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Jim Rohn is happy and healthy! The magic of personal development


Chapter 6. The magic of personal development

You cannot have a million-dollar dream

with a minimum wage work ethic. ― Stephan C. Hogan

One day Shoaff said,

“Jim, if you want to be prosperous and happy,

study well this lesson:

Learn to work harder for yourself than for the work.”

Since that time I have been working on my personal development.

And I must confess that this was the most challenging task.

This personal development work lasts a lifetime.

You know,

what you become is much more important than what you reap.

The important question

to ask before doing something is not:

“What will I get?” Instead, you should ask,

“What am I going to become?”

Get and become like the Thai twins Chang and Eng Bunker:

What you become will directly affect what you get.

Think of it this way:

Most of what you are today is

because you were attracted by being

who you are today.

So here is the magic axiom of life:

To have more than you already have,

become more than you are now.

This is where you should focus your full attention.

Otherwise, you may just have to settle for the axiom of immutability,

which is:

If you don’t change your current situation,

you’ll always have what you’ve always had.

Income rarely exceeds personal growth.

Every once in a while income takes a lucky leap

but if you don’t learn to take on the responsibilities associated with that,

it will often come in at a level you can manage.

If someone gives you a million dollars,

you better hurry to become a millionaire.

A very rich man once said,

“If you take all the money in the world

and divide it equally among everyone,

the money will quickly return to where it was before. ”

You can hardly keep

what you didn’t get through your own efforts.

Don’t want success, Deserve it !!! ― Vikram Gill



When I started out,

there were a few things that often confused me.

I often wonder,

“Why does one person get paid two thousand dollars a month

and another person get paid four thousand dollars a month

even though they both work in the same company,

manage the same products,

have the same number of years of experience

and the same educational background?”

It’s hard to understand!

Why would one person actually do twice

as much in terms of economic efficiency?

From a compensation perspective,

what is the difference

between two thousand dollars

and four thousand dollars a month?

(Don’t tell me “two thousand dollars.”

I calculated the difference myself.)

“It must be a matter of time,” I thought.

“Some people do much better

because they have more time.

Mary must do good work.

She has plenty of time.

If I had all of Mary’s time,

I could do just as well.”

Sounds silly, doesn’t it?

You can’t have someone else’s time…

You can’t even earn more than an hour a day.

When the clock strikes midnight,

that’s it.

So if you think that if you have more time,

you will make more money,

forget it.

So if you can’t make more time,

what do you do to make the difference in economic outcomes?

The answer is value.

Value makes the difference.

You can never create more time,

but you can become more valuable.

This concept of value is an important lesson in economics.

Whether you work on an assembly line

or in a grocery store,

you get paid by value.

Now I know that you will take the time

to bring value to market.

But you don’t get paid for your time,

you get paid for your value,

for your productivity.

Wrongfully, the “man” will say,

“I make $20 an hour.”

That’s not right!

If that’s true, he just stays at home

to receive the money sent in.

No, he wasn’t paid $20 for that hour.

He is paid dollars for the value put into the hour he works.

Hourly pay is simply a convenient way

to measure pre-calculated value.

That is why the question:

“Is it possible to become twice as valuable

and make twice as much money for every hour worked?

Is there a way for me to become triple

or even quadruple in the same hour of work?”

very important.

And the answer is:

“Of course!” You can become more valuable if…

(And there’s always an if, right?

As you can see,

this is very easily misunderstood.

“The man” said:

“I have ten years of experience.

I don’t understand

why I can’t do better.”

What he didn’t realize was

that he didn’t have ten years of experience.

What he has is only one year of experience repeated ten times.

He hasn’t made a single improvement

or innovation in nine years!

Everyone needs a lot of money.

But most people are not looking for

it in the right place.

Our “man” says,

“I need more money,

I will convince my boss.”

Hey, I’ve found that bosses are notorious

for not paying salaries quickly and easily.

I have never seen

What boss suddenly gets agitated

and triples someone’s salary for no reason.

Some said,

“We will fight for more.”

