Select Page

We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation. Well, the late Jim Rohn aimed for the inspiration, always emphasizing the importance of taking responsibility for self-improvement and showing people how to reach for bigger, better lives.

Who inspired him? His mentor, Earl Shoaff, who told him this: If you want to be wealthy and happy, learn to work harder on yourself than you do on your job. And so began Jim Rohn’s belief in the importance of self-improvement. In his classic book, 7 Strategies for Wealth and Happiness, Jim Rohn wrote an essay entitled “The Miracle of Personal Development” in which he explains why working on yourself is a never-ending pursuit:

Ever since Mr. Shoaff woke me up with that statement, I worked hard on my own personal growth, and I must admit that this was the most challenging assignment of all. But understand, this business of personal development lasts a lifetime.

You see, what you become is far more important than what you get. The important question to ask on the job is not, What am I getting? Instead, you should ask, What am I becoming? Getting and becoming are so closely intertwined—what you become directly influences what you get. Think of it this way: Most of what you have today you have attracted by becoming the person you are right now.

I’ve also found that income rarely exceeds personal development. Sometimes income takes a lucky jump, but unless you learn to handle the responsibilities that come with it, it will usually shrink back to the amount you can handle. If someone hands you a million dollars, you’d better hurry up and become a millionaire. A very rich man once said, “If you took all the money in the world and divided it equally among everybody, it would soon be back in the same pockets it was before.”

It is hard to keep that which has not been obtained through personal development. So here’s the great axiom of life:

To have more than you’ve got, become more than you are.

This is where you should focus most of your attention. Otherwise, you just might have to contend with the axiom of not changing, which is:

Unless you change how you are, you’ll always have what you’ve got.

Related: Mentor to the Masters

This post originally appeared on SUCCESS.com.

The Qualities of Enterprising People

To be enterprising is to keep your eyes open and your...

4 Reasons to Take Control of Your Destiny

One of the first things successful people realize is the old...

It Only Takes 6 Steps to Plan Your Success
It Only Takes 6 Steps to Plan Your Success

Our results are only as good as our plan. My mentor...

3 Money Habits That Separate the Rich From the Poor

Here is an exciting thought! Why not work full time on...

8 Traits of Healthy Relationships

Your family and your love must be cultivated like a garden....

The Greatest Gift You Can Give Is Self-Improvement
The Greatest Gift You Can Give Is Self-Improvement

I’m often asked the question, “How can I help someone else...

Rohn: 6 Secrets for Thriving (Not Just Surviving) Through the Holidays
6 Secrets for Thriving (Not Just Surviving) Through the Holidays

The holiday season has officially graced us with its presence. It’s...

We All Have 2 Choices in Life...
We All Have 2 Choices in Life…

Each of us has two distinct choices to make about what...

How Your Words Impact Your Success
How Your Words Impact Your Success

Sometimes the subtle difference in our attitude, which can make a...

7 Personality Traits of a Great Leader

If you want to be a great leader who attracts quality...

How You’re Killing Your Productivity
How You’re Killing Your Productivity

Productivity is essential to our feeling of self-esteem, accomplishment, and hopefulness....

The Key to Getting All You Want? Discipline
The Key to Getting All You Want? Discipline

For every disciplined effort, there are multiple rewards. That’s one of...