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

Chapter 1 Purposeful Principle

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.



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.


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.


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?”


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.


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.


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.


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.



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:

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.


Chapter 2 Cognitive principles

You have to understand yourself to develop yourself

“No one can create great things

without truly understanding himself.”— James Russell Lowell

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?



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.



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:


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.


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.


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.



“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?


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.


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.


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:


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.)


Chapter 3 Mirror Principle

You must see the value in yourself and add value to yourself

“Personal development is believing that the effort,


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

I often ask myself what is stopping people from being successful.

Everyone has within them the seeds of success.

All they need to do is plant those seeds,

water them, and then they will grow up.

That’s why I’ve spent my life trying to bring value to people.

I love seeing people “bloom”!

So why are so many people not growing

and reaching their potential?

I think one of the main reasons is low self-esteem.

Many people do not believe in themselves.

They do not see the possibilities God has given them.

They possess many abilities,

but never cultivate them

because they think they cannot learn

and grow into great people.



Such was the case with Johnnetta McSwain,

with a story I recently heard.

For more than 30 years,

she saw little value or potential in herself.

But honestly,

there are a lot of good reasons for her low self-perception.

Her mother is a single mother,

she did not want to give birth to her and told her so.

She and her sister,

Sonya, who is five years her senior, along with a cousin,

were raised by their grandmother for the first five

to six years of their lives in Birmingham, Alabama.

But they also had to live with three other uncles,

who abused all three children psychologically,

physically and sexually.

Johnnetta suffered both physical and mental injuries.

“When I was five years old,” Johnnetta said,

“I began to believe that I was not only inferior,

but a child abandoned by my own mother.

As a child, I had nowhere to go,

to say nothing and nothing!”

When Johnnetta

and Sonya’s mother learned of their abuse,

she moved the three girls to a new home.

But the abuse continued,

this time from the men her mother led home.

In the end,

Sonya responded by living on the street

and becoming an addict.

Johnnetta is not addicted to drugs,

but she spends most of her time wandering the streets

and dropped out of school in 11th grade.

She became pregnant unexpectedly and had her first child at 19,

the second was born when she was just over 20 age.

She mainly lives on social housing,

government subsidies and extras from her partners.

To get designer clothes to wear, she steals.

Sonya’s view is a bittersweet synthesis of the situation they’re going through:

“Everyone in my family has been in prison,

addicted to drugs and not well-educated,

so I have to live for what?

What should I strive for?

Nothing! What do I have to accomplish? It’s nothing!”



Johnnetta’s 30th birthday made her look in the mirror.

She doesn’t like her appearance.

She wrote:

That day, I woke up to realize

that I had absolutely nothing to celebrate – no money,

no full-time job,

no home,

no husband,

no basis,

not even the will to do better. …

Finally, I know it’s time for a change.3

She is unhappy with her life,

and she realizes

that if she continues in the direction she is going,

her two sons will also get into trouble.

As far as she knew,

none of her male family members had ever attended high school.

Many died young or went to prison.

She didn’t want that to happen to her children.

For Johnnetta, the process begins with working toward a GED.

She took a 12-week course to prepare for and then take the exam.

You need 45 points to pass.

She got 44.5 points.

But she was determined to do something on her own,

so she planned to retake the exam as soon as she could.

When she passed the exam, she was very happy

when she was chosen to share at the graduation ceremony.

None of her relatives attended.

Johnnetta knew that if she wanted change,

she needed to leave Birmingham

and make a fresh start.

And she wanted to do something no one in her family had ever done,

go to college.

She decided to move to Atlanta, Georgia,

and was motivated by a profound thought:

“I have a chance to be whoever I want to be.”4

“I have the opportunity to be whoever I want to be.”– Johnnetta McSwain

It took a three-year delay,

but she finally managed to move.

Soon after, she enrolled at Kenenaw State University,

deciding to go overboard each semester.

At this time,

she was 33 years old.

She is very quick-witted,

but doesn’t study very well at least in the beginning.

At first, that scared her quite a bit.

But for the first time in her life,

she was determined to be a better person.

And soon she realized that she could do it.

“I realized that I don’t have to be smart,”

explains Johnnetta.

“I just need determination,

motivation and focus.

This requires me to change my mind.

I had to think like a smart person.”

Not only was she hard-working and focused,

but she also went to the brightest person in each class

and offered to study with them.

She soon learns and thinks like the best students in the school.

She also maintains her vision of the future.

At the beginning of each term,

she goes to the campus bookstore,

tries on hats and gowns,

looks at herself in the mirror,

and imagines her graduation day.

One day, when a classmate was talking to her,

she realized something.

Her classmates said:

“I hate myself. I am not nothing!

Johnnetta replied,

“I still love myself, let alone you.”

And that’s when she realized,

“I love myself,” even for the first time.

She has changed.

She became the person she wanted to be,

the person she was born to be.

Johnnetta completed her bachelor’s degree in three years.

She then graduated

and obtained a master’s degree in social work. Currently,

she is working hard to complete her PhD program.

“I look for something that society tells me,

‘You can’t do it,’” Johnnetta says. “Oh, I can!”6



Johnnetta’s story is a great example of what can happen in one’s life,

if that person realizes their worth

and starts adding value to themselves.

In Johnnetta’s case,

she was motivated by her desire to help her children,

and she began adding value to herself first,

and then seeing value in herself.

It doesn’t matter what happens first.

This compensates for the other.

It is important that the value cycle is started!

Without realizing that you are truly valuable

and that you are worth the investment,

you will never spend the time

and effort needed to grow to your potential.

If you’re not sure if you agree with that,

consider the following.



I often hear my friend Zig Ziglar say,

“Don’t act out of alignment with how we see ourselves.

We can do very little positive

if we feel self-deprecating.”

Zig has shared with people

for many years his practical knowledge.

Many experts in the field agree with his assessment.

Nathaniel Branden, a psychologist

and self-confidence expert,

says: “In people’s psychological

and motivational development,

nothing is more important than the value judgments

they make about themselves.

Every aspect of their lives is influenced

by how they see themselves.”

If you believe you’re worth it,

you’re not adding value to yourself.

“In people’s psychological and motivational development,

nothing is more important

than the value judgments they make about themselves.

Every aspect of their lives is influenced

by how they see themselves.”- Nathaniel Branden



I became famous for teaching the Limitation Principle

from the book 21 Golden Rules of Leadership.

Imagine that you want to do something amazing in your life

that affects so many people.

Perhaps you want to build a large organization.

That desire, no matter how great,

will be limited by your leadership ability.

It’s a limit to your potential.

Self-esteem has a similar effect.

If your desire is 10 but your confidence is 5,

you will never be effective at 10.

