15 Invaluable Laws of Growth - John C Maxwell

15 Invaluable Laws of Growth - John C Maxwell

Video Book Summary

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Book Summary Notes

The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth

“Potential is one of the most wonderful words in any language. It looks forward with optimism. It is filled with hope. It promises success. It implies fulfillment. Potential is a word based on possibilities."

"Think about your potential as a human being and you get excited—at least, I hope you do. What a positive thought. I believe in your potential just as much as I believe in mine. Do you have potential? Absolutely. ...

"Since you are reading these words, I believe you have the desire to reach your potential. So the question becomes, how do you do it?"

"I have no doubt that the answer is growth. To reach your potential you must grow. And to grow, you must be highly intentional about it. This book is my effort to help you learn how to grow and develop yourself so you have the best chance of becoming the person you were created to be. My desire is to help you develop the right attitude, learn more about your strengths, tap into your passion, become more in touch with your purpose, and develop your skills so you can be all you can be."

"You cannot change your life until you change something you do every day. By learning the laws and then living them, you will be on your way to reaching your potential. If you keep learning and growing every day over the course of many years, you will be astounded by how far it will take you.”

The Answer is Growth

Some strong word about potential to open up our mind map today..

Like John says I believe that if you're here watching this video that you desire to reach your potential

So this map is going to give you the best tips John Maxwell has in order to help you achieve that.

First things first..  Reaching your potential means growth!

That means two things:

First you must be intentional about it..  What do you want?

Second you must change something you do everyday..  Habit change!

Direction Not Distance

“The first year that I engaged in intentional personal growth, I discovered that it was going to be a lifetime process. During that year, the question in my mind changed from ‘How long will this take?’ to ‘How far can I go?’"

"That is the question you should be asking yourself right now—not that you will be able to answer it. I started this growth journey forty years ago, and I still haven’t answered it. But it will help you set the direction, if not the distance."

"Where do you want to go in life?"

"What direction do you want to go?"

"What’s the furthest you can imagine going?"

"Answering those questions will get you started on the personal-growth journey. The best you can hope to do in life is to make the most out of whatever you’ve been given. You can do that by investing in yourself, making yourself the best you can be. The more you’ve got to work with, the greater your potential—and the farther you should try to go. As my dad used to say to me repeatedly when I was a kid, ‘To whomever much is given—much shall be required.’ Give growing your best so you can become your best.”

The Journey of a Lifetime

Personal development and growth isn't a journey with a set 'destination' as some people might believe..

  • Similar to how enlightenment isn't the end goal of meditation!
  • Instead what should be the goal is the journey..  

The three questions that give you the map!

  • "Where do you want to go in life?"
  • "What direction do you want to go?"
  • "What’s the furthest you can imagine going?"
  • These are some of the questions I ask to my coaching clients on our very first day working together!

They are extremely powerful and once asked a lot of the coaching session is spent expanding on them..

What could be more deeply and powerfully motivational than knowing the answers to these questions deeply!

Investing in yourself!

  • Personal growth is only achieved through the process of investing in you.. 
  • So take the time to answer those questions right now! 
  • Or you can sign up for a free coaching session and we'll go through some of them together.

The Bridge

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily."

"That means developing great habits. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments, and that bridge must be crossed every day. Over time that daily crossing becomes a habit. And ultimately, people do not decide their future; they decide their habits and their habits decide their future."

"What are you doing daily that needs to change? What needs doing? Maybe more importantly, what needs undoing? Advice columnist Abigail Van Buren quipped, ‘A bad habit never goes away by itself. It’s always an undo-it-yourself project.’ What are you willing to change doing today in order to change what you will be doing tomorrow?”

The Law of Consistency

Maxwell says this a lot in the book..

  • You will never change your life until you change something you do daily..
  • Ultimately people do not decide their future they decide their habits!

Do you ever feel like the life you're living isn't yours?

  • But every-time you try to change it doesn't work?
  • Some of you might have been through that process a dozen times..  Maybe even given up!
  • The rub is..  'Who you are' doesn't decide your circumstances and future it's your habits!

Let me tell you a story about a girl I worked with when I was a personal trainer..

  • When she first came into me she was such a positive and upbeat woman..  Who had enough confidence to go to the gym!
  • I could see inside of her that she had all of this potential..  But on the outside she was likely 100lbs overweight!
  • She had tried everything and nothing seemed to work..

But when we dug into it every-time she tried to change instead of doing something small and building a habit..  She tried to change into who she felt she truly was!

This had caused her to fail a bunch of times and ruined her confidence.. 

All we did was make small small changes for the first few months..  Really simple things!  And she trusted me.

2 years later she had lost over 100lbs and was in her dream career..  That's the power of habits!

I recommend you check out my mind map on atomic habits if you want to know more about the process we used!

