Search This Blog

Monday, December 10, 2012

Monday Morning Check In: My Big Three

I like to read and listen to motivational speakers. I enjoy revisiting these friends of mine at least once a year, because each year I am in a different place in my life, my thinking, and in my positioning, and I hear and learn different things. I read and listen to many different motivational experts and read material from many influential and successful people, but I have three particular favorites. Let me share my favorite lessons from my big three concerning habits, time management, and significance.

Jim Rohn: Habits

The late Jim Rohn was an American businessman and philosopher, who mentored many of the most successful pillars of this generation’s motivational speakers, such as Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy, and Jack Canfield. I have viewed many of Jim Rohn’s videos on YouTube and gleaned many useful lessons from my old recordings. Most of my Jim Rohn material is so “old” that it is on cassette tape. I have to dig through my old electronics to find a cassette player to listen to Jim’s old speeches.

My favorite memory of a Jim Rohn lesson starts out with Mr. Rohn talking about the old adage: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” He then asks, “What if it’s true?” It is such a simple thing to eat one apple a day, and if it really is a good thing to do, then why do people not eat one every day?

Mr. Rohn’s conclusion is that the reason people do not do things that are good for them is because it is also easy for people NOT to do them. The lesson I learned is that if I want to do something, I must learn how to make it hard NOT to do it. I can do this in several different ways. I can create a small habit that is tiny and easy to do — so easy, in fact, that it is almost too hard NOT to do it. Or, I can set up my circumstances so that it is hard to do the wrong thing. For example, I keep only the right kinds of food and drink in the house, or my driving route passes by the places that encourage my correct habit.

The other lesson I learned from Mr. Rohn is that I should dream big and set big goals, because of what these big dreams and goals will make of me in the process of working to achieve them. Character is not developed by chance or good luck but by work — sculpting, lifting, and exercising my character muscles.

My personal philosophy is that when it comes to achieving my goals, it is not about big gestures or actions but about the tiny little steps I take on a regular basis and the habits I create and follow on a regular basis.

Brian Tracy: Time Management

Mr. Tracy is a motivational speaker and prolific writer about goal setting. I own a comprehensive set of Mr. Tracy’s CDs, which cover just about every aspect of life.

My favorite memory of a Brian Tracy lesson is his questions about how to determine the work I should tackle next. Many a time I have looked at the pile of work on my desk and asked myself Mr. Tracy’s two questions:
  • What is the best use of my time right now?
  • What could I do now that would produce the most results in the least amount of time?
I have learned many useful skills that relate to time management and setting priorities from Mr. Tracy.

Steve Jobs: Significance

The late Steve Jobs was the co-founder of Apple Inc. and the creator and CEO of Pixar Animation Studios. He is not known as a motivational speaker but as an innovative entrepreneur. He has made my big three list because of what he represents to me in terms of life philosophy.

My first computer was an Apple IIe, and I was one of the first to own the Mac computer. I was an Apple fan for many years before the polarized workplace forced me to head into PC territory. Later, once I joined the university team, I took my computer training workshops on both computer models because I owned a PC at home and used an Apple at work. A few years ago, with the advent of the iPod and the iPhone, I returned to the Apple family, and I will stay there, happily synced between my iPhone, my iPad, my MacBook, and my workplace iMac.

When Steve Jobs passed away in the fall of 2011, much of the world mourned his passing, as did I. I read every article and interview I could lay my hands on. His biography still fascinates me.

My favorite Steve Jobs lessons come from the video of his 2005 commencement speech at Stanford University. Here are the philosophical tidbits that I learned from the video of Steve Jobs:
  • Connect the dots. What you do today will impact on tomorrow, but it is impossible to make the connections by looking forward. You can only look backward to make the connections. Right now, you must trust and believe that the dots will connect, and have the confidence to follow your heart.
  • Embrace love and loss. Loss is painful, but it can be a good thing, because you can experience being a beginner again. Take risks. Find what you love. Do what you believe is great work. Do not settle for less.
  • Do the death mirror test. Look in the mirror every day and ask, “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” I have a picture of Steve Jobs on my computer desktop at the university. I use his picture as my “mirror.” Every time I turn on that computer, I look Steve in the eye and ask myself this question. So far, I have been able to answer “yes,” but I know that if I were to ever answer “no” too many days in a row, I would need to make a change in my life.
    • “I’ll be dead soon.” Steve used death as a way to help him remember to let loose external expectations, fear of failure, and pride. Steve had an actual “brush with death” several years before he passed away, so that his “death” statement became an even more powerful motivator for him.
    • Death has a way of revealing what is truly important, letting the unimportant fall away. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
    • Your time is limited, so do not waste it living someone else’s life. Do not be trapped by dogma (other people’s thinking) or other people’s opinions. Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
I have spent so much time reading and listening to my big three, that I have trouble today separating their voices from my own. I have internalized the messages and lessons from these three giant men, and I have grown as a person because of their contributions to the improvement of our world. There are many more motivational speakers to learn from. Here is a short list of other speakers and authors to learn from:
  • John Maxwell
  • Tony Robbins
  • Vic Johnson
  • Jack Canfield
  • Chris Widener
  • Dennis Waitley
  • David Allen
  • Stever Robbins
  • Napoleon Hill
  • Dale Carnegie
Your life is worth the time you devote to enriching it. Spend some time this week thinking about from whom you can learn and from what resources you can learn even more.

To view the video of Steve Jobs giving the commencement address, click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment