It is a Challenge to Succeed by Jim Rohn

It Is a Challenge to Succeed by Jim Rohn

*This article is copied and pasted from the Jim Rohn website.  Click here to view.
It is a challenge to succeed. If it were not, I'm sure more people would be successful, but for every person who is enjoying the fruit from the tree of success, many more are examining the roots. They are trying to figure it all out. They are mystified and perplexed by what seems to be some strange, complex and elusive secret that must be found if ever success is to be enjoyed. While most people spend most of their lives struggling to earn a living, a much smaller number seem to have everything going their way. Instead of just earning a living, the smaller group is busily engaged in designing and enjoying a fortune. Everything just seems to work out for them. While the much larger group sits in awe at how life can be so unfair, complicated and unjust.

"I am a nice person," the man says to himself. "How come this other guy is happy and prosperous and I'm always struggling?" He asks himself, "I am a good husband, a good father and a good worker. How come nothing seems to work out for me? Life just isn't fair. I'm even smarter and willing to work harder than some of these other people who just seem to have everything going their way," he says as he slumps into the sofa to watch another evening of television. But you see you've got to be more than a good person and a good worker. You've got to become a good planner, and a good dreamer. You've got to see the future finished in advance.

You've got to put in the long hours and put up with the setbacks and the disappointments. You've got to learn to enjoy the process of disciplines and of putting yourself through the paces of doing the uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable. You've got to be prepared and willing to attack the challenges if you want the success because challenges are part of success. Now that may sound like a full menu of activities, but let me assure you that the process of going from average to fortune isn't really all that difficult. Thinking about it is the difficult part. Anticipating all the effort and the changes and the disciplines is far worse in the mind than in reality. I can promise you that the challenges you'll meet on the road to success are far less difficult to deal with than the struggles and the disappointments that come from being average. Confronting and overcoming challenges is an exhilarating experience. It does something to feed the soul and the mind. It makes you more than you were before. It strengthens the mental muscles and enables you to become better prepared for the next challenge.

I've often said that to have more, we must first become more, and to become more, we must begin the process of working harder on ourselves than we do on anything else. But in addition to gathering new knowledge, new skills and new experiences, it is also important to discover new emotions. It is how we feel about what we know that makes the biggest difference in how our lives turn out. How we feel about the chances we have and the choices we have determines the intensity of our effort. Whether we try or don't try. Join or don't join. Believe or don't believe.

I'd like for you to discover some strong feelings about your life and about what you want to do with that life. You probably have much of the knowledge and a lot of the experience and perhaps most of the skills that it takes to become successful. What you may be lacking in are the strong feelings about what you want and what you want to do. You may be one of those who have become so involved in the process of earning a living that you've forgotten about the choices and the chances you have for designing your own life.

Let these strong feelings help you take a second look at your life and where you're headed. After all, you've only got one life, at least on this planet. So why not make it an adventure in achievement? Why not discover what all you can do and what all you can have? Why not discover how many others you can help and in the process how that can help you?
Why not now take the Challenge to Succeed!
—Jim Rohn

OWL Assignment: Make a Brain Dump

Take a sheet of paper and a pen and write down every single task and to-do that's been bugging you.  That's it.  Now you don't have to waste brain energy trying to remember it all because you know it's written down and you can look at that list whenever you need to.

Book Review Snippet on Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie - Chief Shoe Giver, TOMS

*Michelle here: I'm copying pretty much word for word here from the book.

From Chapter 3: Face Your Fears

Effective ways to live with fear until I could overcome it:

1.  I remembered to live my story.  I went back to my core question: Why am I doing this?

2.  I surrounded myself with interns.  The wonderful thing about interns is that they are so enthusiastic and new to everything that they don't waste time being fearful.

Having a group of enthusiastic people around you, all busy working towards the success of your enterprise, gives you confidence, makes you feel legitimate, and, ultimately, helps make whatever idea you are trying to create a reality.

3.  I surround myself with inspirational quotations.  This easy-to-follow piece of advice has played  huge role in my being able to get past my own fears and insecurities throughout my entrepreneurial career.

When I started in business, I was often lonely, so I placed favorite quotes all over my apartment.  They made me feel like I was never really alone.

"Success is the ability to go frmo one failure to another wih no loss of enthusiasm."
- Winston Churchill

 4.  I read biographies.  Because I left college to start a business and never received my degree, much of my education came from books that I found on my own, not the ones assigned to me by professors.  My favorite books have always been biographies of successful entrepreneurs and other inspiring people.
5.  I also remember to think small.  It's best not to regard your next step as a tremendous risk.  Think about it as one small step on  along journey.  Thinking big always sounds good, but it's a common mistake shared by lots of people starting a business.  We started TOMS with 250 pairs of shoes in three duffel bags - that's it.  I didn't quit my job immediately.  I didn't invest tens of thousands of dollars.  I just made 250 pairs of shoes and tried to sell them.

