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John C. Maxwell!15 Golden Rules of Personal Development! Cognitive principles

John C. Maxwell!15 Golden Rules of Personal Development!

Chapter 2 Cognitive principles

Don’t go to work to work, go to work to prosper. — Grant Cardone

You have to understand yourself to develop yourself

In 2004, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore co-starred in the comedy 50 First Dates.

It’s the story of a man

who falls in love with a young girl,

only to find out that she can’t remember

who he is the next day.

In fact, that girl couldn’t remember anything

that had happened to her

since she was in a car accident a year earlier.

For her, time seemed to stop at the moment one day

before the accident.

It’s an interesting movie,

even if its title seems a bit silly.

But what if something like that happened

and it really happened?

You are not rich until you have a rich heart. ― Roy T. Bennett



A similar case of neuropathy was recorded in 1957

and studied by thousands of doctors and scientists.

That patient was Henry M. He was born in Hartford,

Connecticut, in 1926,

he suffered from severe epilepsy and was so debilitating

that he could not function properly.

At the age of 27, he underwent an experimental surgery

in which part of his brain was removed in an attempt to treat epilepsy.

The good news is that after the surgery,

Henry no longer suffers from the debilitating epilepsy.

In addition,

he did not suffer any negative effects on his intelligence,

personality or ability to interact with people in society.

However, there was a terrible side effect.

He seems to have a short-term memory.

Henry M. can’t remember anything

that happened after the surgery.

He did not recognize his doctor.

He couldn’t find the way to the bathroom.

When he returned home,

he solved jigsaw puzzles every day

and read the same magazine

without any memory of ever doing so.

When the family moved to a new house,

Henry did not remember them moving,

nor could he find his way back to the new home,

although he still remembered the way home.

When interviewed about 30 minutes after lunch,

he could not remember what he had eaten.

In fact, he couldn’t remember having had lunch.

He was stuck in time,

incapable of learning,

growing and changing.

It’s a ton of tragedy.

Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it. — Henry David Thoreau



Anyone who wants to grow

but doesn’t know himself is like Henry M.. To grow,

you must know yourself:

your strengths and weaknesses,

your interests and opportunities.

You must be able to judge

not only where you have been,

but also where you are standing.

Otherwise, you will not be able

to determine the direction to where you want to go.

And of course, every time you want to learn something,

you have to be able to take the new things you learned today

and build on what you learned yesterday

in order to continue to grow.

That’s the only way to stay motivated

and keep improving

To reach your potential,

you must know where you want to go

and where you stand.

Otherwise, you will most likely get lost.

Knowing yourself is like reading the point

“You are here!”

on the map

when you want to find your way to your destination.

I have observed that there are really

only three types of people

when it comes to direction in life:

“Your passive income should be greater than your earned income.” – Grant Cardone


1. People who don’t know what they want to do.

These people are often confused.

They lack a strong sense of purpose.

They don’t know the direction of their lives.

If it’s developing,

they don’t focus on it.

They groped.

They are confused.

They can’t reach their potential

because they don’t know where to go.

Millionaire or billionaires only focus on doubling their wealth every day. ― Steve Siebold


2. People who know what they want to do but don’t do it.

These people are often discouraged.

Every day, they experience the gap

between where they are and where they want to be.

Sometimes they don’t do what they want

because they worry that it will cause them

to neglect other responsibilities,

such as taking care of their family.

Sometimes they are not willing to pay the price to learn,

grow and get close to where they want to go.

Sometimes fear prevents them

from changing direction to follow their passion.

Whatever the reason,

they miss their potential.

The richest people in the world build networks.

Everyone else is trained

to look for work. — Robert Kiyosaki


3. People who know what they want to do and do it.

The third type of person is self-aware,

has strong passions,

is goal-focused,

develops areas that bring them closer to their goals,

and executes what they intend to do.

The word that best describes this type of person is integrity.

There are very few cases of tragedy like Henry M.,

but most people seem to belong to the former.

They don’t know what they want to do.

In my opinion,

the main reason is that they don’t know themselves

as well as they should,

so they don’t really focus on self-development.

Knowing yourself is not easy for everyone.

