Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, an expert on love, said, What a comfort love brings to the heart. The heart tickles with the thought of love. The heart tickles with the thought of love and waves of life begin to roll on the ocean of love. Every wave of life is full with the ocean of love. Yes, such a life that’s worth living.
Every wave of life full with the ocean of love. Such a life, such a life that’s worth living, and who lives such a life of all love, of this, of power and of peace? The fortunate ones, and the fortune is open to all to design their destiny as they begin to live life and all love and joy. Charlie Tremendous Jones is also an expert on love, one of the all-time best, because this is how he spends
Bestselling author Jeffrey Gitomer described Charlie best when he said, Every day is Christmas at the Jones’ residence in Mechanicsville, Pennsylvania. He invites underprivileged children to his perennial Christmas Room where he performs for them and gives them gifts as if he were Santa. He’s the most non-offensive, religious person I have ever met. He doesn’t tell you what you should do or how you should believe. He tells you what he does and how he believes. He has set an example of living, and it makes his teaching more powerful as a result.
Charlie Tremendous Jones entered the insurance business at age 22. At age 23, he was awarded his agency’s Most Valuable Associate Award. Ten years later, he received his company’s highest management award for recruiting, manpower and
development, and business management. In 1965, he founded Life Management Services to share his experience through seminars and consulting services.
Thousands of audiences around the world have experienced nonstop laughter as Mr. T shares his ideas about life’s most challenging situations in business and at home. Two of his speeches, ‘The Price of Leadership’ and ‘Where Does Leadership Begin?’ have been enjoyed by millions. He is the author and editor of nine books, including Life is Tremendous, which has more than two million copies in print in 12 languages.
He is featured in the Leadership by the Book series with Ken Blanchard, Excelling in the New Millennium with Jim Rohn, Dynamic Achievers World Network series, The Automotive Sales Training Network satellite training service, Insights into
Excellence training series, Nightingale-Conant’s Executive Treasury of Humor series, and two 30-minute programs by Salesmasters, The Leading Edge and Learning – A Tremendous Experience.
More impressive is what others say about him. Og Mandino, author of the bestselling book The Greatest Salesman in the World, once said, Charles ‘Tremendous’ Jones is one of the most dynamic speakers our country has produced in the past 50 years. His speeches on leadership and life have spellbound audiences from coast to coast as he punches home his points by helping his listeners to laugh at problems and failures, which Jones insists are actually stair steps to success.
Dr. Norman Vincent Peale once said of Charlie, Charles ‘Tremendous’ Jones is one of the greatest motivational speakers of our time. He has blessed the lives of many, including me. Zig Ziglar’s description was, Charles ‘Tremendous’ Jones is truly one of the most unique people on this earth. His zeal for life and for helping others is evident in everything he does.
As Jeffrey Gitomer has said, When you have the time of your life, it is the time of your life. Charlie ‘Tremendous’ Jones has had the time of his life helping others better their lives.
Conducting Charlie’s interview was Greg Reid, who has become known as the Millionaire Mentor. He’s also the number-one bestselling author, speaker, and CEO of several successful corporations. His latest endeavor is the full-length feature film Pass It On, which also stars Charlie Jones.
You can get your own copy of the film by going to www.PassItOnToday.com.
CHARLIE JONES: I must say quickly that I am a result of the people I’ve met and the books I’ve read, and I owe everything I have. I give nothing. I return a little of all I owe and, of course, the thoughts that you just read about the laughter, the reason I always emphasize laughter in all I do is because we’re all hurting in some way.
Sometimes we’re on the top financially, but then there will be hurts physically or maritally, or sometimes we’re hurting in other ways. It seems as though the laughter has to be a part of life, and the secret is not getting people to laugh at you as a comedian but helping people laugh at themselves. Only as you help others laugh, does God help you laugh.
When I hear these things they are very humbling and a little embarrassing because my life is really almost 60 years of failure, failure, failure, but I kept laughing, I kept my mouth shut, and I kept going. It seems as though if you keep laughing, you keep going, and don’t give up, eventually they say all these nice things about you.
