20160719 eight steps to happiness and prosperity

8 Steps to Happiness & Prosperity
by Ken Honda
As I flip through the English translation of this booklet, I can’t help but reflect on
the 15 years that have passed since its original publication in Japanese.
The very first edition of “8 Steps to Happiness & Prosperity” was printed in 2001.
When I first began writing, at most I thought that only about 15 friends would
want to read it (if I got lucky). They gave me the courage to share that message
with others, so I promised in the booklet that I would give it away for free to
anyone who wants a copy. Before I realized it, I was beginning to send free
copies all over the world. (This was back in the “old days,” before digitalization
made it easier to share information online.) After I had distributed about 100,000
copies, a publisher called me up, and the rest is history.
You see, during my years of “semi-retirement” when I took some time off to focus
on being a dad, I had a lot of time to think about what I really wanted to do with
the rest of my life. They say what you give out comes back to you tenfold, and I
knew this to be true, so I decided to turn my life into an experiment in giving.
When I first published “8 Steps” I had never written anything longer than a book
report. At the time of this writing I have now published more than 110 books in
Japan. In the last 12 years have taught countless seminars on finding your gifts,
doing what you love, and finding financial wealth without sacrificing happiness
and joy. I am surrounded by a community of sincere, courageous people who
also do what they love and give freely from the heart.
I feel blessed beyond my wildest dreams, and I think it’s safe to say that my
original investment in giving out this booklet for free has come back to me much,
much more than tenfold.
Until now, my career has been mainly confined to the Japanese language, but in
the last few years I have been preparing to make the big leap and begin writing
and teaching in English as well. “8 Steps to Happiness & Prosperity” is one of my
very first writings to be translated into English, but it won’t be the last. I’m also
working on several original books in the English language, so I hope you will
enjoy reading my work as much as I have enjoyed writing it.
And, if you like, you can give back by doing what you love, living your dreams,
and giving your gifts to the world knowing that it will come back to you in
incredible ways.
Ken Honda
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Why Is It That Some People Get Rich and Others Don’t?
1-A: Seven Reasons Why People Don’t Get Rich
1-B: Six Signs of Financial Stress in Your Daily Life
Chapter 2: What is the Definition of a “Happy, Prosperous Person?”
2-A: Who Exactly Are Happy, Prosperous People?
2-B: Eight Characteristics of Happy, Prosperous People
Chapter 3: Eight Steps to Happiness and Prosperity
3-1: Make Your Passions Work for You
3-2: Understand How Society Works and Get with the Times
3-3: Earn Money from Your Lifework
3-4: Increase your Money IQ
3-5: Increase your Money EQ
3-6: Mastering the Various Aspects of Business
3-7: Understanding the Human Heart
3-8: Share your Gifts and Abundance
Chapter 4: 5 Daily Steps
4-1: Find Something You Love to Do, and Try Doing It a Little Each Day
4-2: Find a Friend or Mentor Who Can Guide You
4-3: Learn from Successful People and Develop Good Habits
4-4: Take On Challenges and Make Courageous Decisions
4-5: Enjoy Things along the Way
“My life would be so much better if I had more money.” I’m sure this thought has
crossed everyone’s mind at one point or another. Unfortunately, the truth is that a
lot of people spend their entire life struggling with money. Everybody wants to get
rich but very few manage to do it.
Why is this? And why is it that with all those ‘get rich’ books out there, you never
find one that offers concrete solutions? You end up feeling more lost than when
you started. I wrote this booklet to find clear answers to these financial mysteries.
My father was a successful tax accountant, so I learned a lot from him and
became interested in money from an early age. I grew up watching the financial
successes and failures of others, and wondered why some people become rich
while others fail. As a boy I read biographies of successful people. In high school
I read books on venture businesses. In college I personally interviewed
politicians, entrepreneurs, and artists to find the secrets to their success. When I
was 20 years old, I went on a lecture tour to America. There I was lucky enough
to meet the mentor who would ultimately change my life: a successful Jewish
businessman who taught me the 17 investment secrets that I would someday
share in my first major bestselling book in Japan, “The Millionaire’s Philosophy
for a Happy Life”.
This booklet is the culmination of hundreds of personal interviews with successful
people, thousands of books, my own experiences, and the stories of my friends.
The practical skills found in these pages also comes from my experience
consulting hundreds of people, helping them go from zero to millions in terms of
annual income. These are the same tools I used for my own success: since my
20s I have owned and run several successful companies, including an
accounting business, a consulting firm, and a venture capital firm.
When my daughter was born in 1998, I followed John Lennon’s example and
went into semi-retirement. I withdrew from the business frontline and started
leading a quiet family life.
For several years, I began doing personal consultation for people who heard
about me and came looking for advice. People even started coming from outside
of Japan to speak with me privately. As I listened to each person’s story, it
occurred to me that one of the main reasons everyone has difficulty achieving
their goals is a lack of concrete, first-hand knowledge about finance and success.
That’s when I hit upon the idea that I could write down all the professional
experienced I’ve learned through my personal perspective. It made me very
excited to think that the knowledge that has helped me and my friends might also
help others. The details began forming in my mind one piece at a time; a sudden
inspiration would appear while I was on a plane or while I was playing with my
daughter in the park. Every night as I watched her sleep, the ideas began to
solidify and I began to write. One year later, the culmination of that effort is being
held in your hands.
Some people might notice my odd choice of words for the title, “Happiness &
Prosperity.” A direct translation of the Japanese title would be something like “8
Steps to Being a Happy, Moderately Wealthy Person.” I would like to explain my
word choice: I have met many wealthy people. Some of them were happy; some
of them were not. If you want to be rich, wouldn’t you rather be rich AND happy?
So the topic of this booklet is having “happiness & prosperity” as opposed to
being “rich but miserable.”
Very wealthy people often tend to focus on making money at the expense of their
spouses, families, friends, and even their own time. Great wealth is not a
prerequisite for leading a happier life; in fact, it is often an obstacle. Happy,
prosperous people find success through the work they love. They cherish their
partners, families, friends, time, and peace of mind. They understand that money
is simply a step toward finding happiness.
