Interview With Gina Lofton

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Hello. This is Gena Lofton.

I would like to introduce you to Tom Corley.  Tom is a motivational and empowering speaker and is the author of several books that discuss the habits of the wealthy and how they differ from others. He discusses his childhood and how his successful businessman father ended up losing his fortune through a business sale that went bad.

He became interested in the habits of successful people when a friend with business problems asked him for advice. This sparked off an idea to conduct a study of people’s behavior and habits on what habits are required to derive success.

Early on he asked the question, “What do you do with your time at the end of your work day?” He got a lot of different answers, and he noticed that almost all of the wealthy people spent time away from home doing things that increased their knowledge and expanded their connections with others.

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His study ended up breaking down habits into twenty different categories. To get participants interested in the study he offered free tax planning. He gathered a lot of information from various individuals and compared their net worth.  He narrowed things down to ten essential habits which he used in his first book. Later he went into broader detail in subsequent books. He says, “It was important to not only learn what the successful were doing but also what those less successful were doing wrong.”

Tom says, “Most poor people would just kick back and look for entertainment in their evenings, while the wealthy, would often practice and improve their skills.” It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are anyone can change their habits. Either by getting rid of bad habits or taking on new good ones.

He discusses various ways to change and improve your life and one way is by surrounding yourself with people who already have what you want. One should find the people that have the habits you want and make friends with them so that you can emulate their habits and adopt for yourself.

He also wrote a book called Rich Kids to help instruct parents and teachers on methods of assisting young people to develop to become successful in life.   In that book, he goes through all of the different things people should be teaching children. One is encouraging children to read and learn and get away from distractions like video games and television. His book contains several stories about how parents can help their children be successful adults.

You can find out more at his website where he has a lot of free material and a regular newsletter.

Talking Points From This Week’s Episode

  • He studied the differences in habits between the wealthy and less wealthy.
  • One should learn and understand what are good and bad habits.
  • Anyone should be able to change their habits and integrate new ones.
  • He provides tips for helping educate children to be successful.

About Our Guest
Tom Corley is an internationally recognized authority on habits and wealth creation.
His inspiring keynote addresses cover success habits of the rich, failure habits of the poor and cutting-edge habit change strategies. Tom has spoken alongside Richard Branson, Mark Victor Hansen, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen and many other notable speakers.

In Tom’s five-year study of the rich and poor, he identified over 300 daily habits that separated the “haves” from the “have not’s.”

Tom is a bestselling and award-winning author. His books include Rich Habits, Rich Kids, Change Your Habits Change Your Life and Rich Habits Poor Habits.

Tom has appeared on or in CBS Evening News, The Dave Ramsey Show, CNN, MSN Money, USA Today, the Huffington Post, Marketplace Money, Success Magazine, Inc. Magazine, Money Magazine, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, Fast Company Magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and thousands of other media outlets in the U.S. and 25 other countries. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider, CNBC, and other national media outlets.

Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a Master’s Degree in Taxation and heads a CPA firm in New Jersey.

 

Cardio Boosts Brain Function

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As many of you who follow me know, daily aerobic exercise was a common habit among the rich in my Rich Habits Study. In fact, 76% of the rich exercised aerobically, 30 minutes or more every day, four to five days a week.

Dr. Picketts, the lead author of a joint study with researchers from Ottawa Hospital and Ottawa University, found that aerobic exercise increased the production of SNF2H, a protein that serves as a growth factor for brain cells. This protein actually increased the myelin sheath around the axons of brain cells.

Myelin Sheath is the insulation around axons. Axons are part of every neuron (brain cell). There is one axon attached to every brain cell. Axons are the part of brain cells that send signals to the dendrites (receivers of brain signals). The thicker the myelin sheath, the stronger and healthier the brain cell. Stronger means the signals sent by the axon are faster and more powerful.

Studies have shown that thicker myelin sheaths around axons correlates to greater cognitive ability (higher IQ).

If you are pursuing a dream or seeking to become a virtuoso at what you do, aerobic exercise increases your chances of success by boosting brain performance.

