"Like most things in life, becoming good at attracting money is no different than becoming good at anything else, be it being a sub-par golfer, losing weight, or mastering a second language," writes self-made millionaire Steve Siebold, author of "How Rich People Think."
Almost anyone can make it happen — and it often begins with your thoughts, beliefs, and choices. Here are 18 choices the wealthiest people make on a daily basis that most of us fail to emulate.
Rich people choose to be in control of their success.
"Rich people believe, 'I create my life,' while average people think, 'Life happens to me,'" writes T. Harv Eker in "Secrets of the Millionaire Mind."
You have to be in control of your financial life, he emphasizes: "You have to believe that you are the one who creates your success, that you are the one who creates your mediocrity, and that you are the one creating your struggles around money and success. Consciously or unconsciously, it's still you."
Rich people choose to think big.
If not you, then who? That's how rich people think, Eker writes: "Big thinking and big actions lead to having both money and meaning."
"Most people choose to play small," he continues. "Why? First, because of fear. They're scared to death of failure and they're even more frightened of success. Second, people play small because they feel small. They feel unworthy. They don't feel they're good enough or important enough to make a real difference in people's lives."
As Siebold writes, "Expect to make more money. For this one you have to think big. $100,000, $500,000, or why not $1 million?"
Rich people choose to commit to attaining wealth.
Rather than wanting to be rich, wealthy people consciously commit to being rich.
"Getting rich takes focus, courage, knowledge, expertise, 100% of your effort, a never-give-up attitude, and of course a rich mindset," writes Eker. "If you are not fully, totally, and truly committed to creating wealth, chances are you won't."
The rich are able to fully commit because they have precise goals and a clear vision.
"The number one reason most people don't get what they want is that they don't know what they want," he continues. "Rich people are totally clear that they want wealth. They are unwavering in their desire ... As long as it's legal, moral, and ethical, they will do whatever it takes to have wealth."
Rich people choose to exercise.
Thomas C. Corley, who spent five years researching the daily habits of 177 self-made millionaires, found that "seventy-six percent of the rich aerobically exercise 30 minutes or more every day." Aerobic exercise includes anything cardio, such as running, jogging, walking, or biking.
"Cardio is not only good for the body, but it's good for the brain," he writes in "Change Your Habits, Change Your Life." "It grows the neurons (brain cells) in the brain ... Exercise also increases the production of glucose. Glucose is brain fuel. The more fuel you feed your brain, the more it grows and the smarter you become."
Rich people choose to focus on opportunities.
Rather than focusing on obstacles like most people tend to do — rich people focus — and capitalize, on opportunities.
"Rich people see potential growth," writes Eker. "Poor people see potential loss. Rich people focus on the rewards. Poor people focus on the risks."
Rich people choose to pave their own path.
"We so desire to blend in, to acclimate to society, to be a part of the herd, that we will do almost anything to avoid standing out in a crowd," Corley writes. Yet "failure to separate yourself from the herd is why most people never achieve success."
Successful people create their own new herd and then pull others into it, Corley says: "You want to separate yourself from the herd, create your own herd, and then get others to join it."
Rich people choose to hang out with other rich people.
The rich associate with those who are equally or more rich.
"Successful people look at other successful people as a means to motivate themselves," writes Eker. "They see other successful people as models to learn from. They say to themselves, 'If they can do it, I can do it.'"
Rather than being jealous of other successful people, they are grateful for them, as they provide a template for how to attain such success. "The fastest and easiest way to create wealth is to learn exactly how rich people, who are masters of money, play the game," he explains.
Rich people choose to play to win.
While rich people play to win, average people play to not lose, says Eker: "The goal of truly rich people is to have massive wealth and abundance. Not just some money, but lots of money."
If your goal is simply to be comfortable — to have enough money to survive — you probably won't strike it rich.
Eker writes: "When your intention is to have enough to pay the bills, that's exactly how much you'll get — just enough to pay the bills and not a dime more."
Rich people choose not to be derailed by their problems.
