Shoaff taught me, "Read all the books." He got me started on my library when I was 25.
I've now got one of the better libraries. If you saw my library today,
you would be impressed. You would probably say, no wonder Mr. Rohn was invited to come talk to us
one more time, look at this library. No wonder he's invited to speak
around the world, look at this library. No wonder he's healthy,
look at this library. No wonder he's got something to say,
look at this library. I'm asking you to have
the same reputation. No wonder this family's healthy,
look at this library. No wonder this father's got it together, lacks not the vocabulary nor the stories to
articulate for his family the vision of the future, look at this library.
No wonder this mother, super confident,
striding into the future with her children, arms around her children,
confidently taking them into the 21st century. No wonder she's confident,
look at this library. No wonder this person's got a sterling
sales career, look at this library. No wonder this person understands management second to none, look at this library. No wonder this person's
an extraordinary entrepreneur, building an incredible organization
worldwide, look at this library. I want you to have the same reputation,
gotta build a library. I haven't read everything in my library,
but I feel smarter just walking in it, my library. I was smart enough to buy it all.
Now I gotta be smart enough to read it all.
Then I gotta be smart enough to sort through it all and decide which of it is valuable enough
to bet my money and my time. I want you to have that same procedure.
Gather knowledge, don't be lazy in learning. It's too important to your future.
Don't be lazy in gathering information. That's why I appreciate you coming here, appreciate you spending this much time,
appreciate you taking notes one more time. Some of you have already taken
enough notes that’ll last for a lifetime. You've been through seminars for many years
of your life, but you're here one more time. And if someone else is speaking, I would be
in the audience. Guess what I would be doing? Taking notes one more time. I'm telling you,
never cease your quest for knowledge.
Never cease your quest for learning, because the next idea may multiply the value
of your life by two, by three, by five, by ten. A lot of the fortunes of the world were built
after the people became fifty and sixty. Why? Suddenly, from a vast now amount
of experience comes that next idea. And no matter how much you know, you never know when the last little piece is gonna
multiply it by so many times.
It's unbelievable. We in the millionaires club invite
a billionaire once in a while, come talk to us. And he says, "Well, you guys are doing okay, but
come on, get your act together." No telling what else you could do
with the rest of your life. So always be eager to learn. Always be eager to gather up
that next bit of information that can explode your life
into all kinds of equities and values. Read the books. Now, Shoaff recommended three.
Let me give you those. He recommended more, but these were
the three that got me started. One was the Bible. My parents made sure I was a pretty good
scholar by the time I was eighteen, nineteen.
The Bible. What a collection of stories!
What a collection of vision! What a collection of poetry and history! What a collection of nuances, ways to say it unmatched
by any other collection of documents that I know of! The Bible. Number two was a book
called “Think and Grow Rich”. Think and Grow Rich. Shoaff said to me, "Mr. Rohn, doesn't
that title intrigue you?" I said, "Yes, sir." He said, "Wouldn't you have to
get that book?" I said, "Yes, sir." So I went searching for it. Guess where I found it?
In a used bookstore. I paid less than fifty cents for it.
I've still got the copy. Found out later,
it was a rare hardback cover. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Napoleon Hill.
What an extraordinary little book! Helped change my life. Now another book that helped me
become a millionaire by thirty-one. Here's the title.
If you're ready, say, I'm ready. The title is called “The Richest Man…” “The Richest Man in Babylon”.
I use this book
as a textbook teaching kids wealth by forty, thirty-five if you're extra bright, much sooner
if you find a unique opportunity. The Richest Man in Babylon by
George Clason. C,L,A,S,O,N. This book massively affected my life. Jot this down now under the title
“Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason”. Number one:
This little book is easy to find. Easy to find, the average bookstore's got it.
If they haven't got it, they can get it for you. It's easy to find. Here's number two:
It's easy to buy. The most you can pay for it
is twelve, fifteen dollars. You can borrow that from
your kids, twelve, fifteen dollars. Kids have got the money
these days, right? Woah… Number three, you've already guessed number three: It's easy to read, it's in story form.
That's why I use it for kids,
it's in story form. You can read it. I'm telling you, in two or three concentrated
evenings, you could read this little book. If you got inspired,
you could read it in one evening. Lord, I would hope some out of this
audience would get inspired, read this little book in one evening.
You'll never be the same.
