Take the Will Rogers Test on the State of Your Career and Life


The most famous cowboy in the world, Will Rogers, had plenty to say about successful working and living.

In his day, Rogers was the highest paid movie star in Hollywood. Now, largely forgotten, the philosophy of Will Rogers is recounted here, so we can follow his simple but powerful advice to lead our careers and lives to the fullest.

1. If you want to be successful, it’s just this simple. Know what you are doing. Love what you are doing. And believe in what you are doing.

While Rogers was known for his humor, he was dead serious about how he was going to lead his life. He studied hard to know as much as he could about a topic, loved doing it and believed he would make a difference in the lives of others. Take something you love, become an expert at it, and adopt an unwavering belief that it will do good.

2. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.

We all make a lot of bad decisions in our lives. But what matters is learning from them.

3. Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.

So many people I know procrastinate because there isn’t a clear path when trying new things. But there never will be. More importantly, there isn’t supposed to be – because chaos is what generates new and previously unforeseen opportunities.

4. The only time people dislike gossip is when you gossip about them.

Talk well of others, see their good side. Adopting this approach is a powerful trust builder. If you never talk down about other people – everyone you know will take comfort in that you’re likely not talking ill of them either, behind their back. Go this route and witness an onslaught of people wanting to be your friend or do business with you.

5. Get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far.

Today, advertising is mainly about building awareness. It cannot convince us to buy. However, recommendations from our friends and colleagues will. And so it is with us. If others are saying great things about us – we will go much farther than if we say great things about ourselves.

6. Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want to impress people they don’t like.

The goal should be to impress only ourselves. To live our lives to impress others is faulty, because no matter how well we do, there will always be someone who is jealous or critical. The only person who needs to be content is you.

7. Let advertisers spend the same amount of money improving their product that they do on advertising and they wouldn’t have to advertise it.

To the young people who work for me, I say: “Your best security is your own drive, talent and hard work.” Let those qualities shine and the need to seek work will be greatly diminished. Others will find you. Word will spread.

8. People’s minds are changed through observation, not through argument.

There is something about human beings that makes them want to be right – even if deep down, they know they’re not. When in any kind of disagreement, the other side needs to save face. Nobody wants to look like a fool. Rather than entering into an argument, show people what you mean. Observation – seeing things for ourselves – puts a quick end to a heated debate in which both sides have no intention of backing down.

Will Rogers pursued his career and lived his life as an adventure. He didn’t worry about what lied ahead – he just tried things. And one thing led to the next. His circus and vaudeville performances led to the movies and radio. 

Maybe that’s how we need to live our lives as well – like an adventure.

Tragically, Rogers died in a plane accident in 1935 at age 56. But his common sense approach to life is something we badly need today.

© 2016 Cory Robert Galbraith, All Rights Reserved.

You won’t see anything like this today. The year is 1922 and Will Rogers shows off his roping skills.


5 thoughts on “Take the Will Rogers Test on the State of Your Career and Life

  1. Great article Cory! I struggle with #1 because I’m what’s been referred to as a “scanner”. It’s easy to do what you love if only I knew what that was.

    Times change. I wonder how much the values of Will’s time still apply today.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks misc104. I think number 1 still applies today, perhaps even more so than it did when Will was around. And you are correct – finding what we love is the biggest challenge. But many of us can’t answer that because we don’t have enough experience – hence, Will’s philosophy of viewing life as an adventure – going out there and trying new things. Through “doing” the answers will come…hopefully.


  3. I agree “But his common sense approach to life is something we badly need today.” Unfortunately, common sense seems to have lost its way. Craziness is rampant and more and more, people seem out of control.

    Liked by 1 person

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