“Ordinary riches can be stolen, real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you.” ~Oscar Wilde

Being “truly rich” begins, not after you have acquired wealth, but when you begin your journey to create such a life. Who you ultimately become is determined by the person you are during your journey to create your best life.

Despite all the wealthy people I know, I know relatively few people who can be categorized as “truly rich,” meaning they’ve created compassionate, passionate, purpose-filled, loving, and service-oriented lives, along their path to accumulating monetary riches. Of those who do, in fact, meet these criteria, I outlined their remarkable traits in my book, Living with Certainty: Experience Deep-Soul Joy, and the 65 “Energy Enablers.”

While the wealthy have money by definition, the truly rich are not always extremely wealthy. Accumulating wealth is what you do, but being rich is who you are. The “truly rich” are rich in spirit well in advance of acquiring wealth. You must be rich inside to be truly rich.  Amassing wealth will open more doors of choice, but will not automatically make you happy and fulfilled. Being “truly rich” is about developing a lifestyle that enables reaching your fullest potentiality — not just financially.

Are You Truly Rich? Ask Yourself:

Do I brighten up the world of those around me, and help to shape their lives in profound ways?

Do I have abundance and balance spiritually, physically, emotionally, intellectually, relationally, and financially?

Do I live in awe and with gratitude for this thing called “life”?

Do I help others who are less fortunate?

Do I give and serve?

Do I have the freedom to live where I want, vacation when I want, retire when I want, see my family and friends when I want?

Do I help others to lift themselves higher?

Do I spend enough time working towards accomplishments that will endure, memories that will endure, and relationships that will endure?

Do I have a giving, loving spirit and do I consistently contribute to the greater good?

Have I fully examined and defined my values, priorities, goals, and beliefs?

Do I have a clear vision that I actualize through a daily action plan and plain, old-fashioned, hard work?

Do I have enough money to be comfortable and secure for the rest of my life?

A Wealthy Mindset
Having a “rich” mindset (mental makeup, principles, and habits that guide your actions) – in addition to your hard work – is essential and fosters wealth-building thoughts, behaviors, and activities. It is a rich mindset that will ultimately lead you to a rich life and wealth – and some people don’t naturally have this mindset. I hope the following tips and tactics can set you on your journey to a truly rich life.

