Archive for December, 2011

28
Dec
11

the key to a tremendous 2012

The Key to Excellence, my favorite speech of my late father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, was recently transcribed into the latest volume of our Life-Changing Classics series. It was originally delivered back in the late ‘80s and is one of the funniest, yet most pragmatic, 42 minutes ever recorded on discovering that the key to excellence is all about thinking and realizing, not listening and memorizing.

Learn to laugh at your mistakes. As Mr. Jones said, “Laughing at your failures doesn’t mean you like to fail. It just means you’re learning to capitalize on what goes wrong.” No normal person likes to fail, he explains, but if you don’t learn to capitalize on what does go wrong you’ll never do as much as you could have. As Ethel Barrymore said, “You grow up the first day you have your first real laugh—at yourself.”

Get others to learn to laugh at their mistakes. One of the funniest moments is when Mr. Jones shares the result of his thirty-five years of experience distilled into two words. He claims this knowledge is experiential and not theoretical and then proclaims at the top of his lungs, “NOTHING WORKS!” much to the delight and roars of laughter from the audience. Learning to laugh when you hurt and things go wrong ensures you become better and not bitter.

Be learning that communication is not from your mouth to another’s ears, but from your heart to your mouth. When you speak from your heart you begin to identify with the other person and the barriers begin to come down. Even in today’s virtual world, communicating with people is a necessity and a tremendous therapy and one of the greatest keys to our success.

Being in the business of listening to, writing, publishing, and promoting personal-development material over the past three years has reinforced one critical lesson that I’ve been learning my entire life. Real help, real motivation, and real discipline are drawn out of only one source—you. You are the only architect of the greatest DIY project on planet earth: yourself. As Galileo Galilei said, “We cannot teach people anything; we can only help them discover it within themselves.” Reading great books and being around positive people to draw it out of you are proven keys, so start by getting your copy of The Key to Excellence and unlock a Tremendous 2012!

20
Dec
11

my most blessed christmas by charlie “tremendous” jones

I was nine years old and the depression was still in full force. We came from Alabama and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in a little row home, which my father managed to rent. It was getting near Christmas and my dear dad had nothing to spend for Christmas for his five children ages 1 to 9. In desperation, he went to the bank to try to persuade them that he was a safe risk for a small loan. He explained his predicament, no job, no collateral, and 5 small children with Christmas approaching.

As he should have known, the banker would have to decline his request, but he had an alternative offer for my dad to consider. He explained that if dad could postpone celebrating Christmas a day everything would be reduced in the stores. Then he would only need half the amount he was requesting. He said if this was agreeable, he would approve the loan for a smaller amount.

Of course my dad gratefully accepted his offer. That Christmas eve, after we were all in bed, the downstairs front door sprung open. There was a lot of noise and my father rushed down the stairs to see what was happening. I followed a few minutes later and saw him sitting on that bottom step with his head in his hands. I couldn’t understand why he was weeping.

When I reached the bottom step, I saw no one but the hall was lined with boxes. There were boxes of food, clothing, and candy. There was a riding fire engine and a four-foot folding white paneled dollhouse. We didn’t belong to a church and the friends we had were as poor as we were. My dad returned to the bank to repay the loan. The banker surprised my dad by telling him that there was no record of this loan.

I only understood that Christmas experience years later when Jesus became my Lord and Savior. How blessed some of us are to see God’s love working in and through His children. John 3:16 is where this love story begins and those unknown servants were practicing I John 3:16. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, how He laid down His life for us: so that we ought to lay down our lives for others.”

13
Dec
11

all I want for Christmas is attitude

Attitude is often characterized as a negative or positive reaction to anything in our environment; a reaction that changes as a result of experience. I want to possess the attitude of the woman in the story below:

There once was a woman who woke up one morning, looked in the mirror, and noticed she had only three hairs on her head. “Well,” she said, “I think I’ll braid my hair today.” So she did and she had a wonderful day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and saw that she had only two hairs on her head. “Hmmm, ” she said, “I think I’ll part my hair down the middle today.” So she did and she had a grand day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed that she had only one hair on her head. “Well,” she said, “Today I’m going to wear my hair in a pony tail.” So she did and she had a fun, fun day.

The next day she woke up, looked in the mirror, and noticed that there wasn’t a single hair on her head….

“YEAH!” she exclaimed, “I don’t have to fix my hair today!” (Unknown)

Sheldon Koggs said, “All of the significant battles are waged within the self.”  This Christmas the best gift I can imagine is the ability to look past the externals and always display an attitude of thankfulness.

06
Dec
11

the dark side

 My dog, Mr. Blue, and I recently delivered annual training to the tremendous faculty at Douglas Education Center in Monessen, Pennsylvania. At the end of the program, someone asked a question about how to deal with negative people. I asked if she meant in their personal or professional life and she said, “Take your choice.” They entire audience laughed. Point well taken, negativity is found in all areas, broadcast on the news 24/7, and for some people becomes their sole means of communication.

All Human Resources manuals have a list of actions that are grounds for termination. I personally would put negativity at the top of the list, although it’s often an activity that is allowed to continue unchecked. I have never been able to understand this. When I was in the military, negativity was labeled as insubordination. In personal relationships, negativity marks the beginning of the end. In work, negativity can manifest itself in gossip, backstabbing, active disengagement, and even sabotage.

The Chief Motivational Hound, Mr. Blue, refers to this as “biting the hand that feeds you”. It is one of mankind’s worst traits. It’s a cancer that spreads and takes over the organism and can only be “cured” by cutting it out in its entirety. Negativity is a form of fraud. If you are negative at work, you are not earning your pay, hence you are stealing. If you are negative in a relationship, you are stealing the other person’s emotions and time. If you are negative in your outlook on life, you are squandering the greatest gift of all.

So my answer to the question was simple—cut it out of your life. Life is too short to not be thankful even for the mistakes we make and the bad things that happen to us and to those we love. If you cannot keep your mouth and emotions in check, you will spread your toxic attitude to everyone with whom you come in contact. My advice is to quarantine yourself until you are thinking positively and stay far away from those who might infect you with their virus.

Make your 2012 resolution now to surround yourself with only positive influences. That may mean changing coworkers or even jobs, separating from existing friends or relationships, or emancipating yourself from family drama. As Mr. Blue quotes, “When you feel dog-tired at night, it may be because you’ve growled all day long.”  So stay away from the dark side and move into the light!

Mr. Blue shares some hound wisdom.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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