Jim Rohn is one of my favorites. His philosophies and mine are most often in harmony.
In my opinion, Jim is the perfect guy to listen to when you decide a three day retreat to some lonely, beautiful mountain top cabin would do you a lot of good. Mr. Rohn was not the most succinct, but his message was absolutely outstanding. Here are my choices for a Jim Rohn Top Ten Quotes of all time.
Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.
I would argue that discipline and execution are where most of us fail. We all have ideas. Few ideas are ever converted into written goals, a failure of discipline right out of the gate. Those written goals then need to be distilled into written missions with due dates, missions are distilled into projects (with due dates), and projects into readily achievable tasks (with due dates). Tasks need to be managed on the calendar, and discipline is needed every step of the way. That is execution.
We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment.
I would rather suffer the pain of discipline. Let’s take staying in shape as one small example. Staying in shape takes a discipline of eating well and keeping a fitness routine. Yes, there is pain to get up a bit early and fight the bitter wind to get to the gym. But would you rather lose your mobility at 70, and spend your golden years stuck in a senior center? I’d bet the pain of regret is worse than the pain of fitness.
Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.
Never stop learning. Too many folks stop learning after school. Yet, all the people that knock it out of the park have three things in common:
- they have the discipline to set written goals and plans while driving toward accomplishment,
- they prefer to suffer the pain of discipline over the pain of regret, and
- they embrace learning new things, seeking out knowledge at every life’s turn.
If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.
Prudent risks must be taken. This one element stops 99% of people on this planet. Choose to be one of the one percent.
Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement, repeated every day.
If you are not making mistakes, you are not taking risks. All progress involves failing forward, never giving up while taking chances. The US Marines teach the idea of adapt and overcome, and they are dead-on right. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.
People think they can’t change. Change involves a decision made in a millisecond. If you don’t believe you are shackled, you are not.
Character isn’t something you were born with and can’t change, like your fingerprints. It’s something you weren’t born with and must take responsibility for forming.
You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.
Few people understand this simple economic truth. I would add that supply and demand of your value-added abilities matters too, because the marketplace is quite efficient. But, in the end, find a way to offer more value than most others, improve yourself in valuable ways, and you will make a lot more income in the end. Financial success is not a mystery.
Make measurable progress in reasonable time.
Too often a week goes by, and I don’t make a first down that matters. Sometimes a month goes by. Sometimes a year… Keep a log, keep a diary. Measurement requires pale ink to stay honest with yourself. Make sure that you are making meaningful, measurable progress. No one will worry too much about your lack of progress except for you.
And my all time favorite Jim Rohn quote:
Let others lead small lives, but not you.
Let others argue over small things, but not you.
Let others cry over small hurts, but not you.
Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.
Rest in peace, Mr. Rohn. Job well done.
I.M. Optimism Man
PS. Taking a three day contemplation weekend — without T.V., without radio, without noise, without crowds — is something we should all do, at least once every three years, but it is easier said than done.