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

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

Chapter 1 Purposeful Principle

Cash flow is not bragging rights.

It’s financial freedom. — Grant Cardone

Unnatural development takes place

Life is going on.

Do you immerse yourself in it?

Do you have a plan to develop yourself?

Curt Kampmeier, the questioner,

patiently waited for my answer.

That was the question that changed my life.

I was very confused.

I list my accomplishments from three years ago.

I talked about how hard I worked.

I outline future goals.

I explain what I’m doing to reach more people.

All of my answers are based on activities,

not improvements.

In the end,

I had to admit.

I have no plans to become a better person.

It was something I had never thought of before,

and it exposed a major weakness in my approach to work and success.

When I started my career,

I worked hard, achieved my goals and succeeded.

I have a strategy:

Work hard. I hope that helps me get

where I want to go.

But working hard is no guarantee of success.

And hope is not a strategy.

How do you do what you’re doing better?

How do you improve relationships?

How do you gain greater depth and wisdom?

How do you overcome the obstacles?

By working harder?

Working for longer hours?

Or wait for things to get better?

That conversation took place over lunch at a Holiday Inn in 1972.

At that time,

I had just had the opportunity to advance in my career.

I was assigned to manage the best church in the diocese.

Think about being assigned the top leadership position in your company.

That’s what it was for me then.

The problem is that I’m only 24 years old,

I have so many flaws,

and I know that if I don’t take advantage of this opportunity,

I will fail miserably.

Curt is a salesperson who specializes in providing a personal development kit,

a long-term plan with materials designed to help a person grow.

He pushed the brochure across the table to me.

It cost $799, almost a month’s salary at the time.

I was lost in thought as I drove home.

I used to believe that success will come to anyone

who dedicates themselves wholeheartedly to their career.

Curt helped me realize that the key lies in personal growth.

And I think if you focus on goals,

you can achieve them,

but that’s no guarantee of growth.

If you focus on growth,

you will grow and always achieve your goals.

While I was driving,

a quote from the book

As a Man Thinketh

by James Allen popped into my mind.

I first read that book in seventh grade

and then read it over and over again a dozen times.

Allen wrote:

“People are often eager to improve their circumstances

but are unwilling to improve themselves;

so they’re still hanging around.”

I don’t have enough money to buy Curt’s kit.

However, in my heart I knew he had found the key

to my ability to face my next leadership challenge

and rise to the next level in my career.

I can see the gap between where I’ve been and where I want to be,

where I need to be!

It’s a development gap,

and I need to find a way to bridge it.

The single most powerful asset we all have is our mind.

If it is trained well,

it can create enormous wealth in what seems to be an instant. —Robert Kiyosaki



If you have dreams, goals or aspirations,

you need to develop to achieve them.

But if you’re like me and most others,

you probably have one

or more false beliefs that create a gap

that prevents you from growing

and achieving your potential.

Take a look at the following eight growth misconceptions

that may be holding you back

from living the purposeful life you need to be.

If you want to be financially-free,

you need to become a different person than you are today

and let go of whatever has held you back in the past. — Robert Kiyosaki


1. Hypothesis Gap – “I think I will naturally grow.”

When we are young, our bodies develop naturally.

With each passing year,

we grow taller,


able to do new things and face new challenges.

I think many people grow up with a belief that mental,


and emotional development follows a pattern.

Time passes, and we just keep getting better.

We’re like Charlie Brown in Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic,

who once said,

“I think I’ve discovered the secret of life,

you hang around until you get used to it.”

The problem is that we don’t progress just by living like that.

We must live with purpose.

Musician Bruce Springsteen said,

“There comes a time

when you need to stop waiting for the man you want

to be and start being the man you want to be.”

No one is naturally progressive.

Personal growth doesn’t just happen.

And once you complete your formal education,

you have full ownership of your personal development,

because no one else will do it for you.

As Michel de Montaigne put it:

No wind will follow you

if you yourself do not know where to sail.

If you want your life to change,

you have to change yourself.

You have to make it a tangible goal.

