When Drinking Beer is a Rich Habit

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Come on. Did you really think I would have research on why drinking beer is a Rich Habit?

Well, actually I have something to share that you might call a stretch as it relates to beer drinking being a Rich Habit.

Rich Habit #6 – Everything in Moderation

You might find this piece a bit counterintuitive, since I spend so much time expounding on forging good habits and eradicating bad habits. But I’m also a realist and I know none of us are angels. We all do bad things every now and then.

What separates the successful from the unsuccessful, however, is the successful moderate the bad things they do in life. And, sorry to say, beer is one of those bad things. So is wine, hard liquor, smoking pot, Oreos, White Castle hamburgers, etc.

They’re all bad for your health and every time you go overboard consuming these bad things, it’s like opening the door and inviting cancer to walk right through. Why? Because too much of these bad things create free radicals (free roaming electrons inside cells) and too many free roaming electrons do two things:

  1. Bounce off the nucleus inside cells, mutating your DNA, potentially mutating your DNA, causing cancer and
  2. Damage telomers (caps at the end of every chromosome), damaging chromosomes, which can then mutate, causing cancer.

Because I’m here to help, I want you to know that it’s OK to engage in bad things, but only if you follow Rich Habit #6. When you consume beer, wine, hard liquor or smoke pot in moderation, your amazing body has the ability to fix any damage that you do.

But when you violate Rich Habit #6 and do bad things in excess, your body gets overwhelmed and is unable to clean up or repair the damage you do.

So, in order to keep the door closed to cancer, stick to Rich Habit #6. Do what you want to do, just do it in moderation.

How Millionaires Think

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Any mental thought, often repeated, becomes a habit. Habitual thoughts make you who you are. Millionaires are rich because of the way they habitually think. Their habitual thinking comes first and their habitual behavior follows. If you habitually think a certain way you will habitually act a certain way. To become rich you have to learn how to think like a Millionaire. What are some of the thinking habits of Millionaires?

  • Millionaires Believe in Themselves: 79% believed they could rise from poverty or the middle-class to wealth. 90% did not believe in fate. They believed they were the architects of their lives.
  • Millionaires Believe Hard Work Trumps Intelligence: 90% believed hard work was more important than a high IQ.
  • Millionaires Believe Persistence Creates Good Luck: 92% believed they created their own good luck by relentlessly pursuing something they were passionate about. They were persistently patient in their pursuit of their dreams and goals. It took the average person in Millionaires 12 years to succeed in their realizing their dream and becoming rich.
  • Millionaires Are Optimists: 54% believed their optimism was a critical factor in their success.
  • Millionaires Control Their Emotions: 81% made a habit of controlling their negative emotions such as anger, envy, resentment and hate. This made it easier for others to do business with them.
  • Millionaires Believe Honesty is the Best Policy: 85% told the truth all the time. They never lied. Being perceived as honest helps build trust, a foundation for success and strong relationships.

How Millionaires Talk

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Constant communication is a prerequisite to building strong relationships. Millionaires are great communicators and because of that they are able to build strong, long-lasting relationships. What are some of the communication strategies I uncovered in my research?

  • Millionaires Do Not Gossip: 94% avoided gossip. Most gossip is negative and can do irreparable harm to your relationships. Since Millionaires are fanatics when it comes to building strong relationships, gossip is something they avoid like the plague.
  • Millionaires Make Happy Birthday Calls: 80% made happy birthday calls to the people who were important to them. Happy birthday calls serve to keep your important relationships on life support but 25% of those you call will reciprocate and call you on your birthday, taking your relationship off life support.
  • Millionaires Make Hello Calls: 80% regularly called those they wanted to build a strong relationships with. One of the tools they used was the Hello Call – regular calls to say hello and gather information on your relationships.
  • Millionaires Make Life Event Calls: Life event calls, such as calling someone to congratulate them on the birth of a child, an award or a promotion, creates strong emotional bonds that allow you to grow strong relationships. Making a life event call is like putting your relationships on steroids.
  • Millionaires Vet Their Thoughts: 94% did not say what was on their mind. They restrained themselves. This allowed them to gather their thoughts about how to effectively communicate something that was important.