I’ll have to give a great quote that puts Healthy Wealthy nWise in the proper setting. A great man once said, A person can be born with ability, they can acquire knowledge, they can develop skill, but wisdom comes only from God, and so what a great title for a program and magazine Healthy, Wealthy nWise, because it seems they really go together. Of course, some of us get old, and now I’m not as healthy as I used to be, but I have a little wisdom, I have a wealth of experience, and I just read a book, and Greg, you’ll be glad to know I am now 565 years old.
GREG REID: How did you get that old
CHARLIE JONES: Greg, I just read this book, and he said, You can live your life by the calendar or a clock, or you can live your life by experiences. Well, brother, I don’t know, I may be 1,000 years old because I’ve had about 10 million noes; I’ve had 200 yeses. I’ve had so many ups and downs and ins and outs, and do you know what? Those are all experiences that add up to days and
months and years. Greg, you may be 500 years old yourself.
GREG REID: Sometimes I feel like it and the grey hair is…
CHARLIE JONES: No, that’s the wrong kind. The real living makes you feel young. You’re younger.
GREG REID: You know it’s so funny, but you forgot something about your life experiences here. You’ve been married for how many years now?
Almost 60 years. Greg, I tell people I’m married almost 60 years because I will never let her ruin the life of another man. She will pay for what she’s done to me.
GREG REID: How many of those were good?
CHARLIE JONES: Let’s not get into that. She might be listening to this program.
GREG REID: You said, quite frankly, that you like a submissive woman so I always liked that about you. It’s kind of crazy. Why don’t you tell that story?
CHARLIE JONES: No, I think the secret, though, is this. Today, I was in the hospital and they were giving me all these tests, and I was talking with the young nurses. I asked which ones were married and some were engaged. Then I remind them that the key to marriage is not love. A woman doesn’t need a man to love her. She needs a man who won’t leave her. A man doesn’t need a woman to love him; he needs a woman who won’t leave him.
If you commit your life and hang in there through the tough times and the hard times, it seems as though, as the years go by, you learn a different kind of love, this real love. I always try to hit hard this commitment because I discovered the day I got married that was the biggest mistake I ever made. We were the two most incompatible people ever thrown together under one roof.
However, we were committed and now here we are almost 60 years later. I can’t remember all those times when we didn’t exactly have that great feeling or affection because those days go. Anyway, you know it. It’s so great and many of our listeners have experienced it, so that’s what makes me. I think they’ll remember me because I identify with their life experiences.
GREG REID: Absolutely. How many children do you have?
CHARLIE JONES: Six, and I tell people, They’re all boys, except four.
GREG REID: No. I always love that about you, you’re a very passionate guy. A lot of people can get that from the feeling right now. They’re thinking, This guy is filled with passion. I’ve got to ask, how does that passion, how has that led you into the work that you do today?
CHARLIE JONES: Greg, I have to say that it was God’s love and forgiveness that gave me a new heart, but that takes care of your eternity. It was the books I’ve read. Back in 1950, I was given a couple of books. Then when I went into the insurance business somebody gave me Frank Bettger’s How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling, and it seems all through my life, at
the right time, whenever I would write articles my mind would be barren. I had no creativity.
I’d read a book called How to Turn Your Ability into Cash, and every month I would start the juices flowing. I just always have to come back to that, and that’s why it’s been my trademark. You are the same today you’ll be in five years except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.
That’s why I am such a debtor. I am so in debt to you, Greg, meeting you a few years ago, and I could go down the list and that’s life, the people who you meet. It comes back to that in selling.
It’s exposure, exposure, exposure to situations and it’s the same with the people. The people, everybody you meet, every biography you read, you see a little of you there and it just begins to build a confidence and a strength you cannot ever know unless you’re constantly meeting people and reading biographies.
GREG REID: Absolutely and, speaking of that, there’s a book that Ken Blanchard and Don Hudson just put together and this is just coming out. It’s hot off the press. It’s called The One Minute Entrepreneur. Who is that book about, Charlie?