“There comes a time

when you need to stop waiting

for the man you want to be

and start being the man you want to be.”– Bruce Springsteen


2. Knowledge Gap – “I don’t know how to develop myself.”

After meeting with Curt Kampmeier,

I talked to people I knew

and asked them the same question Curt asked me:

Do you have a personal growth plan?

I hope that someone will have the answer

and I just need to learn from them.

No one said they had a plan.

No one in my world plans to grow

and improve themselves.

I don’t know how to grow,

and neither do they.

“If you know what you want,

the world responds with clarity,” says designer,

artist and consultant Loretta Staples.

I already know what I want.

I want to take up the new job position.

I want to be someone

who is capable of accomplishing the great goals

that I have set for myself.

I just need to know how to do it.”

Many people only learn from harsh environments.

Difficult experiences teach them “bitter” lessons and they change,

sometimes for the better,

sometimes for the worse.

These lessons are random and difficult.

It is better to plan your growth.

You determine where you need or want to grow,

what you choose to learn,

and execute them on your own set of principles and pace.

After meeting Curt and realizing

I didn’t know anyone who could help,

my wife Margaret and I discussed how to save $799.

(You need to remember that was

before credit cards were invented!)

I skipped lunch.

We canceled the planned vacation.

We did everything ourselves.

It took us six months, but we made it in the end.

You can’t imagine how excited I was

when I opened the personal development kit

and started flipping through the five aspects it deals with:





and consistency.

Beyond my faith,

the decision to grow has impacted my life more than anything else.

Looking back now,

I can see how basic the knowledge in that kit was.

But that’s what I needed back then.

Those lessons opened the door

to personal growth in front of me.

And through that gap I began

to see growth opportunities everywhere.

My world began to manifest.

I got more done,

I have learned more things.

I was able to guide and help others more.

Other opportunities began to emerge.

My world is wide open.

Beyond my faith,

the decision to grow has impacted my life more than anything else.

Excellence is not a skill. It’s an attitude. — Ralph Marston


3. Time Gap – “This is not the time to start.”

When I was a kid, one of my favorite puzzles my dad used to give us was:

There are five frogs sitting on a log.

The four decided to jump down.

How many children are left?

The first time my father asked me,

I answered, “There is one.”

“No,” replied his father.

“Five children.


Because there is a problem between decision and implementation!”

That’s what my father used to teach us.

American politician Frank Clark once said,

“The achievements we could have in this world would have been enormous

if everyone had done what they were meant to do.”

Most people don’t act as quickly as they should.

They allow themselves

to follow the Principle of Giving Up Intentions:

“The more you procrastinate doing something you should,

the more likely it is that you will never do it.

The Principle of Giving Up Intentions says,

The longer you procrastinate doing something you should,

the more likely it is that you will never do it.

Back when I was considering whether to try

to buy a personal development kit or not,

I was lucky in part

because I knew I was given a job that took a lot of effort.

It will be the most challenging job up to that point.

So many eyes on,

great expectations

(some expect me to succeed,

some expect me to fail).

And I knew that if I couldn’t be a better leader,

I would fail.

That reminds me to act as quickly as possible.

You may be experiencing similar life

or work pressures right now.

If so, chances are you’ll want to start developing yourself.

But what if not?

Whether you feel the urge or not,

now is the time to start growing.

Author, Professor Leo Buscaglia asserted:

“Life for tomorrow can only be achieved by tomorrow.”

The reality is that you’ll never get much done

unless you’re determined and do it

before you’re ready.

If you’ve never wanted to develop yourself,

you need to start today.

Otherwise, you might get some gains,

but eventually you’ll end up at a certain threshold forever.

As you begin to intentionally develop yourself,

you can continue to grow and keep asking the question:

“What happens next?”

Great salespeople are relationship builders who provide value

and help their customers win. — Jeffrey Gitomer


4. Mistake Distance – “I’m afraid of making mistakes.”

Growth can mean mess.

It means admitting you don’t have an answer.

It requires mistakes.

It can make you look silly.

