Everyone Needs a Hero

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I am very fortunate. I was able to find 177 heroes to worship. They are the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study who taught me right from wrong, good habits from bad habits and the right path vs. the wrong path. They were my success mentors, teaching me what to do and what not to do in life.

Once I was able to quantify the Rich Habits most of the self-made millionaires had in common, I began to adopt many of those habits myself. Within five years I began to see significant changes in my life, financially, physically and mentally.

It was only then that I realized how important having heroes in your life can be. They help transform your life.

Each success hero you find can inspire you, motivate you, direct you. They force you to self-evaluate and can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.

You can have multiple heroes. As I discovered in my study, the more the better. By better, I mean, the faster the changes will be in your life.

Where can you find your success heroes?

The good news is that they are all around you.

You can find them by volunteering – they are on the boards and committees of non-profit groups.

You can find them at the workplace, those exceptional employees, bosses or clients/customers doing exceptional work.

You can find them in classrooms, teaching.

They’re alive in biographies and autobiographies.

They can be found at seminars, webinars, podcasts, YouTube videos and TEDx videos.

Anyone working hard to grow and improve can be your hero.

When you find one, study how they live their lives, how they manage their lives, their work ethic, who they surround themselves with, their habits, etc. Get to know them and make them a part of your inner circle.

It’s never too late. Find your success heroes today. Follow their breadcrumbs. Those breadcrumbs will steer you in the right direction and help you find success in your life.

And wealth will follow.

Optimism Creates Wealth – Pessimism Creates Poverty

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Tom Corley boats - cropMy mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

A paper published by the University of Cologne in Germany in the May 2015 Journal of Personality and Psychology, in which more than 68,000 Americans and Europeans were studied, found that pessimism causes poverty.

The study noted that pessimism makes you wary of trusting others. It went on to argue that when you see people in a pessimistic light – untrustworthy, self-interested and deceitful – you are less likely and less willing to rely on others.

Those in the study who were the most pessimistic, also happened to be the poorest. If you are wary about trusting others, you’re likely to have a lower income now and in the future, the study concluded.

Conversely, those in the study who were optimistic, had a more trusting view of others and a higher income than the pessimists. Pessimists miss out on opportunities because they are less likely to ask for help and less likely to collaborate with others.

No one succeeds on their own. I’ve written about this often. You need apostles to your cause. You need others who believe in your cause in order to succeed. It is virtually impossible to succeed on your own.

The most successful self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study had a dedicated team behind them. They also happened to be the most optimistic people to work with. Their unbridled optimism was like a magnet, attracting like-minded, optimists to their cause.

If you’re a pessimist, you are literally sabotaging your life. You are pushing away the very people you need in order to succeed.

The good news is that pessimism is just a habit. You can change your mindset from negative to positive.

Here’s how: Detox Your Brain

Podcast Interview With Thriving Military Wfie

Tom Corley boats - cropMy mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

As you know, I do a lot of interviews. mostly with the media but I occasionally do podcast interviews.

I was recently interviewed by Tayler Cathrine, host of The Thriving Military Wife Podcast.

If you are a military wife, this podcast will interest you. The host and guests share specific information that applies to military families. Finances, deployment challenges, moving, parenting, etc.

Starting February 25, Cathrine will share with subscribers (free) her complimentary interview series, where more than 20 experts share advice.

I am one of the experts interviewed for this new podcast.

So, sign up and listen in. Here’s the link to the subscription page: Thriving Military Wife

20 Minutes a Day Can Radically Change Your Life

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Tom Corley boats - cropMy mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

Building a wealthy, healthy and happy life is just a process.

The process always begins with a vision of the ideal, future life you desire. This could be ten, fifteen or twenty years into the future.

That future life is actually the realization of a collage of dreams that forms the picture of your ideal, perfect, future life. Each dream is something very personal that you desire – the ideal job, $1 million in your investment accounts, a vacation home, no debt, good health, etc.

Your dreams must be what You want. Not what others want for you. Putting your ladder on someone else’s wall will eventually lead to unhappiness and a life of drudgery. As Steve Jobs said in the 2005 Stanford commencement address: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living some Else’s life.”

Pursue YOUR dreams. Not those of your parents, teachers or some other significant influence in your life.