 

How Millionaires Behaviors Differ From Non-Millionaires

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Millionaires have certain ritual behaviors that put them on the path towards success. What are some of those behaviors?

  • Millionaires Take Care of Their Bodies: 76% engaged in 20 – 30 minutes of cardio, four or more days a week. That’s running, jogging, brisk walking, biking, swimming, etc. It doesn’t cost any money to run, jog or walk, so this is a habit anyone can mimic.  75% of Millionaires avoided fast food restaurants. Fast food is unhealthy food. Too much can lead to obesity and other health problems.
  • Millionaires Are Readers: 85% of Millionaires read two or more books every month and 88% read 30 minutes or more each day. What did they read? 51% read about history, 55% read self-help, 58% read biographies of successful people and 79% read educational material.
  • Millionaires Build Rich Relationships: 86% networked with people who could help them realize their dreams and their goals. These were individuals who were like-minded in their pursuit of success.
  • Millionaires Are Decision Makers: 91% were decision makers at their place of business. They made quick decisions and lived with the consequences of those decisions. They took action and did not overthink things.
  • Millionaires Have Good Etiquette: 75% sent thank you cards, holiday cards, and other cards for special occasions.  They said please, thank you and may I. They looked others in the eyes while listening. They acknowledged birthdays, anniversaries and important events in the lives of those they cared about. They did not criticize others, condemn others or complain to or about others.
  • Millionaires Are Passionate: 82% pursued something they were passionate about. Passion is like a light switch. When it is turned on it endows you with an unlimited supply of persistence and persistence is the #1 trait of all successful people.
  • Millionaires Set and Pursue Big Goals: 55% pursued one singular goal for more than one year.
  • Millionaires Say No Often: They made a habit out of saying no to people and things that interfere with the important things they wanted to accomplish in life. It’s hard to say no, but learning to say no is an important time management tool Millionaires relied on heavily.

 

A Common Trait Among Toxic Relationships

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It’s hard to weed out 100% of your toxic relationships.

Family members are the most common of the toxic relationships that infect our lives. Childhood friendships are another source of toxic relationships that infect our lives.

One of the Poor Habits prevalent among toxic relationships is financial dependence. Toxic people with this Poor Habit frequently have some financial emergency that they need bail out money for. If you allow them to remain part of your inner circle, these toxic relationships will invariably hit you up for money.

If you’re married, trying to raise a family and working hard to forge a successful life, these financial bail out requests will negatively impact your marriage and your life. And that is one of the fall outs of having toxic relationships – they bring stress to your life, stress to the lives of your immediate family and they take you off your mission – to build a successful life.

As hard as it is to do, you must weed toxic relationships out of your life. If you don’t, they will negatively affect your life, undermine your marriage and drag you and your immediate family down with them.

Much of life is a series of tough choices. Choosing to eliminate toxic relationships from your life is one such choice. It’s not easy weeding out certain relationships, but it is necessary if you want to be the architect of your ideal, perfect life. Toxic relationships will throw a wrench into your plans and set you back financially, unless you make the right, tough choice and remove them from your life.

But don’t fret too much. Toxic relationships will always find someone else to bail them out financially – some other patsy who is not tuned into this financial dependence Poor Habit. Because you’re reading this, you are tuned in. And because you’re tuned in, you will make the right choice – to cut them out of your life.

How to Expand Your Comfort Zone

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We all have a comfort zone. A comfort zone represents the things we do every day that do not cause stress.

When you stay within your comfort zone, what that really means is that you are engaging in activities, on a daily basis, that you are comfortable doing. And because you are comfortable doing them, you do not feel any stress.

When you do things outside your comfort zone, things that are new and different, like learning a new skill, those new things create short-term stress. Because they are new things, your brain is taxed and pushed a little to perform those new things. This taxing of the brain creates stress and that stress will continue until you begin to get better at the new thing you are doing. Once you get good at that new thing, the stress subsides.

