Posts Tagged ‘Life Is Tremendous

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.

19
Mar
13

so you think you can speak

Charlie "Tremendous" Jones doing what he does best...motivating!

Charlie “Tremendous” Jones doing what he does best…motivating!

I routinely get calls from folks looking for two things: they want me to publish or sell their books, and they want me to get them speaking gigs. My father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, was a world-renowned speaker and bestselling author. He claimed that teaching a Sunday school class to a bunch of eight-year-old boys is how he kicked off his public speaking career. I heard this many times growing up and thought, how on earth could speaking in a church basement to a small group of kids prepare you for speaking in front of millions of people??

Later in life, I got the chance to find out. There are three main reasons why speaking in front of children is one of the best ways to hone your public speaking skills.

Honing my speaking skills!

Honing my speaking skills!

1)      Be Simple! My father wrote about the SIB–KIS principle in his motivational classic, Life Is Tremendous. It’s an acronym for See It Big–Keep It Simple. As Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” When you distill leadership principles or concepts to kids under ten, you have to really drill down to the basics.

2)      Be Engaging! Great public speakers know how to work the stage and engage the audience. This involves a great deal of movement, voice inflection, and activity. Nothing makes you “work it” like being facing 250 fifth graders staring expectantly at YOU! You better be good…no, you better be great! You better be funny! You better have great stories that capture their attention and you better be moving around and engaging them personally.

3)      Be Ready! There’s no doubt about it, kids say the darndest things. If they don’t think you’re a good speaker, they’ll let you know right away, sometimes even by saying it out loud! Watching the little ones’ body language teaches you immediately what’s working and what’s not. It also teaches you to be ready for any comment or activity at any time throughout your speech.

So you think you can speak? Why not volunteer at a local library, YMCA, or any of the numerous summer programs to test your mettle. Trust me; it’ll be the most challenging and rewarding speaking engagement of your life!

20
Mar
12

why i love to fail

A young salesman asked an old-timer how he had managed to be so successful. The old timer replied “Good Judgment.” The young man then asked, “Well how do you get good judgment?” The old timer replied, “Experience.” The young man, eager to learn all he could, pressed on. “Well how do you get experience?” To which the old man replied, “Poor judgment.”

When a person begins to grow, the obstacles become bigger and better! And so do the failures. In his bestselling book, Life Is Tremendous, author Charlie “Tremendous” Jones states that we are all born with an empty psychological key ring by our side. Every experience we have in life gives us another key which we can use to move forward. Of note, failures give you double the amount of keys as successes do.

Life is tough even for the wealthiest, healthiest and smartest of us. It just is. I love Sydney J. Harris’ quote, “When I hear somebody sigh that life is hard, I am always tempted to ask, “Compared to what?” Most people are miserable because they expect everything to go right. Plan on your plan going wrong and you’ll have a successful plan! God never breaks us down with problems except to build us up. Life isn’t to be happy—life is to be growing. And we all know there is no such thing as growth without pain.

My father always said that a sure-fire growth formula was to cram fifty years of failure into fifteen. He was right; boy was he right. In the end, it’ll all be okay; if it’s not okay, it’s not the end. So next time you fail, remember: you are in the company of the greatest individuals who have ever lived because you have stepped outside your comfort zone and become more tremendous than you were before.

 

15
Aug
11

working class dog

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” Mahatma Gandhi

In Life Is Tremendous, my father and best-selling author, the late Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, recounts a time early in his insurance career when he purchased a boat. He was told this would be a great hobby to help him “get away from it all.” The problem was he was so passionate about trying to get into it all that the boat brought him stress, not relief. The reason was simple. He didn’t need to escape his job because what he did, thought, and said were all in harmony. He was that passionate about what insurance could do for people.

During the summers while my brothers and sisters and I were still living at home, summers were spent in an RV packed to the hilt with books, luggage and kids. We’d park at KOAs all across the country as my father drove us from meeting to meeting. This gypsy lifestyle was cool to me growing up. I saw the country, met lots of kids at the campgrounds, and honed my back-of-room sales skills. I learned how the marriage of work and fun worked at a very early age. Even today, to do one without the other seems very, very wrong to me.

