Tim Ikels - Creator, Publisher, Marketer

Leading An Inspired Life By Jim Rohn

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These are my personal book notes of Leading an Inspired Life by the author Jim Rohn.

Let’s dive in.


It doesn’t really matter how smart you are if you don’t use your knowledge.
- Jim Rohn

Table Of Contents Of The Book

Jim Rohn On Discipline: “The Bridge Between Thought and Accomplishment”

If there is one magic word that stands out above all the rest, it is discipline.

Discipline is the bridge between thought and accomplishment, between inspiration and achievement, between necessity and productivity.

The danger is looking at an undisciplined day and concluding that no great harm has been done.

But add up these days to make a year - and then add up those years to make a lifetime - and it will become apparent how repeating today’s small failures can easily turn your life into a major disaster.

Discipline is like a set of magic keys that can unlock all the doors of wealth, happiness, culture, high self-esteem, pride, joy, accomplishment, satisfaction, and success.

Achieve Discipline In Three Simple Steps

Discipline does many things, but most important of all is what it does for your mind-set - it makes you feel better about yourself.

A new discipline immediately alters your life direction.

You don’t change destinations immediately - that is yet to come - but you can change direction immediately, and direction is very important.

Whether or not you start and whether or not you continue are all that matter.

We spend our lives gathering: gathering knowledge, gathering skills, gathering experiences.

But we must also apply the knowledge, skills, and experiences we gather in the realms of life and business.

We must learn to use what we’ve learned.

For this whole process to work for us, we must first master the art of consistent self-discipline.

It takes consistent self-discipline to master the arts of setting goals, time management, leadership, parenting, and relationships.

If we don’t make consistent self-discipline part of our daily lives, the results we seek will be sporadic and elusive.

It takes a consistent effort to truly manage our valuable time.

Without it, we’ll be consistently frustrated.

It takes discipline to admit our errors and recognize our limitations.

It takes discipline to change a habit, because once habits are formed, they act like a giant cable, a nearly unbreakable instinct that only long-term, disciplined activity can change.

We must unweave every strand of the cable of habits, slowly and methodically, until the cable that once held us in bondage becomes nothing more than scattered strands of wire.

It takes the consistent application of a new discipline, a more desirable discipline, to overcome one which is less desirable.

With this consistent discipline applied to every area of our lives, we can discover untold miracles and uncover unique possibilities and opportunities.

Discipline is a constant awareness of the need for action paired with a conscious act to implement that action.

If our awareness and our implementations occur at the same time, then we begin a valued sequence of disciplined activity.

In every circumstance we face, we are constantly presented with these two choices: do it now or do it later, discipline or procrastination.

Bearing the fruit of achievement and contentment (discipline) or living with the bare branches of mediocrity (procrastination).

Jim Rohn On Instant Gratification Vs Long-Term Goal Achievement

The rewards of a disciplined life are great, but they’re often delayed until some time in the future.

The rewards for a lack of discipline, on the other hand, are immediate.

But they are minor in comparison to the immeasurable rewards of consistent self-discipline.

An immediate reward for lack of discipline is a fun day at the beach.

A future reward of discipline is owning the beach.

Unfortunately, most of us would choose today’s pleasure over tomorrow’s fortune.

So how can you get rid of the easy distractions?

How can you keep your mind on what you’re trying to do?

How can you keep an attitude of doing it all and doing it now?

How can you make the choice of discipline over procrastination?

How can you stay focused on your ambitions?

How can you avoid conversations at the water cooler?

You can keep your focus on your work.

You can get it done today instead of tomorrow.

You can do your socializing when your work is done.

You’ve got to really work on your consistent self-discipline on a daily basis.

Everything affects everything else.

Every lack of discipline affects every other discipline.

Mistakenly, the man says, “This is the only area I failed.”

It’s obvious that’s not true.

Every failure, no matter how small, affects the rest of your performance.

The greatest deterrent to success is lack of self-confidence; and lack of self-confidence comes from not doing what you could do.

Join that small percentage of truly disciplined people and discover what your best truly is.

Our thoughts require discipline.

We must consistently determine our inner boundaries and our codes of conduct, or our thoughts will be confused.

And if our thoughts are confused, we will become hopelessly lost in the maze of life.

Confused thoughts produce confused results.

You cannot clean up your company until you learn the discipline of cleaning your own garage.

The most valuable form of discipline is the one that you impose upon yourself.

Your life, my life, the life of each one of us is going to serve as either a warning or an example.

A warning of the consequences of neglect, self-pity, lack of direction and ambition… or an example of talent put to use, of discipline self-imposed, and of objectives clearly perceived and intensely pursued.

