After spending five years studying millionaires Thomas C. Corley wrote the book “Change Your Habits, Change Your Life”.
Thomas Corley was inspired to study the rich because he was struggling financially and overweight, so he wrote the book as a way to improve his life. He spent five years researching the daily habits of 177 self-made millionaires.
He discovered that people who became wealthy practice many of the daily practices. These range from reading consistently to having a good nights rest. In addition they carve out time to brainstorm and exercise daily.
Millionaires are selective about what goals they pursue, who they ask for advice and they carefully choose who they spend their time with.
Self-made millionaires began at the bottom. Their journey from ordinary to seven-figure status can be attributed to “rich habits,”. This is a term coined by Corley.
In Change Your Habits, Change Your Life Corley writes:
From my research, I discovered that daily habits dictate how successful or unsuccessful you will be in life . There is a cause and effect associated with habits. Habits are the cause of wealth, poverty, happiness, sadness, stress, good relationships, bad relationships, good health, or bad health
Here are a few “rich habits” of self-made millionaires that you can start developing today:
- Read regularly
Wealthy people prefer education over entertainment “Eighty-eight percent of the rich devote thirty minutes or more each day to self-education or self-improvement reading … The majority of the rich read to acquire or maintain knowledge, not for entertainment.
The rich tended to focus on three types of books, according to Corley: self-help/personal development, biographies of successful people and history.
2. Exercise is key
“Seventy-six per cent of the rich aerobically exercise 30 minutes or more every day,” Corley reports.
Jogging, walking and running are examples of aerobic exercise
“Cardio is not only good for the body, but it’s good for the brain,” he writes. “It grows the neurons (brain cells) in the brain…Exercise also increases the production of glucose. Glucose is brain fuel. The more fuel you feed your brain, the more it grows and the smarter you become.”
3. Wealthy people surround themselves with other successful people
“You are only as successful as those you frequently associate with,” Corley writes. “The rich are always on the lookout for individuals who are goal-oriented, optimistic, enthusiastic, and who have an overall positive mental outlook.”
Corley emphasises the importance of avoiding negative people and influences, “Negative, destructive criticism will derail you from pursuing success.”
4. They volunteer their time
In order to surround themselves with good people, Corley says many self-made millionaires turn to charity. “This is why so many wealthy people volunteer for charitable organisations, civic groups, or trade groups. It helps them expand their network of other success-minded people,” he writes.
Of the millionaires he studied, 72% volunteered five hours or more every month.
5. They mastered the practice of ‘dream-setting’
“Dream-setting involves scripting your ideal future life. In this process, you define your future life, the future you, by imagining all your dreams coming true; then you put it to paper in five hundred to a thousand words,” Corley explains.
In his study, 61% of the self-made millionaires practiced this planning strategy.
6. Their own goals are paramount
“Pursuing your own dreams and goals creates the greatest long-term happiness and results in the greatest accumulation of wealth,” Corley writes.
While too many people make the mistake of chasing someone else’s dream – such as their parents’ – rich people define their own goals and pursue them relentlessly and passionately.
“Passion makes work fun,” writes Corley. “Passion gives you the energy, persistence, and focus needed to overcome failures, mistakes, and rejection.”
7. 7 hours sleep a night is a must
“Sleep is critical to success,” Corley writes. In his study, 89% of the self-made millionaires slept seven or more hours every night.
“Sleep accomplishes so many things behind the scenes,” he says, including memory formation.
8. They wake up early
Nearly 50% of the self-made millionaires in Corley’s study woke up at least three hours before their workday actually began.
It’s a strategy to deal with inevitable daily disruptions, such as a meeting that went too long, egregious traffic, or having to pick up your sick kid from school.
“These disruptions have a psychological effect on us. They can drip into our subconscious and eventually form the belief that we have no control over our life,” Corley writes. “Getting up at five in the morning to tackle the top three things you want to accomplish in your day allows you to regain control of your life. It gives you a sense of confidence that you, indeed, direct your life.”
9. Millionaires have more than one source of income
“Self-made millionaires do not rely on one singular source of income,” Corley states. “They develop multiple streams. Three seemed to be the magic number in my study … Sixty-five percent had at least three streams of income that they created prior to making their first million dollars.”
Examples of these additional streams are real-estate rentals, stock market investments, and part-ownership in a side business.
10 Mentors – they find and check in with them
“Finding a mentor puts you on the fast track to wealth accumulation,” explains Corley.
“Success mentors do more than simply influence your life in some positive way,” he continues. “They regularly and actively participate in your success by teaching you what to do and what not to do. They share with you valuable life lessons they learned either from their own mentors or from the school of hard knocks.”
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