Posts Tagged ‘Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

04
Jun
15

We’re All Doing Time Just in Different Places

the-broken-chain1Every speaker dreams of a captive audience, but this past Tuesday I got the experience of a lifetime. I spoke to a group of prison inmates who were graduating from a LIFE course which is a prison ministry started years ago by Pennsylvania Governor George Leader. And while they may not be moving anywhere physically, they desired to move spiritually, which is the only journey in life that truly matters.

When I found out that they were “lifers” I was immediately perplexed by the juxtaposition before me. Here were bright, smiling faces looking at me ready to learn and grow, yet the reality was they were sentenced to a life behind bars as a consequence of their actions.  Being a good publisher, I brought them a book as a graduation gift: It’s All About Jesus: Three Bestselling Authors, One Dynamic Savior. The lead volunteer asked me to talk a little about the book and for the next five minutes I emotionally shared the content. Now I’ve had to take a moment behind the microphone before, but this was different. There was no way I was going to regain composure nor did I want to. Composure was not what was appropriate; vulnerability was.

I assured them my tears came from a place of extreme gratitude and that I was profoundly humbled to share the book my father and I worked on just before his passing in 2008. My father had spent his life sharing with so many disadvantaged people from all walks of life that their lives truly had a purpose, that they were special and loved, and that all their past mistakes and pain could be washed away. I imagined him beside me as each of the inmates proudly came forward to accept their certificate and be recognized.

Someone once asked my father how he could adjust from speaking to pastors in the morning to prisons in the afternoon to sales executives at night. His reply: “It’s easy; we’re all doing time just in different places.” The truth of this was never more clear to me than it was that night. I saw with my own eyes the redemptive power of the blood of Christ. I have seen many people come to the Lord, but never those who had made such radical, life-altering decisions. I never had a group that was so confined and shackled physically yet so unrestrained and alive spiritually.

I shared with them that life on the other side of the fence was not all that rosy for many of us; that we as a nation are becoming increasingly divided and hostile towards one another; that the desire for one man to enslave another was rampant across the globe and that evil revealed itself in all nations; that so many who had every opportunity in the world chose instead to exist in the prisons of their closed minds and hardened hearts, not willing to evolve and learn and live a life of service.

The individuals before me realized they were responsible for their actions. There was no vocalization of blame or hostility. They seemed at peace with what had transpired yet strove to find meaning in their lifetime behind bars. So who’s living a richer life? The “free” man who has every opportunity in the world but sees himself as either a victim to avoid responsibility for his own path, or so entitled that he does not have to be of service to others? Or the one who made a life-altering mistake yet chose to not let it define him?

The parable of The Sheep Thief tells the story of two young men several hundred years ago who were caught stealing sheep in a small Italian Village. Justice was swift and included branding the letter “ST” on each of their foreheads so all would know that they were in the presence of a “Sheep Thief.” One young man was determined to run from his past, moving from village to village, lying, hiding from his past. He died years later, broke and alone. The second young man sought to make amends for his transgressions and stayed in the village where the crime had been committed. He worked hard and earned enough money to pay back the man whose sheep he had stolen. He lived a life of service to the community. Many years later a visitor asked the shopkeeper why the old man had “ST” tattooed on his forehead.  The shopkeeper replied, “It stands for Saint.”

dead-peopleMy father used to quip that many of us are walking around dead long before we’re buried; but thank God he made it so we don’t stink ‘til we’re put in the ground. Truer words were never spoken. Never, ever forget: life’s not about where you start; it’s about where you finish.  It’s one long journey of going from jammed to justified, from limbo to liberated, and from restrained to resurrected. Our actions may imprison us physically, but the redemptive blood of Christ can truly set us free.

16
Oct
14

The Mystery of Self-Motivation

MOSMConsider how hard it is to change yourself and you’ll understand what little chance you have of trying to change others.
My father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, told me that you don’t find motivation, motivation finds you. But there are things you can do to ensure the rays of motivation shine down upon you. Motivation is attracted to positivity, kindness, humility, meekness, and selflessness. If you keep surrounding yourself with books and people that model and amplify these, you will actually begin to morph, one motivated molecule at a time.
It starts slowly, and then it explodes. The more motivation you spread, the more comes back to you. My father literally burst at the seams, so powerful was his lifelong transformation. Once motivations takes hold in you it must find an outlet, and this is where the magic happens.
This is why the person who has solved the mystery of self-motivation is unstoppable. We cannot rely on any physical presence on this planet to be there for us. That’s why I am always so repeatedly surprised when people’s hopes are devastated by a person or event. The only guarantee you have in life is your belief in yourself.
When you have matured to the point where your own motivation is built-in and self-recharging, you will begin to experience life in a way few others have. Learning the dynamics of motivating yourself far exceed that of being able to motivate others. And in actuality, you can’t have the latter without the former.