121 Ways to Become “Truly Rich” in Mindset & Wealth

  1. Take Action – You must do more than dream and think; you must act. Acting takes courage and the strategic ability to consider the consequences. Self-made millionaires are extremely action-oriented; they “walk” way more than they “talk.” Work overtime. Ask your supervisor at work how you can take on additional responsibility, and make sure that he/she is aware of your passions and goals. Always be willing to present yourself as the person who will do more and take on more work/responsibility.
  2. Adventure – Following your gut, taking risks, putting yourself “out there” should be viewed “big picture” as an adventure. You have to crave – and have the guts to embrace — your life’s “adventure.”
  3. Attitude – Recession;  financial difficulties; businesses failures…this was the reality for many people over the past 6 years. But, winners didn’t allow that to rob them of their vision, of their will to succeed. Figure out how to keep a positive attitude; to keep trying new things to move forward. “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You’re never gonna keep me down.” Take the lesson from each  knock down and believe that success is within reach. It is precisely your  positive attitude that will keep your creative juices flowing and keep you  aware of opportunity that others might miss.
  4. Authenticity – Remain true at all times to your most authentic self – listen to those inner voices, follow your instinct.
  5. Awareness – Keep your eyes and ears open every day, all the time. Opportunities and people who can help you quickly appear and then vanish. Stay aware to seize opportunities, to grow, to give.
  6. Money  Orientation - How were you taught to use money? Are you a saver or a spender? Do you  have an inherent respect for money? Are you on top of your finances to the nickel? Is your wallet neatly organized? Do you know how much money you have at all times? You should. Some people learned bad money habits from their parents who didn’t save or acquire wealth. Consider what you have learned about money throughout your life. If you desire a different life than previous generations in your family, you may have to do things differently.
  7. Belief – The most successful people believe without a doubt that they can achieve their dreams and that they are a part of something larger than themselves.
  8. Immense Boldness – While everyone can have some level of self-doubt at times, the wealthy face fears head-on with a resolve to conquer them. Boldness doesn’t mean you don’t have fear; rather it means you won’t let it prevent you from taking decisive action when an opportunity presents itself.
  9. Limit What You Borrow – Living on credit lines, credit cards and loans is obviously a wealth-killer.
  10. Brainpower – Smart, clever,  insightful, and strategic…If you’re not, surround yourself with people who are.
  11. Cash – Pay for big ticket items like appliances and cars with cash. No cash, no stuff.
  12. Open to Change – If you accept that nothing ever stays the same, that change is inevitable, and you keep a focus on the future and what’s coming next, you will be able to respond quickly and effectively to changing circumstances.
  13. Character and Reputation – Don’t ever allow your desire for wealth and/or power to tempt you to take any low-character action that can damage your reputation. To be truly rich, you must have impeccable character if you  wish to be truly fulfilled, purposeful, authentic and rewarded. Never lose sight of who you really want to be and how you really want to be regarded; this is your brand.
  14. Clarity – Be extremely clear-minded about what you want, where you’re going, and how you plan to get there. Write out a plan in great detail. Clarity is the first step toward great achievement
  15. Eliminate Clutter in All Aspects of Your Life –You need an un-cluttered, crystal clear vision of what you intend to achieve, and you must also have a clean, clear environment to support your efforts. Your home, office, car, etc. should not be chaotic. If they are, this is a distraction, a time-waster, and a mental energy drainer. Reorganize, reprioritize in a way that is conducive to your best thought and work mode.  You will become clearer in your thinking and feel empowered to get more done.
  16. Commitment – Are you truly committed, long-term, to the goals you have set? Commitment helps deter the temptation and off-the rails beckoning of instant gratification.
  17. Excellent Communicators – Your written, spoken and negotiation skills should be impeccable if you are to sell your ideas to others and to create and inspire others to help you achieve your goals.
  18. Competitive – In the world of commerce and entrepreneurship, you must have a healthy competitiveness and desire to always be the best – even if it’s just being the best You that you can be.
  19. Rarely Complain – No one – no one – likes a whiner.     
  20. Confidence – Life is hard enough without beating up ourselves. Confidence helps you to know who you are, respect yourself, make the right choices, live with integrity, be inspired, trust your instincts, and have the courage to pursue your purpose and greatness.  The extent to which you experience self-worth and fulfillment in your life depends in part upon how much you believe in yourself. You have to be your own biggest fan – be bold in your dreams and pat yourself on the back when things go right.
  21. Connection – Don’t live a cloistered life. Even if you are not a gregarious extrovert, social media and email allow us to connect with others like never before. Connect. Form meaningful bonds. Serve others. Ask for help when you need it.
  22. Conscientiousness – including dependability, industriousness, and organization – seems to be a trait that is mightily lacking among many. Psychologists consider it to be a personality trait that exhibits stability in how you act, think, and feel. Conscientiousness and emotional stability have been closely linked by researchers to economic success. Individuals with these traits had higher lifetime earnings.
  23. Contentment – The truly rich  are content with who they are and what they’ve accomplished.  They spend – or give – money on the things that bring them joy. They don’t waste money trying to keep up with The Joneses. Ick.
  24. Courage – Courage is needed to pursue dreams, to take calculated risks. But, know that great rewards/huge payoffs typically accompany risk. Entrepreneurs know this.
  25. Crazy – By “crazy” I mean having the courage to dream and take the risks that the average person might shy away from. You simply won’t attain greatness if you don’t think outside the box and follow your own path. You are an original; tap into your unique, singular greatness and show it to the world.  A little crazy in this regard can be a very good thing.
  26. Extraordinary Creativity and Innovation – Create, and be creative. Never cease looking for inspiration, innovations, opportunities, signs, new directions, and possibilities. Even challenges and problems should be looked at through a lens of opportunity and innovation. How can you get closer to your goals? How can you create more opportunities? Some people talk about “taking chances” but the real smart-craft is in making great choices. How can you save more money? Where do you need more inspiration? Where do you need more training?  Where do you need advice and mentoring? How can you overcome obstacles?  How can you make things happen? Keep searching. Keep looking. Get creative. Innovate to make things happen and create new opportunities for yourself.  The truly innovative are observant and resourceful and never stop looking for new opportunities that can make them rich.
  27. Curiosity - Be curious. Ask questions. Read. Explore. Push boundaries. Ponder. Try. Stretch yourself.  Keep an open mind. It goes hand and hand with creativity. How can you continually integrate new and exciting aspects of our world into your  efforts to achieve your goals for both life and career? People who move through their lives like this earn, learn and know more. Curiosity and the ability to tangibly assimilate learning and insight into your life and circumstances in innovative ways are more impactful to your ultimate success than book smarts. Curiosity is crucial for learning, experimenting and improving yourself. Curious people are very often the most knowledgeable…and successful.
  28. Debt – Make eliminating personal debt a priority. There is no real financial freedom when you are  in debt. Cash is king/queen. Relative to business debt, be very shrewd and  consult your wisest advisors before taking it on to grow your business.
  29. Decisiveness – The ability to be decisive when needed – to swiftly make a decision, seize an opportunity and act on it — is a key trait of the truly rich and successful. Unnecessary stalling and “thinking” for overly long periods is not a trait of the truly successful.