By starting small, you can work through your story, try out your idea, and test your mettle.  There's a Japanese concept known as kaizen, which says that small improvements made every day will lead to massive improvement overall (Michelle here: also known as The Slight Edge).  

6.  I would also write down my fears and look at them.  When fears stay stuck inside your head, your imagination can go wild, torturing you with all the carious negative possibilities and outcomes.  But when you write them down, you clarify exactly what you are afraid of, and soon the power they hold over you will fade. 

7.  My final fear killer is to seek as much advice as I can.

*Michelle here.  Great stuff, right?  Now, I want a pair of TOMS shoes asap!  haha.  Read the book.  It's awesome.

Start Something That Matters - Official Video Trailer

A poem


You are the man who used to boast
That you'd achieve the uttermost,
Some day.

You merely wished a show,
To demonstrate how much you know
And prove the distance you can go...

Another year we've just passed through.
What new ideas came to you?
How many big things did you do?

Time...left twelce fresh months in your care
How many of them did you share
With opportunity and dare
Again where you so often missed?

We do not find you on the list of Makers Good.
Explain the fact!
Ah no, 'twas not the chance you lacked!
As usual - you failed to act!

-Herbert Kauffman

Book Review: the dip by SETH GODIN

In the beginning of another great book by Seth Godin, so all I have are a few words about it. 

Basically, it's a book about knowing when to quit.  Yup!  QUIT.  Why do we need to know when to quit?  Because if you're spending all your time zeroed in on X, then you're not paying attention to Y...and Y is where you need to be focused. 

It's a different concept of the idea of quitting here.  There's more than one type of quitting.  There's I-have-zero-pereverance quitting...there's I'm-gonna-sit-on-my-couch-and-watch-tv-for-the-rest-of-my-life quitting...and then there's the type of quitting you do when you realize that what you're presently doing with your time and energy will only and always give you mediocre results and so you drop it and move on to something that you can be awesome at.

We need to know when to quit ventures that aren't going to give us the results we want.

BIG winners are people who have developed the awareness to know what to quit and what to pursue.

Steve Jobs quit.  He quit college so that he could pursue only that which interested him.  He called that choice: "one of the best decisions that I've made in my life."

Michael Chriton quit a medical career to become a writer and created ER and Jurassic Park.

Sometimes you need to quit what you're okay at so that you can succeed at what you're awesome at.

We don't like quitting because we associate it with failure.  Here's what J.K. Rowling has to say about failure:

Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy to finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one area where I truly belonged. I was set free, because my greatest fear had been realized, and I was still alive, and I still had a daughter whom I adored, and I had an old typewriter, and a big idea. And so rock bottom became a solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life. – J. K. Rowling, Harvard commencement addres

Don't quit when it's hard.  Don't quit because it's hard.  Quit because you want to succeed at what matters to you.

OWL Assignment: Sharpen your Axe

"Twenty years ago, I read a book that changed my life.  It was called The Magic of Thinking Big.  I actually don't remember anything about the book at all.  What I do remember is that in one quick moment, it changed the way I thought about success." - SETH GODIN
When you're reading success books, it's like you're sharpening your axe.  People who don't read are chopping away with very dull axes and so they work very hard and have very little to show for it.  Don't mistake motion for progress.  Sometimes we have to slow down in order to speed up.  Spend time every day sharpening your axe: read from a success book for at least 15 every day.

OWL Assignment: Give yourself some advice

Today's assignment comes from the book Go for the No! Yes is the Destination; No is How You Get There by Fenton and Waltz

"If the YOU of today, could go back and speak to the YOU of 10 years ago, and give just ONE piece of advice to help yourself, what would that be?"       

Sleeping Geniuses

When I was in kindergarten, I remember my teacher gave us the task of copying the alphabet.  But I didn't want to do that; I wanted to draw a picture instead.  So I did.  The teacher told me to stop drawing and start copying.  For some reason, I continued drawing my picture.  I wasn't trying to be obstinate, I simply felt like it was perfectly okay to carry on with what I was doing.  My teacher didn't share my point of view and I got paddled for disobeying.  For some reason, I still remember exactly how I felt after that: pure confusion.  I still didn't understand what I had done wrong.