The ideas in this book are the real deal. My friends and I have used them to find
unbelievable amounts of happiness and prosperity. Nothing would make me
happier than if this booklet could affect the way you think about money, work,
and life, and become an inspiration for you to lead an even happier life.
Chapter 1
Why Is It That Some People Get Rich and Others Don’t?
Every tax season, a strange thought occurs to me. My clients are often the same
age and have similar jobs, yet the difference in their income is huge. They have
the same type of educational background and their parents were often
businessmen and housewives. At first glance, there doesn’t appear to be any
great difference in ability or skill, but I noticed several small but important
differences when I looked carefully.
After listening to a great number of clients and people who attend my seminars, I
began to understand why most people don’t become wealthy. This is where I
would like to start: Why don’t more people live in happy prosperity?
Seven Reasons Why People Don’t Get Rich
There are seven big differences between people who get rich and people who
struggle with money. People who become wealthy have a particular way of
thinking and live their lives with certain specific habits. If you are not happy and
prosperous, you might want to consider if some of the following reasons might
apply to you:
Not Thinking Seriously about Money
Have you ever really sat down and thought seriously about money? From my
observation, one big reason most people don’t get rich is that they have not given
the importance of money any serious thought.
Most people just think about how much money they need to live. As long as a big
crisis doesn’t come along, they don’t think much about it. As a client of mine put it
when I asked her why she hadn’t really thought about money: “It’s just a hassle,
you know? Thinking about money is a bit lame.” I think many people feel the
same way.
Not Doing What You Love
This is another a major obstacle to gaining wealth. If you are not doing what you
really love, you are wasting a great deal of your life. First of all, your working
hours aren’t ‘fun,’ and that takes up the biggest part of your day. That’s a
significant loss of your precious time and energy. Also, if you don’t really like
what you’re doing, your heart won’t be in it, and that affects how much money
you make, too.
Successful people, without exception, do exactly what they love to do. Ask them
and they’ll all say the same thing: “I can’t imagine anybody doing something they
don’t like all day long for the rest of their lives.” This is the second reason why
most people don’t manage to live in happiness and prosperity.
Not Believing You Can Do It
The biggest obstacle toward happiness and prosperity is the belief that you aren’t
even capable. It doesn’t matter how badly off you are; you can achieve your
goals as long as you never give up.
The average person is usually inclined to give up. Like Henry Ford once said,
“There are people who believe they will succeed and there are people who
believe they will fail. Both of them are right.” Give yourself a chance to know that
you, too, are perfectly capable of becoming happy and successful.
Not Having the Right Knowledge and Habits
There is a lot of real-world, practical information you need to know in order to
become prosperous: things like finance, tax, and business knowledge, to name a
few. You’ve probably never had the opportunity to learn any of these skills in a
systematic kind of way. It isn’t possible to gather most of what you need to know
in one place anyway, and yet without it, it’s very difficult to find true success.
Most successful people have had a mentor to teach them, and they integrated
the wisdom they received into their lives. In Japan, for example, the children of
Osaka’s traditional shipbuilding families have been passing down those specific
skills for generations.
Most people aren’t even aware of what they need to know in order to make
money. On the off chance that they do get the opportunity to hear that essential
advice, they regard it suspiciously. Not learning about money in a positive,
systematic way is the fourth reason most people don’t get rich.
Lack of Courage, Motivation and Decision-Making Ability
It takes courage to become rich. This is because you have to change. Many
people lack the courage and motivation to change, and end up leading ‘ordinary’
lives. Regardless of who or where you are in life, we are all surrounded by
chances and opportunities.
Whether you decide to get on that bus called chance or just sit and watch it go by
determines whether you become an ordinary person or someone wildly
successful who lives each day in happy prosperity.
The ability to make decisions is also a key factor that determines your wealth and
happiness. The Japanese kanji for ‘decision’ contains a character that also
means to ‘cut’ or ‘sever.’ By choosing one thing, you are cutting off something
else. If you decide never to get married, you abandon the chance to be with a
potentially great partner. Business chances work in much the same fashion. This
is an important point to remember: Most people who play it ‘safe’ by not making a
big decision are making a big decision. They think that by not deciding at all, they
can avoid making mistakes or taking risks, but they don’t realize the biggest risk
of all is to ‘not decide on anything.’
Do you really think that someone on their deathbed would say, “Ah, I’m glad I
lived my whole life avoiding mistakes”?
Procrastination and Putting Things Off
Are you the type of person who quickly accomplishes what you think you should
do? Or are you like me and most other people where things don’t often go the
way we intended. We eat things we know will make us fat. We buy things even
though we know we’ll be broke by the end of the month. The money we planned
to put into savings always gets puts off to next month. Things pile up and we
develop a pattern of staying poor.
Let’s take the example of the savings account. It is essential for leading a
wealthier life, but there is a long list of excuses for not putting money into it:
“There were too many things I had to do this month,” “I really needed that
vacation,” and the list goes on and on while the stability of your future keeps
getting put off.
When this kind of person gets married, their house and kids eat up all the money
(another excuse), and so life goes on without building up any significant savings.
No Teachers or Mentors to Guide You
From the moment we are born, most people never have a real chance to learn
about money. It’s not taught in school, and it’s usually taboo at home. Who
taught you about money? Was it a happy, prosperous person? If the answer is
no, then your relationship with money is probably not a very good one. Robert
Kiyosaki says in his book “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” that in order to become wealthy,
it is very important to have a mentor. Looking at my own experiences and those
of my friends, I heartily agree with that statement.
Six Signs of Financial Stress in Your Daily Life
A client of mine once said “I could live my entire life without having to worry about
Wealthy people have learned how much their quality of life improves by
mastering the art of money. Most people haven’t thought much about money and
don’t realize just how much it stresses them out. Let’s look at six major signs of
money stress:
Working for Money
If you don’t master money, money will become the master of you. You’ll spend
your whole life working for it at some company or selling something you don’t
even care about. That kind of work usually ends up stressing you out.
