Emanuel James “Jim” Rohn was an American author, entrepreneur and motivational speaker. Apart from being a decorated speaker, Jim has been a mentor of shorts to many successful people including like Mark R. Hughes, Brian Tracy and Tony Robbins who stated that he started his professional life coaching career after hearing a talk by Jim Rohn at one of his personal development seminars.

Even after his death on December 5, 2009, of pulmonary fibrosis, Rohn has and will continue to affect the lives of many through his writings, audio, and video. I have been interested in the art of motivation, and of course, motivational speakers since I was a teenager and after much osmosis, I feel capable of distinguishing pseudo motivation bullsh*t from true and firm motives for achieving your plans.

I have written before that motivation is a small fragment in a person’s success especially if it is rootless and frail. Bestseller books like The Secret are a prime example of how motivation and wishful thinking can mislead people into thinking that success is a byproduct of only those two factors. Jim Rohn is no exception to this law as all of those who pride themselves on the ability to motivate people sometimes fail to point out all the hardships, the soul-searching and personal digging a man must do to achieve the things he desires. I guess this is part of the positive thinking attitude that all these experts market themselves around.

Yet after listening to some of Jim Rohn’s audio books in the past few days some of the things he said stuck with me and I believe them to be true by personal experience. Here are the three things that I found most important to note and decided to share them with you.


Use What You’ve Got


In one of his seminars, Jim narrated an ancient story taken from the Bible of a master and his three servants. After gathering all three of them, the master announced that he will be leaving for a trip and will be back soon. In the meantime, he gave his servants 8 talents (ancient coins) in total. The first servant received 5 talents, the second received 2 and the last servant was given 1. His goal was to see what each of his servants would do with each of their respective coins while he was gone. Upon his return, the master gathered his servants and asked them to present to him what they have done with their coins. The first two managed to double their talents, accepting congratulations from the master while the last one dug and hide his one talent failing to understand the lesson that his master wanted his men to learn which is introduced by Jim Rohn as the motto of:

Use all that you’ve got to the best of your ability.

Rohn makes very distinct points of this and I quote:

Whatever you do not employ, you forfeit. Whatever you don’t use you lose. If you quit you lose automatically. Your mentality if not checked and exercised will be poor and weak. The same thing goes for all human virtues. Ambition unused declines. Strong feelings unused diminish. Faith unused decreases. Vitality unused diminishes. Energy unused decreases. It’s a law. If it doesn’t grow it diminishes. If you don’t use today, the present, it’s lost. Talent unused is lost. An ability unused is lost. Closing this part of his seminar Rohn states that we need to make sure that all of our talent, ability, mentality, ingenuity, vitality and strong feelings (faith, courage, passion et cetera) all that we’ve got is been used otherwise we will lose.


Neglection Leads To Failure


A point that Jim Rohn wanted to make in human behavior is that what we neglect to do ultimately shapes the character we form. He notably states that neglect to do wise things with your money will probably lead to neglection to do wise things with your time and that will lead to neglection to do wise things with your business. One thing leads to another, and another and another.

This is in direct correlation to the process of Habit-forming and the fact that you are the sum total of the things you spend your time on. Neglecting to do what you must, when must, whether that is hard work, or saving up money and investing on your development will soon lead to a form of failure. It all ties in together with using what you’ve got efficiently and not letting unwise decisions ruin the path you want to follow.


Goalsetting 101


As any person willing to develop his attributes and abilities one must be able to efficiently set his goals and make plans for his actions. Those actions will yield certain results and over time will create certain character values. Those values and conclusions are your future so make sure you treat the first phase of your success/failure with respect and attention.

Jim Rohn divides goals into two categories and three subcategories. The first two are:

  • Long Range: Your dreams, your future. Who you want to be, what you want to do, who you want to be with and what kind of life you want for your family.
  • Short Range: The things that you will do this day, week, month, year. Rohn’s calls those goals confidence builders as they provide your confidence bank with investments supplied by your successful goals (i.e Daily exercise leads to confidence about your health, movement, and vitality)

Continuing, Jim categorizes goals based on three things.

  1. Economics: Making meticulous economic plans is exceptionally important for achieving certain goals ( Financial freedom, better education for your kids, or simply a new sofa)
  2. Things: Make a list of all the things you want both grant and petit. Size does matter but even the smallest thing you achieve will add to your development and continue the circle of success. That is why Rohn advices to make every failure painful and every achievement a celebration in order to mentally attach feelings and behavioral changes to the things we get and don’t get done.
  3.  Personal Development: Whatever you do make yourself more skillful. Set goals to enrich and develop new and existing skills.

In order to successfully attain your goals three steps must be followed:

  • Step 1: Work on your goals. Many people work hard on their job but not on their future plans. It is truly hard work planning smart. So devote yourself to become a good planner.
  • Step 2: Write your goals down. The person you need to study is yourself. It shows you are serious about getting better. The future doesn’t get better by hope but by planning.
  • Step 3: Check the size and type of your goals and act accordingly. Not all goals require the same effort and some may possess a priority over others. Make sure to categorize your goals based on the above two categories and be smart with the decisions about your future.



Photo Credits:

Head Image: SUCCESS Magazine

Inside Head Image: Photo by Thomas Martinsen on Unsplash

First Image: Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Second Image: Photo by Harman Abiwardani on Unsplash

Third Image: Photo by Trent Erwin on Unsplash


Marios Kanellos

Author Marios Kanellos

Hi, I'm Marios and in here I write for a few of the things that I'm truly passionate.

More posts by Marios Kanellos