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.

 

Me Vs. You

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Poor people have a ME mindset. They are focused on themselves and what others can do to help them in life. This is born of a scarcity mindset, which focuses on what you lack and want. It is a selfish, victim-based mindset. The problem with this mindset is that people eventually catch on to your scheme and, one by one, will avoid doing business with you.

Self-made millionaires have a YOU mindset. They are focused on what they can do to help others in life. This is born of an abundance mindset, which focuses on what you have that you can give to others.

If you want to succeed in life you have to get into the YOU mindset. When you give others what they need and want, you become a resource to them. The more value you are able to give others, the more of a premium others will be willing to pay for you as a resource.

Poor people have no herds. Millionaires have hundreds of people in their herd. The YOU mindset attracts more people to your herd. The bigger your herd, the more money and success you will realize in life.

Bragging Puts You on the Path to Poverty

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Bragging is a Poor Habit. It’s a habit born out of insecurity and dishonesty. Avoid braggers at all costs. They are negative, toxic individuals who are accustomed to lying in order to get their way.

Successful people see right through braggers. And what they see is someone who is severely insecure and dishonest.

If you catch yourself bragging it’s a sign that you are functioning from a negative mindset. And negativity is the path to poverty.

Wealthy, successful people do not brag because they have a very positive perception of themselves and do not require any endorsement from others. Successful people let their success do the bragging for them. 

The Furnace of Adversity Exposes the Greatness Inside of You

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No one likes adversity. It’s disruptive. It’s stressful. It’s painful. And it’s harrowing.

But, without adversity there would be no learning. Without learning there would be no growth. And without growth there is no success.

Those who survive adversity become stronger because of it. Overcoming adversity makes you more confident. Anxiety and fear are replaced by your new confidence. That new confidence emboldens you, making you less fearful to take on new challenges. You earn that confidence only by facing adversity.

This is why it is so important to try. You must try. If you give into your fears and do not take action on your dreams and your goals you will never know what greatness is hidden away inside of you.

The furnace of adversity exposes the greatness inside you.

Better to Tell a Hard Truth Than an Easy Lie

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Ninety-five percent of the self-made millionaires in my Rich Habits Study said they made a habit of telling the truth. It was a habit they forged because they learned, the hard way, that spinning the truth ultimately cost them money.

Lying, even just once, can destroy a relationship in a moment. Think about that. You invest years in building a relationship with someone important and then, because of a lie, you send all of that investment in that relationship down the toilet. What a waste of time.

Telling the truth is a Rich Habit that must be forged on a daily basis. Those who lie, do not build long-lasting relationships with individuals who can open doors for you – success-minded individuals. Success-minded individuals don’t tolerate liars.  They toss them away, like yesterday’s trash. Once you lose their trust, you lose the relationship. Along with that lost trust, is lost money, as they take their business and their relationship elsewhere.

When you lie to someone, you open yourself up to unexpected consequences. The individual you lied to will almost always share their distrust of you with others. Lying creates a domino effect of negative consequences that makes success almost impossible.

Sometimes telling the truth can be painful. As a rule, most individuals would rather avoid confrontation. And sometimes telling the truth can result in confrontation. But it is better to deal with the discomfort of telling the truth then in dealing with the ramifications of telling a lie. Lies almost always come back to bite you when you least expect it.

Better to tell a hard truth than an easy lie.

Fadchasers Never Succeed

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You’ve met them. They are everywhere. One year they are obsessed with selling something unique over the Internet. The next year they are a mortgage broker. And the next year they’re consultants consulting on something. Every year they are onto something new and incredible.

These people are Fadchasers – individuals who suffer from Bright Shiny Object Syndrome, perpetually chasing some new business or some new money-making fad. They lock onto the latest, greatest money-making scheme they come across. A perfect example of this is Bitcoin. Bitcoin investing is the latest fad. Everyone is jumping on the Bitcoin wagon, hoping to strike it rich quick.

Unfortunately, as with all Fadchasers, after a few years of not making a “killing”, they lose interest, shut down their business and move onto something new. Fadchasers never become rich and successful because they don’t stick to anything long enough.

You can’t spend your life throwing mud at the wall to see what sticks. At some point you need to put a stake in the ground and commit to doing one thing and doing it until you become an expert in it. This takes many years, sometimes decades, perhaps even a lifetime.

According to my Rich Habits research, the true path towards success and riches is in finding something you like doing and then devoting the REST OF YOUR LIFE to it. Success requires commitment, persistence and consistency. It takes time. This path to success is not a fast, instant gratification path, but it is the surest path.

Anger Prevents Success

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“A soft answer turns away wrath but grievous words stir up anger.” Proverbs 15:1

Ninety-three percent of the self-made millionaires in my study made a habit of not losing their temper. Why? Because anger prevents success. Here are some of my findings from my research regarding anger:

  • People avoid individuals who are not able to control their anger. Anger destroys relationships and impairs your business.
  • Anger also shuts down the prefrontal cortex and activates the amygdala, the negative emotion center of the brain. Thus, it temporarily blinds you to finding solutions to problems. You are unable to think your way out of stressful situations, which undermines your business.
  • Anger results in bad decisions and poor choices.
  • Anger exacerbates problems and fuels arguments. It is like adding kindling to a fire, expanding and growing the fire.
  • Anger destroys relationships and destroy a marriage.
  • Anger creates more stress. It elevates your levels of cortisol (stress hormone), which impairs the production of T-Cells (immune cells), leading to sickness and disease.
  • Anger increases inflammation throughout the body, increasing the incidence of heart disease.
  • Anger decreases your happiness and increases your unhappiness. It does the same for your relationships.
  • Anger with employees tears down employees, destroying there self esteem, decreasing their productivity, which impairs your business.
  • Angry people drink more and have more addictions.
  • Angry people are not respected or admired. They are considered too impulsive and a danger to do business with.
  • Anger destroys business partnerships.

 

People Respond Positively to Positivity

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One of the many secrets to success I found in my Rich Habits research was that positivity increases your chances to become rich and successful.

I have many studies in my Study Binder on Positivity. Here are some highlights regarding positivity:

  • People want to develop relationships with positive, upbeat people.
  • When you are in business, referrals come much easier to you if you possess a positive mindset.
  • Positivity puts others at ease, relaxes them, soothes them.
  • Positivity will inspire and motivate those who work for you – you get the best out of your employees.
  • Positivity is a competitive advantage – customers, clients, patients will be reluctant to leave you for the competition.
  • Positivity brings out the best in you.
  • Positivity improves all of your relationships.
  • Positivity infects others like a virus. One individual’s positivity can alter the mindset of a person with a negative mindset. Caveat: one individual’s negative mindset can alter the mindset of a positive person.
  • People are more eager to follow positive people.
  • People will run through walls for a positive leader or supervisor.
  • Organizations with an upbeat, positive environment have many advantages: longer-term employees, higher creativity, stronger customer-base, better communication of ideas & solutions within the organization, higher sales and profits, more productivity, better able to overcome adversity and experience constant growth.
  • Positive people stay married longer.
  • Positive people suffer less from chronic stress – they have less anxiety.
  • Positive people are much better at dealing with emergencies, unexpected consequences and other short-term stress events.
  • Positive people are healthier – they have stronger immune systems.
  • Positive people have longer telomeres, which translates into fewer diseases and a longer lifespan.
  • Positive people exercise more frequently, making them healthier and more fit.
  • Positive people are more open-minded and, thus, able to grow their IQ and knowledge-base, increasing their intelligence throughout their lives.
  • Positive people are less judgmental of others which endears them to others.
  • Positive people are not stuck in ideology and are thus more flexible in understanding the views of others, which makes others like them more and want to deal with them more.
  • Positive people have more friends and a larger social network.
  • Positive people are more creative.
  • Positive people are better able to see solutions to problems, overcome obstacles and persevere in the face of adversity.
  • Positive people make more money and accumulate more wealth during their lifetimes.