Action Bias

“In 1974 I attended a seminar at the University of Dayton, where W. Clement Stone spoke on the subject of having a sense of urgency. Stone was a business tycoon who had made his fortune in insurance. His session was titled ‘Do It Now,” and one of the things he told us was this: ‘Before you get out of bed every morning, say ‘do it now’ fifty times. At the end of the day before you go to sleep, the last thing you should do is say ‘do it now’ fifty times."

"I’m guessing there were about eight thousand people in the audience that day, but it felt like he was talking to me personally. I went home and, for the next six months I actually followed his advice. The very first thing every morning and the last thing before I went to sleep, I repeated the words ‘do it now.’ It gave me a tremendous sense of urgency.”

Closing the gap between your potential and where you are now..

The most successful people I know have a very strong action bias..

  • People who are successful in business realize that it's a numbers game..
  • People who are successful at overcoming almost anything realize that they need to move constantly..

This is a really interesting self talk hack..

  • We talked about self talk in Dr. Shad Helmstetters book "What to Say When You Talk to Yourself"
  • Essentially what John is sharing here is a 'Self Talk' script to help us gain that action bias that most successful people have..

Give this a try!

  • Report back and let me know!

Deep Roots

“I’m aware that I’m an especially impatient person, but I think all people naturally desire for things to come to them quickly and easily, including personal growth."

"The secret isn’t really to want more or want it faster. It’s to put more time and attention into what you have and what you can do now. Give three times the effort and energy to growing yourself. And allow yourself to grow slowly and with deep roots."

"Remember that a squash vine or tomato plant grows in a matter of weeks, produces for several days or weeks, and then dies when the first frost comes. In comparison, a tree grows slowly—over years, decades, or even centuries; it produces fruit for decades; and if healthy, it stands up to frost, storms, and drought.”

The Law of Design

Now that you have a strong action bias it's time to talk about it's downsides..

  • Namely the tendency to jump from one thing to the next thing..
  • Ultimately leading you to staying in the same place!

John gives us such a great parable here..

  • Tree's vs Vines
  • Keep this in mind when taking action..  
  • Ask this question:

Will what I'm doing now allow me to root deep and benefit later?

Then use your action bias towards growing the roots of your tree as deep as possible!

Nothing Changes

“Most people try to take too many things with them as they journey through life." 

"They want to keep adding without giving anything up. It doesn’t work. You can’t do everything; there is only so much time in a day. At some point, you reach your limit. Besides, we need to always remember that if nothing changes, nothing changes!"

"A lot can be learned about trade-offs from a checkers game. As someone once said: Surrender one to take two; don’t make two moves at one time; move up, not down; and when you reach the top, you have the freedom to move as you like. If you want to reach your potential, be ready to make trade-offs. As author James Allen said, ‘He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much.’”

Life is like a game of checkers..

When you're playing checkers you have to make tradeoffs!

  • Sometimes you have to give up a piece in order to gain two
  • Other times you have to know not to take a piece or your opponent will get two
  • If neither of you is willing to give even one piece you will simply stalemate!

Remember those questions we asked before?

  • "Where do you want to go in life?"
  • "What direction do you want to go?"
  • "What’s the furthest you can imagine going?"

Well..  If you're going to accomplish those things there is going to be some things that you can't accomplish!

  • Now I don't want you to think that if I have a successful business I can't have a successful relationship..
  • That's an easy trick to fall into!  But it's just not the truth..  
  • Here is something a mentor told me before

He found that we could have our eyes on 5 different things at once..  But only pay attention to three!

For him he said he wanted to keep his eyes on:

  • Family
  • Health
  • Business 
  • Friends
  • Finances

But he really only had time to focus and grow:

  • Family
  • Health 
  • Business

So instead of trying to do them all at a suboptimal level he simply put Friends and Finances on autopilot..  Sometimes he said no to friends when he had family commitments

Could he have been a better investor?  Yes but he didn't have time to pay attention..

Can to How

“At first glance, the questions Can I? and How can I? may appear to be very similar."

"However, the reality is that they are worlds apart in terms of results. Can I? is a question filled with hesitation and doubt. It is a question that imposes limitations. If that is the question you regularly ask yourself, you’re undermining your efforts before you even begin. How many people could have accomplished much in life but failed to try because they doubted and answered no to the question ‘Can I?’"

"When you ask yourself, ‘How can I?’ you give yourself a fighting chance to achieve something. The most common reason people don’t overcome the odds is that they don’t challenge them enough. They don’t test their limits. They don’t push their capacity. How can I? assumes there is a way. You just need to find it.”

Another Self Talk Hack

Maxwell is spot on with this observation..

Can I? and How can I? are two very different questions!

Now let's put them into action!

  • Remember those three questions?
  • How can you move towards your answers today?
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