“Let others lead small lives, but not you. Let others argue over small things, but not you. Let others cry over small hurts, but not you. Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands, but not you.” – Jim Rohn
This post is inspired by one of the greatest business philosophers in recent times: the late Jim Rohn http://www.jimrohn.com/
I’ve designed this action plan around 10 of his most popular sayings.
“If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.”
1. Set your own goals. We all have goals we would like to achieve. But how many of us plan how we are going to get there, and take action that moves us towards our goals? And how many of us are 100%, absolutely rock-solid sure that they are OUR goals and not someone else’s idea of the goals you should have?
Find a goal that fits in with your personal values, and who you are.
A goal that is yours – something that YOU want to achieve (forget about what others want or expect of you). You may have several. Just follow the method below for each one of them.
- Write down one of your goals and make a step by step plan of every action you need to take to reach that goal. Start at the end – the reaching/completion of your goal – and work backwards until you find the first, small step you need to take. Break down larger steps into easily achievable baby steps. This is your roadmap: showing you how you can get from where you are today, to where you want to be.
Do this with every goal you have. Now choose ONE goal. It makes sense to focus on one goal at a time, rather than trying to spread your time and attention over many different areas. That doesn’t mean that you have to wait until you have reached one goal before you start another – but you need to be moving consistently towards the first goal before you start adding more to your schedule.
Now have your plan of action. The question is – are you going to start working towards your goal today or are you going to make yet another excuse? (if the answer is the latter, don’t bother reading on!)
“Asking is the beginning of receiving. Make sure you don’t go to the ocean with a teaspoon. At least take a bucket so the kids won’t laugh at you.”
2. Think BIG. Don’t set small goals. Instead, set big goals that excite you, that stretch you, and are going to push you out of your comfort zone. If you set small goals, you will take small actions towards them – and that makes it far easier to procrastinate and work slowly. So if your goal is to be an expert in your discipline in two years time, you are going to have to take consistent action towards it. Small goals can make you lazy. Big goals, reviewed regularly, will produce the best results.
- Make sure your goals are big enough to drive you forward – but at the same time make sure they are realistic. Prepare to shoot for the moon – because even if you miss it, you’ll still land among the stars.
“You say, “The country is messed up.” That’s like cursing the soil and the seed and the sunshine and the rain, which is all you’ve got. Don’t curse all you’ve got. When you get your own planet, you can rearrange this whole deal. This one you’ve got to take like it comes.”
3. Know your obstacles. If you’ve completed the plan of action from No 1 above, you probably noticed several obstacles in your way. You can use this as an excuse to stay where you are, or you can accept that whatever you do in life you are going to come across obstacles, and that you have the capability to deal with them.
- If you have identified obstacles in your plan of action start searching for solutions for them now – don’t wait until you hit them. But don’t convince yourself that you need to wait until you have found a solutionbefore you start moving. Start moving towards your goal, and at the same time read, research, and talk to people who have faced similar obstacles. Always plan ahead. Have a Plan B.
“Either you run the day or the day runs you.”
4. It’s important to manage your time. Every day you will be faced with a multitude of tasks to complete. But don’t just work your way through them all like a zombie. Planning comes before action.
- Every morning take a few moments to plan what you need to do that day. There will be tasks you must do, some that don’t need to be done that day, tasks you want to do, tasks you don’t want to do. For every task ask yourself – will this move me closer to my goal? If not, try to either drop the task, or delegate it to someone else. And then list the remaining tasks in order of what needs to be done (rather than what you would like to do). Sometimes we have to do things we don’t enjoy doing in order to get things we want.
“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
5. Be a student of life and a lifelong student. Studying is not just for the young. Keep your mind active with fresh ideas, whether from reading books, attending lectures, watching documentaries, studying online, or learning from day to day experiences.
- Actively seek out new experiences to take part in, and books that will teach you valuable information. Go to the library once a month and pick up a book about a subject that you don’t know anything about and read it. See if you can apply what you learn to your field (you would be surprised at how studying the rudiments of poker or what life was like in Poland in the 1950’s can give you inspiration and new ideas!) Search online for free courses – many top universities now offer free audio and video lectures. Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard etc – they all have excellent and free learning material online for you.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.”
6. Exercise regularly and eat healthily. You only have one body, one chance of getting it right. You need to be healthy if you want to succeed. Okay, you can succeed without being healthy, but what fun is that? You need to be healthy in order to enjoy the benefits of what you have achieved.
- Every day set aside some time for exercise. If you are not doing any at all right now, start small. Plan for a 10 minute walk every day. Then next week, a 20 minute walk. The week after, spend 30 minutes a day walking. Or find some other exercise you enjoy and do it regularly. Eat well – plenty of natural nutrient-rich food (I don’t have to list it, you know what it is) and less junk and processed food.
“Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. You don’t fail overnight. Instead, failure is a few errors in judgement, repeated every day.”
7. Know that small actions have large consequences. You can fail by repeating just one small error every day. As an example, eating just one extra chocolate digestive biscuit (that’s a small chocolate covered cookie to my American friends!) could lead to an extra 10lb weight gain in a year. One extra biscuit a day – one small error in judgement, repeated every day!
- Turn this on it’s head: success is nothing more than a few good disciplines, practiced every day. Make sure your daily actions are leading you towards success, and not failure.
“The best motivation is self-motivation. The guy says, “I wish someone would come by and turn me on.” What if they don’t show up? You’ve got to have a better plan for your life.”
8. Learn to motivate yourself. You can’t wait for external motivation, it has to come from inside.
- Study yourself. Think about what motivates you into action and what causes you to procrastinate. Use this self knowledge in your planning. Every morning take a few moments to re-read your goals to get yourself motivated. And do the task that you dread first, so you get it over and done with and can move onto other, more enjoyable tasks.
“For every promise, there is a price to pay.”
9. Be prepared to pay the price. Success doesn’t come cheap, or easy. The price you pay will be in time, in effort, in learning, and being prepared to fall down and pick yourself up, time and time again.
- Know that there is a price to pay for your success. Know that it’s going to be tough going sometimes. Give yourself small rewards along the way to keep you working towards your big goal. Enjoy the journey as well as looking forward to the destination.
“Don’t wish it was easier; wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom.”
10. Life itself is a challenge. Instead of wishing for everything to be easy, for only good things to happen to you, and for the path to success to be smooth, spend the time improving your mind and your skills. You can make things better by improving yourself first.
- Be realistic. Learn to accept that life isn’t going to be easy and smooth. Ever. You can’t control external circumstances – but you can learn how to deal with them and you can choose how to react to the problems and issues you will encounter.
So that’s a quick round up of some of Jim Rohn’s quotes of wisdom.
There are many other rules I could have added, but long lists can be overwhelming and lead to inaction: for this reason I’ve kept it short and simple.
What actions do you focus on to reach your goals? Please share in the comments below!