opportunity mixed with difficulty

Once, Jim Rohn did a seminar for certain executives in Honolulu. As they sat around the conference table, one of them asked, “Mr. Rohn, you know some important people around the world. What do you think the next 10 years are going to be like?” Rohn replied, “Gentlemen, I do know the right people. I can tell you.” They all listened attentively. He continued, “Gentlemen, based on the people I know and from the best of my own experience, I’ve concluded that in the coming 10 years, things are going to be about like they’ve always been.”

Jim Rohn elaborates on this in one of his speeches, “I said that to make a point, but also because it’s accurate. Things are going to be about like they’ve always been. The tide comes in, and then what? It goes out. That’s been the case for 6,000 years of recorded history, and probably long before that, so it’s not likely to change.”

He continues, “In rotation, the next season after fall is winter. And pray tell, how often does winter follow fall? Every time, without fail, for 6,000 years that we know of. Of course, some winters are long and some are short, some are difficult and some are easy, but they always come right after fall. That isn’t going to change.

“Sometimes you can figure it out, sometimes there’s no way to figure it out. Sometimes it goes well, sometimes it gets in a knot. Sometimes it sails along, sometimes it goes in reverse. That’s not going to change. That last 6,000 years read like this: opportunity mixed with difficulty. It isn’t going to change.

“Someone says, ‘Well, then, how will my life change?’ And the answer is: When you change.

“Whether I’m talking to high school kids or business executives, my message is always the same. The only way it gets better for you is when you get better. Better is not something you wish for; better is something you become.”

And then he delivers this invaluable piece of wisdom, “Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.”

So whether you’re wondering if the stock market is going to be extremely volatile next year and may ruin your investments, or if the new government in your country would somehow change your life trajectory, know that wherever the wind blows, you have the power to set your own sails. No matter what’s happening in the external world, your life will only change when you change. 

Life is pretty much like a rollercoaster ride, there’ll be highs and lows that you’ll face in every aspect of it. Don’t let the external conditions affect your internal state. Waiting for things to change on the outside is futile; if you want to bring a real long-lasting positive change in your life, then you’ll have to change the person you see in your mirror. That’ the only way. 

As Jim Rohn points out, “Life and business is like the changing seasons. You cannot change the seasons, but you can change yourself. Therein lies the opportunity to live an extraordinary life–the opportunity to change yourself.”