Finding Success – The Easy Way and The Hard Way


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If you want to succeed in life, you must learn what to do and what not to do.

This learning is also known as personal growth. One of the hallmarks of the self-made millionaires in my study is that they forged daily habits which automated daily personal growth:

  • Reading to Learn – 30 minutes or more every day.
  • Deliberate Practice – Practicing certain skills every day until they create muscle memory.
  • Analytical Practice – Practicing certain skills every day and having another expert with similar advanced skills evaluate you and provide feedback. Think coach or mentor.
  • Novelty – Engaging in or experimenting with new activities in order to learn or develop new skills. The brain loves novelty and rewards this effort by boosting dopamine, one of the happiness neurochemicals produced by brain cells.
  • Pursuing Dreams/Goals – The pursuit of a dream and the goals behind your dreams forces you outside your comfort zone. In order to realize your dreams/goals, you must take action. Oftentimes, especially in the beginning, that action leads to mistakes and failures. But those mistakes and failures force you to learn and grow.

Conversely, one of the hallmarks of poor people and unsuccessful people, is that they eschew personal growth for Do-Nothing Habits, like watching TV, wasting time on the Internet (think Facebook/Instagram/YouTube, etc.), partying, the pursuit of recreational activities, etc.

Learning what to do and what not to do takes time. But there is an Easy Way and a Hard Way:

  1. The Easy Way – Find a success mentor and learn from their mistakes and failures. This means you avoid making mistakes and failing by following their sage advice and direction. Making mistakes and failure costs you valuable time and money. Mentors save you from wasting your time and money.
  2. The Hard Way – Taking action and learning, through the school of hard knocks, what works and what doesn’t work. This is the hard way because it often costs you time and money to learn what not to do. It is also an emotional roller coaster ride. Negative emotions result when things go wrong and positive emotions result when things go right. The Hard Way requires an enormous amount of persistence and patience.

Either way is a path to success. If you are unable to find mentors, the Hard Way may be your only option.

But mentors are everywhere. They populate the boards and committees at local community non-profits. They can be found where your work, at local community colleges, at places of worship, in books, on the Internet, on blogs, in podcasts, in Ted Talk videos, etc.

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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. Another great post, Tom. Please keep ’em coming.

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