In 1969, The Rolling Stones had a hit song, titled, “You can’t always get what you want” and recently I was exposed to the Every Person Test, which explores that very question of “What do you really want?” Another version of it being, “What do you want for your children?” which as parents may be easier for you to answer. This question really got me thinking about what do I really want in my life and as we celebrate “Workers Day” it is the perfect time to contemplate this key question, what do you want?

The Every Person test, created by Andrew Sykes, a South African Actuary, who from his Behavioural Research Applied Technology Laboratory or BRATLAB in Chicago has researched this key question asking people from Russia, China and SA, what they really want. The interesting thing is that although we all believe we are unique the answer to this question is usually one of the following, people want to be Happy, Secure and Healthy!

The word secure means different things to different people, but ultimately people want to Thrive and not just survive! What is working in your personal finances? This workers day we explore the key question of what we want and how to get what we want! So how do successful people achieve in getting what they want?

Well, the secret to success lies in your daily habits. Aristotle said “95% of everything you do is the result of a habit”. Our lives are made up of our habits – I am quite sure you all brushed your teeth this morning without even thinking about it – it is simply a habit and a good habit at that! So ask yourself what are your habits – as the first step to changing habits is becoming aware of them. Brian Tracy puts it best in saying “Form good habits and make them your masters, rather than allowing bad habits to form”. He goes on to explain that good habits are hard to form but easy to live with, whereas bad habits are easy to form but hard to live with. That for me is a life changing statement! What are the financial habits in your life that are good for you?


A recent Finscope Study finds that the average person spends 9% of their monthly income on data, is that a good habit? We know budgeting is an excellent financial habit, so is living within your income and checking your bank statements. Investing time in managing your money is also an excellent financial habit! Recognising the difference between wants and needs is once again a good habit – especially if you manage to say “no” to the wants and prioritize the needs.

Become successful by becoming aware of the habits that make you the person you are, think about your work habits, your money habits, health, exercise habits and lifestyle habits. Identify just one small habit that you don’t feel is adding value to your life, and start on working on changing that habit by replacing it with a positive habit! It might be as simple as exchanging your coffee with water. This small habit, if you are buying coffee, could save you R20 a day, R100 a week, R5200 a year and once invested could save you R1 million after 25 years. Whatever it is start small, the snowball effect is a sure fire way to improve yourself, as each time you make a small change – that small change will inspire you to make the next change, and slowly but surely your life will change for the better!

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