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The Quest for Great Ideas

By Philip Humbert

Several years ago, my friend, colleague and sales-and-marketing guru, Debbie Mrazek ( gave me an "extra" set of CD's from one of Jim Rohn's "Weekend Seminars." She knows how grateful I am for Jim's mentoring and teaching, and I've greatly valued the CD's, listening to them many times. This week, I picked them up one more time.

I was immediately reminded of the times I heard Jim speak, the times we talked together, and the things he taught me. These recordings might be 20 years old, but great ideas and powerful lessons never get old and I will always be grateful to Debbie for her thoughtfulness. (If you want to give someone a valuable gift, think books and audio programs more than gadgets. A great book/audio can change a life forever!)

Once again, I heard Jim's reminder that life is based on the ideas we think and the values we hold dear.

From Socrates to modern Cognitive Psychologists, many people have observed that, "we become what we think about all day long." Inevitably, our lives reflect the things we believe about ourselves and the world around us. If we think about negative, narrow or troubling things, our lives become smaller. But if we believe the best while eagerly expecting opportunity and growth, our world expands and our lives are enriched.

Jim pointed out that a key difference between winners and losers are the ideas they choose to live by. Winners collect great ideas! They read and listen, they watch others not for what they say, but for what they do and for the results they get in life.

Small ideas must inevitably lead to small outcomes. Great ideas, on the other hand, inevitably lead to great, long-lasting and magnificent achievements.

Winners collect the best and brightest ideas they can find. When they hear advice or a recommendation, they weigh it against reality and their own experience, to see if it's valid. They keep notes and try things out. If they get results that excite them, they underline their notes and repeat the experiment, gradually creating lives we admire and respect.

If, however, the idea or recommendation leads to pain and suffering, to disappointment or mediocre results, it quickly gets crossed off the list, eliminated and trashed. Life is too short to cling to bad, wasteful ideas!

Tony Robbins tells the story that when he was a young man, he found himself over-weight, broke and badly disappointed. He determined to change that! He interviewed people who had lost weight, changed their lives, and maintained their success. He read about such people. He listened to their stories. And he took notes! He decided to believe what successful people believe and do what they did. As a result, he lost the weight (30 pounds as I recall) and has kept it off ever since.

Ideas matter.

I'm a huge believer in the power of being "around" people and situations that inspire me. I try to read at least one biography every month. I recommend seminars, both for what the experts share from the podium and (just as important) for the people I meet in the lobby or sitting next to me in the auditorium. I love audio programs that walk with me, drive with me, and help me get the sun up in the morning. I love MasterMind teams and working with my clients, because we share our best ideas with each other.

Life is about ideas and actions. If we think about and believe the world to be a small, constricted, mean, and competitive place, it becomes so. But, if we believe and act as if the world is our oyster, a place of abundance, joy, opportunity and wealth, it becomes that, as well.

The exciting thing is that great and useful ideas are all around us. Jim's CD's are old. The seminar was given many years ago. Even the CD's are old technology and I've heard the information many times, both in person and on recordings. But the IDEAS are still fresh—and each time, I hear them in a new and powerful way.

Get around the best life has to offer. Surround yourself with successful people and ask them how they learned to be such good parents, to accumulate such wealth, or how they stay fit. Ask how they organized their business and served so many customers. Get around people who can teach you stuff! Read the books, listen to the audio programs. Fill your mind, and your life, with value.

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