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…]

Success Requires Sacrifice – But Why Is Sacrifice So Hard?

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In the early days of humanity, food was scarce. So, the brain evolved to encourage gorging, or overeating. The body then stored any excess nutrients in the liver and in fats cells throughout the body.

When scarcity returned, the nutrients stored in the liver and fat cells were converted to energy and used to keep humans alive, until the next opportunity to gorge presented itself.

This process of gorging has been hardwired into our DNA over millions of years of battling food scarcity.

Today, food scarcity in most industrialized economies around the world is uncommon. Instead, almost everywhere you turn, there is food. Restaurants, fast food outlets, pizzerias, supermarkets, convenience stores and farm markets freckle the landscape in just about every town.

This food abundance, in terms of humanity’s millions of years existence, is hot-off-the-press brand new. It is so new, in fact, that our brains have not adjusted to this new reality.

Our brains are still stuck in the caveman days of food scarcity. As a result, we are still hardwired to eat all of the food we can. Hence, our modern day obesity epidemic.

This obesity epidemic is the result of two separate brain systems who are at war with each other. One system drives the more powerful desire for instant gratification and the other system drives the less powerful desire to sacrifice, or delay gratification.

Instant Gratification System

The ventromedial area of the frontal cortex, the newest addition to our amazing brain, is the passion system that links to the limbic system and brain stem, two very old and powerful parts of the brain that have been around for millions of years.

This ventromedial area alerts the limbic system and brain stem whenever food is present. Together, the limbic system and brain stem send a signal along the vagus nerve, a long mass of neural fibers that connects the brain to the stomach, to eat. The hunger pain you feel, is the stomach’s response to that signal.

Delayed Gratification System

The 200,000 year old newly evolved ventrolateral area of the frontal cortex is the self-control system that goes to war with the brain stem and limbic system in an effort to overpower this dominating desire to eat.

It’s not a fair fight. It’s akin to a battle between David (frontal cortex) and Goliath (brain stem and limbic system). And, for most people, instant gratification wins the war.

But, as you recall, David defeated Goliath. And, similarly, it is possible, even probable, to overcome the desire for instant gratification.

Those who are able to get the brain’s passion system and self-control system working in harmony with each other in the pursuit of success, become self-made millionaires.

How do they do it?

They toss a wrench into this immediate gratification system by doing one simple thing – they change their identity.

What?

When you create a clear vision of the person you desire to be, ten or twenty years into the future, you effectively change your identity.

This vision, or new identity, co-ops the passion system, directing it to assist you in your efforts to become who you want to be ten or twenty years into the future. Those efforts often require sacrifice, or delaying gratification.

A clear vision of the future you re-directs passion from it’s fondness for short-term instant gratification to a willingness to sacrifice, in order to create the future you – your new identity.

Having a clear vision of yourself, ten or twenty years into the future, literally re-wires your brain and enables you to make the sacrifices success requires.

Mentors Guarantee Success ….. And They Are So Easy to Find

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Very few find mentors in life who help guide them in their thinking, behaviors, choices and habits. But, the few who do, almost always succeed in life and the byproduct of that success, is wealth.

Finding a mentor, therefore, should be the goal of everyone pursuing success or desiring to be rich.

But is finding a mentor a matter of being in the right place at the right time? In other words, does finding a mentor come down to luck?

The answer, fortunately, is no.

Mentors are everywhere. You just need to know where to look in order to find them:

  • Mentors are found running local, community-based non-profits or on the committees of those non-profits – these are often the most successful people in the community volunteering their expert knowledge or unique skills for a noble cause.
  • Mentors are found at work – co-workers, one or two levels above you, who possess superior knowledge or skills.
  • Mentors are found coaching baseball teams, football teams, cheerleading squads, etc.
  • Mentors are found in the parents and volunteers who act as stewards for Boy Scouts or Girls Scouts.
  • Mentors are found in classrooms or seminars, teaching.
  • Mentors are found in gyms, as trainers or paragons for healthy living.
  • Mentors are found in autobiographies or biographies of successful or historical figures, sharing their failures, successes, mistakes and wisdom.
  • Mentors are found on blogs, advising or advocating on some subject matter.
  • Mentors are found on podcasts, doing the same.
  • Mentors are found on TV or the radio, as symbols of achievement.
  • Mentors are found on YouTube or TEDx videos, discussing topics that foster learning and growth.
  • Mentors are found within your inner circle – successful friends or family members who can guide and direct you in living an exemplary life.

Everyone who wants to be successful in life needs a mentor.

If you find one, study how they manage their lives, how they work, how they talk and communicate, what they do to build strong relationships, who they surround themselves with, what habits they have and how they make decisions. Spend as much time as you can, getting to know and understand them.

Find your mentor today. They will teach you what to do and what not to do. Devote yourself to absorbing every breadcrumb of knowledge and wisdom they possess. Those breadcrumbs will steer you in the right direction and help you not only find success, and the wealth success produces, but they will also help you to fast track success.

