The late great Jim Rohn, was hailed as America's foremost business philosopher and the post title reflects on one of his most popular books Seven Strategies for Wealth and Happiness. For Jim, wealth and happiness were intertwined and not an either or scenario. He states that the strategies and ideas contained within the book all stem from five key words: Fundamentals; Wealth; Happiness; Discipline; and Success.
Jim follows a similar principle that we do, namely defining the words. He offers his own interpretation of what each of them mean and suggests that readers make their own minds up. I learnt a long time ago that different people have different interpretations of everyday words and that the person’s meaning will significantly influence the reaction or engagement with any activity connected to the word.
He describes Fundamentals as the basic building blocks on which all accomplishment is built. He cautions to avoid the exotic or weird, as success is a simple process. He poses a question to ask before any undertaking; What are the half dozen things that will make the most difference to the outcome? The concept of fundamentals is something I come across on a daily basis with my work as a coach - suffice to say successful businesses do the fundamentals right. Whilst some elements may differ across sectors and individual business organisations; business fundamentals remain steadily unchanged. The core fundamentals stand the test of time like Pareto’s 80/20 principle.
Similarly with Wealth, he offers a view of wealth that brings with it financial freedom. For each person this may be different. Start with the questions; What does wealth mean to me? How much money will it take for me to be financially free? The greater the detail, the easier the process of achieving wealth through effective goal setting. Wealth is more than a number but also requires a concrete number to be in place to build the business objectives to achieve any target numbers.
Happiness he suggests is more than a general feeling but also a method of thinking that in turn organises feelings, activities and lifestyle. Happiness occurs in the now and is often fleeting. It is learning to live in the moment and create the conditions which provide the moments. It’s more about the journey than the destination per se. The World Happiness Index places the USA as only 13th in the table of happiness despite its vast wealth. NB. There is a lot more scientific research available nowadays into happiness now due to advancements in brain scanning technology.
Jim credits Discipline as a cornerstone of achieving wealth and happiness. For him it is the bridge between thought and accomplishment. Its acquisition requires a development of understanding the importance of discipline in your life. This in turn requires an appreciation of what you want to accomplish. The next part is an honest assessment of what actions you are currently taking and whether changes need to be made based on the current outcomes. As life is a dynamic process, deliberate consistent disciplines need to be chosen and actioned; so get started today and keep working until you achieve the results.
Success has many meanings and I personally really like the view that Jim offers – Success is making your life what you want it to be. Far too often I come across business owners that are working towards someone else’s view of what success is. Your notion of success needs deep thought and reflection to ensure that it suits you and your current circumstances. Notions of success may well change as we change, although our choice of personal values should play a massive part in steering us towards the success that we want at a price that’s agreeable.
The book then described seven strategies that could be deployed to support your newly described wealth and happiness.
1. Unleash the power of goals
2. Seek knowledge
3. Learn how to change
4. Control your finances
5. Master time
6. Surround yourself with winners
7. Learn the art of living well
I will look at these in more depth in a future post. For now, I encourage you to jot down each of the five key words above and reflect and write a little piece on how each makes you feel and whether you are working on these in any way that is deliberate, measured and coherent. A key element of my coaching is enabling clients to make small but massively significant tweaks to these areas. Many clients cannot believe the gains achieved through small deliberate changes and the compounding impact they have. Feel free to contact me to see how I could help you enjoy your success!