In order to make that ideal life a reality, you need to follow a process I call Dream-Setting:

  1. Create a Script of Your Ideal Future Life – Pretend it is ten years into the future and you are writing in your journal. Describe in detail every amazing thing about this ideal, future life of yours. Also, describe your journey over the past ten years – Exactly what happened over the past ten years? Shoot for 500-1,000 words.
  2. Identify Each Dream – Define each specific dream that is a component of your ideal, future life,
  3. Create Goals Around Each Dream – Build individual goals around each dream. In order to realize a given dream, it may require that you accomplish numerous goals. Once you accomplish those goals, your dream will be realized. Think of each dream as a rung on a ladder. Every time you realize a dream, you climb that ladder, dream by dream, until you reach the top. At that top sits your ideal, future life.
  4. Create Habits Around Your Goals – The final step requires that you forge daily habits (goal habits) that, when accomplished each day, brings you closer to achieving each individual goal.

Building new daily habits isn’t difficult if you know what to do. It simply takes time and consistency. Consistency is the key.

There is an easy trick that you can use in order to forge new daily habits to help you accomplish the goals behind the dreams that make up your ideal, future life. This habit shortcut virtually guarantees they stick. It’s called the 20 Minute Habit Shortcut.

The 20 Minute Habit Shortcut involves a simple three-step process:
1. Define a daily activity that will help you accomplish a specific goal.
2. Devote 20 minutes a day to that new activity.
3. Repeat that activity every day for 30 days.

The new activity could be:

  • 20 minutes a day of reading to expand your knowledge in a particular area that you need to become more proficient in, in order accomplish an individual goal (i.e. getting some license or certification).
  • 20 minutes a day of making phone calls to various influencers with whom you would like to develop a relationship. These influencers can open doors that will help you accomplish your goals and realize your dreams.
  • 20 minutes of listening to a podcast related to one or more of your goals. This provides knowledge and insight you need in order to achieve your goals.
  • 20 minutes of watching a TEDx video on a topic you need to become more knowledgeable in, in order for you to realize your goals.
  • 20 minutes a day of watching a YouTube video on a topic you need to become more knowledgeable in, in order for you to realize your goals.
  • 20 minutes of developing a side-business you hope to one day devote yourself to full-time.
  • 20 minutes focused on achieving one singular goal.
  • 20 minutes of jogging, if an active, healthy life is part of your ideal future vision.
  • 20 minutes of lifting weights, if having strong muscles is part of your ideal future life vision.
  • 20 minutes of developing a new skill, if this new skill is needed in order to give you the skill-set to even begin pursuing a goal.
  • 20 minutes of thinking positive thoughts. Positivity is a common characteristic of all successful people. A positive mindset keeps you optimistic, motivated and focused on overcoming obstacles rather than being stopped by them.
  • 20 minutes of helping your spouse with home chores (laundry, dish washer, make the bed, clean the house, etc.), if a happy home life is part of your future ideal life.
  • 20 minutes engaged in some hobby that you are passionate about and would like to eventually transform into a money-making business.
  • 20 minutes of doing home-improvement projects, if your ideal future life includes remodeling your home.

Thirty days gets your brain cells talking to one another, forming a synapse. Once the synapse is formed, the tracks are laid for habit formation to occur. Over time, it will become easier and easier to engage in the activity. At some point, between 66 – 256 days, according to the latest science on habits change, the daily activity will become an automatic, unconscious behavior, also known as a habit.

The brain loves habits. Habits conserve brain fuel and free up the prefrontal cortex by shifting control of the habit to the limbic system. Once freed up, the prefrontal cortex can now focus on other important things. But it does take repetition and time in order to get brain cells talking to each other. Thirty days gets the conversation going inside the brain.

Once your new habit sticks, then you can move on to your next new habit, following the same three-step process.

In the course of a year you will add three or more new habits using this three-step process. In a few years you will have created dozens of new habits and your life will begin to improve as you accomplish one goal after another and realize one dream after another.

Habits are like snowflakes on the side of a steep mountain. You hardly notice, on a daily basis, the snow accumulating. But after many months, that accumulation is so significant, it causes an avalanche.