  30. Define Rich for Yourself – It’s a subjective word that you must define for yourself. Envision the life you want. How are you measuring it? What is involved? Figure it out to the last detail.
  31. Determined – The truly rich knew what they wanted and were determined to get it. They weren’t waiting for luck or a white knight. They went over, around, or through all obstacles. What are you really pursuing, and how determined are you to get there?
  32. Develop Yourself – Never stop developing yourself – personally, professionally, financially, socially, managerially, whatever. Not only does it increase your value to others, it vastly improves your chances of achieving your goals.
  33. Be Willing To Be Different – Forget what everyone else is saying and doing – unless they are exactly where you want to be. Always follow your own drumbeat. If you want to be average or mediocre, do what everybody else is doing.  To be truly rich and exceptional, judge yourself by your own standards of purposefulness and fulfillment.
  34. Discipline and  Self-Control - Whether discussing work ethic, finances, or health, discipline is a trait of the truly rich and successful. Work hard, persevere, don’t slack off,  save money, dot I’s and cross T’s.  Dig deep; don’t merely skim the surface of your life. Apply yourself to reach your highest potential. Use self-control to avoid spending money on a whim.
  35. Avoid Distractions – Don’t run in circles chasing endless and senseless distractions. A sure way to short-circuit your success is to allow life’s inevitable interruptions to take you off task. Keep your focus squarely on that which moves you forward that day. Many successful people create a checklist of the days’ most pressing activities, and don’t end the day until they get through the list. Seek to create home and work environments that are conducive to productivity. Simplify and organize your life.  Figure out what means  a lot to you and say no to distraction as much as possible.
  36. Do What You Love – Spend time doing what you love to be truly rich.  The goal is to not feel as though you are “working,” but to be purposeful and fulfilled, and then paid well for your time.
  37. Don’t Quit Your Day Job – If the goals you are pursuing are separate from your day job, keep that day job – it’s your safety net – until your passion pays off. This doesn’t mean that you are not committed to your dream; it is rather a prudent financial decision. Quit your day job only when your sales take off and  the day job is preventing you from maximizing the potential of the next phase.
  38. Dream – Dream big,  and hold on to your dream with all of your might. Don’t allow any negative self-talk from yourself or negative, pessimistic commentary from others to taint it or dissuade you.
  39. Drive – You have to possess the energy, the will, the motivation, the drive to keep yourself moving forward every single day.
  40. Education – Applying all of yourself to be a high-achiever in school and to get the best high school and college education possible is one of the most important things you can do to secure your future.
  41. Emotional Health and Low Emotion – Emotional health and balance are gifts to be thankful for every day. Imbalanced, overflowing emotions can get you in trouble. Control your emotions. Think logically.
  42. Entrepreneurial Spirit – Over 30% of the millionaires in the U.S. are entrepreneurs, which means they are likely disciplined, follow their passion, take calculated risks, and continually learn and improve in their niche. Many, if not most, started their businesses part-time. High risk = High reward. Less than 1% of millionaires achieved their wealth through “other” means. It is imperative that you start out with a strong advisory board since many businesses commonly fail in their first year.
  43. Excellence – You must have the training, discipline, and commitment to be the best at what you do. You can’t skim the surface of your life and tasks and be truly excellent.
  44. Experiment and Expand Your Horizons – Learn, stretch, grow. Proactively try new approaches and tactics every day. Always be open to meeting new people. You will never regret having a life rule that every day you try one new thing. It will keep you stimulated, creative, vibrant and engaged. Never stop experimenting.
  45. High Expectations – Consistently maintain the highest expectations for yourself and your life. You must have the belief and mindset that without a doubt you will achieve your goals –that your hard work will pay off. Have high expectations of the people who surround you, as well.
  46. Watch Small Expenses – Know how much money you have and don’t fritter it away. Watch the tiniest of expenditures. Remaining vigilant about every expense is how you save money and turn profits.
  47. Failure Connoisseurs – You must learn from left turns, failures and disappointment. Find the lesson in everything. Once you find and learn the lesson, you can adjust your path and move forward knowing that you won’t make the same mistake twice. Failure either defeats you or expands you. Your choice. Having to readjust and face failure, change and left turns is part and parcel of the process of trying to build a business and accumulate wealth. Don’t fear failure – use it to help you examine a situation and make you better. You will have unlimited opportunities to try and try again.
  48. Fidelity – You will have a richer life when you live with integrity and cherish the bonds you have with family. The truly rich have earned, and return, the respect of their spouses, children, family, friends, etc.
  49. Financial Literacy – Math matters for all of us – male and female – whether we are just managing our personal finances, doing our job, or running a business. You must have the cognitive skills to calculate and understand the implications. Balancing a checkbook, calculating interest rates, saving for retirement – work hard on developing solid, basic mathematical skills.
  50. Proactively Address Flaws and Be Self-Aware – Self-awareness is one of the most lacking traits in humans.  Successful people are self-aware and  constantly try to develop themselves and make changes and improvements to encourage optimal performance and increase their odds of success.
  51. Freedom – The truly rich have the privilege of being relatively free from financial worry and pressure. With this kind of financial freedom, your whole life is better, more creative, less stifled. The truly rich have life circumstances and professions that allow them to explore their passions and express  themselves to the fullest extent. They do not feel “trapped” in a dead-end job.  We feel free when we live authentically, find our life’s purpose, and work/serve in a way that expresses the best of ourselves.
  52. Get a Job – Educate yourself on which careers align with your innate gifts…and also pay well.
  53. Give – The more value you give, the more value you will receive. Try to create win-win circumstances for people around you in order for people to want to work with you.  Share your goodness. Give to others more than they expect  and more than they give to you.  Don’t use people.  Don’t try to fool people.  Serve. Support. Contribute.
  54. Goal Orientation - Clearly define lofty and meaningful, yet achievable goals that align with your life’s purpose. Know precisely where you want to go. Know what you want, then figure out a plan to get you there. The process of defining your goals makes you more internally driven and helps you to persevere.  Your actions should thoughtfully, consistently move you      forward every day toward your goals. Set small goals within your broader objective so that you are consistently achieving and remaining motivated. Don’t know what your goals should be? For now, think about who you want to be, where you want to go, what you want. Your goals may change and evolve – that’s fine; that’s life. Just don’t allow yourself to be without goals. The earlier your goal-orientation in life, the better.
  55. Gratitude - Even in tough times – especially in tough times – take time every day to give thanks and feel positivity and optimism for all that is right in your life. The energy of gratitude is pure and powerful, and will work in so many ways to      bring more goodness into your life.  Gratitude affects your choices and actions and keeps you in a more positive mindset.
  56. Good Health – Good health must be the baseline for the creation of your richest life. When you wake in the morning, you should feel energized, motivated, and optimistic. Exercise, eat healthfully, get enough sleep, and avoid addictions to      anything unhealthy.  The better you feel, the harder and longer you can work toward your goals.
