Success Habits, Poverty Habits ...
what are you making a habit of?
Tom Corley completed a five year study of over 300 subjects from various demographics and published some enlightening findings. First and foremost, wealth has very little to do with random luck or your circumstances in life. Rather, it has everything to do with daily habits. Don’t panic! None of us possess all the success habits and we all battle at least a few poverty habits.
Do an honest assessment and see where you fall, then incorporate some “keystone habits” that will help invert some things you are not so proud of to outcomes more likely to yield success. (One note of disclaimer: Corley’s work focused on the division between demographics defined by wealth. “Success” may not equate to the number of commas in your checking account, nor how long they stay there, but most of us can agree that having more money is preferable to having less, and demographics are more objective than other “feel good” ways of characterizing success.)
Profile of the wealthy
•18% were top executives at big companies
•51% were small business owners
•13% were sales people
•63% took some risk in search of prosperity
•91% were decision makers at their jobs
•86% worked more than 50 hours per week
•27% failed at least once in business
•82% focused on pursuing one major goal (only 12% of poor did that)
•55% spent more than one year in pursuit of a major goal (no one in poor demographic did that)
•75% learned their success habits from their parents, the others learned them from career mentors, teachers, books or the school of hard knocks (life)
•88% read 30 minutes or more per day strictly for learning (only 2% of poor did that)
•85% read two or more books per month
•63% listen to audio books during their drive to work or while exercising (only 5% of the poor did that)
•54% characterized themselves as eternal optimists
•67% watched less than 1 hour of TV per day (77% of the poor watched more than one hour of TV per day)
•63% of the wealthy spend less than one hour per day on the internet recreationally (shopping, social media, movie streams, etc) (87% of the poor spend more than 1 hour on the internet recreationally)
•81% maintained an active “To do” list
•91% saved 20% or more of their income
•44% woke up at least 3 hours before their workday actually began
•89% slept 7 hours or more per day
•76% exercised aerobically 30 minutes or more per day, 4 or more days per week (compared to only 5% of the poor)
•77% of the wealthy ate less than 300 cal. of junk food (94% of the poor ate more than 300 cal of junk food per day;
•69% of poor admit to eating fast food more than 3 times per week)
•57% of the wealthy counted calories (only 5% of the poor did this)
Characteristics of the Successful
•More open-minded, primarily as a result of their commitment to continued education, reading, etc. The poor possess limiting beliefs that lock them down and make it nearly impossible to advance.
•Appreciate the power of association: Successful people surround themselves with other successful people, strong willed, like-minded, optimistic, health conscious. Poor spend their time with people mired in poverty, which defines their norm.
•The successful vet their thoughts. They understand the damage that results from the words they speak (or communicate) to the relationships they cherish. As a result, people want to be in business with them-they are attractive.
Key Strategies to help overcome poverty habits
Don’t panic if you think you lack all the success habits. For example, procrastination is a poverty habit, but the voice of procrastination speaks as loudly to the successful as it does to the poor. The difference is that the successful have developed strategies to overcome their poverty habits.
Corley identified 5 strategies that the wealthy use to overpower poverty habits:
1.Maintain an active “To Do” list. Keeps you focused and forces you to create a time budget that allocates little time for poverty habits like watching too much TV, sleeping too late, spending too much time on the internet, etc.
2.The Daily 5: Create 5 things on your list that absolutely have to be done each day.
3.Set and communicate artificial deadlines: Increases the urgency of accomplishing a particular task. Puts pressure on
you to accomplish something
4.Work with an accountability partner: people seem to accomplish more if they are responsible to more than just themselves. Weekly check ins keep you both on pace
5.“Do it now” affirmations. Nobody likes to be nagged, but nagging is effective. Put in place triggers to nag yourself.
For more details, order Tom Corley’s book for less than $10 on Amazon. Great read!