In the second section of the third chapter of Jim Rohn’s “How to Have Your Best Year Ever!” seminar, Jim discusses goal setting. Jim tells us how his mentor, Mr. Shoaff, helped him to create his first list of goals and inspired him to become a millionaire. However, the reason to become a millionaire is much different than one might think.

The real reason to set a goal to become a millionaire is to change yourself, your outlook, your disciplines, and your abilities. By setting a high goal you will push yourself to become great. Jim goes over the two keys to setting goals in this section of his seminar.

Setting Goals

03:11:57: Let’s cover now setting goals.

Let me show you something that turned me every way but loose, I’ve never been the same since I found out about it.

Learning how to set goals.

Not long after I met with Mr. Shoaff, we’re having breakfast one morning, Mr. Shoaff said, “Mr. Rohn now that we’ve gotten acquainted—we know each other fairly well.”

He said, “Maybe one of the best ways I can help you.”

He said, “Let me see your current list of goals, let’s go over them and talk about them.”

And I said what?

“I don’t have a list.”

He said, “Well, Mr. Rohn, if you don’t have a list of your goals,” he said, “I can guess your bank balance within a few $100.”

Which he did, and that got my attention.

I said, “You mean my bank balance would change if I had a list of goals?”

He said, “Drastically.”

So that day I became a student of setting goals.

And I’ve used it to dynamically affect my life.

I’ve taught it to some of my business colleagues, we use it to do business around the world.

Setting goals.

It can turn out to be a drama for your life.

Here’s what goals are: Your vision of the future.

Your vision of the future.

Now there’s two ways to face the future.

One with apprehension.

Number two, with anticipation.

Guess how most people face the future?

With apprehension.

Why? The major reason why: They don’t have it well designed.

They’ve left the design of their future to somebody else.

And if you don’t make plans of your own, guess what? You’ll probably fall into someone else’s plans. Guess what someone else may have planned for you? Not much.

You’ve got to make a list of this not much stuff. I’m telling you people all their lives count on this not much list.

If all of your negative relatives all turn positive, what’ll that do for your future? Not much.

If prices come down a little, what’ll I do for your future? Not much.

If the economy gets a little better, what’ll that do for your future? Not much.

If circumstances get a little better, what’ll that do? Not much.

If the weather gets a little better over the next few years, that’ll do? Not much.

I mean, you could go right down this whole scenario list. Most people all their lives with their fingers crossed count on this not much list.

That’s why ten years from now, they’ll be driving what they don’t want to drive, living where they don’t want to live, wearing what they don’t want to wear, doing what they don’t want to do, having what they don’t want to have—maybe become what they didn’t want to become.

And it all starts by counting on something that’s not going to count much.

You say, “Well, then how can my life dramatically change?”

You’ve got to count on yourself.

And here’s one of the things that you’ve got to count on: Your ability to design the future.

It’s called the promise.

And the promise of the future if you’ll design it well, can have an awesome effect on your life. But if you face the future with apprehension, you’ll take hesitant steps all day, uncertain steps all day.

And if you take on certain steps all day for six years, you can imagine how empty your life can be.

We’ve got to help our kids with the promise of the future.

Now here’s what’s connected to the promise, the price, the price to pay, but I’m telling you the price is easy if the promise is clear.

One of the better notes to make for today: The price is easy, if the promise is clear and powerful.

But the price seems almost too much to pay, too much to get over, too much to accomplish, if the promise isn’t clear—if the promise isn’t powerful.

I’m telling you, kids will pay the disciplines, if they can see the promise. One of our biggest challenges as parents in the 90s is to help our kids see the promise of the future.

That’s why I’m teaching financial independence—how to become wealthy, and powerful, and sophisticated, and healthy, and unique.

All of the stuff kids would hope to go for. It’s all possible. This is America. That’s the promise of the future. The price? A few simple disciplines practiced every day.

And I’m telling you, the kids will pay the price of the simple disciplines, if they can see the promise of the future. But if they can’t see, they don’t want to pay.

And the same is true of all of us, we will pay the most extraordinary disciplines if we can see the promise of the future, called setting goals.

So I’m asking you to get a handle on the future.

I’m asking you not to leave it to anyone else. Don’t leave it to the company, companies got their own goals.

I’m asking you to set your own goals, your personal goals, income goals, and financial goals, and health goals, and spiritual goals! Where do you want to go? And what do you want to do? And what do you want to see? And what do you want to be?

That’s it, the promise of the future. Design your own future. It’s within your hands and your capacity to do so.

Here’s how simple now goal setting is—it’s not mysterious.

You don’t have to anchor, you don’t have to focus, and you don’t have to visualize. None of that stuff.

Here’s how simple goal setting is—changed my life—decide what you want, and write it down.

I mean, that’s how profound this stuff is, decide what you want, and write it down. Make a list.

Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? What do you want to see? What do you want to be? What do you want to have? What do you want to share? What projects would you like to support? What would you like to be known for? What skills would you like to learn?

