Wednesday, June 22, 2016

The 3 Parts of Personal Development
Written by Jim Rohn

Life is all about creating skills and value and taking them to the marketplace to see what they return for you.

One day my mentor, Mr. Earl Shoaff, said to me, “Jim, if you want to be wealthy and happy, learn this lesson well: Learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job.” I must admit that this was the most challenging assignment of all. This business of personal development lasts a lifetime.

You see, what you become is far more important than what you get. The important question to ask on the job is not, “What am I getting?” Instead, you should ask, “What am I becoming?” What you become directly influences what you get. Think of it this way: Most of what you have today, you have attracted by becoming the person you are today.

I’ve also found that income rarely exceeds personal development. Sometimes income takes a luck jump, but unless you learn to handle the responsibilities that come with it, it will usually shrink back to the amount you can handle.

It is hard to keep that which has not been obtained through personal development. So here’s the great axiom of life:

To have more than you’ve got, become more than you are. The marketplace is a demanding place. There is plenty of opportunity, but you’ve got to get ready for it and prepare for it. We’ve got to spend a portion of this year getting ready for next year, and we’ve got to spend a portion of this decade getting ready for the next decade. Hopefully the reason why we’re here, looking well, doing fairly well, is because we spent a portion of the last decade getting ready for this decade.

So a big share of life is spent getting ready, getting prepared, and part of it is the development of skills. I’ve got a good key phrase for you to start with in developing skills that make for success in the marketplace. First, it starts with personal development, self-improvement, making measurable progress.

Personal development is a push. It’s a struggle. It’s a challenge. There wouldn’t be any winning without a challenge. That’s what life is all about. It’s the struggle and the challenge to develop ourselves and our skills to see what we can create in the way of value in the marketplace.

Life is all about creating skills and value and taking those skills and value to the marketplace and what it will return for you. Now it also has a social part, a spiritual part as well as a physical part, and we’re going to talk about some of those parts.

New habits don’t come easy, but they can be developed. Sometimes when you develop a lot of momentum in one direction, it’s not that easy to change but it is possible. It isn’t easy, but it’s possible. Somebody once said, success is 10 percent inspiration and 90 percent perspiration. You’ve just got to read the books, learn the skills, put yourself through the paces, do the mental pushups and get yourself ready.

Inspiration is fine, but inspiration must lead to discipline. It’s one thing to be motivated, but it’s another thing to be motivated sufficiently to take the classes, do the reading, do the repetition, go through it over and over, until it becomes part of you. And those are challenges. They’re not easy, but they’re challenges that if you win and develop and grow, that’s what determines your place, your return, your equity, the worth you get from the marketplace.

I’ve divided personal development into three parts. Let me give you those:

1. Spiritual
I know when you talk spiritual you can get in an argument most anywhere, but I have a single belief that says humans are not just animals. Some people believe we’re just an extensions and an advanced form of the animal species, but I believe humans are unique. Spiritual qualities make us different from all other creations. Now I’m an amateur on that side of it, so I can’t give you a lot of advice there, but I would recommend you be a student of the spiritual side of your nature. And whatever you have to read and assimilate to develop in that area, I would strong suggest you do.

2. Physical
The mind and the body work together, so we’ve got to give some attention to both, mind and body. Development of mind and body. On the physical side, you’ve heard the phrase that says treat your body like a temple. A temple. Not a bad word. Something you would take extremely good care of. Treat your body like a temple, not a woodshed, right? A temple. Take good care of it.

The only house we have to live in currently is the physical body we have and that’s part of success in the marketplace. That’s physical well-being. It’s feeling good about yourself physically, so that you stride into the marketplace with a sense of self-worth, self-confidence, having taken care of that end of it. It covers several parts, including good nutrition. Physically you can do extremely well if you just pay some attention. Read all the books about nutrition to make up your own mind. There are a lot of weird conflicts in the nutritional aspect, but you just have to read and decide for yourself a good plan for you, a good health plan.

Then there’s physical appearance. Be skillful enough to take care of your appearance in the marketplace. It has a lot to do with your acceptance. A big share of it is how you appear to other people—on the job, performing, company, community. You say, well, people shouldn’t judge you by your appearance. Well, let me tell you, they do! Don’t base your life on should and shouldn’t. Only base your life on realities. Sure, when people get to know you they’ll judge you by more than what they see, but at first they’re going to take a look. So, physical appearance is part of the physical side of personal development.

Be conscious of self, but not self-conscious. There’s a certain point that we need to be conscious of ourselves, take care of it, then let it go. Some people worry about their appearance all day and it detracts rather than adds. So take care of it, and then let it go. Do the best you can, and let that get the job done. Be conscious of ourselves, but not to the point of being self-conscious.

3. Mental
Here’s the third part to personal development: the mind. Stretching your mind, developing good thinking habits, good study habits, pursuing ideas, and trying to find ways to apply them to human behavior and the marketplace. All of that takes mind-stretch and mind-exercise. Part of it is stretching yourself in reading habits. You can’t live on mental candy, so you’ve got to have the full range of mental food in order to grow. We call that mind-stretch.

Your willingness to tackle subjects that are difficult and that most people have decided to let slide gives you an extraordinary edge in the marketplace. How can you master part of the high skills, the extraordinary skills that make you an unusual performer in the marketplace? It takes mind-stretch. Some people skip poetry and literature, history and a lot of things that seem a little difficult to attack. But if you always back away from something that seems a little difficult at first, you leave yourself weak. You leave yourself unprepared in the marketplace. So, don’t be afraid to tackle the heavyweight stuff. It may be a lot easier than you think once you get into it and learn skill after skill.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2016. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The 4 Building Blocks of Good Communication
Written by Jim Rohn

By mastering the art of communication, you’ll increase every level of performance in your life.