Like snowflakes on a steep mountain, the effects of Rich Habits and Poor Habits, on a daily basis, are hard to see. However, after many years, the cumulative effect of those habits are readily noticed. Rich Habits produce an avalanche of positive consequences and Poor Habits produce an avalanche of negative consequences.

This invisibility of the effects of habits is why, when success hits, it appears to the outside observer as if that person became an overnight success. They only see the avalanche of success event. What they are unable to see is the daily devotion to Rich Habits, those years of engaging in certain constructive daily routines, that created the avalanche of success event.

Define your ideal, future life today – a clear vision of who you want to be ten years into the future. Then start your success journey by pursuing just one goal and build daily activities around that one goal. Stick with it until those activities become habits. Then move on to the next goal. Baby step your way to success, goal by goal, dream by dream.

Each dream you realize is another rung on your ladder. Your ideal, future life awaits you at the top of that ladder.

Modest Millionaires

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Tom Corley boats - cropMy mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

A picture of Bill Gates recently went viral. It showed him standing in line at a local fast food restaurant patiently waiting for his burger and fries. The picture drew a lot of favorable comments on social media.

What made the picture go viral was the modesty it projected of one of the world’s wealthiest individuals. It defied the perception so many have of wealthy people.

Most would write off Bill Gates’ humility as an exception to the rule.

But is it?

Well, according to my Rich Habits Study, the only study of its kind, the answer depends on the type of millionaire you happen to be.

The self-made millionaires in my study who struck gold before the age of 40 (about 1%), were more likely to embrace the millionaire lifestyle by supersizing their lives with expensive homes, luxury cars, Rolex watches and exotic travel. Humility, unfortunately, is not a word I would use to describe them.

Conversely, the other 99% of my self-made millionaires took twenty years or more to accumulate their millions and these millionaires retained their humble ways throughout their millionaire years.

Most eschewed country clubs, golf course memberships, exotic vacations and expensive toys. They kept their homes, their old cars and their modest mindset. Old friends and neighbors didn’t change.

The only common “luxury” these millionaires seemed to indulge in was a vacation home.

Otherwise, their lives, to outside observers, is very ordinary. What some might call, a humble life.

My humble Rich Habits millionaires and Bill Gates are not an aberration, however. As you’ll see, there are many humble millionaires out there.

Warren Buffet lives a very ordinary, humble life for a billionaire. Besides the fact he’s lived in the same home for over 55 years and drives himself to work, he’s more than a littl frugal with his money. Every morning his significant other, Astrid, lays out the exact amount of money he needs to buy his morning breakfast – a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich (CNBC: Warren Buffett eats the same thing for breakfast every day and it never costs more than $3.17).

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, lives in a 2,400 square foot modest condo in Palo Alto, California. A self-professed “workaholic”, when Cook isn’t working, he spends the rest of his time working out (Inc: Tim Cook buys his department-store underwear on sale).

Buffy the Vampire actress, Sarah Michelle Gellar, is a self-professed, discount shopper. And, when she is not spending time with her family or acting, she’s volunteering at local, community-based charitable organizations.

Rob Gronkowski, tight end for the New England Patriots, invests 100% of his salary and spends his non-salary money very frugally. He claims the only luxury item he owns is diamond necklace he bought himself after the 2017 football season ended (CNBC: Rob Gronkowski, who hasn’t touched his NFL money in 8 years, finally splurged on his first ‘luxury’).

Billionaire, David Cheriton, was one of the early investors in Google. Despite his enormous wealth, he continues to teach at Stanford University, drives a modest car and cuts his own hair, to save money.

Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, lives in a $1,200 a month trailer park. He considers himself a minimalist and finds serenity in his simple, humble life.

Why Do You Want to be Rich?

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Tom Corley boats - cropMy mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

There are many reasons individuals seek wealth.

When the reasons are driven by the desire to acquire things, then the WHY isn’t usually powerful enough, and wealth is elusive or fleeting.

When your WHY is powerful, however, than the likelihood you will accumulate the wealth you desire increases ten-fold.

What makes a WHY powerful?

