Million Dollar Habits (2017) is the manual to your brain and your life that you never got in school. It explains the “secrets” of success and what you need to do to unlock your full potential.
Introduction: Find out how to become more successful
Table of Contents
With 100 billion cells – each with up to 20,000 connections to other neurons – your brain is an incredible organ. You can likely think more thoughts than all the molecules in the universe. Your capability is endless. But in your lifetime, you’re unlikely to achieve anything close to your true potential. Why’s that? Well, you didn’t get the manual, and you’ve had to learn by intuition. The problem is, that’s just not good enough if you want to be successful.
In this summary to Brian Tracy’s Million Dollar Habits, you’ll learn exactly what it is that makes some people more successful than others – and what you need to do to be successful, too.
First, though, you need to determine what success means to you. Tracy defines it as “the ability to live your life the way you want to do it.”
Although we’re all different, deep down, Tracy posits, we share four fundamental goals: a need to be fit and healthy, to have great relationships, to enjoy what we’re doing, and to achieve financial independence.
Give yourself a quick audit in each of those areas, right now. Mark yourself between one (low) and ten (high) for each.
How did you do?
Regardless of where you’re at, we’re about to look at the habits you need to cultivate in order to improve those scores – the “million-dollar habits.” The good news is that anyone and everyone can learn these habits, including you.
So let’s get those brain cells fired up and learning.
Reprogram yourself for success
Humans have a problem. We’ve all developed our own unique self-concept that acts as the main program of our subconscious. We’ve recorded everything that’s ever happened to us, every feeling we’ve ever had, and every emotion we’ve ever felt. All of these influence how we behave. This self-concept we’ve created determines our effectiveness and performance.
In each area of your life, you have a mini self-concept. Unfortunately, once you’ve developed that, you always behave in accordance with it. So although you have the potential to be, for instance, a great linguist, if your self-concept is telling you you’re terrible at languages, you’re likely never going to become the multilinguist you crave to be.
Your mini self-concept holds you back. If you truly want to achieve more in a particular area, the key is to increase your mini self-concept in that area. But how exactly can you do that?
Well, you need to reprogram yourself by examining three parts of your self-concept – your self-ideal, your self-image, and your self-esteem.
Your self-ideal is the ideal image you have of your best self. It’s a combination of your hopes and dreams together with the qualities and virtues you wish you had. High performers have a clear picture of who they want to be. When you’ve developed your own positive self-ideal you move faster toward becoming that person.
How you see yourself on the inside – your self-image – affects how you perform outside. Positive and productive inside equals positive and productive outside. If you see yourself as unpopular or insecure, your outside persona will reflect the same. To overcome any negative self-image aspects, fill your mind with positive images of yourself performing at your very best, and hold them there. Then relax. When you have to perform later, your subconscious will remember!
Finally, your self-esteem is the emotional component of your self-concept and perhaps the most important part – it’s how much you like yourself. Your whole life revolves around it. Every positive experience raises it, and every negative experience lowers it. The gap between your self-ideal and your self-image also affects it. When your current performance is consistent with your ideal, your self-esteem goes up. When it’s inconsistent, it drops. Having a very clear self-ideal improves your performance, makes your performance closer to your ideal, and, as a result, boosts your self-esteem. Even something simple like repeating “I like myself!” boosts your self-esteem immeasurably. Never underestimate the power of words. Try it! You’ll soon feel more confident and happier with yourself.
Why do you need to do this at all? Having higher self-esteem helps you develop the million-dollar habits that you’ll need to release your full potential. Change your self-concept, and you’ll change your reality.
In the next sections, we’ll look at the four fundamental goals we discussed in the intro – starting with the habits you need to become fit and healthy.
How to stay fit and healthy
There’s no doubt about it – life expectancy is on the up and up. Many people now live into their 90s and even 100s. Your goal should be to do the same. So, what are the best ways to achieve this?
