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"Precious treasure remains in a wise man's dwelling; but a foolish man devours it."

        -Proverbs 21:20        

"The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense."

    _Thomas Edison        

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.  Talent will not;  nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.  Genius will not; un-rewarded genius is almost a proverb.  Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.  Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

        - Calvin Coolidge

Achieving Success

There are successful people in every walk of life.  There are successful doctors, teachers, baggage handlers, parents.  What we have to ask ourselves is why are some people successful at there work and others are just going through the motions.  

Success has a different meaning to everyone.  To me  success means having control of your time and life.  I Consider success as to be free of money worries and time constraints.  I consider success to be a state of confidence and a felling of it just doesn't get much better than this.  Robert Ringer in his book Million Dollar Habits gives us his real world insights into mental imaging and its effect on our physical reality "We are never free from the inevitabilities of life - illness, accidents, natural disasters, and the like - we are free to choose our attitude toward them.  and in so doing, we can at a minimum swing the odds in our favor and dramatically increase our chances success."

Success has two components, and when these two components work together you can achieve rewards beyond what you ever thought possible.  The two components are a mental attitude comprising of dreams, goals, courage and belief in yourself and your dreams and the second component is control of real and financial assets.   Ask your self what would you be doing now if you knew that you couldn't fail.  How would you live your life differently if you had no fear.


Mental Attitude (Internal Compass for Success)

Napoleon Hill was one of the pioneers of the study of success.  In his book Think & Grow Rich  he lays out his idea that "all achievement, all earned riches, have their beginning in an idea!".  This idea, that becomes a goal and an internalized desire is at the heart of achieving success beyond what you may now think possible. The following excerpts from his book help to illustrate his ideas.  

  • "Truly 'thoughts are things' and powerful things at that, When they are mixed with definiteness of purpose, persistence, and a burning desire for their translation into riches or other material objects
  • Psychologists have correctly said that 'when one is truly ready for a thing, it puts in its appearance'... when riches begin to come they come so quickly, in such abundance, that one wonders where they have been during all those lean years...
  • Success comes to those who become success conscious.  Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure conscious...we are all the masters of our fate. the captains of our souls, because we have the power to control our thoughts. ...
  • Our brains become magnetized with the dominating thought which we hold in our minds, and by means which no man is familiar.  Those 'magnets' attract us to the forces, the people, the unconsciousness of life which harmonize the nature of our dominating thought."

Maxwell Maltz in his book Psycho - Cybernetics elaborates on those ideas.  He states that, in his work as a plastic surgeon, he found that it is not the way a person looks to others that is the reality, but the self image the patient has about themselves.  He states that the subconscious mind is nothing more than an automatic objective seeking and fulfilling mechanism.  When the unconscious mind is presented with a vision of belief it will move the conscious mind toward accomplishing that objective.  The unconscious mind is unthinking and has no regard as to whether the objectives are positive or negative.  

In order to maximize our success we must develop a sensitivity to  the opportunities around you.

One of the most important tools of the successful person is the ability to recognize opportunities that others do not see.  The key to this gift is to become sensitive to opportunities around you.  You are able to recognize opportunities because after you establish a goal and give this goal creditability by believing and visualizing your successful completion of this goal your mind, consciously and unconsciously, will begin acting to fulfill the goals you have set.  It is then that you become sensitized to opportunities around you.  If you buy a new car you notice all of the cars like yours.  There suddenly seem to be so many more on the road, even models of the same color, for a few days you believe that you must have purchased the best selling model ever, and most of the other sales must have happened at the same time as your purchase.  These cars have always been there but now, buy your action and focus that comes with your purchase,  you are now more sensitive and aware.  When you purchase a stock you gain a front row seat on the world economic stage, and become so much more sensitive to of economic and company specific events. News that would have passed you by now catches your immediate attention.  You become sensitized to your companies products, you make connections between news events and your investments.  Opportunities and useful information fill the senses of every one everyday but you are not in a position to receive much less act until you are ready to use the information.  This sensitivity is almost animal like.  A predator, say a lion,  becomes aware of food opportunities when it is hungry, but appears oblivious and at peace not noticing its prey when it is satiated.  Follow your instincts.  Opportunities present themselves when your mind is prepared to receive them.

You must believe that your success has arrived before it really does.  You must have a vivid picture of what you in vision success to be. You must be able to define what success means to you, and write it down along with a series of steps that must be made and a timetable to reach your goals.  You then begin the process of claiming this success for yourself.  You become sensitive and aware of the opportunities that present themselves.  You consciously and unconsciously begin to move toward your goal every day.  In order for this to work you must keep a clear picture of you in the future, you must believe that you can will and deserve your goal.  If you can dream you can achieve.  Your mind will become a self correcting guide toward the future you believe in.

"You are exactly where you deserve to be.  Where you are in life is based on the decisions you have made in the past, and you will be exactly where you deserve to be in the future based on the decisions you make from this day on."

            Robert Allen


Physical Assets 

 To most people wealth starts at a million dollar net worth (What you have less what you owe).  Some people with high income levels never achieve this level.  Some people in the ranks achieve this many times over.  Why? It comes down to the discipline to save and invest;  frugality and lifestyle.  The recognition that wealth represents what you have.  The recognition that spending is in most cases negative compounding, Cars depreciate, things need fixing and maintaining.  A high living lifestyle feeds on itself.  That is why most millionaires lead simple understated life styles.  This is why many moderate income people have a net worth over a  million dollars.  To some people it is more important to look rich while to others it is more important to be rich. As Texans like to say 'big hat, big debts, no cattle'.

A million dollar threshold is not very meaningful in that it is a very arbitrary figure.  The amount of money one needs to replace ones income while retaining there lifestyle should be the true and personal reference point.  The truth is that some of us could live very well off of the income from a million dollars and some of us couldn't maintain our lifestyle for more than a few months at best.

We should find a more personalized gauge of lifestyle needs and goal attainment.  Our gauge should contain a measure of our income and spending patterns.  Our attainment goal should be realistic considering our age and ability to earn and our propensity to spend rather than invest.    A good gauge was proposed by Thomas Stanley in his best selling book The Millionaire Mind.  He suggests that ones  true measure of wealth should be how long could one maintain his lifestyle on their existing assets.  He also proposes a formula for assessing whether one is ahead or behind the curve in asset accumulation relative to income and age (the higher the income or the longer period available for its accumulation the more wealth one would expect to see).

Expected Net Worth = age x  0 .112  x  income

In other words a person who is forty-five years old and earns $50,000 gross annually would be said to be accumulating a high net worth relative to his income and age if he has a net worth grater than $252,000. (45 x .112 x $50,000 = $252,000)

An individual who is fifty years old who earns $250,000 per year should see net assets of $1,400,000.  (50 x .112 x $250,000 = $1,400,000).

Both of the people in the above examples are in the top categories for wealth accumulation.  Wealth accumulation takes above all financial discipline and spending restraint.  If one has a two-million dollar income and a one-million dollar net worth, their savings could not long support their lifestyle.  Real wealth is in the savings, investing, asset growth side of the equation, not on the income side.  Income, even a very good income is only the vehicle one rides on the way to wealth, it is not wealth in itself.  We must remember not to confuse income with wealth.  Income is only a tool to create wealth, not wealth in its self.

Wealthy people have an internal compass that guides them on their quest for financial security.  If they do not budget and account for their money in and their money out, they at least pay themselves first, i.e. put money in savings, before personal spending or paying their creditors.  They create an artificial scarcity of their money.  They often have a payroll deduction into a savings account or a mutual fund or some similar investment before they even see or have the opportunity to spend the money.  

"There is no dignity quite so impressive and no independence quite so important as living within your means"

    -Calvin Coolidge


Reading List

Million Dollar Habits - Robert Ringer

Think & Grow Rich - Napoleon Hill

 Psycho - Cybernetics - Maxwell Maltz

The Millionaire Mind. - Thomas Stanley


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