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In 1960, Scrully Blotnick, author of Getting Rich Your Own Way, began a study of 1,500 people representing a cross-section of middle-class America.  

Throughout the twenty-year study, they lost almost a third of participants due to deaths, moves, or other factors.

Of the 1,057 that remained, 83 had become millionaires.  

When Mr. Blotnick's team interviewed participants at the beginning of the study, the most widely shared impression they found was that "great wealth can come to you only as a result of doing things you don't want to do."  

They also noted that from the start, most participants assumed that chance would play a decisive role in determining who became wealthy.

They found that the 83 successful people shared five characteristics:

A.They were persistent.
B.They were patient.
C.They were willing to handle both the "nobler and the pettier" aspects of their job.
D.They had an increasingly noncompetitive attitude towards the people with whom they worked.
E.Their investment activities — aside from their main career — consumed a minimum of their time and attention.
Writes Blotnick,  

"We originally expected the people in our sample to become wealthy by taking the money they earned at work and investing it wisely, in such things as stocks, bonds, and real estate...

"We thought there'd be no way for [them] to become rich unless they used their surplus income to generate more income...It didn't work out that way...More often than not they made little or no money investing."

In short, what the study unveiled was that the main source of wealth for the successful participants was that they found something they loved to do and they did it well.  

"In case after case," says Blotnick, "they did increasingly well occupationally, while their pursuit of investment profits proved to be largely a waste of time. In the long run, it was their work which made them rich."

Blotnick concludes that investing in yourself, what you do, and with whom you do it are the most important determining factors of wealth.

So what about you? What lessons do you draw for yourself from this study? How does it change your perspective?

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