Most people tend to feel like wealth and happiness are only attainable for a chosen few. And honestly, who can blame them? After all, it does seem like the majority of us are stuck in our 9 to 5’s because they provide stability. There is no time or allowance to take a risk. But, wealth does not just come from a lucky break. It takes hard work, dedication and discipline.
One should always remember that wealth and happiness have different meanings to different people. However, that is part of the beauty of success. It’s your personal goal to achieve and with just 7 strategies, you can begin your journey to achieving them.
In this book summary readers will discover:
- Clear goal setting
- You have to be willing to learn
- Schedule your time carefully
- Choose your circle wisely
- Money can’t buy happiness
- The 70/30 rule
- Get rid of barriers that are holding you back
Key lesson one: Clear goal setting
We have all had to consider our goals at some point. Whether it was long term goals or goals for the day, we have a somewhat structured idea. However, most of the time, the list just keeps getting longer even if we achieve a few of them. This is actually a good thing as you should always have goals to work toward.
The first strategy you should follow is to make time to think carefully about your goals. Write down all the goals you wish to achieve in the next ten years and how you will achieve them. You don’t have to be picky at this point, write down whatever you think of – aim for approximately fifty. Once this is done, start splitting up your goals into four categories according to how many years you think it will take to accomplish. It can be either one, three, five or ten years. Each of the four categories should be balanced, with neither too many nor too few goals in each one. This will take some work as you will need to delete goals from categories with too many and add to ones with too few. Once this is done you will choose four goals from each category that you think are the most important. This would leave you with a total of 16 goals.
The last step to setting your goals is to define them. Write a paragraph for each goal, describing what it is and the significant details about each one of them. Be specific and also explain why you want to achieve this particular goal. In addition, if you can’t think of a reason why you want to achieve it, it is probably not an important goal to begin with and can be replaced. Once this is completed, you have a clearly defined set of goals for the next ten years! You can always check your progress against this list and update accordingly depending on any changes.
Key lesson two: You have to be willing to learn
Knowledge is a powerful tool. However, you don’t need an institution to impart this knowledge to you. Self-led learning is just as powerful and all you need is a willingness to learn. Opportunities to learn are presented to us daily, we just have to take some time to identify them. At the end of the day, you should aim to reflect on the events that stood out to you. In this way, you can identify things that worked well and those that didn’t. This teaches you what you should repeat and what you should avoid in future.
The next method to guide your self-led learning is one that there is no shortage of in our modern world. Much like this book summary, you can obtain knowledge from videos, audiotapes and books. The autobiographies and memoirs of successful people can provide the motivation, inspiration and guidance you are looking for. Furthermore, you can opt to speak to people who you consider wealthy, successful and happy. They will be able to answer any questions you may have.
No matter what level you begin with, you should aim to set aside a little time every day to learn. In addition, you should also put aside some money every month as well that can be used to contribute to your continued learning.
Key lesson three: Schedule your time carefully
We all have different approaches to the way we work. Some of us have difficulties setting boundaries and are constantly working overtime, whilst others have clearly defined working hours and refuse to take on projects that will fall outside these hours. To be honest, none of these approaches really work out. It projects the idea that excessive work leads to success and if you have time to relax, you probably lead a mediocre life. True time management means making time for hard work, yourself, your friends and your family. If you allocate too much time to any of these, your work-life balance goes in the bin.
To maintain this balance, you, therefore, need to stay organized. Take time to plan your day and ensure that time is allocated to all aspects – this includes the time you want to spend doing nothing! This will help you stay on track to meet your deadlines and make time for birthdays, parties and dates. Keeping a schedule like this takes discipline and time to adapt to. However, you can also implement changes to help the process along. Organizing, your projects, for example, in a manner that makes obtaining information easily, can save you precious time when working. Blocking out time for your learning, as well, will ensure that you don’t sacrifice the time for something else. It will take a while to get used to planning in this manner, but it will contribute greatly to your success.
