Posts Tagged ‘commitment

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!

01
Aug
13

The Three Decisions by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones

Three_Decisions1I’ve heard my father give this speech hundreds of times. In fact, it was a major section of his bestselling motivational classic, Life Is TremendousThe Three Decisions: Who are you going to live your life with, what are you going to live your life doing, and who you are going to live your life for. I know my father worked very hard and came from humble beginnings, but I always kind of assumed that he was one of the very few who just got it right the first time. After all, he married my mother at 20 years of age and they stayed married for the next 60 years. He was a world-renowned motivational speaker who had a certain charisma that was unrivaled. His faith in the almighty God after he became a Christian at 23 was as pure and radical a transformation as Paul’s on the road to Damascus.

So easy for him to make these decisions, right? Wrong! When you read The Three Decisions you will see a man who made a decision and then spent his life committing himself to it. There was nothing easy about it. Committed people only look that way to outsiders. This is such a rarity these days we just assume great fortune or that the stars were aligned when someone leads a charmed life. There are no charmed lives. There are only those who live life giving their all to what they’ve committed to with their decisions.

My father said the secret to a lifelong marriage isn’t compatibility, its commitment, and that you cannot make this decision based on how it goes, but solely on integrity; that God does not put romance in marriage, but in people, and it’s up to us to ensure it stays there. My father also said that God never made a job to make a man; He made men to make a job. And if you wanted a better job, you needed to do a better job. And when my father finally made his personal commitment to accept the Bible as absolute truth, he pursued it with all his heart. He would say, “With all my heart I’m telling you this: you ought to know what you believe and why you believe what you believe, and you ought to be willing to believe it so you can get to the heart of what believing is really all about.”

His lifelong mantra was that if what you’re going to get supersedes what you’re going to give, you’re in the wrong ballpark. In other words, if you are always on the make for a better person, job, or god based on what it’s going to do for you, you aren’t even alive. But when you are so ready to commit to one person, one passion, and one master that you’d give it all up, then you are capable of making the three most important decisions of your life and to live life tremendously and triumphantly.

22
Apr
13

Don’t Keep the Faith—Share It!

Charlie Jones reading his Bible in the Holy Land.

Charlie Jones reading his Bible in the Holy Land.

When you are passionate about your faith and passionate about respecting others’ beliefs, it’s amazing the kind of connectivity that transpires. When my father passed, I heard from many whose lives he touched, people from different political, religious, and ideological backgrounds. “Tremendous” was passionate that we each choose what we are going to live our lives for and go all out doing it.

He claimed it was one of the only three decisions that you ever needed to make in life. Decide whom you are going to live your life for, make it yours, and die by it. He respected those who lived life with a tremendous passion and chastised those who didn’t. As the late, great Margaret Thatcher said, “Standing in the middle of the road is very dangerous; you get knocked down by the traffic from both sides.” My father personally witnessed this in his sales career, in his home life, and in his church. He believed it with all his heart.

“Tremendous” Jones spoke to many thousands of groups throughout his lifetime. Some were of a religious or faith-based affiliation, but the majority was not. That never deterred him from veering off point or changing the message to share his faith. I used to wonder why he would take on such a sensitive topic when facing thousands of business people from all walks of life and beliefs until I finally understood. He was just living out loud. He was revealing his most authentic self and just being.

His faith is what drove every second of his life and to not share that would be dishonest with others. His life was a showcase of the grace of God, the forgiveness of Christ, the wisdom of books, and the help of others in a man’s life. And he just couldn’t keep it inside. To do so would be to let others think that his strength to live tremendously came from his own mental and physical strength, and nothing was further from the truth. He never told you what to believe; only that you must answer this question for yourself and live life like you mean it!

04
Oct
12

Work ethic or wish ethic?

Two construction workers sat down to eat their lunches one day. One worker opened his lunch box, took out the sandwich, and exclaimed, “Oh no, not peanut-butter sandwiches!!” The next day the same scenario was repeated. This went on for several more days before his co-worker finally said, “Joe, if you don’t like peanut-butter sandwiches, just tell you wife not to pack them anymore!” His friend immediately fired back, “You leave my wife out of this! I pack my own lunch!!”

Which is stronger: your work ethic or your wish ethic? One of the great universal and constant truths is the role of hard work in living your life to its fullest potential. Yet somehow, despite the plethora of stories we hear about how our parents and predecessors worked so hard, many feel that it is somehow beneath them to struggle for success today. They’ll use all kinds of excuses such as the opportunities are not there (where’d they go?), life’s not fair (who said it was?), and cast stones at those who have what they do not in an attempt to tear them down (the blame game).

My grandfather had five children within five years in the heart of the Depression, but no job. That didn’t stop him from working. There are countless studies about the impact of having meaningful work and how it affects your self esteem. If you have a work ethic, you will find work because it’s in your blood. I am constantly looking for people who are able to bring a strong sense of accountability and commitment to our organization. I can and always will have a place for them.