You will be at 5 or below.

Man can never achieve results beyond self-perception.

As Nathaniel Branden says:

If you feel unworthy of challenges,

unworthy of love or respect,

not entitled to happiness,

and afraid of assertive thoughts,

desires, and needs,

if you lack self-confidence,

low self-esteem will limit you,

even if you have other valuable assets.”

Man can never achieve results beyond self-perception.

The value we put on ourselves is usually the value others put in us

A man went to see a fortune teller

to hear what she had to say about his future.

She looked at a crystal ball and said,

“You will be poor and unhappy until you are 40.”

“What then?” the man asked hopefully.

“Then you’ll get used to it.”

I’m sorry to say, that’s the way most people live

– according to what other people believe about them.

If the important people in their lives want them to go nowhere,

that’s what they expect for themselves.

It’s okay if you surround yourself with people

who trust you.

But what if not?

You should not care too much about

what other people think about you.

You should be more concerned with

what you think of yourself.

That’s what Johnnetta McSwain did.

As she prepared to move to Atlanta,

her friends and family all told her

there was no way that was going to happen.

When she moved out,

they told her she would fail

and return to Birmingham.

No one really trusted her.

She doesn’t care.

She had her own solution.

She said,

“You don’t have to accept

what people say about you.”

Isn’t that great?

If you impose a very small value on yourself,

then rest assured that the world does too.

If you want to be the person you have the potential to be,

you have to believe that you can!



I have to admit that self-awareness has never been an issue for me.

I grew up in a very positive environment,

and I always believed that I could succeed.

But I’ve worked with a lot of people who aren’t like me.

I have helped some people change

and believe in themselves as I believe in themselves.

And I hope to help you too,

if you find yourself in that situation.

To get you started,

keep these 10 tips in mind.

If you impose a very small value on yourself,

then rest assured that the world does too.


1. Protect the words you tell yourself

Whether you know it or not,

you’re talking to yourself all the time.

What is your nature?

Do you encourage yourself?

Or do you criticize yourself?

If you’re a positive person,

you’ve helped create a positive self-image.

If you’re a negative person,

you’re undermining your self-worth.

Where do important,

negative monologues come from?

Usually from our upbringing.

In their book The Answer,

entrepreneurial authors John Assaraf

and Murray Smith talk about the negative messages children receive

as they grow up.

They wrote:

By age 17, you’ve heard,

“No, I can’t,” an average of 150,000 times.

You’ve heard the phrase,

“Yes, I can,” about 5,000 times.

The No: Yes ratio is 30:1.

That creates a strong belief about “I can’t”.

It’s a fence too big to get through.

That’s one of the reasons 30-year-old Johnnetta McSwain began

to believe she could change.

From an early age,

people made her feel worthless.

If we want to change our lives,

we must change the way we think about ourselves.

If we want to change the way we think about ourselves,

we need to change the way we talk to ourselves.

And the older we get,

the more responsible we become for what we think,

say, and believe.

Haven’t you had enough problems in your life already?

Why put extra pressure on yourself

by depressing yourself every day

with negative monologues?

When I was little,

my favorite story was The Little Engine could.

Why? Because I find it an encouraging story!

I used to read it time and time again,

and used to think,

That’s me! I think I can do it too!

You need to learn how to be your own cheerleader, y

our own cheerleader.

Every time you do a good deed,

don’t just let it go;

Give yourself a compliment.

Every time you choose discipline over passion,

don’t tell yourself you should;

Realize how much you are helping yourself.

Every time you make a mistake,

don’t bring up all your mistakes;

Tell yourself that you are paying the price

for growth and that you will learn

to do better next time.

Every positive thing you can say to yourself will work.


2. Stop comparing yourself to others

At the beginning of my career,

I expected the annual report from the organization

to show statistics about each leader.

As soon as I received it by e-mail,

I found my position

and compared to all the other leaders.

After about five years of doing that,

I realized how harmful it was.

What happens when you compare yourself to others?

Usually it’s one of two things:

either you see other people getting ahead of you

and you feel depressed,

or you feel like you’re doing better than others,

you are proud.

Neither of those things are good for you,

nor will they help you grow.

Comparing yourself to others is really

just an unnecessary distraction.

The only person you should compare is yourself.

Your mission is to be a better person than you were yesterday.

You do that by focusing on what you can do today

to improve and grow.

Do that enough, and if you look back

to compare the you of weeks,


or years ago with who you are today,

you will be greatly encouraged by your progress.


3. Go beyond your limiting beliefs

I love Jeff MacNelly’s old comic book series Shoe.

In one of my favorite stories,

Shoe is pitching at a baseball game.

During the time-out, his catcher said,

“You have to believe in your dribbling.”

“He said it was easy,”

Shoe grumbled.

“When it comes to believing in myself, I’m an agnostic.”


that’s how a lot of people think of themselves.

They do not believe that they can achieve great things.

But the biggest limitations people experience in life

are often the ones they impose on themselves.

As industrialist Charles Schwab said,

“When a man puts a limit on what he will do,

he puts a limit on what he can do.”

That’s true of Johnnetta McSwain.

As soon as she changed her self-limiting mindset,

she changed her life.

Author Jack Canfield offers a solution

to self-limiting thinking.

In his book The Success Principles,

he offers four steps to turn limiting beliefs into empowering beliefs.

“When a man puts a limit on what he will do,

he puts a limit on what he can do.”– Charles Schwab

Identify a limiting belief that you want to change.

Determine how that belief limits you.

Determine what kind of person you want to be,

how you act or feel.

Create a change statement that confirms

or allows you to be, act or feel this new way?

That is really great advice.

Once you do that, repeat the change statement

to yourself every day

until you change your self-limiting mindset.

For example, you want to learn a foreign language

to improve your career or further enjoy a vacation,

but you don’t think you can.

Once you’ve identified that belief,

see if you don’t learn that language,

how will you be limited.

Then describe what it would be like

when you learned that language.

How does that make you feel?

What does that allow you to do?

What can it do for your career?

Then write down an empowering statement

that confirms your ability

to learn the language,

outlines the actual processes you will use to learn it,

and describes how you will be affected by it,

in this development.

Remember, in the end,

it’s not who you are that holds you back,

it’s the thought that you can’t.


4. Adding value to others

Because people with low self-esteem often see themselves as unworthy

or feel like victims

(often because they have been abused in the past),

they focus too much on themselves.

They may become selfish or reserved

because they think they need to do it to survive.

If you are, you can combat these feelings

by serving others and working to add value to them.

Making a difference,

no matter how small,

in the lives of others boosts one’s confidence.

It’s hard to feel bad about yourself

if you’re doing something nice for someone else.

