7 Life Lessons From Jim Rohn

Those who know me also know how much time I have invested in listening to audio recordings from the late Jim Rohn.  Perhaps my only regret in life to date is that I didn’t take the opportunity to see Jim live before he left this world back in December 2009.

For those who aren’t familiar with Jim, he was an American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.  Many have referred to him as Americas foremost business philosopher – none of these descriptions do justice to the impact that he has had on mine and many other lives.

Jim has been an inspiration to many leaders in the personal development and business field including Tony Robbin, Mark Hansen, Brian Tracy and Jack Canfield.

When Jim was 25 his life was in a rut, he was in debt and he was uncertain as to how he would get out.  During this time he met his mentor J. Earl Shoaff. Jim joined his direct sales organisation and began to work on his personal development.  By the age of 31 Jim was a millionaire.

Since this time Jim has addressed over 6,000 audiences and 4 million people worldwide. He has also authored 17 books, audio and video programs.

Here are his key life lessons from his major works:

Lesson 1 – You Attract Your Success

So few people realise this but success is not something you can chase, it is something you become.  Success comes from growing bigger than your problems and the obstacles that surround you.  As Jim says:

“Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become”

Searching for success is futile, we must commit to grow, commit to become and commit to do what we know to attract it.

Lesson 2 – You Must Change

Jim says that if we want change, we must change! We must work harder on ourselves that on anything else.  The greatest investment we will ever make is in ourselves.  Don’t invest in the stock market until you have invested in yourself! Jim says:

“Labour to become a better person; every day you want to be slightly better than you were the day before”

Lesson 3 – Never Give Up

Jim says we must never give up. If we just keep at it, eventually we will reach the top.  It probably won’t happen in a year but just imagine what could be achieved if we stay focused for 5 or 10 years, or longer. Never giving up doesn’t imply that we should sit around and wait for something to happen – we have to make something happen. Jim says:

“How long should you try? – Until”

“Success is neither magical or mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals”

Lesson 4 – Atmosphere is Critical

Jim stresses that atmosphere is critical!  In order for our lives to produce fruit we must plant in the right atmosphere.  We wouldn’t try to plant tomato seeds in a dessert because it is not the right atmosphere for a tomato seed to produce. Likewise, we can’t become successful surrounded by negative people. Jim says:

“You must constantly ask yourself these questions:

Who am I around?

What are they doing to me?

What have they got me reading?

What have they got me saying?

Where do they have me going?

What do they have me thinking?

And most important,

What do they have me becoming?

Then ask yourself the big question:

Is that OK?

Your life does not get better by chance, it gets better by change”

We must create an atmosphere where we can flourish. Learning to guard what we hear, guard what gets planted in our thoughts so that we can become all that we are destined to become.

Lesson 5 – Steady Progress

We have all heard the phrase “Slowly but surely”.  That’s exactly how our dreams come to pass, when we commit to achieve them.  Nothing happens overnight.  Look at anyone who is successful, it has taken them years to get there, sometimes decades.  Don’t be surprised if it takes you the same. Jim says:

“Success is already in progress toward one’s personal goals”

Success is not a single event; you don’t become a success in a moment. Success comes from moving in the right direction every day.

Lesson 6 – Set Your Sail (my personal favourite!)

Jim says that we must set our minds on what we want to accomplish.  It is not the circumstances of life that determine where we end up, it is our commitment to arrive at our intended destination that will determine our success.

The same circumstances happen to us all. We have disappointments and challenges. We all have reversals and those moments when, in spite of our best plans and efforts, things just seem to fall apart.…In the final analysis, it is not what happens that determines the quality of our lives, it is what we choose to do when we have struggled to set the sail and then discover, after all of our efforts, that the wind has changed directions.

When the winds change, we must change. We must struggle to our feet once more and reset the sail in the manner that will steer us toward the destination of our own deliberate choosing. The set of the sail, how we think and how we respond, has a far greater capacity to destroy our lives than any challenges we face. How quickly and responsibly we react to adversity is far more important than the adversity itself. Once we discipline ourselves to understand this, we will finally and willingly conclude that the great challenge of life is to control the process of our thinking.

Learning to reset the sail with the changing winds rather than permitting ourselves to be blown in a direction we did not purposely choose requires the development of a whole new discipline. It involves going to work on establishing a powerful, personal philosophy that will help to influence in a positive way all that we do and that we think and decide. If we can succeed in this worthy endeavor, the result will be a change in the course of our income, lifestyle and relationships, and in how we feel about the things of value as well as the times of challenge. If we can alter the way we perceive, judge and decide upon the main issues of life, then we can dramatically change our lives.

Lesson 7 – Learn to See the Value of Time

Jim says there is nothing more valuable than time. You can sow your time and get anything you want, more friends, better health or more money. Nothing is more priceless than time. Jim says:

“I never met a rich man who didn’t value his time and I have never met a poor man who did”

These lessons along with Jim’s years of philosophy form an excellent basis from which to take a quantum leap into the success we each deserve.

A final comment from Jim about investing in yourself:

“Don’t just read the easy stuff. You may be entertained by it but you will never grow from it”

Talk to you soon


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