I once had occasion to visit
Charleston, South Carolina. I had
never been there before, so I hired a
taxi to drive me around the historic
old town. I particularly wanted to see
the Battery, where the famous shot
was fired on Fort Sumpter. Along this
beautiful drive, some of Charleston's
oldest and finest homes look out over
the bay. I commented to my cab driver
on what lovely homes they were, and
he said, "Yeah, some of those homes
have 40 rooms." Then he thought for
a moment and said, "And every one of
them is owned by a crook."
The truth was those homes were
built by the men and women who
made the largest contribution to the
city of Charleston. But that is how the
Have Nots of the world justify themselves
and their lot in life. They think
people who earn the big money that
allows them to enjoy luxurious
lifestyles are crooks, lucky, endowed
with more brains or talents, privy to
occult secrets, or born into wealth. Yet
these are only excuses.
People who fail to make the grade
financially are seldom honest enough
to admit that they really didn't try and
keep trying. So in order to justify their
failure or mediocre lives, they dream
up and pass along these excuses.
I've discovered that the only difference
between the people who earn big
incomes and those who earn small
incomes is that those earning big
incomes decided to earn more.
Without the decision to earn more,
you can't possibly think of ways to
increase your income.
This decision is the simple, yet elusive, difference between the Haves and
the Have Nots. The moment you decide to go after wealth, success, or anything
you desire in life, that is when you will start thinking about ways to accomplish
What's more, you cannot simply
make the decision once and then
relax. You must make the commitment
again and again, and continually overcome
your fears to turn back toward
The Have Nots do not want to do
more than they have to — and that is
why they continue to "have not."
Growth can feel uncomfortable, as it
pushes us to step out of our comfort
zone — to do more than what's
required of us. This is the trap of the
Have Nots, and it is why so few people
commit to the decision to become
I remember reading that the
employees at Macy's department store
in New York had grumbled because
the company had been hiring executives
and managers from outside the
company. So Macy's management put
in a free management training program
for its employees so that it could promote
from within the organization.
However, only about 3 percent took
advantage of the training, even though
it was free. All they had to do was stay
after work for a few hours.
Similarly, only about 3 percent of
all American armed force veterans
have taken advantage of their GI Bill
That 3 percent figure keeps popping
up in cases like that. It seems that only
about 3 percent of people are seriously
interested in investing a part of their
time and energy in programs to help
them get ahead in the world. The rest
yell and flail around for pay raises and
more fringe benefits. But when it's
suggested that they might do something
to improve themselves, make
themselves more valuable, they don't
want to do it.
Success is available to everyone
who commits to being successful.
I hope you'll decide to become a
Have person. If you've read this far,
you have probably already made that
essential decision. Here are the next
- Start getting up a little earlier
than you're accustomed to. This gives
you extra time that 95 percent of the
people in this world are not using at
all. One hour earlier a day gives you
six extra 40-hour weeks a year. During
this extra hour, take a refreshing shower,
dress, get yourself a fresh, hot cup
of coffee or tea, and then sit down to a
clean sheet of paper.
- Decide what you want in life.
More wealth? Success? Happiness?
More time with your family? At the
top of the paper write down your
goals. For example, let's say you write
down the amount of money per year
that you intend to earn soon. That's
your financial goal. You don't have to
tell anyone. It's nobody's business but
- Start to think. Think about your
goal and what it will mean to you and
your family. See how many ideas you
can come up with to help you reach
that goal, ideas to improve what you
now do for a living. Ways of increasing
your contribution to match your
- Try for five ideas every morning.
Write them down and save those
sheets of paper in a special "ideas"
file. Focus on ideas within your line
of work or expertise or area that you
are most interested in. To think well
and profitably, you must discipline
your thinking. Keep your thoughts on
course, controlled, and focused. Many
or perhaps most of your ideas will
prove fruitless. But some of them will
be very good. A few will be excellent.
And every once in a while you'll
come up with something truly outstanding.
- Develop a sense of expectancy.
That is, try to hold the feeling that the
goal you're shooting for is a sure thing
and that it's only a matter of time
before it's realized. Henry Ford didn't
start making cars until he was 45. A
friend of mine started a new company
at 65. He's still going strong, and his
new company has sales of better than
$300 million a year. It's never too late.
- Change your attitude. Attitude has been called the most important
word in the language. William James
put it this way: "The greatest discovery
of my generation is that human
beings can alter their lives by altering
their attitudes of mind." To change
your attitude, begin to act like the person
you most want to become. If you
were already in possession of the goal
you're shooting for, how would you
conduct yourself in all of your affairs?
How would you dress? How would
you talk? Well, do it now, and tomorrow,
and the next day. Begin now to
act the part of the person you most
want to become. And you will end up
becoming that person. The German
philosopher Goethe gave us the secret
when he said, "Before you can do
something, you must first be something."
Practice your new attitude every
day — every waking hour. Practice
focused thinking a few minutes every
morning and you'll find yourself
thinking all day long.
The late renowned psychologist Dr.
Abraham Maslow found that people
who live close to their true capacity
have a pronounced sense of well-being
and considerable energy. They see
themselves as leading purposeful and
creative lives. Isn't that what we all
want to do? I believe it is. And it all
begins the moment you decide to
become a Have person and leave the
Have Nots to their complaints and
Five ideas a day is
25 a week if you don't
think on weekends.
That's more than
1,000 ideas a year.
One idea can get you
to that income you're
shooting for. The law
of averages swings so
far in your favor you
just can't miss.
There are two kinds of people: the Haves and the Have
Nots. The Have Nots think the only people who earn large
incomes resulting in successful, luxury lifestyles are crooks,
lucky, endowed with more brains or talents, privy to occult
secrets, or born into wealth. These are only alibis, a way for
the Have Nots to justify their failure or mediocre lives. Learn
the secrets to a successful life among the Haves and leave
the Have Nots to their complaints and their alibis.
Learn more about Earl
Nightingale and his many timeless books and audio programs.