Wealth, Health and Happiness is Just a Habit Away


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According to a 2006 Duke University Study, 40% or more of all daily activities are habits.

This means 40% of the time we are all on auto pilot. If we have good habits, our life is on autopilot for health, wealth and happiness. If we have bad habits, life is on autopilot for illness, poverty and unhappiness.

Think of habits as part of the seesaw of life. On one side of your seesaw are your good habits and on the other side are your bad habits. If you have more good habits than bad habits, the circumstances of your life will reflect those good habits.

If, however, you have far more bad habits than good habits, the circumstances of your life will not be very good.

In wealthy households, parents go to great lengths to teach their children good daily success habits. Seventy-four percent of parents in my Rich Habits Study considered their role as a success mentor to their children to be critical to their success as adults. Part of this success mentoring included teaching their children good daily habits; habits that they, the parents, learned from either their parents, a mentor or some influencer.

Good habits follow children into adulthood. A Brown University Study, in which lead author Dr. Pressman surveyed 50,000 families, found that most of our adult habits are forged by the age of nine.

This is one of the reasons the rich get richer. The rich mentor their children for success. And, for the most part, their children go on to excel in life. This generational cycle of wealth perpetuates itself over many generations.

In poor households, children are not taught good daily habits and in fact learn bad habits from their parents. Ninety-nine percent of the poor parents in my study said they did not teach their children the Rich Habits because they did not know about the Rich Habits.

You can’t teach what you don’t know.

Poor parents never learned these Rich Habits from their parents and so, unless they are lucky and find a success mentor later in life, they can’t teach what they don’t know. This is one reason the poor get poorer. This generational cycle of poverty perpetuates itself over many generations.

So how do you break the generational cycle of poverty?  You have to change your habits.

Ten Keystone Habits That Will End Generational Poverty:

  1. Successful people have eliminated many of their bad daily habits and replaced them with good daily habits. How? They self-assess by listing all of the bad habits that are holding them back in life and then try to eliminate each bad habit, one at a time.
  2. Successful people set daily, monthly, annual and long-term goals. They understand the difference between a wish and a goal. A wish is a dream. A goal requires action and must be 100% achievable.
  3. Successful people were taught by their parents to engage in 30 minutes a day of daily self-improvement, educational reading.
  4. Successful people are healthy people. They exercise aerobically 30 minutes a day, four days a week and stay below their “caloric threshold” (This is the number of calories consumed each day that will neither make you gain weight nor lose weight). For men this ranges from 2,000 calories a day to 2,600 calories a day. For women this ranges from 1,500 calories a day to 2,100 calories a day.
  5. Successful people manage their relationships every day. Strong relationships are the currency of the wealthy. They employ certain strategies to grow their relationships such as: The Hello Call, The Happy Birthday Call and The Life Event Call. They avoid associating with toxic, negative people and, instead, focus on building relationships with upbeat, positive, success-minded people.
  6. Successful people live each day in moderation. They eat in moderation, drink in moderation, spend in moderation, work in moderation and play in moderation.
  7. Successful people maintain a “to-do” list. Their to-do’s are almost always focused on their goals.
  8. Successful people engage in “Rich Thinking”. They are upbeat, positive and focused on achievement. They seek to grow through daily learning, deliberate practice and analytical practice.
  9. Successful people were taught by their parents to save a minimum of 10-20% of their income and live off of the remaining 80-90%. This savings Rich Habits forces you to live below your means.
  10. Successful people control their thoughts and emotions. When emotions take control, this shuts down your prefrontal cortex, the command and control center of the brain. Controlling emotions means you are using your entire brain to solve problems and overcome obstacles and pitfalls.

Wealth is a process. Poverty is a process. The process you choose, is defined by your habits. Good habits create wealth, health and happiness. Bad habits create poverty, illness and unhappiness.

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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. Successful people are givers of not just their time and talent but also their treasure. I see that mentioned several times in the Bible and also by secular success gurus. Thoughts on stewardship?

  2. Lol rich get richer mostly because of the structural disadvantage built into the fabric of this society. Rich whites began with a huge advantage with free labor and handed this advantage down to their children. Rich people are not likely to lose their wealth because of built in privilege. Poor people, despite good habits, many times still suffer greatly at the hands of those advantaged people. That is how American society works. An Unfortunate and Inconvenient Truth.

    • According the the OECD, the primary reason poor people stay poor is because they do not invest as much in education and self-improvement. Since most information is now free thanks to the Internet, the main barriers to education (cost) have been removed. Yet, still, this do nothing habit continues to dominate in the poorer communities.

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