Wealth and Poverty Are Just Two Different Game Plans

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My family was once very rich. We lived in a big home, on two acres, in the wealthiest community on Staten Island, known as Todt Hill.

It’s a much more complicated story, but when I was nine years old, my father’s business was intentionally burned to the ground. And just like that, we were poor.

Not homeless poor, but still poor. How my father was able to fight off the ongoing threats of foreclosure and keep all eleven of us in our home, is a story in itself.

We were literally the poorest family living on Todt Hill.

Our sudden poverty devastated our family and not a day went by without money worries. Financial stress hung over our heads like storm clouds, following us wherever we went.

I forged a very negative belief about the rich, as a poor child living among the wealthy. They seemed to flaunt their wealth in our faces. It was emasculating just being around them everyday.

I grew up feeling self conscious and inferior.

To deal with this inferiority complex, I rationalized that poor people were simply victims of bad luck.

That belief, that poor people were just victims of their circumstances, stayed with me into my adulthood.

But that all changed in 2009. That’s when I completed my analysis of the data I had gathered over five years in studying the rich and the poor. That data opened my eyes for the first time. I realized that wealth and poverty were simply two different systems, or game plans.

There’s a Wealth Game Plan and there’s a Poverty Game Plan.

Those who follow the Wealth Game Plan become rich and, if they continue to follow this Wealth Game Plan their entire lives, they stay rich.

Those who follow the Poverty Game Plan become poor, and if they continue to follow this Poverty Game Plan their entire lives, they stay poor.

My family, I realized, had just been following the wrong game plan. Unfortunately, out of habit, I continued to follow my family’s Poverty Game Plan until my Rich Habits research opened my eyes and forced me to change my game plan.

In 2009, I embraced the Wealth Game Plan and, after following it for eight years, my income has nearly tripled, my debt has gone down by 50% and I feel like I finally have some say in the financial outcome of my life.

The Wealth Game Plan

  • Take responsibility for your financial circumstances.
  • Improve every day – engage in perpetual, daily self-improvement. Read to learn, not to entertain.
  • Pursue your dreams and your goals – do not put your ladder on someone else’s wall.
  • Set good goals and avoid bad goals – good goals are tied to your dreams and your vision of the ideal person you want to become in the future. Bad goals are goals designed to increase the stuff you own.
  • Never quit on your dreams and goals.
  • Forge good habits and avoid bad habits – good habits help you become better and move you forward. Bad habits do the opposite.
  • Associate with upbeat, happy, enthusiastic, success-minded people and limit your exposure to negative, toxic people.
  • Never gamble.
  • Save 20% or more of your income first, before spending anything.
  • Control your thoughts and emotions.
  • Never say what is on your mind – control the words that come out of your mouth.
  • Never gossip.
  • Seek out mentors who have done what you want to do.
  • Never criticize, condemn or complain.
  • Exercise every day, aerobically and anaerobically.
  • Eat healthy every day.
  • Moderate the bad (eating junk food, watching TV, Internet, drinking alcohol, etc.).
  • Live for tomorrow – delay gratification in the pursuit of your dreams and goals.
  • Create a clear vision of your ideal, future life – this becomes your new identity and your new behaviors, thinking and habits will become the behaviors, thinking and habits of the future you.
  • Never lie, cheat or steal.
  • Be faithful to your spouse, friends, co-workers, customers, and mentors.
  • Meet or exceed expectations others have in you.
  • Take educated risks and avoid uneducated risks.
  • Experiment until you find your inner talents and devote the rest of your life practicing and perfecting those talents.
  • Like or love what you do for a living.
  • Provide superior, value-added service or products to others.
  • Be a cheerleader not a booleader.
  • Become a virtuoso in whatever it is you do for a living.
  • Have multiple sources of income – never depend on one source of income.
  • Have a positive, optimistic, success-minded mental outlook.
  • Sleep at least 7 hours a day.
  • Embrace mistakes/failures – they are your teachers.
  • Be frugal with your money.
  • Avoid spontaneous or emotional spending.
  • Avoid want spending.
  • Never supersize your life – don’t increase your spending as your income increases.
  • Seek happiness in events, not stuff.
  • Focus on one task at a time – don’t make multi-tasking a habit.
  • See wealth as good and poverty as bad.
  • Ask for what you want in life.
  • Seek feedback from others.
  • Never make decisions out of fear.
  • Obey and follow laws and rules – there is no shortcut to success.
  • Minimize or avoid “do-nothing” habits – these are time-wasting habits that do not help you improve or move you forward in life.
  • Patiently pursue your dreams and goals – success takes a long time.
  • Treat everyone you meet with respect until they prove they do not deserve it.