A Life With No Freedom
The real tragedy of working for money is that it devours your freedom. For the
average young person just entering the job market, ‘getting a job’ means
forgetting about the things you love. Signing an employment contract is like
entering into slavery – signing away the right to go to places you enjoy and how
you spend your time.
A two-week vacation, a basic feature of most economically advanced countries,
is actually hard to get in Japan. The right to have dinner with your family on
weekdays is a constant sacrifice. Not all workers think this is the way it should be,
but when you really think about it, it is quite a sad situation. It’s not just time and
freedom that get lost. The wonderful freedom to do what you really love gets lost
as well.
Money Problems Cause Family Problems
No matter what survey you read, the number one reason for divorce always
involves money. It’s a much bigger reason than personality differences and all
the other “irreconcilable” issues. This is because money directly impacts
everything in our lives. Your income is never enough for the things you wish you
The way we spend money differs from person to person, and changes depending
on our lifestyles. When a married couple is living out of the same purse, it is
impossible to expect things will always go well. I have done a lot of financial
consulting for couples, and I have made a rather interesting discovery.
With most couples, the roles are pretty well defined: one makes the money, the
other uses it like water (at least from viewpoint of the one who makes the money).
Traditionally, it is often the husband who makes the money and the wife who
spends it all, and the husband can’t understand why his wife wastes his hard
earned money on “useless” things.
With newlyweds this isn’t much of a problem, but give it a few years and the gap
will start to grow. The real problem is communication, but it manifests as a
money problem because in today’s society there is an endless variety of things to
spend money on: clothes, cars, food, travel, entertainment, and so forth.
If a couple doesn’t sit down and communicate responsibly about money, the
stress between them starts to build, and the husband will start nagging his wife
about her spending habits. The wife will counterattack by questioning her
husband’s earning ability. Even if there was more than enough money, it wouldn’t
solve the communication problem, but the lack of money magnifies it and creates
a lot of unnecessary stress.
Distant, Awkward Relationships with Family and Friends
Your poor relationship with money has a negative effect on your family, your
relationships, and your friendships. I have come across this situation countless
times in my counseling sessions.
For instance, there was a man whose daughter made the big decision to attend a
music school. Instead of congratulating her on her career choice, he yelled at her,
saying “How much do you think that will cost? You are so selfish. Do you think
we have that kind of money? You’re not even that talented, and never stuck with
your piano lessons…” If you have an unhealthy relationship with money, it’s
impossible to maintain a healthy form of communication with your family.
Your other relationships are also affected by your relationship with money. If you
have a healthy financial relationship, money will never come between you and
your friends. I’m sure everyone has had the unpleasant experience of being
cheated out of a few bucks, or has bought a cheap present for a friend when we
really wanted to give them something better. Have you ever conveniently
‘forgotten’ to repay a debt? But you never forget the money you lend, right?
An Empty Life Without Dreams
When you work for a living, you start losing the things that make you ‘you.’ The
passion for life leaks out and you feel like you are slowly being buried in sand. A
life without dreams is a boring life indeed. Watch out when you start using words
like ‘It can’t be helped,’ ‘There’s nothing I can do about it,’ and ‘That’s life’ on a
regular basis.
Having dreams is one of life’s great joys, but many people turn their backs on
such things in the name of ‘working for a living’. After a while, it feels like you are
just going through the motions instead of truly living. A sure sign of money stress
is when you feel you are just ‘working for money.’
Money Worries in Everyday Life and Retirement Age
Until you master money, your worries about money will become a big problem.
From the time we get up until we go to bed, most people think a lot about money.
Most of it is negative.
When you go to a restaurant, you pick menu items within your budget. Every day
you think of ways to save money. At the end of the month, loan payments and
rent put you on edge. You worry that the recent economic downturn will affect
your paycheck. If your boss is in a bad mood, your heart skips a beat when he or
she calls your name.
In big and small ways, money places limits on your life: it determines the place
you live, the food you eat, the way you get around, your hobbies, and your
clothes. Without any conscious thinking on your part, all the items that surround
you have been ranked according to your financial circumstances.
Many people worry about life after retirement. The current generation of retirees
in Japan have been saving money since their youth. They have decent pensions,
government or otherwise, so they don’t have much to worry about.
The real problem will begin with the ‘post-bubble’ generation who are now in their
40’s and 50’s. They aren’t expecting much from their pensions.
According to one article, a comfortable retirement requires nearly 800,000 US
dollars. If you are 40 now, you have 20 years to save that much. Even if you had
$80,000 in the bank now, you would still need another $720,000. That means
you have to save at least $36,000 each year. Throw in taxes and you’ll have to
earn $60,000 on top of your current yearly income just to make the minimum
amount of savings you need to retire comfortably. You can see how rough the
situation is just by looking at the figures alone.
End of Chapter Summary
After looking at the major signs of financial stress, how do you feel? Is there
more stress in your life than you initially thought? If you don’t feel so great, that is
a good sign. Now you have the chance to face the problem and make things
better. After all, how can you improve your situation if you don’t know how much
financial stress there is in your life to begin with? These are all symptoms that
happy, wealthy people do not suffer from. In the next chapter, we will take a
deeper look at how happy and prosperous people live.
Chapter 2
What is the Definition of a “Happy, Prosperous Person?”
According to Forbes Magazine, a wealthy person is defined as somebody who
has an annual income of at least $1 million dollars. In ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad,’
Robert Kiyozaki defines ‘rich’ as having $10 million in assets and $1 million in
annual income. Needless to say, these are very difficult goals to reach.
My definition of a happy, prosperous person is as follows: assets of $1 million
dollars and an annual income of $300,000 doing the work that you love.
If you can earn $200,000 a year from your business and another $40,000 from
investments, you can focus on what you really want to do and not worry about
money. In my experience, $300,000 a year seems to be the emotional boundary
line where you don’t have to worry about money at all.