  57. Honesty and Integrity – To have a rich life, you must be honest, ethical and principled.
  58. Humor – A sense of humor will help you every day in every way.
  59. Have an Identity – And a direction. Know who you really are, what you stand for, what your purpose is, and where your life is going. You have a unique identity – leverage your special gifts for all you can. Remain true to your best, most authentic self. Never allow others to define you for you.
  60. Informed – Read a news  feed, stay informed on a regular/daily basis. Don’t be one of those  buffoons on Jay Leno who don’t know the basic facts of our world. There’s nothing cute or cool about that, and it will never lead you to a truly rich life. You can’t have a leg up on anyone if you are uninformed. And you sure won’t have any credibility.
  61. Instincts and  Intuition – Listen to your instincts and intuition. Follow your gut and hunch.  Live a life in which you filter out the needless, distracting static so that you have the awareness to see opportunity when it appears. No one can do this for you – and this is how you will create your best life.
  62. Well-Intentioned – Move through life with good intentions surrounded by good people. Don’t be short-sighted and focus merely on selfish gain; it will come back to bite you every time.
  63. Invest in Yourself - Read. Gain knowledge. Acquire wisdom. Become educated. Listen. Learn. Develop yourself into becoming the person you have always envisioned yourself to be.
  64. Investments – Part of smart saving is investing.  You want your money to work for you by putting it into investments that will increase in value over time, and that, ideally, will earn you supplementary income.
  65. Leadership – In the world of work, you must be a competent, strong, and inspiring leader to become successful.
  66. Learning – Self-educate.  Continually learn. Work hard at being smart. Your brain and mind are truly your greatest assets because they shape your destiny. “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn
  67. Leverage – The successful know their limitations and will utilize and leverage the strengths of others, where possible, to achieve goals. You can’t do everything yourself – know when to ask for (or hire) help.
  68. Lifestyle – Don’t waste money and effort living a lifestyle that you cannot yet afford. People only do this when they are trying to impress others. You should always live a bit below your means. The truly rich know that accumulating stuff is not the priority; they don’t just spend money because they can. The truly rich save money, re-invest it, use it wisely, and make charitable donations.  They invest wealth in order to secure more wealth.  They are not consumed with image. Rather they spend on things that increase their – and others – happiness
  69. Have a Life, a  Real, Fulfilling Life – Don’t be all about your bank account. Don’t postpone attempting to live your best, most authentic life until you have money. Do what you love NOW.  As you become your best self, as you live your best life, you will do and achieve more. This is how you develop a rich mindset that will lead you to wealth.
  70. Listen – Stop talking and  start listening. You don’t know it all.
  71. Love of Money – Wealth is more likely to come to you if you want it and if you respect money. If you are willing to take calculated risks, make sacrifices, put forth hard work and supreme effort to make money, you likely will be successful.
  72. Luck and  Opportunism – A lot of people believe in luck. Some people define luck as merely preparation meeting the moment of opportunity. If you are in the right place at the right time, that is luck. Be ready, aware and nimble enough to      seize the opportunity/luck when it reveals itself.
  73. Mentors and Network – Entrepreneurs often have a strong network of advisors whom they meet/speak with several times a month. Create relationships with top professionals in your field.  Surround yourself with the smartest and most effective people possible.  This is essential. Networking and developing relationships with a diverse group of people should always be a priority. Develop solid relationships so you can call on people when needed. Respect people – return their calls and  emails. Your network includes friends, classmates, teachers, colleagues, subordinates, superiors, vendors, customers, teammates, virtual friends, clubs, etc. Who you know, and the quality of these relationships, matters.
  74. Motivation – Water seeks its own level. Align yourself with people who inspire and motivate you. People who can keep your spirits up and your eye on the prize.
  75. Take Nothing for Granted – Anything can change at any time – you can lose your job, lose your best customer, the stock market can crash, a natural disaster can take your home in an instant, your health can change, etc. Change is the only      constant. Be nimble and have a contingency plan.
  76. Objectivity – Falling in love with an idea or approach, instead of following the value it provides, has killed many a business.
  77. Openness and Receptivity – Stay open, stay relevant. Be receptive to advice and guidance.
  78. Optimism – Many well-known money experts believe that optimism attracts wealth by positively affecting your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, and psychological health. Your best life will always be an optimistic life because whether you expect to succeed or expect to fail, you will be right.
  79. Be Organized – Pay bills on time. Know how much money you have, and where it’s going. Organize your office and desk to get more done in less time. Know where everything is. Plan. Meet deadlines. You have to know where you are going in order to get there.
  80. Passion – Successful people are passionate about what they do. Their passion provides life fuel - courage, motivation, excellence, and persistence. Passion is the fuel in your engine. If you don’t have a driving force inside you, you haven’t found your passion. Living your passion brings fulfillment and contentment. If you want to live a rich life of the deepest joy – deep-soul joy – you have to first  create a life around your passions. Enough riches to help your heart sing every day can then follow.
  81. Passive Income Sources – Always be on the look-out for ways that you can build income streams that come from passive sources. You want to eventually be able to make money without a physical presence. Have your ideas work for you.
  82. Patience – Patience can help you in a multitude of ways. It can prevent you from making impulse purchases on credit.  It allows you to sleep on it to determine what  you really want and need.  It enables you to take the time to shop around for a better price. It allows you to make more rational decisions.  It also enables you to continue working toward a goal without giving up. When you feel money burning a hole in your pocket, force yourself to wait  a month before spending. Consider the pro’s and con’s. Often an immediate desire looks less compelling once you pause and consider it. Delaying gratification when it comes to large purchases is often the smart thing to do.
  83. Perspective – You have to be able to maintain your wits, balance, humor and perspective, even in times of crisis. The successful rise to the occasion in tough times – they ask the right questions and are decisive.
  84. Persistence – Quitters never prosper. Don’t give up, and never quit. Persistence and tenacity reduces your chances of failure. There will always be left-turns, detours, and obstacles. You can’t allow defeat to beat you. Remove stumbling blocks from your path. Success doesn’t happen overnight.  Experiment until you find something that works. Achieving success requires on-going effort. Really internalize in your mind and heart that it is normal –and required – to give all of yourself over a long period of time to really make it big.
  85. Preparation – You can avoid losing money, time, and energy by preparing properly before undertaking anything. Preparation can go a long way toward ensuring your success.
  86. Present Moment – Seize the moment. Don’t put things off when you should take action. Live in the here and now; it’s the only moment that can be controlled.  Enjoy your life – don’t allow it to pass you by.
  87. Prioritize – Before spending money on a swanky lifestyle, prioritize and budget your money to take care of necessities. Buy insurance, save, and invest. Be financially disciplined. Meet your longer term needs before you spend money on wants. Don’t be a slave to wasteful priorities that prevent you from accumulating wealth. Allow your priorities to bring order and focus to your life.
  88. Proactive, Not Reactive - Take preventative care of your life – health, financials, career, etc. What  liabilities exist in your life? Avoid problems of any sort wherever  possible.