Effective communication is a critical component of mastering success. By mastering the art of communication, you’ll increase every level of performance in your life. I’ve often said that if you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles—miracles in your family relationships, your business relationships and your friendships. Take advantage of every opportunity to practice your communication skills so that when important occasions arise, you will have the gift, the style, the sharpness, the clarity and the emotions to affect other people. What a unique opportunity to touch others with something small but powerful—our words.

Now before we get to the fundamentals of effective communication, there’s some groundwork to be laid. You see, preparation is the key to good communication. You’ve got to make deliberate, consistent effort to keep putting into your head, and putting into your heart and soul, valuable information from your life experiences. You can’t speak of that which you don’t know. You can’t relate what you don’t have. You can’t give out what hasn’t come in. So the first key to good communication is a consistent way to gather information, knowledge, experiences and then remember it, store it and have it available so that you can use it. And preparation is the key.

Now to prepare for good communication, I’ve got four words for you. Here they are:

1. Interest
Sharpen your curiosity and your interest in life and people. Those are the big subjects: life and people. What about life? The questions you might have about life and the mysteries of life. What about people and the human behavior? People ask me, “Mr. Rohn, when you go to Russia are the people there the same as they are in America?” And the answer is “yes.”

Everywhere I go around the world, from South Africa to Northern Ireland, people are the same. What they want is the same. They would like to be employed. They’d like to have something to do. They’d like to have a way to earn their way. They’d like to make a good living. They’d like to supply incredible values for their family, and plan for the future—not only for the next generation but the next generation after. They’d like to make a contribution to the community and to their country. They’d like to be valuable in more than one respect. They’d like to be good parents. They’d like to leave a legacy. The list is the same whether you go to Siberia or Australia. It doesn’t make any difference. We all have those kinds of ambitions. In some countries, of course, the opportunity to do so is a lot better than in other countries that are struggling with just survival, let alone succeeding.

You should sharpen your interest and keep a journal of your impressions when you visit another region. I got to Australia and if it’s raining they say, “Bring your brelly.” That means umbrella. They’ve got all these unique words. So when you go to Australia, when you go to other countries, you pick up on this because it’s interesting. It’s interesting conversation, and if you know a little about this, it’s fascinating. The key is to just sharpen your interest in life and people, and region and country, and nation and ceremonies, and style and expressions, and all that.

You just pick up all of that flavor and the style and the language and the idiosyncrasies of where you go. You pick all that up as preparation so that your conversation will be more interesting to someone else. And you can flavor it with the color of your experiences of where you’ve been and what you’ve seen and what you’ve heard.

2. Fascination
Go from interested to fascinated. Interested people want to know, Does it work? Fascinated people want to know, How does it work? What goes on below the surface? I can see that it works, but what makes it work?

Kids have this extraordinary ability to ask these questions. They can ask a hundred an hour. It’s amazing. It’s because they want to know. Their minds are just zinging all the time. Questions about what’s happening and what’s going on and how does it work and why is it this way and how come it works like this? That’s so valuable in preparing to store in your mental bank and your bank of experiences more and more information, more and more experiences, colored and flavored by your own emotional content so that when you get ready to speak, you have something valuable to say.

Day by, let life fascinate you. Let life interest you. Substitute fascination in place of frustration.4 I used to be frustrated, now I’m fascinated. It’s a little trick you just have to play, but I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I’m on the freeway in Los Angeles. My airplane leaves in 35 minutes. The traffic’s moving not one inch. I’m not fascinated. I’m telling you now, it doesn’t work every time. Nothing works every time. But every time you can get it to work, let something fascinate you instead of frustrate you. Be curious how life works. That’s how you gather more from your life experiences and prepare for good communication.

3. Sensitivity
The next word, and this is an important word in preparing for communication, is sensitivity. Try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Try to feel what they feel. Try to hurt like they hurt. Have sympathy and compassion.

Sensitivity is trying to understand where someone might be at the moment. The reason that they’re angry may not be obvious. Maybe the IRS just knocked on their door a couple days ago. That’s why they’re upset. You can’t just go by what’s obvious because there might be some reasons behind the reasons. So you’ve got to learn to be a little more sympathetic, a little more understanding. This is vitally important. Sometimes it’s difficult, unless you are like that person, to sympathize or to have sensitivity. But here’s what you must do: You must try. People know when you try.

I go to Mexico and try to speak a little Spanish. I listen to music on this great Spanish station in Los Angeles. If you try to understand, try to speak a few words, it goes such a long way in identifying with people, in building a bridge of understanding and getting something started toward good communications.

4. Knowledge
So we’ve got interest, we’ve got fascination, and we’ve got sensitivity. Here’s one more word: knowledge. You just have to know. Collect knowledge in your journal, from your ongoing education. Fill up your mental and spiritual and emotional bank so that it becomes like an unending reservoir to draw from. That begins to help you prepare. Do your research. Gather up stories. Keep the flow of knowledge going into your journal, as well as into your head and into your heart.

Jim Rohn, America's Foremost Business Philosopher, reprinted with permission from Jim Rohn International © 2015. As a world-renowned author and success expert, Jim Rohn touched millions of lives during his 46-year career as a motivational speaker and messenger of positive life change. For more information on Jim and his popular personal achievement resources or to subscribe to the weekly Jim Rohn Newsletter, visit www.JimRohn.com.