Some extraordinary things you’d like to do, ordinary things you’d like to do, right?

Silly little things you’d like to do, very important things you’d like to do. Decide, decide on all that stuff and write it down, write it down, write it down. That’s how simple this stuff is.

And it’s your own private list—if it’s really private, you know on your list, put some stuff in code where nobody can understand it if this list fell into unfriendly hands. And simple things, whatever. Foolish things, doesn’t matter, it’s your list.

I had a little revenge on my first list.

Budget Finance who used to harass me. I got two or three payments behind this one guy called incessantly. Said, “We’re going to come get your car! Drag it rear end up and down the street in front of your neighbors.”

Put me down something fierce. When I met Shoaff and got my life straightened out one of the first things on one of my lists was Budget Finance.

And when I finally got the money, I needed a little drama in my life, I finally got the money to pay him off. I put it in small bills and a big briefcase.

Walked into the Budget Finance office on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, the guy who harassed me so often, his desk was about three back. I opened the door walked in right up to his desk, stood right in front of him, never said a word.

He said, “Well, what are you doing here?”

Didn’t say a word, I opened up this briefcase, dumped this pile of money all over his desk.

I said, “Count it. It’s all there. I’ll never be back.”

Turned around, walked out, slammed the door.

Now, that might not be noble, but you’ve got to try it at least one time.

Pay off, with a little drama. Got to check them off my list.

Keep your list with you. I keep my list in my journal. So that I can go back, five years ago, here was my list—and I’m a little embarrassed—here’s what I thought was so important, now, how my philosophy has changed from ten years ago, five years ago, three years ago. Here’s my old lists. Here’s my new list. Here’s what’s valuable to me now. Here’s what I want my life to be now, here’s where I want to go, what I want to do, what I want to see.

Keep your lists of goals so that it shows your growth, shows your ability to change, and grow, your philosophy grows and expands, what’s valuable. Setting goals.

Doesn’t matter how small or foolish it is. Put it on your list.

My Japanese friend, Toro Ikeda, put on his first list: Caucasian gardener. I liked that.

Have you got this profound thing now on setting goals? Here’s how profound it is: Decide what you want, and write it down.

Get together with your wife, decide. Get together with your kids, decide. Get together with your business colleagues, decide.

Write it down, make a list. Okay, that’s how easy it is.

Now, let me give you one more scenario on setting goals.

When I started making my first list, Mr. Shoaff said, “Mr. Rohn, looks like we’re gonna be together for a while.”

He said, “I’ve got a suggestion for you.”

He said, “I think one of the first goals you ought to set—your 25 year old American male—sure you’ve made some mistakes, but now you’re on the road to better things. You’ve got a family worth it, reasons makes the difference.”

And he said, “You’ve got every reason to do this.”

He said, “Why don’t you, among all the goals you’re going to set,” said, “why don’t you set a goal to become a millionaire?”

A millionaire?

“This is America. All the possibilities are available. Why don’t you set a goal to become a millionaire.”

Said, “It’s got a nice ring to it. Millionaire. Enough zeros to impress your accountant. Millionaire.”

And he said, “Here’s why.”

Now I thought, the man doesn’t need to teach me why—I’m thinking wouldn’t it be great to have a million dollars.

He said, “No, that’s not it, here’s why.”

And I had one of the greatest lessons I ever learned, and I’m about to share it with you, this will be worth the price of being here today—if you can capture what I’m about to share with you. Babysitter fees, whatever else you paid.

Some of you missed some sales today to be here, so this is a costly day for you.

But what I’m about to share with you changed my whole life.

Here’s what Mr. Shoaff said, “Set a goal to become a millionaire.”

And he said, “Here’s why: For what it will make of you to achieve it.”

And I got one of the greatest classes in one sentence I’ve ever received in my life.

Set a goal that will make you stretch that far. For what it will make of you to achieve it, what a brand new reason for setting goals, what an all encompassing challenge to have a better vision of the future. What for? To see what it will make of you to achieve it.

And here’s why: The greatest value in life is not what you get, the greatest value in life is what you become.

Major question to ask on the job is not, “What am I getting here?” That’s not the major question. The major question to ask is, “What am I becoming here?”

It’s not what you get that makes you valuable, it’s what you become that makes you valuable.

So Shoaff said, “Set a goal to become a millionaire, for what it will make of you to achieve it.”

Then he said, “When you finally have become a millionaire. Now,” he said, “what’s important is not the money.”

I thought, “Wow, I’ve got some more to learn.”

He said, “No, no, mister and I’m telling you honestly, you could just give the money away.”

Now I did better than that, right? I told you, I lost it all. I’m rich by the time I’m 31, I’m a millionaire. I’m broke by the time I’m 33.

So I didn’t have to give it all away—I lost it all, foolish mistakes I made.

That—I’m a farm boy from Idaho—that early money drove me bonkers. I used to say, “How many colors does it come in? I’ll buy them all.”

I just went, I went crazy over that first money. I just went crazy.

