It’s an almost universal experience for a motorcyclist: A stranger walks up to comment on your bike and usually say something like, “ I’ve always wanted one” or “ I wish I could, but I have children.” The excuses flow almost from reflex. I always urge anyone who feels the lure of motorcycling to learn to ride and buy that motorcycle. Now! Forget what society has told you about why you can’t have a motorcycle and open yourself up to the personal rewards that a bike brings.

This resistance to what we’ve been programmed to think not only keeps people from enjoying motorcycling, but keeps them limited in their financial and emotional happiness as well. A new book by avid motorcyclist and financial planner, Peter Yachimski: “ Prince or Pauper: Think Like the Rich and Beat the System That’s Rigged to Create a Peasant Class,” offers 13 lessons designed to encourage readers to think differently about their financial prospects, but perhaps more importantly, their views on happiness and what truly makes for a “ wealthy” life. Yachimski, a licensed financial planning specialist, land surveyor and development consultant, shares his lifetime of experience to caution people not to simply buy into a vision of retirement he calls “retirement propaganda.” Working at an unsatisfying job simply to make money while waiting to retire often robs people of realizing the potential for much greater happiness and opportunities for building wealth. “

The first and absolutely most important step that you must take in order to be wealthy is internal, not external. Before you can be wealthy on the outside, you first must be rich of mind and heart on the inside,” Yachimski writes. “We simply cannot sacrifice happiness today by being overly concerned about tomorrow. We do not know what tomorrow will bring.”

“Prince or Pauper” outlines a way to look at life, opportunity, retirement and the economic and political system differently in order for people to achieve greater success in both business and their personal lives. While “ Prince or Pauper” isn’t specifically about motorcycling, Yachimski does recount how he first learned to ride a motorcycle at age 46 and in just a few short years began amateur racing. He found several parallels between racing motorcycles and navigating financial challenges. During his motorcycle training, his instructors stressed visualization and the old adage, “ look through the turn.” As all seasoned motorcyclists know, you don’t look at the few feet in front you, but look to the very end of the curve. In business, visualizing yourself already a success is the key to automatically taking the necessary steps along the way. Spend your time on what you excel at and leave the rest so that you can focus on the goal, Yachimski says. Look through the curve. He also notes the danger of target fixation, on both a motorcycle and in life. If you stare at an obstacle for too long, you could unavoidably steer right toward it. “The same thing can happen in your journey toward becoming a prince. Rounding a corner, you’ll see that someone else has crashed. You will see their life in a mangled heap and their anguish over the temporary setback. You must be very careful not to become fixated on the potential for calamity. Fixation equals paralysis,” he writes.

The book encourages readers to think differently about wealth and happiness today, in the here and now. When someone’s outlook seems hopeless, whatever the circumstances, an opportunity to change everything will present itself, Yachimski says. The trick is to recognize it when it does happen, and to have the courage to take advantage of it.

Perhaps for some, motorcycling could be that opportunity for greater happiness, personal growth or possibly a financial opportunity. Telling yourself you can’t have a bike because of your age, family, responsibilities, etc., immediately defeats that opportunity. “ You could have the most wonderful experience of your life, but you can only see the bad in it — because that is what you have trained your mind to look for,” Yachimski writes.

(Review by: Michael E. Gouge – Editor in Chief)