Let’s look at the characteristics of happy, prosperous people.
Is it possible to identify a happy, prosperous person? There are quite a few
around me: basically they live life doing what they really want to do. They have
plenty of income from their business and other investments. They do what they
like, when they like, and enjoy life to the fullest.
If their family is young and growing, they are focused on education. If they like
golf, they go out on the green every day. They have good people running their
business so they don’t necessarily have to be there. None of them started out as
particularly ‘lucky’ people.
Most of them started out as white-collar workers or housewives. The only
difference is that they really know who they are. Even in difficult and challenging
circumstances they have a knack for finding and using their talents and gifts to
the fullest. Here are 8 of the characteristics I find that happy, prosperous people
have in common.
Eight Characteristics of Happy, Prosperous People
Doing What You Love
Every single happy, successful person I have ever met has one thing in common:
they are full of joy. You can feel it soon as you meet them. It is hard to put into
words but there is always an atmosphere of real excitement. Of course there is –
they are doing exactly what they love. The more you talk with them, the more
their excitement spreads to you.
Their philosophy is simple: ‘Do what you love’. I know from my own experience
the more you do things you don’t like doing, the less you enjoy your life.
Doing what you love is not necessarily common sense. In Japan, people often
call you selfish when you start doing what you like. That’s just part of the culture.
However, happy, prosperous people know doing something you dislike isn’t good
for you, and your unhappiness will inevitably spread to those around you.
Living Simply
Most people imagine rich people living extravagantly. The happy, prosperous
people I have met don’t live that way. In fact they live more simply and frugally
than most ordinary people.
When I once spent some time living with a rich American family, they’d always
complain that I was using too much hot water and soap to wash the dishes.
“What a bunch of penny-pinchers” I thought. Now I understand what they were
saying. Living simply and frugally is a fundamental part of their lives. They have
more money than they can spend but they don’t waste a single penny. This
attitude helped them get rich.
Clear Perspective and Life Goals
If you sit down and have a long talk with a happy, prosperous person, you will
see they have a clear philosophy in life. Some take a religious view on life. They
are always thinking about the meaning of life and the God they believe in. If you
ask them, they could explain their views on life more clearly than most priests or
religious leaders could.
They firmly believe in living life by using their innate gifts to the fullest. They
share these gifts with family and friends to live in peace and harmony. When you
really think about the meaning of life and how you want to live it, it takes you
there naturally. They kept asking those important questions, and the answer
came in the form of success. The most important thing in life for them, is ‘finding
your gifts and sharing them with those around you.’ This helps everybody, and is
its own reward.
From time to time, happy, prosperous people stop and take a moment to
examine their goals and where they are going in life. They’re always looking to
see what their partners, family, and friends really want and where they are
headed. They look at how their work fits in with life’s bigger patterns.
Loving Money and Business
Most of the happy, prosperous people I have met really enjoy money and
business. They find interesting things in the ordinary, and always have a lot of
fresh ideas to please their customers or make life easier.
However, it is not to say the rich are simply obsessed with money. To them, it is
more like a game they play from the heart. They are always devising new ways
to channel their money and gifts, creating surprising new things that please
everyone around them.
Balanced Emotions
A balanced state of mind is an important quality if you desire a happy life.
Successful people meet with many problems along the way, but they don’t let the
little things get to them. They know unbalanced emotions can destroy businesses
and homes, so they don’t allow those emotions to run their lives.
Many people spend money as a way to amuse themselves. Happy, prosperous
people amuse themselves without flushing money down the drain buying big,
fashionable toys. They know who they are and don't take financial risks on
questionable, get-rich-quick investment schemes. They keep their ambitions in
check and don’t risk the stability of their business by expanding too fast. They
know from experience that emotionally-charged decisions lead to failure. I have
found that happy, wealthy people have a true sense of who they are. They keep
their greed, sexual desires, and individuality in balance.
Acting Decisively
One characteristic of highly successful people is their decisiveness: they make
decisions very quickly. Once time I went to a restaurant with a rich person and
noticed how quickly he ordered his meal. I asked him about it and he told me he
already knew what he wanted before he even entered the restaurant.
Acting decisively is your ability to act and do whatever it is you decided on. We
are all born with this ability, but seem to lose it as we grow up. Many talented
people never start their own business simply because they don’t take action. I
have met many budding entrepreneurs who stopped short of the finish line. Most
of them are bright and have good business sense – all of which are key traits for
success. The bottom line is that most of them just dream away while slaving
away at their office jobs. The reason? They don’t act decisively.
It doesn't matter how wonderful your idea is – if you do nothing, nothing will
happen. It is beaten into us from childhood that we have to be ‘right’ and we grow
afraid of failure and mistakes. In life, especially the life of an entrepreneur, there
is no ‘right’ way of doing things, just the choice of doing what you want or not. If
you are always afraid of mistakes, nothing will ever happen.
Loving Your Work (Lifework) or Business
Happy, prosperous people love the work they do. It might be sales; it might be
running a restaurant. Whatever it is, they are crazy about it. Their life has a
purpose, and they express that purpose through the work that they choose.
A friend of mine runs a restaurant. He pours all of his passion and energy into
creating delicious things for his family and friends. All of the ingredients are
organic. He recently created a non-smoking section, and is always thinking of
new ideas to put into action. Because of this, people will line up around the block
just to eat there. He has good employees who can take care of his business, but
for him, seeing happy customers is far better than a game of golf, so he is always
at his restaurant.
He has more than enough money to retire, but doesn’t plan to anytime soon. If
forced to, he’d probably get sick – anytime he feels a cold coming on, he goes to
the restaurant and immediately feels better once he starts working. For him, work
is not work; it’s an expression of love. It’s a place where anybody can just come
in and have a good time. That is his real business. It is a part of him, and his joy
infects the staff as well. There is no way a place like that could have trouble
making money, and with the many restaurants he now owns, there is no way he
will ever be poor.
A Loving Partnership and Happy Home
Visit a happy, prosperous home and you will find it full of laughter. Everybody is
having a good time. A guest feels like part of the family.