CHARLIE JONES: It’s a little embarrassing because it’s biographical by Ken Blanchard and Don Hudson. Of course, Ken is the number-one author in the world today and, of course, Greg Reid is number two. Don Hudson has been one of my
dearest friends and I’ve been sort of a mentor to them, but mainly they’ve been
my role models.
It’s wonderful when you mentor your heroes and your role models because they both have been my role models, and so this is really sort of a fictional biography but they made me the mentor. They changed their names but yet they left my name in. Greg, we do have them in paperback and only available, I understand now, from two major publishers. I can’t say which ones because both are bidding on the publishing rights.
GREG REID: That is absolutely incredible. It is a great book and I recommend that everyone get hold of it as soon as you can. By the way, before we move on with this thing, I want to do a little plug for you, Charlie. You started a company many years ago called Executives Books.
CHARLIE JONES: Yes.
GREG REID: You did it by accident. It’s like anything else, we stumble into success many, many, times but if you don’t quit, you keep looking around and seeing opportunities, you’ll sooner or later grasp on to them. You’ve got a business, a business office, right next to a bookstore. That’s how it all started, right?
CHARLIE JONES: Right. That’s so important we mention this. We make these plans, and I will say this, while I always relate success a lot to luck and timing, I also know those who pour their lives into what they do everyday have a little more of a chance of getting a little more luck and a little more timing. In my case, our lease was up. I didn’t know where to go and I didn’t have time
to look for a new office.
Here was this bookstore and I thought, I should just rent the bookstore and make it my office. It had just gone out of business. I thought after I moved in, I only need half the space. I’m always giving away books, which was my trademark. I never gave away business cards. I discovered if I would give away inexpensive books with my name and address in them, they would remember me forever, and they did.
I bought all of the bookstore with my office, and then I could buy books at a higher discount. That’s how it all happened. Now we’ve distributed, over the past 55 years, probably in excess of 50 million books and pieces of literature. That’s what humbles me and excites me about every day, to see the lives change. Even today, in Baltimore, at John Hopkins Hospital, at least seven lives were changed because I took just a few minutes to say a kind word and give them a book.
GREG REID: I love that. Now, you can feel just listening to this energy on the phone that Charlie truly is tremendous and he got the nickname Charlie Tremendous Jones. How did you get the nickname Tremendous?
CHARLIE JONES: It embarrasses me. I never liked it because people think I am either a football player, a wrestler, or a cleanser. I say this. When I didn’t know your name, Greg, I would call you ‘Tremendous’ because I didn’t want to call you ‘Hey, you.’ You sign all your letters ‘Sincerely’-or I think you do-and I sign my letters ‘Tremendously.’
I had a habit when people would say, We had a baby, of saying, Tremendous, or We bought a home, Tremendous. My mother-in-law just died, Tremendous. I had this habit, and then I wrote the book Life is Tremendous. Gradually, people began calling me Tremendous, and so I am stuck with it, but, Greg, I can tell you this; if I had my way I would be known as Thankful Jones or Learning Jones.
If you’re going to stay young, get younger as you grow older, it will be your learning. Learning causes you to see how little you know and how thankful you are for what you do know. Then, of course, the thankfulness is the key to it all. The first mark of greatness in your life is being thankful. The first sign of smallness, when you get things, is being thankless. Those are my two; if they could call me Thankful Jones or Learning Jones then I would be much happier.
GREG REID: That’s it, and that’s great because I remember in Pass It On you threw a prayer on there about gratitude, and it’s just a matter of being grateful. People, understand the very first step towards living a happy, joy-filled life is living a life of gratitude. Now I want to move on.
CHARLIE JONES: I agree, but I should say, too, that in that Pass It On, they’re going to love that because I share the prayer that we used to pray with the children before we would eat. We’d say, Lord, we thank you for our food, but if we had no food we would want to thank you just the same, because we’re not thankful just for what you give us but thankful, most of all, for this
privilege of learning to be thankful. I had to throw that in.