Plus, giving value to others makes them appreciate you more.

It creates a cycle of positive emotions

from person to person.

It’s hard to feel bad about yourself

if you’re doing something nice for someone else.


5. Do the right thing, even when it’s hard

One of the best ways

to build confidence is to do what’s right.

It gives a strong sense of satisfaction.

And what happens

whenever you don’t do the right thing?

Either you will feel guilty,

making you feel bad about yourself,

or you will deceive yourself

to try to convince yourself

that your actions are not wrong or unimportant.

That harms yourself and your self-confidence.

Being true to yourself

and your values ​​is a huge contributor to your self-esteem.

Each time you choose an action

that helps build your character,

you become stronger,

the harder the task, the greater the personality shaping agent.

You can really feel positive about yourself,

because a positive personality spreads

to every area of ​​your life,

bringing confidence and positive emotions about everything you do.


6. Practice a small discipline every day in a specific area of ​​your life

When I started my pastoral career,

one of the things I did was put in a little effort each day

in my Sunday sermon.

While talking to friends,

I discovered that this is not how most people in my position do things.

Most of my colleagues start their preparations on Friday.

I can’t understand why they do it that way.

It was like facing a mountain, overwhelming.

However, I find that if I do a little bit each day,

by Friday I’m confident I can get the job done.

If there’s one area of ​​your life that seems overwhelming to you,




and so on try to tackle it bit by bit each day

instead of piling it up all at once.

Since your self-worth is based on the positive habits, actions,

and decisions you practice every day,

why not build confidence

and solve your biggest problem at the same time?

Don’t fret or worry about it;

Please do something specific about it.

Discipline is a morale-building agent.

Exercise your discipline by taking small steps

that move you in a positive direction.


7. Celebrate small victories

This advice is a continuation of the previous advice.

When you do the right thing

or take a small step in the right direction,

what is your emotional response?

What do you say to yourself?

Are your thoughts like this?

Yes, it is a matter of time.

I didn’t do as much as I should have.

That won’t make a difference.

It’s desperate – I will never succeed.

Or will they be like this?

It’s good that I can do that.

I did the right thing – commendable!

Little by little effective.

I am getting closer to success.

If your thinking is the same as the first,

then you need to change your mind.

I have to admit,

I have no trouble celebrating small victories.

Then again,

I had no trouble celebrating the big win either.

I love to celebrate.

You should too.

Taking the time to celebrate is good for you.

If nothing ever goes well enough,

you may fall apart.

Celebrating encourages you.

It helps inspire you to keep going.

Don’t underestimate its power.


8. Embrace a positive vision based on what you value in life

When Reese Witherspoon won an Academy Award in 2006

for Best Actress for her role as June Carter Cash in Walk the Line,

she quoted June Carter Cash as saying:

“People often ask June these days,

how she is and she’ll say,

‘I’m just trying to be important.’

I know what she means.”

We all want our lives to be important.

It’s hard to do that

when we don’t believe we’re important.

If you have a positive vision of your life

and you take action to fulfill that vision,

it will be easier for you to realize

that your life has meaning.

For example, Johnnetta McSwain loved

and valued her children,

and she had a good vision of them, there they become.


Chapter 4 Principles of contemplation

Learn to pause so growth can catch up with you

“Take effective action through quiet contemplation.

From quiet contemplation comes even more effective action.”— Peter F. Drucker

There are many different ways of growing

and there are countless lessons to be learned in life.

But there are some types of growth

that only come to us when we are ready to stop,

pause, and allow the lesson to catch up with us.

I experienced one of them in March 2011.



I took part in an extended speaking tour and landed in Kiev,

Ukraine, one of the stops.

While there, I plan to speak three times

to a group of about 5,000 entrepreneurs.

I’ve been to Kiev a few times

and love both the place and the people here.

About an hour before the first event,

I met my Ukrainian interpreter.

We chatted for a while to get to know each other.

When we talked for a few minutes, he said,

“I have read some of your books.

He said he wanted to add value to people,

but it’s not easy to do that here.

People don’t trust leaders.

And with good reason:

the leaders here don’t add value to the others.”

He then added:

“I very much hope that you can help them.”

His words left an impression on me.

And what he said reminded me of a conversation

with my close friend Jim Dornan,

the leader of Network 21,

the multi-country organization that was behind Iron Curtain****.

Jim told me that in any country

where the government is deceitful

and the leadership is selfish and corrupt,

the ability to sabotage the system of government

and public administration has been seen as effective.

Because there was still some time before my speech,

I went to the waiting room so I could pause

and reflect on what I just learned.

I was very emotional,

and wanted to take the time to think about my feelings.

So I started asking myself some questions:

How do I feel?

The answer is sad.

Living in a rut for decades has made people depressed

and skeptical.

It’s hard to make progress

when you have no hope.

What can I do?

I can show them my true heart.

For some of these people,

perhaps no leader has ever told them

that he cares about them and wants them to succeed.

How can I do that?

I can let them know

that I understand their situation

and empathize with them.

I can tell them that I would be just like them

if I grew up in that environment,

and that there is a better path for a leader,

one where they add value to others.

I can help them understand that even

if they have never

valued by their leaders,

they can become leaders who add value to others.

They can become agents of change for the future success

of their country and themselves.

I paused for a moment and prayed,

asking God to help me convey

that message clearly and completely.

I didn’t completely give up on

what I was going to say that day,

but I certainly changed the content to suit my audience.

And one of the first things I said:

which I repeated over

and over again that day—was:

“My name is John,

and I am your friend.”

I say very sincerely.

And I also use that quote to soften the tense

and difficult but funny truths I present.

At first they didn’t know

how to react to that statement.

It took a while for them to start entering.

At the end of the day,

when I repeat it,

they know I’m joking and will laugh.

And the next day

when I walked in

and was about to speak,

my interpreter said that

everyone had said this phrase among themselves.

That’s when I realized they understood

that I was cheering for them and really wanted to help.

When invited to an event,

just showing up and giving a good speech was never enough for me.

Every time I speak,

I want to do two things:

Add value to the people I speak to

and exceed the expectations of the person who invited me.

I could have failed “both fronts” on this trip

if I hadn’t taken the time to pause,

allow my translator’s honest insights to flourish,

and change the agenda. to suit what my audience needs.



If you’re my age,

you probably remember an old catchphrase once used by Coca-Cola.

They call Coke “A break to relax!”.

For those who want to grow,

that is the definition of contemplation.

Learn to pause and allow growth to catch up with you.

That is the Principle of Reflection.

Here are my observations regarding how the power of pause

and reflection can help you grow:

1. Reflection turns experience into understanding

For more than 2,000 years,

it has been said that experience is the best teacher.