In a speech at Princeton University,

US Presidential candidate Woodrow Wilson once stated:

We live in a time of confusion,



fear of our own resources;

They not only need to find the way,

but also to find the direction of it.

There’s a lot of advice,

but too little of a visionary suggestion;

So much excitement and excitement,

but so little deep purpose.

We wallow in our uncontrolled

and directionless energy and do many things,

but nothing lasts long enough.

Our mission is to find ourselves.

Wilson made that claim in 1907!

Imagine what he would have said if he were still alive today.

You must know who you are in order

to grow to reach your potential.

But you have to grow to know who you are

What makes finding yourself

and developing yourself to your fullest potential

so difficult for some people,

is that it’s a bit of a paradox.

You must know who you are

in order to grow to reach your potential.

But you have to grow to know who you are.

So what’s the solution?

Self-discovery and growth at the same time.

First, pay attention to your passion.

For me, it started

when I focused on growing in areas

that I knew would help me become a pastor,

my passion.

The four areas with the initials make up the word REAL:




and Leadership.

Passion leads me to growth.

But then growth led me to my passion,

when I discovered my love

and ability for leadership.

That has continued to be a major focus of my personal development

for nearly 40 years.

Other areas where passion

and purpose manifest include faith,



and creativity.

All of these continue to be important parts of my life where

I have always been passionate about learning and growing.

Successful investing takes time,


and patience.

No matter how great the talent or effort,

some things just take time:

You can’t produce a baby in one month

by getting nine women pregnant. — Warren Buffett



“The first step towards change is awareness,”

says neurotherapist Nathaniel Branden.

The second step is acceptance.”

If you want to change and grow,

you must understand yourself and accept

who you are before you can begin.

Here are 10 questions to get you started on this process.

“The first step towards change is awareness.

The second step is acceptance.”- Nathaniel Branden


1. Do you like what you are doing?

I am amazed at the number of people

who do not like what they are doing

for a living that I meet every day.

Why do they do it?

I understand they need to make a living.

We did all the things we didn’t like.

I used to work in a meat packing factory

when I was in college.

I don’t like that job.

But I didn’t stick with it all my life,

something for which I had no passion at all.

If I like the job and it aligns with my passions and goals,

I’ll stay and try to build a career.

But that’s not what I want to do.

Philosopher Abraham Kaplan wrote:

“As Socrates said,

if the life of ignorance is not worth living,

then one should consider the life not worth living.”

If you don’t like what you do for a living,

you need to take the time to find out why.

Does changing from what you are doing to

what you want to do come with risks?

Of course.

You may fail.

You may find that you don’t enjoy it

as much as you expected.

You may not make much money.

But isn’t it also risky to stay where you are standing?

You may fail.

You may be fired.

You may get a pay cut.

Or worst, maybe at the end of your life

you will regret never reaching your potential

or do what you love.

What kind of risk do you want to live with?

“I discovered that wealth is a kind of perception

and that anyone can perceive it

by thinking like a rich person.”– Andrew Young


2. What do you want to do?

There is certainly a connection between finding your passion

and achieving your potential.

TV editor Maria Bartiromo says,

“Every successful person

I’ve met has a strong sense of their unique abilities and aspirations.

They are leaders in their own lives,

they dare to follow their dreams in their own way.”

Have you found and harnessed your passion?

Do you know what you want to do?

In doing so, the difference will appear.


When you tap into your passion,

it gives you the E&E:

Energy and Excellence.

There is certainly a connection

between finding your passion and achieving your potential.

• You will never reach your destination

if you do things you despise.

• Passion gives you an edge over others,

because a person with passion becomes a greater person

than 99 people with only hobbies!

• Passion gives you energy.

When I was a kid,

all I wanted to do was have fun.

I don’t like working.

But I learned the power of tapping into my passion

when I went to college.

In high school,

I simply finished studying.

But when I went to college,

I worked in areas that connected with my purpose.

I followed my passion.

That got me excited!

I’m still excited about what I do.

Now, when I’m over 60, people often ask

when I’m going to retire.

To be honest, that was not my intention.

Why would anyone want to give up a job they love?

Nothing will happen,

unless you want to do something else.

Do you want to know when I will retire?

That’s when I left!

That’s when I’ll stop talking and stop writing books.

