There’s Something the Rich and the Poor Have in Common

For five years I studied the daily activities of 233 wealthy people and 128 people living in poverty and I discovered there is an immense difference between the two groups, but one significant similarity.

Both the wealthy and the poor performed more than 200 daily activities—some good and some detrimental—but each of them were daily habits. I discuss these specific 16 rich habits in the November 2014 issue of SUCCESS and in my book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals.

Here’s what I learned: These “rich habits” or “poverty habits” are the reason you are rich, poor or stuck in the middle class. The blueprint of your life and the lives of your children are determined by daily habits.

Your daily habits unconsciously control your behavior, thinking, beliefs and the choices you make. They determine the type of house you live in, the type of education your children receive, the level of freedom you have, your material possessions and your level of happiness in life. That’s how important habits are.

Habits have a purpose. By isolating certain repetitive functions to a very small, almost fractional area inside the center of our brains called the basal ganglia, the brain freed itself to expand and perform higher-level functions. A 2006 Duke University study found that 40 percent (or more) of all daily activities are habits.

Physiologically, habits are a series of interconnected neural pathways connected along the neural fibers underneath the neocortex to a central neural hub inside the basal ganglia. The moment a neural pathway becomes linked to the basal ganglia, it is magically transformed by the brain into a permanent habit.

Each rich habit that you add to your life has a cumulative effect. Rich habits are like an investment in your success. Over time these rich habits move you closer and closer to achieving success. The more rich habits you add over time, the closer you get to realizing true success in life.

Change your life and reach your goals, all by making small tweaks to your daily routine. Check out 5 tips for turning your tiny habits into big results.


Tom Corley is the author of the best-seller Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals. He writes from Rich Habits Institute headquarters in New Jersey.

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