According to one expert,

the oldest record of this saying is

from the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar,

who wrote: “Experience is the teacher of all things”,

in De Bello Civili1.

With all due respect, I must oppose that statement.

Experience is not the best teacher.

It must be the experience that has been judged!

The only reason Caesar was able to make such a statement is

because he learned so much

by reflecting on his life and writing about it.

There is an anecdote that experience is a harsh teacher

because lessons are learned

only after we have experienced it.

That is true, but only if the person takes the time

to reflect after the experience.

Otherwise, you are tested first,

but you will never learn the lesson.

People have countless experiences every day,

and many people learn nothing from them

because they never take the time to pause and reflect.

That’s why we need to pause

and let understanding catch up with us

I have heard that at the beginning

of the twentieth century there was a whip factory

that made great improvements in the production process.

They have made whips of the best quality

and continue to improve them.

No other manufacturer in the industry can match.

There is only one problem.

They were already producing whips

at the time the automobile was born.

And it wasn’t long before the entire United States switched to horse-drawn carriages.

That company soon went bankrupt.

I can’t help but wonder what would happen

if the company’s leaders took the time to pause,

learn from their own experiences,

and make changes in the production process.


2. Everyone needs a time and place to pause

I have yet to meet a person who has not benefited

from pause and reflection.

In fact, pausing to reflect is one of the most valuable actions anyone can take to grow.

It gives them more value than encouragement

or encouragement.

Why? Because pausing allows them to make sure they’re on track.

After all, if someone is going the wrong way,

he doesn’t need motivation to speed up.

He needs to stop,


and change direction.

If someone is going the wrong way,

he does not need motivation to accelerate.

He needs to stop.

In my book Thinking for a Change,

I recommend that people identify or create a place to think.

I do it because magic happens

when you have a place to pause and think?

No, I did because if you’re having trouble creating a place

to pause and think and schedule to get there,

you’ll probably actually use it.

And you will benefit from it.

Most people are very busy.

There are a lot of demands on them,

and they have to run around trying

to get the job done.

Meanwhile, they will have certain experiences

that are considered life markers.

They go to a place that either attends an event

or meets someone that in some way left an imprint on their life

because something important happened.

Often, these imprints will mark the time of their transition,


or transformation.

Without taking the time to pause and reflect,

we may miss the importance of such events.

Contemplation allows those experiences to move

from life markers to life factors.

If we pause to allow growth to catch up with us,

our lives will be better,

because we not only better understand the importance of what we experience,

but also can make changes and,

as a result,

align themselves in the right direction.

We are also better equipped to pass on knowledge

to others from the wisdom we have.


3. Intentional pause expands and strengthens thinking

Studying the lives of great people

who have had a great influence on the world,

you will understand that in most cases

they have spent a considerable amount of time in contemplation.

Every great religious leader in history has taken time to live alone.

Every politician who has had a great influence on history

has practiced the principle of “alone”

to think, and plan.

Great artists spend countless hours alone in their studio

or with tools not just to work,

but to explore their ideas and experiences.

Most of the top universities devote time

to their faculty members not only to teach,

but also to think, research and write.

Time alone allows people to organize their experiences,

add perspectives,

and plan for the future.

If you are a leader,

your busyness can be 10 times that of the average person.

Leaders are so action-oriented and have so many responsibilities

that they often feel guilty about being on the go all day

and can’t stop to take the time to think.

However, this is one of the most important things leaders can do.

One minute of thinking is much more valuable than an hour of talking.

“When you can create a quiet place amidst the chaos of actions and concerns,

success and failure gradually lose some of their influence on you.”– Henri J. M. Nouwen

I recommend you find a place to think

and train yourself to pause and use it,

because it has the power to change your life.

It can help you realize what really matters

and what doesn’t.

As writer and Bishop Henri J. M. Nouwen observes:

“When you can create a quiet place amidst the chaos

of actions and concerns,

success and failure gradually lose some of their influence to you.”


4. When taking time to pause, use your ego

When it comes to taking time to pause and reflect,

there are really four basic directions your thoughts should follow:


There is an anecdote about two boys

who were assigned the job of cleaning the stables.

Horse manure was up to their ankles, and one said to the other,

“There must be a horse somewhere.”

In life, there are some things that are too obvious

and do not need to be pondered to understand.

But others force us to investigate and clarify.

The great scientist Galileo said:

“All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered.

The problem lies in discovering them.

That process requires investigation.”

Pausing does not mean slowing down to enjoy the scent of flowers along the way.

It means stopping and really learning about them.

That often forces one to ask questions,

which will be discussed in the next section of this chapter.

It is important to remember that continuous growth

from experiences occurs

only when we understand and find the truths within them.

It comes from investigation.



Incubation is bringing a life experience

to mind for further brooding.

It is very similar to meditation.

It’s like “the other side of prayer,

When I pray,

I talk to God.

When meditating, I listened to him.

Incubation is listening and learning.

I constantly put quotes and ideas into mind to incubate them.

Today, I do that by including them in the Notes app on my iPhone.

I keep them there for days,


or months

and revisit them often for reflection.

Here are some quotes I’m contemplating:

“If it’s not on the table, you’re on the menu.”

“You do not wait or zone out of crisis.

You’re going to blow yourself away.”

“The mark of an effective leader is

to accept punishment without faltering.”

I pitch ideas for as long as they are needed

until I discover the next “I” insight or experience, which is…



“At the end of each day,

you should review your performance,”

says Jim Rohn. The results should encourage or motivate you.”

He is talking about enlightenment.

These are the “aha” moments in your life,

those moments

when you suddenly realize or understand a problem.

That’s when the light bulb comes on.

Few things in life are more valuable than such moments.

“At the end of each day,

you should review your performance.

The results should encourage or motivate you.”– Jim Rohn

I find that I experience moments of enlightenment

only after spending time investigating an idea

and then incubating it for a period of time.

Those moments are a reward for my time

and effort in pausing and reflecting.



Most good ideas are like skeletons.

It provides solid structure but needs the flesh to cover.

They lack material,

and until they have enough,

they are just trash.

What is a speech without interesting examples?

Just a rough sketch.

What would a book be without detailed ideas,

good stories,

and insightful quotes?

Illustration is the process of giving content to ideas.

Author and firefighter Peter M. Leschak believes:

“We are all viewers television,

clock time,

highway traffic but very few observers.

People are just looking,

not many people are seeing.”

That is not true for those

who want to find a place to reflect

and who are intentional about pausing

to allow learning to catch up with them.


Good questions are centers for meditation

Whenever I take time to pause and reflect,

I start by asking myself a question.