How do you know what you want to do?

How do you tap into your passion?

Listen to your heart.

Pay attention to what you love.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

and author Thomas L. Friedman advises:

Whatever you plan to do,

travel anywhere next year,

go to college,

enter the workforce,

or spend your free time contemplating,

don’t just listen to reason.

Listen to your heart.

It’s the best career mentor.

Do what you really love to do

and if you don’t know what it is,

keep looking,

because if you find it,

you will bring something to your work,

helping to ensure that your work will not may be replaced

by automated or outsourced machinery.

That will make you a unique radiographer,

a unique engineer or a great teacher.

If you never find what you want to do,

your whole life will be boring.

Author Stephen Covey puts it this way:

“Our lives will be different

when we really know what’s so important to us,

and stick to it, work hard every day

to live and know what is most important.”

Knowing yourself and what you want to do is one

of the most important things in your life.

Being an entrepreneur is simply going from one mistake to the next.

You must have the fortitude to continue on. — Robert Kiyosaki


3. Are you capable of doing what you want to do?

When I was a pastor,

I used to hire a young man named Bobby as a servant.

He is the organizer of the worship services.

If you don’t know that job,

let me explain further:

It is the person who prepares the music for the Sunday service,

directs the singers, musicians

and the whole congregation to sing in the church.

I felt Bobby wasn’t very happy,

and I assumed he wanted to do something else.

So one day,

I sat down and had a friendly talk with him.

He confessed that he was really not interested in this job.

I asked, “Bobby, what do you want to do?”

He hesitated for a moment and then shrugged:

“I really want to be a cheerleader

for the Chicago Cubs baseball team.”

All I can think is

You won’t be happy for a long time.

Bobby didn’t have the skills to do that.

Even if there is work,

there is no such work!

I told Bobby

that he needed to find something more realistic

and suited to his opportunities and abilities.

There is a huge difference

between having a dream

that drives you to achieve and coming up with a fanciful idea

that has nothing to do with who you are or what you can do.

I felt the need to help people with that problem

that I wrote a book called Put Your Dream to the Test.

You must have some criteria in order to know

if your desires are in line with your available capabilities.

You must have some criteria in order to know

if your desires are in line with your available capabilities.

Warren Bennis has also developed something

that can help people with similar problems.

He offers three questions for you

to ask yourself to determine

if what you want to do is possible.

Ask yourself:

• Do you know the difference between what you want and what you do well?

These two things are not always compatible.

I believe that was the case with Bobby.

What he wants

and what he can do are two completely different things.

To be successful,

you need to do what you do best.

• Do you know what motivates you and what gives you satisfaction?

Sometimes people have the wrong perception of doing something.

Perhaps, the job they want to do does not seem difficult,

but in fact it is the opposite.

Or they want the rewards that come with the job not the job itself.

When what motivates you is matched

by what satisfies you,

it is an extremely powerful combination.

• Do you know your priorities and values ​​

as well as the priorities and values ​​of your organization?

The more likely you are to succeed,

the more the two factors above match.

If you and your company have different values ​​and priorities,

success will be difficult to achieve.

Calculate the difference

between what you want and what you can do,

what motivates you and what satisfies you,

and your and your organization’s values ​​show many obstacles

between you and what you want to do.

At that point, the question you need

to ask yourself is whether you can overcome those differences.

One of the key keys to success and fulfillment

of your goals is to understand your unique talents

and put them to good use.

Some people have an innate ability to know

who they are or who they are not.

Others have to work hard to figure it out.

The poet and critic Samuel Johnson observed,

Most people waste a portion of their lives trying

to manifest qualities they don’t have.

Your goal is to make the best of life possible.

As former MLB catcher Jim Sundberg says:

“Find your uniqueness;

then put yourself in the framework to develop it.”

“Most people waste part of their lives trying

to show qualities they don’t have.”– Samuel Johnson


4. Do you know why you want to do what you love?

I believe it’s important not only what you want to do,

but also why you want to do it.

I say that because motivation is very important.

When you do things for a good cause,

it gives you motivation if things go awry.

The right motives help you build positive relationships

because they prevent hidden agendas

and make you prioritize people over your own.

Working for the right reasons also makes your life

less chaotic and your path clearer.

