I recently discovered an infographic describing the habits of the world’s wealthiest people. The reason for this post is not to promote a “get rich quick” strategy, nor is to to demean the poor in any way. The insights in the infographic below aren’t “get rich quick” tactics. And just because you’re poor doesn’t mean you don’t practice many of these ideas already. These insights simply reinforce what I often refer to as the Boredom of Success.
Most people are enamored by the hobbies of the rich rather than the habits of the rich. They focus on their perks rather than their priorities. From the infographic below, I want to highlight five insights that will help anybody (not just the rich) take strategic steps forward in life. In fact, anyone (regardless of socioeconomic status) can embrace these strategies. I’m not suggesting that you’ll be rich if you do, but I am suggesting you’ll go further in life.
1. Leverage Your Downtime – The first thing that stands out to me in the infographic is how the rich leverage their downtime. Two things in particular to notice: First, they don’t watch much television. According to one Nielsen report, the average American watches 153 hours per month (that’s five hours per day). The wealthy, on the other hand, watch one hour per day. Second, they wake up three hours before work. Rather than sleeping in, they make they’re morning’s count by implementing systematic routines that compound over time to produce dramatic results. Question: Who controls your downtime–television, oversleep, social media, or you?
2. Be a Lifelong Learner – The wealthy demonstrate a value and a practice for lifelong learning. They believe in lifelong educational self improvement and express that value by reading at least 30 minutes per day and listening to audio books during they’re commute. The average person spends 46 minutes per day commuting to and from work. The wealthy have simply turned “drive time” into “growth time.” I believe it’s important to note that lifelong learning is not dependent on wealth, the ability to go to college, or whether or not you have a car. Books, blogs, articles, libraries, mentors, and wise friends are all great sources of growth. Garage sales always have books for sale. Libraries have computer access. If you feel stuck and lack resources, ask yourself, “Who do I know that makes wise choices, and could I spend an hour with that person each month?” The truth is, the people you hang around determine the direction and speed of your life. Don’t let excuses keep you from growing. Everyone can do something. If you’re really serious about being a lifelong learner, consider developing a Personal Growth TRAC to get started. Question: What are three things you can do to become a lifelong learner?
3. Invest in Relationships – There are two ways the wealthy invest in relationships. First, they invest in their immediate family. They teach they’re kids good habits and the value of growing and serving. Second, they network. The wealthy spend five hours or more per month connecting with others. Like it or not, relationships open doors. Again, neither of these are dependent on money. All of us can invest in our families. And all of us can work hard to build new relationships with others. In fact, I believe your commitment to lifelong learning will directly impact the quality of people you meet. It’s often a slow and methodical process, but the more you grow, the more you’ll meet and interact with others who share your value for growth. Question: Is your time spent with others make a difference in their life and your life?
4. Think Differently and Pursue Clear Goals – Focus is essential to success. The wealthy have learned to think differently. They identify they’re goals, put them in writing, maintain focus, and develop a to-do list that’s aligned with their goals. Thinking differently about your future is the first step to changing your current circumstances. That’s what Johnetta McSwain did. She was born in poverty, abused as a child, and dropped out of high school in the 11th grade to live on the streets. But at the age of 30, she started a long process of turning her life around. After two failed attempts, she passed the GED. Eventually she went to college and today she’s working on her doctorate. It all started when she chose to think differently and caught a vision for what her life could become. Question: What is your vision for the future and how do you need to change your thinking to get there?
5. Avoid Debilitating Habits – Finally, the wealthy avoid habits that debilitate their potential for success. That doesn’t mean wealth doesn’t have its own set of temptations. We’ve all seen the collapse of financial giants who let pride and ethical lapses undermine everything they worked so hard to attain. But in general, the wealthy understand the value of good habits and work hard to embrace them. One area this is evidenced is in they’re health. They exercise aerobically four times per week and they watch what they eat. Furthermore, as mentioned already, they control their television habits. Avoiding bad habits isn’t a rich thing or poor thing. All of us choose what we will do with our time. You may not be able to afford a gym membership, but can you walk around your block with a couple of friends? All of us can click the TV remote to “off.” Question: What bad habit is undermining your success right now, and what will you do about it?
The quote at the bottom of the infographic says, “Following these traits won’t necessarily make you rich…but they are worth a shot.” As I said at the beginning of this post, my goal is not to put you on a get rich quick path. Rather, I wanted to highlight the habits of people who tend to succeed. Interestingly, all of these habits are fully in our control. Where will you start?