Today marks the six-year anniversary of our founder’s—and my father’s—homegoing. To celebrate, we’ve published his timeless wisdom in our latest Life-Changing Classic, The Mystery of Self-Motivation. Go online today to get your copy and enjoy a 30-percent-off sitewide celebration until the end of the day. Thank you for helping us change the world one book at a time!

14
Aug
14

Restoration Hardware: A Book

5StepsWe live in a world that withers us. My father used to say, “My problem isn’t keeping myself motivated, it’s trying to keep other people from demotivating me!” Truer words were never spoken. Today’s headlines are filled with tributes to tribulations. How can we stay fed in a time of famine?

I usually tout the power of books for transformation, but there’s another more important reason to read: for restoration. I read to know that I am not alone. I read to learn how to deal with myriad challenges. I read to unlearn what I thought I already knew and to learn it all again the right way. Books validate our personal, professional, and spiritual lives in a world where the media and so-called experts pressure us to conform to groupthink.

If you aren’t reading, you aren’t living. You can’t partake in the full range of human emotions and thought without conversing with the whole of mankind. So read as if your life depends on it, because it does.

17
Jul
14

does your business need a little TLC?

Join today and take your business to the next level!A little TLC can grow a business big!! Tremendous Life Books is excited to unveil our newest program, the Tremendous Leaders Circle, offering businesses and groups of all sizes an affordable way to gather motivational books, audios, meeting space, training sessions, and even a speaker for one low annual membership fee.

This $1,500 value is being rolled out at a $500 price to attract organizations that want to invest in their greatest resource—their people—and encourage them to reach their top potential! This incredible value offers…

  • Use of the Charlie “T” Jones Conference Center for one all-day event.
  • A keynote speech or training session for up to 50 employees.
  • Two complimentary seats at select events at the Charlie “T” Jones Conference Center.
  • 30% discount from over 1,500 of the top motivational, sales, and personal development books and audios. Quantity discounts are even higher.
  • A copy of each new Tremendous Life Books publication to build your library.
  • Special “TLC Members Only” events in our sale room.
  • A personal concierge to manage your account throughout the year and to assist you in making the best possible selections for your particular organization.

Can you imagine being able to book a state-of-the-art conference center, get a keynote speaker, access to key speaker events, build a personal and corporate library with new releases from the top motivational publisher, and get an additional discount and personal concierge? We are driven to help businesses incorporate reading and thinking together to augment their training and employee development programs. So join us today and find out what a little TLC can do to help your business grow!

10
Jul
14

houston, we have a puppy

Roscoe Jones, Chief Barketing Officer at Tremendous Life Books.

Roscoe Jones, Chief Barketing Officer at Tremendous Life Books.

On June 14th, I lost my constant canine companion of thirteen years after a ten-month battle with lymphoma. I have been through a great deal of heartache and loss in my life, but this experience literally took me to my knees.

These last four weeks I experienced an outpouring of prayer that bathed, comforted, and protected me in a way only possible by the power of our loving Father. I read each of the notes, cards, posts, and tributes with an overwhelming sense of gratitude, enabling the “loss” to be turned into a tremendous time of thankfulness. All that kept going through my heart and head is that I was given such a special companion to get me through the greatest triumphs and tribulations of my life.

In honor of Mr. Blue, I began looking for a pup in his similar situation to rescue. While I completely respect those that do not want to go through a repeated loss of the love of a dog, I also had the intense awareness that my grief does not diminish the population of homeless animals and that hesitating for even one day can mean life or death.

Mr. Blue was from a large litter, born out in the country in Texas and with a glorious Basset Hound stature and soul mixed with his Australian Shepherd side. I needed another low-rider mutt in my life. The search led me to a rescue in Santa Fe, Texas: Southern Comforts Animal Rescue.

A Springer/Basset mix stray had been caught outside of Houston and had delivered eight pups on March 8th, 2014. There were four remaining males when I got to choose my “pick of the litter”. The one I was drawn to was described as the biggest, the smartest, and the most laid-back. That sounded just like my Blue boy.

Arrangements were made and two weeks later my new fourteen-week-old soul pup made the direct flight from Houston to Dulles. When I laid eyes on him I immediately burst into tears. He peered out of his transport crate and calmly looked at me with the same old wise-soul look of his predecessor. I knew at that moment the next leg of the legacy was about to begin.

I have the blessing of caring for another one of God’s creatures. I also have the blessing of continuing the legacy Mr. Blue started. Just because a physical presence is no longer with us means absolutely nothing to a child of God. I work in the world of books and many of them contain the achievements and sacrifices of those who have gone on before us, including the legacy of my father who started this company fifty years ago.

If we live in view of the eternal, the grief we suffer now is just one small iota of the glories to come. Letting that sidetrack us on our life’s journey is the only true loss in life.