Not only will your vision be clearer,

but you’ll also sleep better each night knowing you’re on the right track.

What I do is follow the call of life.

When I lead or communicate,

I think, I was born to do it. It depends on my strength.

It gives me energy.

It makes a difference in the lives of others.

It perfects me and helps me touch eternity.

I believe you can have a similar sense of satisfaction and success

if you do things that are “born to do”

and do them for the right reasons.

Take time to reflect.

Explore your intentions and attitudes.

As psychologist Carl Jung puts it,

“Your vision becomes clear only

when you look into your heart.

Those who look outside,

are only dreaming.

Those who look inside, will awaken.”

“Your vision will become clear only

when you look into your heart.

Those who look outside,

are only dreaming.

Those who look inside will awaken.”– Carl Jung

The first question you should ask yourself concerns what you want to do.

As I said at the beginning of the chapter,

you have to know yourself in order to develop yourself.

That is the Principle of Perception.

But I want to help you do more than know what you need to do.

I want you to know how to start moving in that direction.

It will help you to target

and ultimately refine your development.

With that in mind,

the remaining questions will help you create a plan.

Before you can become a millionaire,

you must learn to think like one. ― Thomas J. Stanleyt 


5. Do you know what to do to be able to do what you want?

Moving from what you are doing now to what you want to do is a process.

Do you know what that entails?

I believe it starts with…


1. Awareness

“Imagine where you stand in [any] field, right now,”

says Darren Hardy, Editor-in-Chief of success.

Next visualize where you want to be:




and so on.

The first step towards change is awareness.

If you want to get from where you are to where you want to be,

you have to start by recognizing the choices

that pull you away from where you want to be.

Be aware of every choice you make today

so you can start making smarter choices that move you forward.”

You can’t change direction

if you don’t know you’re heading to the wrong place.

That seems obvious.

But do you take the time to consider

where your current choices and actions are taking you?

Take time to reflect on where you’re headed.

If that’s not where you want to go,

then write down the steps you need to take

to get where you want to go,

to do what you want to do.

Make them as tangible as possible.

Are they definitely the right steps?

Maybe yes, maybe not.

You won’t know for sure until you start moving forward.

And that brings us to the next stage:

Remember, your mind is your greatest asset,

so be careful what you put into it. — Robert Kiyosaki


2. Act

You can’t win without starting!

The world’s leaders are those who

look for the circumstances they want,

and if they can’t find them,

they create them.

That means they are proactive.

It means doing something specific every day

that will bring you one step closer to your goal.

It means keep doing it every day.

Every success is the fruit of initiative.

You can’t win without starting!

The world’s leaders are those

who look for the circumstances they want,

and if they can’t find them, they create them.

In order to become rich, you must believe you can do it,

and you must take the actions necessary to achieve your goal. ― Suze Orman


3. Accountability

There are very few things a person must follow like accountability.

One of the ways you can do that is by announcing your goals.

When you tell others about what you intend to do,

it puts pressure on you to keep doing it.

You can ask specific individuals to ask you about progress.

It’s like setting deadlines to keep you going.

You can even write everything down as an accountability template.

That’s Darren Hardy’s suggestion.

He says you should track every action related

to an area you want to improve,

whether it’s related to finances,


career or relationships.

“Just bring a small notebook,

which you can put in your pocket or purse at all times,

and a pen,” says Hardy.

“You will write it all down.

The only difference between a rich person and a poor person

is how they use their time. ― Robert Kiyosaki


Everyday. Non-stop. No excuses, no exceptions.

It’s as if Big Brother is watching you.

I know it’s not funny,

write everything down on a small piece of paper,

but tracking my progress

and mistakes is one of the reasons

I have the success I want.

This process forces you to be sober about your decision.”

You cannot have a million-dollar dream

with a minimum wage work ethic. ― Stephan C. Hogan


4. Attraction

If you are aware of the steps you have to go

through to be able to do what you want to do,

take action and responsibly track progress,

you will begin to create the behavior you desire

and will begin to move forward closer

to doing what you want to do.

And that will bring positive results:

You begin to attract like-minded people.

The Law of Attraction in the book 21 Golden Rules of Leadership** says,

“You attract people like you.”

