People don't become losers by trying to succeed and failing miserably.
People become losers by making self-inflicted missed opportunities their way of life.
They do that by failing to grasp the critical role of optimum self-management. What I call: Advanced Personal Leadership skills. And if committed, in this edition, Jim Rohn will elevate yours.
The masterkey to self-management is: Clarity and Discipline. Without them, any success is fleeting.
Unless one is born super wealthy and well-connected, success, for most, is a game of musical chairs. Blink, and you miss an opportunity here, and there, on your way to inevitable irrelevance and elimination. And that is as true in private life as it is in the leadership and management of nations and businesses.
Discipline is taken for granted because average people don't understand that clarity is everything.
Maintaining your ability to always think clearly and calmly will save you the pain and consequences of many bad decisions, and set you up for success, rather than making you a lifetime loser.
Throughout my life, I've advised and coached tens of thousands of people from all walks of life. Yet as a black man, I can categorically say that Black people take the unenviable prize for suffering the consequences of ignored advice and self-inflicted missed opportunities.
Ten years ago, I advised someone with a toxic, uneducated and ungrateful wife that he brought from a village in a developing country to America. Given the constant problems this woman was creating for him, my advise was to divorce, separate, and focus on rebuilding his life and self-respect.
I told him that, knowing the children from his dysfunctional marriage — which effectively made his wife a U.S. citizen, who in turn brought her equally toxic and divisive mother to America — would be factored into a long-term strategy for his recovery. But critically, the first step to addressing his worsening instability which was also affecting his health and mental health, was to take action.
I further assured him that once he made the decision to take action, I'd guide him to make the next smart move, and the next one, and so on, with his kids' welfare at front and center. Simultaneously, for decades, I'd also been advising his mother, who unnecessarily lives in poverty.
They both kept dragging their feet, living a mediocre life, procrastinating, wasting time, content with minor fake improvements by the wife, whose growing purchasing power, was mistaken for progress, and success.
Then five years ago after witnessing further turmoil and instability during a U.S. trip, I reiterated my previously ignored advice. Yet he fumbled from one family crisis to another oblivious, as Jim Rohn explains, that great self-management is all about making measurable progress in reasonable time.At the time of writing, this 50-something-year-old man, who clearly never studied the series you are reading right now despite having many opportunities to, has been locked out by his wife and spoiled teenage son. Effectively, homeless, and probably, illegally living with his 80-something-year-old mother in her government-subsidized senior citizens' complex that discourages precisely that.
Even worse, I canceled a long overdue international flight to which I agreed on a week's notice that would have been feature-packed with computer, legal, self-development and other aids for them both. And why?
I decided they are too 'messed up' — by choice — as Jim Rohn would put it, and stubbornly set up for repeated failure to make my trip worthwhile, which is exactly how most value-driven, time-conscious wealthy people think. And all this, because of their lack of clarity, discipline, preparedness, sense of urgency, plus mindset of denialism regarding their current predicament.
Show me a person fumbling from one bad lifestyle choice or decision to another, or a wealthy and great nations on the decline, and I'll show you a people and leadership that lack clarity and discipline.
Clarity is deliberate, strategic, clear-headed, focus and execution. It is something you fight for once you appreciate its value. Plus we know, as already discussed, that, strategy execution is the ultimate IQ. Hence, why getting stoned is unpopular, but caught selling drugs in China could mean death.
The free world once drank and snorted its way to greatness.
Yet with better self-management, China, which culturally has no time for drugs, guns, mass shootings, and the indulgences and indiscipline of many wealthy Western nations today made the run for greatness. And by most accounts, they got there in a reasonably short time. However unethically.
Thanks to the Communist Party, China has remained focused, disciplined, and united in eating America's lunch, dinner, and breakfast “and doubling down on repression”.
Meanwhile, content with being outfoxed by Russia, China, North Korea and other adversaries, the 'United' States has, rather ironically, been steadfastly ideologically disunited. Feasting on the stupor of self-destructive tribalism, high-risk lifestyles that rob one of clarity, health, and mental health; with dangerous individualism that respects gun rights more than human rights, and reckless partisanship that shamelessly sides with foreign adversaries.
Hardly any wise person's model for great national self-management and self-regulation.
Furthermore, amidst opioid, drug epidemics and popular moves to legalize marijuana, much of the developed free world is having to contend with the discipline and consequential rise of China — whose success, many argue, is based on theft of trade secrets, unfair trade practices — and in the case of Africa and many emerging markets, debt trap diplomacy and opaque lending practices. All of which beg the question:
What robbed all the negotiators, diplomats, leaders and entrepreneurs who for decades enabled and empowered the Communist Party, of their clarity and discipline?
Live in China, and you'll notice, if marginally observant, that every Mainland Chinese you meet knows exactly what they want from you, and often, shamelessly or subtly, get straight to work on it. They are NOT the most casual people you'll ever meet.
Whether it is business — their favorite word — “cooperation” or learning English from you, or even marriage aspirations, they are culturally strategic, yet unlike the Russians, more disciplined. And that clarity of purpose and discipline guides their laser focus in influencing, outfoxing those who aren't purpose-driven, as well as the global success and envy they enjoy today.
Hence, why I said before that success is like a game of musical chairs. Blink, and you miss strategic opportunities here, and there, on your way to inevitable irrelevance and elimination. It's all the responsiveness, mental conditioning, and enduring peak performance dedication one brings.
Further, self-management, as seen through the lens of the #iTHiNKLabs Project for example, involves holistic self-regulation. You're steadily learning everything and critical things needed to stay in the game, ahead of the curve, along with steady drips of self-care, health and wellness tips.
It's the stuff of leadership and wisdom. And wisdom drives decision-making effectiveness. Which in turn, powers success. And ethically or not, in the case of the Mainland Chinese, such commitment to clarity and purpose puts one in the best position to succeed while mitigating costly risks.
Those who shun it — whether based on mental weakness for which there's a cure — leave a long trail of indiscretion, failure, missed opportunities, regrets, health, mental health, substance abuse issues, and even suicide.
Whatever your country's political mess, or powerful corporate and market forces beyond your control, you can start big in a small way by asking: Who am I becoming right now? A loser or lifetime winner?
How To Get Your Act Together (25)