Doing Nothing is a Habit


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I spent five years studying the daily habits of 361 rich and poor people and in my bestselling books, Rich Habits and Change Your Habits Change Your Life, I shared some of the important findings from that study.

In my research, I learned that there were specific habits the self-made rich adopted that enabled them to achieve their dreams and their goals. This included things such as:

  • Experimentation – Experimenting with new things in order to uncover an innate talent or passion.
  • Reading – Reading 30 minutes or more every day for self-education.
  • Build Rich Relationships – Building relationships with the right people – other future millionaires.
  • Dream-Setting – Pursuing goals around your dreams.
  • Taking Calculated Risks – Calculated risk is a type of risk that requires you to do your homework before investing your money.

There are many others (over 300) but I think you get the idea – the rich are habit-driven.

My research also led to another proprietary discovery – those who were not rich also had habits, however, many of those habits were Do-Nothing Habits:

  • Not reading to learn, is a habit.
  • Not exercising every day, is a habit.
  • Not eating healthy, is a habit.
  • Not pursuing your dreams, is a habit.
  • Not creating and pursuing goals, is a habit.
  • Not returning phone calls immediately, is a habit.
  • Not waking up early to pursue self-improvement, is a habit.
  • Not saving money, is a habit.
  • Not prudently investing your savings, is a habit.
  • Not being frugal, is a habit.
  • Not doing more than you are paid, is a habit.
  • Not avoiding time wasters, is a habit.
  • Not doing what needs to be done (procrastinating), is a habit.
  • Not networking with other success-minded people, is a habit.
  • Not making happy birthday calls, is a habit.
  • Not making life event calls, is a habit.
  • Not taking personal responsibility for your life, is a habit.
  • Not volunteering for a worthwhile charity, is a habit.
  • Not being charitable with your money, is a habit.

Most people have Do-Nothing Habits. As a result, most people struggle in life. Some struggle financially. Some struggle with poor health. And some struggle with their relationships.

Do-Nothing Habits are like a mirror, they reflect back the life you have chosen for yourself through inaction. Oftentimes, it’s not what you do that determines the circumstances of your life – it’s what you choose not to do.


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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. Thank you, Tom, for this powerful message. It seems that every time I see this list it sinks in deeper and moves me toward eliminating my bad habits and reinforcing my good habits!

  2. Stella Carrier says:

    Thanks for this splash of cold water on my face metaphorically speaking. I reluctantly admit that I have been guilty of what you said in your latest post because of my concern about how any actions I take might affect my livelihood and that of my husband’s (especially since I am blessed with a good job with fair leadership). However, your post helped me see that I must avoid any type of excuse and it inspired me to find a way to wisely take an action step tonight after work tonight that would still take into positive account my current livelihood and that of my husband’s. I actually went back into one of my scripts from last summer (summer 2017) some time after your post and remember what I truly want out of my life. I just need to now make sure to be brave, overcome my concerns into wise decisions, and have faith in the eventual outcome of greater wisdom for my spirit/soul.

  3. One of the “bad” habits you have listed Tom is not networking with other people who want to go somewhere with their life. My question to you is where do you find such people? I recall Napoleon Hill talking about people way back in the day and he stated something like 95 out a 100 people really don’t know where they want to go. T Harv Eker says successful people like to hang with other successful people: joining a country or tennis club is out of the possible for now. Also I find too many people say they “want to be rich” but have no idea as to how.

    • Hey Ed. You can find them on the boards and committees of community non-profits. Many of the people who run these nonprofits and are active on the committees are prominent business owners or wealthy people giving back to their community.

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