Breaking the Generational Cycle of Poverty and Reducing Income Inequality

40% of all of our daily activities are daily habits. This means 40% of the time we are all on auto pilot. If we have good habits, life is good. If we have bad habits, life is bad. Think of a seesaw. On one side of your seesaw are your good habits and on the other side are your bad habits. If you have far more good habits than bad habits you will be rich. If you have far more bad habits than good habits you will be poor.

In wealthy households parents go to great lengths to teach their children good daily success habits. 74% of parents in my study taught their children good daily habits that they learned from their parents. These habits follow their children into adulthood. This is why the rich get richer. I refer to this as, “the generational cycle of wealth”. In wealthy households, the rich get richer and this pattern repeats itself from one generation to the next.

In poor households children are not taught good daily habits and in fact learn bad habits from their parents. 99% of poor parents in my study did not teach their children any of the good daily success habits I uncovered in my research. It’s not intentional. Poor parents never learned good habits from their parents. This is why the poor get poorer. I refer to this as, “the generational cycle of poverty”. In poor households the poor get poorer and this pattern repeats itself from one generation to the next.

So, in reality, parents are responsible for the wealth gap and income inequality in our country. Not Wall Street, the wealthy or government policies. This defies the current trend in our country that pushes an “I am a Victim” ideology. That ideology does nothing except keep the poor poor and get politicians elected.

So how do you break the generational cycle of poverty?  You have to change your habits and change your thinking.

Ten Keystone Habits That Will End Your Generational Poverty:

  1. Successful people have eliminated many of their bad daily failure habits and replaced them with good daily success habits. How? They self-assess by listing all of the bad habits that are holding them back in life and then try to eliminate each bad habit, one at a time.
  2. Successful people set daily, monthly, annual and long-term goals. They understand the difference between a wish and a goal.
  3. Successful people were taught by their parents to engage in 30 minutes a day of daily self-improvement, educational reading.
  4. Successful people are healthy people. They exercise aerobically 30 minutes a day, four days a week and stay below their “caloric threshold” (This is the number of calories consumed each day that will neither make you gain weight nor lose weight). For men this ranges from 2,000 calories a day to 2,600 calories a day. For women this ranges from 1,500 calories a day to 2,100 calories a day.
  5. Successful people manage their relationships every day. Strong relationships are the currency of the wealthy. They employ certain strategies to grow their relationships such as: “The Hello Call”, “The Happy Birthday Call” and “The Life Event Call”. They use a specific strategy to help them increase their Rich Relationships and eliminate their Poverty Relationships.
  6. Successful people live each day in moderation. They eat in moderation, spend in moderation, work in moderation and play in moderation.
  7. Successful people maintain a “to-do” list. They try to complete at least 70% of the tasks on their daily “to do” list.
  8. Successful people engage in “Rich Thinking”. They are upbeat, positive and focused on achievement. They believe poverty is a temporary circumstance and not a static or generational one.
  9. Successful people were taught by their parents to save a minimum of 10-20% of their income and live off of the remaining 80-90%.
  10. Successful people control their thoughts and emotions, every day. They understand that not every thought needs to come out of their mouth.

Failure, like success, is just a process. Our daily habits reveal which process we are following in life. Changing the process from failure to success requires that we change our daily habits from bad ones to good ones.


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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit,, India TV, Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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