My daughter, Elizabeth, was telling me about a conversation she had with her son and my grandson, Sam. On Friday nights they usually have a family movie night. Elizabeth announced that they were going to watch the movie called, The Titanic. Sam immediately said, “Mom, we’ve already seen that!” Elizabeth went on to explain that what they had seen before was the old version of that movie, starring Barbara Stanwick. Sam thought they were going to have to see the same movie again, but Elizabeth explained that this was a newer version, starring Leonardo DiCapprio, and that it was an entirely different movie than they had seen before. Sam looked at his mother and said, “Well, in this Titanic movie, does the ship still sink?!” My daughter started laughing and said, “Unfortunately, yes, the ship sinks in this movie as well.”
When Elizabeth told me that story, I could not help but laugh. Sam did not want to waste his time watching another movie if the outcome was going to be the same. If the ship sank in the first movie and it sank in the second movie too – well, that was enough for him to know that he wanted no part of watching that experience again.
I think this story offers us an important Tip that reinforces a truth that all of us know; if we keep doing the same thing over and over and do not make any changes in our life, we will constantly be getting the same results. It has been said before, but it is worth repeating, “If you keep doing what you have always done, you will keep getting what you have always gotten.” It is so simple, yet, so profound.
In 1975, I had the opportunity to meet and spend some time with one of my heroes. His name was Charles “Tremendous” Jones. Charlie was one of the greatest motivational speakers who ever lived. He passed away a few years ago, but left his mark on me as well as many, many other people. I learned so much from him over the years and I still sense his influence in my life to this very day. In his talks he used to say, “You will be the same person you are right now five years from now except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” Then Charlie would go on and talk about how important it is to make new friends and build new relationships and constantly be reading good information which saturates your mind with new truths that will help guide you through life. He demonstrated a profound love for reading and for learning new information.
Charlie was the one who taught me that most people who write books are smart. They take what they have learned through the years and boil it down to fit in a book. He said that, if I want to know what someone believes or teaches about a particular topic, I can purchase their book and read it over and over again. A book will be very patient with me. It will let me read the same information repeatedly and will not scold me if I do not understand what I am reading the first time. The printed word on a page allows me to read, study, think, muse and meditate on a topic until it becomes clear in my mind. He said that, if I would be willing to take the time to do that, then I could learn from great masters in their own field, even though I may never meet them personally.
If you could see my library, you would know that Charlie had a great influence on my life because I have thousands of books. Although I have not read each of them completely, there are some that I have read several times. The power of the written word in a book never ceases to amaze me.
Charlie also taught me the truth that, “Leaders are readers.” He taught me at a young age that if I ever wanted to be a leader, I needed to be constantly reading. So, because of that, I find myself reading a little bit every day, and on some days, more than others.
You might wonder what this has to do with the original story about Sam. It is very simple: I do not want you to keep watching the same movie of your life over and over again, just waiting for the Titanic to sink. I want you to create a different ending to the movie of your life. I want you to learn things you have never learned before so that you can do what you have never done.
Zig Ziglar used to say, “What would you attempt to do if you absolutely knew for sure you could not fail?” In other words, don’t waste your time waiting for the same failures to occur over and over again. Learn from your mistakes, grow through the challenges you face each day and keep moving ahead! You will be glad you did!
Tip: The Titanic still sinks!
Have a great week! God bless you!
Dr. Robert A. Rohm