Most people don’t like that.

But that’s the price to pay if you want to improve yourself.

Years ago, I read a quote from Robert H. Schuller:

“What would you try if you knew you wouldn’t fail?”

That quote encourages me to try things

that I think are beyond my ability.

They also inspired me to write the book Failing Forward.

When I received the book from the publisher,

I immediately thanked,

signed and dedicated it to Dr. Schuller.

And I went directly to Garden Grove to give it to him

and thank him for being such a positive influence in my life.

A photo of us that day still sits on my desk

as a reminder of his “investment” in me.

If you want to grow,

you need to overcome your fear of making mistakes.

As author and Professor Warren Bennis puts it,

“A mistake is simply a different way of doing things.”

To be intentional about growth,

make mistakes every day and welcome them

as a sign that you’re on the right track.

“A mistake is simply a different way of doing things.”- Warren Bennis


5. Perfect Distance – “I had to figure out the best way before I started.

Similar to the Mistake Gap is the Perfect Gap,

the desire to find the “best” way to start a growth plan.

When Curt introduced me to the idea of ​​a personal development plan,

I set out to find the best way.

But I found out that I did the reverse of the process.

I have to start if I want to find the best way.

Similar to driving on an unfamiliar road at night.

Ideally, you want to see the entire route before you start.

But you will see it gradually appear.

As you move forward,

the path will unfold little by little.

If you want to see more,

you need to move.

Become the person who would attract the results you seek. — Jim Cathcart


6. Inspiration Gap – “I don’t want to do that.”

Years ago, I was stuck in a doctor’s waiting room for so long,

that I had done all the carrying around

when I had to wait and was looking to see

if there was anything else to do.

I was flipping through a medical journal

and saw the following passage,

which has since become one of my favorite examples of momentum inertia

(and by the way, this was before Nike coined the catchphrase):

Just do it!

We hear sighs almost every day;




I just can’t get motivated to…

(lose weight, check blood sugar, etc.).

And we hear similar sighs

from diabetes health professionals

who can’t get their patients

to follow the right guidelines

for people with diabetes and their health.

We want to tell you that momentum won’t come on suddenly.

Motivation is not something that someone – nurses,


family members,

can give or impose on you.

The whole idea of ​​motivation is a trap.

Forget motivation.

Just keep doing it.

Get some exercise,

lose weight,

check your blood sugar,

or whatever.

Do those things without motivation

and then guess what.

After you start doing those things,

motivation will arise and make it easy to keep doing it.

Motivation is like love and happiness.

It is a by-product.

When you are actively involved in something,

it appears and affects you

when you least expect it.

As Harvard psychologist Jerome Bruner puts it,

“There’s a good chance you’ll often end up trying

to do something rather than actually doing it.”

So take action!

Whatever you know you should do, do it.

When Curt advised me to be intentional

about my personal growth,

I had a thousand reasons not to do it.

I don’t have the time,


experience, etc.

I only have one reason to do it.

I believe I should do it

because I hope it makes a difference.

That’s certainly not exciting.

But I have started.

To my surprise,

after a year of purposeful self-development,

I began to surpass some of my own heroes.

My reason for doing it varies from starting to sticking with it,

because it has really made a difference.

Then I didn’t want to miss a day at all!

You may not feel excited to pursue a growth plan

if you haven’t started yet.

If so, please believe me

when I say that the reasons

to keep growing are far more valuable

than the reasons to start.

And you can only discover a reason to keep growing

when you stick with it long enough

to start reaping success.

Therefore, commit yourself to getting started

and stick with it for at least 12 months.

If you do, you’ll love the process,

and at the end of the year looking back,

you’ll know how far you’ve come.

You are the designer of your destiny;

you are the author of your story. ― Lisa Nichols


7. Comparative Gap – “Others do better than me.”

Early in my career,

I attended an idea exchange

with three other leaders in Orlando, Florida.

I attended because at that point I realized

I needed to be exposed to bigger

and better leaders outside of my team.

When I came here,

at first I felt very nervous.