Key lesson four: Choose your circle wisely
The people you surround yourself with is also important. Friends have a tendency to influence us. They don’t even do it consciously, but we tend to pick up habits from them along the way. If you have a friend who loves to shop online, chances are you will start looking at online stores too or if you have friends who tend to go out every Saturday night, chances are you will start tagging along. These are just generic examples, but imagine if your friends have behavioural habits that are not as innocent. If you become accustomed to constant lying, chances are it will worry you less and less – you could start lying too as it will be considered normal. So, our circle of friends are more influential than we realize.
Thus, you have to be careful of who you spend your time with. You have to evaluate the relationships you have and identify the positive and negative aspects of each of them. By being aware of how these negative aspects affect you will allow you to determine if the relationship is worth pursuing. It can put you in a tough situation especially if you have known the person for a while. However, if you are not comfortable with completely severing ties you can try limited association. This is when you still spend time with, but not as much as before. In addition, as you already know their influence is not positive, you will be able to refrain from falling into old, bad habits.
Once this is done, you can start focusing on the positive influences in your circle. Here, you want to adopt an expanded association whereby you spend more time in their company. If you spend time with people who are driven and want to succeed, you will be motivated in your pursuit of wealth and happiness.
Key lesson five: Money can’t buy happiness
The most important thing you need to know on this journey is that if you achieve wealth, you will not necessarily achieve happiness. Having money will not change how you think about your life currently. It may buy you comfort and security to a certain extent but chances are if you are unhappy now, more money will not change how you feel about life. You will still be unhappy, just with more money to distract you. Or, more likely, your unhappiness will increase as you struggle to find happiness despite your wealth.
It’s all about mindset. If you learn how to be happy with your life now, you will have the same outlook no matter how much wealth you accumulate. One way to do this is to make the shift to something called the two-quarter mentality. This strategy asks that whenever you consider how to give, opt for two quarters. For example, if you want to tip your waiter, one quarter will mean you saving money, but you will feel guilty about it. However, with two quarters you know you are being generous and will leave you feeling good about yourself. Essentially the two-quarter way of thinking makes you feel rich even if you are not. Thus, when you get to a place of wealth, you will already have a healthy, generous attitude and will feel happy.
Key lesson six: The 70/30 rule
The 70/30 rule refers to how you spend your net income. It’s straightforward -70 per cent of your monthly income should be spent on your needs and wants. This would include all your bills, food and entertainment. The remaining 30 per cent is split equally between savings, charity and investments.
If you begin to follow this rule, your mind automatically shifts to a more positive attitude. Just like scheduling your time, budgeting your money in this manner ensures that it is a blanched split. You will no longer feel as if your money just disappears.
Key lesson seven: Get rid of barriers that are holding you back
The first thing that you should know is that you are capable of doing whatever you set your mind to. Whatever negatives thoughts you have in your mind that tells you that your personality or character traits are not conducive to success has to go. You have to understand that the one thing you are in control of here is yourself and if you need to make a change, you can. If you improve yourself, you increase your value in both your personal and professional relationships.
You cannot better your circumstances and avoid working on yourself as an individual. If you do, you will never attain true wealth and happiness. So, you have to get rid of the barriers that hold you back. Procrastination is probably the biggest barrier you will face as it is easy to push things back because it is too difficult to deal with right now. Other barriers include blaming others and making excuses. At the end of the day, your self-improvement is your path to take. If you keep hitting barriers, it is not anyone’s fault but your reluctance.
If you are aware of these barriers, you will be able to get rid of them standing in the way of your self-improvement. Be patient with yourself, but don’t fall prey to procrastination. If you find yourself blaming others, pause and reflect to determine if this is the case. The more you take small steps to check your barriers the closer you will be to eliminating them.
The key takeaway from 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness is:
Success is possible if you put your mind to it. The 7 strategies discussed in this book summary form the foundation of what you need to know if you want to be successful in both wealth and happiness. Define your goals, dedicate time to learning and scheduling your day -these will help you get started. Then start taking a closer look at who you spend your time with and begin to change your mindset to allow your growth.
How can I implement the lessons learned in 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness:
Get a proper calendar that can schedule your daily time properly. This is part of your organisational process. If your calendar can accommodate your schedule properly you will not waste time deciphering what you wrote in short form or in haste. If you need to custom make one, so be it. You will be grateful you took the time to do it when you are using it with ease.