Posts Tagged ‘passion

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!

09
Jan
14

Put Success in Succession Planning

ImageFive years ago today, I left my previous life and came home to run the publishing business my father started 49 years ago. I still remember the anxiety as I pulled onto the Carlisle Pike and drove by my high school. It was surreal, as if everything I went through during the 27 years since I left home had been a dream. I felt the twinge of a panic attack coming on.

Walter Lippmann said, “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.” Perpetuity is the tie that binds across time. I heard a tremendous acronym last year that was right on the money: A.L.I.V.E.—Always Live In View of Eternity. But how exactly does a mere mortal do that?

Taking over a second-generation family publishing business was uncharted territory for me in all respects. But here I am five years later happier and more settled than in any other career I’ve worked. People stress a lot over succession planning. Here’s a few of the things that got me through my succession process that will hopefully put some success in yours.

Take it easy. Don’t spoil the time you have left with your predecessor by stressing about the future. This is especially true if you are dealing with someone who is suffering from a terminal illness. As long as they are alive and in charge, the whole shootin’ match is theirs. Don’t be obsessed with fixing everything before you’re even at the helm. In my case, there was very little planning involved. I spent the last three months flying from Missouri to Pennsylvania to be by my father’s side while he was in home hospice. We did not talk about the future direction of the company or its financials. We shared precious time together, I recorded his memoires for a book, and we watched TV.

You’ve got to truly want it. My father never once, during that time, asked me to come home and run the business. He knew it had to be my own decision and so, one week before he passed, I told him I was leaving my current world and coming home to take the reins. He squeezed my hand and told me that I would take it places he never could. That one moment, that one sentence, was all I needed to propel me forward to carry on the legacy. Just because you’re the son/daughter/heir apparent doesn’t mean you’re automatically the one to carry the torch. You have to want it more than anything. If you don’t, be honest with the founder so they can make other plans.

Keep the DNA, but put your individual stamp on it. I left home at 18 to literally earn my own stripes. Growing up with a powerful parent you have two choices: you can stay in their shadow or you can forge your own path. The more powerful the personality, the more impossible it will be for anyone to recreate it. So I spent decades filling my own experience bag knowing that sometime in the future I might get the opportunity to carry on a legacy. It’s like the Seinfeld episode where Kramer sells his life stories to J. Peterman and then can no longer use them. The stories are most meaningful if you’ve lived them yourself; otherwise you’re just a storyteller or an actor. The second bit of advice I read about when I returned home was the importance of rebranding at the one year point. Although this will sound heretical to many who know you under the original name, it is essential that you let the world know that someone new is at the helm and that the company is on a sure course. By changing our name from Executive Books to Tremendous Life Books, but keeping my father’s “kicking man” silhouette as our symbol, we kept our DNA yet opened it up to any type of material that promoted not just an executive life but a tremendous life.

In government, in churches, in businesses, in life, smaller is always better. Hitler had millions of followers, Jesus had only twelve. Be careful of surrounding yourself with too many advisors, board members, trustees, or family members. Too many cooks spoil the broth. I was blessed in that I could make the decisions affecting the company quickly and blessed with a board that loved my father, but most importantly, trusted me. Therefore we were not constantly bogged down in minutia and personalities.  Big is nice, profitable is better. I can remember how I was constantly comparing my father’s numbers to mine when a dear friend and VERY successful speaker pointed out to me that because we were lean we actually were more profitable than his business was. The light bulb lit up! My expertise is in operations, so although I didn’t yet have my father’s reach, I did have the means to create profit. Bring your particular business acumen to the forefront. It will undoubtedly be different from your predecessors so you’ll be able to deal with issues they couldn’t.

My father left me with a company that had a sterling reputation, no debt, unlimited content, and a host of contacts with the conviction to help me carry on what he had started. That is perhaps the most important portion of succession planning:  Although I was optimistic about the opportunity to carry on what my father started, I had no idea it would still be in existence and continuing to evolve five years later. No one can do it on their own so don’t sweat finding that one special person who will take it to infinity and beyond! Focus on sowing seeds across a myriad of years and locations so that when the next crop begins to grow there’s plenty of it.

10
Sep
13

Belief before Speech

 

Duck Dynasty  560Jim Rohn said, “Communication is 20% what you know and 80% how you feel about what you know.”  I recently watched a televised interview with the cast of the popular reality show Duck Dynasty. The interviewer commented that the cast members never watched the show to which one of them replied, “We don’t have to watch it. We live it!”

In a similar vein, a longtime family friend wrote about how he was given the opportunity to deliver a keynote due to a scheduling conflict on my father’s calendar. Several days before the speech, he asked my father if he would look over what he planned deliver to the group. My father told him there was no need to review. “Either the words are in your heart, or you are not ready.”

Jim Rohn and Charlie

Two greats believers and speakers!
Jim Rohn and Charlie “T” Jones

People want to hear what’s in our hearts because it’s the truest example of how we feel about something. And the only way to truly feel something is to have experienced it. That’s why the most powerful speakers and mentors are the ones who have not only talked the talk, but have actually walked the walk, and therefore have the strength of conviction that comes with experience. If you are scared to give a speech, it may be because you don’t believe strongly enough in your topic.