The problem is that once you start going on strike,

you’ll continue to have to strike

when your employment contract ends.

Also, by making a claim,

all you get is sporadic bits

– rarely enough to live on.

Forget about methods

that only help you enough to cover the cost.

Listen, you can live on a crust and a pair of shoes.

But that’s not what’s for you.

You don’t read this book

to get crumbs off the table of life.

You want big parties, right?

I know some salespeople

who are always looking for new ways.

They said:

“We will buy business books

that teach the tricks of the trade.

We apply them to potential customers,

dazzle them with hot stuff and take their money

before they even know what’s going on.”

Yeah, I guess you could try that too.

But my experience shows that

unless you do fair business

– that is,

you give your partners value

for what they pay,

you will end up at the bottom of the economic ladder.

What you get by gimmick has no meaning.

What you get by claim makes no sense

It’s what you get by performance that matters.

I often think that performance is mainly influenced

by external factors.

But I have discovered that it is the inner abilities

and qualities of each person

that really determine their performance.

I have always looked for answers from the outside.

Then I learned that success

and happiness are not values

to be pursued;

they are values to develop.

People often ask me,

“How do I earn above average?”

The answer is,

become an above average person. How?

For starters,

develop an above average handshake.

Some say they want to be successful

but don’t even invest in their handshake.

As easy as improving that,

they let it pass.

They don’t understand.

Do you want to be above average?

Then develop an above average smile;

develop an above-average interest in others;

develop above-average winning intensity.

That changes everything.

There’s nothing more pointless

than finding an above-average job

with above-average pay

without becoming an above-average worker.

I call it oscillation.

I once said, “I hope that things change.”

That seems to be my only hope.

If the conditions don’t change then I’ll be in serious trouble.

Then I found out that nothing was going to change

and I felt like I was drowning.

Not long ago I had a conference in Honolulu

with the executives of an oil company.

We sat around a giant conference table filled

with top executives from around the world.

When one of them said,

“Rohn, you know some important people around the world.

What do you think will happen in the next ten years?”

I said, “Gentlemen,

I really know those people.

I can tell you exactly what will happen.”

When I said that,

the room went silent.

I continued:

“According to people I know and from my life experience,

I conclude that within the next ten years

everything will be as it always has been.”

(You won’t be happy with

what I’m sharing with you here, right?

It’s true that no one can be happy to hear such answers.)

I must confess that I say this

to somewhat demoralize this group

of egotistical people.

But I also say it

because it is absolutely true!

The tide comes in

and then what happens?

That’s right… it will pull out.

That is the way it has been for

at least the six thousand years

that history records

and probably much longer than that.

It was morning and then what happened?

It’s dark… that’s how the sky has been

for at least six thousand years.

We are not shocked at all by that.

If, when the sun goes down,

a man says,

“What’s going on, what’s going on?”

We all know for sure that he just got here, right?

Next season fall is… you are right again.

And please tell me how many times winter has followed autumn?

Always, never wrong…

for at least six thousand years.

Yes, some winters are long and some are short;

some winters are harsh and some are pleasant.

But no matter what,

they always follow autumn.

This will not change.

Sometimes you can picture it,

sometimes it’s a mystery.

Sometimes it goes well,

sometimes it’s destructive.

You see, it won’t change.

After six thousand years of recorded history,

life is a mixture of opportunity

and difficult.

It is so.

“The man” said,

“Okay, then how will my life change?”

And the answer is:

“Your life changes only when you change”.

Whenever I speak,

whether to business executives

or to high school students,

my message is always the same:

“The only way to make yourself better is

when you are better.”

Better is not something you wish for;

that’s what you have to be.

Season of life

Here are two sentences

I would like you to consider:

First: “Life and commerce are like the seasons.”

Second: “You can’t change the seasons,

but you can change yourself.”

Now, with these two quotes leading the way,

let’s take a look at life’s seasons

and how you can best control them:

East: Time for strong growth

First and foremost,

learn how to control winter.

There are all kinds of winters.

