• "Choice requires awareness."
  • "On the opposite side of adversity is benefit.
    Like a mathematical equation,
    the greater the adversity
    the greater the potential benefit."
  • "Discipline reveals, hindsight is 50/50."
  • "It’s not about good or bad.
    It's not about right or wrong.
    it's about power."
  • "Power is the ability to do."

The Most Important Thing I Learned from Jim Rohn

Posted on Dec 5, 2023 in Coaching, New Year Goals

I’ve interacted with Kyle Wilson this past year and a half more than I have in a decade. I’ve spoke at his Inner Circle along with his Denis Waitley annual retreat. We are radically different people, but I have terrific appreciation for who Kyle is and, as the President of Jim Rohn International (JRI), the impact he has made on the personal development industry.

A couple of years following Kyle’s sale of JRI, Jim passed away in Los Angeles. It was only then that I learned physically how close I lived to Jim. On the 14th anniversary of his leaving us, I reflect with reverence and appreciation. On this occasion, I ask myself “What was my single biggest lesson from Jim?”

Reflecting back, I first became familiar with Jim’s work when I was still active duty in the Navy SEAL Teams. Two years after I transitioned out of the US Navy, I took a deep dive into the body of Jim’s work. When I took up the role of Master Coach, Jim denied my request to meet with him regularly. In so doing, he was demonstrating the discipline of “saying no to the good.” He chose to spend any available time with his top priority: his grandchildren!

“The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.” – Jim Rohn

Character at the Forefront of Everything

The coaching approach I created, Noble Warrior Training, is a double-edged sword of power and knowing Your Worst Enemy. The truest power comes from seeing yourself as having the ability to choose, regardless of the shoes you find yourself in. Outcomes and consequences are temporary, though your character is enduring. Consistently overcoming your worst enemy provides an empowering momentum that no one can take away from you.

The Unexpected Outcome

One client led her Division One college team to the Conference Championship in her sport of tennis. Years later, that title was rescinded when it was revealed that her school had paid an incorrect telephone stipend without the administration reporting it at the time. The governing body took away her title, but they can never take away who she became through the process.

“Set a goal to become a millionaire for what it makes of you to achieve it. Do it for the skills you have to learn and the person you have to become.” – Jim Rohn

Making Choices with the Bigger Picture in Mind

Philosophies are useful, yet by definition are ambiguous. The greater the specificity, the easier it is to grasp.

This week, an inactive client flew out from the East Coast and we met over dinner. As CEO of his company, he is poised with one of three choices: double-down, play it cool, or walk away from the table. The advice I offered was a simple, powerful reminder: who you become in the process is the most important thing. It’s the only thing you get to keep.

Intrinsically, I’m a big fan of the quote attributed to Goethe: “Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” However, I’ve learned enough from 30,000 hours of coaching to know that I don’t know what I don’t know. One size doesn’t fit all. Provided he is coming from free choice, I will support whatever decision he makes.

Bringing it Back to Jim Rohn

Jim taught you to open the year before you begin it. Today, as if counting down the proverbial “shopping days left,” I encourage you to have your 2024 goals clarified in writing, by December 14th this year.

Design your life specific to the person you want to become. Do this now so as to set yourself up to be fully present during the holidays. Prepare yourself to return to the workplace in the New Year ready to hit the ground running. Enjoy a year that sets you up for your three-year goal lifestyle, regardless of the economy, the weather, or your “thieving brother”, as Jim used to say!

“You want to set a goal that is big enough that in the process of achieving it you become someone worth becoming.” – Jim Rohn

The single greatest lesson I’ve learned from Jim is that the most important thing is your character development. Kyle Wilson might call this “Evergreen” material. It’s timeless and always reliable. Who you become in the process of attaining your goals is the most important thing. Swing for the stars – at worst you’ll wind up on the moon!

  • All the best, TC Cummings