This experience helps me remember to be wary of treating children as if they should know better when in fact oftentimes they honestly don't know if something is right or wrong.  But recently my kindergarten experience flashed into my mind under another perspective: I was right and the teacher was wrong.  She wasn't wrong to teach me the alphabet.  She was wrong to punish me for being a child.  Wrong for making me sacrifice creativity for conformity.

But it's not really her fault.  This is how the system of education in schools works, unfortunately.  Everyone must conform to the standard way things are done and leave a large part of their personal talents and interests at the door.  I'm not saying that we need to get rid of having to learn the alphabet, mathematics, or the names of American presidents.  I'm saying its wrong to give kids the impression that in order to succeed in life, they need to always color within the lines...or get an F.  We're "educating" kids on the altar of what makes them creative, unique, and happy.  And now we're really beginning to suffer the consequences.

And what are the consequences?  The economy has made alot of things extremely clear.  It's as if the fog of blatant ignorance of what has been going on for a long time already is finally stripped away.  People are finding that their survival depends on their own ability to take care of themselves, to be self-reliant, to believe in their own personal abilities.  Sir Ken Robinson points out that the very survival of our economy depends on innovation.  And innovation depends on the creativity of individuals.

However, because our schools are actually relics of a system that was designed to support the Industrial Age, people today have been poorly equipped for far too long to handle the demands of the new era.  In spite of all the "Express Yourself!" gimmickry and other efforts tried out by schools trying to satisfy students, the fact is the core of our education is still a system that was built to produce people of conformity and not creativity.  This is why Sir Ken Robinson is calling not for an evolution of education, but a revolution.  The school system excels at producing the type of people who are very good at being employees and that is exactly what is helping plummet the economy into a downward spiral today.  We need more independent-minded people and less dependent-minded people.

How silly it is to wait until students are 18 years old to start taking their personal interests seriously.  It is no wonder that young people are at a loss as to where their talents and abilities and desires lie when their minds have been molded into a standard way of thinking, behaving, and "doing life" from the time when they were very young and impressionable.

How sad it is that most adults in the workforce not only have no idea as to what their talents are, but most don't even believe they have any talents at all!

Albert Einstein said that everyone is a genius.  I highly doubt he said this for any other reason than the fact that this is true.  The problem is that we haven't allowed children to develop any of their innate interests into genius.  There are so many people who get up every day and are unhappy and unfulfilled.  They don't do what they love and so they don't love what they do.  The tragedy is that they feel that this is normal.  How many sleeping geniuses are out there?  How many people have undiscovered talents, potential, and dreams withering away inside them?

When I was about 15, I discovered I had the talent for drawing.  With just a couple lessons I was able to draw better than pupils who had been practicing for years.  It was pretty amazing and this experience propels me to stay on the learning curve, alert for any other hidden abilities, to keep growing, learning, and acquiring more and more skills.  It makes me many people out there are living from childhood experiences of needing permission to explore a creative impulse?  How many adults are out there timidly looking around like a child at a desk checking to see what everyone else is doing and feeling discouraged about doing anything that doesn't resemble the norm?  How many ideas, talents, and dreams are getting buried every day?  How many people are becoming lawyers, accountants, or doctors when they really want to become dancers, missionaries, or open up an ice cream shop with a hundred different flavors?

I refuse to be a sleeping genius.  How about you?

P.S.  In a future blog post, I'll address why following your purpose/passion does NOT equal setting yourself up to be poor or unsuccessful.

RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms

OWL Assignment: Feel the Fear and do it Anyway

"You don't have to be fearless to face your fears. You may have heard of the book title, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. This is what it means to employ courage and often it is a sign that you are aware of the risks and yet decided the risks of going for it looked better than the risks of settling (and not going for it). If you feel fear, be not afraid... for courage is also powerful." - Mike Klingler (his facebook status update today)
OWL Assignment:  Before this week is over, pick something that you are afraid to do...and do it anyway.  If you get into the habit of regularly identifying your fears and rising above them, you will have mastered the process of constantly creating a truly wonderful and powerful way of life.  Think about how few people there are in the world who will even admit their fears to themselves, let alone face them.  Decide to be a different.  Step away from the masses.  It can be scary at first, but if you keep the ball rolling you can start making a game out of facing your fears.  Soon you will be viewing your fears in the proper perspective - instead of seeing what you fear as a signal for you to run away in the other direction (as the majority behaves), you will see it as a signal for you to take a specific action or learn a new skill.  You will see your fear as the portal into a better life and a better you.
Blogging tips
Real Time Analytics