As we talked and shared ideas,

I quickly realized that I was not on the same level as them.

Their organizations are six times bigger than mine,

and they have many better ideas than mine.

I felt small, sunken and trying to come up.

Even so, I was encouraged.

Why so?

Because I discovered that these wonderful individuals are willing

to share their ideas.

And I learned a lot.

You can only learn if others are better than you.

During the first 10 years of my career,

when I purposefully pursued personal growth,

I was always behind

and trying to keep up with everyone.

I had to overcome the gap in comparison.

I had to learn how to be comfortable getting out of my comfort zone.

It was a difficult transition,

but well worth it.

When you help others feel important,

you help yourself feel important too. — David J. Schwartz


8. Expectation Gap – “I think it will be easier.”

I don’t know any successful people

who think they can develop themselves quickly

and get to the top easily.

It keeps happening.

Everyone creates their own luck.


Here is the formula:

Preparation (development) + Attitude + Opportunity + Action (doing something) = Luck

“You can’t change your destination overnight,

but you can change direction overnight.”– Jim Rohn

It all starts with preparation.

Unfortunately, that takes time.

But here’s the best news.

As Jim Rohn once said,

You can’t change your destination overnight,

but you can change your direction overnight.

If you want to achieve your goals and reach your potential,

make personal growth your goal.

It will change your life.

Men are rich only as they give.

He who gives great service gets great rewards. — Elbert Hubbard



The sooner you switch to intentional self-development,

the better for you,

because self-development is cumulative

and increased further if you remain intentional about it.

Here are the ways to change:

You mind is like the bank,

what you deposit is what you can withdraw? ― Warren Buffett


1. Ask the big question now

The first year I embarked on purposeful self-development,

I discovered that it was a lifelong journey.

During that year, the question in my mind changed

from “How long will it take?” to “How far can I go?”

That’s the question you should be asking yourself right now,

not because you can answer it.

I started this development journey 40 years ago,

and I still can’t answer that question.

But it will help you map the direction,

not the distance.

Where do you want to go in this life?

Which direction do you want to go?

What’s the furthest place you can imagine you could go?

Answering these questions will help

you begin your personal growth journey.

The best you can hope to do in this life is

to make the most of your abilities.

You do that by investing in yourself,

perfecting yourself as much as you can.

The more you have to work,

the greater your potential, and the further you go.

As my father used to tell me many times when I was a child,

With people with many talents,

the bigger the demand.

Try your best to develop yourself,

the results you will receive will be immeasurable.

Opportunity lies in the place where the complaints are. ― Jack Ma


2. Do it now!

In 1974 I attended a conference at the University of Dayton

where W. Clement Stone presented the topic of perception of urgency.

Stone is a successful business magnate in the insurance industry.

His talk was titled “Do it now!”

and one of the things he told us was:

“Before you get out of bed every morning,

say ‘do it now’ 50 times.

At the end of the day before bed,

the last thing you should do is say ‘do it now’ 50 times.”

There were about 8,000 people in the auditorium that day,

but I felt he was speaking to me personally.

I went home, and for the next six months

I actually followed his advice.

The first thing every morning and the last thing every day

before going to bed,

is to repeat the phrase “do it now!”.

It made me acutely aware of the urgency.

The biggest risk you face in this moment is,

thinking that self-development becomes a priority later.

Don’t fall into that trap!

Recently, I read an article by Jennifer Reed in success.

She wrote that:

Is there a more cunning word?


as in “I’ll do that later” or “Later,

I’ll have time to write the book

I’ve been cherishing for the past five years.”

or “I know I need to clear up my finances…

but I’ll do that later.”

“Later” is one of those dream-killers,

one of the myriad obstacles we create

that can ruin our own chances of success.

The diet starts “tomorrow”,

the job search “finally” takes place,

the pursuit of a life’s dream begins “someday” combined

with obstacles self-created other locking us in delay

Why are we doing this to ourselves?

Why don’t we act now?

Let’s face it:

Familiarity is easy;

Unexplored roads are full of uncertainty.1

By reading this book, you have already begun the transition.

