Author: Jim Rohn
Publisher: African Pastors Literature Trust
Reviewer: Goke Ilesanmi
Wealth and happiness are two of the great desires of human beings. In short, they often go together because most people that are financially wealthy tend to be happy because of the attendant financial independence. I am sure this realisation must have informed why Jim Rohn decided to entitle his book “7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness”. Rohn is America’s foremost business philosopher who has helped people of all walks to improve their lives. His tapes and numerous appearances have made him a powerful influence in the lives of millions of people. He is acknowledged by his peers as a pre-eminent teacher as regards success and happiness discourse.
In this text, Rohn offers guide on how you can unlock the fountain of your prosperity inside of you. According to him, you do not have to make a choice between wealth and happiness because the two are interwoven necessities that every ambitious human being must strive to achieve together. The author reveals the seven valuable strategies that are central to your achievement of success and enjoyment of happiness. According to Rohn, for you to realise your aspiration of enduring success and happiness, you need to unleash the power of goals; seek knowledge; learn the miracle of personal development; control your finances; master time; surround yourself with winners; and learn the art of living well. This text is segmented into seven strategies (parts) of eleven chapters. Rohn isolates chapter one from the strategic segmentation, thus grouping chapters two to eleven into seven strategies.
In chapter one, he examines five key words. According to Rohn, all the ideas in this book stem from a group of key words. He adds that to understand this book, therefore, and get maximum value from its contents, it is essential that we examine these key words one after the other. These key words, according to Rohn, are “Fundamentals”, “Wealth”, “Happiness”, “Discipline” and “Success”. He says fundamentals refer to those basic principles on which all accomplishments are built. “Fundamentals form the beginning, the basis and the reality from which everything else flows,” he adds. Rohn stresses that success, like happiness and wealth, is no more than the natural consequence of consistently applying the fundamentals of success to life.
As far as the second key word “Wealth” is concerned, Rohn submits that wealth is a controversial word because it brings to mind a wide variety of images and sometimes conflicting concepts. The author educates that to one person, wealth may mean having enough money to do whatever he or she wishes; and to another, it may mean freedom from debt, etc. However, he says out of this diversity of perception of wealth comes creativity, and creativity can help each of us find unique ways to work for a life of abundance.
As far as happiness is concerned, Rohn observes that happiness embraces the universal quest, a joy that usually accompanies positive activity. He says happiness is the skill of reacting to the offerings of life by perception and enjoyment. Rohn expatiates that it is achieved by both giving and receiving, reaping and bestowing. He adds that it is being able to feast on harmony as well as food, on ideas as well as bread. Happiness comes to those who deliberately expand their horizons and experiences, says Rohn. He adds that it resides in the houses of those who have the ability to handle disappointment without losing their sense of well-being.
In Rohn’s words, “It belongs to those who are in control of both their circumstances and their emotions. Happiness is also the freedom from the negative children of fear such as worry, low self-esteem, envy, greed, resentment, prejudice, and hatred. Those who experience happiness often have a grasp on and an awareness of the tremendously positive power of life and love. ” The author asserts that happiness is more than a general feeling and is also a method of thinking that organises feelings, activities and lifestyle. This expert says happiness is about having values in balance, stressing that it is contentment with daily tasks, including those unpleasant chores from which a few of us are free.
Rohn educates that happiness is a life well lived and filled with people of substance. He says it is a wide variety of experiences and memories that become priceless forms of currency to spend and to invest. According to Rohn, happiness is activity with purpose and it comes to those who deliberately expand their horizons and experiences. As regards discipline, Rohn says if there is one critical ingredient for your successful quest for both wealth and happiness, it is discipline. As far as the last key word, that is, “Success” is concerned, the author educates that it, too, maintains elasticity of interpretation. Rohn adds that it is an elusive notion, a paradox as it is both a journey and a destination. “Success is both accomplishment and a wisdom that comes to those who understand the potential power of life,” reflects the author.
