The 50% Rule

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One of the many common threads I found in my study of self-made millionaires is the habit of taking calculated risks. Risk is often associated with some financial investment. But taking financial risk is only one type of risk. There is another very important risk that self-made millionaires take more often than financial risk. It is decision risk. Decision risk involves making decisions that often have consequences which affect your business or investment. Decision risk is overshadowed by financial risk because it is a less glamorous cousin in the risk family. But this risk is actually what makes or breaks self-made millionaires. And these millionaires very much understand that decision risk is far more important than financial risk. One bad decision could set them back.

Interestingly, however, despite the import of decision risk, self-made millionaires make decisions very quickly, once they’ve weighed all of the options. They don’t sit and ponder. They subscribe to something I’ve come to call the “50% Rule”. With any decision, there will be variables you cannot possibly control. These variables could positively or negatively impact your business or investment. Millionaires take the view that 50% of the time, no matter how much a decision is evaluated, they will be right or wrong about a decision. When they are right, the pay off is significant. If they wait on a decision, it doesn’t change the fact that 50% of the time they will be wrong. Armed with that knowledge, self-made millionaires act quickly and decide. Their confidence in their decision-making and their ability to  recover from a bad decision, drives them to act quickly. Self-made millionaires understand there are things they can control and can’t control. Quick decision-making is something they can control.





The Most Powerful Gene

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Every human being is born with a gene that is responsible for space flight, computer technology, the Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower, the Beatles, the iPhone, the cures for small pox and polio and every amazing scientific achievement. It’s the gene for creativity. We all have been blessed with this amazing creativity gene. It’s inherent in our DNA.

When “turned on” through use, it grows stronger, just like a muscle. Putting this creativity gene to use causes a rise in serotonin and dopamine levels, also known as the happiness neurotransmitters. When we engage in creative pursuits, our levels of these happiness neurotransmitters rises, causing the sensation we have come to call happiness.

Many people, however, never turn their happiness gene on. As a result, these same individuals live lives of quiet desperation, as Henry David Thoreau aptly put it so many years ago. When you make a habit of avoiding the use of our most powerful gene, you put yourself in a box. A box that separates you from living a happy life.

We are all hardwired to create. It’s in our DNA. We are rewarded for utilizing our creativity gene with happiness. But the only way to turn this gene on is to engage in creative activities on a daily basis. You need to make creativity a daily habit. The more you pursue creative activities the more powerful this gene becomes and the happier you will be. If you want to get happy, create. It’s what humans were genetically intended to do.


What’s Your Legacy?


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Hardly anyone thinks about their legacy – the impact of the life they leave behind. The only time most consider someone’s legacy is when they write or read an obituary. In May of 2000, I read an obituary about a friend’s father that left me in awe of the man. There were numerous non-profit organizations he devoted time and money to. The obituary also listed all of his successes. I remember thinking: How could one person do so much in one life? Then, I began to write my obituary. I did not like how it read. I decided to re-write my own obituary, this time with numerous fictitious achievements: self-made millionaire, famous author, dedicated to helping others better their lives, amazing husband and father… My obituary, written, in May of 2000, went on for 3 pages. What’s incredible about that obituary is that, for some reason, I decided to insert “famous author”. I had never before published a book. I was a CPA, perhaps the opposite thing to an author there can be. Yet, there it was, in my fictitious obituary. That obituary planted a seed in my mind that began to grow slowly over time. It took me eight years to write my first book, which went on to become a bestseller. I’ve since written four other books and I am never going to stop. I also helped organize and grow three non-profits over the past seven years.

My obituary is still being written. It is evolving right before my very eyes. And it all began to change because I decided to write a fictitious obituary so many years ago. Despite our incredible advances in technology and science, we still do not yet fully understand the powers of the mind. My make believe obituary set in motion forces within my mind that I still do not fully comprehend.

