not having enough money. The
starting over. That's the price of studying to learn a profession or trade, and then working for money.
Most people become a slave to money... and then get angry at their boss."
"Learning to have money work for you is a completely different course of study?" I asked.
"Absolutely," rich dad answered, "absolutely."
We sat in silence on that beautiful Hawaiian Saturday morning. My friends would have just been
starting their Little League baseball game. But far some reason, I was now thankful I had decided to
work for 10 cents an hour. I sensed that I was about to learn something my friends would not learn in
"Ready to learn?" asked rich dad.
"Absolutely," I said with a grin.
"I have kept my promise. I've been teaching you from afar," my rich dad said. "At 9 years old, you've
gotten a taste of what it feels like to work for money. Just multiply your last month by fifty years and
you will have an idea of what most people spend their life doing."
"I don't understand," I said.
"How did you feel waiting in line to see me? Once to get hired and once to ask for more money?"
"Terrible," I said.
"If you choose to work for money, that is what life is like for many people," said rich dad.
"And how did you feel when Mrs. Martin dropped three dimes in your hand for three hours' work?"
"I felt like it wasn't enough. It seemed like nothing. I was disappointed," I said.
"And that is how most employees feel when they look at their paychecks. Especially after all the tax
and other deductions are taken out. At least you got 100 percent."
"You mean most workers don't get paid everything?" I asked with amazement.
"Heavens no!" said rich dad. "The government always takes its share first."
"How do they do that." I asked.
"Taxes," said rich dad. "You're taxed when you earn. You're taxed when you spend. You're taxed
when you save. You're taxed when you die."
"Why do people let the government do that to them?"
"The rich don't," said rich dad with a smile. "The poor and the middle class do. I'll bet you that I
earn more than your dad, yet he pays more in taxes."
"How can that be?" I asked. As a 9-year-old boy, that made no sense to me. "Why would someone
let the government do that to them?"
Rich dad sat there in silence. I guess he wanted me to listen instead of jabber away at the mouth.
Finally, I calmed down. I did not like what I had heard. I knew my dad complained constantly about
paying so much in taxes, but really did nothing about it. Was that life pushing him around?
Rich dad rocked slowly and silently in his chair, just looking at me.
"Ready to learn?" he asked.
I nodded my head slowly.
"As I said, there is a lot to learn. Learning how to have money work for you is a lifetime study. Most
people go to college for four years, and their education ends. I already know that my study of money
will continue over my lifetime, simply because the more I Find out, the more I find out I need to
know. Most people never study the subject. They go to work, get their paycheck, balance their
checkbooks, and that's it. On top of that, they wonder why they have money problems. Then, they
think that more money will solve the problem. Few realize that it's their lack of financial education
that is the problem."
"So my dad has tax problems because he doesn't understand money?" I asked, confused.
"Look," said rich dad. "Taxes are just one small section on learning how to have money work for
you. Today, I just wanted to find out if you still have the passion to learn about money. Most people
don't. They want to go to school, learn a profession, have fun at their work, and earn lots of money.
One day they wake up with big money problems, and then they can't stop working. That's the price
of only knowing how to work for money instead of studying how to have money work for you. So do
you still have the passion to learn?" asked rich dad.
I nodded my head.
"Good," said rich dad. "Now get back to work. This time, I will pay you nothing."
"What?" I asked in amazement.
"You heard me. Nothing. You will work the same three hours every
Saturday, but this time you will not be paid 10 cents per hour. You said you wanted to learn to not
work for money, so I'm not going to pay you anything."
I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
"I've already had this conversation with Mike. He's already working, dusting and stacking canned
goods for free. You'd better hurry and get back there."
"That's not fair," I shouted. "You've got to pay something."
"You said you wanted to learn. If you don't learn this now, you'll grow up to be like the two women
and the older man sitting in my living room, working for money and hoping I don't fire them. Or like
your dad, earning lots of money only to be in debt up to his eyeballs, hoping more money will solve
the problem. If that's what you want, I'll go back to our original deal of 10 cents an hour. Or you can
do what most people grow up to do. Complain that there is not enough pay, quit and go looking for
"But what do I do?" I asked.
Rich dad tapped me on the head. "Use this," he said. "If you use it well, you will soon thank me for
giving you an opportunity, and you will grow into a rich man."
I stood there still not believing what a raw deal I had been handed. Here I came to ask for a raise,
and now I was being told to keep working for nothing.
Rich dad tapped me on the head again and said, "Use this. Now get out of here and get back to
LESSON #l: The Rich Don't Work For Money
I didn't tell my poor dad I wasn't being paid. He would not have understood, and I did not want to
try to explain something that I did not yet understand myself.
For three more weeks, Mike and I worked for three hours, every Saturday, for nothing. The work
didn't bother me, and the routine got easier. It was the missed baseball games and not being able to
afford to buy a few comic books that got to me.