The benefit of practicing something new, is that it forces you to expand your comfort zone. The cost is the short-term stress you must endure.

The irony about the comfort zone is that, if you don’t engage in new things, because you don’t want to feel short-term stress, your comfort zone will never expand. As a result, most avoid engaging in new things in order to avoid feeling stress. And most, therefore, stay within their comfort zone.

The key to expanding your comfort zone is to make a habit of getting comfortable being uncomfortable, or getting comfortable with short-term stress. This happens to be one of the common denominators of self-made millionaires. They have conditioned themselves to endure short-term stress. Or put another way, self-made millionaires have created the daily habit of forcing themselves to expand their comfort zone.

As a result, self-made millionaires are in constant growth mode. And growth is a prerequisite for success. Success requires that your grow into the person you need to be in order for success to visit you.

If you don’t push yourself, if you don’t stress yourself every now and then, your comfort zone will never expand and if your comfort zone does not expand you won’t grow. And if you do not grow, success is impossible.

 

Habits = Values in Motion

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What are values?

Values are major pillars that act like a foundation for the life you live. They are the things that are most important to you. As an example, my values, in their order of importance, would be:

  1. Immediate Family
  2. Good Health
  3. Friendship
  4. Learning
  5. Financial Security
  6. Mentoring Others
  7. Extended Family

Knowing your values is important because your values are drivers – they set in motion other things like your dreams, the vision of your ideal life, passions and habits.

I’ve come to realize, thanks to my research, that values give birth to the habits we adopt in life. As an example, because of my values, I’ve adopted the following habits:

  • Frequent Hello Calls to my kids (immediate family), my friends (friendship), my brothers, sisters and in-laws (extended family) and important relationships I would like to grow or maintain (financial security).
  • Exercise every day and eat a lot of vegetables in order to maintain healthy microbiota (good health).
  • Daily reading (learning).
  • Tip of the Morning to Ya daily writing (mentoring others).

Therefore, if you have good values, you’ll forge Rich Habits and those Rich Habits will create a good life.

Conversely, if you have bad values, you’ll forge Poor Habits and your life will be miserable.

For example, if one of your most important values is Sex, you might forge the Poor Habit of Infidelity. This will undermine your marriage or relationship with your significant other.

Or, if one of your most important values is Partying, you might forge the Poor Habit of Drinking Too Much Alcohol. This could spiral into alcoholism, which ends up destroying your life and the lives of those you love (family and friends).

When your values are off, your habits will be off and your life will be off.

The key to creating the ideal life is, therefore, is to make sure your values are good values because those good values will force you to adopt good habits.

Your habits are really nothing more than daily activities built around your values. Or, more concisely, your habits are your values, in motion.

The Obsessed Shall Inherit the Earth

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“Always hire fanatics. They have a way of succeeding, where others fail.” Ed Koch, former Mayor of New York City.

Those who are obsessed, never stop trying until they succeed. The obsessed never give up on their dreams, their goals, their business, careers or long-term objectives. They will keep trying until they die or become permanently disabled. They will persevere in the face of adversities that stop ordinary people in their tracks. When your passion to achieve reaches the level of obsession, failure is never an option.

The simplest definition of obsession is this:

24/7 thinking and action directed towards a single objective.

You cannot force obsession. You either have it or you don’t. Those who pursue anything that becomes their main purpose or calling in life, all share one thing in common – obsession. Find your obsession and you will not fail. Success is attracted to the obsessed and elusive to everyone else. Find your obsession and you will inherit the earth.

When to Make Important Decisions

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Jonathan Levav of Columbia University and Shai Danzinger of Ben-Gurion University studied 1,000 parol decisions by various judges.  Seventy percent of prisoners received parol (were set free) in the early morning while only 10% of prisoners received parol by judges who decided on parol later in the day.

Why is this significant?

The judges, at different points during the day, suffered from something called Decision Fatigue – a loss of willpower, making it more difficult to make important decisions.

