Thursday, February 5, 2009

Twelve Pillars

Genre - Personal Development
Year Published - 2005 (Published by Jim Rohn International and Chris Widener International)
Length - 120 pages
Written by Jim Rohn and Chris Widener

Rating: 5 Skulls

Plot Summary:
Who would guess that when Michael Jones' car broke down on the side of the road that it would be the beginning of a life-changing relationship? Walking to the nearest house, Michael stumbles across a plantation style mansion on an estate named "Twelve Pillars".
Charlie, the maintenance man, helps Michael get back on the road again and also strikes up a relationship with him - and along the way teaches Michael the secrets of success - the Twelve Pillars of Success - that have made the owner of the house, Mr. Davis, a wealthy and successful man.

This new novel by Jim Rohn and Chris Widener will inspire you to take your life to the next level and beyond. It will challenge and encourage you to become the best that you can be!

Every now and then I like to add a little balance to my reading diet, and since the last seven books that I've read [all for reviews!] have been horror related, I decided that it was time to read a personal development type of book [food for thought - you know how that goes]
With that being said, this is really going to be more of my sharing with you my notes, and what I obtained from the book, than an actual review of it. . .

The book is written in a novel format, which makes for a super fast read [which is why I decided to read it now, as I am expecting another book for review, any day now]
It tells the fictional account of three characters [Michael, Charlie, and Mr. Davis - there is also an underlying plot-line involving the character of Charlie]

As the plot summary stated, Michael [a salesman] has some car trouble and his car ends up breaking down just beyond the outskirts of a plantation style home that has twelve huge two-story pillars across the front [hence its name "Twelve Pillars"] The house belongs to a Mr. Davis and each pillar represents a different area of success that is important for life. Such as:

Personal Development - work harder on yourself than on your job - success comes when you develop yourself beyond where you currently are - apply information - implement what you learn
[most folks end up quiting]
The only way that things are going to change for you is when you change
What are you going to change that will in turn change your life?
Strive for Excellence [small steps in the right direction]
Never stop dreaming - Never become complacent
Don't blame circumstances - Take responsibility for yourself and your situation
Don't just accept mediocrity

Total Well-Being:
3-Dimensional Health ~ Body, Soul [our intellect, emotions, and will] and Spirit [the eternal part of us that transcends this world]
Start at the core - Spiritual
You function best when you live in balance [hence my having read this book!] :-)
Read good material that will help you reflect on your spiritual life
Take good care of your body!
If you focus on improving all of these areas, each one will get stronger - and the stronger they get, the stronger they will make the others [it all ties together!]
Make sure that the outside of you is a good reflection of the inside of you

Make the most out of the Gift of Relationships:
Time, effort, and imagination must be summoned constantly to keep any relationship flourishing and growing
Relationships are the backbone of our existence
We need to cultivate them the best we can
Life is hard - Success is hard - That which is valuable is hard to obtain
You need to spend time with someone if you want a relationship with them [Quality time as well as Quantity time]
Effort is needed - People are hard - People aren't perfect, it is a fact of life
It takes effort to make the time
It takes effort to put up with another person's faults
Use your imagination to see what a relationship can be like

Write your goals down:
There is power in writing a goal down - it brings it into reality. Now your mind is cognitively aware of your goal
The major reason for setting a goal is for what that goal makes of you to accomplish it
What it makes of you will always be far greater value than the goal that you achieve [let the goal make you a better person]
The power of change is exciting!
You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.
Start by changing your direction - choose where you want to go, and then build out your plan for getting there.
Decide what you want and then get started
Every day has many opportunities, but only one best opportunity
We must all suffer from one of two pains:
The pain of discipline or the pain of regret
[the difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons]
Either you control your time or it controls you

Surround yourself with successful people who exhibit and live consistent to the values and skills that you want to acquire and develop.
Don't join an easy crowd, you won't grow
Go where the expectations and the demands are high
People in your life have an amazing power to influence your destiny
Influence is subtle
Every relationship that you have is an association, and each association has either a positive, neutral, or negative effect on you
99% of life is attitude and attitude is greatly shaped by influence and association

Be a Life-Long Learner:
Self Educate [read books, observe others, reflect on your own experiences - learn what went right and what went wrong]
Consistently and proactively pursue knowledge
Think Big!

Communication is two or more people working together to find that common ground of understanding. And when they find that common ground, they are positioned to have tremendous power together.
Communication just isn't what you say - it is also how you say it, when you say it, and the receptiveness of who you say it to [this is the 1st half of communication - the 2nd half is to really listen, and it is the most important ~ something that I personally have to consistently work on]

The latter part of the book is more about Sales, [all of life is sales - selling yourself, etc] Money, [contrary to popular belief, money doesn't solve the problems of life, and it doesn't provide security] and Leadership [Integrity, Trust, Optimism, Vision ~ optimistic vision: creating a positive vision of the future, developing a plan to get there, communicating it, and then working on the plan]

The book ends with the most important lesson:

Leave a Legacy - Live a life that will help others spiritually, intellectually, physically, financially, and relationally. Live a life that serves as an example of what an exceptional life can look like.

Leaving a legacy is like planting a tree. As that seed grows into a tree, it will provide seeds so that future generations can then plant their own.

Give of yourself - Sacrifice for the good of others - Take the time to help others and to teach them - Be patient, loving, and loyal.

An excellent book - well worth a few hours of your time!
Definitely recommended for those who wish to improve themselves!



Rev. Fred Phantom said...

You have won a Dardos Award from yours truly!

thebonebreaker said...

A Dardos Award?!?

Um - okay - let me go check that out! :-)

Thanks Rev!