If you are struggling in life, as I was so many years ago, I suggest you write two obituaries. The first one should depict your current life – what would your obituary say if you died tomorrow? Will it tell the tale of an amazing legacy? Does it depress you? Let your real-life obituary swim in your mind for a few days. Then, re-write it. This time paint a picture with words of a life so incredible that it leaves you in awe of yourself. Somewhere in your make believe obituary, a seed will be planted. That seed will grow inside your mind. In time, your mind, through intuition, will begin to nudge you, direct you, onto certain paths. Paths, you never imagined you would walk. Your made believe obituary will unknowingly act like a GPS, directing you in creating a legacy that will leave you awe of the person you have become.


The Power of the Open Mind


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It’s no coincidence that self-made millionaires have made it a habit to be open-minded. Being open-minded is a prerequisite for success. The embrace of new ideas, new information and new knowledge requires an open mind. You simply cannot learn and grow as an individual if your mind is closed to the ideas of others. Yet most people are closed-minded, embracing certain ideologies and limiting beliefs that make it virtually impossible for them to grow as individuals. Being closed-minded limits your opportunities in life and stunts your growth, consigning you to a fate of mediocrity, poverty or failure. Being open-minded clears the path for unlimited opportunity and growth.

Question everything you believe in. Embrace new ideas, even if they initially challenge your sensibilities. Don’t ever close your mind to the ideas of others, no matter how outside your comfort zone those ideas may make you feel. Open-mindedness is not inherent. It’s a habit that you must consciously forge in life. Those who are open-minded, grow. Those who aren’t open-minded, don’t grow. Success is the by-product of growth.



Positive Thoughts Unlock Dormant Human Potential


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Most of our genes are made up of DNA. DNA = the self-replicating material (phosphates and sugars) present in nearly all living organisms. They are the main constituent of chromosomes. Inside the nucleus of each human cell is our DNA. This DNA is the same in every cell. DNA is the carrier of each person’s genetic information.

On June 26, 2000, Craig Venter and Francis Collins announced the completion of the mapping and sequencing of the entire human genome. Incredibly, Venter and Collins found that 97% of our DNA is switched “off”.  It came to be known as “Junk DNA”. Only 3% of each human being’s DNA is switched “on”. We sill do not know what the purpose of this Junk DNA is for. What powers do human beings have that lie dormant because those powers are switched off by our DNA?

Recent advances in Neuroscience, the study of the brain, are beginning to give us some clues as to the purpose of this Junk DNA. Incredible as it may seem, neuroscientists and geneticists are discovering that our very thoughts have the capacity to turn on certain genes; to make them active. Negative, worry thoughts turn on certain genes that suppress the immune system, leading to cancer, heart disease, obesity and many other ailments and diseases. Uplifting thoughts turn on certain genes that boost the immune system, increase neural activity (brain activity) and cause the suppression of the many diseases that plague humanity. New breakthroughs in neurology and genetics are leading to the conclusion that when we change our thoughts, we change your health and our DNA. The secret to turning on the hidden powers to each human being, to activating this 97% Junk DNA, may very well reside in how we think.

We now know that positive thoughts alter our DNA positively and negative thoughts alter our DNA negatively. Changing the way we think, from negative to positive, causes instantaneous human evolution. Positive thoughts may very well be the key to turning on our Junk DNA and unlocking the dormant powers that reside in each one of us.  



Quoting Your Way to Success

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Successful people seem to be obsessed with success quotes. They love to throw them around wherever and whenever they can. Successful speakers love to use quotes as do successful authors. Success and quotes go together like beer and pretzels. So, I thought I’d share some of the quotes I’ve accumulated from interviewing self-made millionaires, from some of my favorite books/blogs and from some of the best speakers I’ve come in contact with. I haven’t taken the time to uncover the original source of some of these quotes. If you do know the authors shoot me an email. Here’s some of my favorites:

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Little Things Make Big things Happen


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Massive immediate change doesn’t work for most people. Massive changes in your habits, behaviors or thinking won”t last long if you attempt too much change in a short time frame. You’ll run out of will power. Massive change only works with little changes over the long term. It’s the little things done every day for many years that makes massive change possible.