So, it makes sense that those who eventually become millionaires, long before they become millionaires, forge the habit of exercising aerobically every day. This aerobic exercise habit gives those pursuing success a decided advantage – higher IQ’s and improved brain performance.

Here’s Why Etiquette Matters

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As many of you who follow me know, the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study had forged good etiquette habits, while the poor in my study had poor etiquette habits. Also, in my study, I found that self-made millionaires focused on adding value to the lives of others, while poor people were primarily focused on adding value to their own lives.

These finding were recently validated by a joint twenty-year study by Penn State University and Duke University (Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center), researchers studied the teacher evaluations of 800 students from kindergarten and followed these students into their mid-twenties to see how they were doing in life.

The researchers found that those kindergarteners with good etiquette (helpful to other students and willing to share with other students) were more likely to have graduated college, to be gainfully employed and to not have been arrested than students with lesser prosocial etiquette skills.

Good etiquette and the desire to add value to the lives of others (selflessness) is a shared Rich Habit of millionaires, according to my Rich Habits Study. Poor etiquette and selfishness is a shared Poor Habit of those struggling with poverty, according to this same study.

Success is a process. Poverty is a process. The process you follow is defined by your habits. Good habits are the process self-made millionaires follow. Bad habits are the process poor people follow. If you want to succeed in life, you must forge good habits.

80% of Your Life Span is Determined by Your Habits

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If you’re not sold on the importance of habits, this might change your mind.

Dr. Michael Greger and his research team poured through 24,000 studies on longevity and found that 80-90% of the risk factors associated with age-related diseases (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimers, Dementia, etc.) were driven by diet and lifestyle (aka Habits).

Simply put, your habits dictate how long you live.

Habits Which Increase Your Life Span:

  • Exercising Aerobically – Daily cardio of 20 minutes or more reduces risk factors for all sorts of age-related diseases.
  • Fasting or Intermittent Fasting – Fasting requires that you do not eat for 24 hours or more. Intermittent Fasting requires that you forgo eating for 12 hours or more.  Intermittent Fasting is basically eating once a day. Fasting also gives your brain a rest. It reduces synaptic activity, allowing your brain to rest and repair itself. This rest reduces oxidative stress within each brain cell, improving brain health and brain function.
  • Eating Healthy Foods – This involves eating more fiber and less protein. Protein should be less than 20% of your daily diet. High fiber diets are also known as Pro-Biotics – the food bacteria in your gut eat to survive.
  • Eating Fermented Food – Fermented foods (i.e. yogurt) = Pre-Biotics, or good bacteria. Fermented foods increase the amount of good bacteria in your gut.
  • Rich Relationships – Rich Relationships are relationships you have with individuals who all share one thing in common – Positivity. If you surround yourself with positive, optimistic, upbeat, happy and enthusiastic people their positivity will infect you like a virus, transforming your from negative to positive. Positivity has been found to increase the length of Telomeres (caps at the end of each chromosome). Longer Telomeres have been found in various studies to be directly correlated to longer cell life, resulting in a longer life span.
  • Calming Your Mind – Any activities which reduce stress help keep Telomeres from shortening and reduce oxidative stress within the brain. Reducing stress also decreases the production of cortisol, a stress hormone which has been shown to impair immune function. Think running, biking, reading a book, meditating, listening to music, relaxing with family and friends, etc.

Habits That Make You Happy

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That feeling we call happiness is actually an elevation of primarily three neuro-chemicals – dopamine, seratonin and norepinephrine.

Dopamine naturally increases whenever we experience positive, good, upbeat events. Dopamine increases motivation, creative thinking, memory, problem solving and enthusiasm.

Serotonin naturally increases whenever we are around people we love or care about and experience love, compassion, friendship, etc. Serotonin is a natural mood stabilizer. it helps reduce depression, anxiety and chronic stress.

Norepinephrine naturally increases whenever you become excited about something. Norepinephrine increases arousal and alertness, promotes persistence, also enhances memory, and increases  your ability to focus.

The elevation occurs when these neuro-chemicals rise above a baseline. Each individual has their own happiness baseline. Leading experts on happiness have found that this happiness baseline is genetic, meaning hardwired into your DNA. Some people, therefore, experience happiness easier than others, depending on their happiness baseline.