  • Your WHY is to Do What You Love – When whatever you do to make money is something you love doing, something that makes your heart sing, your WHY is Powerful.
  • Your WHY is to Perfect Your Talents – When your endeavors put into service your unique, innate talents – skills which come easier to you than to others, then your WHY is Powerful.
  • Your WHY is to Provide Added Value  – When the products or services you provide adds value to the lives of others, your WHY is Powerful.
  • Your WHY is to Help Others – When you intend to use the wealth you seek to improve the lives of others, your WHY is Powerful.
  • Your WHY is to End Your Poverty – When your desire for wealth is to set you free from a life of poverty for you and your family, your WHY is Powerful.

What is Your WHY for being rich?

Is it a Powerful WHY?

When your WHY is powerful, it will stimulate you to take action. That initial action becomes a catalyst, generating more action by feeding you with a never-ending supply of motivation and persistence – two common traits of ALL self-made millionaires.

Self-motivation and persistence are formidable allies in the pursuit of wealth. They enable you to overcome obstacles. They help you to grow in knowledge. They allow you to acquire and perfect skills, until you become a Virtuoso at what you do.

Finding a powerful WHY is where it all begins. It sets everything in motion.

Don’t wait, however, for that WHY to find you. It won’t. You must go out and find it yourself. It’s out there, waiting to be discovered.

Each morning, find a quiet place. Close your eyes, silence your mind and focus your thoughts on one singular thing: Help me find a WHY that really matters to me?

This directs your subconscious to go to work, behind the scenes, in search for the answer.

It won’t happen overnight. It takes time. But eventually your subconscious, through intuition, will answer. And when it does, you will find yourself unable to ignore it.

Your WHY will forever haunt you, night and day, until you have no choice but to surrender to that voice and take action.

Detox Your Brain

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We have two brains. A New Brain and an Old Brain.

The New Brain is also known as the neocortex, or outer layer of the brain.

The Old Brain is composed of two parts: the Brain Stem and the Limbic System.

The New Brain has only been around for about 200,000 years. It is the CEO of the brain and houses your executive functions. Some refer to the New Brain as the conscious brain.

The Old Brain has been around for millions of years. It houses all of your emotions and controls the autonomic functions of the body. Some refer to the Old Brain as the subconscious brain.

Because your Old Brain has been around so much longer than your New Brain, it is infinitely more powerful. It can perform many functions simultaneously, whereas the New Brain can only focus on one thing at a time.

The Old Brain is also where all of your beliefs and habits are stored.

Those beliefs and habits dictate most of your thinking and behaviors.

When your beliefs and habits are destructive, your thinking and behaviors will be destructive. And the circumstances of your life will mirror your destructive thinking and behaviors.

In that mirror you will find all sorts of catastrophic outcomes: poverty, joblessness, broken relationships, hatred, anger, envy, poor health, addictions, failure, ignorance and unhappiness.

So, in order to change the circumstances of your life, you need re-wire your Old Brain. You do this by changing your beliefs and habits from destructive to constructive.

A negative mental outlook breeds destructive beliefs and habits.

A positive mental outlook breeds constructive beliefs and habits.

In order to re-wire your Old Brain, you therefore need to shift your mental outlook from negative to positive.

You jump start this shift to a positive mental outlook through gratitude. Gratitude is the gateway to a positive mental outlook.

By focusing on what is right about your life, instead of what is wrong, you change the lens through which you view your life from negative to positive.

Once that shift begins to stick, your Old Brain will find it impossible to hold on to old destructive beliefs and habits that are inconsistent with your new positive outlook.

In its place, the Old Brain will substitute new constructive beliefs and habits that are consistent with your new positive outlook.

It won’t happen overnight, but within about six months, this re-wiring will become permanent. And that’s when all the fun starts – your life will begin to change in ways you only dreamed of.

Positivity is a magnet for happiness and success and gratitude turns that magnet on.

I Want, Therefore I Am …. Poor

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When I began my Rich Habits Study, I wanted to know the answer to one question: why are some people rich and other people poor?

Five years, and 51,984 questions later, I learned the answer – Habits.

Habits dictate your circumstances in life. This is a truly groundbreaking discovery.

Habits affect just about every aspect of your life. And there are many shades of habits.