Don’t stop there!

Let’s continue to step forward.

Choose a resource that will help you grow

and start learning from it today.

If you invest nothing, the reward is worth little. ― Richelle E. Goodrich


3. Face the fear factor

Recently, I read an article about the fears

that keep people from succeeding.

The following five factors were introduced:

Fear of failure

Fear of trading security for the unknown

Fear of financial stress

Fear of what others say or think

Fear of success will alienate friends

Which of the above fears affects you the most?

For me, that’s the last thing:

shunned friends.

By nature, I am someone who wants to please others,

and I want to be liked by everyone.

But really, it doesn’t matter which fear affects you the most.

We all have our own fears.

But this is good news.

We all have faith.

You should ask yourself,

“What emotions will make me stronger?”

Your answer is important,

because stronger emotions will prevail.

I want to encourage you to nourish your faith and starve your fears.

A wealthy person is simply someone

who has learned how to make money when they are not working. ― Robert Kiyosaki


4. Change from natural development to intentional development

In life, people tend to go downhill.

They also get into trouble easily,

and don’t try to get out even

if it leads them in the wrong direction.

After a while,

they just managed to get through the day.

If they learn something, it’s by random luck.

Don’t let that happen to you!

If that’s your attitude,

then you need to clearly remember

that the only difference

between a path and a grave is length!

How do you know you’ve slipped into a rut?

Let’s see the difference between random development

and intentional development:


Eleanor Roosevelt once said:

“A man’s philosophy is not best expressed in words;

It is expressed through the choices the person makes.

In the long run, we are the ones who shape ourselves and our lives.

The process never ends until we close our eyes.

After all, we always have to bear all the responsibility

for our own choices.”

If you want to reach your potential

and become your ideal type,

you have to do more than just experience life

and hope to learn what you need along the way.

You must go beyond a rut to seize growth opportunities

as if your future depended on it.

Why? Because that’s the truth.

Development doesn’t happen by accident – to me,

to you, or to anyone.

You have to look for it!

“One’s life philosophy is not best expressed in words;

It is expressed through the choices the person makes.

In the long run,

we are the ones who shape ourselves and our lives.”– Eleanor Roosevelt



1. What gap has been discussed in this chapter

that has kept you from growing in the way that you could?

� Hypothetical Gap

– I think development will happen naturally.

� Knowledge gap – I don’t know how to develop myself.

Time Gap – This is not the right time to start.

Mistake Distance

– I am afraid of making mistakes.

� Perfect distance

– I have to find the best way before I start.

Inspiration Gap

– I don’t want to do that.

� Comparative Gap

– Others do better than me.

� Expectation Gap

– I think that would be easier.

Now that you have insight into the gaps,

what strategies can you create

and implement to help close them?

Write a concrete plan for each gap you encounter

and take the first step of that plan today.

Never depend on single income,

make investment to create a second source. ― Warren Buffet


2. Most people appreciate the importance

of nearly everything in their lives.

So they get distracted.

As a result,

they delay development,

and if it does,

it happens accidentally

instead of on purpose.

Take a look at your schedule for the next 12 months.

How much time have you spent on personal development?

If you’re like most people,

your answer would be no.

Or you may be planning to attend an event next year.

That is not enough.

Rearrange your work schedule to make time

for personal development every day,

five days a week,

50 weeks a year.

You might be thinking,


I don’t have time to do that!

That could be the truth.

You just keep doing it.

If you want to be successful,

you need to do whatever it takes.

Wake up an hour earlier.

Stay up for more than an hour.

Cut your lunch break by an hour.

Spend more Spend more time on the weekend.

Otherwise, you will have to give up your dreams

and any hope of achieving your own potential. 

Let’s get started now.

No matter what time of day you’re reading these lines,

commit to starting growing today.

Take that first hour before you go to bed tonight to reflect on it.

Take time today

and for the next five days.

You probably won’t feel like doing it.

Just keep doing it.

“No one can create great things

without truly understanding himself.”— James Russell Lowell

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