But what if you could be happy most of the time? What if I told you that you could consistently elevate these happiness neuro-chemicals above your baseline and experience happiness more often?

The trick is to engage in daily habits which have the effect of increasing the daily production of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.

So, what habits boost these happiness neuro-chemicals?

  • Daily Aerobic Exercise – Aerobic exercise is a happiness activity because it contributes to an overall feeling of well being. Aerobic exercise releases endorphins (form of norepinephrine), natural painkillers that promote an increased sense of well-being and make us feel “happier”.
  • Daily Learning – Our brains are hardwired to learn. When we learn something the brain rewards you with specific neuro-chemicals, such as dopamine, serotonin and brain-derived neurotrophic factors, all of which make us feel happier.
  • Relationship-Building Activities – The latest science on happiness (Harvard University Longitudinal Study on Happiness) indicates that the more close relationships you have, the happier you are. Volunteering, networking, team sports activities, club participation, mentoring and groups you participate in will help increase the number of close relationships you have.
  • Practiced Positivity – Expressing gratitude daily, daily positive affirmations and reading something inspirational creates a positive mental outlook, which elevates serotonin.
  • Meditation – Mediation helps increase the production of serotonin, calming the mind and reducing stress.
  • Pursuing a Dream – Pursuing something meaningful or something you are passionate about is like hitting the trifecta – you elevate all three neuro-chemicals at once.
  • Pursuing Goals – Like pursuing a dream, the pursuit of goals triggers the release of the three primary happiness neuro-chemicals.
  • Spending Time With Family and Friends – Spending time with those you love or care about boosts serotonin and engaging in family or friend-related activities also boosts dopamine and norepinephrine.
  • Engaging in a Hobby – Finding something you love doing will increase dopamine and norepinephrine.

The Physical Structure of Habits Inside the Brain

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I believe if you understand the physiology of habits, their physical structure, it is easier to wrap your head around how habits work and why they are so important. So, let me try to explain that physiology.

We actually have three brains:

  1. Cortex – Also known as the “New Brain”. Evolutionarily, it is the most recent addition to the brain. Neurologists believe it evolved around 200,000 to 250,000 years ago.
  2. Limbic System – Second oldest part of the brain. Controls many functions, including habits.
  3. Brain Stem – Oldest part of the brain. Part of the central nervous system, which automates many functions, such as breathing, blood flow, hunger, heart function, and the automatic functioning of many other organs.

Inside the second brain region, the Limbic System, is something called the Basal Ganglia. The Basal Ganglia is considered the command and control center for habits.

Inside the Basal Ganglia is something called the Striatum. The Striatum has two parts:

  1. The Dorsal Striatum has long, branch-like tendrils which reach out and connect to the Cortex, Substantia Nigra and Thalamus. This is one of the many ways the “New Brain” is connected to the “Old Brain”.
  2. The Ventral Striatum includes something called the Nucleus Accumbens, which is the reward center of the brain. It too is connected to the “New Brain”.

The Striatum has two sets of unique neurons (brain cells) called Fast Spiking Interneurons (FSI):

  1. Go Pathway – The FSIs inside the Go Pathway turn on habits. They are the neurons that are activated when your kids see the McDonalds yellow arches.
  2. Stop Pathway – The FSIs inside the Stop Pathway turn off habits when the habit is done doing what it does (example – eating a McDonald’s burger). Once the reward is received for engaging in a habit, the Stop Pathway FSIs send a signal to the cortex to disengage from the habit (stop eating food at McDonalds).

Rich Habits Poor Habits – Turning Goals Into Habits

Watch Michael Yardney and Tom Corley discuss the 5 year rich habits study and learn how the rich turn their goals into success habits.

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Luck Likes Dreamers

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Opportunity Luck is a unique type of good luck because it is manufactured. You manufacture Opportunity Luck by doing things which create the opportunity for good luck to occur.

One of those things that creates Opportunity Luck is pursuing a dream.

The pursuit of a dream, by default, requires the creation of goals. Goals must have two things:

  1. Physical Activity and
  2. 100% Achievability

Dreams unleash passion which motivates you to take action. If you have the requisite skills and knowledge to take that action, the goals become 100% achievable.