That’s true in leadership, but it’s also true in every other area of ​​life.

As my mother used to say:

“Oxen oxen, oxen.”

If you want to surround yourself with growing people,

become a growing person.

If you persist,

you will attract other persistent people.

If you grow,

you attract other developers.

This helps you start building a community of like-minded people

who can help each other succeed.

The voice you believe will determine the future you experience. ― Steven Furtick


6. Do you know people who can do what you want to do?

My greatest growth has always been the result of finding my predecessors

who can show me the way forward.

Some people helped me directly,

but most helped me through the books they wrote.

When there was a question,

I found the answer thanks to their wisdom.

When I wanted to learn how to lead better,

I watched Melvin Maxwell,

Bill Hybels, John Wooden, Oswald Sanders,

Jesus Christ and hundreds of others.

If I know how to communicate more effectively,

it’s because I’ve learned from Andy Stanley,

Johnny Carson, Howard Hendricks,

Ronald Reagan, Billy Graham and hundreds of others.

If I can think of and write in a way that encourages people,

it’s thanks to Les Stobbe,

Max Lucado, Charlie Wetzel, Les Parrott,

Bob Buford and others

who have spent their time with me.

If you have discovered what you want to do,

start looking for people

who have already done what you want to do.

Then do what you learn from them.


Pay for their time if needed.


Meet someone who can teach you every month


Start with their books if you can’t meet them in person.

Have purpose.

Take two hours to prepare for each hour of interaction.


Spend two hours thinking about each hour of interaction.


They are gifts for your personal growth;

Let them know it.

Always remember that you cannot get

where you want to be on your own.

You’ll need the help of others

so they can guide you along the way.

A winner is a dreamer who never gives up. ― Nelson Mandela


7. Should you do what you want to do with them?

If you are a person committed to personal growth,

you will always learn from many people in many places.

Sometimes you will have the opportunity

to get basic personal advice.

There is great value in being mentored

by someone who is successful in your field of interest,

and I discuss it further in the chapter Principles of Modeling.

However, now let me give you some advice

when you need to approach a counselor.

If you find a potential mentor,

know that the following are your responsibilities:

• With the spirit of learning

• Always be prepared for mentoring time

• Plan meetings by asking big questions

• Prove what you’ve learned from mentoring

• Take responsibility for what you have learned

With my mentoring experience,

I can tell you what the responsibilities of an advisor are.

My responsibility to the person

I mentor is to add value.

My goal is to help them

become a better person,

not try to make them into someone else.

Here are the areas I focus on:

• Power

• Temperament

• Achievements

• Passion

• Option

• Advice

• Support, Resources/Human Resources

• Tactic

• Feedback

• Motivation

For each of these areas,

think of specific contributions you could make

to the person you’re mentoring.

One of my favorite investors is Courtney McBath of Norfolk, Virginia.

The second time we met, he told me this:

“This is what I asked for.

Here’s what he shared.

Here is what I did.

Can I ask more questions now?”

With someone like that, my answer is always:


The people who can help you are not necessarily the right people to help you.

You must choose.

And so are they.

Your goal should be to find the right person that benefits

both the mentee and the mentee.

In order to persist,

you have to ensure that you surround yourself with positivity. ― R.L. Adams


8. Will you pay the price to do what you want to do?

Author and educator James Thom has said:

“Possibly the most honest self-advocacy ever was the one who said,

‘I got to the top the hard way,

battling laziness and ignoring the top of every step of the way.”

Is that correct? When it comes to barriers to success,

we are our own worst enemies.

A few years ago, I read a book called Dream big.

Those are encouraging words but also contain

what you need to make your dreams come true.

The poem is roughly translated as follows:

If you ever dare,

Do something different,

Do something worth doing,

It is now!

Not for any great reason

But because something urges in my heart,

As aspiration,

Is a dream,

It’s what you dream about to make the day more meaningful.

Be enjoy.

Let’s dig even deeper.

Stretch yourself out.

Dream big.

However, know that the things that are worth doing are rarely easy.

There will be beautiful days

And there’s no shortage of bad days.

There will be times when you want to look away,

Wrap it up, and call it renunciation.

