Day 32: Habits of “The Richest Man in Babylon”

Today I listened to part of an audio book of George S. Clason’s “The Richest Man in Babylon,” a classic of mid 20th Century prosperity literature that includes titles such as “Think and Grow Rich” and “The Greatest Salesman in the World.”

As much as I have enjoyed many wealth-related books, I have always loved “The Richest Man in Babylon” because it really is a personal finance book first and foremost. Personal finance is where I shine! “The Richest Man in Babylon” really drove home for me the point about paying yourself first. As the book says, “A part of what I earn is mine to keep.” It encourages you to take not less than 1/10 of your earnings and set it aside to invest.

When I read the book, I immediately could see how adopting the habit of paying myself first could add up over time. In fact, financial freedom is the very logical end-result of the habit of setting aside a part of one’s earnings over a long period of time. Eventually, as long as you invest the stash properly, it can grow big enough for you to live off.

This connects with a universal truth I’m especially fond of: small things become big things. Or slow and steady wins the race! Whether it’s money or reading or running or composing or writing a book, I love the idea that you can take some small amount of time/money/resources for yourself, and over time , it adds up.

This also reminds me of piano teaching. With my adults students, I encourage them to take little bits of time for themselves every day to practice. By doing this, over time you will improve. The time adds up. Even more importantly, the habit starts to work in your favor.

In the end, “The Richest Man in Babylon” is about adopting positive money habits. When you can adopt positive habits, in any area of life that is important to you, you make use of one of the greatest powers in the world, because habits become self-sustaining. Soon enough, you don’t do your habits. Your habits do you.

Thank you George S. Clason of yet another reminder of why good (money) habits matter.

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