We have money habits, eating habits, drinking habits, exercise habits, sleeping habits, downtime habits, work-time habits, reading habits, relationship habits, happiness habits and thinking habits. We have morning habits, afternoon habits and nighttime habits. If you’re interested, here’s a list of all of the habits I documented over the years: Proof Habits Control Your Life.

According to a 2006 Duke study, [Read more…]

Prepare Yourself For Success

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The odds of winning the Mega Millions lottery are one in three hundred million.

Not far behind, are the odds of becoming an overnight success.

It’s exceptionally rare to pursue something new and become immediately successful at it. But it does happen:

  • Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind in 1936. In that same year, the book sold 176,000 copies, unprecedented for an author. But the more incredible feat was that Gone With the Wind was Mitchell’s first and only book. The book has since gone on to sell more than 33 million copies. By contrast, the average author never sells more than 500 books in their entire lifetime. For self-published authors, that number is less than 200 books sold during a lifetime.
  • Mark Zuckerberg launched Facebook on February 4, 2004 from his Harvard University dorm room. By 2007 Facebook had become a phenomenon, making Zuckerberg an overnight success and a very wealthy young man.
  • Elon Musk started Zip2 in 1995. Zip2 was a company that provided and licensed online city guide software to newspapers. In February 1999, just four years later, Compaq Computer paid Musk and his two partners $307 million to acquire Zip2.

The media loves to write stories about individuals who suddenly become successful. It excites readers and gives them hope that they too can become rich and successful.

Reality, however, is not so exciting.

Let me share some of my data with you about the millionaires in my Rich Habits Study:

  • 1% (2 out of 233) became wealthy before the age of 40
  • 3% (6 out of 233) became wealthy between age 40 and 55
  • 16% (38 out of 233) became wealthy between age 46 and 50
  • 28% (66 out of 233) became wealthy between age 51 and 55
  • 31% (73 out of 233) became wealthy between age 56 and 60
  • 21% (48 out of 233) became wealthy after the age of 60

If you do the math, 80% did not become rich until after the age of 50.

The romanticized notion of getting rich quick always finds an eager audience. We are stimulated by stories about the young and the wealthy. The immediate success of youthful billionaires like Facebook’s Mark Zukerberg or Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin play to our get rich quick desires.

We also obsess over stories about lottery winners. And the lottery people know it. California’s lottery catchphrase is Imagine What a Buck Could Do. New York’s lottery catchphrase is  Dollar and a Dream. There is even a popular reality T.V. show called Lottery Changed My Life about how the lives of lottery winners were changed.

Instant gratification is the rallying cry of millions with a get rich quick mindset.

Unfortunately, getting rich quickly is a rare phenomenon. It’s clear from the above data that accumulating wealth takes a very long time.

One of the reasons success takes so long is because the pursuit of success is often accompanied by adversity. Setbacks, mistakes and temporary failures are common among self-made millionaires. Those who persevere, overcome adversity by learning what to do and what not to do. And that learning, takes time.

This is why those few who do succeed, are almost always seasoned veterans.

For most successful people, success is a long process; a progression of one thing to the next, completely under the radar of your consciousness. You just don’t see success happening in real time, even when it’s happening, because the march towards success is so slow and takes so long.

It is very much like snow falling on the side of a mountain. You don’t see the snow accumulating or the snow bank growing. Then one day, there is an avalanche.

Success may eventually reward you with an avalanche of riches, but it is an avalanche that is the byproduct of decades of laser focus, hard work, learning, pivoting and relentless persistence.

Those who understand this have realistic expectations of the journey and, therefore, do not become disheartened when success is not immediate.

This University Breeds the Most Self-Made Millionaires in the World

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I thought I’d share with you a discovery I made about a little-known University whose students go on to achieve enormous success in life.

The majority of its students wind up becoming wealthy entrepreneurs, successful small business owners, Senior Executives of multi-national corporations or the top Virtuosos in their field.

This University costs significantly less than Wharton, Yale, Princeton, Harvard and other well-known schools and its graduates are far more successful and wealthy.

It’s a wonder to me why everyone who desires to be successful and rich, doesn’t attend this University. Sadly, its enrollment is woefully small.

The name of the school is Better University, or Better U for short. I picked up a copy of their syllabus so I could share it with you: [Read more…]