Choice, Not Chance, Determines Your Financial Fate


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The definition of fate is:

The development of events outside a person’s control, regarded as predetermined by a supernatural power.

One of the bad thinking habits of people stuck in a financial rut, is believing in fate. It is a very convenient way to rationalize your current financial circumstances.

Fate is often a crutch, that those struggling financially, lean on. Like a blanket, they wrap it around themselves. This way they are no longer responsible for the financial circumstances of their lives – their poor circumstances are outside their control due to fate.

Those who believe fate controls their financial destiny use code words, phrases or aphorisms to escape the financial responsibility for their lives:

  • “I’m not a member of the lucky sperm club.”
  • “It’s God’s will.”
  • “They’re just lucky.”
  • “I’m not lucky.”
  • “The fickle finger of fate.”
  • “My fate is sealed.”
  • “A twist of fate.”
  • “Predestination.”
  • “It’s because I’m not a man.”
  • “It’s just divine will.”
  • “Life’s wheel of fortune.”
  • “That’s just my lot in life.”
  • “Divine providence.”
  • “It’s God’s plan.”
  • “God loves poor people – that’s why he created so many of them.”

These commonly used words, phrases and aphorisms bleed into your subconscious, programming you to relinquish control over your life to fate.

The fact is, most people who become wildly rich and successful come from poverty or the middle-class. According to the 2016 Wealth-X report, 75% of the rich were poor (19%) or middle-class (56%). In my Rich Habits study, 76% came from poverty (31%) or the middle-class (45%).

How did they break free from poverty or the middle-class? Well, it wasn’t fate:

  • They pursued dreams.
  • They set, pursued and achieved goals.
  • They worked long hours for many years.
  • They were persistence – they never quit on themselves.
  • They were focused like a laser on their dreams and goals.
  • They forged good daily habits that helped move them forward in life towards realizing their dreams and goals.
  • They eliminated any bad daily habits that were holding them back in life.
  • They were obsessed with growth through daily self-improvement: they read books to gain specific knowledge, they practiced every day to improve their skills, they developed valuable new skills, they sought out mentors, they went to night school, etc.
  • They took big risks, others were unwilling to take.
  • They built valuable relationships with other successful people.

Don’t allow yourself to be programmed by society, politicians or family members into believing fate determines your financial circumstances in life. It doesn’t. Accepting “your fate” is just a rationalization to do nothing. Choice, not chance, determines your financial fate.

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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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  1. Brandon Miller says:

    Your title has a typo? I think you meant, “Choice, not chance” instead of “change.” Otherwise, great article! I love your stuff!

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