Another characteristic is the good relationship they have with their partner. It
never feels like only one person is doing all the work. Even if the husband works
and the wife stays at home, it really feels like both of them are working toward
the same goals.
Even in America where the divorce rate is about 50%, I once met a rich,
successful couple who had been married 30 years at the time and were still
enjoying their life together. When I asked them about their relationship, they said
“We have been together 30 years, yet we always discover something new about
each other every year. Our life together just keeps getting better and better.”
In tough times they work together to overcome obstacles, which leads to a
stronger partnership. According to a survey of wealthy people, it was found that
their divorce rate is much lower than the average.
This covers the 8 characteristics that happy, prosperous people tend to have in
common. Do you want the kind of freedom that they enjoy? If you live an ordinary
life, you might feel that wishing such freedom is just a silly dream. Let me assure
you: that reality is not as far away as you might think. In the next chapter, I’ll
discuss in detail the 8 steps you will need to take to live in happy prosperity, too.
Chapter 3
Eight Steps to Happiness and Prosperity
Make Your Passions Work for You
Doing what you love as an occupation is the first step to becoming happy and
independently wealthy. Without exception, happy, successful people are doing
exactly what they love. They know their natural gifts, and they enjoy using them.
The more they do, the happier and more successful they become.
There are lots of reasons to do what you love. One is that you find more passion
in life by doing what you love. Even people without any passion will find some
when they do something they like. The joy and satisfaction that comes from
doing what you love stimulates your genius and gives you lots of new ideas. This
alone gives you greater chance for success than being stuck doing something
you don’t like.
Understand How Society Works and Get with the Times
A bright young person who wants to succeed today doesn’t buy a cow and put it
to pasture, or build a factory and start making steel. Those ideas belong in past
centuries. To succeed you have to know what is happening with the flow of
money, material goods and services. It is the same with society: What is it people
want and what kinds of services will benefit them? You have to study the
strengths and weaknesses of society as well.
Children of wealthy families usually have a broader experience with society than
most. How much you understand about today’s society determines whether you
will become rich and successful or slave away for a paycheck at some job you
don’t even like.
Earn Money from Your Lifework
Finding your lifework is only half the battle. Making it into your livelihood is the
other half. If somebody who loves making bread just bakes all day long, they
won’t automatically get rich. Earning wealth requires a ‘receiving system’ – a
business model, in other words. A good business model may include developing
marketing skills, finding new ways to please customers, or taking advantage of
the Internet to reach a wider population.
Increase your Money IQ
Money is a kind of measurement. When I was a boy, I learned about money from
my father. Later on I had other teachers: Wealthy people from Osaka, a
successful Jewish businessman, successful families from Europe and India. I
learned a lot from my mentors. The interesting thing was that despite their
different cultural backgrounds they all used the same system.
There are lots of 'get rich' books out there, but none of them are very systematic
and I think they just end up confusing most readers. Robert Kiyosaki’s “Rich Dad,
Poor Dad” is one recent book that finally presents the situation in a systematic
way, but even there, especially from the viewpoint of a happy, prosperous person,
it’s only half the story.
There are 2 basic sets of knowledge you need to achieve success and happiness.
The first is Money IQ: your practical knowledge of money. The second one is
Money EQ: a barometer of your emotional health regarding money.
Robert Kiyosaki’s ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ is about Money IQ and the mechanics of
getting rich: investment, taxes, and corporate legal knowledge. It was the kind of
advice I used to give my clients.
After observing many rich people who had trouble spending money on
themselves or were frozen with the fear of losing it, I came to the conclusion that
Money IQ was, by itself, not enough to lead a happy, successful life.
I then conducted various researches on money and emotions. I found that if you
don’t have an emotionally healthy relationship with money you cannot receive
abundance (money, success, etc.) in your life. The systemized results of this
work are ‘Money EQ’. There is enough material to write several books on the
subject so I will present a simple summary later in this chapter.
Money IQ
As stated above, Money IQ is your money intelligence. The more you know about
making money, the higher you IQ. There are four types of Money IQ.
Money IQ #1
Earning Money
This, of course, is the most obvious. If you don’t make lots of money, you won’t
get rich; any school kid knows that. However, many people say they don’t know
how to make lots of money, so here is my moneymaking equation:
Service Rendered = Received Reward
To make a lot of money, you have to give a lot of service. The amount you earn
depends on the quality and volume of what you give. For example, the Beatles
gave the world their music, which gave us great pleasure. The result is that even
decades after the Beatles split up, their music still generates tremendous income.
A basic example is a company employee who earns the company a lot of money
and therefore gets a raise. Another example is a local dry cleaner who offers
better service and quality than the competition, therefore earning more income
than his competitors.
In what way do you express your ‘service’? That service will determine your
income. If you perform a regular job, you will earn a regular income. If you want
to earn more than the average person, you have to provide more service than the
average person. It’s that simple.
Money IQ #2
Saving Money
The second type of Money IQ is saving money. Making lots of money doesn’t
automatically make you rich. This is because quite often the more you make, the
bigger your expenses become. Being rich is more about how much you keep
than how much you make. Wealthy people tend to be really good at saving
money, and everyone else tends to be pretty bad at it. There are only 2 things
you can do with money: spend it or invest it. If you have $100 dollars in your
hand and buy some clothes, you are spending it. If you buy some stock, you are
investing it.
Money IQ #3
Protecting Money
This is all about keeping what you have. I’m sure you have all heard about some
big star or famous athlete who went broke overnight. The reason is not because
they spent too much. Usually it’s because they were not good at protecting what
they earned. They put their money in some high-risk investment or signed on to
guarantee some business venture and lost it all.
When you earn lots of money and spend wisely, what’s left over can escape in
many ways: every money making genius has a husband or wife who is a genius
at spending it. Then there are friends, family members, tax collectors, consultants,
investment schemes, and charities who are all after your money. If you can’t
meet these challenges, your quest to become happy and prosperous will end
here. As one famous financial consultant Brian Tracy put it: “There are many
difficult things about money except one, it’s easy to lose.”