These judges were unwilling or unable to make critical decisions (free prisoners) when their willpower was at its lowest point. As a result, the judges chose the safest, least risky course of action – defer on their parol decisions.

The decisions you make affect the quality of your life. Poor decisions affect your life negatively and good decisions affect your life in a positive way. It’s critical, therefore, to make good decisions. But making good decisions can be difficult when you suffer from Decision Fatigue (low willpower). In order to guarantee that your decisions are good ones, it’s critical to make those decisions when your willpower is at its highest point.

When is willpower at its highest point? Willpower is at its highest point:

  • At the beginning of the day – during the first two hours after waking from sleep.
  • Two hours after a mid-day power nap.
  • Two hours after eating a low-carbohydrate meal.
  • Two hours after exercising aerobically.

Never make important decisions when your willpower energy is low and never enter into any negotiation when you suffer from Decision Fatigue – your willpower will be too low to make an effective counter-argument and you will find yourself on the losing end of every negotiation.

Financial Independence is a Two-Step Process

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Being rich, or being financially independent, boils down to two things:

  1. Accumulating Wealth and
  2. Keeping the Wealth You’ve Accumulated

In my book Change Your Habits Change Your Life I share some of the stories about how these self-made millionaires accumulated their wealth.

Getting rich requires that you forge certain specific habits that make getting rich possible. Some of the most important Rich Habits for accumulating wealth include the following:

  • Daily Growth – Daily self-improvement is a must for those who are pursuing wealth. You must make a daily habit of acquiring knowledge. You must also, on a daily basis, hone your skills – perfecting them until you become expert in them.
  • Rich Relationships – Forging relationships with other success-minded people is critical to success.
  • Dream-Setting – Building goals around each one of your dreams makes it possible for you to realize each of your dreams. Every dream is like a rung on the ladder. You climb the ladder of success, one rung at a time. This takes time. Eighty percent of the self-made millionaires pursued some dream or vision. They then built goals around their dreams and never quit trying, even if it meant bankruptcy or divorce. In fact, 27% did fail. But they still did not quit. They regrouped, got back up and kept trying.
  • Be Persistent – Persistence, I found, eventually results in good luck. Good luck pays dividends in the form of success and wealth.
  • Develop a Niche in Your Career or Business – Those in my study who had a unique expertise in a particular area were paid the most by their company or were able to charge more to customers or clients than their competition. You can develop your niche on the side, in the mornings, at night or over the weekend through self-study or by taking classes at night.
  • Create Multiple Streams of Income – Sixty-five percent of the millionaires in my study had at least three streams of income. This creates a hedge against failure and poverty. When one stream suffers, the others come to the rescue.
  • Be Patient – Eighty percent of the rich in my study did not become rich until age 50. Fifty-two percent did not become rich until age 56. It takes a long time to create wealth. You have to learn to be patient if you want to become successful.
  • Save Money – Ninety-four percent of the rich saved 20% or more of their income. They began saving long before they became rich. They then put their savings to use by taking certain calculated risks.
  • Take Calculated Risks –Success requires risk. You have to take some risk in time and money in order to build wealth of any kind. I’m not talking about gambling here. I’m talking about an entirely different type of risk called calculated risk. Calculated risk is a type of risk that requires you to do your homework. Good luck finds the prepared. This risk requires that you gain some experience and working knowledge in some area and then put that knowledge to work by taking action. It might be real estate, investing in some private business, starting your own business, etc. The millionaires in my study took risks with their savings. Fifty-one percent invested their savings to start up or invest in private businesses or make investments in specific areas such as real estate, unique products or unique services.
  • Be Optimistic and Enthusiastic About Life – Seventy-one percent of the self-made millionaires in my study were optimistic about life. They believed in themselves. They enthusiastically pursued their dreams and goals. Their optimism infected everyone around them. They became magnets for other success-minded people. This helped them in creating teams that would eventually help lead them to success.
  • Control Your Thoughts, Emotions and Your Words – Eighty-one percent of the rich made a habit of controlling their thoughts and emotions. Not every thought needs to come out of your mouth and not every emotion needs to be expressed. Doing so damages relationships; relationships that could otherwise open important doors for you and members of your family.
  • You Can’t Succeed on Your Own – The rich build teams. They find apostles for their cause – individuals devoted to them and who share their vision and purpose. The team players benefited financially from their success. You need the cooperation of others to help you succeed in life. The rich are good at forming teams of people who are able to cooperate together, focused on pursuing a singular dream or purpose. No one does it on their own.
  • Be Open-Minded – You can’t learn anything if you are closed minded. Being open to new ideas, new ways of doing things and the opinions of others is critical to learning and growth. Growth is the parent of success. You must grow into the person you need to be in order for success to visit you.
  • Give First, Get Later – In order to get, you must first give. You must give value to others either in the form of service or through some product offering. Giving always comes first. It was no surprise that 79% of the rich in my study volunteered for charities or non-profit groups. They made a habit out of giving their time, money and expertise.
  • Finish What You Start – The rich don’t quit. They stick to something until they succeed, go bankrupt or die. Eighty-percent were focused on achieving some goal and 55% spent one year or more on one singular goal. They do not leave projects uncompleted before starting other projects.
  • You Can’t Get Rich if You’re Unhealthy – “You can’t make money from a hospital bed.” That’s what one millionaire told me during my research. The rich exercise every day, they moderate their consumption of junk food, they drink alcohol in moderation, they avoid fast food restaurants, they floss every day they eat healthy foods and most don’t smoke cigarettes. Consequently, 82% of the rich said they had no health issues.
  • Don’t Be Cheap – The rich are generous with their time and money. Because they operate from an abundance mindset they are not afraid to donate their time and money. There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal. Many of the rich in my study were frugal with their money when it came to their personal expenses, but were nonetheless generous to others in need.
  • Be Fearless – The rich have made a habit of overcoming their fears. They are not superstitious and believe they can overcome any obstacle that is put in their way.
  • No Excuses – The rich believe they are the architects of their lives. They don’t give excuses, they don’t rationalize failures and they don’t blame anyone but themselves for their circumstances in life. They take individual responsibility for their behavior, their choices and their lives.
  • Be a Cheerleader – Rich, successful people are great cheerleaders. They encourage other success-minded people who are pursuing a dream or some purpose in life. Their own success helps them understand that all things are possible in life, irrespective of where you start out in life.

