To become wealthy, you will need to identify and replace any negative or limiting beliefs you may have about money, says Jack Canfield in ‘The Success Principles: How to get from where you are to where you want to be’ (HarperCollins). Such beliefs, held from our childhood days, include: ‘There’s not enough money to go around,’ ‘You have to have money to make money,’ and ‘Money is the root of all evil.’ These messages, as the author cautions, can actually sabotage and dilute your later financial success, because they subconsciously emit a vibration that is contrary to your conscious intentions.

Among the many remedial measures recommended in the book is the visualisation exercise, where you see all your financial goals as already accomplished. See images that affirm your desired level of income such as pay cheques, dividend statements, and people handing you cash, urges Canfield. Make sure to add the kinaesthetic and olfactory dimensions to your visualisation, he adds: “Feel the smooth texture of the world’s finest silk against your skin, feel the relaxing feeling of a luxurious massage in the world’s finest spa, and smell the fragrance of your favourite cut flowers filling your home or the delicate scent of your favourite imported perfume…”

Retirement lifestyle

A chapter titled ‘You get what you focus on’ demands that you write down your financial goals, be they about having a certain net worth within five years, earning at least a certain amount next year, saving and investing a specific amount every month, or stating your strategy to become debt free.

To get the kind of life you want 1 to 2 years from now, as well as the kind of lifestyle you want when you ‘retire,’ decide exactly how much you will need to live the lifestyle of your dreams, the author instructs. “If you don’t know, research how much it would cost you to do and buy everything you want over the course of the next year. This could include rent or mortgage, food, clothes, medical care, automobiles, utilities, education, vacations, recreation, insurance, savings, investments, and philanthropy.” He cites Charles Schwab’s suggestion that for every $1,000 in monthly income you will want during retirement, you will need to have $230,000 invested when you stop working, considering the yield percentage; so, a million dollars invested can give you a taxable income of about $4,300 a month!

Pay yourself

One of the principles in the book is that you pay yourself first; and it is elaborated through the story of Arkad, in George Clason’s book titled, ‘The Richest Man in Babylon,’ written in 1926. Arkad, a simple scribe, convinces his client, a money lender, to teach him the secrets of money, retells Canfield. “The first principle the money lender teaches Arkad is: ‘A part of all you earn must be yours to keep.’ He goes on to explain that by putting aside at least 10 per cent of his earnings – and making that money inaccessible for expenses – Arkad would see this amount build over time and, in turn, start earning money on its own.”

What can set you on a faster track towards your wealth goal is the 50/50 law, whereby you put 50 per cent of your earning into savings. “Let’s say you want to buy a car for $40,000. If you can’t put an extra $40,000 into savings, you don’t buy the car. Either buy a cheaper car, make do with what you have right now, or go out and make more money,” advises the author. Reasoning that the key is not to raise your lifestyle until you have earned the right to raise it by putting the same amount into savings, he notes that the 50/50 law was the core of billionaire Sir John Marks Templeton’s strategy for building wealth.

Filled with persuasive examples that reinforce each of the 64 principles discussed in the book.