page title icon Jim Rohn’s Twelve Pillars of Life, a Mini Book Review

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I really love consuming content by the late Jim Rohn. He was a big influencer in the personal development space, and his content is timeless. He and Chris Widener wrote a book called “Twelve Pillars.” What I like about this book is that it is written in story format, which makes it really easy to remember.

Let’s dive into the lessons behind this book. But first, I read this book to my kids and they actually listened! As a result, I also recommend this for children. It’s an easy way to introduce them to personal development strategies.  

The premise of the book is that a young guy has a conversation with a maintenance man who works the grounds of a rich family. The maintenance man tells him that if he wants to have a good life, he must follow these twelve pillars. At the end of the book, it turns out that the groundskeeper is actually the wealthy man who owns the property. 

I really resonate with Jim Rohn’s message in this book. His twelve pillars relate so much to the things I believe and write about on the blog, or talk about on the podcast. 

Here’s a quick recap of the twelve pillars… 

1. Work Harder on Yourself Than You Do on Your Job

One thing we talk about a lot on the Morning Upgrade is that the best investment you can make is in yourself. This may seem counter-productive, but you become better in your profession or trade through self-education. Putting time and effort into learning new skills, mastering old ones, or improving things like your fitness and mindset will pay off down the line. 

2. Live a Life of Health

This one is obvious, but not everyone makes it a priority. Yet it’s good to remember that your outside is a reflection of your inside. If you consume a lot of crap, you’ll look like crap. On the flip side, if you eat healthily and exercise, you’ll look and feel better. That’s why I have made it a priority to focus on exercise and my nutrition every day.  

3. The Gift of Relationships

It’s important to identify the key relationships in your life and then cultivate them. Invest in the people around you, whether it’s social, professional, or romantic. I know it takes a lot of time and intention, but good relationships have been proven to improve your health.  

4. Strive to Achieve Your Goals

In the book, Rohn shares pretty solid advice for setting a major goal and then breaking it down into smaller, more achievable goals. But, the first step to achieving your goals is to decide what you want and then write it down. We’ve talked about goal setting before, and how it’s a roadmap for your life. It’s important to put together a plan so you can follow it. 

5. The Proper Use of Time

In this case, he’s talking about time management and making sure you spend your time every day on wise things. Invest time in things that will push you forward and fill up your cup. It’s so important to use your time wisely because you can’t get it back. 

6. Surround Yourself With the Best People

Here’s the popular Jim Rohn quote on that point:

“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with”. 

If you’re around people who have good habits (or bad habits), it’s going to rub off on you. So, surround yourself with people who have the kind of habits you’re looking for and people who want to see you succeed. This is why I’m a part of a mastermind, because there are like-minded people in the group who encourage me–and vice versa.

7. Be a Life-Long Learner

This ties back into pillar one of the book and the principle of self-education that we teach on the Morning Upgrade. The best way to invest in yourself is by being a life-long learner. Some of the most successful people in the world got to where they are by constantly striving to learn more…and then putting what they learned into action. Being a life-long learner opens you up to opportunities you may not have thought possible. 

8. All of Life Is Sales

No matter what you do, you’re going to spend a lot of time selling. It’s a super important skill that goes outside of just business. If you want to succeed you have to learn to sell and influence others. Whether you are trying to get your kids to do something or bring on a new client, both require the art of selling.

9. Income Seldom Exceeds Personal Development

If you want more you have to become more. The key part of your personal development journey is the person you are becoming in the process. If you want more for your life, you have to become the person who is capable of achieving more. 

10. All Communication Brings the Common Ground of Understanding 

The lesson here is to really listen to the other person and be empathetic. Listen with the goal of understanding their point of view. Don’t listen to tell them they are wrong or to try and change them, but to try to understand where they are coming from. The goal is to find common ground with them so that you can cultivate a relationship. 

11. The World Can Always Use One More Great Leader

Leadership is an essential skill set…but a very hard one to master. That said, you have to be able to lead yourself before you can lead others. Help your friends and family to realize their dreams and achieve their goals. 

Can you imagine if every person in the world was a great leader? The impact that would have and the change that would create… 

12. Leave a Legacy

The whole purpose of the Morning Upgrade is for me to leave the best legacy I can. My goal is to create content that will improve the lives of those who come here and to create impact. Rohn recommends that you focus on living a life that helps others spiritually, intellectually, physically, financially, and relationally. This will help both you and those around you.

Key Takeaways

  • Make a plan to invest in yourself. 
  • Set goals and work on them a little every day. 
  • Focus on your nutrition and exercise. 
  • Invest in relationships and find ways to give back.
  • Learn the art of selling. 
  • Focus on the legacy you are creating.

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