Priority List

The Millionaire's Advantage

"If you are born poor, it's not your mistake; but if you die poor, it's your mistake." - Bill Gates
I'm not a millionaire, not yet, but I'm interested in becoming one. How about you?
Money doesn't buy happiness, but neither does poverty.
I've been poor, dirt poor, and didn't find it particularly comforting. There's not an abundance of joy in wearing third generation hand-me-downs or taking drip showers in the dark because both your water and electricity have been cut off. 
No kid should should know the excitement of getting a fresh stock of two-staple, liberty bell food stamps or feel the dark shame of their parents as they stealthily tear each coupon out to pay the grocery clerk.
Thankfully, the government eventually did away with those booklets in favor of debit-looking cards instead.
Just because you're down, doesn't mean you have to stay down.
You may have been born poor, or have found yourself poor, but you don't have to stay poor no more.
You can climb your way out of poverty if you'll pay attention to the clues all around you. These clues are often hidden in plain sight -- waiting to be grasped by the next willing soul. If one man can pull himself out, the next man can do it, too.
Regardless of what you may have heard on the news, America is still the land of opportunity.
Think of all the immigrants who have come here with absolutely nothing, only to pass on great wealth to their children and their children's children. Hard work, massive action, and a strong belief led them straight out of desperation into an abundance of success and, eventually, privilege.
If you're a fan of motivational speakers, you'll no doubt remember Zig Ziglar's famous quote: "Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days."   
"The choices we make is the direction we take."
We all have a choice about how we'll invest those precious twenty-four hours that come with every new day. Most of the problems we spend our time chasing down are caused by the choices we've made. Likewise, most of the blessings we experience are a direct result of choices made. Good or bad, we choose.
The millionaire's secret is the same secret shared by successful people (e.g. athletes, teachers, preachers, politicians, etc.) in every walk of life. The secret is to prioritize the choices you make in every twenty-four hours in the order of their likelihood to give you the results you want out of life.
If you want to be a millionaire, you prioritize your choices by what is most likely to bring you millions. If you want to be an elite athlete, you prioritize your life around the decisions that lead to excellence.
You pick. You choose. Good or bad, you are what you prioritize your life to be.
There will always be consequences -- naturally occurring results -- of the choices we make.
The up-and-coming millionaire who neglects his family, spends all his time at work, has an affair with his secretary, and dies lonely, but extremely rich, has achieved the consequences of his choices. 
The high school athlete with a world of talent who eats every meal from a super-sized, fast food drive-thru will eventually achieve the consequences of his choices. 
Every choice has a built-in exclusion of choices. You can't do one thing without accepting that you won't do the other. You can't study to be the Valedictorian and spend all your weekends in a drunken stupor. Choosing one direction implicitly means you do not choose the other direction.
You can't go North and South at the same time. It's impossible to jump in the pool and stay dry at the same time. If you marry the girl, you don't marry the other girl. Smile or frown. Sit or stand. Live or die.
Choices have consequences. Good or bad, you are what you choose to be.
You may not be able to do a thing about where you start, but you have everything to do with where you're going. If you don't like where you're at in life, pick up and move. Choose to go a different direction.
The consequences of choosing to leave a bad life behind is you move toward a good life in front of you.
We've all heard the simple advice to copy what successful people do in order to be more successful ourselves. That's great advice, but sometimes we need a little help figuring out exactly what they're doing.
We see they dress nice, have a gold pen, shiny shoes, drive a nice car, but we're lost as to the decisions they make behind closed doors. I'm going to take you behind those closed doors and give you step-by-step directions for copying their decision make process.
If you're like I am, you have a "To Do" list. It's either written on a Post-It note, in your head, or you keep a list on your phone somewhere, right?
First of all, it's important you have your list written out where you can see it, touch it, feel it. Most importantly, you want to get the list out of your head and put it down on paper. If you refuse to write your list down on paper, at least type your list into your phone's notes app.
Second, prioritize every line item on your list using the letters of the alphabet (e.g. A, B, C, etc.) Even if you believe you have two items on your list that you feel are equally important towards your success, prioritize them further by using a number to indicate their order of importance (e.g. A1, A2, etc.)
Finally, work on your "To Do" list in the priority you've assigned to each task. When you finish A1, move on to A2. After you finish all of your A items, move on to your B items, followed by C items. If you do not finish all of the items on your list in twenty-four hours, move your unfinished items to your next day's list and re-prioritize them in their order of importance again.
I've included a picture of my "To Do" list written on a Post-It note as an illustration. The picture on the left is my list before I prioritized it. The picture on the right is my list after it has been prioritized. 
At the end of the day, today, if the only things I have accomplished are the "A" items prioritized on my list, I will have moved closer to accomplishing my goals of success than if I had spent my day focused on the lower-rated items, or things not on my list at all.
This is how successful people achieve more in less time (millionaire's included). They write it down, make it plain, and work on what's most important first, and least important last.
✌ Mike

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