Money IQ #4
Increasing Money
The fourth type of Money IQ is increasing money. Put simply, this is about
investing. Here, too, there is a lot of information that you need to know. One
interesting rule of money is that it is like water; it moves and flows. It tends to
collect in one place until there is too much, and then it flows somewhere else.
Ten years ago a lot of money collected in Japan, which created the bubble
economy. At the time, many Japanese people believed the bubble would go on
forever. In 2000, a similar situation was happening in America. We all know how
those stories ended. Unless you know what you are doing, investing successfully
is difficult.
10 Levels of Money IQ
Before trying to raise your Money IQ, you need to know where you are now. Here
is a simple list to check yourself. You can find a more detailed explanation in my
correspondence course if you need it. After checking your level, set a goal for
your next step.
I’m always stuck in debt.
I’m a gambler.
I’m always blowing my money on something.
I stuff everything in a savings account.
I act like I’m not interested in investing and leave it to others (but secretly I
want to try).
a. I employ blue blood financial advisors
b. I do anything my stock broker tells me to do
c. I’m a sucker for get-rich-quick schemes
6) I trade stocks
a. I act like I’m a successful trader
b. I’m a successful trader
7) I’m the quiet millionaire next door (the successful long-term investor).
8) I make money in whatever I do
9) I’m a professional investor (‘Rich Dad’ a la ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’)
10) I’m a financial genius.
Increase your Money EQ
After studying the 4 Types of Money IQ, you are all set to get rich, right? Not
quite. Popular belief holds that life gets better as long as you have money, but it
doesn’t work that simply. There are plenty of incredibly unhappy rich people.
Many of them are in and out of divorce with broken families. As a consultant I
have met many unhappy, wealthy people so I can say with confidence that
Money IQ isn’t enough to make you prosperous AND happy. After many years of
research, I discovered that it is equally important to raise your Money EQ as well.
Money EQ
Money EQ is a barometer of your emotional health in dealing with money: in
other words, your relationship with money. As I said earlier, I have met a lot of
rich people with high Money IQ leading unhappy lives. One wealthy person who
had more money that he could spend in a lifetime was absolutely paralyzed by
his fear of losing it. Another wealthy man was endlessly fighting with his wife over
money. Unless they can find a healthier emotional way of dealing with money,
they will never be happy.
Basically, Money EQ measures how peaceful you feel about money. The higher
your EQ, the less money drama you will have in your life. The more emotionally
mature you are with money, the more neutral money becomes. If simply thinking
of money sways your emotions, you have some work to do.
Let’s take a look at the 4 basic types of Money EQ and learn how deal with
money in an emotionally healthy way:
Money EQ #1
Receiving Money
The principle of heartfelt receiving applies not only to money but to every area in
life; the ability to receive openly is one of life’s most important skills. Just as it is
difficult to receive bad things in life, it can be just as difficult to receive good
things too. This is one of the reasons why people who suddenly become rich by
winning the lottery or receiving big inheritances often end up losing it all.
True, heartfelt receiving is a skill, and it is also the first type of Money EQ. Just
thinking ‘I want to receive’ is not enough. True receiving only can only be
experienced once you tackle deep, often sub-conscious beliefs of unworthiness
and poor self-image you’ve been carrying since childhood. Our imperfect
upbringing, which includes basically all of us, affects our ability to give and
receive openly.
Receiving sounds very simple but the true quality of it is very deep. Our inability
to receive openly from the heart creates emotionally distant relationships with
friends and family that block our success.
Money EQ #2
Appreciating Money
The second type of Money EQ is expressing heartfelt gratitude and appreciation
for the things you receive. This is also more difficult than you might think. Have
you ever known someone who likes giving gifts but feels awkward receiving
them? This kind of person will probably have a return gift ready and delivered the
very next day. While this is not a problem when the giving comes from the heart,
most of that person’s feelings likely comes from a place of guilt and
embarrassment. If you receive more than you need, do you feel heartfelt
gratitude or do you feel guilty?
One of life’s rules is that the more you enjoy life, the more joy comes to you. If
you can truly appreciate money, you will find that money comes to you.
Money EQ #3
Trusting in the Flow of Money
Trusting in the flow of money is probably the most challenging type of Money EQ.
Basically, trusting money means trusting in the abundance and flow of life. I
believe that on a fundamental level all people are capable live abundant lives, but
our childhood upbringing and experiences in society leave us believing we are
somehow just not good enough. We end up thinking that if we don’t work hard
enough, something bad will happen to us. For example, many people believe if
you quit your job, you’ll become homeless.
When we allow the feelings of poverty and insecurity in ourselves that we have a
tendency to carry from childhood to be healed, we gain the ability to trust in our
own power and abundance of heart.
This same ability to trust also affects our relationships and lifework, and it is just
as challenging. We have to learn to let go of our limiting beliefs of scarcity and
fear and trust in life.
If we take an honest look at how much we attempt to control our own lives, we
find the truth of the matter. Learning to trust in the flow life and let go carries us
directly into the flow of life’s abundance.
Money EQ #4
Sharing Money
In ancient biblical times it was written that for every ten things you receive, you
should give one away. In more recent times, Rockefeller, Carnegie, and other
tycoons have followed in that example. The two richest men in America today,
Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, have announced they will give most of their
fortunes to charities and established trusts.
When this subject comes up in conversation, there are always people who say
they will give to charities when they get rich. This is a big mistake. If you read
Rockefeller’s biography, you will find that he gave to charities even when he was
young and poor. The openness with which you share with others is an important
gauge that shows how much you feel you are living in abundance. Giving and
sharing strengthen your higher mind, which is the part of your sub-conscious that
represents the very best you.
When you say you’ll only give when you become rich, you are feeding the feeling
of scarcity in yourself, which manifests as scarcity in your life.