There is economic winter

when financial wolves are at the door;

there is a physical winter,

when our health is bad;

there is a personal winter,

when our hearts are broken.

Winter day price month.

The disappointments.


That’s how sad songs are written.

Then the big question is how do we control winter.

Some people go to the calendar

and tear up January

and pretend it doesn’t exist.

But that’s the childish way.

It doesn’t solve anything.

Let me tell you how adults do:

They get stronger.

They become wiser. They become better.

It’s not a bad idea

– use winter for personal growth.

Before I understood this,

I used to spend my winters looking forward to summer.

I didn’t understand.

Then, finally,

when I had just had a bad sales season,

Shoaff said,

“Don’t expect it to be easier,

wish you were better.

Don’t expect less problems,

expect more skills.

Don’t expect less trials,

expect more wisdom.”

So I can’t honestly tell you that I’ve welcomed winter,

but I can tell you I’ve been using them to speed up spring,

which always comes after winter.

Spring: Time to take advantage

Learn how to take advantage of spring.

Be the perfect place for spring to manifest,

right after winter.

Opportunity follows difficulty.

Growth follows decline – like a machine.

God is a genius.

Spring is the time to take advantage of opportunities.

Make a note of these two words: ENJOY.

Don’t let the pleasant weather fool you.

If you want to be good in the fall,

now is the time to plant the seeds.

In fact, we all have to excel at one of two things.

Either become good at farming in the winter

or learn to beg in the fall.

So keep busy in the spring.

There is only one spring number per person.

The Beatles once wrote,

“life is too short”.

And for John Lennon on the streets of New York,

life is very short.


Time to take care

Learn how to fertilize

and protect your crops all summer.

You need to understand

that as soon as you plant,

insects and weeds will try to destroy your crops.

And they will succeed

if you don’t stop them.

Part of being successful is learning

how to protect what you’ve created.

And that was the biggest lesson of the summer.

Here are two truths you’ll learn during your summer:

First, you’ll learn that all good things will be attacked.

Don’t force me to give reasons.

I do not know why.

But I really know that it’s true.

All gardens will be invaded.

If you don’t understand this then you are too naive.

Second, you will learn that every value must be protected.

All values – social,




– must be protected.

Every garden must be taken care of during the summer.

Unless you defend what you believe,

when autumn comes you will have nothing left.

Time to take responsibility

Fall is the season when we reap the fruits of our spring and summer.

Maturity can be defined by the ability

to take responsibility for the crops we have tended,

whether bountiful or weak.

Taking full responsibility is one of the highest

forms of human maturity

and also one of the most difficult.

It’s the day you step through your childhood to become an adult.

Learn to welcome fall without regret or whining

– no regrets if you did well and no whining if you didn’t.

It’s not easy

but if you’re mature enough you can do it.

When I was young,

I used to have a lot of problems with this.

In case anyone asks,

I usually carry with me a list of the reasons

I’m not doing well.

The list that I call simply “reasons for not doing well”

with lots of “alibis”.

I blame the government.

Government is at the top of my list.

I blame taxes.

“Look what you have left after they have taken everything.”

I blame the price.

“You walk into a supermarket with $20

and walk out with half a bag of groceries.”

I blame the weather.

I blame the traffic.

I blame my car and the car manufacturer.

I blame negative relationships:

“They always judge me.”

I blame my cynical neighbors.

I blame the community.

See, I have a lot of compelling reasons for not doing well.

At least I thought so.

Shoaff is very kind but he is also blunt.

One day he looked at me

with a strange expression and asked,

“Jim, just out of curiosity,

can you tell me why you haven’t done well so far?”

Excellent question, right?

Well, to prove I’m not that bad,

I decided to put all the reasons on my list.

I mustered up the courage to do it.

I ran this long list

– government,



– everything.

He patiently listened to me for all the reasons.

When I finished he examined my list for a few seconds.

Finally, shaking his head, he said,

“There’s only one wrong spot on your list…

You’re not on it.”

Then I quickly tore down my list

of “reasons for not doing well.”

