Nothing Works….Unless You Work It

One of Charlie “Tremendous” Jones’ most famous quotes was, “Nothing Works!”. You can watch it here or you can listen, read, or watch his full speech, The Key To Excellence, DVD, or Life Changing Classic. Those of you who did not know my father might be confused at how someone rose to be one of the top 25 Legends of Personal Development with insights such as, “Nothing Works!”

It’s simple, really. He did so because it’s true. Anyone who has worked with people, attempted something new, tried to do the right thing, or engaged in life in any way shape or form knows that nothing works! Now you may say, “Tracey, I’ve had a least some things work”, and you are correct. My father said those famous two words to encourage all of us. The people who have the most difficult time in life are the ones who expect everything to go according to plan. While I admire people who have the golden touch, that’s just not me and it’s probably not you either.

 When you don’t expect everything to go your way, you become incredibly thankful when they do. You also become grounded enough that when thing go belly up, you don’t shatter or turn inward. I can remember approaching my father lamenting why something hadn’t worked and him replying, “Of course you’ve got problems. You’re not dead!”. While some would say that these words are harsh, the temporary hurt of hearing truth was a tiny pinprick that prepared me from succumbing to the life crippling harm of a fragile ego.



There’s a second half to “Nothing Works” and that’s “Unless you work it”. I came across a tremendous blog Sunday written by one of my father’s dear friends, Nelson Price. Nelson calls those who are all talk and no walk, super intenders. They talk a good game, they just got none. He included a powerful poem that describes them perfectly: “He dined beneath the moon, he basked beneath the sun. He lived a life of going to do, and died with nothing done.” Our next Life-Changing Classic due out in May is titled The Three Therapies of Life by Charlie “Tremendous” Jones. One of the three therapies is work. Here’s a tremendous excerpt from our upcoming release,


“My dad, when I was a little boy, worked 18 hours a day. So what was his work? He had no work. He worked 18 hours a day looking for work. He worked at looking for work because he knew something that everybody has to learn some time in life. You don’t work because you get paid. You work because it’s your life. You need to work. If they pay you, get your pay. If they don’t pay you, find some way to work. Why? Because you can work, work!”

At the start of this tremendous week, remember this when you hit that failed plan, stonewalling boss, irate customer, or annoying coworker, Nothing Works! Then go right back to work at working that nothing until it turns into something more tremendous than you could have imagined!

AdversityCharlie "tremendous" jonesExtroverts in the workplaceFailureHappinessHard workMotivationNelson pricePath to successPerseverancePurposePurpose driven lifeStrengthSuccessTenacityTherapies of lifeTremendous leadershipTrialsWorkWork ethic


Cindy Hoffman

Cindy Hoffman

This is just what I needed to hear this week. Thank you for sharing and just being tremendous!



This is definitely an inspiring life lesson. I believe it is especially insightful in revealing a lot of the turmoil that’s currently present in the country.

You hit the nail right on the head with this sentence:
“While some would say that these words are harsh, the temporary hurt of hearing truth was a tiny pinprick that prepared me from succumbing to the life crippling harm of a fragile ego.”

It’s been stated a lot of different ways, but the bottom line is the truth shall set you free.

Thank you for starting my week off with the right frame of mind. It just reminds me that the power within our attitude is much greater than the challenge ahead of us.

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