Who are you? Think about it before you answer. Does your job define you? Are you a collection of your habits (more on that later)? Maybe it’s your thoughts and beliefs that make you who you are?
I believe in God the Father
Almighty Maker of Heaven and Maker of Earth
And in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son, our Lord
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
Born of the virgin Mary
Suffered under Pontius Pilate
He was crucified and dead and buried
And I believe what I believe is what makes me what I am
“Creed” by Third Day
I read a couple articles recently about habits of millionaires, as they are compared and contrasted to the habits of the poor (an empirical study). I will put a link at the bottom of this post because the vast majority of this content comes from one of these articles. I’m not really saying I personally agree with all these habits or presume that doing these habits will necessarily make you a millionaire. However, I certainly think its a worthwhile exercise to contemplate the consequences of these habits and then consider my own habits. Hint, there’s room for improvement. I’ll put my comments in blue
From richhabits.net (Thomas Corley) – he spent 5 years tracking the daily habits of 233 self-made millionaires and 128 poor people.
- Gambling habits – 6% of millionaires played the lottery vs. 77% of the poor. Please don’t subscribe to a get rich quick scheme. Financial success takes time. I‘m doing well in this category, woo hoo!
Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time. Proverbs 13:11
- Dream-setting habits – 64% of millionaires in this study were pursuing a dream vs. 9% of the poor. My dream is to be debt-free. . . See my previous post on establishing a financial dream.
- Goal setting habits – 62% of millionaires are focused on achieving goals every day vs. 6% of the poor. I set 8 – 10 financial goals for the upcoming year (usually in late December) and then see how I did at the end of the year. I did pretty well last year but some still got carried over into 2018. . .
- Health habits – 21% of millionaires were overweight by 30 pounds or more vs. 66% of the poor. 76% of millionaires exercised 30 minutes or more each day vs. 23% of the poor. 25% of millionaires ate fast food each week vs. 69% of the poor. 13% of millionaires got drunk once a month vs. 60% of the poor. Drinking too much alcohol could affect your memory and ability to think clearly. “Poor health habits create detrimental luck“. Wealthy people value their health. Wealthy people eat healthy, exercise consistently, sleep seven or more hours per night, and make a daily habit of flossing. This is a mixed bag for me. I maintain a healthy weight; however, I eat too much fast food, but I have significantly reduced eating french fries and red meat. I try to eat subway as well as chicken sandwiches more and cheeseburgers only occasionally. I only drink one soda per day and drink 30 – 60 ounces of water per day. I make sure to have my annual physical. I wear my fitbit and try to get 10,000 steps each day. Some days I don’t quite get there. . .
Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead be filled with the holy spirit. Ephesians 5:18
- Time habits – 63% of millionaires spent less than 1 hour per day on recreational internet use vs. 26% of the poor. 67% of millionaires watched 1 hour or less of TV per day vs. 23% of the poor. 67% of millionaires maintained daily “to-do” lists vs. 6% of the poor. 44% of millionaires got up 3 hours or more before they started their work day vs. 3% of the poor. The rich would rather be educated than entertained. Making productive use of time is a hallmark of millionaires. Procrastination “prevents even the most talented individuals from realizing success in life” Corley writes. Procrastination is a big reason why you are struggling financially in life. I’m a chronic procrastinator – ok, its actually worse than that; I’m an optimistic procrastinator – if I put it off long enough I won’t have to do it at all, right? I watch too much TV, especially sports, and I usually don’t get up till 6:30 and I’m not really a human-being until 8 am. . .
- Living below their means habits – 73% of millionaires were taught the 80/20 rule (live off 80% save 20%) vs. 5% of the poor. I’m doing ok here, I’m saving 15% for retirement and don’t normally have credit card debt – with the occasional rough month. . .
- Relationship management habits – 6% of millionaires gossip vs. 79% of the poor. 75% of millionaires were taught to send thank you cards vs. 13% of the poor. 6% of millionaires say what’s on their mind vs. 69% of the poor. 68% of millionaires pursue relationships with success-minded people vs. 11% of the poor. Wealthy people also make it a point to limit their exposure to toxic, negative people. I’m doing fairly well here, no gossiping and I do limit my exposure to overly negative people. I’m pretty good at saying thank you but I think there is always room to improve on showing your co-workers/friends/family how much you appreciate them.
- Learning habits – 88% of millionaires read for learning every day vs. 2% of the poor. I’m reading 3 books right now (see pics below). Plus, I try to read the Bible every day as well (currently reading Proverbs, with our son, as our bed time devotional, it’s God’s word, just sayin’).
- Positive mental outlook – 79% believed they were the cause of their circumstances in life vs. 18% of the poor. 43% believed they would one day be rich vs. 13% of the poor. “long-term success is only possible when you have a positive mental outlook” I do fairly well here, most days. . .
- Emotional habits – 19% of millionaires lost their temper in the last month vs. 43% of the poor. Yeah, about this one, there’s room for improvement. . .
- Keeping a job you hate – The wealthiest, most successful people pursue their passions. “passion makes work fun. Passion gives you the energy, persistence, and focus needed to overcome failures, mistakes, and rejection. I’m pretty confident I’m in the right field, and I also work for a good company in a good industry. See my post on career advice 2.
- Sticking to your comfort zone – While the average person finds peace of mind in familiarity, and hesitates to leave their comfort zone, rich people find comfort in uncertainty. Yeah, about this one, I really like my warm blanket. . .
The pursuit of wealth requires that you take risks. Most don’t, and that’s why most are not wealthy. Fear of criticism is the reason we do not seek feedback from others, but feedback helps you understand if you are on the right track. Seeking criticism, good or bad, is a crucial element for learning and growth.
My wife says this post was boring and preachy. Wonder if she was referring to me or just this post? Don’t answer that . . .
Drop me a comment below and let me know if this post was boring and preachy. . .
For those of you keeping score at home, the title of this post was an ode to “signs”, a song by The Five Man Electrical Band, 1970.