Author who studies millionaires: Here's how beliefs can make you rich—or poor

Over my five-year-long study of Rich Habits, for which I drew conclusions from surveys of 233 wealthy individuals on their daily habits and compared them with 128 lower-earning individuals, I discovered that your beliefs dictate your circumstances in life. Those who are wealthy have different beliefs than those who are poor or stuck in the middle class.

Beliefs represent the acceptance of something without any proof to back up what we accept as fact. They are unconscious programming and they're usually inherited.

We adopt the beliefs of our parents, family, mentors, culture and our environment (neighborhood, town, city, state, country). Most people who were raised in poverty inherited limiting beliefs that hold them back in life. Those who are able to rise from poverty and become wealthy often found mentors with success beliefs that enabled them to transcend their circumstances and become wealthy.

Those who become wealthy adopt some or all of these 24 core beliefs, which promote habits that lead to success:

  • Anyone can become rich.
  • Daily self-improvement, or growth, will lead to success.
  • I am responsible for the circumstances of my life.
  • Money and wealth are good.
  • There is an abundance of money and wealth to go around.
  • I can solve any problem.
  • I can overcome any obstacle.
  • I create my own luck.
  • Opportunities are everywhere.
  • Opportunity does not knock. I have to go out and find it and take action.
  • Failure is just another way to learn.
  • No one succeeds on their own. I can only succeed if I surround myself with other success-minded people.
  • I can accomplish anything I put my mind to.
  • Time is the most valuable resource. I must make efficient use of my time. Wasting it is a crime.
  • Birds of a feather flock together. I will avoid toxic people and surround myself with success-minded people.
  • Dreams and goals are the rungs on the ladder of success.
  • If I help others succeed, I will succeed.
  • If I improve the lives of others, I will improve my life.
  • Always exceed the expectations of others.
  • I am in control of my thoughts and emotions.
  • Never quit on a dream.
  • Success takes time.
  • I must save more than I earn and invest my savings in my dreams and goals.
  • I am amazing and unstoppable.

If you want to succeed in life, if you want to become rich, you need to understand the beliefs you currently have — and then do some surgery.

For a week, write down every limiting or negative belief you have. Once you've identified your limiting beliefs, it's time to remove them and sub in the beliefs that will enable you to become successful.

How do you make the switch?

  • Associate with individuals who possess the success beliefs you want to adopt.
  • Read books and articles on self-made millionaires.
  • Read inspirational books and articles.
  • Listen to inspirational podcasts.
  • Watch and listen to inspirational TEDx talks.
  • Create daily affirmations around the success beliefs you want to adopt.
  • Meditate and focus on your new success beliefs (10-15 minutes a day is all it takes).

Your existing beliefs were formed over many years. It takes time to re-program your belief system. How long? According to my research, at least one year of dedicated effort. But that one year investment will pay dividends for the rest of your life.

Tom Corley is an accountant, financial planner and author of "Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to Be Happy and Successful in Life."

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