Jim Rohn on The Best Gift To Yourself


I introduced Jim Rohn at a seminar in Ottawa about 25 years ago and am a big fan.

I’m often asked the question, "How can I best help my children, spouse, family member, staff member, friend, etc., improve/change?" In fact, that might be the most frequently asked question I receive, "How can I help change someone else?"

My answer often comes as a surprise and here it is. The key to helping others is to help yourself first. In other words, the best contribution I can make to someone else is my own personal development. If I become 10 times wiser, 10 times stronger, think of what that will do for my adventure as a father... as a grandfather... as a business colleague.

The best gift I can give to you, really, is my ongoing personal development. Getting better, getting stronger, becoming wiser. I think parents should pick this valuable philosophy up. If the parents are okay, the kids have an excellent chance of being okay. Work on your personal development as parents—that’s the best gift you can give to your children.

If you have ever ridden in an airplane, then you might have noticed the oxygen compartment located above every seat. There are explicit instructions that say, "In case of an emergency, first secure your own oxygen mask and then if you have children with you secure their masks." Take care of yourself first... then assist your children. If we use that same philosophy throughout our whole parental life, it would be so valuable.

If I learn to create happiness for myself, my children now have an excellent chance to be happy. If I create a unique lifestyle for myself and my spouse, that will be a great example to serve my children.

Self-development enables you to serve, to be more valuable to those around you; for your child... your business... your colleague... your community... your church.

That’s why I teach development skills. If you keep refining all the parts of your character (yourself, your health, etc.) so that you become an attractive person to the marketplace, you’ll attract opportunity. Opportunity will then begin to seek you out. Your reputation will begin to precede you and people will want to do business with you. All of that possibility is created by working on the philosophy that success is something you attract by continually working on your own personal development.

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