Emotion is Your Enemy


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Spock and the Vulcans were on to something. Emotions that run too high or low play havoc with your mindset and your health. Extreme fluctuation in emotions is, predominantly, too great a fluctuation in your dopamine level, the happiness neurotransmitter. This is often caused by mismanaged expectations. The key in keeping your emotions in check on a daily basis is expectations management. Keep your expectations for outcomes or the timeframe for those outcomes as realistic as possible. This keeps your emotions in check because your dopamine level will not oscillate very much if you moderate your expectations.



Exercise Your Way to Greater Confidence


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We all know that exercise is good for your health, but did you know exercise is also a confidence booster? Exercise elevates your testosterone level and reduces your cortisol level. Testosterone is a hormone that not only accelerates muscle recovery, it also elevates your confidence, making you feel more in control of your life. Cortisol is a stress hormone that not only reduces your immune system’s ability to fight off diseases, viruses, bacteria and infections, it also impairs your risk tolerance, making you feel less confident.

When you feel more confident, you are more inclined to pursue opportunities that challenge you, enabling you to grow as an individual. Confidence boosts your desire to take on those new challenges and learn new things, important qualities inherent in great leaders and self-made millionaires.


This One Keystone Habit Will End Your Poverty

40% of all of our daily activities are habits. That means that 40% of the time we are all on auto pilot. Now this is good thing if we have good daily habits but this is a bad thing if we have bad daily habits. Think of your life as a seesaw. On one side of the seesaw you have Poverty Habits and on the other side, Rich Habits. If you have more Poverty Habits than Rich Habits on your seesaw you will be poor and you will be unhappy with your life. If you have more Rich Habits than Poverty Habits your will be rich and you will be happy with your life.

Keystone Habits are habits that affect other habits. They are like little pac men. Keystone Habits move around looking for opposite habits to eat up, or to get rid of.  When you add a good Keystone Habit it gets rid of one or more bad habits you may have. One such Keystone Habit is Rich Thinking. Rich Thinking is the habit of thinking positively. You must make it a habit of thinking positive, uplifting thoughts every day. This is a very important Rich Habit because our thoughts direct our behavior. If we habitually think negative thoughts we will attract negative things into our life. If you are poor I guarantee that you have the Poverty Habit of negative thinking.

If you adopt the Rich Thinking Rich Habit for 30 days, it will begin to gobble up your negative thinking Poverty Habit. Because it is a Keystone Habit it will not stop with that one Poverty Habit. It will begin to eliminate others that have been linked to your negative thinking. You may eat too much, or drink too much or gamble too much just because of this one negative thinking Poverty Habit.

The Rich Habits are Keystone Habits. They were created to help you get rid of the Poverty Habits that are holding you back in life. Adding just one Rich Habit, like Rich Thinking, will eliminate numerous Poverty Habits. That is the secret to the success of the Rich Habits. One Rich Habit can get rid of numerous Poverty Habits and change you life forever.

The best and quickest method to change habitual negative thinking into habitual positive thinking is to give thanks every day for something. Make a habit of giving thanks every time something good happens or when something bad is avoided. Giving thanks creates an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude fosters positive thinking. Giving thanks is like screaming to the universe, “Give Me More!” When you give thanks every day for some specific thing, you are asking the universe to give you more of that same specific thing.

The key for gratitude to begin to attract positive things into your life is emotion. Emotion makes it all happen. You need to create the emotion and then give thanks. Here’s how: Think about a time in your life when something amazing happened or when you were incredibly happy. Hold on to that thought for a few seconds. Remember everything about that happy time. Then give thanks for something good that you have or that happened to you. Your subconscious will now begin working behind the scene with the universe to try and find more of the stuff you are grateful for and bring it into your life. In time your life will change. You will begin to attract good things. The more good things you attract and give thanks for, the more your subconscious and the universe will bring into your life. This one Keystone Rich Habit has a domino affect that changes your life forever.