You Are a Swan


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In Hans Christian Anderersen’s classic The Ugly Duckling, a swan is born into a family of ducks. He is perceived by the other ducks on the farm as an ugly duckling. They tease and belittle the ugly duckling relentlessly. Wherever he goes on the farm, the ugly duckling encounters other animals who shun him for the same reason. Because he is made to feel like he does not fit in, he runs away from the farm. While sitting alongside another pond, he encounters a group of elegant white birds. The ugly duckling sees how beautiful they are and aspires to one day be as beautiful as them.

After a long, cold and lonely winter, the isolated ugly duckling, now fully grown, decides to swim out to the group of elegant white birds, hoping they will not shun him. To his great surprise they allow him to swim along with them, welcoming him into their flock.

One morning, while swimming along with his new friends he happens to catch a glimpse of his reflection in the water and realizes that he wasn’t a duck after all – he has grown to be the most beautiful swan in the pond.

Many are born Ugly Ducklings. When you surround yourself with others who make you feel bad about yourself, you will remain an ugly duckling. 

You can allow the circumstances you were born into control your life. Or, you can devote your life to changing your life circumstances. You can seek out others who make you feel good about yourself. I’ve seen it in the stories of the hundreds of ugly ducklings in my study who went on to become self-made millionaires. These individuals, many of whom were born into poverty, found other swans who made them feel good about themselves and helped them see their inner swan.

Do not accept your circumstances in life. Take control of your life. Seek to be exceptional. Never stop growing, learning and improving. Surround yourself with other success-minded people, other swans. Inside each one of us is a beautiful swan waiting to burst forth.

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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. Lisa Haney says:

    All I can say is Wow. You are so encouraging. I think that may be your true gift (along with writer, etc). I have been following you since I saw you on youtube “His and Her Money” show. You were talking about some Rich Habits. I have been getting serious lately about getting out of debt so I’ve been open to any information that leads me in that direction. I am a subscriber to your website so I get your daily pings on my cell phone in the morning and also in my email. I look forward to them. I am currently in the Army but will be separating in a few months to start a new life (again). I’ve started several new lives since high school! I just wanted to encourage you to keep up the good work. You really are making a difference. That poverty mentality can really be strong and I am trying my best to change my habits. My goal is to be the Lender and not the Borrower.

    Lisa Haney
    Fort Hood, Texas

    • Thank you for your service Lisa and thank you for your kind words. We all need that thing that gets us in the right frame of mind. I’m trying to do that by adding value to the lives of others. Spread the word to those you care about.

  2. Great delivery. Solid arguments. Keep up the great effort.

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