First, choose to be fit and healthy. That means maintaining your proper weight. If you’re overweight, that’s your choice. You’re the one who chooses to eat; nobody makes you do it. There are many diets out there to help, but they all boil down to five words: “Eat less and exercise more.” It’ll take you time to shed your “little bit extra.” But set and write down a goal. Figure out what you need to do to meet your goal. Then work on it until you achieve it.
Second, eat properly. Balance your diet and eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Drink plenty of water, too. Eliminate or minimize the “three poisons” – salt, sugar, and flour. The timing of when you eat is also important. Eating only 20 percent of your calories after 2:00 p.m. will help you lose weight. Conversely, eating 60 to 80 percent after 2:00 p.m. will ensure you gain it! Remember the advice of diet guru Adelle Davis: “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.”
Third, exercise. Articulate every joint in your body, every day. Exercise for 200 minutes every week – even going for a walk for 30 minutes every day will make you one of the fittest people around. And if you don’t like exercise? Suck it up! You need to do this to be fit and healthy.
Fourth, look after yourself. Get six or seven hours of sleep per night. Going to bed by 10:00 p.m. will do you a world of good, and increasing the number of hours you sleep will make you feel clearer, more alert, creative, and intelligent. And when it comes to days off, take 120 days at a minimum each year. Impossible, you say? Well, just making sure you take every weekend off gives you 104 for starters. Adding in public holidays gives even more. And then you have your holidays on top.
Fifth, brush and floss your teeth twice per day. Bathe or shower regularly, and keep your fingernails clean. Remember to get both physical and dental checkups to detect problems early.
Sixth, remember these things: Buckle up in the car, and insist your passengers do, too. Practice moderation in everything you do. Be optimistic – always. And take 30 to 60 minutes every day for solitude and meditation.
Finally, make “peace of mind” your most important goal. Only do what feels right and natural to you.
Got all that down? Let’s move on to your relationships.
How to have great relationships
Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher, said that humans are social animals. Sidney M. Jourard, psychologist and author of Healthy Personality, confirms it – as much as 85 percent of your happiness will come from your relationships. So it makes sense to develop good habits to create great relationships, doesn’t it? Here are some things you can do to achieve that.
First, develop acceptance. Everyone wants to be accepted unconditionally. If you’re able to make everyone you meet feel valuable and important, you satisfy that need – and not only that, but you’ll also be welcomed. A simple smile goes a long way when you meet someone.
Second, work on raising self-esteem – not just yours but that of others, too. How? Start each day by being thankful for the good things in your life. Appreciate being alive, your family and friends, and your good health. And say “thank you” whenever you can. Each time you do, you not only raise the self-esteem of the recipient but your own, too.
Then, compliment people on their traits, their looks, their qualities, their possessions, and so on. And extend that to their children and spouses. Give praise and approval whenever you can. Do it immediately, and be specific about what it is you’re praising. You’ll make people feel valuable and respected.
And finally, listen. Unfortunately, most people aren’t good listeners. But here are a few pointers to help you develop your skills.
First, always listen attentively – focus on the other person’s eyes and mouth. Second, make sure you pause before replying; three to five seconds should suffice. This ensures you don’t interrupt. And it also shows you’re considering what the other person said before replying. Actually, you’ll also have heard what the other person said at a much deeper level. Next, ask clarifying questions to make sure you’ve fully understood what the other person said. And finally, repeat back what the person said in your own words.
Develop these habits at home and at work, and you’re sure to be rewarded with great relationships.
How to do what you love
With your well-being and relationships sorted, it’s time to look at doing the things you love – specifically at work.
You have almost limitless opportunities available for work. In the US alone there are over 200,000 different jobs – so think about what you’d love to do, and don’t just accept the first job that comes along. Think about the types of jobs available, and try to find something that’s easy for you to learn and do. That’s the job where you’ll perform best and probably where you can earn the most money. Keep evaluating that choice throughout your career.
In their lives, some people are extraordinary achievers – they earn more money; have great families, friends, and relationships; stay fitter and healthier; and live longer and happier lives. The vast majority of people achieve very little. Your goal should be to become one of the high achievers.
