Personal Development is Critical to Success

Unless you change how you are, you’ll always have what you’ve got.

We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation. Well, the late Jim Rohn aimed for the inspiration, always emphasizing the importance of taking responsibility for self-improvement and showing people how to reach for bigger, better lives.

Who inspired him? His mentor, Earl Shoaff, who told him this: If you want to be wealthy and happy, learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. And so began Jim Rohn’s belief in the importance of self-improvement. In his classic book, 7 Strategies for Wealth and Happiness, Jim Rohn wrote an essay entitled “The Miracle of Personal Development” in which he explains why working on yourself is a never-ending pursuit:

Ever since Mr. Shoaff woke me up with that statement, I worked hard on my own personal growth, and I must admit that this was the most challenging assignment of all. But understand, this business of personal development lasts a lifetime.

You see, what you become is far more important than what you get. The important question to ask on the job is not, What am I getting? Instead, you should ask, What am I becoming? Getting and becoming are so closely intertwined—what you become directly influences what you get. Think of it this way: Most of what you have today you have attracted by becoming the person you are right now.

I’ve also found that income rarely exceeds personal development. Sometimes income takes a lucky jump, but unless you learn to handle the responsibilities that come with it, it will usually shrink back to the amount you can handle. If someone hands you a million dollars, you’d better hurry up and become a millionaire. A very rich man once said, “If you took all the money in the world and divided it equally among everybody, it would soon be back in the same pockets it was before.”


It is hard to keep that which has not been obtained through personal development. So here’s the great axiom of life:

To have more than you’ve got, become more than you are.

This is where you should focus most of your attention. Otherwise, you just might have to contend with the axiom of not changing, which is:

Unless you change how you are, you’ll always have what you’ve got.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

No Shortcuts

William Danforth, who became the owner of the huge Ralston Purina Company, learned a lesson about success when he was a young man.  He said, “When I was sixteen, I came to St. Louis to attend the Manual Training School.  It was a mile from my boardinghouse to the school.  A teacher, who lived nearby, and I would start for school at the same time every morning.  But he always beat me there.  Even back then I didn’t want to be beaten, and so I tried all the shortcuts.  Day after day, however, he arrived ahead of me.  Then I discovered how he did it.  When he came to each street crossing, he would run to the other curb.  The thing that put him ahead of me was just ‘that little extra.’”

“There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

7 Ways You Can Communicate Better With Your Significant Other

When we’re having communication problems with someone we care about, it can be frustrating, it can hurt, and it can have us feeling defensive. I’m going to tell you give all of that up, including your pride, and learn to listen to your partner to get to the root of the issue. Here are a few tips.

Focus. Look your partner in the eyes and give all of your attention. Observe your tendency to get out of the connection.

Monitor your thought. As your partner speaks, are you listening or thinking of your response? Are you evaluating what he is saying? Stop that and just allow what your partner is feeling to sink in—to become your experience. Try to get inside his experience and feel what it is like to be him at that moment. Ask yourself how you would feel if you were in his shoes.

Respond nonverbally. Are you nodding or saying “hmm,” or something to let her know you are tracking? Let her know you are with her and truly listening.

Watch your defensiveness. If you are feeling defensive, by all means, do not say anything. Count to twenty. If you need a timeout, take one and go away until you cool off. Do not defend yourself or counterattack.

Empathize. Communicate back what you have heard: “So, Amy, you really feel by yourself, even when I am here. Wow.” Use the formula: content + feelings = being understood. In other words, repeat back to your partner her content and what you understand her feeling to be:

  • ”With all the work you have to do, it’s really feeling overwhelming.”
  • ”So, the way the kids act when I’m not here is just too much sometimes.”
  • ”Yeah, I see. When I have to work a lot, you begin to feel that you don’t matter to me as much as my job.”
  • ”So when I want sex and we haven’t really talked, you feel kind of used.”
  • ”It’s like so much is being asked of you that you just want to hide or run.”
  • ”That’s awful, I don’t want you to be in a place like that.”
  • Check it out. Ask your partner what you do that keeps her from feeling listened to. Check it out in the moment and ask, “Do you feel that I am hearing you?”

Don’t try to fix it. Avoid advice, explaining, or trying immediately to make the feelings go away. There will be a time for that. Connect first just through hearing.

