Habits of the Rich that Mimic Good Mental Health Habits.
I saw an article about Thomas C. Corley, titled “17 Habits of Self-Made Millionaires”, who spent 5 years studying 177 self-made rich people. I don’t know why it took him 5 years to do this but I’d read his book, “Change Your Habits, Change Your Life” a few years ago when it was the rage, so I read this article. This took me a bit longer to write up and condense it for you than I planned but I think/hope it is worth it.
I was struck by the habits that Corley claims are almost universal among the very rich because they are excellent mental health practices. Here they are. I wonder how many you practice now and how many you’d entertain starting to use on a daily basis?
- They consistently read.
The rich would rather be educated than entertained.
88% of rich people “devote thirty minutes or more each day to self-education or self-improvement reading”. “The rich read to acquire or maintain knowledge,” he said.Corley found that they tended to read three types of books: biographies of successful people, self-help or personal development books, and history books.
- They exercise.
“Seventy-six percent of the rich aerobically exercise 30 minutes or more every day,” Corley said. “Cardio is not only good for the body, but it’s good for the brain,” he wrote. “It grows the neurons (brain cells) in the brain.” He added: “Exercise also increases the production of glucose. Glucose is brain fuel. The more fuel you feed your brain, the more it grows and the smarter you become.”
- They hang with other successful people.
“You are only as successful as those you frequently associate with,” Corley wrote. “The rich are always on the lookout for individuals who are goal-oriented, optimistic, enthusiastic, and who have an overall positive mental outlook.”
- They volunteer.
To surround themselves with the above good people, many self-made millionaires turn to charity.
“This is why so many wealthy people volunteer for charitable organizations, civic groups, or trade groups. It helps them expand their network of other success-minded people,” he wrote.
Of the millionaires he studied, 72% volunteered five hours or more every month.
- They define their ideal lives.
61% did this by imagining all their dreams coming true and then writing them down in around 500 words with the steps necessary to make that happen.
- They pursue their own goals rather than what is expected of them.
And that is where they find their passion, energy, and drive.
- They sleep at least 7 hours a night.
Sleep accomplishes so many things – repair and memory formation to name only two.
- They get up early.
Nearly 50% of the self-made millionaires in Corley’s study said they woke up at least three hours before their workday actually began. It’s a strategy to deal with inevitable daily disruptions, such as a meeting that went too long, egregious traffic, or having to pick up your sick kid from school.
“These disruptions have a psychological effect on us. They can drip into our subconscious and eventually form the belief that we have no control over our life,” Corley wrote. “Getting up at five in the morning to tackle the top three things you want to accomplish in your day allows you to regain control of your life. It gives you a sense of confidence that you, indeed, direct your life.”
- They have multiple sources of income.
65% reported their goal was at least 3 streams of income and they created them before they attained their first million dollars.
- They find and check in with mentors.
Find a mentor that puts you on a fast track with advice, wisdom and contacts.
- They help others succeed.
Only help those who are positive and goal-oriented b/c you must spend your time wisely.
- They are positive.
“If you stop to listen to your thoughts, to be aware of them, you’d find most of them are negative,” he wrote. “But you only realize you are having these negative thoughts when you force yourself to be aware of them. Awareness is the key.” This is where CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is so useful.
- They don’t follow the herd.
They don’t conform to what others are doing or thinking and don’t worry about gossip.
- They practice good etiquette.
Critical to success, they reported, was sending thank-you notes, acknowledging important life events such as a wedding or a birthday, eating politely and using table manners, and dressing properly for various social events. Anytime someone mentions their birthday, add it to your calendar to call or send a note next year.
- They dedicate 15-30 minutes a day to just thinking.
- They seek feedback.
They do not fear criticism because it is essential to understand what might not be on the right track.
- They never give up.