What Constitutes A Good Life?
by Jim Rohn
The ultimate expression of life is not a paycheck. The ultimate expression of life is not a Mercedes. The ultimate expression of life is not a million dollars or a bank account or a home.
Here's the ultimate expression of life in my opinion, and that is living a good life. Here's what we must ask constantly, "What for me would be a good life?" And you have to keep going over and over the list.
A list including areas such as spirituality, economics, health, relationships and recreation. What would constitute a good life? I've got a short list.
1) Productivity. You won't be happy if you don't produce. The game of life is not rest. We must rest, but only long enough to gather strength to get back to productivity. What's the reason for the seasons and the seeds, the soil and the sunshine, the rain and the miracle of life? It's to see what you can do with it. To try your hand, other people have tried their hand; here's what they did. You try your hand to see what you can do. So part of life is productivity.
2) Good friends. Friendship is probably the greatest support system in the world. Don't deny yourself the time to develop this support system. Nothing can match it. It's extraordinary in its benefit. Friends are those wonderful people who know all about you and still like you.
A few years ago I lost one of my dearest friends. He died at age 53 - heart attack. David is gone, but he was one of my very special friends. I used to say of David that if I was stuck in a foreign jail somewhere accused unduly and if they would allow me one phone call, I would call David. Why? He would come and get me. That's a friend. Somebody who would come and get you.
Now we've all got casual friends. And if you called them they would say, "Hey, if you get back, call me we'll have a party." So you've got to have both, real friends and casual friends.
3) Your culture. Your language, your music, the ceremonies, the traditions, the dress. All of that is so vitally important that you must keep it alive. In fact it is the uniqueness of all of us that when blended together brings vitality, energy, power, influence, uniqueness and rightness to the world.
4) Spirituality. It helps to form the foundation of the family that builds the nation. And make sure you study, practice and teach. Don't be careless about the spiritual part of your nature; it's what makes us who we are, different from animal, dogs, cats, birds and mice. Spirituality.
5) Don't miss anything. My parents taught me not to miss anything. Don't miss the game. Don't miss the performance, don't miss the movie, don't miss the show, don't miss the dance. Go to everything you possibly can. Buy a ticket to everything you possibly can. Go see everything and experience all you possibly can. This has served me so well to this day.
Just before my father died at age 93 if you were to call him at 10:30 or 11:00 at night, he wouldn't be home. He was at the rodeo, he was watching the kids play softball, he was listening to the concert, he was at church, he was somewhere every night.
Live a vital life. Here's one of the reasons why. If you live well, you will earn well. If you live well it will show in your face, it will show in the texture of your voice. There will be something unique and magical about you if you live well. It will infuse not only your personal life but also your business life. And it will give you a vitality nothing else can give.
6) Your family and the inner circle. Invest in them and they'll invest in you. Inspire them and they'll inspire you. With your inner circle take care of the details. When my father was still alive, I used to call him when I traveled. He'd have breakfast most every morning with the farmers. Little place called The Decoy Inn out in the country where we lived in Southwest Idaho.
So Papa would go there and have breakfast and I'd call him just to give him a special day. Now if I was in Israel I'd have to get up in the middle of the night, but it only took five minutes, ten minutes. So I'd call Papa and they'd bring him the phone. I'd say, "Papa I'm in Israel." He'd say, "Israel! Son, how are things in Israel?" He'd talk real loud so everybody could hear - my son's calling me from Israel. I'd say, "Papa last night they gave me a reception on the rooftop underneath the stars overlooking the Mediterranean." He'd say, "Son, a reception on the rooftop underneath the stars overlooking the Mediterranean." Now everybody knows the story. It only took 5 - 10 minutes, but what a special day for my father, age 93.
If a father walks out of the house and he can still feel his daughter's kiss on his face all day, he's a powerful man. If a husband walks out of the house and he can still feel the imprint of his wife's arms around his body he's invincible all day. It's the special stuff with the inner circle that makes you strong and powerful and influential. So don't miss that opportunity.
Here's the greatest value. The prophet said, "There are many virtues and values, but here's the greatest, one person caring for another." There is no greater value than love. Better to live in a tent on the beach with someone you love than to live in a mansion by yourself. One person caring for another, that's one of life's greatest expressions. So make sure in your busy day to remember the true purpose and the reasons you do what you do. May you truly live the kind of life that will bring the fruit and rewards that you desire.
To Your Success,
Jim Rohn was a leading author, speaker and business lecturer. He is the author of 7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness: Power Ideas from America's Foremost Business Philosopher, among other fantastic books and audio programs.