Manila, Philippines

Challenge: Ditch the Poverty Mindset, Stop Playing the Victim

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This is more of a reflection and pep talk really than educational but I hope we still gain an insight or two about it. I read T. Harv Eker’s The Secrets of the Millionaire Mind and I’ve been meaning to (1) write a good read article about it; and (2) reread the ebook. But for now…

Among the principles Eker shared in the book is that those who have a poor and poverty mindset always feel like victims while those who have a millionaire mind take charge, they know they can do something about it. And they act, they don’t just whine and rant forever.

What triggered this pep talk and challenge of mine are two things: (1) cab drivers picketing and protesting since Uber and Grab are allegedly taking away their livelihood; and (2) the Kadamay group taking-over unoccupied housing units and claiming it as theirs from now on.


Disclaimer first, I’m pro-poor, we used to be poor but I’m not pro-forever-poor. Especially in mindset. I’d rather fight than play the helpless choice-less victim (as if).

At many points in our lives we have become victims. But there are some of us who have overcome such victimized situations. Some choose to stay with it, romanticize it, as if being a victim and being poor are good things and as if they can play such card for the rest of their lives.

Stop! by thematthewknot, on Flickr



What do I mean by playing the victim? Cab drivers protest unfair competition or that ride-sharing apps have significantly lessened their income. We must realize that technology is here to disrupt the status quo, it will always challenge the what-is, and if we don’t cope, sooner or later it will take over our jobs. Accept it. Ride sharing apps, driverless cars, automation, online transactions, A.I.. Soon technology will replace us in our jobs. What to do? Cry foul? Folks, the world is still and will always be survival of the fittest.

Ride sharing apps offer competitive pricing, newer cars, convenience, and drivers who are respectful and careful (in general) because they don’t want to get a low rating from passengers or penalties from the apps. They don’t bargain or contract with customers on pricing (again in general), they don’t choose where to go, and they don’t complain whether it’s traffic or what not. They’re neither choosy nor isnabero. They just drive. People pay a premium for quality service. Sadly that’s not the prevailing perception about cab drivers. So don’t be surprised if suddenly they are losing market share.

By all means the government should ensure fair competition and balance the interests of the riding public with the drivers. But commuters themselves have made the choice: they prefer technologically-driven apps (pun intended) that provide relatively safer, convenient and premium service.

So don’t complain as if technology or the government made it unfair for you. These are free market forces and this country is a democracy (at least the last time I checked). Instead, up your game. Improve your service, your vehicle, your attitude. We’re all affected but not all of us stay affected. Don’t play the victim, take charge. If you’re a cab, enroll your vehicle in GrabTaxi. If you’re an operator, why not allot a new vehicle or two for Uber. I’m sure many entrepreneurial taxi operators have done this. Let’s lessen the rants and protests and take action. Technology and modernization are here to stay. If you don’t evolve you die. If you keep on playing the victim, you die poor.

And oh don’t get me started on modernizing our iconic yet should-be-retired public jeepneys. Grrr. Shaking my head.



Not really sure what some people expect from the government. Seriously. Jobs served in a platter? Free housing? Boundless opportunities knocking on your door? etc. There are those who blame the government for their lack of houses. Or blame the government if they get evicted in a land that’s not theirs to begin with, given that they’ve been occupying such land for decades. Just a reminder folks, length of stay in a place you don’t own doesn’t make such place your own.

They got tired of waiting for their turn on mass housing units so they took over the unoccupied ones. By all means the government is to blame for the slow action (or inaction?) in providing mass housing to those who deserve it. But storming the otherwise peaceful communities, claiming unoccupied houses as their own is not the best course of action either. They got tired of playing the victim so they acted, but they acted in victimizing other people and communities. Great. Pressure the government all you want but don’t invade territories. Unless you’re from another country fond of invading territories?


Smash and crush that poverty mentality!!!

And if you hear some interviews, they sounded like victims, those who got the shorter straw, as if the whole world conspired to keep them poor and homeless. I’m not mad at them personally, I don’t know their circumstances and how they ended up where they are. But I don’t agree with what they did. 100%.

By all means demand for a good break, a fresh start from the government, a decent job, a decent housing. Sure. But don’t do something illegal. Trespassing. Anarchy. And while waiting for the slow government, take charge. Do something. Fight the good fight, look for a job, stop having sex when bored and don’t make lots of babies you can’t feed. Stop blaming the government for lack of dole outs. Save. Get by. Don’t stop schooling if you can. Don’t start a family without stable income. Go home to your provinces. Stop waiting for the government to rescue you, especially the Philippine government.

Then last night I watched MMK about 7 siblings (played by Bugoy Drilon etc) who were abandoned by their parents (who succumbed to playing victims) yet the siblings managed to turn their lives around, one day at a time. Together. Without doing anything illegal, without anarchy. They’re all successful now, working locally and abroad because though they were financially poor, they didn’t remain victims of circumstance, they fought the good fight, and they had a millionaire mindset. More than most of us do.

It’s not your fault to be born poor but it’s your fault if you die poor. Not the technology, not the slow government. Instead of being angry or whining, this should light a flame in you, a desire to be successful, a desire for a richer life, an all consuming drive to get yourself out of poverty. No matter what life throws at you. Sorry I’m not sorry. It’s okay to feel sorry for yourself from time to time but not your whole life. Stop playing the victim. Take charge of your life. Adapt, cope, do something, legally.


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Let’s stop playing victims, stop the poverty mindset. Let’s fight the good fight for a richer life. Aja!

Photo: “Stop!” (CC BY 2.0) by thematthewknot

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