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THE REAL CAUSE OF POVERTY

Before I begin on my quest to transform a life from one of poverty to one of unlimited financial wealth, let me set out some important facts about poverty and wealth in America:

  • 46.2 million Americans live below the poverty line (http://e.wikipedia.org/wiki/Povery_in_the_United_States)
  • 50% of American Households make less than $34,000 a year. (Tax Foundation.org)
  • Average student loan debt now exceeds $25,000 (http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/03/pf/student_loan_debt/index.htm)
  • 309 million people currently reside in America. (http://quickfacts.census.gov/gfd/states/00000.html)
  • 138 million make enough money to warrant filing an income tax return (Tax Foundation.org)
  • 6.9 million, or 5%, make $155,000 or more a year. (Tax Foundation.org)

This 5% puts money away for retirement, education for their children, savings, to go on fun vacations, live in nice homes, and retire without any financial worries.
So, what is this 5% doing right?

What is it that financially successful individuals do that sets them apart from everyone else?
In a five-year research study on the daily habits of wealthy and poor individuals the answer is: it’s your daily habits! (www.richhabits.net)

Wealthy individuals have many good daily habits and few bad daily habits.
Conversely, poor individuals have many bad daily habits and few good daily habits.

The simple reason for this has to do with how you were raised.
In wealthy households parents go to great lengths to instill good daily success habits in their children. This creates what I refer to as, “the generational cycle of wealth” and is a materially contributory factor to the wealth gap. It is also the underlying reason why the rich get richer.

In poor households children learn bad daily habits from their parents and this creates what I refer to as, “the generational cycle of poverty”. In poor households the poor get poorer and this pattern repeats itself from one generation to the next.

So how do you break the generational cycle of poverty?  You need to eliminate your bad daily habits and replace them with good daily habits.

STEP 1: Figure out which bad habits are making you poor

  • You watch too much T.V. and waste too much time on social media.
  • You eat too much and drink too much of the wrong things.
  • You don’t exercise enough aerobically.
  • Your relationships are on an “as needed” basis. You only reach out to your friends to socialize or when you have problems and need their help. You don’t call them just to say hello, happy birthday or to congratulate them or console them when something happens in their lives. In other words, you ignore them unless you need them for something.
  • Procrastination is the rule rather than the exception. You don’t maintain or stick to a daily “to do” list.
  • You devote very little time to your career beyond working. You do not attempt to become an expert in your field. To you, work is a necessary evil that one must endure in life in order to survive. Therefore, you do the bare minimum. You have “it’s not in my job description” syndrome.
  • You talk too much and don’t listen enough. Oftentimes, you are putting your foot in your mouth and saying inappropriate things.
  • You are not generous with your time or money with respect to your relationships.
  • You are a spender and not a saver. You don’t save 10% of your income every month. You spend more than you earn and your debt is overwhelming you.
  • You don’t control your thoughts and emotions on a daily basis. You lose your temper too often and belittle others too much.
  • You don’t network enough or at all with respect to your career or field.
  • You don’t set goals or don’t understand what goals really are.

STEP 2: Find good daily habits that will end your poverty

The Ten Good Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1):

  1. Wealthy individuals have eliminated their bad daily habits and replaced them with good daily habits.
  2. They set daily, monthly, annual and long-term goals. They understand the difference between a wish and a goal.
  3. They engage in daily self-improvement. They engage in four core career-related, self-improvement activities.
  4. They  take good care of their health. They exercise aerobically 20-30 minutes each time, four days a week. They monitor what they eat and how much they eat.
  5. They manage their relationships every day. Strong relationships are the currency of the wealthy. They employ certain strategies to grow their relationships such as: “The Hello Call”, “The Happy Birthday Call” and “The Life Event Call”.
  6. Wealthy individuals live each day in moderation.
  7. They complete at least 70% of the tasks on their daily “to do” list.
  8. Wealthy individuals engage in “Rich Thinking”. They are upbeat, positive and focused on achievement.
  9. Wealthy individuals save a minimum of 10% of their income every year.
  10. Wealthy individuals control their thoughts and emotions, every day.

STEP 3: Re-program yourself with your new good daily success habits

  1. Take out a piece of paper and form two columns. In the first column list every one of your bad daily habits. Call this column your “Bad Habits” column.
  2. After listing all of your bad daily habits invert them and include them under column two, your “Good Habits” column. For example: “I watch too much TV” becomes “I watch 1 hour of TV per day”. “I eat too much” becomes “I eat 2,000 calories per day”. Fill your Good Habits column with these inverted Bad Habits. Keep your ‘good habits’ list with you and refer to it every day.
  3. Live your new good daily habits for 30 days. By the end of this 30 day period you will be unshackled from those bad daily habits that have been dragging you down and creating failure in your life.

So many want what has been called the “American Dream”. Yet, dreaming will only get you so far. The rubber meets the road to financial success only when you begin doing. You need to do certain things every day that will make you successful in life. You need to eliminate your bad habits and re-program yourself by living new good daily success habits.

Success is a process. It’s not about random luck, education or superior genealogy. It’s about what you do every day.

It’s about your daily habits!

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Thomas C Corley

Thomas C Corley is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner, has a Masters in Taxation and is certified by the Corporation for Long-Term Care. He is President of Cerefice & Company, a CPA firm, and is the CEO of The Rich Habits Institute, an organization that offers Rich Habits training, seminars and education learning sessions. Thom has authored several books including his revolutionary self-help book “Rich Habits” and “The Top 100 Cheapest Places to Retire in the U.S.” book series. He also trains businesses, individuals, and students how to be financially succcessful in life through his Rich Habits education programs - www.richhabits.net.