Strategy one of this text is generically labelled “Unleash the power of goals”, and contains three chapters, that is, chapters two to four. In these chapters, Rohn examines the concepts of what motivates people as regards goals, how to set goals, as well as how to make goals work for you.
In strategy two that is notionally christened “Seek knowledge”, and contains one chapter, that is, chapter five entitled “The path to wisdom”, this great business philosopher says one of the fundamental strategies of living the good life is to know what information you need in order to achieve your aims. Rohn says once you know what you need to know, it is also helpful to know how to go about gathering that knowledge. The author stresses that you will want to capture all the knowledge you gain as you live your life. He says that is why he encourages you as a serious student of wealth and happiness to make use of a journal and diary as a gathering place for all ideas that come your way. The author reveals that what will gradually emerge is an incredible treasure containing business, social, cultural, investment and lifestyle ideas. He adds that the two ways to gather wisdom are by learning from your own life; and two, by studying the lives of others.
Strategy three is labelled “Learn how to change”, and covers just a chapter, that is, chapter six, which is based on the miracle of personal development.
In strategy four that is notionally summarised as “Control your finances”, and contains one chapter, that is, chapter seven, which is based on how to achieve financial freedom, Rohn emphasises the importance of taxpayment, the 70/30 Rule, charity, capital investment and savings to achieving financial freedom.
Strategy five is tagged “Master time”, and covers just a chapter, that is, chapter eight, which is based on how to be an enlightened time manager, while strategy six is based on the need to surround yourself with winners.
Strategy six covers chapter nine, which discusses the principle of association. “One of the major influences shaping the person you want to be is also one of the least understood. It is your association with others – the people you allow into your life…,” says Rohn. He adds that the influence of those around you is so powerful and subtle that you often do not realise how it can affect you. According to the author, to avoid wasting time with the wrong crowd, you need to ask yourself three fundamental questions: “With whom do I spend time?” “What are they doing to me?” “Is this association okay with me?” Rohn also X-rays the sub-concepts of disassociation and expanded association.
In the last strategy, that is, strategy seven which is tagged “Learn the art of living well”, and covers two chapters, that is, chapters ten and eleven, he examines your road to richer lifestyle and the day that turns your life around. “Think of something you can do today to make you feel richer and better about your life…,” advises the author. Rohn says you should be happy with what you have while pursuing what you want. He adds that it is not so hard to learn the art of living. According to the author, do not spend all your money a quarter at a time. Rather, save up and buy something special, something of a lasting value.
Rohn also stresses the relevance of emotions. According to him, emotions are a third component that acts as a catalyst that can be deployed to bridge the gap between knowledge and action. He expatiates that there are four basic ones (emotions); each or a combination of several can trigger the most incredible activity. Rohn educates that the day that you allow these emotions to fuel your desire is the day you will turn your life around. Stylistically, this text is an embodiment of success. Apart from the simplicity of language, the presentation is also logical. Brilliant segmentation of the chapters into different strategies makes this text very reader-friendly.
What’s more, to achieve conceptual reinforcement and ensure easy understanding on readers’ part, Rohn uses biblical allusions as well as autobiographical illustrations. However, one error noticed in the book, which is characteristic of Nigerian English is, “I was yet to understand….” instead of the Standard British English version “I had yet to understand….” (Please, confirm this usage from page 1664 of 2000 edition and page 1918 of 2005 edition of “Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English”.) On the whole, the text is a masterpiece. If you aspire to be wealthy and happy in life, then this text is a must-read for you. It is simply irresistible.
GOKE ILESANMI, Editor-in-Chief/CEO of https://www.gokeilesanmi.com.ng and Managing Consultant/CEO of Gokmar Communication Consulting, is a Certified Public Speaker/Emcee, (Business) Communication Specialist, Motivational Speaker, Career Management Coach, Renowned Book Reviewer, Corporate Leadership Expert and Editorial Consultant.
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