We all do things we should not do. We all have Poor Habits. However, according to my research, having Poor Habits is not fatal to success and wealth accumulation so long as you limit, or moderate those Poor Habits.
If you have Poor Habits, the solution, therefore is to limit how often you engage in them.
According to my Rich Habits research, the wealthy still ate junk food, however, they limited how much junk food they ate:
- 70% of the wealthy ate less than 300 junk food calories a day.
- 72% of the wealthy ate candy no more than two times a week.
- 75% ate at fast food restaurants no more than twice a week.
- 87% said they never drank alcohol to the point of intoxication.
Junk reading includes reading for entertainment vs. reading to learn and educate yourself. Here’s some data I gathered regarding this Poor Habit:
- Only 11% of the rich read for entertainment. The rest, 89% read to learn or educate themselves.
- 58% of the rich read biographies of other successful people.
- 51% read history.
- 55% read self-help.
- 45% read about finance or money-related topics.
Wasting time is a Poor Habit that the wealthy avoided like the plague. They made productive use of their time by pursuing dreams, pursuing the goals behind their dreams, working long hours, reading, exercising, volunteering for non-profits, coaching sports teams, teaching, going to school, playing competitive sports, listening to podcasts and other activities intended to help them forge relationships with other success-minded people.
To the rich, relationships are like gold. In fact, relationships are the currency of the wealthy. They forge power relationships with other successful or success-minded people – people who can open doors for them. They avoided toxic people, negative people, pessimistic people, people who gossip, people with financial problems, people who are untrustworthy, people who lie, cheat or steal.
The rich choose their words very carefully. They vet every thought before it comes out of their mouth. In Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s book Coach Wooden and Me, Jabbar said he sometimes grew impatient with John Wooden, who would often take long moments to make a point because he was so particular about the words he used. Wooden’s devotion to choosing words carefully is something that was a common habit among the wealthy. The rich in my study made a habit of avoiding the use of words that were critical or words that would offend or demoralize others. Words can build up or tear down relationships. The rich understood this.
Junk Thinking/Junk Emotions
Psychologist Rick Hanson, senior fellow of The Greater Good Science Center of UC, Berkeley has studied something called negativity bias for years. He found that our brains are all hardwired for negativity. Negative thoughts constitute Junk Thinking. Negative thinking includes: pessimism, envy, jealousy, hatred, anger, sadness, worst-case scenario thinking, chronic worry, glass half empty thinking, doubt, ingratitude, victimization, sense of entitlement, hopelessness, blame and fault-seeking. The rich avoid negative thinking because they understand that negativity must be controlled. Otherwise, the roots begin to grow along with the negative thoughts. They embraced positive thinking, positive beliefs. In fact, 71% of the self-made millionaires in my study said that optimism was one of the most critical factors to their success. When it came to their emotions, the rich made a daily habit of controlling their emotions. They understood that losing their temper could derail relationships with other successful or success-minded people. Relationships they spent many years forging.
Junk talk includes gossip, destructive criticism, cursing, sarcasm, belittling or demeaning others, opinions not based in fact and words said in anger or disgust. The rich avoided Junk Talk because Junk Talk damages relationships and relationships are the currency of the wealthy.
Like any type of junk, it should be hauled away and discarded. Be wary of the junk in your life Limit its existence. Too much junk will turn your life into a junkyard.
Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of “Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life”, “Effort-Less Wealth”, “Change Your Habits Change Your Life”, “Rich Habits Poor Habits” and “Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.”