Not long after I began my quest for personal development, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon the book “7 Strategies for Wealth & Happiness” by a man named Jim Rohn. Perhaps you haven’t heard of him, but you’ve probably heard of his most famous and accomplished student, Tony Robbins…? I thought so. Here’s what Tony had to say about JR in his book “Unlimited Power”:
“My first mentor was a man named Jim Rohn. He taught me that happiness and success in life are not the result of what we have, but rather of how we live. What we do with the things we have makes the biggest difference in the quality of life. He taught me that even the smallest things could make a big difference in life. For instance, he told me to always be a two-quarter person. He gave me the example of a shoeshine. Let´s say the shoeshine man is doing a great job. He’s whistling and snapping his shoeshine rag. He’s giving you great value. Jim said that when you dip into your pocket to tip him, and you´re not sure whether to give him one quarter or two, always go for the higher number. You do it not just for him, but for yourself as well. If you just give him one quarter, later in the day you´ll look down and see your shoes and think, I only gave him a quarter – how could I be so cheap when he did such a great job? If you give him two, it will affect the way you feel about yourself for the better. What if you made it a principle that every time you passed someone taking a collection for anything, you always put some money in the collection plate? What if you spent conscious time and effort figuring out unique ways to get more joy out of life by adding value to other people’s lives? That’s what life-style is all about”
Are You a Two Quarter Person? A One Quarter Person? How About A NO Quarter Person?
“What’s easy to do is also easy NOT to do” ~ Jim Rohn
Jim Rohn’s life philosophies are nothing short of brilliant; they are like a compass that can point anyone in the right direction, regardless of who they are, or where they are in their life; something that is so well illustrated by his “Ant Philosophy”. But for now, let’s take a closer look at the aforementioned “Two Quarter Person” philosophy, which is a piece of wisdom Paula and I have used for many years now. We love it, and feel it’s made a huge difference in both the quality of our lives, and who we strive to become as people.
To confirm one point: We aren’t getting our shoes shined and tipping; what we notice are the many collections being taken at checkout counters at grocery stores like Costco, WalMart, and liquor stores. You know the ones; it’s when clerks ask patrons if they’d like to “Donate a dollar to support X?”. As you are probably aware, the “X” in question is usually a charity, such as Muscular Dystrophy, Dry Grad, Multiple Sclerosis, Children’s Hospital, Food Bank, Breast Cancer, etc. I’m sure you know what I mean, because everybody’s seen them. Anyway, Paula and I have made it a condition that if a clerk asks us if we’d like to donate, we have to say “Of Course!” and add the dollar or two to our tab – regardless of the size of our purchase, and with no hesitation. As Jim Rohn predicted, this simple gesture makes us feel good about ourselves, and let’s be honest – it’s a very small price to pay to do a good thing for our fellow man, right?
But here’s the thing: Despite being a tiny sum, many people don’t contribute the dollar or two at the check out, instead uncomfortably saying things like “Not today”, “I gave already” or “I can’t afford it”. These sorts of comments always surprise me, and here’s why… IT’S A FRICKIN’ DOLLAR! Now, before you say “But maybe they can’t afford it”, let’s get real here; these are the same people whose Costco shopping carts are burgeoning with mega-packs of breakfast cereals and latest DVD releases; or liquor store patrons who (true story) who said “Not today” before shelling out $100+ for 6 bottles of wine, took an extra $80- cash advance, and then got into his convertible Mercedes and sped off! You are telling me that these guys can’t spare a buck or two to help out a good cause? Of course they can, but there’s a reason they don’t. They haven’t been personally affected (yet?) by the very thing that is asking for the dollar.
These folks don’t ever plan on themselves, their families or friends lives being affected by Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis or Breast Cancer; they casually “hope” their kids never need to use the Children’s Hospital, or figure that their elderly parents (or even themselves) will never become regular users of the Food Bank, so when asked for a dollar contribution to any of these charities, they decline. And therein lies the rub: These folks may not need these organizations now, or maybe even never – but what if by some stroke of misfortune they do? Even worse, what if they do need these charities, but there’s no funding available because too many people said “Not Today” rather than “Of Course!” when asked to kick in a dollar with their $200 Costco purchase? That would be a very sad day for them, indeed; a sad day that many people go through already, right now, today.
But the truth is that together, we can all help out and make a huge difference, and why wouldn’t we? Here are 3 great reasons why kicking in that buck or two is an awesome thing to do: First, it’s the right thing to do. Second, you immediately feel good about yourself – Yay! And finally, you just never know if you (or someone you love) might need to call on those funds to help out in a difficult situation some day. Think of it as kind of “Paying it forward”, and trust me when I say, you’ll be glad you did.
Oh yeah, and in the case of Dry Grad, you’ll get a pretty sweet chocolate as well! Boo-Yah!
Readers: How do you feel about this post? Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts on giving up a dollar each time you go to the check out? Please let me know in the comments below!