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Jim Rohn is happy and healthy! Principles of association


Chapter 9. Principles of association

“Successful people are always looking for opportunities to help others.

Unsuccessful people are always asking,

‘What’s in it for me?'” – Brian Tracy

One of the key influences on shaping the kind of person you want

to be is one of the least understood.

It is your association with other people who you accept in your life.

Have you ever thought about how other people shape your life?

I had no idea about it either

until Shoaff said,

“Jim, never underestimate the power of influence.”

Of course he’s right.

The influence of those around us is so strong,

so subtle,

so slow, that we often don’t even notice that we are affected.

Think about that.

If you are surrounded by people

who spend all of their income,

there is a great chance

that you will become a spender

with a habit of overspending.

If you are surrounded by people

who often go to wrestling

instead of concerts,

you may be able to join them in the fun.

It was due to the pressure of the members of the guild.

Influences from those around them can be even more damaging.

If you’re surrounded by people

who think it’s perfectly acceptable to cheat,

you might as well be persuaded to cut back a little.

These people can really push you off course until one day,

ten years later, you wake up and wonder,

“How did I get here?”

And it was a moment of no happiness…

To avoid wasting time with the misguided crowd,

you need to ask yourself three fundamental questions:

– Who do I spend my time with?

– What do they do for me?

– Is this association right for me?

Do not ignore these questions.

Consider the time you spend in each of your main communities.

Is it positive and constructive

or is it negative and destructive?

Still not sure?

Then think about these factors:

What did they make you do?

What did they make you hear?

What did they make you read?

Where did they take you?

What did they make you think?

How did they make you speak?

How did they make you feel?

What did they make you say?

Finally, after you’ve really thought about these things,

ask yourself one final question:

Are my current connections helping me grow in the direction

I’ve chosen through goal setting?

If you’re lucky enough to answer yes to this question,

I’m happy for you.

But if you’re not sure,

then it’s time to assess relationships

with some of the key players in your life.

It is often easy to overlook this question of influence.

The “man” said, “I live here, but that’s okay.

I’m surrounded by people like that,

but they don’t bother me.”

Well, he was wrong.

Everything has meaning.

This book is different from many others

because it deals with real problems, not wishes.

In fact, one of the main purposes of this book is to make you say,

“My days of self-indulgence are over.

I really want to know

what I’m going to be

and what I’m becoming.

I want to know what my strengths

and weaknesses are,

what controls me,

what affects me,

what I allow to affect my life.”

So review and then review again.

Everything is worth reconsidering,

especially the power of influence.

Perhaps you have heard the story of the little swallow…

It covered one eye with its wings and was crying bitterly.

An owl flew by and asked,

“Little bird, what’s wrong?”

The swallow removes its wing

and reveals a hole that used to be the eye.

“Now I see,” said the owl, blinking,

“I’m crying because the crow has gouged out my eyes!”

“No,” replied the bird sadly,

“I’m not crying because the crow gouged out my eyes,

I’m crying because I let him do it.”

Is someone stealing your vision?

Is someone trying to blindfold you so you can’t see your dreams?

Hey, it’s often easy for us to let influences shape our lives,

especially negative ones.

It’s often easy to let our relationships dictate our direction,

to let persuasion control us,

to let the tides overtake us, and to let pressure shape us.

The question is, is this what you want?

Are you becoming,


possessing what you want

or are you letting others steal your dreams?

Life has nothing to fear.

Life contains only secrets for us

to learn and discover. – Aysa Hazan


Disconnect connection

If after analyzing your current relationships you determine

that there are some weeds in your association garden,

there are a few things you can do.

First, you can distance yourself from those who are ruining your well-being.

I admit this is a difficult task,

especially if it is a family member.

But if you come across someone

who takes great pleasure in trying

to rob you of your dreams,

goals, or beliefs,

give up on that person’s influence.


it could be the choice that could potentially save your quality of life.

Of course life is rarely that simple.

Sometimes we find ourselves spending time with uninteresting people

– co-workers, business friends,

and others.

In situations where you yourself cannot completely cut off ties,

try to limit these connections.

There are also situations

where superficial pleasurable associations

can have a negative long-term effect on our lives.

If you spend two nights a week hanging out with your best friend,

your life may also be at risk of imbalance.

The consequences after the next five,

ten, twenty years will be terrible destruction.

Remaining in mediocrity is easy.

All you need to do is spend primary time on secondary things

with unimportant people.

Smart people consider their actions.

They know what is primary and what is secondary.

They usually don’t mix those things up.

Of course,

intelligent people still really have common friends.