And then I made that one foolish mistake, right? Continuing guarantee. I mean, you know, I’m so naive off the farm. I don’t know what continuing means.

And a few other mistakes. And by the time I’m 33, I’m broke. Now I’ve made and lost million since then, but what an experience that was, and I’m telling you, the man was right.

When I finally was broke at age 33, guess what I discovered? My money did not mean that much, it represented only a fraction of all my assets.

Shoaff said, “Once you become a millionaire, Mr. Rohn, you could give all the money away. Because,” he says, “what’s important, it’s not the money. What’s important is the person you’ve become.”

Now let me give you the key phrase on setting goals.

Set the kind of goals that will make something of you to achieve them. Set the kind of goals that will make something of you to achieve them.

Always keep that in mind, “What will this make of me? If I set this goal and go for it, not only will I achieve it, but what will it make of me in the process.”

What a whole new concept on setting goals. Now there’s two parts of this, then we’re wrapping up goals.

The First Part to Setting Goals: Don’t Set Your Goals Too Low

03:25:36: Here’s the first part now on this goal setting for what you become. Number one: Don’t set your goals too low.

Interesting, we teach in leadership—you’ll find it on the cassette—don’t join an easy crowd.

You won’t grow, go where the expectations are high. Go where the demands are high. Go where the pressures on to perform, to grow, to change, to develop, to read, to study, to develop skills. I belong to a small group, we do business around the world.

You cannot believe the expectations at that level, what we expect of each other in terms of excellence. Far beyond average. Why? So that we can each grow, so that we can receive from the group, we can contribute to the group, something unprecedented. It’s called living at the summit.

Go where the demands are high, go where the expectations are strong, so that it’ll provoke you, push you urgently, insist that you not remain the same for the next couple of years, the next five years, that you’ll grow and change. So don’t set your goals too low.

The guy says, “Well, I don’t need much.”

Well then, you don’t need to become much.

The Second Part to Setting Goals: Don’t Compromise On Your Goals

03:27:00: Now here’s the last part on setting goals: Don’t compromise, don’t sell out.

There were some things I went for back in those early years that I paid too big a price for.

If I had known how much it was going to cost me I never would have paid, but I didn’t know.

Don’t sell out.

Ancient phrase says, “Count costs, count costs, count costs.”

An ancient story says, “Judas got the money.”

You say, “Well, that’s a success story.”

No, no. It’s true, thirty pieces of silver in those days was a sizable fortune.

You say, “Well, if a guy’s got a fortune, right? That’s a success story.”

No, you don’t understand. His name was Judas. Doesn’t that ring a bell?

“Judas,” you say, “Oh, yes. Judas, Judas, the traitor?”

That’s right. The traitor got the money.

Doesn’t that change the story? And the answer’s, of course, it changes the story.

Interestingly enough, after Judas gets the money from becoming a traitor, he’s got the money in his hot little hand and now he’s unhappy.

Somebody says, “Well, if he had a fortune, how could he be unhappy?”

Well, he was not happy with the money. He was unhappy with himself.

Key phrase: The greatest source of unhappiness is self unhappiness.

The greatest source of unhappiness doesn’t come from outside, the greatest source of unhappiness comes from inside.

And here’s where the erosion starts, doing a little less than you could, that’s where the beginning, little infection of unhappiness starts. Doing a little less than you can, not feeling that good about yourself.

So don’t let that happen.

Judas is unhappy says, What’ll I do?”

Says, “I’ll just take the money back.”

Walked in where he got the money and said, “Here take this money, I’m unhappy.”

They said, “Heck with you, Judas. We got what we wanted, you got what you wanted.”

Out, the threw him out with his money.

Judas says, “Well, what do I do now?”

He says, “Oh, clever. Should’ve thought of this first, I’ll just throw the money away.”

And he proceeded to throw his fortune away.

Why would he throw his fortune away? He was so unhappy with himself!

And that’s not even the end of the scenario, after he threw his fortune away, he couldn’t change what he became—a traitor. And now in total abject frustration, he goes out and hangs his worthless self, which all traitors should do, save the state the money.

Why such a tragic end? Because he was so unhappy with himself, he sold out, he sold out, he paid too big a price.

Ancient script sums it all up and said, “What if you gain the whole world, and it cost you your soul. Too big a price to pay? If you got the whole world.

Don’t sell out. Don’t compromise your values. Don’t compromise your virtues. Don’t compromise your philosophy. Key.

Here’s the key word: Beware.

If Judas could speak back, he’d probably say, “Beware.”

Two good words from ancient script, one: Behold.

The positive word.

Behold the possibilities, behold the opportunity, behold the drama, behold the awesomeness, behold the uniqueness, behold the majesty. Behold, behold, what a good word.

But here’s the other word: Beware. Beware. Beware.

Don’t sell out.

Mark well what you become in pursuit of what you want, but I’m inspiring you—hopefully—to set the kind of goals that’ll transform your life. Make you far better than you are, far stronger than you are.


Isn’t this good advice?

This is such good stuff I should have paid to get in, right?


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