Then I took a new piece of paper

and wrote the word “I” on it.

I often blamed everything outside

for my lack of progress

until I discovered that my problem was with myself.

It’s not what happens

that determines the outcome.

What happened has happened.

And it happens to everyone.

Everyone has their story.

Some people say,

“Yes, but you don’t understand the frustration I went through.” Come on

Everyone has disappointments.

Disappointment is not a special gift just for you.

The question is,

what are you going to do with them?

Self-imposed limits

To be successful we must

by all means remove the self-imposed limitations

that limit our personal growth.

And no matter who you are,

there are three self-imposed roadblocks

that you must work through.

Let me tell you about them.

The first limitation is procrastination.

Procrastination is especially dangerous

because of its cumulative nature:

When we put aside a few small tasks,

it doesn’t seem to matter.

And if we let something pass during the day,

it doesn’t seem to be a bad day.

But if you let these days pile up,

you’ve made for a bad year.

Blame is another self-imposed limitation.

At one point or another,

we’ve all blamed someone for something.

We have been trained too long to set this limit

if we count it from the time in the garden

of Eden where the man said,

“It is the woman.

She put me in this situation.”

And the woman blamed the snake.

Why do we point outward

instead of looking inward?

The ego tries to protect itself.

Therefore, when we blame external forces,

we do not have to face our own weaknesses and failures.

This must be

why I keep my infamous “list of reasons”.

One of my favorites on this list is the hefty cost.

One day,

after I said something stupid about the price of an item,

Shoaff interrupted me.

“Listen, Jim,” he said, “Price is not your problem.

The problem isn’t that it’s overpriced.

The problem is you can’t afford the price.”

And he was right.

It was never its fault.

If you keep blaming it,

you will always be broken and disappointed.

You will never earn enough.

But when you start identifying your responsibility

instead of blaming “it,”

you will experience a huge spike in personal growth and income.

The excuse, the third self-imposed limitation,

is closely related to blame.

Guess how many excuses there are?

Yes, millions!

And people create another million in their life journey.

In fact, how far people have gone

to avoid facing the truth

– the truth for which they are responsible.

I guess they’d rather make a million excuses

than make a million dollars.

(You can’t have both).

So here’s the fundamental question you have to answer:

What will you do,

starting today,

to improve yourself?

It can be summed up like this:

If you don’t let go of some of the limits you set for yourself,

the next five years will be the same as the last five except

that you’ll be five years older.

But if you accept responsibility

and gradually let go of these limitations,

you can replace it with five better years.

This looks more interesting, doesn’t it?

There are many people

who do not really believe in their own abilities.

They ask themselves,

“What am I capable of doing?

What can I do to change my life?”

Let me first give you general answers to these questions.

You can do the most extraordinary things,

no matter what kind of winter life throws your way.

Humans can reach incredible heights

when absolutely necessary:

A woman lifts a two-ton car to save her child;

a man survived starvation

and disease in a concentration camp

because he wished to see his family himself;

the immigrants started their new lives washing dishes

and within five years,

with frugality and frugality,

owned their own thriving businesses

with numerous locals working for them.

That’s incredible!

I also discovered

that children can do extraordinary things too

– if they have extraordinary things to do.

Just take them away from the television

and challenge their mind and body,

they will grow into extraordinary people.

People can do amazing things

because they are truly extraordinary.

You and I are not a single-celled amoeba,



or dog.

We can make something out of nothing,

coins into fortune,

defeat into victory.


when a dog starts with weeds,

it also ends up with weeds.


It’s just a dog.

It does not have the capacity to be creative.

Then accept the fact that you are extraordinary.

Love your uniqueness!

Find your own inner self

and bring out more

of your special human gifts within yourself.

They are there,

waiting to be discovered and used.

Once you’ve found all your talents,

you can change everything you want to change:

If you don’t like the way that gives you now,

change that.

If that’s not enough,

change that.

If that doesn’t work for you,

change that.

If that doesn’t satisfy you,

change that.


You can change things for the better

when you change yourself for the better.

