Joel’s newsletter on Remembering Jim Rohn - A Great Philosopher, December 9, 2009
An ezine about Creative thinking, Coaching, and Making a difference
Last Saturday one of the great philosophers of our time, Jim Rohn, passed away. Although I never met him personally, I've admired him and listened to his wisdom for many years. Mr. Rohn grew up on a farm in Idaho, and after meeting his own mentor in his twenties, became one of the most successful and sought-after speakers in this country. He is called America's foremost business philosopher.
Jim Rohn speaks of classic truths in a unique way. His words are simple yet profound. It's rare to find someone who can articulate wisdom so clearly and memorably. He has a way of explaining ideas and principles in a way that can be easily understood. I will miss his unmistakable, distinctive voice, but I'm sure his wisdom will live on and continue to positively impact many people.
In place of a single Quote of the week, I'd like to share several of Jim Rohn's quotes and my understanding of them.
"Everything that happens to you, good or bad, is an opportunity for building your character." Your character is the way you respond to things in your life, and it is built from experience. Everything you do builds up or takes away from your character, just as a habit is strengthened from repeat actions. Therefore character is something to be cultivated and if well constructed, will serve you well in life.
"Perseverance is as important to goal achievement as gasoline is to driving a car." A car is a good analogy for getting where you want to go. It's important to set out on the right road, but it's equally important to keep going all the way. Giving up half way is like letting the car run out of gas and not bothering to fill up.
"Failure is a few errors in judgment repeated every day." Failure isn't just the major setback that can happen once in a while; it's the little things that add up. Everyone has things go wrong occasionally, and those are opportunities for learning. But when we don't learn from mistakes and keep doing the same thing over and over, that's what leads to failure.
"Don't wish it were easier; wish you were better." There are two approaches to dealing with problems in life: try to make the problems go away, or become bigger than the problems. There will always be problems and unpleasant circumstances in life or work, and even if we manage to escape some of them, more will come. But when you learn to handle them, you grow and become stronger. That strength will serve you going forward, whatever happens.
"Don't complain about the only things you have." People tend to complain about all kinds of things - the economy, their job, their health, the government. What I think Jim means is that if you don't like it, then change it or learn to live with it. If you can't go out and get another economy or government or body, then use your energy to make the most of what you've got.
"Work harder on yourself than you do on your job." When you work hard on your job, all you get at the end of the day is your daily wages. But when you work on yourself at the same time, you set yourself up for a better job or position, and ultimately a more fulfilling life. Working on yourself can mean learning new skills, developing character, taking responsibility, going for leadership opportunities, and increased self-awareness.
"If two amounts for a tip come to your mind, always go for the higher amount."I've often had the question of how much to leave for a tip. I believe that Jim is right; if you go for the great amount, it makes a difference, not so much for the waiter or individual you give it to, as for yourself. You can feel good about yourself all day, for the price of only an extra dollar. And what is worth more than that?
"Set a goal to become a millionaire for what it makes of you to achieve it." The value of any lofty goal is not only the million dollars, or the goal itself. The real value is what you have to become in order to get there. So whether you achieve your goal or not, the experience and personal growth that you receive is ultimately far more valuable.
"Your philosophy is the set of the sail." It's not the direction of the wind, but the way you position your sail that determines where you go in life. Your philosophy is the set of values and rules that you live by, which means more than the outside circumstances.
Although I've listened to and admired Jim Rohn's words in the past, somehow his message seems more meaningful to me, now that he's gone. I'm going to pay greater attention to his and my own philosophy from now on.
How well is your philosophy serving you in your life? Please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org 973-701-1007 for a complimentary 30-minute coaching session, and I'll also give you a free book of quotes by Jim Rohn.
Creative thinking tip
Call it as it is. We tend to see things through the filters of rules, conventions, which give rise to habitual, automatic ways of thinking. A way to break through that is to see and acknowledge what's really going on. Then you're in a better position to come up with new creative ideas.
Example: You've finished eating in a restaurant and are about to leave a tip. That's just the way it's done - you pay, leave a tip, and go. But what is that really about? Maybe you enjoyed the food and the service; maybe you didn't. You want to be respectful, and you may also want to let the waiter or waitress know how you really feel. You might have some specific feedback that could improve the restaurant . How could you do that in a more creative way? You might give the waiter the tip personally and say, "this is for the way you smiled and made me feel welcome. And this is for the cook; I appreciate the way she cooked the fish exactly the way I wanted it. And here is some feedback for the manager that might make the ambiance even more friendly." There are lots of opportunities for creativity in situations like this!
This newsletter is written by Joel Remde, to receive this newsletter via email contact email@example.com. I welcome your comments and feedback; that will help me learn what you’re interested in and also make this a better newsletter.
Learn more about The Creative Thinking Coach at www.coachjoel.com
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