Once you have seen and felt that ideal future, that promise of achievement, you will be ready and able to pay any price.

Jim Rohn On The Ability To Take Action

Engaging in genuine discipline requires that you develop the ability to take action.

You don’t need to be hasty if it isn’t required, but you don’t want to lose much time.

Here’s the time to act: when the idea is hot and the emotion is strong.

Here’s the greatest value of discipline: self-worth, also known as self-esteem.

One of the greatest temptations is to just ease up a little bit.

Advice From Earl Shoaff, The Mentor Of Jim Rohn

It’s not what happens in the world that determines the major part of your future.

What happens, happens to us all.

The key is what you do about it.

All that you have at the moment, you’ve attracted by the person you are.

If you will change yourself, everything else will change for you.

You don’t have to change what’s outside, all you’ve got to change is what’s inside.

To have more, you simply have to become more.

Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.

Don’t wish for fewer problems, wish for more skills.

Start making these personal changes, and it will all change for you.

Ben Franklin’s Three Principles Of Success

  1. Happiness doesn’t come from big pieces of great success but from small, daily achievements.
  2. Life is not rigid. Within each of us lies the power to mold ourselves and our environment. It is up to each of us to begin this molding process with a final product in mind. And it is within your power to work on your goals regularly. By using your mind and your abilities, you’ll soon see how much power you have to achieve your goals. It takes little steps to build up to success.
  3. Success is a pleasure. If what you are doing today isn’t satisfying or gratifying, guess what! You’re really not successful. If you are not fulfilled with what you are doing today, you cannot possibly be successful. It doesn’t matter how many worldly possessions you own - how many cars, how many toys, how much money - if you are not happy with your life as it is, you cannot be successful.

What have you done today that makes this day successful?

You’ve got to learn to enjoy the process.

Jim Rohn On Increasing Your Value To The Marketplace

We get paid for bringing value to the marketplace.

That is a simple statement of economics.

We don’t get paid for the number of hours we work; we get paid for value.

You can learn to increase your value to the marketplace.

Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.
- Earl Shoaff

Success is not something you pursue.

Success is something you attract because of the person you become.

What you pursue usually eludes you like the butterfly you can’t quite catch.

But if you want to be successful, you must attract success by developing the skills and the appropriate mind-set.

What you learn about the marketplace and its goods and services… that’s what’s valuable.

The key to getting paid very well in the marketplace is to develop very valuable skills.

Let me tell you what I think messes up the mind the most: doing less than you can.

It causes all kinds of psychic damage.

Being less than you can be - trying less than you can try - somehow damages your mind, your self-image.

Discipline is the requirement for progress.

Affirmations without discipline are - in all reality - delusions.

Confronting harsh realities has an incredible effect.

Confronting the truth and then disciplining yourself - instead of failing to take responsibility - inevitably leads to positive change.

Feeling well is a personal responsibility.

You need to take care of the temple.

Cherish it!

Take care of your physical health so you can achieve your goals.

You will then have the muscle, strength, and vitality to take you wherever you want to go and accomplish whatever you want.

Develop a good exercise program, and you can make all your dreams come true.

Some people don’t do well because they don’t feel well.

They’ve got the gifts, they’ve got the skills.

Maybe they just haven’t taken care of themselves.

They don’t have the vitality.

If you want to avoid that unhappy situation, you need to take care of yourself.

Jim Rohn On Setting Compelling Goals

Go where the expectations are so strong that they provoke you, push you, urgently insist that you not remain in one place.

That way, you will grow and change.

Ambitious people know that everything they do and every discipline they adhere to form the links in the chain of events that will lead them to their final destination.

Goals are important for a genuinely success-oriented person.

Without them, you’re just playing around.

Goals represent challenge in its most positive form.

Leaders have their personal goals, as well as those of their organization, clearly in focus.

In fact, one of the principle responsibilities of leadership is defining goals for the vast majority of people who aren’t able to do it for themselves.

You may not feel like […].

But you will persist.

You know where you’re headed, and you’re quite determined to get there.

That’s goal-directed behavior in its simplest form.

Identifying Your Long-Term Goals

Now you’re going to start asking yourself what’s really important compared to what might just be fun.

Think of all the questions that need to be answered in order to see your goal with absolute clarity, and then write the information down.

That written record will become one of your most important personal possessions.

But that’s not all.

Any goal is a powerful motivator only if there’s a powerful reason behind it.

Why do you want to achieve your goals?

If you can’t find a clear and convincing reason for each of your sixteen goals, do some serious reevaluating.

You may have more whims or pipe dreams than real goals, and now is the right time to make that discovery.

