Habits of the Super Rich (2015)
Chapter 1: Habits of the Rich and the Poor
Jim and Zach had been friends since high school. Both were straight A students. In fact, they graduated sharing the honors as co-valedictorians. There was only one major difference between them, though. Jim didn’t need to study. His talent was natural and he soon discovered that a quick look at his lessons was all he needed to get his “A.” After that, he turned his attention to recreational pursuits.
Zach, on the other hand, worked hard to keep up with Jim’s natural abilities. He found that he needed to study in order to get his good grades. He naturally searched for, developed and perfected habits to help him do just that. Zach knew when to say no to a social invitation in order to study for that important exam, even though it meant missing the good times of a few social engagements.
Throughout their high school career, Jim chided Zach in a good natured tone about his apparent discipline and the acquisition of his many study habits. Jim took it all in stride saying, “I’ll do whatever it takes to get good grades.”
Then the pair went off to the same college. It was then Zach’s turn to tease his best friend Jim/ Zach was able to take the same habits he had developed in high school and apply them to his college courses.
It’s not that Jim was a bad student. Not by any stretch of the imagination. Especially during his first two years. He was able to breeze through the courses, just as he had done in high school.
However, as he got into upper level coursework he had a bit of trouble here and there. Zach, could see that Jim’s academic career may be in danger if he didn’t adopt some solid positive habits – and soon.
When graduation day came, Zach had a higher grade point average than Jim. Not by much, but by enough.
As luck would have it, Zach and John received job offers at the same corporation. They worked side by side for several years. But now the tables were turned. Those positive habits Zach had developed in high school and used in college were now the same ones that he needed to prove himself at work.
Jim, though, found it difficult to adjust to the business world. He had not created any substantial good habits during his educational career. In fact, in college, he probably adopted more bad habits than anything else.
Can you guess which proved the better employee? Bingo! Zach. Even though he had to work at everything he did, his habits, by this time, came so naturally to him, that it didn’t seem like so much work.
What was worse was that the bad habits Jim had acquired in college carried over to his professional career. Little by little he discovered that he was on a downward spiral.
Bad Habits and the Downward Spiral
If you’ve never heard of that notorious downward spiral before, think of it as that “slippery slope” so many individuals love to talk about. Let’s take the habit of “punctuality,” or showing up on time for work. We all can point to someone who is chronically late – to church, to social events, to appointments. While that’s irritating, being late to those events aren’t career threatening.
Then there are those who are chronically late for work. These are the people who are most at risk of experiencing that downward spiral. You wouldn’t think one small habit like being on time could possibly be that crucial in a job. But you’d be surprised where even one small, unassuming bad habit could lead.
If someone were late for work every morning even by ten minutes, his supervisor would eventually note that. Perhaps he may even issue him warnings about it. His supervisor may overlook it, if the person were outstanding in his job. But, what if, the individual had the same bad habit of being late in meeting deadlines at work? Turning reports in late, being late to vital meetings – even those that kept important clients waiting.
There’s only so much an employer will tolerate. Before you know it, the employer has fired this individual. Think that’s the lowest down a spiral can go? Think again. The journey continues. During the time he’s off work, he can’t find a job, he has trouble meeting his bills and, well, it only goes downhill from there.
All for the lack of one good habit: punctuality.
Let’s now look at the flip side of that single habit. Let’s assume that this employee, instead, came to work on time every day. How would his career have changed?
Had he done this, his employer would have no need to even give him a warning.
Additionally, if this employee had practiced punctuality, he would have naturally been on time – perhaps even early – for all meetings, turning in all reports and especially for those vital meetings with the company’s most important clients.
The Upward Spiral
In the end, he probably would have been a shining example of a model employee and would have been in line for a promotion. With just that one small change in habit, he could have gone from his modest position to a much more lucrative and more responsible position.
There’s no need to tell you that as part of that upward spiral, his budding career would have included several salary increases along the way. This means that his personal life also would have been on an upward spiral of a larger house and everything he and his family needed and wanted to create the ideal family life.
Punctuality is just one habit successful people have. If you study the habits of the successful, like the authors Napoleon Hill and later Steven Covey did, you’ll find that they hold many of the same good habits.
If you feel as if your life is stagnant and you haven’t had the joy of the upward spiral – or worse yet, you recognize you’re on that downward spiral -- you may be motivated to seriously scrutinize your habits – right here and right now.
Changing the Direction of the Spiral
Some of us have the mistaken belief that those individuals who have struck it rich and succeeded beyond belief have done so using “dumb luck.” That couldn’t be farther from the truth, if you scratch the surface, what you discover just below their shiny success, are years of their practicing ingrained good habits.
The good news is that you too can adopt the same habits which made them wildly successful – and become as successful as you desire.
Before you say that it’s impossible to change your habits, let’s move on to chapter two, which talks about the miraculous power of your subconscious mind and how, with even just a bit of effort, it’ll help you not only stop the downward spiral you may find yourself on right now, but actually help you turn the tide and start on an upward spiral.