Don’t make it about you. Don’t answer with something about yourself. Listening is about the other person. “Oh, I know how you feel. The other day when my boss did that…” At this moment, who cares what your boss did? This is about the other person, not you.

Connection Equals Being Known As I have said, reconnecting with each other involves your hearts being known. And there is no way to be known if you are not listening to each other. Remember, the more you listen and draw out those deep waters from your lover, the more you will know each other and re-establish the connection and love life you desire.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

You Can’t Text Your Way to Closeness

What happens when you create a life without smartphones? Recently, I went on a military training exercise to the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California, and leadership enforced a no-cellphone rule. I saw an amazing thing happen during the breaks in training when soldiers were alowed to rest. When the phones went away the cards and games appeared. Without electronic distraction, they actually looked at each other, talked and interacted. I would say those soldiers left that training exercis feeling much closer as a group

I don’t mean to suggest that technology is inherently evil; after all, God doesn’t specifically mention cellphones in the Bible. Technology has neither a good nor bad moral value, but there is a godly principle involved in the way we allow technology to affect our relationships. We are to hold each other in high esteem. We can’t do that when we ignore someone in the room and instead pay all of our attention to a screen.

Teting may give the illusion of closeness because it is so immediate, but it doesn’t really bring us close. Only time spent face-to-face with someone, with no electronic distractions, will achieve a true bond.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If You Don’t Have a Destination You’ll Never Get There

Goal setting and personal beliefs are critical to personal development. Identifying those goals and clarifying your core beliefs can also be a daunting exercise. Below is a short study by Harvey Mackay on setting and achieving your goals.

Setting goals is simply the long-term version of keeping track of your time. Actually, a three-step process is involved:

  • Setting goals
  • Developing a plan to achieve those goals
  • Keeping track of your time to make sure your plan gets executed

When I was in Japan in 1983, we had a series of seminars in which we heard speeches from the leaders of Japan’s largest industrial concerns. We heard from the top officers of Honda, Sony, Mitsubishi, and the head of the biggest enterprise of all, the eighty-eight-year-old president of Matsushita Electric.

Persuading them to speak to us was quite a coup, because the Japanese system is much more rigidly structured than ours, and they regard appearing before the troops in this fashion as somewhat beneath their dignity.

And if giving speeches was regarded as a crude Occidental custom, imagine how they felt about answering questions.

But when out eighty-eight-year-old headliner addressed us, he spoke eloquently and profoundly. Then came the questions:

Questions: “Mr. President, does your company have long-range goals?”

Answer: “Yes.”

Question: “How long are your long-range goals?”

Answer: “Two hundred fifty years.”

Question: “What do you need to carry them out?”

Answer: “Patience.”

Sounds like a joke. But if it’s so funny, how come every time we compete with them, they bury us? Everybody and every business need a set of basic goals and beliefs, but most of us are seat-of-the-pants, one-day-at-a-time operators. Our goals are fuzzy and our plans for achieving them nonexistent.

One of my good friends gave me her definition of a goal, and it’s the best one I’ve ever heard. “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Write yours down–because that’s the only way you’ll give them the substance they need to force you to carry them out.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Just Do This One Thing Today

I read this recently from Dr. Henry Cloud. It mirrors our values and I wanted to share it with you.

As  our readersknow all too well, I like to focus on One Thing. Every day I give our members One Thing to focus on in a personal video from me, and it’s one small step that you can take in the right direction, every weekday. Add them all up and you’re really going to get somewhere good.

Today, I want to give ALL of you one thing to do:

Be kind.

Give back better than you were given.

The returns of kindness will pay you back with a greater capacity for love, for enjoyment of all things, for a life that is never too small, a life in which you will never feel lost because you will have your people. Your group. Your family, whether by origin or by choice.

So, today when you find yourself in a situation where you have the option: be kind. When you are sitting in front of your computer, typing into the comment box on social media: be kind. When you are talking on the phone with someone that you disagree with: be kind. When you are talking with a person who has let you down for whatever reason: be kind.

No matter what.

Kindness isn’t weakness. It takes strength to be kind. Kindness doesn’t mean giving in, It means giving better.

I want to build you up. I want you to have a big huge life full of all the rewards that healthy relationships and character strength will give you.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Fina a Purpose

More than anything else, having a sense of purpose keeps a person going in the midst of adversity.  Business consultant Paul Stoltz did an extensive study on what it takes for individuals to persist through setbacks.