Whenever I reflect and feel like hitting a roadblock,

I question myself.

If I’m trying to learn something new

or focus on an area where I can grow,

I ask questions.

I spend most of my life asking questions.

But that’s a good thing.

As author and speaker Anthony Robbins says,

Successful people ask better questions,

and as a result, they get better answers.

“Successful people ask better questions,

and as a result,

they get better answers.”– Anthony Robbins

I cannot stress enough how important it is to ask good questions

when it comes to personal growth.

If your questions are focused, they stimulate creative thinking.

Why? Because there’s something about a well-chosen question that often gets

to the root of the problem and generates new ideas and insights.

If your questions are honest,

they will lead to solid conclusions.

If you ask quality questions,

they will help you create a high-quality life.

Sir Francis Bacon – British philosopher,

politician, scientist,




and pioneer of scientific methodology – asserted:

“If one begins with certainties,

he will end up in doubt;

but if he begins with doubts,

he will end with certainties.”


Personal confidence questions

Teaching others how to ask effective questions can be challenging

because the questions they ask often have

to be appropriate to the situation.

Perhaps the best way to help you understand this is

to share with you a series of questions

I used and answered to develop my own personal awareness.


1. What is my greatest asset?

I believe my greatest asset has always been my attitude.

I first learned the value of a positive attitude from my father,

Melvin Maxwell,

who overcame his natural pessimism by reading books

by the likes of Norman Vincent Peale.

My wife, Margaret,

also has a surprisingly positive attitude.

As time goes on, we sometimes wonder

why others seem to have more problems than we do.

In the end, my wife and I came to the conclusion

that we had no fewer problems than everyone else;

We just don’t allow problems to knock us down

or distract us from

what we believe is important.

So what does answering this question mean for me?

It not only encouraged me to continue cultivating a positive attitude,

but also reminded me that one of the best things

I can do for others is to bring positivity into their lives,

letting them know.

I believe in them and encourage them in their journey.


2. What is my greatest responsibility?

Without a doubt, having unrealistic expectations

is a major shortcoming in my life.

Because I am inherently an optimist,

I underestimate the time,


and effort it takes,

and that can get me in trouble.

How has answering this question helped me develop?

It lowers my expectations of others.

Changing my expectations

to be more realistic has helped me organize my team to succeed,

instead of fail.

And it has also helped me create more realistic goals

for my team members

and the organizations they serve.


3. What is the best thing about me?

Without a doubt, my family is the source of the best things in my life.

Margaret is my best friend.

I can’t imagine my life without her by my side.

And we are enjoying the best time

of our lives as grandparents.


4. What’s the worst for me?

Ironically, the worst thing for me also comes from family.

Why? Because I love my family members so much,

but I have to let them decide for themselves.

That can be difficult for someone of my character.

Years ago, when my kids were little,

I talked to Ron Blue and Howie Hendricks,

and I asked them,

“When does parenthood end?”

They told me it never ends.

And they were right.

How has knowing that the best

and worst things in my life are related

to my family help me grow?

It has helped me enjoy family time

and not interfere with my children’s decisions,

unless they ask me for advice.


5. What is my most valuable emotion?

I don’t think there is a more valuable emotion than love.

We are happiest when we love what we do,

love our friends and family,

even our enemies.

As a person of faith,

I know this is the standard God has set for me.

That is also the wish in my heart.

How does knowing this help me grow?

Love is a choice,

and it often requires effort.

So in order to love others the way I want to,

I have to be intentional about it

and choose to love people every day.


6. What is my least valuable emotion?

The least appealing emotion not only to me,

but to anyone,

is self-pity.

It is destructive.

In the book Earth & Altar,

Eugene H. Peterson states,

Mercy is one of the noblest human emotions;

Self-pity is the most overlooked.

Compassion is the ability

to understand another’s pain

and then seek to alleviate it;

Self-pity is a helpless,

spiritual disability

that distorts our perception of reality.

Mercy helps to recognize need of others about love and healing,

then speaking and acting that give strength;

Self-pity reduces the universe to a personal wound

that is presented as proof of importance.

Pity is the stimulant for acts of compassion;

Self-pity is a drug that renders the addict useless and helpless.

Knowing the negative effects of self-pity,

I stayed away from it.

It cannot help me and will always harm me.


7. What is my best habit?

H. P. Liddon, a missionary

in charge of the education of St. Paul’s in London in the 1800s,

made the observation that:

“What we do on a great occasion will depend on our dignity;

and that dignity is the result of years of self-discipline.”

I believe that absolutely.

That’s one of the reasons I strive to follow the rules every day.

I believe that the secret of a man’s success is found in his daily routine.

“What we do on a great occasion will depend on our dignity;

and that dignity is the result of years of self-discipline.”– H. P. Liddon

Perhaps the greatest value

of me questioning myself in this area is

that it shows my weakness in the discipline to stay healthy.

Forming healthy eating habits is a lifelong endeavor.

And I didn’t exercise regularly until I had a stroke.

I continue to work hard to develop in this area.


8. What is my worst habit?

Without a doubt,

my worst trait is impatience.

It’s been part of my nature since I was a kid,

and it’s ingrained in me like a habit.

When I was a kid,

we used to visit Grandpa Maxwell,

and while we were there he would put my brother Larry

and me down on two chairs

and offer to pay us a penny

if we sit in a chair for five minutes.

Larry is always making money.

And I never not once!

I have learned that, in life,

sometimes you have to work hard to achieve

and sometimes you have to wait.

I’m still trying to develop myself in terms of the ability to wait.

I suspect this will be a goal of mine until the day I die.

There are things in life that you have to work hard to achieve

and there are things you have to wait for.


9. What satisfies me the most?

What I enjoy doing the most is communicating with other people.

When I communicate,

I know I’m in my advantage zone,

I feel most fulfilled,

and I make the biggest impact.

Every time I do it,

deep inside I feel like I was born to do this

Early in my career,

knowing that communication completes me encouraged me

to be a better speaker,

because I wasn’t very good back then.

For more than 10 years,

this has been one of the top areas

that I have been very focused on developing.

I continue to strive to grow as a speaker,

but the value I get from asking this question today is

that it keeps me focused,

so I’m doing the things that create the most value

for other and for yourself.


10. What do I value most?

I don’t value anything more than my own faith.

It helps shape my values.

It guides my actions.

That is the foundation for me to teach leadership.

It is my resource and my safety.

Mother Teresa said,

“Faith blesses the believer.”

I have found that to be absolutely correct.

Having faith and knowing its value in life helps me

to be cautious every day.

I need this because I get easily distracted.

The 10 questions above are questions

that I actually ask myself to prompt myself to reflect

and grow in the area of ​​self-awareness.