You may come back
to thank me years to come. Now here's number four: It's easy not to look for
this little book. And that's the heartbeat
of my whole presentation so far. It's easy not to look for this little book. And now I've given you the answer
to almost everything. Haven't you ever wanted a simple little formula
that gave you the answer to almost everything? I've just given it to you.
This is it, this is the formula.
The answer to almost everything. Number one, easy to find. Number two, easy to buy. Number three, easy to read. Number four, easy not to look. That's the answer to almost everything. Someone says, "How come my paycheck
isn't any bigger?" I've given you the answer.
This is it right here. I used to think it was the economy.
I used to say, "This is all they pay." Mr. Shoaff said, "No, Mr. Rohn,
that's all you're worth." I thought, "Whoa, new way to look at it." I said, "You know, things cost too much." He said,
"No, let's face the real truth, Mr.
Rohn. You can't afford it." I thought, "New look." He said, "Hey, it's not it,
that's your problem. It's you." And this is it, this is the answer to
almost everything. It's easy not to look. I've recommended this little book now to about three
and a half million people over the last thirty-three years by satellite and
by every other means. Guess how many have actually gone
and found this little book? Answer, very few. My best guess is about 10%, go find it, based on
my recommendation. You say, "Well, Mr. Rohn, why wouldn't the
other 90% go find this little book? Answer, we don't know. What do you know? You don't know.
I don't know. Nobody knows. Here's my most profound philosophical
statement for the day if you're ready. Some do and some don't.
That's how profound this stuff is. You don't need to be a technical engineer. You don't need to graduate from Harvard. This is it: Some do and some don't. In the case of this little book, about 10% do
and 90% don't.
That's the answer. Guess when I went
and found this little book? The same day. The same day I heard about it,
I went and got a copy. Someone says, "Well, does that make you different
than most everybody else?" And the answer's yes, yes. Somebody says, "Why is that?"
We don't know. You don't know. I don't know.
Nobody knows. Guess how many people in America
have a library card? 3%. Wisdom of the world available, change your health, change your life, change your future, change your marriage, change your relationship with your family.
There's no lack of information. But 3% of the people have a library card. 97% couldn't be bothered
with the wisdom of the world. At 4:15, the guy's not headed for the library.
He's headed for happy hour. Two for one, and it doesn't mean books. And this guy wonders why he doesn't get paid more. I'm telling you, the answer lies here. Now, here's my advice: Join the 10%. Walk away from the 90%.
Don't talk like they talk. Don't use excuses like they use.
Join the 10% who find a little book.
Join the 3% who have a library card. Guess how many people can retire from the income
of their own resources when it comes time to retire? 5%. 95% wind up dependent,
5% wind up independent. I'm asking you to join the 5%. Walk away from the 95% who won't
marshal their resources to a good end. I'm asking you to walk away
from the careless. Walk away from those who blame an unlevel
playing field or blame the Republicans, right, or blame their employer or blame the economy
or blame interest rates and taxes and prices. I'm asking you to walk away from
that kind of thinking. Join the 5%. Join the 3%. Join the 10%, and you'll have the kind
of life you've always wanted, for those who do. Those who do become the
envy of all who watch. And the 90% wonder
why it doesn't happen for them. And they wonder why
you were so lucky. But your testimony will now be,
here's how I did it: I went and found the book. I got me a library card. I put my finances together so that I became
I joined the 5%. I'm asking you to do that. You must take on responsibility
for your own education. Now, those first few years of our life, right,
we were forced to through high school,
you gotta go to school. Someone says, "Well, I've finished school." Well, it's okay to finish school.
But here's the clue. Zig Ziglar said it well,
"Don't finish your education." Education is a lifetime matter. Education goes on and on. The next clue can double the resources
of the values of your life. Never cease your quest for knowledge.
That's the clue. It's like motivation.
You gotta be mostly self-motivated. Life reserves all of its treasures
for the self-motivated. Somebody says, "Boy, if somebody just
come by and turn me on." What if they don't show up? I mean, you gotta
have a better plan for your life. Self-motivation. Now, here's the last clue,
self-education. Formal education, get you a job.
Self education, get you rich. Formal education make you a living. Self-education make you a fortune. So I'm asking you to do like
you're doing today. Never cease your quest for knowledge. Develop a thirst for ideas
that can be life changing. And then pass it along to your children.
What's been so exciting for me ever since I learned this stuff,
I also learned ways to pass it along. At first I pass it along to my employees.
I pass it along to the people who work for me and some of the people
that I knew in my neighborhood.
