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Be your own hero

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by Paul Kindzia in Happiness, Health, Longevity, Personal Finance
October 1, 2021

A few years ago Tom Corley was on the Dave Ramsey Show.  Tom Corley has studied (and continues to study) the wealthy and has a strong bias that “it all comes down to habits.”  (Does that sound familiar?)  Tom Corley published a book called “Rich Habits” and also runs a website at .  So, having Tom Corley on the Dave Ramsey show is sort of like getting a “buy one get one free” listening opportunity because both of these guys know a lot about what works and what doesn’t when it comes to building wealth.

On the show, Tom listed out 20 statistics that compared the wealthy versus the poor.  These were statistics that studied behaviors and habits rather than just numerical numbers per se regarding income or spending.

  • 70% of wealthy eat less than 300 junk food calories per day. 97% of poor people eat more than 300 junk food calories per day. 23% of wealthy gamble. 52% of poor people gamble.
  • 80% of wealthy are focused on accomplishing some single goal. Only 12% of the poor do this.
  • 76% of wealthy exercise aerobically 4 days a week. 23% of poor do this.
  • 63% of wealthy listen to audio books during commute to work vs. 5% for poor people.
  • 81% of wealthy maintain a to-do list vs. 19% for poor.
  • 63% of wealthy parents make their children read 2 or more non-fiction books a month vs. 3% for poor.
  • 70% of wealthy parents make their children volunteer 10 hours or more a month vs. 3% for poor.
  • 80% of wealthy make hbd calls vs. 11% of poor
  • 67% of wealthy write down their goals vs. 17% for poor
  • 88% of wealthy read 30 minutes or more each day for education or career reasons vs 2% for poor.
  • 6% of wealthy say what’s on their mind vs. 69% for poor.
  • 79% of wealthy network 5 hours or more each month vs. 16% for poor.
  • 67% of wealthy watch 1 hour or less of TV. every day vs. 23% for poor
  • 6% of wealthy watch reality TV vs. 78% for poor.
  • 44% of wealthy wake up 3 hours before work starts vs. 3% for poor.
  • 74% of wealthy teach good daily success habits to their children vs. 1% for poor.
  • 84% of wealthy believe good habits create opportunity luck vs. 4% for poor.
  • 76% of wealthy believe bad habits create detrimental luck vs. 9% for poor.
  • 86% of wealthy believe in life-long educational self-improvement vs. 5% for poor.
  • 86% of wealthy love to read vs. 26% for poor

An appropriate quote at this time would be the following;

“The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own.  No apologies or excuses.  The gift of life is yours.  It’s an amazing journey, and you alone are responsible for the quality of it.” 

Dan Zadra

There’s also an old saying which is, “Be your own hero.”  It means exactly that.  We shouldn’t be living our lives through fictional characters or real-life characters on TV.  Do the wealthy or successful spend their time living vicariously through others or investing in themselves in a way that they can become their own hero?  What Corley’s statistics show is that there is a tremendous difference in the actions and behaviors between the wealthy and the poor.  They do act differently.  They do spend their time differently.  They do have a different belief system.

One group (the poor) spends their time parked in front of the boob-tube living vicariously through characters that are on display mostly for their outlandish behaviors (and somehow this is appealing).  The other group isn’t wasting their precious and limited time in such a fashion.  The wealthy are more likely to be reading, watching, listening to materials that move them towards a higher objective and further along their path and journey.

The first step is recognizing that we each are responsible for our own lives (and truly believing it).  The second step is to do something about it by allocating our limited time in a manner that leads to something other than flushing it down the toilet.

We are what we watch.  We are what we read.  We are who we associate with.  We are what we think.  We are what we do.  If you want to be wealthier and more financially secure, the person who is going to have the greatest impact on that factor is YOU!

The person that you should look up to the most is YOU.  The person you should be most proud of is YOU.  The person that should be your biggest hero is YOU.  It’s great to be inspired by others and model ourselves off of successful patterns and behaviors.  But they can’t live our lives for us.  We have to do that ourselves.  They can’t make the money for us, or make us save it, or build up emergency funds, or help us pay down our debts.  We have to do that ourselves.  They did it for themselves and we have to do it for ourselves.  But that’s ok if we end up being our own hero.  Nothing will make you prouder.

Good habits lead to good behaviors.  Good behaviors lead to good decisions.  Good decisions lead to a good life.  Live by principles and choose wisely.

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