According to Stoltz, the most important ingredient of persistence is, “Identifying your mountain, your purpose in life, so that the work you do is meaningful.  I run into people every day who are basically climbing the wrong mountain.  People who have spent 20 years or more of their lives doing something that has no deep purpose for them.  Suddenly they look back and go, ‘What have I been doing?’”

If you are a purpose-driven person naturally, then you probably already possess an innate sense of direction that helps you overcome adversity.  But if you’re not, then you may need some help.  Use the following steps to help you develop a desire.

  • Get next to people who possess great desire.
  • Develop discontent with the status quo.
  • Search for a goal that excites you.
  • Put your most vital possessions into that goal.
  • Visualize yourself enjoying the rewards of that goal.

If you follow this strategy, you may not immediately find your ultimate purpose, but you will at least start moving in that direction.  As Abraham Lincoln said, “Always bear in mind that your resolution to succeed is more important than any other thing.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

3 One-Word Prayers When You’re Feeling Impatient

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE

Waiting can be hard, excruciating even. Such moments try our patience and test our sanctification. But waiting can be good for us, particularly if we learn to pray in those moments. Instead of asking God to speed up time or make the wait “go away,” try praying a one-word prayer:

1)  Use
The next time you find yourself in a “waiting room” of some kind, instead of scrolling through emails or playing a game on the phone, try turning your thoughts to God and asking Him to use the wait for His purposes. The results can be astounding. He may answer some other prayer. He may prompt you to close your eyes, slow your heart rate and enjoy a few minutes of peace. He may use moments of waiting to steer you away from danger or make you right on time for a surprising opportunity.

2)  Fill
While you wait—in line, on hold, in traffic—ask God to fill those moments with His presence. It could be music. Maybe petitions for the needs of those around you or something else of His kind, providential, even miraculous choosing.

3)  Re-direct
When I’m approaching a traffic jam in the car, my map app will sometimes suggest an alternate route that ends up saving time and frustration. That sort of thing can happen anytime we face a delay or detour. Pray just one word to God: re-direct. Allow Him to suggest alternate thoughts, routes and actions that can redeem the wait in wonderful ways. It might be an unexpected gift idea, a thoughtful way to reach out to a coworker or even a long-neglected habit you want to restart.

That’s it. Just three words. Keep them in mind and pray them the next time you’re faced with an interruption or delay. They can turn waiting into a wonder of beauty and blessing, prayer and possibility. And that is especially welcome at this most wonderful time of the year.

Bob Hostetler

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Rulers of Destiny

There is no chance, no destiny, no fate can circumvent, or hinder, or control the firm resolve of a determined soul.  Gifts count for nothing; will alone is great.  All things give way before it soon or late.  What obstacle can stay the might force of the sea seeking river in its course, or cause the ascending orb of day to wail?  Each well-born soul must win what it deserves.  Let the fool prate of luck.  The fortunate is he whose earnest purpose never swerves.  Whose slightest action or inaction serves the one great aim. – Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There is always room for a man of force. – Emerson

A strong, defiant purpose is many-handed, and lays hold of whatever is near that can serve it:  it has a magnetic power that draws to itself whatever is kindred. – T.T. Munger

What is will-power, looked at in a large way, but energy of character?  Energy of will, self-originating force, is the soul of every great character.  Where it is, there is life; where it is not, there is faintness, helplessness and despondency.  “Let it be your first study to teach the world that you are not wood and straw; that there is some iron in you.” Men who have left their mark upon the world have been mon of great and prompt decision.  The achievements of will-power are almost beyond computation.  Scarcely anything seems impossible to the man who can will strongly enough and long enough.  One talent with a will behind it will accomplish more than ten without it, as a thimbleful of powder in a rifle, the bore of whose barrel will give it direction, will do greater execution than a carload burned in the open air.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to Become the Person You Want to Be

Henry J. Kaiser says:

  1. “Know yourself and decide what you want most of all to make out of your life. Then write down your goals and a plan to reach them.
  2. “Use the great powers you can tap through faith in God and the hidden energies of your soul and subconscious mind.
  3. “Love people and serve them.
  4. “Develop your positive traits of character and personality.
  5. “Work! Put your life’s plan into determined action and go after what you want with all that’s in you.”

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment