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Sometimes It’s What We Don’t Do That Makes Us Successful. Want to learn how to be successful? We hear all the time the stuff we need to be doing to build wealth: automate investing savings, make a budget, buy assets, etc. But what if wealth building had as much to do with what we do NOT do? Perhaps even if we did not do all the right things, if we avoid the major mistakes things turn out just fine?
How to be Successful?
Some of us know people, perhaps from our high school days, that went off a path of success pretty early due to drugs or hanging with the crowd that was going nowhere. If they could have avoided the drug problem or alcohol they might be in a better place today. Each one of these times in our lives build on each other and place us squarely in the position we are in today.
This is not Judgement
Nothing I am presenting here is judgement on people that made mistakes in life. As far as I can tell we pretty much all make mistakes and this seems to be an inherent part of being a person and living this life. We are not born all knowing creatures full of wisdom about the way the world works. We pretty much try and figure it all out along the way.
Saying “No Thanks”
My point is that we need to be thoughtful about what we say yes to and perhaps more importantly what we say no to. Here are a few areas I avoided and I believe made a difference:
This can include actual gambling at a casino or gambling in the stock market, I do not do either. Millions of people are literally addicted to gambling. And make no mistake, the house always wins. How else do they build those big beautiful buildings? Staying away from this type of activity his one way to be successful.
Gambling is so seductive because it is entertainment and allows people to dream about hitting it big and shooting to the moon in one magical moment. Gambling can also be a social activity for many people.
Given this, gambling that is managed and not an addiction can be a fun form of entertainment and distraction. But beware if it becomes and addiction, it most like ruins many lives.
Drugs & Alcohol
How many millions of lives are ruined by abuse of drugs and alcohol? Too many. This is usually related to some underlying mental health issue, anxiety, depression, etc. I just say get help anywhere you can. Avoiding the pitfalls of drug and alcohol abuse make a huge difference to the trajectory of a person’s life. This is an area like gambling that can cost a person absolutely everything, even their life. Please get help if you need it, this will help lead to a recovery and eventual success!
When asked how to be successful by my friends, I often tell them about Toxic Relationships. Toxic relationships are another thing to avoid and mitigate. We all make mistakes along the way as we seek love and relationships. But learning to be part of healthy relationships takes time and experience. Jerry got divorced when he had hit his limit. It wasn’t easy, but eventually came success.
Avoid Being Treated Poorly
People that become wealthy can be kind, but they are typically not keen to being walked all over.
How to Be Successful? Investment Fees, Say No
Investment fees are just plain stupid now. The race to the bottom is achieved and you can gain access t investment vehicles at very low cost.
Say NO to commitments not aligned with your highest values
This one comes up frequently in the research conducted and presented in the book The Millionaire Next Door. The idea is to do an audit of your time. How much is being spent on actions that are not aligned with either adding value, adding health or helping others?
The bottomline is to stay away from the negative life sucking stuff and you will most likely wind up living a strong Money Viking life. Avoiding life sucking activities will free up our time, energy, creativities and passions for more fruitful and life building success.