How badly do you really want to succeed? Enough to ignite an internal revival? Or are you content to languish in the mode of survival? Life will always be one continuous, glorious pageant of struggles. That’s the nature of it. It’s like the Samuel Goldwyn quote, “The harder I work, the luckier I get”. Wishing is child’s play. What do we wish upon? A falling star? A birthday candle? It’s a tradition, but it doesn’t actually mean anything.

Never forget, those at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there. Even if you are born with certain privileges, if you don’t work to keep them they won’t always be there.  Money can’t buy a work ethic. It is something you develop internally.  The government can’t subsidize one for you; quite the contrary: any help received that does not help you to develop your work ethic is injurious. As my father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones used to say, “It takes a lot of learning to figure out how to help somebody more by hindering them less. Imagine what will happen if Congress ever figures that out.”

It reminds me of the classic Blues Brothers song, “Rubber Biscuit”:

“Have you ever heard of a wish sandwich? A wish sandwich is the kind of a sandwich where you have two slices of bread and you wish you had some meat…”

So what are you packing in your lunchbox? Are you wishing for something? Or are you working to get some prime cuts into the bread box of your life?

12
Sep
12

Three Ways to Know You’re Fulfilling Your Destiny

When people ask what the purpose of life is, the approved response is “a life of purpose”. While this is absolutely true, it’s a bit esoteric and pragmatists like me need some more detail. So here you go:

You know you’re fulfilling your destiny when money doesn’t matter. Now don’t misunderstand me, when you dial into your true gift, you’ll probably be more successful than you ever imagined. This may be money, power, prestige, happiness, and/or contentedness. When you find your life’s purpose, it means you have dialed into the gifts freely given to you and have decided to invest them in the lives of others. This universal principle is rewarded infinitely and in many different ways. It depends on what’s important to you.

Before my current position, I always had great jobs. But when a better opportunity came along I was off to a new one. During my first year at Tremendous Life Books, I still did some freelance consulting work. I received the best job offer package I had ever gotten in my whole life and was happy to turn it down to pursue running a legacy business full time. You see, I had found where I was supposed to be and no amount of money could make me turn to something else. Similarly, there were jobs where I had bosses who were so miserable no amount of money could make me stay there one more day.

You know you’re fulfilling your destiny when nothing stops you from getting your message out there. Being a publisher, I am contacted by all sorts of aspiring authors. One individual set up a meeting with me to discuss his bestseller. When I asked for a copy of the manuscript he declared that it hadn’t yet been written. When I asked if he had a blog I could begin reviewing to get an idea of his message, content, and style, he exclaimed, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but blogging is beneath me.” I guess I was there to thank him for even considering talking to me about his future masterpiece…I’m still not sure.

People have this weird perception that if they publish it, people will buy. Nothing could be further from the truth. It takes years and years of knocking on doors, hitting the pavement, even giving it away. After all, if Christ’s Great Commission in the Bible was to share the Word of God (a free gift of eternal life with all your sins forgiven) what makes you think your message will be any more freely received and will change the world? I received an email from a gentleman who heard my father speak years ago at a Youth for Christ rally. He commented that my father drove all the way from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to Schenectady, New York and was given a $100 honorarium as a gift. He remembered how thrilled my father was. This is proof positive that when you are in the zone, it’s all about planting seeds, not reaping rewards.

You know you’re fulfilling your destiny when nothing else matters. It makes me sad when I hear people say they’ve retired from working or they have to take several vacations a year just to get away from it all. That’s a true indication they’re not dialed into their purpose. You can never retire from your purpose until you’re dead. That’s the way life works. So if you’re breathing, you’ve still got a job to do. This single-mindedness will get you through a myriad of difficulties from the loss of friends and family who don’t support your work, to the myriad of naysayers claiming it can’t be done.

When my father first started out in life-insurance sales, he was told by one of his managers that he should get a boat. He did. Only problem was it brought him no enjoyment. While he was out on his boat, he wondered who was on dry land gobbling up all his prospects and clients. When people told him he worked too hard and needed to get away from it all he exclaimed, “Away from it all! I’m trying to get into it all!!” Here was a man who had obviously found his purpose in life. I haven’t had a “true” vacation since 1995. At least if I have a nervous breakdown they’ll find me with a smile on my face!

So can you live a great life if you haven’t found your purpose? Sure, but it won’t be everything that it could be. I didn’t really know what my life purpose was until I was 46, much older than my father was when he discovered his. He found his life path out of necessity, i.e., making a living, while I found mine while exploring life’s various paths. I may not have known exactly what I should be doing, but with each experience I got closer to discovering it.

It’s lonely living life on your own terms; few people do. We’re kind of an endangered species, especially in today’s world of collective consciousness, guilt, and debt. But it’s a glorious existence and one you won’t cease to pursue and claim once you take the first step. As my father said, “When you are doing what you know you ought to do and WHY—there is no price to pay.” So what are you waiting for? The universe is watching to see what you’ll do with all the gifts you’ve got inside of you!