  89. Protect Your Money – Have adequate liability insurance, and consult experts on how to protect  your assets.
  90. Reflection – Look at your life and reflect on your choices and outcomes.  Learn from mistakes and grow from them. Think about your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t dwell in the past or the future – but reflect thoughtfully on the past,      present, future on a weekly, if not daily, basis. What has gone well in  your life? What has gone wrong? What mistakes should you avoid?
  91. Reinvest Your Profits - Reinvest the profits you make from investments.
  92. Relationships and Human Connection – You need people in your inner circle to love and care for, and who love and care for you. Socialize with friends at least once a week. So much can be learned about who we are and what we want from the emotional exchange in your relationships. Our lives are empty and boring without someone to share them with.
  93. Resilient – Thick skin will serve you well in every aspect of your life. Be strong. When you get knocked down, get up again.
  94. Take Responsibility and Be Self-Reliant – Don’t blame, complain, or shirk responsibility. Intrinsically take initiative for your life and accept responsibility for your actions. The truly rich understand that they have a great responsibility for the people in their lives. Whether things go well, or go wrong, you must take responsibility. You must be a person of integrity to be the best of yourself.
  95. Results Orientation - Be specific about the results you want.
  96. Take Calculated Risks – You have to be willing to take calculated risks with your financial investments, your career, your business, your life from time to time. Weigh all of your options and taking calculated risks when appropriate. If you are fearful and avoid risk altogether, you’ll likely end up living too safe a life to achieve greatness. To be truly rich, you will likely need to make moves that others don’t have the courage to make. It can be helpful to ask yourself, “and then what?” in order to begin to consider possible consequences. Consider taking a risk when you see strong potential for a return. The truly rich tend to be risk takers by nature. You will miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
  97. Sacrifice – Any sacrifices you make shouldn’t adversely affect your relationships, family, well-being, or pursuit of your goals and dreams. The truly rich do not create this kind of unhappiness in their lives just to have money in the bank.
  98. Financial Cautiousness and Safety - Stay as debt free as possible.
  99. Salesmanship – The ability to sell yourself and your ideas is important if you want people to recognize your talents. However, the ability to sell is sorely lacking in a lot of people who have great ideas that never get off the ground.
  100. Satisfaction - Know yourself well enough to know what will really bring satisfaction to your life. The accumulation of “stuff” that you’ve always wanted really won’t feed your soul and bring lasting fulfillment. Going into debt for stuff is always a bad idea. When you know who you are and what you want, you are much less likely to be a sucker for non-essential stuff.  Over spending on “stuff” happens when you are generally dissatisfied with yourself and your life.
  101. Saving and Security – The truly rich are more committed to saving money than the general public. Pay yourself first which means before you go blow money on little extravagances; put a set amount of money from each paycheck into the bank. This requires discipline. Accumulating wealth is a slow and steady commitment. With every dollar you save, you bring yourself closer to freedom – freedom to start a business, freedom to stay home with your kids, freedom to retire early, freedom to take vacations, freedom to cut back at work to raise your children, etc. Those who have had a long-term commitment to saving money also have far more security when the unexpected happens – job loss, illness, recession.
  102. Service – Think about how you can give back and be of service to others in your community. Using your innate skills and talents to serve others is one of the most impactful ways to live a truly rich life. Volunteering in your community can also assist you in making life-long connections.
  103. Define Success for Yourself – What does success mean to you? What does it look like? What does it feel like?  Measure your life success with meaningful benchmarks, such as how many of the people you care about actually care about you in return.
  104. Be Money Smart – Learn about money – budgeting, debt, credit, interest rates. In your spare time, read everything there is to read about investing and business. Spend time talking to and networking with people who know a lot about what you want to know about – business, investing, leadership, etc.
  105. Self-Improvement – The truly rich are always seeking feedback, self-improvement and self-development.
  106. Spell Out The Terms Before You Start A Job – Before you start a job or ink a deal, nail down all the specifics in advance — even with friends and relatives.
  107. Spend Wisely - Spend your money on things that really matter and hold significance to you - experiences, travel, family, friends, education/learning opportunities – rather than more “stuff.” Your spending habits will make or break you.
  108. Spiritual Awakening – An intrinsic belief that you were put on Earth to serve a purpose, and a faith that everything that occurs in your life is happening for a reason – a lesson you need to learn – in order to take your life to higher and higher levels, makes your life’s journey richer and more meaningful. For some, joining a church and regularly attending/participating can be powerfully spirit-lifting, as well as a strong networking approach.
  109. Start Now - Don’t put off saving or beginning to do any of the things outlined in this article. Start now. The power of compound interest cannot be overstated.
  110. Stocks – Instead of wasting money on “stuff” and products, consider buying the company’s stock instead…if you really want to acquire wealth.  What’s going to make you wealthy – owning iphones, ipads, macs, etc? Or, owning Apple stock? No-brainer.
  111. Study and Emulate the Successful and Truly Rich – Identify the traits you admire in your heroes and role models. Also identify the traits you dislike. Write them all down into lists. Do everything in your power to develop the traits you like and reject the ones you don’t.
  112. Tax Savvy – The truly rich have a string understanding of how to pay less taxes, without bending any rules. Think minimization, not avoidance.  You must be efficient at dealing with taxes. Hiring a CPA to do your taxes is a good place to      start. Don’t be afraid to pay your fair share of taxes, but never pay more than you have to.
  113. Team Players – The truly rich understand how to get the best from others and are true team players.
  114. Thinking Big – Think outside the box. Set objectives and goals for that seem insurmountable and then get to work. The truly rich march to the beat of their own drum. Don’t be afraid to do things your own way. Be brilliant and unique.
  115. Time Management – Time is money. Time is your greatest asset. And you can’t buy time, so manage it closely. It is fleeting. Prioritize those things that will move you forward and help you succeed.
  116. Trends – The truly rich and successful observe trends to anticipate the future. Stay aware and present to observe nuances that will lead to future change.
  117. Values – What are your core values? Your goals and actions must be aligned with a baseline of strong core values.
  118. Vision – Focus your ambition by developing a clear vision of your life and future. Based on this vision, set your goals. Visualize what you want to accomplish. What specific results do you hope to achieve? A strong vision can help you to recognize and seize opportunities when they present themselves.
  119. Walk Away – Sometimes you just need to admit that something isn’t going to work and you need to know when to walk away and cut your losses. Listen to your advisors. Walk away from a loss, rather than continue to dump money into a losing venture to keep it afloat.
  120. Work Hard – Get up early, go to bed late. Work hard and smart. Be efficient. Give all of yourself when you’re working—your brainpower, creativity, commitment, passion, diligence, results-orientation.
  121. Don’t Worry – Where you are going matters more than where you are today. If you work hard toward your goals and vision, and save as much money as you can, you will eventually find yourself in a place of greater freedom and fulfillment. With      diligence and responsibility, financial prosperity is there for the taking.

