We all desire to be rich...it's the reason I bought a lottery ticket on my way to work this morning. According to a new study from AOL Jobs, the key to being rich by middle age is . . . NOT spending your 20s just kinda hanging out, really getting to know yourself.

In the study, a company called Digitas found that, right now, the benchmark for being wealthy is to pull in $200,000-a-year by about age 35. So what they are saying is I should have stayed in school. Ooops, I guess I messed that one up.

And they found the best way to hit that salary by that age is . . . to make a six-figure salary BEFORE you hit that age.

There's the obvious conclusion here that working in a high-paying job will lead to even more opportunities for higher-paying jobs . . . but Digitas says they've found something beyond that.

In today's market, you may have to start sprinting from the beginning in order to be able to stay at the front . . . because otherwise, it's close to impossible to catch up with all of the qualified and experienced people competing for the best jobs.