Posts Tagged ‘success

12
Dec
14

all i want for christmas is a purpose in life

giftMark Twain said the two greatest days in a person’s life are the day they’re born and the day they find out why. Seeing as the first day happens regardless of anything we do, we should focus all our earthly endeavors on the second day. This year, give yourself the ultimate Christmas gift and find out what you were born to do.

So how does a person go about unwrapping their life gifts? Our gifts only become readily apparent when we use them. Therefore, at any given moment, there are thousands of things we are capable of doing if we are willing. All it takes is for us to act.

One of the most transformational books of all time is Victor Frankl’s gut-wrenching memoir Man’s Search for Meaning. In it, Mr. Frankl quickly puts man’s search for meaning in perspective. He insists we stop asking life what its meaning is because life has already given us everything we need to begin living.

The meaning of life is a life of meaning. There’s a big difference between a life that’s achieved success and a life that’s achieved greatness. Success is measured by what a person does; greatness is measure by what a person gives. The only way to give meaning back to life is to know why you are here and then it becomes quite obvious what your purpose is.

“I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;

For Life is just an employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid.”

― Jessie B. Rittenhouse

18
Nov
14

the kids are alright

With so much lamentation about the youth of today, it was encouraging to experience a fresh perspective on our future leaders, one that will restore your faith in humanity. I sat on a panel for our Congressional District where we interviewed candidates for the United States Service Academy nominations.

I reviewed each of the applicant’s resumes two weeks prior and was astounded by their many accomplishments. The panel took twenty minutes to speak with each candidate, asking a series of questions, and I took note of the recurring themes that defined these future leaders…

Adversity: When asked if they thought they learned more from success or adversity, 9 out of 10 of them replied adversity. I’m that I had figured that out by age 18. They all realized the role of struggle and challenge in making them better individuals. This was not a group of babies with the silver spoons still in their mouths. Some came from single-parent homes, blue-collar backgrounds, working as hard as they could in the public school system. As one candidate so aptly said, “Success could be just luck. Adversity motivates me to improve.”

Mentoring: They each had someone in their lives who guided them when they were younger. For some it was an uncle who served, for others it was a school counselor who praised them for their leadership potential. Never underestimate the role you can have in developing a future leader. Robert Frost said, “I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” Somewhere along the line, someone awakened the seeds of greatness in these individuals, giving them a desire to develop themselves to the fullest.

Discipline: Show me what a person does with their idle time and I’ll show you where they’ll be in twenty years. Each of these candidates had a resume more robust than most adults. They served on sport teams, in academic societies, in community activities. They ran fund raisers, mentored younger students, and worked a variety of jobs. To say these young people were hard workers would be an understatement. If idle hands are the tools of the devil, this group is nothing but divine. As one commented, “I try to keep my schedule full in all areas of my life.”

The closing question was, “why should we chose you over the other candidates?” My favorite answer was this: “I can’t speak for the others; I’m sure they’re all very highly qualified. All I can speak for is myself and tell you that I have done the very best I can and am ready to serve.” So next time you lament the millennials, remember this next batch of leaders on the horizon. The one thing we can all do for them is to take the time to encourage their greatness and model the discipline they’ll need to be the best of the best. And if we do just this, I can assure you the kids will be more than alright; they’ll be tremendous!

 

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!

29
Jan
14

“Victory is Mine!” Sayeth the Leader

Reaching for StarSuccess is defined as a triumphant struggle against difficulty. If that doesn’t describe leadership I don’t know what does. People don’t like to change, develop, or do the right thing. They’ll fight it tooth and nail. It’s not part of our inherent nature and it takes great resolve and discipline because the more we settle into organizations and bureaucratic tendencies, the harder the struggle.

For the leader this just sweetens the challenge. To deny the struggle is to deny the victory. And leadership in any capacity is a battle and the true reason why the extra mile is rarely crowded. Joshua J. Marine said it best: “Challenges are what make life interesting and overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

Stake Out Your Domain! One size does not fit all when it comes to being a leader. Everyone is born with a specific temperament and inherent skill set. You may have never thought of yourself in these terms so here’s a good rule of thumb: what comes easily and naturally to you is your special gift. Next, the leader forms the basis of their principles which allows them to differentiate between a mountain and a mole hill.

Defend Your Realm! We all have an obligation to lead. If you are breathing, you should be leading. If you do not, you will have left the planet with fewer resources than before you arrived. That is a terrible, negative karmic imbalance and you will go down in the annals of history as a lazy, self-indulgent sloth. A lack of involvement in decision making is the height of disrespect.

Savor the Victory! Leadership is so rewarding because it’s so hard. You can’t fake it and you can’t dabble in it and truly savor the thrill of victory, the agony of defeat. It’s a bittersweet symphony that’s life. General Patton said, “You can never grow until you push yourself past the point of exhaustion.” So once you’ve done that, be sure and look yourself squarely in the mirror and give yourself an “atta boy”. Victory is yours. Savor it.

21
May
13

exposure to experience

ImageA bird left the safety of its home to fly and perch on the branch of a different tree. It doesn’t fear leaving the old and taking up residence in the new because it doesn’t put its faith in the strength of the branch upon which it roosts. If the branch should break, the strength of its own wings will keep it aloft.