You can ask yourself questions about any area

of ​​your life to help you pause,

focus, and learn.

For example, if you want to develop relationships,

you can ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I value people?

2. Do people know that I value them?

3. How do I show it?

4. Am I a “plus” or a “minus” in my most important relationships?

5. What evidence do I have to support my opinion?

6. What is the love language of the people I love?

7. How can I serve them?

8. Do I need to forgive someone in my life?

9. Who in my life do I need to take time to thank?

10. Who should I get more time from in my life?

Or if you want to pause and think about

where you stand in terms of personal development,

you can ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do I know and practice the 15 Principles of Personal Development?

2. Which three principles do I best practice?

3. Which of the three principles do I follow the weakest?

4. Am I growing every day?

5. What do I do every day to grow?

6. How am I growing?

7. Are there barriers that prevent me from growing?

8. What breakthroughs do I need to keep growing?

9. What learnable moments have I experienced today,

and have I captured them?

10. Do I pass on what I have learned to others?

What you want to achieve in life

and where you are on the journey will determine the areas

you need to think about most at the moment,

and tailor the questions to suit you.

But the most important thing you have

to do is write down the questions and answers.

Why? Because you will discover

that what you think









after you write down your answers will be very different

from what you thought before you wrote them down.

Writing helps you discover what you really know,


and believe.


Worth the effort

All of this sounds confusing,

many steps and a lot of trouble.

You were right;

that’s it.

That’s why most people never do it.

But it’s worth the effort you invest a little bit every day.

The further you go in life’s journey,

the more important it is to take time to pause and think.

The older you get,

the less time you have to pursue your goals

and do what you should.

But here’s the good news:

If you’ve persevered in your growth efforts,

you’ll be better equipped to accomplish that goal,

even if it forces you to make major changes or adjust your direction.

Years ago, my friend Bob Buford wrote a book called The Second Half.

The book is very interesting.

The entire book is a “pause so personal growth can catch up” experience.

In it, he encourages readers

who have achieved a success in the first half of life

to pause and think about

what they want to do in the second half of life.

Here are some of his tips:

You won’t be able to go much further in the second half of your life

without knowing your life purpose.

Can your life purpose be summed up in a statement or two?

A great way to start building purpose is

to use some questions

(and really sincere answers).

What is your passion?

What successes have you achieved?

What have you done so well?

How do you connect?

Where do you belong?

What “shoulds” pulled you along

during the first half of your life?

These and other similar questions will guide you

in becoming the person you want to be;

They will help you discover the tasks you were born to do.

Never forget that your goal

for personal development is

to reach your fullest potential.

To do that, you need to keep pausing,

keep asking questions,

and keep growing every day.


Application Of The Principle Of Conclusion To Life

1. Have you created a place

where you can regularly stop and reflect effectively?

If not, do it now.

First, find the type of environment that’s right for you.

Among the places,

which I have chosen over the years is an outdoor rock,

a small isolated room where no one can disturb me,

and a special chair in my office.

Find a place that works for you,

and stick with it as long as it works.

2. Plan time to pause and reflect.

Otherwise, your to-do list will be jumbled up.

Ideally, you would take a short pause

for reflection at the end of each day (10-30 minutes),

a separate time each week

(at least an hour),

part of the day several times.

(at least half a day),

and an annual period

(at least a day and at most a week).

Make a note of these pauses in your calendar

and mark them as your most important appointments.

3. Cartoonist Henri Arnold said:

“Wise people ask questions of themselves, fools ask others.”

The meditation principle will bring little benefit

unless you are mindful during your meditation time.

You do that by asking yourself tough questions.

What area do you most need to develop right now?

Can you arrange it yourself?

Is there a problem you can’t handle?

Are you going through a steady period in your career?

Are you failing in the most important relationships of your life?

Do you need to check or reconsider your purpose?

Do you need to evaluate what to do in the second half of your life?

“A wise man asks questions of himself,

a fool asks others.”– Henry Arnold

Whatever your problem is,

think of questions around it

and take the time to write down answers to them during your reflection time.


Chapter 5 The Principle of Consistency

Motivation keeps you going – discipline helps you to grow.

“The mark of excellence,

the test of greatness,

is consistency.”— Jim Tressel

When I started my career as a speaker,

I believed that motivating people was the key to their success.

If I can motivate them in the right direction,

I think, they will succeed.

I do my best to tell people why they should work hard.

I try to make them laugh.

I try to touch their feelings.

My goal is to inspire people so much that they’re ready

to go to hell with a water cannon in hand.

When I’m done with my mission,

I leave thinking I’ve done a good job.

But often whatever motivation people get doesn’t seem to last.

I am still a believer in motivation.

Everyone wants to be encouraged.

Everyone loves to be inspired.

But when it comes to personal growth,

the truth is:

Motivation keeps you going,

but discipline keeps you growing.

That is the Principle of Consistency.

No matter how talented you are,

it doesn’t matter how many opportunities you get.

If you want to grow,

consistency is key.



If you want to become more disciplined

and consistent in your results,

you need to be disciplined

and consistent in your personal growth.

How can you do that?

By knowing what,


why and when to improve yourself.

Take a moment to consider the following four questions about development:

1. Do you know what you need to improve?

Journalist and author George Lorimer observes:

“You will wake up each morning with determination

if you go to bed each night satisfied.”

That’s true,

but it’s important to know where to direct that determination.

I’ve discussed this in detail,

but I think it’s repetitive.

You have to develop yourself to be successful.

I always see people

who are purposeful but inconsistent in their execution.

They have the ambition to succeed

and show a serious work attitude

but they are not making progress.

Why? Because they think they can master their work

and don’t need to be their own boss.

That’s a mistake.

Your future depends on personal growth.

Improving yourself daily guarantees you a future full of possibilities.

When you expand yourself,

you expand your horizons,

your choices,

your opportunities,

and your potential.

“You will wake up every morning with determination

if you go to bed every night satisfied.”- George Lorimer

Since the beginning of my career in 1969,

if I spent all my time perfecting my work,

I would never grow.

But by focusing on self-improvement,

I’ve grown from taking care of people to leading them.

I have moved from speaking to audiences to writing books.

I expanded from affecting only small religious organizations

to affecting many different types of organizations.

I have improved my focus from organizations to businesses.

My influence has varied from local to national to international.

I went from maintaining organizations

to establishing and growing them.

Why is this happening to me?

Because what I did was try to improve myself,

not just my job or my position.

That opens up my future.

It has allowed me to achieve more than

I ever thought I was capable of.

E. M. Gray once said,

“Successful people have the habit of doing things

that unsuccessful people don’t like to do.