Now this doesn’t mean that you forgo preparation just because you can emote about an experience; on the contrary, preparing how you are going to deliver your beliefs is almost as important as the experience itself. It simply means that, if you lack experience, no amount of preparation will replace it. Without experiential conviction your talk is just theory, and theories are like opinions: everybody’s got one.

Content is king and experience breeds excellence; and a heart-felt belief is the most powerful voice in the universe.

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.

23
Jul
13

how’s your love life?

she-loved-life-I know, you must read on because you are not sure if I am really going to blog about my love life, but I gotta tell you, it’s amazing. In fact, I have never had a more energized, actualized, romanticized, conceptualized love affair with my life than at this very moment.

I hit a milestone this past week and I am so darn excited I could leap out of my skin….and I was already pretty loose in it already! I hit the half-century mark! And the reason I am so happy is that I now finally feel ready to conduct my next 50 year journey around the solar system knowing exactly how I want it done!

I am well aware of the many horrible mistakes I made, the pain I caused, and the idiotic things I did in my first 50 years. I am no longer interested in looking back at them. I have worked under the disapproval of various bosses who didn’t value me for the first 50 years. I am no longer constrained by what someone thinks of my skill set. I know what I offer; I won’t tolerate not being fully utilized and I won’t compromise my principles.

I am single; have been for a long time. There were many times during my first 50 years when I had someone in my life but never felt more alone or hurt. When I page through family albums, looking back over the past decades, very few, if any, of the people in the pictures are still in my life, yet I feel happier and more love in my heart today than at any other time.

Lastly, but most importantly, I am at peace with my priorities and finally have the confidence to enforce any and all boundaries that were so sorely missing during my first 50 years. The older I get the less I care what people think about me, hence the more I enjoy life! I can finally tell it like it is, in love, and never have a second thought about it! And isn’t that what we longed for during our younger, more insecure years?

So how’s your love life? Is it exhilarating?? Mind numbing??  Full of living out your most ardent passions? If not, it sure can be.  I am a liver and a lover of life! I finally cleaned out all of the toxins in my world and am free to move about the universe.  Each and every one of us can do this. It’s not up to any person or job to come and fill some self-imposed void. It’s completely up to you!

 

03
Jul
13

TGIF! Thank God I’m Free!!

FREEDOM Flag 3I am a happy person by nature. I am also strong and tolerant. That means I tend to attract those who are, as well as those who are not. Unfortunately, on planet Earth, the latter outnumber the former, so you do the math. While some people create drama, my life seemed destined to attract it.

I became aware of this as a young girl when my father called me a “weirdo magnet.”  So, after a half century of hearing thousands of bitches, complaints, whines, and excuses, I am turning that channel off.  I am finally free to be me, and just in time for Independence Day!!

Freedom from everyone’s expectations!

I am free because I am finally doing exactly what I should with my life. No more chasing other people’s ideas of what a good job is, no more going into jobs to fix what others should have corrected years ago. Why, even my father didn’t ask me to come back and run the family business on his death bed. He knew it had to be my choice alone. I also no longer expect bosses to be fair and ethical. I know that, while there are some who are, there are many more who aren’t. I no longer have to deal with them. I am free to make as much money as I want to give to organizations that I know will make the world a better place.

Freedom from everyone’s drama!

I am free because I no longer allow myself to engage in drama with others, including family members. I just give the old stormtrooper’s wave-off, “Move along, nothing to listen to here.” This may seem harsh, but the true cruelty is when you allow people to continuously wallow in their own self pity and poor self esteem. It’s like the old Nik Kershaw song, “You gotta be cruel to be kind in the right measure.” Emotional vampires don’t care about getting advice from you; they just want to suck the life out of you. Pull out the garlic cloves and holy water and tell them to be gone!!

Freedom from everyone’s manipulation!

I am free because I am true to myself and my beliefs. I don’t get drawn into arguments anymore. I don’t fall prey to subtle forms of manipulation such as false praise or subtle digs. I follow my principles even if they are unpopular, or they cost me a neighbor, an author, a boyfriend, or even a family member. We all die alone and in the end, the only person we have to answer to is God. Don’t believe? Then don’t you worry about it. And don’t try and bring me down because I have faith and you don’t.

You know you’re on the right track when you’re uninterested in looking back. The quieter you become the more you can hear. Know what you believe, and why you believe what you believe, so you can get to the heart of what believing is really all about.

06
May
13

the space between

OPPORTUNITIESNOWHEREThe space between your ears defines the space between the words. Do you see your present existence as “opportunities nowhere” or as “opportunities now here”?  So many times we lament our current state. Our life’s great passion is complaining about our work, our finances, our relationships. We have opportunities nowhere in sight which justifies our lack of initiative, action and positive attitude. All you have is within you so it’s up to you to define your moment and find that space between.

“The perfect place to begin is exactly where you are right now.” Dieter F. Uchtdorf




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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