"Some people you can afford
to spend a few minutes with,
but not a few hours."
-- Jim Rohn
My Life Lessons
This is a series of revelations about my life that I am sharing with others for what it may be worth. These come from a lifetime of study and experience of others and myself, and I now translate them to words. These will be numbered; however, they are not in order of importance as all are equally important. It is just a way for me to keep track of them in this series. I hope you find value in them.
Life Lesson #17
Attitude, Influence, and Building Buildings.
In the late 70s and into the 80s and beyond, I studied a man named Jim Rohn, who became quite a mentor to me though I never met him once in person. I read his books, listened to many of his tapes over and over wanting to fully absorb his down-home kind of philosophy. It was this idea of influence that he really brought home to me in a big way.
He said, "There are two parts to influence: First, influence is powerful; and second, influence is subtle. You wouldn't let someone push you off course, but you might let someone nudge you off course and not even realize it." He brought it home to me that "attitude is greatly shaped by influence and association."
To help direct me, he suggested: "Get around people who have something of value to share with you. Their impact will continue to have a significant effect on your life long after they have departed." And, thanks to Jim Rohn, this is so true about him. He has had a lasting impact on me and my thinking. I made real choices on purpose of whom I would spend time talking with and associating with.
I used to watch people hang around someone new and within a short time, they were talking like them, thinking like them, using similar mannerisms. It's the copy cat thing, and it is real. If they are using a certain kind of slang, you can be sure that the new associate will begin to use the same slang with the same tones. It's uncanny.
In older days, they referred to hanging around at the water cooler about how people would congregate and tell each other stories. More often than not, these stories were not complimentary, and that's the kindest way to say it.
One of the best things I've ever learned from Jim is something that I have used so many times over the years and it has really helped me put things into perspective to see others and how they can be, but as well, to see myself and how I must pay attention to what I say and do. It is this: There are two ways to have the tallest building. One is to become known as a destroyer, and the other is to become known as a builder.
There were many, many times in my life when I would have to admit that I was a destroyer. The ego was run amok in me. I took what Jim said to heart, and I changed over time to become more of a builder. It's so easy to put others down. Putting down the President, the government, the teachers, the supervisor or boss, the spouse, or mother or father, and more is so easy. It's incredibly easy to be perfect and see all the faults in others, but that is not reality. However, as I consider the two building statement, I catch myself and speak positive, uplifting things about the others instead, and it may not change them, but it sure changes me for the better.
I'll leave with one more great quote from Jim Rohn about association. "You must constantly ask yourself these questions: Who am I around? What are they doing to me? What have they got me reading? What have they got me saying? Where do they have me going? What do they have me thinking? And most important, what do they have me becoming? Then ask yourself the big question: Is that okay?"
I Choose To Be Around Positive, Uplifting People.
Spread Some Joy Today--by considering your own value and capacity to love.