15
May
12

passion makes perfect

Too much practice makes a speech sound canned, an emotion fall flat, an activity seem routine. Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong. You may be wondering if there truly is something you couldn’t get wrong. There sure is: the decisions you make. You say, “I’ve made plenty of wrong decisions!” That’s not exactly true. Once you make a decision you make it yours, you die by it; you stick by it regardless of the odds or outcome. The decision isn’t what’s failed; it’s your commitment to making it work.

Once it’s in your heart, that’s when the decision is complete.  You have the know why, which is the engine that drives the know how.  A dear friend of mine recently shared a story about the time, years ago, when my father had hired him to speak at the close of an insurance company’s day-long program. My friend was not a professional speaker per se, but a lawyer. He accepted the offer since he was not about to tell his mentor “no”. Several days before the speech, my father asked about the upcoming event. My friend replied that he was ready but that he would need to review the presentation one more time. My father looked at him and said there was no need to review, “Either the words are in your heart, or you are not ready.”

When my father was in his final stages of cancer in 2008, he was confined to his hospice bed barely able to speak above a whisper. I made the trek to Pennsylvania from Missouri every weekend during those last three months. I waited patiently for him to discuss the future of the business with me. He never did. He never even asked me if I had thought about coming back and running the company. I could not understand why he didn’t ask.

But then it hit me. If it wasn’t in my heart to come home of my own volition, it wouldn’t be my decision. He knew if he asked I couldn’t say no. But he also knew that when the going got tough, I would be the first to suck my thumb and complain that I had left everything behind and come back at the behest of someone else. You see, when it’s your decision, you’ve got no one else to blame. When it’s your decision, you live and die by it. When it’s your decision, the end result doesn’t matter; it’s your commitment to the decision that matters. Passion is all about the journey, not the destination.

Final results have a funny way of always working out for those who stay the course. Maybe there are some detours along the way, but that’s what adds an element of surprise to all of life’s experiments. If it’s in my heart, it doesn’t matter if it doesn’t work out because I know I did everything within my power to make it work. And if it doesn’t work out, there’s something greater looming on the horizon that I had better get ready for. In the end, it’ll all work out. If it hasn’t worked out yet, it’s not the end.

So keep on living life tremendously. If there is passion in your heart, you can’t possibly get it wrong.

08
May
12

livin la vida laissez

The phrase laissez-faire is French and broadly implies “let it be”, or “leave it alone.” Helen Keller put it perfectly, “Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings.” Death by neglect is the most painful death of all. It is like dying as a result of one million paper cuts versus one swift, fatal stab to the heart. It’s irritating, agonizingly slow, and open to septic infections every step of the way.

I’ve worked for some laissez-faire companies, the ones that refuse to get involved even when they’ve been alerted something is wrong. I once wrote a letter to a CEO describing some very real issues going on in his organization after the chain dismissed my concerns. The only response he had for me was, “What do you want me to do about it?” The apathy is obvious. If the bosses don’t care, why should the employees?

The laissez-faire mentality can extend to matters of the heart as well. Are you a laissez-faire lover, meaning your relationship isn’t worth investing in? You just let it spiral down the drain until somebody files divorce paperwork or you just lead separate lives under the same roof. You can lead a laissez-faire home life as well, where you just go with the flow and refuse to deal with any of the issues in your life. Maybe as a parent you choose not to exert a strong parental influence; or maybe you allow a bad habit to form and grow into an addiction than slowly takes your life.

The greatest leaders of all time provoke one of two reactions: you either love them so much you’re willing to die for their cause or you hate them so much you wish them non-existent. As Napoleon Bonaparte so eloquently said, “Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” When you chose the laissez-faire lifestyle you’re like the fig tree in the Parable from Luke’s Gospel, all leaf and no fruit. The end result is destruction.

There is a sure-fire way to cure this malaise. In his motivational classic, Life Is Tremendous, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones says there are only three decisions we make in our entire lifetime. They are: who am I going to live my life with; what am I going to live my life in; and who am I going to live my life for. Once you commit to your life partner (and for us single gals it sure can be to ourselves) you are no longer a laissez-faire lover. You will work and fight to honor the vow you took. Once you decide what you are going to live your life in, your job becomes a passion and you realize that every workplace act is a reflection of your character and a chance to serve others. Once you decide who you are going to live your life for, you become full of passion for that goal, idea, or entity. And passion is the antithesis of laissez-faire.

So quit sitting there watching the seconds tick by. This is your one shot at life so make every aspect of it count. My father used to joke that a lot of people are walking around this planet dead long before they’re buried, but thank God he made it so we don’t stink until we’re put in the ground. Hang around great people and read great books to get you out of the laissez-faire lifestyle and soon you’ll be marveling at the newfound taste of living a fruitful and committed life.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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