The successful person doesn’t like to do those things either,

but his dislike complements his power of purpose.”

The more attuned you are to your purpose

and the more time you spend developing it,

the more likely you are to reach your potential,

expand your possibilities,

and do something meaningful.


2. Do you know how you need to improve?

The question of how to improve was one of the main reasons

why I started working to transform myself from an inspirational speaker

to an inspirational teacher.

I don’t want people to leave one of my teaching sessions,

inspired but not sure how to go about it.

To thrive, most people need experience and guidance.

Do you know how to improve yourself?

I have four simple suggestions that can help you get started:

Tailor your motivations to your personality

Not everyone is motivated in the same way

or motivated by the same things.

To give yourself the opportunity

to be consistent about personal growth,

start by pushing your personality forward.

There are dozens of personality models

and systems that people use.

I like one of the styles based on the classic personality patterns taught

by Florence Littauer.

The first type is the indifferent person.

The strength of people with this personality is

that they are easygoing and likable.

Their weakness is stagnation.

If you are apathetic,

how can you encourage yourself?

By finding value in what you need to do.

When indifferent people find value in doing something,

they can be among the most persistent (meaning stubborn)

of all personality types.

On the opposite side of apathy on the personality spectrum are those

who are short-tempered.

The strength of people with this personality type is

that they get involved easily and make quick decisions.

Their weakness is that if they are not assigned the “in charge” position,

they will refuse to attend.

If you are a hot-tempered person,

how can you find your own motivation?

By focusing on your choices.

Everyone is responsible for their own development.

Choose how to grow and stick with it.

The funniest of all personality types are optimists.

They are often the focus of parties.

Their weakness is often lack of concentration.

If you are an optimist,

how can you promote personal growth?

By making a game out of it.

If it’s not possible,

reward yourself for the successes.

The last personality type is melancholy.

These are perfectionists in life.

Their strength is attention to details.

But because they want to do everything perfectly,

they are afraid of making mistakes.

If you are a melancholy person,

how can you motivate yourself to overcome that fear?

By focusing on the joy of learning the details and on the potentia

l to develop a certain degree of mastery over your subject matter.

As you can see, each personality type has its own strengths.

You just need to harness the strengths

of your personality to create a position of success

when it comes to motivation.


Start with the simple things

What is the #1 mistake of beginning gardeners?

Like many first-time self-development people:

It’s too much effort.

What is the result? Frustration.

When you try too hard and too soon,

you will almost certainly be disappointed with the results.

It’s a loss of motivation.


The secret to creating that momentum is to start small with simple things.

A humorous idea based on this thought was portrayed

in the comic book series Peanuts

by author Charles Schulz.

After hitting the ball three times on the field

– as usual

– Charlie Brown returned to the tunnel

and leaned back on the bench.

“Really boring!” he lamented.

“I will never be able to compete in a major tournament.

I don’t have that possibility!

All my life I’ve dreamed of playing in the big leagues,

but I know I’ll never make it.”

Lucy, always offering advice, replies:

“Charlie Brown, you’re thinking too far.

What you need to do is come up with closer goals for yourself.”

“Getting closer to the goals?”

Charlie asked.

Like many people,

he never thought about it.

“Yes!” Lucy advised:

“You should start with the next round.

When you go out to serve,

see if you can get off the mound without falling!”

Industrialist Ian MacGregor said:

“I work on the same principles as horse trainers.

You start with low,

achievable hedges,

and work your way up.

In management,

it is important to never ask people to achieve goals they cannot accept.”

If you want to gain momentum and improve your motivation,

start by setting worthwhile but highly successful goals.

Master the basics.

Then practice them every day continuously.

Small principles repeated consistently every day help us

to achieve big gains slowly over time.

This is a great idea to practice when reading a book.

In fact, when I wrote 25 Ways to Win with People,

I asked readers to practice one of the 25 ways to win hearts each week.

It’s an easy way to make daily progress.

Small principles repeated consistently every day help us

to achieve big gains slowly over time.

If you want to grow, don’t try to win big.

Just try to win small victories.

Andrew Wood asserts:

“Many people make the mistake of trying

to achieve their goals

by constantly looking for big shots,

direct hit shots,

or magic answers can suddenly make their dreams come true.

The problem is that the big shots can never be achieved

without a lot of first hits.

Success in most things does not come

from a few giant blows of fate,

but from simple,

incremental progress.”


Please be patient

When giving advice to be patient,

it is I who need the most patience.

As I mentioned in the previous chapter,

impatience is one of my biggest weaknesses.

I think it’s because I have unrealistic expectations,

for myself and others.

Everything I want to do takes longer than expected.

Every effort I make is more difficult than I thought before.

Every project I take on costs more than expected.

Every task I assign to someone else

is more complicated than expected.

There are days

when I believe that patience is a miniature version

of frustration disguised as a virtue.

I’m not the only one who thinks so.

If you are an American,

like me,

you can agree that culturally,

we all have problems with patience.

We always want things to happen quickly.

We live in a country with fast food restaurants

and emergency clinics. It’s ironic.

The Persian poet Saadi pointed out:

Be patient. Everything that used to be easy is difficult.

That is wise advice.

Most people never realize how close

they are to achieving extraordinary things,

because they give up too soon.

Everything worthwhile in life takes time and dedication.

The people who grow and achieve the most are those

who harness the power of patience and persistence.

“Please be patient.

Everything that used to be easy is difficult.”– Saadi


Appreciate the process

One of the best things you can do

for yourself as a learner is

to cultivate the ability to appreciate and enjoy the growth process.

It will take a long time,

so enjoy the journey.

Several years ago,

I had dinner with Vern

and Charlene Armitage, my friends.

Charlene is a successful lifestyle coach

for many clients.

I asked her what she focused on in training.

Her answer was to focus on the importance of the process

that people must form

in order to grow and change direction in their lives.

“We achieve our life goals

by setting yearly goals,”

she says.

We achieve our annual goals by achieving our daily goals.

We achieve our daily goals by doing things

that may be uncomfortable in the beginning

but eventually become habits.

Habits are incredibly powerful things.

Habit turns action into attitude, and attitude into lifestyle.

You can envision your tomorrow using it as your driving force to grow,

but if you want to really grow,

you need to focus on today.

If you value today and find ways to enjoy it,

you will invest today.

And the small steps you take today will become the bigger steps

you take someday.

In their book Winning:

The Answers, Jack and Suzy Welch assert:

“Too many people believe that a huge,

well-known success will solve the problem of money,

their confidence forever.

That only happens in the movies.

In real life, it’s the opposite strategy that works.

Call it the “small wins approach”.

They describe Jack’s first experience as a speaker.