After all,

you are not just a tree or an animal,

completely dependent on instinctive behavior.

You are human,

a most incredible creation.

You and I are both too experienced

to think we can change

by simply reading this piece of philosophical reflection.

There needs to be a lot more than that.

What will we need?

Maybe I should first tell you about the things

that can’t make a change…

Some people will tell you,

“Enthusiasm makes all the difference.”

We hear a lot about enthusiasm for the old clichés.

In the typical sales meeting one

still hears a slogan chanted by glazed-eyed salespeople:

“To be enthusiastic.

you must feel enthusiasm.”

But you see,

enthusiasm by itself doesn’t work.

After you show enthusiasm,

dance and scream,

there are still a few things waiting for you to do.

And unless you do them,

things simply don’t change.

A man can become completely agitated

with the ability to lift a hundred pounds

– until he hits the gym.

Then he needed a new kind of excitement,

long-term excitement to keep him going

until he lifted a hundred pounds.

We call this eagerness discipline.

Honestly, only discipline can do that.

It is the only machine for real progress.

If there’s one thing that sparks excitement,

it’s discipline.

Be excited about your ability

to do what it takes to grow.

It was real excitement,

not just hopeful panic.

Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions.

Small people always do that,

but the really great make you believe

that you too can become great. ― Mark Twain.


How to change?

We all know the difficulty of changing old

and entrenched habits.

But habits begin to change

as we begin to change our perceptions.

Most of us won’t experience a huge change.

No, for most of us change comes as an evolutionary process

that is barely perceptible.

We just nudge ourselves in the right direction,

forming one or two better habits

until we finally realize

we’ve reached a major turning point in life.

Three areas of personal growth

In your personal development journey

there are three areas that you need to consider:

You can focus on developing yourself spiritually,

physically and mentally.

A man’s worth is no greater

than the worth of his ambitions. ― Marcus Aurelius


Spiritual self-development

I must confess that I consider myself an amateur in this field.

Because I grew up in a family filled with deep convictions

(my father was a preacher,

a fact that made me

– for better or worse

– the son of a preacher),

I was imbued with drenched in love with God’s creation.

But no matter what your background

(this book is written for everyone regardless

of their background and creed),

I believe you should also evaluate the growth

and change you want to have in this important area.

Spiritual and ethical values will help

to build a strong foundation upon

which your quest for prosperity and happiness will rest.

“In order to get to the next level of whatever you’re doing,

you must think and act in a wildly different way

than you previously have been.

You cannot get to the next phase of a project,

without a grander mind-set,

more acceleration,

and extra horsepower.”― Grant Cardone


Physical self-development

The Bible teaches that we should treat our bodies like a temple.

And, indeed,

the biblical commandments about hygiene are subtle and special.

But beyond hygiene,

I think we need to define how to “decorate our temple,”

dressing in a way that matches our desire for success.

Let’s face it,

the way we appear to others really makes up

differences in terms of our ability

to perform well in the marketplace.

In fact, there is another verse in the Bible

that teaches us to take care of our appearance

for the sake of man

and take care of our soul for God’s sake.

Man looks at appearance,

at least initially,

and God looks at the soul.

At this point you may think

that people shouldn’t judge you by your looks.

Then let me tell you they have judgment!

And since they are judgmental,

you should make sure you look your best.

(There are many good books on the subject,

so look in a bookstore or library.)

Another aspect of physical development is

to keep the body healthy.

Body and mind always work together.

And for your mind to have endurance,

your body must be equally healthy.

Do you exercise regularly?

If not, find an exercise that’s right

for you to start practicing.

In addition, you must also be mindful of your food

and nutritional supplements.

A young man without ambition

is an old man waiting to be. ― Steven Brust


Mental self-development

For most people,

mental development ends at a fairly early age.

Once they’ve found a good job,

it’s easy for many people

to stop pursuing mental development.

Have you ever heard of learning curve?

From birth until the age of eighteen,

our learning curve represents a very strong ability

to learn and retain information.

We quickly learn an amazing amount of knowledge.