Conclusion

You may not possess all of the above traits today, but being aware of these important actions and characteristics can help you make changes so that you nurture the ones that you have, and work on developing the others. What you want is a “truly rich” life – to reach your final days being able to say, I really had a fulfilling, secure life with lots of love, laughter, family and friends. I had the freedom to follow my dreams, and I achieved my main goals. I was healthy and happy, and I loved and respected myself. My children are healthy, purposeful, and joy-filled individuals. I made a lasting contribution, and leave behind a significant legacy that will live on long after I am gone.

While we will all prioritize these things in our own ways, these are the baseline tenets of a truly rich life. Money can’t buy happiness, but fulfillment, well-being, joy, and financial security provide you with the soaring spirit and freedom to experience more of life.

“What material success does is provide you with the ability to concentrate on other things that really matter.  And that is being able to make a difference, not only in your own life, but in other people’s lives.” ~Oprah

Kristi LeBlanc is the Executive Vice President and Managing Director, North American Consumer Practice, with DHR International, a top-5, retained, global executive search firm. She has spent 16 years as a retained executive recruiter with the globe’s largest, most prestigious executive search firms, including DHR Int’l and Korn/Ferry Int’l where she was a Senior Partner.  Kristi is also the author of the award-winning, “Living with Certainty: Experience Deep-Soul Joy,” and writes for the popular Living with Certainty lifestyle blog site. To learn more visit http://www.Livingwithcertainty.com

 

How do you become inspired and motivated to approach your life and career with the utmost purpose, productive action, passion, and positivity? The defining characteristics of the most successful, fulfilled, and joyous individuals — including top-flight executives, entrepreneurs, and championship team players — are about far more than the leadership style they’ve adopted or the persona they’ve assumed in order to assimilate more effectively into a particular organization and its culture. The actual qualities that make someone truly extraordinary are far more intrinsic to who they are as individuals and encompass myriad thoughtful, ingrained approaches to their life and career.

Many of the principles and precepts that create extraordinary personal lives should also permeate one’s professional approach if you are to live authentically and purposefully. The “best of the best” executive talent understands and integrates both personal and professional success principles, and they know how to assimilate and interchange these approaches throughout their lives in a way that unlocks and stimulates creativity, leverages passion, fulfills purpose, elicits development, and brings meaning. They do not reserve their deepest, most profound and strategic thinking only for work because those who live the most fulfilling lives don’t garner their joy merely from work – they thrive upon the totality of well-rounded lives and reap significant pleasure from both the professional and personal aspects of their lives.

How have they done this? Very simply, individuals who are extremely satisfied with their career progress, who are surrounded by family and other healthy relationships that bring forth their life’s greatest joy, and who live their lives with resounding positivity and meaning, typically took the time very early on to discover their life’s passions, purpose, and priorities. And since that time, they have kept these priorities defined, focused, and squarely in front them, providing guidance and clarity as they moved along their life path. They put the pieces of their life together so that their thoughts, actions, talents, relationships — even expressions of gratitude — remained centered around their deepest authenticity — who they are and what they are all about, whether they are on or off the “stage.”