The difference is that

instead of spending a lot of time with these people,

they just spend relaxing,

relatively unimportant times.

They just don’t waste time with trivial friendships

and drinking at bars.

That is your life.

You can spend your time with anyone

and in any way you like.

But I don’t think you invested in this book just

to make me laugh.

You must consider your priorities and values,

including your relationships,

and evaluate them.

Your time in this world is too short

to be used for unwise things.

The hand that knows how to give flowers to others

is the hand that keeps the fragrance. – Aysa Hazan


Expand relations

From severing ties, let’s move on to a more cheerful topic:

relationship expansion.

Here’s the rule for networking:

Spend more time with the right people.

Who are the right people?

That depends on your goals and desired outcomes.

Overall, look for people

who are practical and cultured

– people who spend their time reflecting on the meaning of life

and who accomplish great things

through discipline and determination.

That’s what Shoaff advised me not long after we met.

“If you really want to be successful,

you have to reach out to the right people,” he said.

And then with a sour look,

he added:

“Of course, in your current situation,

you’ll have to divide your time and schedule to do that.”

That is so true!

I really had to divide my time

and schedule

to “follow” the right people.

In those days,

when I was invited to give a sales presentation,

I used to park my old,

tank-like patchwork car a few blocks away.

Everyone asked me exactly the same question,

“Hi Jim, how did you get here?”

– to these I answer:

“Ah, someone drove me here.”

Of course, it was me who dropped me

from my noisy “bomb”.

In fact, you don’t have to go through all of those hardships

to associate with successful people.

Just make connections with your community.

I have a friend who started a business.

She then joined the city’s chamber of commerce,

worked on several committees,

and before she knew it herself,

was invited to play tennis with some

of the more influential people of the city.

You see, it’s actually not that difficult

to build new relationships.

Also, as we discussed in the previous chapter,

invest in a rich person’s appetite.

Invite a rich person to eat.

There’s no telling what you’ll learn in an hour

or two of a wealth-oriented conversation.

To expand your relationships,

consider the priorities in your life.

That is called intentional engagement.

For example,

find a few successful people to help you in your success plan;

find a few healthy people to encourage you

to have a nutrition and exercise plan;

Find someone who knows how to live

to teach you the secrets of a rewarding lifestyle.

And don’t be confused about cultivating relationships

with these people either.

Most successful people like

to share their knowledge with others.

(That may well be why they’re so successful.)

Successful people are always looking for people they admire.

They understand that inspiration

and knowledge can be gained

from the right relationships.

I am no exception to this rule.

I also have that kind of relationship,

someone with

whom I enjoy spending

as much time as possible with him.

He is a beast hunter,

a millionaire,

a traveler and a businessman.

He is also one of the great philosophers of the world.

My friend has a lot of skills

but there are two that are strangely powerful…

First, he has the ability to absorb the events

of a day in minute detail.

Not only does he really remember each day,

but I believe he remembers every day of his life since growing up.

He can remember each book read.

He seemed to remember every single thing he learned.

If I had a choice between going abroad on my own

or letting him go and narrate his trip to me,

I would most likely choose the latter.

Why? Because he never overlooked anything important.

He absorbs all events like a sponge.

His second talent is his ability to express himself.

When he returns from a trip,

he describes in vivid detail the sounds

and colors of that country,

the customs and interests of the people of that country,

the little experiences and events main event in his journey.

He is able to convey what he has seen,

touched and felt into vivid

and exciting words.

As he narrates the trip,

listeners can feel the grandeur of the waterfall,

the cool breeze of the northerly winds,

the colors and smells of the cities and villages.

What a gift to those who had the privilege of knowing him!

What value can one gain

from such a unique association?

I don’t know

but I can confidently say that from our relationships

I have expanded my knowledge,


skills, entrepreneurial abilities

and lifestyle many times over.

Where will you go for your wisdom party?

Poor people who only have fancy restaurants

but don’t have a fancy thinker.

That person only cares about nourishing his body

but does not nourish his mind and soul.

Now, thanks to Gutenberg,


and other pioneers in the field of information storage,

we can engage across the four seas and across centuries.

You may not be able to meet someone,

but you can still read their work

or listen to recorded voices.



and Lincoln are no longer alive,

but their work is still respectable,


and instructive.


– it is one of the seven strategies for prosperity and happiness.

Keep the weeds of negative influence out of your life.

Instead, “plant” the seeds of constructive influence.

You will not be able to imagine all the good results

that you can “harvest” from this “crop”.

Rich associate with successful

and positive people. – Aysa Hazan

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