How Are the Seriously Wealthy Different?

Forget the film star imagery; the “beautiful people” driving their luxury cars and lunching at the visible up-market restaurants, trying to make themselves feel like winners.

The seriously wealthy are different; they are disciplined and thrifty, they have developed positive, constructive habits of thought and action (often through failure). Your fear of failure, embarrassment and ridicule holds you back, whereas successful people have acquired the habit of courage in the face of their fears (by confronting them).

The common denominator of success is that successful people have formed the habit of doing the things that both low achievers and they themselves don’t like to do. The minority achieves success, but not by giving in to their innate likes and dislikes.

Research has shown that low achievers move into a comfort zone and resist all efforts to prod them into the direction of their dreams. High achievers, on the other hand, consciously force themselves out of their zone of uncertainty into a zone where they feel challenged, even uncomfortable. They know that if they persist they will eventually learn what they need to know. They understand that “anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first”, that nobody does it perfectly at first and that it is imperfect practice that makes perfect (not perfect practice).

The majority tend to be reactive, not proactive. They stumble along, acquiring little in the way of saving, until they arrive at middle age worrying about money. The average retired person, after working 40 years, can look to an income around $300 per week. They left financial independence to chance, hoping for the best and shrugging their shoulders with resignation when it never happened.

This is where a raft of excuses is needed, but as Mark Twain said “there are a thousand excuses, but no reasons.” There is nothing left but to fall in love with the excuses and believe that they are true.

All economic success comes from delayed gratification, from being able to deny yourself in the short term so that you can enjoy greater rewards in the longer term.