But then, when I was invited to step outside my little comfortable environment of my corporate world, and step out to the public
like I'm doing today and share it with an audience outside,
that's when my life took on a whole new dimension. And there isn't anybody here
who can't share, recommend a book,
quote someone a poem, give someone a dialog from a movie
that causes someone to think, quote the lyrics from a song, give someone the benefit of just a minute or two
of your experience.
It may be a light in a dark place that'll help somebody to walk out of
the shadows and into the sunlight. You need a good library. Shoaff got me started on my library. Any home over $200,000 has got a library.
Why do you suppose that is? Wouldn't that make you curious? How come
every home over $200,000 has got a library? Does that tell you something?
Does that educate you at all? And you say, "Well,
I can't afford a $200,000 home." It doesn't matter what size home.
Take your present apartment, clean out a closet,
call it your library and start acting intelligent. And start this process like I did. Start developing a library. Here's what your library needs to show
that you're a serious student of health and life, spirituality, culture,
uniqueness, sophistication, economics, prosperity, productivity,
sales, management, skills, values of all kind. Let your library show
you're a serious student. Don't be casual in learning. Don't be lazy in learning. Information is the key. Okay? Learning is the beginning of wealth. Learning is the beginning of health.
Learning is the beginning of prosperity. Learning is the
beginning of democracy, the beginning of freedom. All values, all virtues
start with the learning process. So don't be lazy in learning. Don't be lazy in gathering
the library that'll teach you and instruct you. Here are some key sections to put
in your library called mental food. In fact, we call it food for thought. It's so important to nourish the mind,
not just the body, but nourish the mind. Key phrase: Now it needs to be
well balanced. You can't live on mental candy. Somebody says,
"Well, I just read this positive stuff." That's too second grade. You gotta get out of second grade.
You can't just be inspired, you gotta be taught. You can't just be inspired,
you gotta be educated. Here's a good book.
It's called “How to Read a Book”. Good title. How to Read a Book
by Mortimer Adler. Now in this book, How to Read a book, not only does he give you some good suggestions
on how to get the most out of a book.
It's one thing to read it, it's another
thing to get the best out of it. He'll give you some techniques on
how to get the best out of a book. It's very good. But here's what's also in his book, How to Read a book,
a list of what he calls the best writings ever written.
The best writings ever written. I've used it
as a centerpiece for my library. So I'm just asking you,
take a look if it suits you, fine. If it doesn't suit you, hey,
keep looking till you find something that suits you. But well balanced. Let me give you some of that balance.
Number one, history. We've all gotta have a sense of history,
American history, national history, international history,
family history, political history.
We all need a sense of history. Be a good student of history. Here's a good book:
Lessons of History by Durant. Lessons of History by Durant. This little book is only a 100 pages, but I'm telling you, it's so well written, you'll be intrigued as I was. This little book, Lessons of History by Durant. Next is philosophy. Durant
also wrote a good book on philosophy.
The story of philosophy. It's got a good
rundown of the key philosophers of the last several hundred years, what they taught
and some of the lives they lived. You might find it a little difficult,
but hey, you can't just read the easy stuff. Key phrase to add here in parentheses:
Don't just read the easy stuff. You won't grow, you won't change,
you won't develop. Tackle the more difficult stuff. Next is biographies and autobiographies, the
stories of successful people, unsuccessful people. There's some dramatic stuff. Right? Over the last hundred years have been
written biographies and autobiographies. Here's one of the best: The Bible. The Bible is a unique book
because it's got a list of human stories on one side of the ledger, another list of
human stories, on the other side of the ledger. One’s called examples,
another’s called warnings. And here's what we've gotta have on biographies
and autobiographies, both warnings and examples. Next, accounting, gotta have a little,
at least primary view of accounting.
Kids have gotta start learning
the difference between a debit and the credit. Next is law. We all need,
right, a little bit. You don't have to be a lawyer, but you gotta know
contracts, what to sign, what not to sign, backups. Good advice:
How to be safe rather than sorry. All of us need a little law,
not a lawyer, but a little law, especially these complicated days,
everything's in court these days. I'm asking you to study a little law, know what to sign,
know how to defend yourself. Say, "Hey, we'll get back." Don't sign too quickly. I mean, there's
all kinds of things here. Be a student. Don't be lazy in learning
how to defend as well as nourish, how to grow as well as take
care of your enemies. You gotta learn. Let your library
indicate that you're a serious student about personal relationships with your
family, gifts and skills, economics and all the rest. Here's the next one: Economics. I've been teaching kids for the
last eighteen, nineteen years how to be rich by forty,
thirty-five, if you're extra bright.
