At Dan Kennedy’s Marketing Superconference I had the
opportunity to see and hear "success philosopher" Jim Rohn. Jim has actually been a motivational speaker for many years, but I hadn’t seen or heard of him before studying Kennedy’s materials.
I decided to get a copy of Rohn’s cassette program, The Art of Exceptional Living. I found that he has a way of phrasing some ideas that were profound in their simplicity and common sense.
Many people focus on the conditions outside themselves to explain why they haven’t accomplished much in life. "It’s the
economy." "Prices are too high." "I’m waiting for a promotion." "The Democrats/Republicans are ruining the
The fact is most of these things are beyond our control. Yet many people are successful in spite of them. Why?
Because they have learned to work on themselves to work and accomplish things within the environment they have to deal with.
Jim Rohn calls this "trimming the sail." A
person who is a skilled sailor can face a stormy sea and sail into the wind by "tacking" and properly setting the sail. We have to do the same thing in life. We have to learn to function effectively with conditions as they are.
Failure results from a few errors in judgment continued over a long period of time. When we make the errors, the present impact seems small, so it’s easy to overlook them. When the errors are continued over a long period of time, the cumulative effect can be devastating. For example, if we fail to follow a regular savings program, initially it doesn’t seem significant. Over a long period of time, we create the
possibility of being destitute in our retirement or in a financial emergency, such as temporary unemployment.
Success results from self-discipline continued over a long period of time. By forcing ourselves to have a regular savings program, we will have the financial reserves when we need them. (See our article Saving For Retirement.)
Similar scenarios can be constructed in many areas of our lives.
Trim your sails. Chart your course for the long-term goals that you seek and discipline yourself to take the actions necessary to accomplish them. Then reap the benefits of more successful living!
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