Rich dad stopped by at noon on the third week. We heard his truck pull up in the parking lot and sputter when the engine was turned off. He entered the store and greeted Mrs. Martin with a hug.
After finding out how things were going in the store, he reached into the ice-cream freezer, pulled
out two bars, paid for them, and signalled to Mike and me.
"Let's go for a walk boys."
We crossed the street, dodging a few cars, and walked across a large grassy field, where a few adults
were playing softball. Sitting down at a remote picnic table, he handed Mike and me the ice-cream
"How's it going boys?"
"OK," Mike said.
I nodded in agreement.
"Learn anything yet?" rich dad asked.
Mike and I looked at each other, shrugged our shoulders and shook our heads in unison.
Avoiding One of Life's Biggest Traps
"Well, you boys had better start thinking. You're staring at one of life's biggest lessons. If you learn
the lesson, you'll enjoy a life of great freedom and security. If you don't learn the lesson, you'll wind
up like Mrs. Martin and most of the people playing softball in this park. They work very hard, for
little money, clinging to the illusion of job security, looking forward to a three-week vacation each
year and a skimpy pension after forty-five years of work. If that excites you, I'll give you a raise to 25
cents an hour."
"But these are good hard-working people. Are you making fun of them?" I demanded.
A smile came over rich dad's face.
"Mrs. Martin is like a mother to me. I would never be that cruel. I may sound cruel because I'm doing
my best to point something out to the two of you. I want to expand your point of view so you can
see something. Something most people never have the benefit of seeing because their vision is too
narrow. Most people never see the trap they are in."
Mike and I sat there uncertain of his message. He sounded cruel, yet we could sense he was
desperately wanting us to know something.
With a smile, rich dad said, "Doesn't that 25 cents an hour sound good? Doesn't it make your heart
beat a little faster."
I shook my head "no," but it really did. Twenty five cents an hour would be big bucks to me.
"OK, I'll pay you a dollar an hour," rich dad said, with a sly grin.
Now my heart was beginning to race. My brain was screaming,
"Take it. Take it." I could not believe what I was hearing. Still, I said nothing.
"OK, $2 an hour."
My little 9-year-old brain and heart nearly exploded. After all, it was 1956 and being paid $2 an hour
would have made me the richest kid in the world. I couldn't imagine earning that kind of money. I
wanted to say "yes." I wanted the deal. I could see a new bicycle, new baseball glove, and adoration
of my friends when I flashed some cash. On top of that, Jimmy and his rich friends could never call
me poor again. But somehow my mouth stayed silent.
Maybe my brain had overheated and blown a fuse. But deep down, I badly wanted that $2 an hour.
The ice cream had melted and was running down my hand. The ice-cream stick was empty, and
under it was a sticky mess of vanilla and chocolate that ants were enjoying. Rich dad was looking at
two boys staring back at him, eyes wide open and brains empty. He knew he was testing us, and he
knew there was a part of our emotions that wanted to take the deal. He knew that each human being
has a weak and needy part of their soul that can be bought. And he knew that each human being also
had a part of their soul that was strong and filled with a resolve that could never be bought. It was
only a question of which one was stronger. He had tested thousands of souls in his life. He tested
souls every time he interviewed someone for a job.
"OK, $5 an hour."
Suddenly there was a silence from inside me. Something had changed. The offer was too big and had gotten ridiculous. Not too many grownups in 1956 made more than $5 an hour. The temptation
disappeared, and a calm set in. Slowly I turned to my left to look at Mike. He looked back at me.
The part of my soul that was weak and needy was silenced. The part of me that had no price took
over. There was a calm and a certainty about money that entered my brain and my soul. I knew Mike
had gotten to that point also.
"Good," rich dad said softly. "Most people have a price. And they have a price because of human
emotions named fear and greed. First, the fear of being without money motivates us to work hard,
and then once we get that paycheck, greed or desire starts us thinking about all the wonderful things
money can buy. The pattern is then set."
"What pattern?" I asked.
"The pattern of get up, go to work, pay bills, get up, go to work, pay bills... Their lives are then run
forever by two emotions, fear and greed. Offer them more money, and they continue the cycle by
also increasing their spending. This is what I call the Rat Race."
"There is another way?" Mike asked.
"Yes," said rich dad slowly. "But only a few people find it."
"And what is that way?" Mike asked.
"That's what I hope you boys will find out as you work and study with me. That is why I took away
all forms of pay."
"Any hints?" Mike asked. "We're kind of tired of working hard, especially for nothing."
"Well, the first step is telling the truth," said rich dad.
"We haven't been lying." I said.
"I did not say you were lying. I said to tell the truth," rich dad came
"The truth about what?" I asked.
"How you're feeling," rich dad said. "You don't have to say it to anyone else. Just yourself."