Fast-forward to today. I, too, have a large family; however, my “kids” are felines and canines. I also get the opportunity to speak and travel across the country.  I don’t stay longer than the planned meetings to sightsee and relax because I miss my kids and doing my thing at Tremendous Life Books. I now have a better understanding why my father took advantage of the summer school breaks with these working vacations.

So when my number one canine son published his first book, True Blue Leadership: Top 10 Tricks from the Chief Motivational Hound, I figured why not repeat the same pattern? The basic premise was exactly the same: quality family time whilst spreading the word about how a book can change a life.

So we’re embarking on a six-city pawtograph tour. We’ve selected cities we’ve lived in together over the past ten years to pay tribute to all the amazing humans, hounds, and organizations that have been a part of our life. Talk about combining work and play, but then again it is the dog’s idea so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. His grandpaw would be so proud!

For details on Mr. Blue’s upcoming Stop Playing Dead book tour click here!

16
Jun
11

how to create the most memorable father’s day gift ever

I’ll never forget the thrill I got when I read a book filled with tremendous truths that were completely opposite to what I had believed. The books began to change my life and the lives of my friends and associates. Then I realized I had overlooked the most important people in my life: my family. My oldest son, Jere, was 14 years old at the time. He was the perfect example of the modern teenager. He never did anything wrong; he never did anything right; he just never did anything!

I—like most dads—have been critical of the way they do things inWashington, but one day I realized I was running a worse program in my home than the politicians in government. I decided it was time for a change, and since books had been so tremendously helpful in my life I decided to use them with my son.

I knew Jere would rebel against my forcing him to read so I planned some strategy. You know, you can take a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink—well, I decided to put some salt in Jere’s oats and make him thirsty.

“Jere, in two years you’re going to want me to help you buy a car, and I want to help you. But I’m not going to give you the money. Here is my proposal. I’m going to pay you $10 for every book you read. I’ll pick the book, you give me a written report, and I’ll put $10 in a car fund. So, if you read in style, you’ll drive in style. But if you read like a bum, you’ll drive like a bum.” Overnight he developed a tremendous hunger for reading!

My heart aches for the boy whose dad sends him off for an education before teaching him a little of the why and how of living.

Jere went to college and made a habit of writing a “Dear Dad” postcard every day about a new idea that had hit him, or a fresh slant on an old idea. And these ideas have come from his reading. I can tell you the very page of the book that I paid him to read which inspired some of these tremendous ideas!

Excerpt from “Life Is Tremendous” by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones.  For more information on Charlie’s reading contract and Jere’s “Dear Dad” cards, read this motivational classic available at www.TremendousLifeBooks.com

28
Feb
11

you down with OPP? (other people’s product)

My father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, was an author whose motivational classic Life Is Tremendous had sold several million copies. Every time he spoke, he was waving piles of books about the podium, kissing them, reading from them, letting people know that the key to everything they ever wanted in life was between two covers.

The interesting part was that the books he waived about were rarely his own. And so I learned at an early age that helping people was best served by introducing them to as many others as humanly possible. My father’s motto was, “You’ll be the same person you are today five years from now except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” And he wasn’t just referring to himself or his book.

So much of what I encounter on a daily basis is people talking about themselves. When I was in the military it was about their rank. When I was in corporate America it was about their ideas. Now that I’m in publishing it’s about their book. I think we’d all agree that there really is nothing new under the sun so what makes a person think that their words or experiences are the only ones that matter?

Zig Ziglar said, “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want.” Everything we communicate should be a compilation of the best and the brightest ideas that have touched us.  Every great autobiography will be a testament to the individuals and experiences that have made that person what they are.

The Holy Bible is the bestselling book of all time with an estimated figure of over six billion sales. It is a compilation of 66 authors. What if the Apostle John or Paul had insisted that theirs be published separately? What if the Old Testament prophets’ words had not been sewn together into an eternal tapestry?

Look around you. Read. Listen. The next time you are tempted to talk about yourself, include the insights of several others. Bundle your words with others’ genius and see how exponentially more powerful they become. In the end, you may become the person responsible for changing someone’s life, even if the ideas or words are not your own.




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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