It is no secret that Jim Rohn, being the mentor of success coach Tony Robbins who authored New York best seller Awaken the Giant Within, was a wise man. Today I share three quotes from Jim’s books/talks and how they gave me a better, more meaningful life.
I hope Jim Rohn’s quotes can also move you towards a life of success.
The late Jim Rohn (1930-2009) lived a remarkable life. Raised on a farm during the Great Depression, Jim dropped out of university after a year and was in heavy debt at the age of 25.
Under the mentorship of Earl Shoaff, he went on to become a millionaire by his early 30s only to lose it all again in one year.
Jim Rohn made his fortune back of course and shifted careers to becoming one of the most respected business philosophers and self-improvement speaker of his time. Here are my three favorite quotes from him:
1. “The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy.” – Jim Rohn
I used to think that if something bad happened, ‘turning off’ my feelings so I don’t get hurt was the solution. I used to think that ‘not caring’ was the solution to emotional pain.
Do you think about building a wall, or putting on a face so the people around you won’t know how you really feel? What about pretending not to care? Or pretending not to be hurt?
Eventually, we either break down or become numb in our hearts from closing ourselves off. When we build a wall against sadness, we also build a wall against joy, and against the people that genuinely care.
This quote from Jim Rohn reminded me that being genuine is required to build genuine relationships and that all relationships have ups and downs.
It echoes an earlier quote by C.S. Lewis:
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.” – The Four Loves
In order to live life fully, we might get hurt. And our hearts might be broken. Yet what a joy it is if you are able to find a friend that sees your broken heart, imperfections and still accepts you for who you are.
2. “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.” – Jim Rohn
How many of you know what you really want in life down to specific details? How about a year from now? Five years from now? Ten?
When I didn’t have a plan my life was scattered. I worked too hard on my job or at school, and not hard enough on my future. By failing to plan, I was planning to fail.
Having a vision is important for your life because otherwise, you will be a part of someone else’s vision. And chances are they are already busy with themselves. Bad news for you.
I want you to dream about what you want in ten years. Who do you want to help? What do you want to have? How do you want to grow?
Have you thought of it? Think hard about your dreams.
Now here’s the second question Jim Rohn asks: What are your six-month goals, one-year goals, and five-year goals for getting to where you want to be in ten years?
You can categorize them as economic goals, achievement goals and personal development goals (add more categories if you want). This is your life plan.
This simple exercise helped me realize that some of the things I did, even the good things, should have been substituted with better things.
Today I have very specific ten-year visions for my life. I can close my eyes and can see them clearly in my mind. I’ve figured out exactly what I need to do. I am taking action, and making adjustments along the way to make sure I meet my goals.
Here’s an example of a goal I made earlier in the year:
- In order to achieve one of my ten-year visions, I need to be learning and applying my learning constantly.
- My goal for this year is to learn and apply from 24 books
- This is 2 books a month or a book every two weeks
- Books are on average around 400 pages and I read about a page in 1-2 minutes
- This means I will meet my yearly goal if I read for 30-45 minutes a day
Halfway through the year, I realized that reading was pointless unless I applied the knowledge in the books. So I started this blog.
It’s okay to change plans, or fail to follow the plan. Even if you follow your plan half the time, it is still infinitely more than having no plan at all.
I hope you can take the time to write out a detailed plan for your life.
3. “Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgment, repeated every day.” -Jim Rohn
I used to look at a bad situation or result and think: I’ve failed.
‘I really screwed up the test’ or ‘I really screwed up the relationship.’ At times, I even blamed the test for being difficult or made excuses like not sleeping enough.
This quote from Jim Rohn gave me a reality check. Big failures are often the result of bad decisions made every day over time.
I didn’t fail the test in one day. I failed the test over two weeks by making the decision not to study for two weeks. Failure happens over time.
But it is so easy. It is so easy not to exercise today. So easy to reach over for the chocolate bar and eat it. So easy to ignore something hoping it will go away rather than confronting it, to sit there and waste time…
We don’t see the effects until much later. Jordan Peterson, a licensed psychiatrist, author, and professor at the University of Toronto says the average young adult wastes 6 hours a day being unproductive.
Peterson conservatively estimates the average wage of a college educated adult in America over his or her life to be around $50 an hour.
Do the math.
$50 an hour. 6 hours a day. 7 days a week. Times 52 weeks. That’s $109,200. Over 40 years? That’s over $4,000,000. And we haven’t even factored in inflation and investing.
Did you waste time today? Because if you did, now you know exactly what you are giving up.
Though sometimes I still fail to protect my time, the cost always bothers me. As a result, I strive to make the most out of every moment.
The good news is: Success is the result of a few right decisions made every day.
What will you do everyday to protect your future?
That’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed the quotes I shared, and I hope Jim Rohn will help you as much as he helped me. To get Jim Rohn’s full lessons for free, sign up for Audible’s free 30 day trial and you get to download and keep 2 audio books for free.
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