It is the inherent nature of success to be both puzzling and elusive, and to withhold its rewards from all but a handful of those who pursue it.
It is by an intricate design of nature that success is a condition that must be attracted and not pursued. We achieve rewards and we make progress not by our intense pursuits, but by what we become, for it is what we are that finally determines the results we attract.
"To have more we must first become more" is the very essence of the philosophy of personal development, success and happiness addressed by Jim Rohn in his book: "The Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle."
It is our personal philosophy that establishes our individual attitude. It is our attitude that determines both the quantity and the quality of our level of activity. That activity produces a final and proportionate result, and the result provides the lifestyle that we live.
The results and the lifestyle are the effects - the conditions we inherit -- but it is our personal philosophy, attitude and activity which are the ultimate cause of the effect. "To change the effect, we must alter the cause, and yet most people curse the effect but continue to nourish the cause," Kyle Wilson says in a forward to the book.
In Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle, Jim Rohn brings ideas and insights in his inimitable style that provide a unique voice of hope, inspiration and answers for those in search of a better life. In the writing, he provides substance and encouragement to all those who embrace the philosophy of "You can have more than you have got because you can become more than you are." Transforming the individual human life from where and what it is into where and what you desire it to be. That is what the book is all about.
HOW THE PROCESS OF CHANGE BEGINS
Jim Rohn believes that change comes from one of two sources. First, we may be driven to change out of desperation. Sometimes our circumstances can become so out-of-control that we almost abandon our search for answers because our lives seem to be filled only with irresolvable questions. But it is this overwhelming sense of desperation that finally drives us to look for the solutions. "Desperation is the final and inevitable result of months or years of accumulated neglect that brings us to that point in time where we find ourselves driven by urgent necessity to find immediate answers to life's accumulated challenges."
The second source that drives us to make changes in our lives is inspiration. Inspiration can come to us at any time and from many sources. A song can inspire us; a book can inspire us; as can an effective and moving speech. The story of someone who has succeeded in spite of difficulty can stir our emotions. Inspiration, from whatever the source, arouses feelings within us that rekindle hope, ambition and determination.
"It is a momentary whisper of encouragement and reassurance that causes us to become aware of our potential." We sense a spark of desire, and our minds flash from one possibility to another, each thought laden with the promise of future success and happiness. In this fleeting moment when inspiration stirs our soul we are either driven into action or we do nothing - being content to enjoy the warm feeling that is within us until, at last, the warmth moves on, taking with it the promise and the possibilities.
Wherever life finds you at the moment, whether responding to desperation or seeking inspiration, we appeal to you to stay with this column for the next several weeks as we discern the insights in Rohn's book. It is a journey, do not just start it, promise to complete it. "In the end, our lives will be judged not by the things that we began, but by the things that our effort and resolve brought to a successful conclusion." He has used outmost care to these insights which are truly life-changing. The inspiration you gain in the process has the capacity to change any human circumstance.
He begins by sharing with us a few important and preliminary insights that can start you on your journey toward success and happiness.
THE KEY TO SUCCESS AND HAPPINESS
Rohn philosophizes that there are always just a few important principles that account for most of the progress we make in our lives. It is these "basics" that have the greatest effect on our health, our happiness and our bank accounts. This is not to suggest that there are only a few life-changing ideas that will affect us, for surely there are many. What Rohn is suggesting, however, is that you begin your search by focusing on the five fundamentals he examines in the book. "It is these few among the many that will account for the biggest share of the results you will achieve."
You will never be able to master every aspect of life. To try to become the master over every detail of your life will only lead to frustration. Instead, why not go after the vital few among the trivial many; the few that will make the most difference; the fundamental subjects that will have the greatest impact in determining the quality of your existence?
As you look around your world for answers to the good life, always be in search of those few things that make the most difference. If you master these basics, you will not be disappointed with the results.
It is the basics - the fundamentals in life - that we all need to master. These are the same keys for success and happiness that have existed for the last six thousand years of recorded history. There are no new fundamentals for human achievement. Basics are basics, and anything else is merely an activity designed to refine or expand upon those same principles.
"In any attempt to improve your current circumstances, never allow yourself to drift from those time-proven principles that have flowed from generation to generation in a steady stream to serve as the fundamentals for finding, developing and living the good life."
THE FIVE PIECES TO THE LIFE PUZZLE
It is important to understand that the list Jim Rohn shares in his book does not mean that the five are the only five to the exclusion of all others. "I am neither so wise nor so presumptuous as to suggest that I have all of the answers and that my answers are the only answers," he acquiesces.
The principles covered in the book are five important concepts that are as fundamental to our success now as they were for preceding generations. Through all his years of study and experience, through all his encounters with both success and failure, through all the conversations and associations he has had the privilege to share, it is these five principles that have remained unchallenged in their capacity to produce life-changing results.
Rohn says poignantly, "I do not have the final and unchallenged answers for finding the good life. I know that there are a lot of people who claim to know the truth, and who suggest that they have discovered the ultimate answer to life's puzzle.
But there can never be a single, ultimate answer simply because there will never be a single, ultimate question. That is why my best advice has always been to stick to the basics." And if you will give each of the basics we are about to share both time and careful attention, you are certain to be happy with the results, for, he believes, they are "The Five Major Pieces To The Life Puzzle."