GREG REID: That is just incredible. I just love that. Every time I’ve watched you I just go Wow! I’ve watched the expressions on people’s faces and they all get it. Now, I am going to move on to your book Life Is Tremendous. The first of your Seven Laws of Leadership is Get Excited About Your Work, and I love this. When we were over at the NSA, The National Speakers Association, Mark Sanborn won the coveted Cavett Award, and you won it last year.
A lot of people don’t know what that means. That’s like getting the Oscar; it is the Grand Pooh-Bah of motivational speaking. You are the person when you win this. Charlie Tremendous Jones won it last year, and this year his good, close friend, Mark, won it. He wrote a book called The Fred Factor and it reminded me of this. It’s about getting excited about your work. Why don’t you
expand a little bit about that?
CHARLIE JONES: Perhaps one of the most difficult things for everyone is they get the idea that work is to be exciting, and it’s really comical that they get this idea. They look at their boss or someone with money, they look at you, and they say, Look at how exciting Greg Reid’s life is. Fortunately for me, I know your life only looks exciting.
GREG REID: Exactly.
CHARLIE JONES: I know that underneath, your life is filled with misery and drudgery because in the details of achievement, when you achieve it that’s exciting, but all that goes into it is horrible drudgery. I started learning work is not the work I do to get the sale or to get paid. The work is putting excitement in your rotten work so it looks exciting. That’s really been my secret over the years, even now.
My life is filled with such drudgery. I still put in at least 12, 16 hours every day, and here I am almost 80, and yet it’s not even drudgery. Over the years, I’ve had such a habit of putting excitement in it that people say, Look how exciting his life is! I smile and say, I wish it were exciting.
GREG REID: It is exciting, Charlie, because you love what you do.
CHARLIE JONES: I hate what I’m doing, but I love the purpose I do it.
GREG REID: Yes, Amen. I remember one night; Charlie was staying over at my house. It was like 3:00 in the morning, and I hear some rustling going on downstairs. I go running down with a baseball bat, I figured someone was breaking into the house, and here is Charlie all dressed up in his bowtie and he’s working. I said, What are you doing? and he says, When you love what you do you’re never working a day in your life. It always stuck home with me and I thought that was just so powerful. Make the most of what you’re doing.
CHARLIE JONES: Yes, but we understood this, Greg, that I think that ‘love’ is a dangerous word in ‘love what you’re doing.’ I think it’s learning to do what you ought to do and need to do, which is different than what you like to do and want to do. Now drug pushers and the people who are goof-offs and freeloaders, they do what they like to do and want to do.
Eventually they see they made a mistake, but those people who do what they ought to do and need to do, that’s living out what God put in. They’re the ones who say, I didn’t know I had to do it for awhile, but I know I ought to do it and now I really like it.
GREG REID: How did you get to be ‘Man of the Year’?
CHARLIE JONES: I love that one. I was ‘Man of the Year’ my first year of business because everybody else had quit. I used to never say that; I was ashamed of it. Now that I have a little success I can be more honest and really, everybody had quit. Some of the best people had quit. I should have quit. I was such a failure, but I couldn’t quit because I knew if I couldn’t make it here where would I make it anywhere else?
Then there was another one I was learning. People who think they deserve more and owe less are always jumping around and going backwards. People who realize they owe more and deserve less are always working harder to be worthy and pour something
into it, and they grow.
GREG REID: That is absolutely true. Now, when Janet was introducing you they quoted something out of a magazine or in a local newspaper about your Christmas Room. I’ve been to your house, and a lot of people who haven’t been there, I’ve got to just paint a picture for you. First of all, Charlie has an estate. I was driving down his street and, all of a sudden, he says, Yes, this
is the house I live in, and keeps driving.
I said, What are you doing? He says, This over here is the Christmas House 24 hours day, and he keeps driving. He says, This is my library, and he keeps driving. This is the guest house, and I’ve got to tell you something, his backyard looks like an amusement park.
He invites kids to come in and enjoy his home. It’s incredible; college student come in, they bring underprivileged kids in, and they have the absolute time of their life. We’re talking about Sno Cone machines and hot dogs and all that stuff, and he just makes it so fun and makes everyone come together as a group and as a family. It is amazing.