But accumulating wealth is only one part of the equation. In my book Rich Habits Poor Habits, I share another equally important part of being rich – holding on to the wealth you’ve accumulated.

Staying rich requires that you forge certain specific habits that ensure the wealth you’ve accumulated does not disappear. Here are a few of the most important Rich Habits that will help you keep your wealth:

  • Put Your Wealth to Work – Accumulating wealth is important but you must also put your wealth to work if you want to keep it. Putting your wealth to work means investing it wisely in stocks, bonds, real estate and other business opportunities.
  • Set Aside Part of Your Wealth for Retirement – Save 10-20% of the income you make and put that money into long-term retirement assets that you don’t touch until you retire.
  • Watch What You Spend – Do you know where your money goes? You should. Tracking what you spend opens your eyes so you may know exactly where your money goes. Tracking your spending allows you to make adjustments to how you spend your money. If you don’t track your  spending it can get out of control. This Lifestyle Creep can cause your wealth to disappear over time. I’ve written often about the need to avoid Lifestyle Creep.
  • Avoid Spontaneous or Emotional Purchases – Never buy anything on impulse. It is almost always the wrong thing to do. That spontaneous or emotional purchase will lose its luster after only a few weeks. Then you’re stuck with something you don’t need and that does not generate any income.
  • Live Below Your Means – Living below your means keeps you from falling into the trap of Lifestyle Creep. No matter what good fortune visits you in life, do not change your standard of living. Don’t supersize your life by buying things you really do not need. Live a modest, simple life.

Never forget wealth is a two-step process. The game doesn’t begin and end with getting rich. You must forge Rich Habits that guarantees the wealth you accumulate sticks around for a long time.