Posts Tagged ‘excellence

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!

21
Apr
11

what’s better than peace, love and understanding?

Why should we take on the challenge of excellence? Everyone knows how to do this—work hard, be accountable, be ethical, do the things that no one else wants to do—so why isn’t everyone performing to a level of excellence? Because they don’t know why they should perform at that level. When we understand this, then we are truly ready to pursue the rewards of excellence.

The first reward is autonomy! When you choose to live a life dedicated to the pursuit of excellence you get to be your own boss! Never mind what the board of directors says or human resources puts in your personnel file, never mind what the stock market tells you your retirement accounts are worth. You and you alone know what you are worth. And you are only evaluated on what is personally inside of you. It’s whatever you are willing to invest in and commit to and actually push yourself to be: the most excellent version of yourself. So no more complaining about the boss…the boss is you!

The second reward of excellence is contentedness. You are comfortable in your own skin. You don’t have to tune out or stress out; you are truly actualized with the progress you’ve made.  Albert Einstein once said, “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” In our quest for excellence, we know we’re going to be ridiculed, judged, and opposed in many hurtful ways. But that’s okay! It’s called growing pains. There is no growth without the pain. We wear our battle scars with pride because we know we are engaged in triumphant warfare! And we are content in the face of adversity because it’s all a natural and necessary part of separating from the pack. The reward of excellence is that you are content with all events that transpire and you wouldn’t have it any other way.

The third reward of excellence is wisdom. My father told me that when we have a communication problem it isn’t between the mouth and the ear; it’s between the heart and the head. When you pursue and achieve excellence, you fail. That’s right; someone who’s successfully pursues excellence fails countless times by virtue of the number of challenges and risks undertaken. And those failures give us strength, experience, good judgment, empathy, compassion, and yes, wisdom. Jim Rohn once said, “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” We become effective communicators when we have walked a mile in others’ shoes.

19
Apr
11

just say no to the status quo

The Parable of Talents found in the book of Matthew, Chapter 25, is one of my favorite illustrations of conquering the fear that prevents us from achieving excellence. In the parable, a man gives each of his three servants a bag of property, some say it was gold. The number of bags given was based upon each of the servants’ ability. The owner then went on a journey and returned to see what his servants have done with what was entrusted to them.

 The first servant, who was given five bags, used his talents to gain five more. The second, who was given two bags, used his talents to also double the owner’s initial investment. The third was given one bag. He was afraid and hid his bag in the earth and returned it to the master crying, “See, you still have what is yours.” The owner cursed him as slothful, and even wicked, for not working with what he was given. The third servant’s rationale was, “I kept exactly what was given to me secure. Hence, there was no loss, so what’s the problem?”

This, “no harm, no foul” mentality gets us into trouble. The third servant didn’t fail because he did not multiply what was left in his care; he failed because he was too afraid to even try. The path to excellence is not measured in titles or cars or bottom lines or bags of money, but in our commitment to living life’s continuous journey to its fullest. And the last gentleman, unfortunately, chose to stay put.

The rewards reaped on the path to excellence are never found on the streets of status quo. And by the way, whenever you feel that you’ve done enough and it’s time to rest on your laurels for a bit, remember, there is no such thing as status quo. Time can never be recovered, inflation defeats the worth of currency, and most great opportunities only happen once. Nothing static retains its original value. Decay and depreciation is a fact of life as sure as death and taxes.

So if we’re not living the most excellent versions of ourselves, we know exactly whom to blame.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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