"You mean the people in this park, the people who work for you, Mrs. Martin, they don't do that?" I
"I doubt it," said rich dad. "Instead, they feel the fear of not having money. Instead of confronting
the fear, they react instead of think. They react emotionally instead of using their heads," rich dad
said, tapping us on our heads. "'Then, they get a few bucks in their hands, and again the emotion of
joy and desire and greed take over, and again they react, instead of think."
"So their emotions do their thinking," Mike said.
"That's correct," said rich dad. "Instead of telling the truth about how they feel, they react to their
feeling, fail to think. They feel the fear, they go to work, hoping that money will soothe the fear, but
it doesn't. That old fear haunts them, and they go back to work, hoping again that money will calm
their fears, and again it doesn't. Fear has them in this trap of working, earning money, working,
earning money, hoping the fear will go away. But every day they get up, and that old fear wakes up
with them. For millions of people, that old fear keeps them awake all night, causing a night of
turmoil and worry. So they get up and go to work, hoping that a paycheck will kill that fear gnawing
at their soul. Money is running their lives, and they refuse to tell the truth about that.
Money is in control of their emotions and hence their souls."
Rich dad sat quietly, letting his words sink in. Mike and I heard what he said, but really did not
understand fully what he was talking about. I just knew that I often wondered why grownups hurried
off to work. It did not seem like much fun, and they never looked that happy, but something kept
them hurrying off to work.
Realizing we had absorbed as much as possible of what he was talking about, rich dad said, "I want
you boys to avoid that trap. That is really what I want to teach you. Not just to be rich, because
being rich does not solve the problem."
"It doesn't?" I asked, surprised.
"No, it doesn't. Let me finish the other emotion, which is desire. Some call it greed, but I prefer
desire. It is perfectly normal to desire something better, prettier, more fun or exciting. So people also
work for money because of desire. They desire money for the joy they think it can buy. But the joy
that money brings is often short lived, and they soon need more money for more joy, more pleasure,more comfort, more security. So they keep working, thinking money will soothe their souls that is
troubled by fear and desire. But money cannot do that."
"Even rich people?" Mike asked.
"Rich people included," said rich dad. "In fact, the reason many rich people are rich is not because of
desire but because of fear. They actually think that money can eliminate that fear of not having
money, of being poor, so they amass tons of it only tofind out the fear gets worse. They now fear
losing it. I have friends who keep working even though they have plenty. I know people who have
millions who are more afraid now than when they were poor. They're terrified of losing all their
money. The fears that drove them to get rich got worse. That weak and needy part of their soul is
actually screaming louder. They don't want to lose the big houses, the cars, the high life that money
has bought them. They worry about what their friends would say if they lost all their money. Many
are emotionally desperate and neurotic, although they look rich and have more money."
"So is a poor man happier?" I asked.
"No, I don't think so," replied rich dad. "The avoidance of money is just as psychotic as being
attached to money."
As if on cue, the town derelict went past our table, stopping by the large rubbish can and rummaging
around in it. The three of us watched him with great interest, when before we probably would have
just ignored him.
Rich dad pulled a dollar out of his wallet and gestured to the older man. Seeing the money, the
derelict came over immediately, took the bill, thanked rich dad profusely and hurried off ecstatic
with his good fortune.
"He's not much different from most of my employees," said rich dad. "I've met so many people who
say, 'Oh, I'm not interested in money.' Yet they'll work at a job for eight hours a day. That's a denial
of truth. If they weren't interested in money, then why are they working? That kind of thinking is
probably more psychotic than a person who hoards money."
As I sat there listening to my rich dad, my mind was flashing back to the countless times my own dad
said, "I'm not interested in money." He said those words often. He also covered himself by always
saying, "I work because I love my job."
"So what do we do?" I asked. "Not work for money until all traces of fear and greed are gone?"
"No, that would be a waste of time," said rich dad. "Emotions are what make us human. Make us
real. The word 'emotion' stands for energy in motion. Be truthful about your emotions, and use your
mind and emotions in your favor, not against yourself."
"Whoa!" said Mike.
"Don't worry about what I just said. It will make more sense in years to come. just be an observer,
not a reactor, to your emotions. Most people do not know that it's their emotions that are doing the
thinking. Your emotions are your emotions, but you have got to learn to do your own thinking."
"Can you give me an example?" I asked.
"Sure," replied rich dad. "When a person says, 'I need to find a job,' it's most likely an emotion doing
the thinking. Fear of not having money generates that thought."
"But people do need money if they have bills to pay," I said.
"Sure they do," smiled rich dad. "All I'm saying is that it's fear that is all too often doing the
"I don't understand," said Mike.
