Jim Rohn says your philosophy is the first and foremost determiner of where life takes you. Philosophy is like the set of the sail. Our philosophy sets the course for where we want to go.
The wind may take us to unwanted destinations. But our core philosophy of what life means to us in every situation will be the primary factor of what life turns out for us. There is a silver lining in every cloud, a seed of benefit in every obstacle.
In the process of living, the winds of circumstance blow on us all in an unending flow that touches each of our lives. We have all experienced the blowing winds of disappointment, despair and heartbreak.
Why then, would each of us, in our own individual ship of life, all beginning at the same point, with the same intended destination in mind, arrive at such different places at the end of the journey? Have we not all sailed on the same sea?
What guides us to different destinations in life is determined by the way we have chosen to set our sail.
The way that each of us thinks makes the major difference in where each of arrives.
The major difference is not circumstances, the major difference is the set of the sail. Jim Rohn in The Five Major Pieces of The Life Puzzle says our personal philosophy comes from what we know and from the process of how we came to know all that we currently know. The what of we know comes from our friends, school, media, family life, and daily activities of interaction. Our personal philosophy acts as the filter for all information we come in contact with. What a powerful piece of information this is. It can change your life!
The same circumstances happen to us all. We all have those moments when, in spite of our best plans and efforts, things seem to fall apart. Challenging circumstances are not reserved for the poor: rich and poor have the same challenges that can lead to financial ruin and personal despair. In the final analysis, it is not what we choose to do when we have struggled to set the sail and then discover, after all our efforts, that the wind has changed direction.
“When the winds change, we must change. We must struggle to our feet once more and reset the sail in the manner that will steer us toward the destination of our own – of our own deliberate choosing.
The set of the sail, how we think and how we respond, has a far greater capacity to destroy our lives than any challenges we face. How quickly and responsibly we react to adversity is far more important to understand than the adversity itself. A major factor in the way our lives play out is the way that we choose to think.”
“Everything that goes on inside the human mind in the form of thoughts, ideas, and information forms our personal philosophy. Our philosophy then influences our habits and behavior.” says Jim. The key to what happens to us here is that we choose how we think. By altering how we perceive and react to situations, events, circumstances, etc., we can dramatically change our lives.
“Learning to reset the sail with the changing winds rather than permitting ourselves to be blown in a direction we did not purposely choose, requires the development of a whole new discipline. It involves going to work on establishing a powerful, personal philosophy that will help to influence in a positive way all that we do and all that we think and decide.
If we can succeed in this worthy endeavour, the result will be a change in the course of our income, bank account, lifestyle and relationships, and in how we feel about the things of value as well as the times of challenge. The only way to change our thinking habits is to input new information. Unless we change what we know, we will continue to believe, decide and act in a manner that is contrary to our best interests.
Getting the information that success and happiness require – and getting it accurately – is essential.
It is the small disciplines that lead to great accomplishments. Both small disciplines and minor mistakes in judgement tend to accumulate: the former to our benefit, the later to our detriment.
Neither success nor failure occurs in a single cataclysmic event. Both are the result of the accumulation of seemingly small and insignificant decisions whose collective weight add up over time.
The Formula For Failure: It is the inevitable result of an accumulation of poor thinking and poor choices. Failure is nothing more than a few errors in judgement repeated every day. Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event.
Whenever a new idea comes our way we subconsciously place this idea on our mental scales and weigh it to determine what level of action we need to take on the idea. Those ideas that measure high on our scale receive immediate attention; those that measure low on our scale receive only minimal or infrequent notice, if any at all.
Whatever level of action we determine to be correct will ultimately be decided by our philosophy. What we think determines what we believe; what we believe influences what we choose; what we choose defines what we are; and what we are attracts what we have.
Now you may be thinking, why would someone make an error in judgement and the be so foolish as to repeat it every day?
The answer is because he or she does not think that it matters.
On their own our daily acts do not seem that important. A minor oversight, a poor decision, or a wasted hour generally don’t result in an instant and measurable impact. We escape from any immediate consequences of our deeds. We do it day after day, week after week and since nothing drastic happens, we keep repeating these small errors in judgement. WHY? BECAUSE IT DOESN’T SEEM TO MATTER.
Consequences are seldom instant; instead they accumulate until the inevitable day of reckoning finally arrives and the price must be paid for our poor choices – choices that didn’t seem to matter.
The Formula For Success: A few simple disciplines practiced ever day. Every new discipline affects all our other disciplines, making the habitual way of doing things easier to change. When we make that call, seek that accountability, read that book.
The formula for success is very easy – “A few simple disciplines practiced every day.”
Think about that phrase for a moment. Success is all about self-discipline and being consistent over time. If you identify your bad habits and replace them with positive daily disciplines, you begin to notice a positive change very quickly. You don’t even have to change very much. A very small change in disciplines and thinking habits can result in massive change. “Whatever new discipline we begin to practice daily will produce exciting results that will drive us to become even better at developing new disciplines.”
Why don’t people take time to ponder their future? They get so caught up in the current moment that it doesn’t seem to matter. If we voluntarily change daily errors into daily disciplines, we experience positive results in a very short period of time. But if it’s so easy to do the things that success and happiness require, it is also easy not to do them. The things that are easy to do are also easy not to do.
Not doing the things we know we should do causes us to feel guilty and guilt leads to an erosion of self-confidence. Failure to do the things that we could and should do results in the creation of a negative spiral, which once started, is difficult to stop. Creating a new philosophy is easy to do. Making newer and better decisions is easy to do. Developing a new attitude is easy to do. But the major challenge is that it is also easy not to do.
The journey toward the good life begins with a serious commitment to changing any aspect of our current philosophy that has the capacity to come between us and our dreams. each new disciplined step taken toward success strengthens our philosophical posture and increases our chances of achieving a well-balanced life.
But the first step in realising this worthy achievement in becoming the master of our ship and the captain of our soul by developing a sound personal philosophy.
Questions are a great way to understand your own philosophy. The more questions you ask, the more your brain works to find an answer. In the end, Jim says that a good life comes from becoming more and doing more than what you are doing right now. The way to do this is to change your philosophy of life and set your sights higher.
To develop a powerful personal philosophy, Jim says to concentrate on what and how we think. Our conclusions of what the challenges in life mean will greatly affect our outcomes. The way in which we use life’s information to act – will you use it for good and to increase, or will you use it to preach doom and gloom, will determine what your philosophy is like and what decisions you end up making
“Our ultimate success or failure depends on three fundamental things:
- What we know;
- How we feel about what we know, and;
- What we do with, and about, all that we feel and know.“
We need to learn to step outside of our comfort zones, stop procrastinating and to look into the future when we make decisions.
“The final result of your life will be determined by whether you made too many errors in judgment, repeated every day, or whether you dedicated your life to a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.”
- “The discipline of strengthening and broadening your philosophy.”
- “The discipline of developing a better attitude.”
- “The discipline of engaging in more intense and consistent activity that will lead to the achievement of greater results.”
- “The discipline of studying your results in order to anticipate the future more objectively.”
- “The discipline of living more fully and investing all of your experiences in your better future.”
In order to be able to think differently, we must change what we know. Attaining the information that success and happiness require is essential. Attaining this new information is done by learning from personal experience, learning from mentors and coaches, learning from other people’s failures, and learning from other people’s success. We must constantly search for people we admire and respect so that we can pattern our behavior after them. We must be good observers and good listeners. We must read all of the books that contain the insights we need to learn. We must keep a journal to document our observations and discoveries and help us to gather our thoughts.”
“The key is to keep looking for every small discipline we can find that will cause us to refine our thinking, amend our errors, and improve our results.”