In my recently released book: Rich Kids – How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life (http://richhabits.net/rich-habits-books/), I share hundreds of strategies, tips and tools that rich, successful people learned from their parents. It didn’t matter that their parents came from a poor or middle-class household. All that mattered was that the parents of the wealthy mentored them for success. Most parents do their best to give their kids the tools they need to survive in the real world. But what I found in my five-year study of the rich and poor was that certain parents go above and beyond, teaching specific habits that give their kids the tools that set them up to excel in life. These habits gave their kids a leg up, enabling them to outperform their peers and achieve incredible wealth and success in life. I’d like to share two of the most important Parenting Rich Habits with you:
Daily Self-Education Reading
88% of the wealthy in my study read 30 minutes or more each day for self-education. This was not something they stumbled into. Their parents made them read. They instilled in them the importance of reading and self-education. In my research I found examples of famous people whose parents taught them this Parenting Rich Habit:
- Ben Carson, a famous neurologist who may very well become our next President, shares a story about this Parenting Rich Habit he learned from his mom in his bestselling book: One Nation (http://www.amazon.com/One-Nation-What-Americas-Future/dp/1595231129/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1414439823&sr=1-1&keywords=dr+ben+carson+one+nation). Dr.Carson lived in one of Detroit’s ghettos. His mom was afraid that her son would become just another casualty of ghetto life. To prevent this, Mrs. Carson made Dr. Carson read every day for self-education. To ensure her son did his daily reading she also required that he write a one page summary about what he read that day so she could read it. Each day, Dr. Carson would hand this summary to his mom for her to review. This daily reading eventually became a habit that helped give Dr. Carson the confidence to pursue higher education and eventually medical school. He continues to read every day. Years later, Dr. Carson would learn that his mom was illiterate. She never actually could read any of his summaries. Intuitively, Mrs. Carson knew that if she could instill in her son the daily habit of reading it would help get him out of the ghetto and realize the American Dream. And it worked!
- John Quincy Adams, sixth President of the United States and son of founding father John Adams, acquired his passion for reading from his doting father and affectionate mother, who taught him languages, and the classics. He spent much of his youth accompanying his father overseas at the outset of the Revolutionary War. He acquired his father’s love of reading while in France. When he returned to America in 1785, Adams enrolled in Harvard College as an advanced student, completing his studies in two years.
- When Abraham Lincoln was young, his mother died from drinking milk from a cow that had eaten the poisonous snakeroot plant. His father left their cabin and came back with Lincoln’s new mother who instilled in Lincoln a love of reading that would take him to the highest office in the United States. Under her guidance Lincoln made rapid progress. “He read all the books he could get his hands on,” she recalled.
Helping Your Children Find Their Main Purpose in Life
When you find your main purpose in life, you are infused with a passion that drives you to excel in what you do. Work is no longer work. The wealthiest individuals in my study were assisted by their parents in finding their main purpose in life. Love him or hate him, this Parenting Rich Habit has become generational in Donald Trump’s family. Donald became passionate about real estate through his father’s encouragement and mentoring. Donald then passed along his passion for real estate to his own children. There’s an important lesson to be learned from this: Parents need to become mentors to their children and help them find their main purpose in life. I discovered a very simple strategy for helping your children find their main purpose in life. Here’s the process:
- Make a list of everything you can ever remember that made you happy in life. Hopefully, this will be a long list.
- Now highlight those items on your list which involve a skill.
- Assign a job-type designation to each of the highlighted items.
- Next rank each of the highlighted items in terms of happiness with #1 being the greatest happiness and #2 the next greatest happiness and so on.
- Now rank each of the highlighted items in terms of income potential with #1 being the highest income and #2 being the next highest and so on.
- Total the two columns. The lowest scores represent your main purpose in life.
Here’s an example: