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For many people, success is synonymous with wealth or celebrity. Consequently, libraries and booksellers offer thousands of books, studies and articles with advice on how to get rich.
Authors of get-rich schemes target a growing audience that believes there is hidden knowledge about accumulating wealth. The gullible spend thousands of dollars in a quest to find a guru willing to disclose the formula for amassing wealth. Modern authors have flooded store shelves with their advice, tips and secrets, capitalizing on the demand. Their audiences overlook the reality that money flows not to the buyer of a book or attendee at a seminar, but to the author and presenter.
The need for action
Wealth is not gained by passively reading or listening, but by action. Knowledge is potential or stored energy, essentially worthless until used and turned into deeds. Actions — not thoughts — create wealth by developing a new industry (like Elon Musk) or investing (like Warren Buffett).
There are no secrets or shortcuts to riches (excluding marriage to a wealthy spouse). However, those at the top of the financial pyramid typically exhibit specific characteristics.
Four critical traits of wealth building
The habits of those who achieve uncommon success are not inherited but learned and practiced. Instilling these traits is neither easy nor difficult but deliberate and continuous. While some might have natural tendencies for one or the other attributes, they are available to everyone.
Everyday life is full of distractions on every level. Some are significant, but most are inconsequential. Focus is the ability to set a goal and concentrate solely on it until achieved. The acquisition of wealth is a journey of years, if not a lifetime. While good luck can affect the length of travel, the gift of sudden fortune is granted very few.
Most fortunes are built slowly by consistently investing a portion of one’s earnings wisely. Focus on your destination, and you avoid the lost time, energy and capital of detours, wrong directions and chance. Paul Samuelson, the first American to win the Nobel Prize for economics, advises, “Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.”
Related: 5 Ways to Create Wealth by Investing in 2022
The yin to the yang of focus is self-discipline, which is the ability to control one’s thoughts and actions. Some have also defined discipline as “the ability to defer gratification.” Investment requires saving a portion of your income regularly for tomorrow, like, denying the instant pleasure of today’s purchase. Those who cannot control their spending rarely make …….