50 Traits of Positive, Exceptional Leaders: The Real Career Success Tools

  1. They understand the immense, overarching importance and necessity of figuring out their life’s purpose. They have carved out time for this significant contemplation, and consider the understanding of what they are on Earth to do and accomplish to be the most useful discovery of their life. They are committed to the expression of their purpose, believing that the purpose of their life is, in fact, to apply their purpose every single day. Not surprisingly, the people who make life’s most significant discoveries and contributions are those who have embraced their unique gifts and have confidently, creatively expressed their purposeful authenticity in an imitable way. A life of greatness is a life of purpose. You are sure to wander aimlessly and build a life around the wrong targets (leading to inevitable feelings of emptiness, angst, and wanting down the road) if you don’t get very clear about your purpose.
  2. They are able to articulate with extraordinary vision and specificity what success means for them – how it feels and what it looks like in their life. They know where they want to have an impact, and they thrive on these feelings of accomplishment. They understand the types of experiences that will allow them to grow and experience meaning. Feelings of personal and professional “success” and fulfillment are important because they lay the foundation for creating true vocational fulfillment.
  3. They can readily separate the wheat from the chaff and get to the heart of the matter to focus on what’s important. They also know how to apply themselves to the most high-impact activities when they find themselves with prime work time. The sense of accomplishment they feel from these core work times fuels further action and keeps progress and momentum moving forward. When focusing on details, they don’t lose sight of the big picture.
  4. They have strong self-assessment skills and have unlocked and understand their intrinsic talents and gifts. Their time spent at work adds to their self-esteem because they are actively engaged in roles that leverage their strengths and interests and/or that allow them to develop. They have actively sought and utilized developmental feedback throughout their careers.
  5. They positively approach their thoughts in such a way that they intrinsically bring to bear their best self, making choices and decisions that help them remain in a purposeful, pure, dynamic, and positive flow.
  6. They don’t merely skim the surface of their lives. They dig in deep, and think profoundly and with the big picture in mind.
  7. They live and work deliberately and in the “here and now” moment. They maintain a “present” focus – not ignoring the past or future – but remaining engaged in the improvement of current actions and processes.
  8. They get extreme comfort and pleasure from their family and friends and understand that these individuals and healthy relationships are, in fact, the most important, enduring aspects of our lives and have so much to do with our life’s fullness and degree of happiness. (Just ask one terminated executive whether he made the right decision in neglecting his family/children for years for his job, and you’ll never have to wonder if it was the right thing to do again. If your family is, in fact, the most important aspect of your life, you will not allow them to be neglected. You will allocate time appropriately to both family and career.)
  9. They live principled lives of high moral character, integrity, and honesty. Their values permeate their personal and professional lives.
  10. They have a need to constantly self-actualize and achieve. While professionally they keenly watch the competition and are, indeed, competitive individuals always striving to win and be the best, personally they don’t continually waste time comparing themselves with others, as they tend to leverage their own strengths with the fullest force. They have discovered ways to feel acknowledged, needed, valued, positively challenged, responsible, significant, successful, appreciated, and encouraged at work which carries over to bring positivity to their personal lives.
  11. They possess an abundance mindset and believe that their effort and expression of their purpose will be rewarded. They don’t believe that there is a limited supply of reward.
  12. They feel good about themselves, are unpretentious and do not live or work from a place of massive ego. Because they live from a core of pure purpose and passion, they have solid self-esteem and solid footing.
  13. They treat others with dignity and respect expecting to earn the reciprocation like everyone else – one step, one interaction, one day at a time. They are ever mindful of the best interest of others.
  14. They set priorities based on their purpose and their life’s overarching goals. They have sacred boundaries drawn around certain activities and people that they do not cross. Their priorities are very clear which prevents feelings of bitterness from developing when they do have to make a sacrifice. They have a balance in their life that allows them to enjoy and take pleasure in personal and recreational pursuits. They have an internal equation and compass for how to divide their time. They have not sacrificed their personal lives for their career. They listen to their internal voices when they get out of balance and need to redirect their time.
  15. They are flexible as needed because they have their eye on a larger prize than just the hour, day, or even the week. They know that the external world will always be fundamentally unpredictable, but their firm dose of purpose – internal certainty about what they want and who they are – allows them to make the occasional shift or sacrifice.
  16. They understand the significant role that serendipity can play in our lives, particularly, when we are in our flow or zone, and they follow their instincts and hunch as they see fit.
  17. Money, prominence, and prestige are not their sole, or even primary, drivers. While they want financial stability and freedom, they clearly understand what brings them deep meaning and joy. They have not allowed their priorities to become completely skewed by building a life purely around financial success – this is one of the reasons that many wealthy executives eventually get to a place of inevitable unhappiness and not uncommonly want to make a late-career switch to a not-for-profit leadership role that might bring more meaning. Money and financial rewards serve as poor guiding lights with respect to our happiness and life satisfaction – and once you use them as your key goal, you find it harder to ever supplant them with more meaningful drivers. When your vocation is truly a part of bringing forth your most fulfilling life, it provides deep and lasting personal development, growth, service to others, contribution of your unique gifts, and achievement of meaningful benchmarks. It also brings appreciation, recognition, and acknowledgment from constituencies that matter to you — be it family, friends, a team, colleagues, or customers.
  18. They haven’t drawn a line or separation between who they really are – purpose, passions, spirit – and their vocation or career. They don’t feel as if they must abandon their true essence to go to work and get through the day. Rather they approach all aspects of their life with the fullness of their purposeful authenticity.
  19. They do not allow fear to hold them back. They are bold and are not afraid to take a risk, seize the moment, be different, think different, or express their individuality. Because they possess the ability to think deeply and strategically, they are not reckless. Their risks are thoughtful and calculated. They know that very often moving through fear and anxiety is how greatness is born.
  20. They possess the ambition to realize their fullest potential.
  21. They find their jobs to be fun and exciting – they like what they do professionally and they want to do it. They literally will get up earlier than necessary in the morning because they are excited to start their day. An amazingly small number of people are truly jazzed and energized by their jobs.
  22. They believe that the future is big, compelling, and great. They live with hope, optimism, and positivity. Their optimism, when combined with purpose, brings them to their goals, heightens their confidence in their capabilities, and inspires additional goals that further build upon their success.
  23. They are resilient through change as they accept change as a part of life and welcome the lessons change brings as an integral aspect of their intended personal growth and development. They keep their eye on the prize/big picture. Life’s inevitable changes, challenges, and distractions are part of the cycle, and they don’t allow themselves to be sidetracked from taking purposeful action toward their goals. They don’t lose their hope and optimism.
  24. They feel that they are doing something for the greater good, beyond their professional demands.
  25. They feel immense gratitude for their good life. Nothing is taken for granted. They express their thanks and gratitude freely and frequently. They are grateful for all that they have and believe with no doubt, and with immense hope and optimism, that even better is on the horizon.
  26. They live without a victim mindset. They view themselves as capable, self-sufficient, and ready to lead.
  27. They take responsibility and don’t make excuses.
  28. They are hard workers who diligently and conscientiously apply themselves, personally and professionally. They never stop taking action to move forward. Even when they are tired, stressed, or anxious, they maintain a high level of effort and action. They are thorough, outstanding in their execution, detail-oriented, and the quality of their work is exceptional. They always go above and beyond.
  29. They want to leave a legacy that is significant and meaningful and that leaves the world a better place than they found it.
  30. They create and engage in traditions and celebrations, personally and professionally.
  31. They are life-long learners and are open to learning from anyone anytime. They admit when they don’t have the answers and proactively educate and inform themselves. They are always eagerly seeking further learning, development, and enlightenment. They never stop trying to move themselves to the next level. This approach to life keeps you moving forward; when aligned with purposeful action, you are an unstoppable force.
  32. They work to earn people’s trust knowing that trust-based relationships endure.
  33. They inspire confidence by not only knowing what to do, but through a willingness to jump in and take action themselves.
  34. They are strong mentors and get personal satisfaction from developing others, empowering them, and seeing them progress. They have also sought and utilized mentors and have surrounded themselves with an inspiring, supportive inner circle.
  35. They see things through and honor commitments rather than giving up or flitting from one thing to another.
  36. They expect tests and challenges to happen from time to time and face anxiety and challenges head-on while maintaining the greater perspective that irrespective of how dire the situation may seem, it will somehow stretch, grow, and serve them. They have perspective about life’s inevitable ups and downs, and face them with resiliency. They do not get sidetracked for long or sabotaged. They can be counted on to become their best self and best leader during times of challenge. They know that by kicking into overdrive to solve a particular problem, they will open new doors. They step into action, step into the moment, and proactively reshape and redefine the situation with authentic inspiration, confidence, resolve, strategic thought, and optimism. When faced with trials, their dreams and visions do not diminish, but rather grow more resolute.
  37. They are proactive about keeping to the path that feels right for them and maintaining their peak energy level and happiness. When they find themselves in bad situations, perhaps an ill-fitting role, culture, or supervisor, they figure the best way out.
  38. They take great pride in being good managers and leaders and garner significant personal feelings of reward from teaching, developing, and recognizing others, and also from fostering effective teamwork. They gain significant fulfillment from helping others to achieve, reach goals, and be their best selves. They truly want to positively touch the hearts and minds of others.
  39. They are strong communicators and relationship builders who take the time to develop deep, engaged, and meaningful relationships and to express interest in others. Even those individuals with a more introverted intrinsic nature take the time to cultivate relationships. They believe in the power of interconnectivity and respect the ability and potential contribution of others. They effectively team with others and excel in the communication and buy-in of collective mission, vision, and values. You cannot build a truly successful team and culture without leaders who are relationship builders. Our relationships — and how we cultivate and grow them – can make or break our careers and lives.
  40. They don’t carry unnecessary burdens and fret about the past.
  41. They tune out naysayers and armchair quarterbacks, never allowing the uninformed to take them off their course.
  42. They possess a keen awareness that they are setting an example for others in everything they say or do, in the vision they share, and in their demeanor. They roll up their sleeves and jump in whenever needed. They walk their talk.
  43. They care for and nourish themselves, physically, mentally, spiritually.
  44. They create and innovate.
  45. They have a sense of humor.
  46. They don’t waste a lot of time being offended, taking things personally, complaining, or fretting over who likes them or who doesn’t.
  47. They believe in their greatness, maintain a focus of excellence, visualize their success, and never stop dreaming and believing that all their driving desires will come to fruition. They live from a positive baseline. They expect success yet are undaunted (and may even be surprised) when things don’t come together as planned.
  48. They are completely self-motivated.
  49. They always celebrate success, big or small, knowing that supporting progress along the right path is as important as setting the right goal.
  50. They do not participate in negative energy-producing situations, including gossip and discussion of the trivial. They bring positivity in the face of negativity. They have full lives and realize that their full effort needs to be placed on the meaningful. When they do have time to unwind and relax, they do not focus on anything that carries negative, destructive energy.