Seven Money EQ Personality Types
In the following section I’d like to describe several of the most basic patterns of
relationships people have with money. Part of this explanation incorporates the
work of the American psychoanalyst Olivia Mellon. All of us fall into these
categories to a certain degree. See what personality (or mix of personalities) best
applies to you and the important people in your life, such as parents, siblings,
and close friends.
1) The Penny Pincher
The purpose in life for this personality type is to save everything they earn.
Using money for ANYTHING other than absolute basic necessities is a sin.
Others see this personality type as a tightwad.
2) The Big Spender
This person’s relationship with money is simple: spend it! For this personality
type, spending money is often one way to avoid dealing with negative
3) The Monk
This type of person acts like they want to give up all their worldly possessions
and live in poverty like a monk in a monastery. Deep down they believe that
money is bad, and spend life avoiding it as much as possible.
4) The Financially Indifferent
This personality type acts as if money doesn’t even exist and has no effect on
their lives, which can be a kind of blessing. However, it can be a disaster if
somebody else isn’t around to take care of the money.
5) The Compulsive Money Maker
The object of this person’s life it to make as much money as possible. But no
matter how much of it they get, it’s never enough.
6) The Worrier
This person worries constantly about money, whether they have a lot or a
little. They attempt to control life by just worrying about money.
7) The Gambler
This personality type loves taking big risks with money, which results in an
endless cycle of big booms and busts. Their life is always full of drama.
Mastering the Various Aspects of Business
Having your own successful business is the shortest route to becoming happy
and prosperous. If you can connect the dots between working and doing what
you love, the rest is simply a matter of time. To succeed in business you’ll need a
lot of business knowledge. You will also need to become a pro in your particular
chosen field. I have summarized a simple list of essential business skills below.
Master these, and you’ll greatly increase your chances of success. If you would
like to read more details, check out the correspondence course listed at the end
of the book.
3-6-1 Choose a type of work that really suits you
3-6-2 Design a business model
3-6-3 Have a vision for your business
3-6-4 Have clear positioning
3-6-5 Become a marketing genius
3-6-6 Become a good salesman
3-6-7 Create a profit-making structure
3-6-8 Become a team leader
3-6-9 Have access to good financial and legal experts
3-6-10 Know your cash flow
Understanding the Human Heart
Over ten years ago, I asked my mentor the secret to success. His answer was to
“know about people.”
“What should I know about them?” I asked. He replied, “Become gifted at reading
a persons’ character.”
The psychology you need to know to become happy and prosperous is that of
understanding human emotions. This is because emotions are the key to
understanding the reason behind people’s behavior. Most people don’t pay much
attention to their feelings, but if you are not emotionally balanced, it is virtually
impossible to become happy and successful.
Take shopping, for example. Most people think they are making decisions,
choosing what to buy, and acting entirely of their own free will. However, most
research shows that our shopping decisions are almost always 100% based on
emotion. Developing an understanding of marketing and behavioral sciences
allows you to understand the reasons why people buy what they buy and behave
as they do.
Similarly, if you really want to have a happy relationship, you need to study the
psychology of relationships. It is not just a case of ‘listening’ to your partner, but
it’s about learning how to engage in adult, responsible, respectful, conscious
Share your Gifts and Abundance
Although I have met many successful people, each and every happy, successful
person had one thing in common: they share and give freely.
Happy, prosperous people share their natural gifts and talents with society with
no regrets, and their work provides a huge service to many people. Their reward
is the wealth they receive from the society they serve. It is not a matter of being
rewarded for their ‘being special.’ They believe the reward for sharing their gifts is
the trust they receive from society.
Chapter 4
5 Daily Steps
Find Something You Love to Do, and Try Doing It a Little Each Day
If you are like most people nowadays, you feel tired pretty often and have no idea
what you truly love doing. Many people who come to my seminars tell me “I’m so
busy and tired every single day. By the time I get home, I’m so exhausted I don’t
feel like doing anything at all.” They think that doing what you love to become
happy and prosperous is just a fantasy.
All the happy successful people I have advised over the years started out as
‘ordinary people.’ They had no confidence in their natural gifts or talents, and
they were trapped in the rat race of working for money. The only difference was
that they overwhelmingly felt that continuing down the current path was out of the
question, and they began to use trial and error to earnestly search for what they
love to do. Their life didn’t change overnight, but the important first step was
taken: they broke out of the pattern that was keeping their daily life in check.
Don’t let every day pass you by in a dreamy, unfocused state. Decide how you
want things to change. Most people find this hard to keep up. As a first step, try
doing something you like for at least a few minutes every day. If you liked
painting as a child, buy some brushes and play around 5 minutes a day. The
important thing here is not to think about making a living or what a tough world it
is out there – just do it for the sheer enjoyment.
Most people don’t try to truly enjoy life. My suggestion here is to set aside some
time just for fun. You don’t have to believe you can become a painter, but by
taking some time to really enjoy yourself, you will feel completely different. The
creative genius sleeping inside you will awaken, and you’ll gradually start to feel
more excited by life.
That’s a start – enjoying life and feeling more passionate. It can be the first
domino that sets off a chain reaction inside you, eventually leading to happiness
and prosperity. Big things can come from small actions, and life can change
drastically before you even know it. That is something that all the happy,
successful people I have interviewed have experienced.
People who find what they love to do also have great luck in their relationships.
That’s because doing what you love brings out your true character and charisma.
You become more at ease with yourself and others. Which would you choose,
somebody who is happy and doing what they love or somebody who is miserable
and hates their job?
Find a Friend or Mentor Who Can Guide You
This is one of the most important factors. The successful people I have
interviewed all had a teacher or mentor to guide them. A mentor is somebody
who points the way when you feel lost.
The reason is simple. Imagine of a mountain guide. He knows which routes are
dangerous and which ones are safe. He also knows which equipment is essential
in an emergency. He can you what to do if the weather suddenly changes. He
can tell you what to do because he has been on this road before. The guide, with
all of his experience, won’t panic when something unexpected happens. If you
tried to go mountain climbing up a dangerous path all by yourself, you probably
wouldn’t make it very far by winging it.