Then let you know that I’m trying,

That you are not afraid to learn by trial and error.2

Taking the necessary steps to live your dreams

and do what you want will take a lot of your resources.

You will have to work hard.

You will have to make sacrifices.

You will have to continue to learn,

grow and change.

Are you willing to pay that price?

I hope yes.

But know this:

Most people are not willing to pay the price.

 I prefer dreams of the future

to the history of the past. – Thomas Jefferson


9. When can you start doing the things you want?

Ask people when they will do what they want to do,

and most will answer that they hope to do it “someday”.

Why not now?

Because you’re not ready?

Maybe you’re not ready.

But if you wait until you’re ready,

you’ll probably never make it.

Most of the achievements

I have achieved in my life have been started

by me before I was really ready.

When I preached to pastors on leadership in 1984

and they asked me to continue,

I wasn’t ready to do so.

But during a conference with 34 people in Jackson,

Mississippi, I decided to pick up a notebook

and write down the contact information

of anyone who wanted to receive a monthly leadership tape.

All 34 people signed up.

Am I ready to start my monthly leadership lecture series?

Have never been.

Have I started yet?


When I need to raise money to relocate my church,

do I know how I can do it? No. Should I start doing that? Yes.

When I founded EQUIP to teach leadership

to people in countries around the world,

did I have a proven strategy for doing so?

No problem.

Shall we start?

Yes. No one is ever ready to just wait.

You are only ready by getting started.

Most of the achievements

I have achieved in life have been started

by me

before I was really ready.

The greater the passive income you can build,

the freer you will become. ―Todd M. Fleming


10. What happens when you do what you want?

Because I have the privilege of doing what I want,

I want to help you foresee the results.

First, it will be very different from what you imagine.

I never thought I could influence so many people.

I never knew that life would be so beautiful.

I never thought that sometimes

I want to get away from people to think and write.

But I also never anticipate the expectations others place on me.

When you do what you want,

it will be much more difficult than you imagine.

I don’t know how long it will take to see the effect.

I never thought there were so many expectations for my life

or continue to pay the price to succeed.

I also never thought my energy would drop so much in recent years.

Finally, let me tell you this.

When you do what you’ve always wanted to do,

it’s better than you imagined.

When I first started investing in personal development,

I didn’t anticipate the double payoff,

for me personally,

for the individuals I’ve mentored,

and for my team.

And I didn’t think it would be so fun!

Nothing compares to getting to do

what you were born to do.

A few years ago at Exchange,

during a leadership event

that I host for executives each year,

we had the privilege of inviting Coretta Scott King

and Bernice King as two of the speakers.

We all sat in the Sanctuary at Ebenezer Baptist Church

in Atlanta and listened to their stories.

What Exchange attendees most wanted

to know about Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Bernice told us that many speakers were scheduled

to speak to the crowd that day on the steps

of the Lincoln Memorial.

Many of them marveled at the best positions in the speech order,

hoping to be televised.

Bernice’s father gave up his time.

He doesn’t care about his place on the books.

All he cared about was communicating with people.

And when he did,

it made history.

Why? Because he was doing what he had to do.

The following year,

the Human Rights Act was passed in Washington, D.C. King followed his passion,

found his purpose,

and as a result made an impact on the world.

People say that there are two great days in a person’s life:

The day you were born and the day you discovered

why you were born.

I want to encourage you to find your mission.

Then pursue it with all your might.

There are two great days in a person’s life:

The day you were born and the day you discover why you were born.

If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep,

you will work until you die. ― Warren Buffett



The questions in this chapter are designed to prompt you

to learn about yourself and start doing

what you were born to do in life.

Here is a sequenced version of the questions.

Take the time to answer them and come up with a plan of action.

1. What do you want to do?

2. What talents, skills and opportunities

do you possess that support your desire to do so?

3. What motivates you to want to do it?

4. What are the steps you must follow (from today)

to start doing what you want to do?


� Activities

� Accountability

5. Who can you get advice from along the way?

6. What price are you willing to pay?

What time,


and sacrifices will you have to make?

7. Where do you need to grow the most?

(You must focus on your strengths

and work on any weaknesses

that keep you from reaching your goals.)

“Personal development is believing that the effort,


and energy you put in is worth it.”— Denis Waitley

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Angel Cherry

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