The only difference between high and low achievers is their habits. So if you want to be a high performer, develop the right habits.
First, work hard in order to turn yourself into the person you want to be. Your past habits don’t matter one bit. Forget your past experiences, and decide that your future will be different.
Second, start strategically planning your life. Your goal is to become the best possible you in all aspects.
Third, set yourself clear long-term goals, assess where you are now and where you want to be at a particular date in the future, and map out how you’re going to get there in the time you have available. Your goal must be clear, but remain flexible about how you can achieve it.
And fourth, set yourself daily goals. Write down what you want to achieve in a notebook – not on your phone, tablet, or computer. The simple act of writing enforces your desire to achieve those goals. The best time to do this is actually the night before – if you do that, your subconscious mind works on the list. Then make sure to prioritize what’s on your list. Start this habit today, and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll have achieved just 30 days from now.
And how can you become more productive? Start by concentrating on your strengths. Do more of the things you’re good at. The better you get at those tasks, the faster you’ll get them done, too. You can get there by working harder and longer – start early, stay late, be focused, and keep busy all day. And work smarter – prepare for everything, whether that’s for meetings or interviews, or for something inside or outside of work. It may take up some of your time now, but it will save you time down the line. One thing you can’t do is overprepare!
And here’s a last bit of advice about work: dress like you’re going somewhere in life – first impressions really do count. Think about how you look when you turn up at work in the morning – what does your appearance say about you? And what would someone looking at your workspace think about the person who works there? How could you change your appearance or your workspace so that people think of you in a positive light?
How to become financially independent
You know the old saying, If you take care of the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves? It’s absolutely true – and it’s also true that most self-made millionaires are incredibly frugal. They won’t buy something new if they can get it secondhand. They won’t buy at all if they can rent. And why would they rent if they can borrow what they need?
So if you want to become a millionaire, you need to think and act like a millionaire. Let’s take a look at some of the other habits that make them tick.
First of all, they save and invest regularly. You should do the same. Set an amount you can afford – at least 10 percent of your income – and stick to it. Even if you think you can’t, you’ll soon adapt to living without that 10 percent. And if you can’t afford that right now, start smaller and build up. Never draw on that money. Over time, build that up to 20 percent.
If you get unexpected money, add that to your savings, too. If you sell something, get a bonus, or receive a tax refund, do the same.
When we’re kids, we often learn bad money habits. We associate spending money with pleasure and saving as a form of punishment because it deprives us of what we desire. And this is reflected in adulthood, too – we often spend the money we earn as quickly as possible. Most people who become financially independent have reversed that thinking and get pleasure from saving and investing.
Tracy also advocates what he calls the “Wedge Theory.” He says it will get you to financial independence more quickly. What usually happens as people earn more money is that their expenses grow. Using the Wedge Theory, every time you get a pay raise you should aim to save 50 percent of the increase. You can spend the other 50 percent – but commit to the saving. If you do this, depending on the age you start, you’ll soon accumulate a large sum and reach financial independence faster.
And the other habits of millionaires?
Always get good financial advice before doing anything with your savings. Pick a financial advisor who’s financially successful because they likely also invest in the areas they’re recommending to you.
Investigate before you invest. Move slowly, and check every detail of the potential investment. Never allow anyone to pressure you into making a decision.
Insure against risk. What would be the worst thing that could happen? Determine that – and then take steps to ensure it doesn’t happen. You shouldn’t rely on luck or hope. Instead, plan, organize, and insure. Get life insurance for your family. Insure your home against fire and damage. Add liability insurance for your car. And always make sure you have good health insurance, too.
A final word of advice on becoming financially independent: get rich slowly. Most fortunes are built on the concept of compound interest. As your money accumulates, it grows even more. Thomas Stanley and William Danko, the authors of The Millionaire Next Door, say it takes 22 years for most millionaires to make their first million from the time they become serious about their financial lives. They save, and they save some more. They invest carefully and selectively. Their wealth grows and compounds.