Set a goal of becoming a millionaire for what it will make of you to achieve it. Set a goal that will make you reach for the stars.
- Earl Shoaff

The greatest value in life is not what you obtain; the greatest value in life is what you become along the way.

Get ready to grow and change.

And be prepared for a life worth living.

Achievement depends on effective goal setting and monitoring in the same way that a successful drive to the grocery store depends on knowing when to apply the brakes and when to step on the gas.

But how can you track your progress and determine if you will be able to get where you want to go?

In other words, are there ways of discovering whether you are doing what you need to do without having an accident?

If your goals are good and strong, there are certain things that you simply refuse to accept in yourself or in other people.

In your work, you refuse to accept anything less than your best effort.

There will always be variables you can’t control, but regardless, your level of effort should always be the maximum possible.

Do you have enough character to accept only your best effort?

Wouldn’t you prefer a life of productivity rather than a life of endless tasks with little accomplishment?

Of course!

When you carefully set your goals and keep them at the forefront of your mind, you can work smarter instead of working longer.

You’ll know that a life worth living comes from a life of balance.

Don’t begin the activities of your day until you know exactly what you plan to accomplish.

Don’t start your day until you have it planned.

And do this every day.

I know all this writing takes time and a disciplined effort.

Remember, however, that reaching your goals is the fruitful result of discipline, not merely hope.

Keep your game plan in plain sight.

You absolutely MUST find reasons outside of yourself to persevere if you want to keep going when the going gets tough.

Jim Rohn On Ideas And Knowledge

If you want your life to change, here’s the source of it all: ideas plus inspiration.

Everything you need is within reach.

The problem is, most people pass by libraries; very few walk in.

Ten years from now, you can be right where you are now, or you can be in a new place.

The difference between now and then could be significant in terms of money, lifestyle, treasure, and equity.

In ten years, you can enjoy an incredible life if right here and now you make a small change in your thinking to start you on the journey.

The key is to start right now gathering the ideas and making the changes that will take you further along this new road.

The consistent, disciplined, purposeful, constant search for knowledge: it’s where the life-changing ideas are.

Pursue knowledge with high expectations.

Spend the money, time, and effort.

They are all investments, but the payoff is so great it’s hard to compare the cost to the reward.

All the successful people around the world I know and work with are good readers.

They just read, read, read.

They are driven to read because they just have to know.

It is one of the things they all have in common.

Here is an excellent phrase: all leaders are readers.

Successful people also listen to audio programs, especially while they’re in the car or during other times when they can’t read.

Programs can help all of us easily pick up new ideas and skills.

Did you know there are programs and books on how to be stronger, more decisive, a better speaker, a more effective leader, have a better effect on other people, become more loving, develop a more winning personality, get rich, develop persuasive influence, become sophisticated… and people don’t utilize these resources?

How would you explain that?

You’ve got to be better than a good worker.

You’ve got to be a good reader and a good listener.

Hear or read something challenging, something instructional, at least thirty minutes a day, every day.

Miss a meal, but not your thirty minutes.

You can get along without some meals, but you can’t get along without some ideas, examples, and inspiration.

The best money you can spend is money invested in your self-education.

Don’t shortchange yourself when it comes to investing in your own better future.

Learn to reflect by yourself.

Solitude is a powerful force.

We all need to find some occasions to shut out the rest of the world for a while.

Happiness is the joy that comes from designing a life that practices the fine art of living well.

The best way to track your activities of the day is to write them down.

It’s all part of being responsible.

It’s all part of seeing things objectively to fully understand the steps that you must take to make things better, to better prepare yourself for the opportunities that lie ahead.

Happiness is not in the getting.

Happiness is in the becoming.

Happiness is a universal quest.

Happiness is a joy that comes as a result of positive activity.

There’s an old saying that goes, “The road to heaven, is heaven.”

The happiness that you’re searching for in the future must be found today.

The success you’re after in the future will only be found by working on it today.

Jim Rohn On Leadership

If you want to be a leader who attracts quality people, the key is to become a person of quality yourself.

Leadership is the ability to attract someone to the gifts, skills, and opportunities you offer as an owner, as a manger, as a parent.

I call leadership the great challenge of life.

There is undoubtedly a strong relationship between responsibility and leadership.

Disciplines are those ingenious keys that unlock the door to the kind of person we really want to become.

And in becoming that person, we attract all those treasures and values that most people would call “the good life.”

Closing Thoughts

My book notes only cover small parts of the book.

So if you like what you read, please consider buying the book from the author.

Stay awesome,

P.S. Questions or comments? Reply via email.

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