The Poverty Game Plan

  • Take no responsibility for your life circumstances. Blame everyone but yourself.
  • Do not read to learn or for self-improvement – read for entertainment.
  • Seek instant gratification.
  • Gamble.
  • Forge bad habits. and “do nothing” habits.
  • Spend 100% or more of what you make for a living.
  • Overextend yourself (i.e. buying or renting a home/car you can’t afford)
  • Criticize, condemn and complain.
  • Make decisions out of fear.
  • Do not seek out mentors.
  • Be afraid to ask for what you want.
  • Avoid or ignore feedback.
  • Do not challenge yourself –  stay within your comfort zone.
  • Do not control your thoughts and emotions.
  • Say whatever is on your mind – do not control the words that come out of your mouth.
  • Associate with negative, toxic people.
  • No clear vision of who you want to be.
  • Do not pursue dreams and goals.
  • Set bad goals – buying stuff, expensive vacations, etc.
  • Quit when the going gets tough.
  • Be negative, pessimistic and cynical about everything.
  • Trust no one.
  • Gossip.
  • Belittle others.
  • Be untrustworthy – cheat on your spouse or significant other, backstab friends, colleagues and co-workers.
  • Eat in excess
  • Drink alcohol in excess.
  • Take recreational drugs.
  • Don’t exercise or exercise sporadically.
  • Buy whatever you feel like buying immediately and without thinking about the consequences – engage in spontaneous or emotional spending.
  • Supersize your life – increase your spending as your income increases.
  • Live for today and never plan for your future.
  • Fail to meet the expectations of others.
  • Ignore laws and rules – lie, cheat and steal in order to shortcut success.

If you were born or raised in poverty, you must change your game plan when you become an adult. Otherwise, poverty will follow you wherever you go.

The Wealth Game Plan does not guarantee that you will become a multi-millionaire, but it does guarantee that you will cease being poor.

When You Transform Goals Into Habits – Success is Guaranteed

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Success is a process. What makes a process a process, is consistency.

You must do certain, specific things every day in order to keep yourself moving forward, irrespective of how you’re feeling. You must remove the need for motivation or enthusiasm as a driver, in the pursuit of success.

Motivation and enthusiasm starts the engine, but habits keep that engine running, no matter how you feel or how your day is going.

The self-made millionaires in my study defined their dreams and their goals and then they did something that virtually ensured they would succeed in realizing their dreams and goals – they automated success by transforming goals into daily habits.

Let me give you an example.

Let’s say you’re a financial advisor and you set an audacious goal of increasing your financial services revenues by 50%. In order for that to happen, you determine that you must increase the number of clients you have from twenty-five to fifty.

How do you do it?

By making a daily habit of finding and pitching new prospects. If it takes 200 pitches to generate 50 meetings and 50 meetings to generate 25 new clients, that means you must pitch two hundred prospects.

Now, that seems like a very big mountain to climb. But, if you make a daily habit of pitching ten prospects a day, that will generate about twelve meetings, and ultimately, six new clients. If you keep at this daily prospecting habit, in less than five months, you will have secured twenty-five new clients.

To keep you on task, you can use a daily to-do list and pre-populate it with daily activities, tailored around your goals. The to-do list is your accountability partner, reminding you to engage in those activities every day.

Eventually, the daily goal-driven activities will become habits and you won’t need to use a to-do list to remind you to engage in them.

It is when your goal-driven activities become habits, that success becomes automatic.

Automating success, by transforming goals into daily activities that eventually become habits, will help you realize your goals and, in time, achieve success.

Do You Have What it Takes to Pursue Your Dreams, Goals or Success?

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Very few pursue their dreams, big goals or success. Such pursuits require changes that have a way of shaking up our lives.

These changes always affect those closest to us – our immediate family and close friends.

And because change is uncomfortable, those affected most, fight back.

That push back often comes in the form of dire warnings of the risks and uncertainties by one or more individuals affected by the pursuit of your dreams, big goals or success.

When that doesn’t seem to work, it then devolves into a sort of collective effort, with everyone coalescing into a chorus, singing the tune of impending disaster.

When that group strategy fails, those most affected, resort to outright threats, hoping their threats will bring you back into the safety of the herd and away from the unforeseen dangers you will no doubt face if you continue your pursuits.

Most dreamers will, at this point, slink back into the fold, rejoin the herd and sideline their dreams, goals or the pursuit of success. Staying within the status quo of the herd, is just easier, less stressful and physiologically less demanding for everyone.

That is why there are so many more employees than employers.

Yet, while we are all hardwired to stay within our individual herds, we are also hardwired to create, take risks and to go for it in life.

These two diametrically opposed instincts continuously battle one another. It is a veritable war raging inside each one of us who desire to break free from our herds, in the pursuit of dreams, goals or success.

Only a few exceptional individuals are able to withstand the assaults on their dreams, goals or success.

We call these exceptional individuals, self-made millionaires.