The approach of the most purposeful, fulfilled and successful individuals teaches us the importance of living an integrated life that leverages your best, most profound and inate abilities and traits. Through discovering your purpose, and subsequently experiencing passion through the application and leverage of your unique gifts, you can experience new dimensions of yourself and begin to live with an underlying fulfillment, optimism, self-assuredness, confidence, and deep joy that you may have never previously known.

Living with Certainty
While clearly there is no one right way for everyone to live that carries with it the absolute guarantee of success and fulfillment, just beginning with the intention to create a more authentic, passionate, and abundant life carries power that can help to fuel productive action. Living with Certainty™ describes a process or template for uncovering your best self and beginning to live from a place of pure, purposeful positivity. This places you into your life’s optimal flow from which the fullest expression of your potential can begin to be realized. How you overlay the template to your own life, and the extent to which you attach the insight and meaning that subsequently emerges, is up to you. For some this process is intrinsic to who they are and how they live – they don’t call it “living with certainty.” Rather it is simply how they live their most authentic life. I have seen it time and again.

Living with Certainty™ can reveal to you a fresh perspective on your life and how you have up until now approached the discovery of your best self and your life’s purpose. This new lens can help you to understand how the path you have taken, for better or worse, has led you to the place you are today, and to chart a new course that will bring you ever closer to deeper meaning, fulfillment, and success (however you define that for yourself).

Kristi LeBlanc has spent 16 years as an award-winning, retained executive recruiter with the globe’s largest, most prestigious executive search firms, including Korn/Ferry International where she was a Senior Partner. She is currently the Executive Vice President & Managing Director, N.A. Consumer Practice, with DHR International, a top-5, retained, global executive search firm. She is also the author of the three-time award-winning book, “Living with Certainty: Experience Deep-Soul Joy,”  and the CEO of Living with Certainty™ LLC where she is a keynote speaker. To learn more visit http://www.Livingwithcertainty.com, http://www.dhrinternational.com/consultants/consultantsviewbio.aspx?consultantid=329, or call Kristi at 303-997-9328.

“Work can provide the opportunity for spiritual and personal, as well as financial growth. If it doesn’t, we’re wasting far too much of our lives.” – James Autry