The objective of every goal is to produce some desired outcome. Sometimes, however, those outcomes exceed your expectations or create unexpected outcomes that benefit your life in some way. Exceeded expectations and unexpected good outcomes are typically referred to as good luck.

This is Opportunity Luck – luck you create by pursuing the goals behind your dreams.

Opportunity Luck likes dreamers. And it reveals itself only to dreamers who take action on their dreams.

When you are the beneficiary of Opportunity Luck, your life improves in some way. Very often, this benefit is in the form of wealth or money, particularly if your dream is something that can be monetized.

Mark Zuckerberg was the beneficiary of Opportunity Luck. So too was Steve Jobs, Thomas Edison, Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.

They all took action on their dreams, and they got lucky.

Opportunity Luck does not visit those sitting on the couch watching TV. It doesn’t visit those reading Harry Potter (unless you are J.K. Rowling). It doesn’t visit those who are too afraid to pursue their dreams and, thus, the goals behind their dreams.

Opportunity Luck only visits those who take action on their dreams. It is one of the great secrets to success, that few are aware of.

Let luck find you. Pursue a dream today. Stop thinking about it and do it.

For every dreamer, hard work, disappointment, obstacles and problems are your bedfellows, but so too is Opportunity Luck. And when Opportunity Luck finds you, everything about your life changes, for the better.

Wealth, Health and Happiness is Just a Habit Away

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According to a 2006 Duke University Study, 40% or more of all daily activities are habits.

This means 40% of the time we are all on auto pilot. If we have good habits, our life is on autopilot for health, wealth and happiness. If we have bad habits, life is on autopilot for illness, poverty and unhappiness.

Think of habits as part of the seesaw of life. On one side of your seesaw are your good habits and on the other side are your bad habits. If you have more good habits than bad habits, the circumstances of your life will reflect those good habits.

If, however, you have far more bad habits than good habits, the circumstances of your life will not be very good.
[Read more…]

You Are The CEO Of Your Life

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Tom Corley boats - cropOne of my favorite Rich Habits is Rich Habit #6: I Will Live Each and Every Day in a State of Moderation.

I come from a big Irish family (11). And I married into an equally big Irish family (10). I love it when we get together because we love each other and get along so well. We like to drink, we like to eat, we like to gossip, we like to laugh and, sometimes, unfortunately, we like to fight.

Any problems, when we get together, are very rare. But, when we do have problems, there is always one common denominator – Excess.

If you allow it, excess can become a habit that WILL destroy your life, destroy your relationships, destroy your marriage, destroy your career, destroy your health or destroy your finances.

Excess eating. Excess drinking. Excess spending. Excess drugs. Excess anger. Excess talking. Excess gossiping. Excess smoking. Excess TV. Excess junk food. Excess Internet. Excess procrastination. Excess sloth. Excess sarcasm. Excess disrespect. Excess cursing. Excess working. Excess (fill-in-the-blank).

Excess is your enemy.

The remedy to excess is living your life in moderation. Moderation is really the foundation of discipline. To moderate your behavior, thinking and emotions means to discipline yourself to avoid excesses.

Successful people moderate their excesses. They forge the Moderation Rich Habit.

Because they do, no single thing can damage or control their life. Ultimately, moderation means taking control of your life and dictating how you will live your life.

You choose to be overweight.

You choose to be lean and healthy.

You choose to be angry.

You choose to be happy and grateful.

You choose to become an alcoholic.

You choose to avoid alcohol.

You choose to become a drug addict.

You choose to avoid taking drugs.

You choose to destroy your marriage with infidelity.

You choose to strengthen your marriage by being loyal and trustworthy.

Every excess is a choice you make.

If you want to have a shot at a successful life, you must forge the habit of moderating your behavior, thinking and emotions.

Those who fail, fail for a lot of reasons. Oftentimes, they are man-made reasons and those man-made reasons are almost always our excesses.

Will you let your excesses control your life or will you decide to be the CEO of you behavior, thinking and emotions?

Become the CEO of your life. Live your life in moderation.