However, as we get older

and find our place in the job market,

our learning curve peaks.

In the past,

if all you wanted was an average life,

this mental retardation would have been acceptable.

I said yes because that is no longer true.

Today, the world demands constant growth and learning.

As technology is constantly evolving and changing,

no one can simply maintain a job

and hope it stays the same for 40 years.

The kind of thinking my grandfather did here

and my father did here

and now I work here is disappearing

and killing the hopes of those

who don’t accept the need to grow and adapt.

On the bright side,

can you imagine

what you would become

if you kept increasing the learning curve throughout your life?

Can you imagine the possibilities you will develop,

what insights you will gain?

Ambition is the path to success.

Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in. — Bill Bradley


Easy way to be disciplined

Since habit formation in personal growth requires persistent effort

that only discipline can bring,

let me give you the key to discipline.

Let’s start with small discipline requirements

and start connecting them together.


you will find that by following many small disciplines

you will master the great discipline.

I urge you to take on a small challenge,

something you can do right away.

And then continue with another challenge.

There will come a time

when big challenges come your way

when you can have complete confidence

to take control of them.

You want to lose weight?

Start eating bread without butter.

Want to go to Europe?

Start saving $20 per week

You want to be on time?

Start waking up half an hour earlier.

Do you want to make a million dollars in sales?

Start with $50 sales.

As Robert Schuller(6) said: ”

Advance by inch, everything is light”(7).

But if you never take small steps, no one, not even yourself,

will trust you in big things.

Don’t be like the man who pops his chest out of his house

and claims to be able to handle the profitability of a business

when he can’t even handle his own personal budget.

Who does he think he is!

It would be a mistake to say,

“It was just a small step that I overlooked.”

That’s impossible!

Each low standard will negatively affect the rest of your performance.

Why? Because when you’re under your belt,

you’ll create a lack of self-recognition.

And the lack of self-recognition is the biggest obstacle to success.

The very substance of the ambitious is

merely the shadow of a dream. ― William Shakespear



I recently went on a lecture tour in Australia

and was interviewed by the media.

They asked, “Mr. Rohn, are you one of America’s motivators?”

I said, “No, I’m a businessman.

I can only share my ideas and experiences

and everyone has to motivate themselves.”

It took a while but eventually

I realized that you can’t change other people.

God forbid, I’ve tried.

I once managed a very tedious team of salespeople.

Feeling challenged,

I said, “I will make them successful even if it kills me.”

Guess? I almost died.

We can only find good people,

but we can’t make someone change and become better.

Sure, they can change themselves

but you and I cannot change them.

Someone asked me:

“How do I recruit?

be good people?”

And I replied,

“You have to find good people.”

That’s the best answer I can give.

This is the first rule of successful management:

Don’t send ducks to eagle school.

Why? Because it’s no use.

All you get are unhappy ducks.

They cannot soar like eagles.

They will just scrape, scrape, scrape.

And then one day they “poop” on you.

You know… I’ve tried.

Recently an advertisement

for a hotel chain caught my attention.

It read in large letters:

“We didn’t teach our people to be cute.”

That caught my attention.

And this ad continues with a smaller line:

“We just need to hire nice people.”

OH! What a clever shortcut!

Motivation is a mystery.

Why does one salesperson see his first prospect

at seven o’clock in the morning

and another only get out of bed at eleven o’clock?

I do not know.

It’s part of life’s mysteries.

I give lectures to a thousand people.

One person came out of class and said,

“I have to change my life.”

Another came out of the classroom,



“I’ve heard all this before.”

Why so?

Why are both not equally affected?

Another mystery.

One millionaire told a thousand people,

“I read this book and it started my path to riches.”

Guess how many people will go buy this book?

That’s right… very little.

Is it because it’s hard to believe?

Why don’t people read this book?…

It’s a mystery of life.

Here, you’ve got a lot for yourself.

The fact that you are reading this book shows

that you have an intrinsic drive to grow and to change.

I earnestly ask you to build on this foundation

to become all you are capable of being.

I know you can do it!

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