Most kids think they're extra bright,
they go for thirty-five or much sooner, if
you find a unique opportunity. Be a student of economics. Next: Culture, sophistication. Don't leave that out of your life, culture, sophistication.
Culture is part of the fabric of the nation. Culture is what makes us different
than dogs and animals. Culture is what makes us different
from the barbarians. Culture, sophistication. Be a student of the dance and the art, the music
and all the rest of those extraordinary human values that are possible for us all
to participate in as well as to enjoy.
Be a student of culture. And the last one is spirituality. Study it from the Bible and all the related books about
spirituality. If you're a believer, study and practice. Let your library show
you're a serious student. Next, keep a journal. Shoaff said, "Mr. Rohn, not only be a student, but the good ideas that you develop
from the books, keep a separate journal.
Write all this stuff down."
Here's what he said, "Don't trust your memory." If you're serious about becoming wealthy and powerful and
sophisticated and healthy, influential, cultured, unique, keep a journal,
don't trust your memory. If you listen to something valuable,
write it down. If you come across something important,
write it down, write it down. Now, I used to take notes
on pieces of paper and torn off corners and backs of old envelopes
and restaurant placemats and long sheets and narrow sheets and little sheets
and pieces thrown in a drawer. Found out best way, keep a journal. I've been keeping these journals
now since age twenty-five. That makes up a valuable part
of my own learning. And it's a valuable part of my library. My own journals
now form a good portion of my own library.
I call it one of the three treasures
to leave behind. Let me give you that. One of the three treasures to leave behind,
number one is your pictures. Take a lot of pictures. Do you ever look back, right, two three generations,
just a handful of photographs way back there? Wouldn't it be something if there was album after album, thousands of pictures to help tell the story? A picture is worth a thousand words. Don't be lazy in capturing the event.
How long does it take to capture the event? A fraction of a second.
How long does it take to miss the event? A fraction of a second.
Take lots of pictures,
help tell the story. Click, click, got it.
Click, click, got it. Key. Next, your library. The library that you gathered,
that taught you, that instructed you, that helped you to defend your ideals,
that helped you to develop a philosophy, that helped you to become wealthy and powerful
and healthy and sophisticated and unique. The library, that helped
you conquer some disease. The library, that helped
you to conquer poverty. The library that caused you
to walk away from the ghetto. The library, the books that instructed you,
fed your mind and fed your soul. Leave your library behind. One of the greatest
gifts you can leave behind is your library, stepping stones out of the
darkness into the light, your library. So leave your books behind. Your books will be more valuable
than your couch.
Your books, books, books. And third is your journals, the ideas that you picked up, the notes you took at seminars like this. Wherever you found an occasion
to gather something valuable and put it in here so you could
go back over and go back over it. Repetition is the mother of skill. Read it one more time. Learn it one more time.
See if you can digest it one more time. Let it coach you one more time.
Let it teach you one more time. Let it inspire you one more time.
Words are inspirational, the lyrics of a song. And not just read it once. That's why we put our stuff on cassette
so you can go through it again and again and again.
If you hear a beautiful song that does something to you, you don't say, "Oh, that's enough don't need to hear that again." No! Wouldn't you wanna hear it again?
Hear it again. Hear it again. Let it instruct you, let it feed you,
let it teach you. Take you on wings of emotional journeys. Wouldn't you wanna do that again?
The answer's yes. That's what's so important. And here's what's important:
One of the things to leave behind, that's your journals, all the stuff
you took the meticulous time to gather. One of the greatest proof that
you're a serious student. Taking pictures,
that's pretty easy. Buying a book at a bookstore,
that's pretty easy. Here's one that's
a little more challenging. Be student enough of your own life
and your own future and your own destiny. Be student enough to take the time
to keep the notes and keep the journal. You'll be so glad you did. What a treasure to leave behind
when you go, your journals.
Wow! I wouldn't be without mine now. I can only give you a few answers
from my own experience. The rest of all, the magical answers
are within the confines of your own mind. But it takes the books, it takes
the cassettes, it takes the videos, personal conversation, sermons, lyrics
from songs, dialog from the movie. Let your heart be stirred by words. Find ways to capture..