Alan"s Money Blog

Jul 30, 2007

Think Like a Millionaire

The most important attitude for financial success is long-term thinking.
Successful people think a long way into the future and they adjust their
daily behaviors to assure they achieve their long-term goals. In a
longitudinal study done at Harvard University in the 50s and 60s, they
studied the reasons for upward socio-economic mobility. They were
looking for factors that would predict whether or not an individual or family
was going to move upward and be wealthier in the future than in the

They studied factors like education, intelligence, being born into the right
family, or having the right connections. In every case, they found
individuals who had been born with every blessing in life who did poorly.
They also found individuals who had been born or come to this country
with no advantages at all who had been extremely successful. What was
the distinguishing factor?

They finally determined that there was only one key attitude that
mattered. They called it "Time Perspective." Time perspective refers to
the amount of time that you take into consideration when planning your
day to day activities and when making important decisions in your life.

People with long-time perspective invariably move up economically in the
course of their lifetimes. When you spend weeks, months and years
developing your skills and ability and expanding your experience in order
to be successful, you have long-time perspective. The average
professional person has a time perspective of 10, 15 and 20 years. Begin
to see that everything that you are doing today is part of a long-time
continuum, at the end of which you are going to be financially
independent or financially unfortunate. People with short-time perspective
think only about fun and pleasure in the short term. They have what
economists call "The inability to delay gratification." They have an
irresistible tendency to spend every single penny they earn and
everything that they can borrow.

When you develop long-time perspective, you develop the discipline to
delay gratification and to save your money rather than spending it. The
combination of long-time perspective and delayed gratification puts you
onto the high road to financial independence.

Now, here are two things you can do to develop the attitudes of financially
successful people:

First, think long-term about your financial life. Decide exactly how much
you want to be worth five years, ten years and twenty years from today.
Write it down. Make a plan. Take action on your plan every single day.

Second, develop the ability to delay gratification. Instead of buying
something on impulse, put off buying decisions for a day, a week or even
a month. Decide in advance to "think it over" before you buy anything.
This can change the way you spend money almost immediately.

Thanks to Brian Tracy from for this wonderful bit of wisdom!

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