I’ve had some major limbs break out from under me, both personally and professionally. In each case I had left the old to live in the new with great optimism and hope. Sometimes I felt the branch beginning to give way soon after I arrived. Other times I had no idea I was truly out on a limb until the bottom fell out. In either case, I not only survived but flew off to the next branch as a result of the wings of my experiences.

One of leadership’s most powerful laws is Exposure to Experience: the more356 you know, the more you grow. The more you go down, the more you grow up. The more beaten down you are, the stronger you become. My father, the late, great Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, wrote about this in his motivational classic, Life Is Tremendous. He used to tell me when I was younger that I need to “earn my stripes” and that good judgment came from experience which was the direct result of poor judgment.

He also said that we are all born with an empty psychological key ring attached to our side and every experience, good, bad, or indifferent, gave us another key with which to unlock the doors of life’s journey. The more keys the better. So believe in yourself enough to truly know that any experience in which you give your all will enable you to reach heights you never thought you could.

19
Feb
13

Success by Association?

Not-Like-The-Others-PenguinWe’ve all heard the term guilt by association, but can we be successful by association? The truest leaders are constantly giving of themselves.  My father, the late, great Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, said “You are the same person five years from now that you are today except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” Some take this to mean that if I spend five years reading books on becoming a millionaire then I’ll become a millionaire; and if I associate with successful people for five years I’m going to become one.

Success is not assimilated. When you rub elbows with the rich and famous, none of it actually rubs off on you. You still have to earn it for yourself.  It’s just that the vision, and the council, and the motivation are around you so the chances of you accomplishing YOUR goals are much greater than if you were not in the presence of greatness.

Sooner or later, you’ve got to pay it forward to stay in the Success Club. If all you represent is a siphon on those around you in an effort to prop yourself up to their level by association, you are a taker, not a giver, and you are certainly not a success. One of my favorite analogies used by many a preacher regarding making Christianity a personal choice, and not being born into faith is, “Just because you’re born in a garage doesn’t make you an automobile.”

The whole premise of success is to give back, and not to continually leech off the reputation or contacts of the people you are associating with. Riding on someone else’s coattails and name dropping are just as despicable as stepping on someone to get to the top.

Humility is the ultimate sign of greatness. To truly become first, you must become last, not simply hang out with those in first place. So make sure your motives are self-examined. There is no doubt that who we hang out with impacts us. But we really should be doing some of our own impacting, too, which is why we should never make associations about ourselves, but rather ask ourselves what our associations can do for others.

11
Jan
13

four things in four years

fourFour years ago this week I made a decision that I knew was coming for the past 45 years. In the words of ole blue eyes, “I’ve lived a life that’s full, I traveled each and ev’ry highway”. But I was ready to travel the biggest unchartered course of all, and ready to no longer be doing things “My Way”. I came home to carry on what my father started.

Here are the top four things I’ve learned over the past four years that have not only kept me alive but actually enabled me to thrive.

  1. It takes time: I recently read a book review on Amazon where the reader stated, “My only disappointment with this book is that it does not offer any real secrets to becoming successful overnight.” That’s right, despite the fact that we live in a society addicted to YouTube videos and reality shows devoid of any reality, there is no such thing as an overnight success. It takes doing things repeatedly for years, sometime decades, or even a lifetime, to gain any traction. If you’re not willing to dedicate your life to sharing your gifts, then you’ve got nothing worth sharing past your 15 minutes of fame. But if you know “why” you are doing what you’re doing, time doesn’t even enter into the equation and you’ll never ask the self-serving question, “how long will it take?”
  2. No one can grow your business but you: If I had a nickel for everyone who promised me they could grow my business I’d have at least $200. The fact is none of them can do this. How do I know? I’ve hired plenty of them to do it! In doing so, I helped them grow their businesses, but after a while I realized they were the only ones in the relationship getting paid. You really are the only one who can truly take yourself to the next level. Sure, you can game the system by timing sales to produce an artificial “bestseller” but that’s not true organic and sustainable growth. I can pay to gain millions of followers on twitter. So what?? Be honest. You do the work. And always remember, if you want it bad, that’s how you’re going to get it, and usually after you paid someone else dearly for it.
  3. Eliminate the waste: My father used to tell me, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” Never were truer words spoken. This gem applies to everything in your life. Stay focused on what you do best and to hell with the rest. And the bottom line is that you must produce a bottom line, otherwise you will not remain viable. Waste can come in the form of people that suck your time, drain your resources, and don’t do what you are paying them to do. If they are not with you, they are against you, and it’s time to eliminate them.
  4. The more you give the more you get: My father told me that the more books he gave away the more money he made. I used to assume it was because he was a salesman of unprecedented skill and star quality. But the truth of his point is that freely sharing books and what he learned from them was his way of tithing. You don’t give to get; that’s trading. You give because that is the true meaning of life. And life rewards us when we comply with this gorgeous truth. I have a plaque in the office given to my father thanking him for donating $200,000 to a particular college. I remember wondering if there would ever be a time when we could do that again in a single year. Well guess what? After four years of numerous free speeches, countless giveaways, sponsorships of wonderful people and events, and the publishing of hundreds of thousands of books, we were able to give $189,500 this year alone. Close enough: I’ll take the cigar!

People ask me how I do it. The answer is simple: stay focused, work hard, use discretion, have a purpose, and try new things. If they work continue; if they don’t discontinue. And that, my tremendous friends, is what I’ve learned in four years!




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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