"The secret to success is not to try to avoid or get rid of or shrink from your problems; the secret is to grow yourself so that you are bigger than any problem," writes Eker.
"The road to wealth is fraught with traps and pitfalls, and that's precisely why most people don't take it. They don't want the hassles, the headaches, and the responsibilities. In short, they don't want the problems."
Rather than focusing on, or even noticing, the problems, the super successful focus on their goals, says Eker.
Rich people choose to do what they love.
"To the average person, it looks like the rich are working all the time," Siebold says. "But one of the smartest strategies of the world class is doing what they love and finding a way to get paid for it."
On the other hand, members of the middle class take jobs they don't enjoy "because they need the money, and they've been trained in school and conditioned by society to live in a linear thinking world that equates earning money with physical or mental effort."
Rich people choose to use other people's money.
The rich aren't afraid to fund their future from other people's pockets, Siebold says: "Rich people know not being solvent enough to personally afford something is not relevant. The real question is, 'Is this worth buying, investing in, or pursuing?'"
"The middle class cliché that you have to have money to make money is limiting at best and destructive at worst," he continues. "The truth is you have to have great ideas that solve problems to make money. If you do, you will attract money like a magnet."
Rich people choose to focus on their net worth.
"The true measure of wealth is net worth, not working income," writes Eker.
Net worth is the financial value of everything you own.
"[It] is the ultimate measure of wealth because, if necessary, what you own can eventually be liquidated into cash," writes Eker.
Rich people choose to get paid based on results.
"There's nothing wrong with getting a steady paycheck, unless it interferes with your ability to earn what you're worth. There's the rub. It usually does," explains Eker.
The wealthiest people never have a ceiling on their income, nor do they choose to get paid for their time, he says.
"Rich people prefer to get paid based on the results they produce, if not totally, then at least partially," Eker writes. "Rich people usually own their own business in some form. They make their income from their profits. Rich people work on commission or percentages of revenue. Rich people choose stock options and profit sharing in lieu of higher salaries."
Rich people choose to manage their money.
"Wealthy people are not any smarter than poor people; they just have different and more supportive money habits," writes Eker. "The single biggest difference between financial success and financial failure is how well you manage your money. It's simple: to master money, you must manage money."
Average people choose not to manage their money because they believe they don't have enough to manage.
"Until you show you can handle what you've got, you won't get any more!" says Eker. "The habit of managing your money is more important than the amount."
Rich people choose to constantly learn and grow.
"Walk into a wealthy person's home and one of the first things you'll see is an extensive library of books they've used to educate themselves on how to become more successful," Siebold writes.
The wealthiest learn how to be successful from those who are richer and more successful than they are. They then continue to learn even after they've attained incredible success.
"Every master was once a disaster," says Eker. "No one comes out of the womb a financial genius. Every rich person learned how to succeed at the money game, and so can you ... Success is a learnable skill."
Rich people choose to help others.
"Helping other success-minded people move forward in achieving their goals and dreams helps you succeed," Corley writes. "No one realizes success without a team of other success-minded people. The best way to create your team is to offer help to other success-minded people first."
You don't want to give help to anyone and everyone, Corley notes: "You want to focus on helping only those who are pursuing success, are optimistic, goal-oriented, positive, and uplifting."
Rich people choose to wake up early.
Nearly 50% of the self-made millionaires in Corley's study woke up at least three hours before their workday actually began.
It's a strategy to deal with inevitable daily disruptions, such as a meeting that went too long, egregious traffic, or having to pick up your sick kid from school.
"These disruptions have a psychological effect on us. They can drip into our subconscious and eventually form the belief that we have no control over our life," Corley writes. "Getting up at five in the morning to tackle the top three things you want to accomplish in your day allows you to regain control of your life. It gives you a sense of confidence that you, indeed, direct your life."
Rich people choose to take calculated risks.
"Leverage is the watchword of the rich," Siebold writes. "Every investor loses money on occasion, but the world class knows no matter what happens, they will always be able to earn more."
Meanwhile, average people play it safe with money. "One group stays awake worrying about losing what they have, while the other can't sleep because they're dreaming of what's possible."