"For example," said rich dad. "If the fear of not having enough money arises, instead of immediately
running out to get a job so they can earn a few bucks to kill the fear, they instead might ask
themselves this question. 'Will a job be the best solution to this fear over the long run?' In my
opinion, the answer is 'no.' Especially when you look over a person's lifetime. A job is really a
short-term solution to a long-term problem."
"But my dad is always saying, 'Stay in school, get good grades, so you can find a safe, secure job.' I
spoke out, somewhat confused.
"Yes, I understand he says that," said rich dad, smiling. "Most people recommend that, and it's a
good idea for most people. But people make that recommendation primarily out of fear."
"You mean my dad says that because he's afraid?"
"Yes," said rich dad. "He's terrified that you won't be able to earn money and won't fit into society.
Don't get me wrong. He loves you and wants the best for you. And I think his fear is justified. An
education and a job are important. But it won't handle the fear. You see, that same fear that makes
him get up in the morning to earn a few bucks is the fear that is causing him to be so fanatical about
you going to school."
"So what do you recommend?" I asked.
"I want to teach you to master the power of money. Not be afraid of it. And they don't teach that in
school. If you don't learn it, you become a slave to money."
It was finally making sense. He did want us to widen our views. To . see what Mrs. Martin could not
see, his employees could not see, or my dad for that matter. He used examples that sounded cruel at
the time, but I've never forgotten them. My vision widened that day, and I could begin to see the trap
that lay ahead for most people.
"You see, we're all employees ultimately. We just work at different levels," said rich dad. "I just want
you boys to have a chance to avoid the trap. The trap caused by those two emotions, fear and desire.
Use them in your favor, not against you. That's what I want to teach you. I'm not interested in just
teaching you to make a pile of money. That won't handle the fear or desire. If you don't first handle
fear and desire, and you get rich, you'll only be a high-paid slave."
"So how do we avoid the trap?" I asked.
"The main cause of poverty or financial struggle is fear and ignorance, not the economy or the
government or the rich. It's selfinflicted fear and ignorance that keeps people trapped. So you boys
go to school and get your college degrees. I'll teach you how to stay out of the trap."
The pieces of the puzzle were appearing. My highly educated dad had a great education and a great
career. But school never told him how to handle money or his fears. It became clear that I could
learn different and important things from two fathers.
"So you've been talking about the fear of not having money. How does the desire of money affect
our thinking?" Mike asked.
"How did you feel when I tempted you with a pay raise? Did you notice your desires rising?"
We nodded our heads.
"By not giving in to your emotions, you were able to delay your reactions and think. That is most
important. We will always have emotions of fear and greed. From here on in, it is most important for
you to use those emotions to your advantage and for the long term, and not simply let your emotions
run you by controlling your thinking. Most people use fear and greed against themselves. That's the
start of ignorance. Most people live their lives chasing paychecks, pay raises and job security because
of the emotions of desire and fear, not really questioning where those emotion-driven thoughts are
leading them. It's just like the picture of a donkey, dragging a cart, with its owner dangling a carrot
just in front of the donkey's nose. The donkey's owner may be going where he wants to go, but the
donkey is chasing an illusion. Tomorrow there will only be another carrot for the donkey."
"You mean the moment I began to picture a new baseball glove, candy and toys, that's like a carrot
to a donkey?" Mike asked.
"Yeah. And as you get older, your toys get more expensive. A new car, a boat and a big house to
impress your friends," said rich dad with a smile. "Fear pushes you out the door, and desire calls to
you. Enticing you toward the rocks. That's the trap."
"So what's the answer," Mike asked.
"What intensifies fear and desire is ignorance. That is why rich people with lots of money often have
more fear the richer they get. Money is the carrot, the illusion. If the donkey could see the whole
picture, it might rethink its choice to chase the carrot."
Rich dad went on to explain that a human's life is a struggle between ignorance and illumination.
He explained that once a person stops searching for information and knowledge of one's self,
ignorance sets in. That struggle is a moment-to-moment decision-to learn to open or close one's
"Look, school is very, very important. You go to school to learn a skill or profession so as to be a
contributing member of society. Every culture needs teachers, doctors, mechanics, artists, cooks,
business people, police officers, firefighters, soldiers. Schools train them so our culture can thrive and flourish," said rich dad. "Unfortunately, for many people, school is the end, not the beginning."
There was a long silence. Rich dad was smiling. I did not comprehend everything he said that day.
But as with most great teachers, whose words continue to teach for years, often long after they're
gone, his words are still with me today.
"I've been a little cruel today," said rich dad. "Cruel for a reason. I want you to always remember this
talk. I want you to always think of Mrs. Martin. I want you always to think of the donkey. Never
forget, because your two emotions, fear and desire, can lead you into life's biggest trap, if you're not
aware of them controlling your thinking. To spend your life living in fear, never exploring your
dreams, is cruel. To work hard for money, thinking that money will buy you things that will make