To the Wealthy, Persistence is Just a Habit


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Those who accumulate enormous wealth, irrespective of which path to wealth they choose, ALL share one common trait …. persistence. They just don’t quit in pursuing their dreams or their goals.

But persistence is not some genetic lottery win, some superhuman power bestowed upon a blessed minority.

To an independent observer, watching from afar, it appears as if successful, wealthy people are endowed with extraordinary powers of discipline and relentlessness. The word they use to describe those extraordinary powers just happens to be Persistence.

In reality, persistence is a conglomeration of certain habits that puts the pursuit of success on autopilot. The individual possessing these habits, typically would not describe themselves as persistent. They’re just engaging in daily habits. To them, these habits are nothing extraordinary. They are no different than brushing their teeth, combing their hair or taking a shower every morning.

Persistence Habits are the key to success in that they automate persistence. They make you persistent without the sweat.

So, what are these Persistence Habits?

Below are some of those persistence habits I uncovered in my five-year study on the daily habits of the rich: 

  • 80% of the wealthy in my Rich Habits Study focused on one specific goal for a year or more.
    • When you decide to pursue a goal, it sets in motion all sorts of neurological processes. The prefrontal cortex and the limbic system, work as a team, in the pursuit and achievement of a goal. In effect, these two parts of the brain, nudge you to do certain things that you may no understand, but which help you achieve the goal you are pursuing. This is why forging the habit of setting goals is so important – they toggle on certain parts of the brain, that are otherwise dormant.
  • 94% of the wealthy saved 10 – 20% of their income beginning at an early age.
    • This early adoption habit forced them to live below their means. That standard of living became their habit of living. Some people might view that standard of living to be too Spartan, but to the saver, it’s just one of their many habits – they’re used to it and comfortable living that standard of living.
  • 80% of the wealthy built strong, powerful relationships by making three types of phone calls: Hello Calls, Happy Birthday Calls & Life Event Calls.
    • They make these calls because that’s what they were taught to do by someone – typically a parent or some mentor. There’s no discipline involved. The actual discipline would be for them to try and stop making these relationship-building calls, because these calls are a habit and habits are hard to break.
  • 88% of the wealthy read to learn every day for at least 30 minutes.
    • Daily reading to the wealthy is like taking the dog for a walk. It’s something you do because you did it yesterday and every other day since you owned your dog.
  • 63% of the wealthy took calculated risks in pursuit of wealth.
    • Attention to details is really the Persistence Habit here. Those who take calculated risks do their best to understand everything about any investment, in time or money, they are about to make. They do they homework because they learned the hard way that not doing paying attention to the details almost always results in a loss of their time and money. So, the pain of loss forced them to change their behavior and that behavior eventually became the habit of paying attention to details.
  • 79% of the wealthy persistently networked and associated with other success-minded people.
    • Successful people know what to do and what not to do. They know people who know what to do and what not to do. Very often their successful friends are wealthy and always looking to do business with other like-minded people. Once the light bulb goes off, meaning once you realize that building relationships with successful people is a shortcut to success, you become very motivated to build those relationships. So you join business groups and community-based non-profits, where a lot of these successful people seem to like to hang out. And, like magic, you find yourself habitually networking with successful people.
  • 67% of the wealthy accomplished 70% of their daily to do’s.
    • When you feel in control of your life, you just feel happier. Even when you are very busy doing many things, knowing that the things you are doing are the things you planned on doing, makes you feel like you have some control over your life. This desire to be happy is what drives many successful people to create and follow a to-do list. The daily to-do list eventually becomes a part of you, a Persistence Habit.
  • 81% of the wealthy controlled their thoughts, emotions and the words that came out of their mouths.
    • If you had parents or a mentor who taught you this habit, consider yourself lucky. Most people who never learned this Rich Habit, learn it the hard way. Does thinking negative thoughts just get you more depressed about your life? Ever lost your temper and then your job, or a client or customer? Said something offensive to a childhood friend, who’s now no longer your friend? Those who make a habit of controlling their thoughts, emotions and the words they speak, do so because they know it helps maintain relationships. Eventually, controlling these things becomes a Persistence Habit.
  • 76% of the wealthy persistently exercised every day at least 30 minutes.
    • For many, the vanity emotion drives this Persistence Habit. You want to fit in that dress or bikini. You want to look good on the beach. For some, competition drives this Persistence Habit. You run every day because it helps you play better basketball or tennis. And for others, the desire to live a long, healthy life drives you to forge this Persistence Habit. The dirty little secret, one I uncovered in my Rich Habits research, is that daily exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, actually increases your IQ. This comes in handy, for those who are pursuing some dream and need to solve numerous problems that stand between you and success. When your brain is sluggish, solving those problems becomes very hard.
  • 67% persistently managed their time. They limited their time wasting activities such as watching TV or searching for kitten videos on the Internet.
    • When you efficiently manage your time, you can be more productive, earn more money and build your wealth. Those who don’t live lives of mediocrity. So, the driver for this Persistence Habit is not wanting to be mediocre. Call it the Ego Persistence Habit. You want to be more in life, so you forge the habit of not wasting your time.

Success requires persistence. Persistence requires doing certain things every day. Wealthy people have certain Persistence Habits that put success on autopilot.

My mission is to share my unique research in order to help others realize their dreams and achieve their goals. If you find value in these articles, please share them with your inner circle and encourage them to Subscribe. Thank You!

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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. Andrew Goldberg says:

    This article is precisely why I find this website and resources invaluable!

    Thank you, Mr. Corley.

  2. This was a HUGELY beneficial piece. Anyone that want a to be successful may want to consider incorporating these ideas into their lives.

  3. Makes sense to me.
    Thanks for your work on this. I recently had my son subscribe.

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