Like this Christmas room, unless you’ve see it, it’s just crazy. You walk into this room and as soon as those lights come on, all the ornaments start lighting up; all of the songs and Christmas carols start to play. One of the things I love about you, Charlie, is you get everyone to sing when they’re down there.
CHARLIE JONES: They must sing.
GREG REID: Yes, and you even have a karaoke machine, just with Christmas carols on there. How did you get the idea to do the Christmas Room?
CHARLIE JONES: When I was young, when I was a boy, unfortunately for me, and yet fortunately for me, my parents were not religious and they never went to church, but they did send us children. I was the youngest of five and we went to a little Sunday school. I had a wonderful Sunday-school teacher, a shoe salesman, dynamic, handsome. Back in the 30s, everyone was broke and hungry and he was driving a new car.
He invested his life in this little class of boys, of which I was one. He became my role model and, of course, I had no idea why he did this. Then, many, many years later, I met Gloria and she reformed me. She got me to clean up my act and my language and got me to join church and those things, but nothing from my heart. Then in 1950, an old friend gave me some Bible verses about love. I know tonight in our audience we have all faiths and religious denominations.
I never tell people to believe what I believe or why I believe or because I believe, but I do remind everybody that we ought to know what we believe and why we believe it if we’re going to believe it. At my agency, most of our people were Jewish and I loved those Jewish guys. They were my favorite people, and I’d say, Now, don’t you ever water down your faith for me and don’t you expect me to water down my faith for you, and we had a great relationship. When I then finally discovered the love of God, His forgiveness, it was free.
It just changed my heart, and then I looked back to those days when I was a little boy and my role model/mentor, George Mallory, and immediately, I began to live my life in his image all those years later. When this success began to come then I thought we are going to have a park for children, we’re going to have this Christmas Room, and we’re going to make it Christmas all year round because when you were poor, back in those early days, Christmas was the greatest time of the year because, boy, everyone was celebrating.
You really went all out to make it wonderful. That’s why when they come here with these children, we make it Christmas every day of the year. These little kids who come from the inner-city, they hang on my leg and they say, Mr. Charlie, look at me. All they want is someone to hug them, tell them they love them, give them some candy. We sing Jingle Bells. Then I tell them about Jesus.
He came to love you, and if you give Him your present, if you’re being bad, he’ll give you His love and forgiveness. You exchange gifts. You give him your being bad and He gives you love and forgiveness, and then you say thank you. That is why the Christmas Room is so special. We give the kids a memory, Christmas in June and July.
GREG REID: I love that. It’s funny, you mention your wife quite a bit, every time you tour and every time you speak. When I first started this conversation, I talked about you like her because she is a submissive woman, but you didn’t talk about how she gets on all fours.
CHARLIE JONES: Right, right. That was my secret. I taught Gloria, and women have got to learn this. I taught her to be totally, totally submissive and she is not so submissive. She came to me this morning on her hands and knees. She says, Charles, come out from under that bed and fight like a man, and I’ve got to remain submissive.
I tell her every night that I owe everything in the world to her because she was the first person who ever believed in me, and brother, that took a lot of believing, too! People would say, What a wonderful man you are. I’d say, You should have known me before Gloria got to me.
GREG REID: I love that.
CHARLIE JONES: The trouble with these women is that they are looking for a man. You don’t get a man, you get a little boy. You have to grow a man because no man is ever born a man. It takes a dear woman to put up with him and give him some time to grow up.
GREG REID: You say that no man is worth beans until he has been broken.
CHARLIE JONES: Greg, I’ve got to put that on my website.
GREG REID: I know.
CHARLIE JONES: I’m going to put that on, Greg, because of you. Tomorrow I am putting that on the website under Articles I Love on the www.ExecutiveBooks.com . I’m putting in on Horse Sense. It’s called horse sense and that is so true.
GREG REID: Why don’t you expand a little bit so that people
understand what we’re talking about?
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