Here is the full transcript of American motivational speaker Jim Rohn’s inspiring speech: Wake Up Your Potential. To learn more about the speaker, read the full bio here.
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Jim Rohn – American author and motivational speaker
All life-forms strive to the max of its potential, except human beings. All life forms strive to the max of its potential, except human beings.
How tall will a tree grow? As tall as it possibly can. You never heard of a tree growing half as high as it could. No, trees don’t grow half. A tree drives its roots deep as it can, reach as high as it can, produces every leaf it can, every fruit it possibly can to the max. Every life form strives to the max, except human beings.
Now, why not human beings? Jot this down. You’ve been given the dignity of choice. You’re not a robot; you don’t have to repeat this year the same as last year. You can tear up last year’s plan, develop a new plan. So the dignity of being a human being.
Now here’s the choice on being a human being — to be part of all we were meant to be, or to be all to strive for all, or half, or part, or some, the choice is up to you.
Life is not just the passing of time. Life is not just the passing of time. Life is a collection of experiences, their frequency and their intensity. Life is not just watching the clock tick away. Life is a collection of experiences, their intensity and their frequency.
When should you start the day? As soon as you have it finished. Plan the day the best you can, leaving plenty of room for improvising and surprises and all the stuff that happens during the course of the day. But if you’ve planned a good productive day, now you start that day, you can’t believe how much more valuable your time will be. Don’t start the day until you have it finished.
Now, here’s the next one: Don’t start the week until you had it finished. Now to lay out a week is a pretty good challenge.
Next, don’t start the month until you have it finished — the places to go and the people to see, and the productivity and the sales and the customers and the development and all the rest of what you want to accomplish during the course of 30 days. Don’t start the month till it’s finished.
And then here’s the big one. This is really challenging: Don’t start the year until you have it finished. To the best of your ability, it can’t be finished like minute by minute, and it might get all upset. It might get torn up and you do anew and you make so much progress the first 90 days that now you’ve got, you’ve multiplied it all by 2, by 3, because that happened to me. I thought wow, here’s how this is going to be a great year.
By the time I had finished the third month, I’m rolling, I am soaring, so many things are happening, I revise my whole year’s plan.
I got better – I got better day by day and week by week, and month by month and I’m asking you to do the same thing, until you can develop a long arm and a long reach, until you can develop influence that won’t quit, touch people – touch people now you couldn’t touch before, conduct the meeting now you couldn’t conduct before, heart and soul now mixed in there that wasn’t there, missing before. I am asking all of you to get better in spite of the winter, in spite of the downturn — the money downturn, the social downturn, the personal downturn, whatever it is: just get stronger, get better.
I’m asking you to drive worry into a small corner, you’ve got to worry some. All this negative stuff serves some purpose but the key is for you to be the master, not the servant.
Here’s what I’m asking you to do: you be the master of worry; drive it into a small corner; don’t let it loose. And I’m asking you to go home with some new faith and some new courage. I’m asking you: don’t worry, drive it into a small corner. We’ve all got concerns and sometimes we all wonder and sometimes there’s a little crack of doubt; we worry a little but I’m telling you drive it into a small corner – drive your worries into a small corner.
Enemies of the mind – you’ve got to do battle with in the summer. One is pessimism that tries to get you only to see the negative side. Of course, there’s a negative side. Life is part negative; what else is new? If the glass is half empty, it is half empty.
You say, why I’ve been taught to see that it’s half-full? Well, sure it’s half-full. But it’s also half-empty. I mean, can’t you handle that? We know, that’s not too difficult.
But here’s what pessimism would try to get you to do? Believe that it’s only happened and when pessimism comes to your mind, you’ve got to educate pessimism because pessimism is stupid. Pessimism tries to get you to believe that it’s only half-empty. Of course, it’s half empty but it’s not only half-empty; it’s also half-full.
I’m asking you to be in charge — be in charge of your own mind, be in charge of your own destiny. Do battle with your enemies. Do battle with your enemies. Take sword to your enemies. Whatever is going to destroy those values, take sword to it. If it’s worry, take sword to it. If it’s threat, threaten back.
Take your harvest and all that comes your way with full responsibility. Don’t complain.
That fourth season complaining — I am telling you could ruin all it can. Complaining sometimes starts as an infection. If you don’t take care of it, it becomes a disease. Do battle with it. In the harvest time, reap your harvest without complain. It’s your crop, you sowed it, you either made the call, or didn’t make the call; you wrote the letters, it didn’t write the letters. You were steady or you weren’t steady. You did or you didn’t do. You put together a good day or you didn’t put together a good day. Take responsibility when the harvest time finally comes and say it’s my crop, got to take responsibility for it, I do not complain.
I’m asking you to be touched with the smallest of people’s challenges. Don’t just be touched with the challenge. I’m asking you to be touched with the problem. Let people’s problems get to you. Let people’s problems touch your heart this year like never before. Be touched. Let life touch you, don’t let it kill you but let it touch you. The problems that are out there, people struggling with their economy, struggling with their health, struggling with their future, I’m asking you to let that get around your heart, let it do something to you. Don’t go untouched; don’t go unmoved.
When you walk out of here open yourself up. Don’t build up the wall — the same wall that keeps out disappointment, keeps out happiness and opportunities. Take the walls down and let yourself be touched by what’s going on out there. Let sad things make you sad, as well as happy things make you happy. Let your heart get touched.
What a next year you could have if you pay more attention this year, soak it up, gather it up and reflect at certain times what’s going on and what’s happening and this year will take a more powerful place in your experience. People will not believe the words you’ve chosen. They will not believe the heart and soul, the two mixed with words. They won’t believe the power you’ve got.
We’ve got this extraordinary opportunity now. Let us not keep it, let us share it, let us reach out with a long reach, a strong reach, and an unprecedented reach. Let us reach out and touch people not just with our opportunity, let’s touch people with our lives. Let’s touch people with our experiences. Let’s touch people with our heart and soul.
But here’s what I did: I worked around the clock, around the clock so that I would make up in numbers what I lacked in skill. When you’re new, you make up in numbers what you lack in skill. Now when you become more skillful, the numbers can go down. But at first, if you want to compete, if you want to really get good you’ve got to put in the numbers.
I’ll tell you what’s really going to serve you well and that’s the excitement you feel inside that isn’t even probably expressed on the outside; the excitement that runs deep; the excitement that stirs commitment; the excitement that stirs courage. Give me the chance and I will get the job done — that kind of excitement.