03
Jul
14

book girl

A tribute to Charlie "Tremendous" Jones from the sales force at Southwestern.

A tribute to Charlie “Tremendous” Jones from the sales force at Southwestern.

Ever since I got my first work release at the tender age of 14 I have worked. I worked in fast food, retail, at a summer resort in housekeeping; you name it, I did it. One of the jobs I had in between college years was selling books door to door with a company called Southwestern Book Company, now known as Southwestern Advantage. My father was a true believer in the role of sales in developing a person as well as being a book lover of extreme conviction.

He highly recommended that I consider working for a summer with this group. After all, he told me, if I could knock on a door cold and make a sale I would have successfully completed one of the hardest things I’d ever do in life. Sign me up!! I was all for getting the hard stuff out of the way early so I could move on to greater experiences. He also told me that when a prospect opened their door to put my head in first instead of my foot. That way if they slammed the door on me I could keep talking.

I found out quickly that selling books with Southwestern was unlike any other previous summer job. You are completely on your own to get up, get out, and get results. No one is making you punch a time clock or allowing you to sit behind a computer and surf for 7 hours and 50 minutes a day. And although there were no cell phones in my day, the company still requires cell phones to be left in the student’s home or vehicle.

It truly was a crash course in self motivation, grace under fire, thinking on your feet, and handling rejection. The goal was to knock on as many doors as possible so as to hit the law of averages and get several sales in a day. I had a difficult time with that much rejection so I modified it a bit.

I sold in the coal-mining hills of Bluefield, West Virginia my first summer. Rather than knock on 20 doors and sell 2, I would knock on 2 doors and sell two. By taking time, I was able to develop lasting relationship with these people. Some I even remained pen pals with for years to come. They cooked me meals, shared their family photos, and yes, bought my books. People who had houses with dirt floors saw the value in my $60 two-volume condensed encyclopedia set. Sometimes, if money was short, I would barter with them. I even ended up with a kitten and some moonshine (but obviously didn’t drink it since I still have my eyesight).

The next summer I sold in Blacksburg, Virginia, a much more affluent area. Guess what? They didn’t buy my books. They thought they were too good for my books. And there I learned that the people with the most resources at their disposal are often the ones who lack the most. I couldn’t even get a word in edgewise. So back to my country roots I went, where folks knew a good deal when they saw it and recognized books to be the transformative tool that they are.

You can’t scare me. I’ve sold books door to door. The military was a cakewalk after this experience. I also learned that when someone said “No” what they meant was that I hadn’t done my job in showing them the true value of my product. That was a pretty big lesson to learn so early in life.

So if a book salesperson knocks on your door, please take the time to hear them out. They are doing a job few others would even attempt. And I can guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised by their tremendous products and will be proud to add them to your library.

26
Jun
14

the mystery of self-motivation by charlie “t” jones

Charlie "Tremendous" Jones showing how self-motivation is done!

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones showing how self-motivation is done!

Today we’re surrounded by motivators—people and things strive to motivate people to buy a product, pay for advice or enlist in a cause. Motivation classes are crammed and motivation book are best-sellers. Motivation is big business!!

But look closely at these motivators—some reach the point where they can motivate anybody into doing anything and success is running out their ears, yet they are miserable because they forgot to learn how to motivate themselves!

Which would you rather be—a miserable, successful motivator or a happy, motivated flop? I would rather be a happy, motivated flop. If I am learning to be motivated, I’ll eventually become a successful motivator of others, and be happy doing it. The motivator who can motivate everybody but himself may win the world but he’ll never enjoy it.

Some people get involved with their work but are not committed. Others are committed but don’t get deeply involved. The two go together, and I’m convinced that there in no way to learn to be a motivated person without being totally involved and committed to whatever you are engaged in!

The greatest motivators I’ve had have come from my own heart and home. Someone else’s experience or story can never motivate you as deeply as your own.

Wouldn’t it be great if life were a game? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the field of life had cheering sections on each side, and when we reached the impossible situation and dint’ know how to go on and no one understood us and we’re about ready to folks and say those terrible words, “I quit,” wouldn’t it be wonderful if the stands would come alive and they’d yell, “Charlie, boy, keep on going; we’re with you!” I’d say, “Wohooo! That’s all I needed.” Boy I’d go on down the field to another touchdown!

But life isn’t a game, is it? It’s a battlefield. Instead of players and spectators, we’re all soldiers, including some gold diggers and some AWOLs! But we’re all in the struggle, whether we know it or not. And the person who knows how to be motivated doesn’t need any cheering section. He was motivation built in. He’s not looking for a crutch that might break; a bonus that will be taxed away; he’s learning motivation from within. What really makes a man in his inner dynamics and the learning of the law of being motivated, not the power of motivating others. If you are motivated, you will motivate other inevitably. And isn’t it excited to be around people who are motivated? Wohooo!




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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