The business and financial worlds can also be dangerous for the inexperienced.
Making money requires courage, creativity, ideas and decisiveness. Losing it
requires nothing.
Learn from Successful People and Develop Good Habits
Look for somebody in your life or someone you know who is happy and
prosperous. You might think that person doesn’t exist, but if you broaden your
horizons a little, you might be surprised. Ask around: company clients, relatives,
old friends, etc. Getting to know somebody successful and observing their
lifestyle is a very important step.
If you try everything and still can’t find anyone, try reading biographies or essays,
going to lectures, or even watching movies about successful people. Try anything.
Once you let just a little energy of a happy successful person into your life, you’ll
find that little changes naturally start happening. Nothing drastic at first, but every
day will be just a little bit more fun. From seemingly out of nowhere, an
opportunity will present itself. A friend might call inviting you to an interesting
lecture. If you decide to go along, you might suddenly find exactly the information
that you need or you may meet someone who will impact your life in big ways.
Take On Challenges and Make Courageous Decisions
Being a courageous decision maker is important for success not only in business,
but also in our relationships and lifework. I’m talking about courage, decision, and
action. Fear is something we all share – even happy successful people. The
difference is that even when they feel afraid, they decide to take the chance and
jump anyway. Even when it comes to relationships, many people might feel
interested in someone, but are too scared to take the chance to ask them out.
Another example is when people feel too embarrassed to admit they were wrong
and apologize to a friend, so the chance to mend things up passes by and the
friendship fades away.
When I was 20, I spent some time living at a Florida rest home where many rich,
successful people were staying. Everyone I met said the same thing: “Life is
short, so do what you love. Don’t be afraid to take risks!” The older generation in
Japan would never say anything like that. It was quite an experience.
What they meant was that when you get old, you will regret not having taken a
risk at all much more than having taken a risk and failed. That risk might be
missing the chance to tell someone you loved them, never telling your parents
how much you appreciated them. It could even be that trip with your friends that
you decided not to go on.
Back then, I planned on returning to Japan to start some kind of business, but I
could never really decide what I wanted to do. The lessons I learned from those
happy, successful people at the rest home really changed my life. Their advice
gave me the courage to go for it as soon as I got back home. As a result, I have
never been on anybody else’s payroll for my entire life, and years later I’m still
happy and successful. They really gave me a beautiful, priceless gift.
Enjoy Things along the Way
In our hectic daily lives, we can forget that the detours in life can be fun. When
we were young we may have taken a different route home from school just for
the fun of it. Unfortunately, as we grow older we forget how to have fun on the
side roads of life and just stick to the main road.
People who want to become rich and successful often fix their eyes on the goal
at the expense of everything else. Happy, prosperous people remember to enjoy
the journey. Theirs is a journey of self-discovery: of healing the past as well as
the relationships with their parents and family. They enjoy the journey and are
thankful for the people and adventures along the way that ultimately are the stuff
abundance is made of.
Some people who come to my seminars or counseling sessions say “I’m really
going to work hard to become happy and prosperous!” When I hear that, I know
my message hasn’t gotten through to them.
You can’t get there by ‘working hard’ or through sheer effort. It’s about finding
yourself and your natural gifts and letting go of what is not truly you (expectations,
false appearances, limiting beliefs, etc...)
Giving up the struggle and learning to enjoy what you love and what comes
naturally to you is the first step on the road to happiness and success. It’s an
exciting path to walk, and it’s fun to meet the other people who are walking it, too.
You’ll meet many unique individuals along the way. It is a path where the flowers
of both friendship and romance bloom freely.
In Closing
Thank you for reading this all the way to the end. I originally wrote it for my
friends and clients. I had been busy raising my daughter for 4 years, but as she
got older and more independent (Go away Daddy!) I had more time on my hands.
I decided to collect the experience and knowledge I had gained from others over
the years and write it down.
I have a dream that someday everyone will enjoy life doing exactly what they
love, building a society of mutual respect. If children can see adults having fun,
maybe they will be excited to have fun when they become adults, too. It would be
a great education on how to be a happy adult. Seeing all the tragic news on
television makes me want to see this future all the more.
When my daughter is all grown up, I wonder what kind of society she will live in.
Many of society’s problems happen, I believe, because people aren’t living a life
that is true to who they are. They try to be somebody they are not, end up hating
themselves, and their unhappiness then spreads to their family and friends. How
different and wonderful things would be if that person were doing what they really
loved and received heartfelt, mutual support from their loved ones.
Moving forward, I want to share what I have learned about prosperity and
happiness by writing books, teaching seminars, and eventually spread this
message online. For those who want to learn more about the 8 steps explained
in this book, there is a correspondence course that covers everything in detail. It
comes in 3 parts:
1) How to become Happy and Prosperous.
2) Increasing your Money IQ
3) Increasing you Money EQ
The correspondence course comes with a one-year guarantee. If you don’t feel
satisfied 1 year after taking it, you get your money back. I believe it takes time to
change your way of thinking. That’s why the money back guarantee is important
– it gives you peace of mind. Think of it like buying new clothes. Imagine you
were told “Try wearing this for a year and see. If it doesn’t fit perfectly you can
get your money back.” Pretty good don’t you think?
For me, the correspondence course and seminars are sort of like a hobby that I
enjoy. I’ve been so fortunate to have met so many wonderful teachers and
mentors in my life. Now it is my turn to give that wisdom back to society. I feel it
is my ‘lifework.’ Just imagining that somebody might read the knowledge here
and discover what they love makes me very happy. This booklet is free. If you’d
like to give copies to your friends just send them a link to www.kenhonda.tokyo.
In a sense, by reading this to the end you have become part of my lifework.
Thank you. I hope that someday our paths can cross. If you have any questions
or comments please e-mail me at [email protected]
If you don’t get a direct answer, you can find what you are looking for on my
homepage, www.kenhonda.tokyo.
This brings us to the end of my booklet, but I sincerely wish you a happy and
prosperous life.
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