If you want to be financially independent, you have to develop the same savvy habits as millionaires.
If you want to be fit and healthy, have great relationships, enjoy what you’re doing, and become financially independent, just follow the advice set out in this summary!
Of course, Brian Tracy offers much more advice about the habits you need to cultivate than we could possibly hope to cover in a few minutes. But one thing is for certain: everything is up to you.
You may be a product of past choices, decisions, and actions, but your future will be determined by the choices, decisions, and actions you make from now on. To be the future you you want to become depends on getting those right – and developing the million-dollar habits to get you there.
Brian Tracy’s “Million Dollar Habits” is a thought-provoking and insightful guide to help individuals enhance their income potential by cultivating specific habits. I have thoroughly analyzed this book, and I am excited to share my in-depth review with you. Here is a detailed analysis of the book’s content, strengths, weaknesses, and potential applications.
“Million Dollar Habits” is a self-help book that offers practical advice on how to develop habits that can exponentially increase one’s income. Brian Tracy, a renowned author, and motivational speaker, shares his extensive knowledge and experience in the field of personal development to help readers identify and adopt million-dollar habits. The book is divided into four parts, each focusing on a different aspect of habit formation and income growth:
- Understanding the Power of Habits: This section provides an in-depth explanation of the science behind habits and their impact on our daily lives. Tracy emphasizes the importance of recognizing and understanding the habits that are holding us back from achieving our financial goals.
- The Million-Dollar Habits: Tracy identifies 12 key habits that can help individuals double or triple their income. These habits include time management, goal-setting, networking, and continuous learning, among others. He provides actionable tips and strategies for implementing these habits in one’s daily life.
- Overcoming Obstacles and Setbacks: This section delves into common obstacles that hinder individuals from achieving their financial goals, such as procrastination, self-doubt, and fear of failure. Tracy offers practical advice on how to overcome these obstacles and stay motivated.
- Building a Million-Dollar Mindset: The final section of the book focuses on the importance of cultivating a million-dollar mindset. Tracy emphasizes the need to develop a positive attitude, be persistent, and maintain a growth mindset to achieve financial success.
- Practical Advice: The book provides actionable tips and strategies for implementing the million-dollar habits in one’s daily life. Tracy’s advice is grounded in scientific research and his extensive experience in the field of personal development, making it highly valuable and relevant.
- Real-Life Examples: Tracy shares numerous real-life examples of individuals who have successfully implemented the million-dollar habits, demonstrating the effectiveness of his strategies.
- Motivational and Inspirational: The book is highly motivational and inspirational, encouraging readers to take action towards their financial goals. Tracy’s writing style is engaging, making it an enjoyable read.
- Lack of Depth in Certain Areas: While the book provides an excellent overview of the million-dollar habits, some areas, such as the psychology of habits, could be explored in more depth.
- Limited Focus on Financial Literacy: The book primarily focuses on developing habits that can lead to financial success, but it does not provide a comprehensive guide to financial literacy, which is an essential component of achieving financial success.
- May not be Suitable for Beginners: The book assumes a certain level of knowledge and experience in personal development, which may make it less accessible to beginner readers.
- Personal Development: “Million Dollar Habits” can be applied to various aspects of personal development, such as improving time management, goal-setting, and building a positive mindset.
- Business and Entrepreneurship: The book’s focus on networking, marketing, and sales can be valuable for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to grow their income.
- Career Advancement: The book’s emphasis on continuous learning and professional development can help individuals advance their careers and increase their income potential.
In conclusion, “Million Dollar Habits: Proven Power Practices to Double and Triple Your Income” by Brian Tracy offers a wealth of practical advice and strategies for individuals seeking financial success. Tracy’s expertise in personal development shines through, and his emphasis on cultivating positive habits and mindset is both inspiring and empowering. Whether you are a seasoned entrepreneur or someone looking to improve your financial situation, this book provides a valuable roadmap to help you achieve your goals.