We Are Hardwired to Focus on One Thing at a Time


Tom Corley boats - crop

Since 2004, I’ve been studying the wealthy. I’ve found two core ways self-made millionaires rose from poverty or the middle-class:

  1. Live Below Your Means and Wisely Invest Your Savings or
  2. Pursue Something You are Passionate About

In all of my years of studying the wealthy, I learned a lot about number two – passion. One of the most important things I’ve learned about the wealthy who pursue some dream or passion, is that they focus single-mindedly on one thing for many, many years. They devote those years to learning, growing and practicing until they become expert in whatever it is they are pursuing. They avoid any distractions that prevent them from their single-minded pursuit. Eventually, they become expert in what they do. Only after they become an expert, do they then begin to realize financial success. And this, I found, takes a long time.

Based on my research, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s impossible to become an expert when you are pursuing more than one thing at a time. Our brains do not operate that way. We are neurologically hardwired for single-minded focus. When we embrace this neurological template, success becomes inevitable.

When you pursue something you are passionate about, your brain enters something called flow. Flow is a mental state that marshals all of the resources of the brain. In a state of flow, the left hemisphere, right hemisphere, limbic system, brain stem and cerebellum all work in unison, like a well-trained orchestra. When your brain is in a state of flow, you are able to see solutions to the problems and obstacles that get in your way. Flow can only be achieved through singular focus.

Most don’t understand this and that is why so many fail. They mistakenly believe they can pursue more than one thing at a time. When you pursue more than one initiative, one passion or one dream at a time, at best you will gain mediocrity. At worst, you will fail. Most voluntarily fail before they lose everything, which is known as quitting. Others involuntarily fail by losing everything. 

Single-minded focus leads to flow. Flow leads to success. Success leads to wealth.

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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, Money.com, India TV, News.com 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, SUCCESS.com, Inc.com, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider, Credit.com, Bankrate.com 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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