Despite preparing detailed notes and practicing many times,

15 minutes of effort was a disaster.

So Jack set a goal of gradual improvement,

which he achieved by taking the process seriously.

Instead of allowing fear or failure

to dominate his mind,

he stared at the failure in front of him,

discovered what he had done wrong,

set a new goal,

and started over.

They explain:

“Over time, you will discover that every failure has actually taught you

what you need to know

– so you can regroup and kick-start,

with… more energy.”

That strategy worked.

“Now,” they wrote,

“it is a pleasant experience to answer questions without taking notes

in front of thousands of people; it’s fun.”

That progress cannot happen if you don’t appreciate the process.


3. Do you know why you want to keep improving?

Knowing what needs improvement

and how to improve it is crucial

for consistency in personal development.

Know why as well.

How and what will only get you so far.

Why create lasting motivation for you

after energy and enthusiasm wane.

It can help you keep walking

when there’s not enough willpower left.

Think of it as the power-of-the-why.

I love the story of the salesman looking out the restaurant window

during a heavy snowstorm.

He asked his waiter,

“Do you think the roads will be cleared

so we can move in the morning?”

The waiter replied,

“It depends on whether you are living on salary or commission.”

There’s a reason why being strong will keep you going

when academic discipline becomes difficult, discouraging, or dull.

If your growth is aligned with your values,


and goals,

you’ll know why you’re doing it. And most likely you will continue.

One of the ways to gauge whether you’ve found your own

whys is to take the

“Why Test” given by my friend, Mike Murdock.

The answers to the following seven questions will tell you whether your

why is solid enough for continued growth:


1. Do you constantly procrastinate on important tasks?

2. Do you need to be “coaxed” to do small things?

3. Do you do things just to get things done?

4. How often do you say negative things about your work?

5. Do your friends’ efforts,

instead of encouraging you, upset you?

6. Do you start working on small projects

and then leave them unfinished?

7. Do you shy away from self-improvement opportunities?

If you answered yes to most of the questions above,

you haven’t found a strong enough

or big enough reason to keep growing.

When I was a kid,

my mom kept telling me the reasons

why to stay motivated.

She would say things like,

“If you eat vegetables, you can have dessert.”

She knew I needed to understand the benefits

of eating vegetables when I didn’t want to.

That upbringing helped me succeed,

because I began to learn about the relationship

between motivation and discipline.

If you think about it,

you can see that discipline

and motivation are two sides of the same coin.

If you have the necessary motivation,

discipline won’t be an issue.

If you lack motivation,

discipline is always a problem.

“Once you learn to quit,

it becomes a habit.”– Vince Lombardi

You have to give yourself more of a big

why so that you can continue to strive for growth.

In my book Put Your Dream to the Test,

I share that the more realistic the reasons for your dreams,

the higher your odds of success.

The same principle holds true for development.

The more reasons to grow,

the more likely you are to succeed.

Of course, in certain cases, just one reason

why is really compelling is enough,

as Kenyan world-class rider Bernard “Kip” Lagat showed

when he was interviewed during the Olympics in Sydney.

He was asked how his country was able to produce

so many excellent long-distance runners.

His answer was:

“It was thanks to the warning signs on the road: ‘Watch out for lions’.

Legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi said,

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”

If giving up has become a habit for you,

I think you should take the advice of my friend, Darren Hardy,

who wrote a wonderful book called The Compound Effect. ).

In it he wrote:

The compound effect is the principle of reaping big rewards

from a series of small,

smart choices.

The most exciting thing about this process for me is that,

although the results are huge, the steps to take, in each moment,

don’t make you feel like it matters.

Whether you’re using this strategy to improve your health,



or anything else,

the changes are subtle,

almost hard to detect.

Those small changes yield little

or no immediate results,

no big wins,

no really obvious I-told-you-I-I-telling results. So why bother?

Most people are trapped by the simplicity of the Compound Effect.

For example, they give up after the eighth day of jogging

because they are still overweight.

Or, they stop practicing the piano after six months

because they haven’t mastered their fingers yet.

Or, they stop contributing to their IRA

(individual retirement account)

after a few years because they can use the cash

and it doesn’t matter anyway.

What they don’t realize is that these small,

seemingly insignificant steps taken consistently

over time can make a huge difference.3

When you make the right choices,

no matter how small,

and do them consistently over time,

it can make a huge difference in your life.

If you remember

why you made those choices,

it becomes easier.


4. Do you know when you need to improve?

The last piece of the puzzle is the question of when.

When do you need to improve?

First, the obvious answer:

Right now.

Just today.

So you need to start if you haven’t already.

More importantly,

you need to work hard today as well as every day after.

Your life will never change

until you change something you do every day.

That means forming positive habits.

Discipline is the bridge between goals and achievements,

and you need to cross that bridge every day.

Over time, commuting across the bridge every day became a habit.

And finally I want to say,

people don’t decide their future;

they decide their habits

and habits determine their future.

As author and speaker Brian Tracy says:

“From the moment you wake up each morning

to the time you go to bed each night,

your habits control much of the words you say,

the things you do, and the way you react,

and respond.”

Your life will never change

until you change something you do every day.

What do you need to change on a daily basis?

What to do? More importantly what not to do?

Analyst Abigail Van Buren quipped:

“A bad habit never goes away on its own.

It’s always been a you-need-to-give up project.”

What would you be willing to change today

to change what you will do tomorrow?

In the end, it’s really hard work when the easy things

you don’t do accumulate into one big chunk.

Diet and exercise also.

Everyone wants to be slim,

but no one wants

to make the right choices to get there.

This will be difficult when you eat indiscriminately

or do not exercise every day.

However, if you make small choices every day,

you will see results.



Consistency is not easy.

Novelist Huxley Aldous asserts:

“Consistency is contrary to nature,

contrary to life.

The only one who is absolutely consistent is the dead.”

To be successful, though, we must learn to be consistent.

You have to find a plan that works for you,

but I’m willing to share what has worked for me.

Instead of being goal conscious,

I focus my consciousness on growth.

Here is the difference:

I’m such a strong believer in people and human potential,

not only in others but in myself,

that I never want to put a limit on my potential

by setting goals too high.

I did that pretty early in my career,

and I realized it would limit me.

If you can believe in yourself and your potential,

and then focus on growth instead of goals,

you will never know how far you can grow.

You just need to be consistent in the process while continuing

to believe in yourself.



Author Ernest Newman notes:

“The great composer does not work

because he is inspired,

but is inspired while he is working.

Beethoven, Wagner,

Mozart and Bach were all diligent every day

at what they were doing.

They wasted no time waiting for inspiration.”

The same is true of one of today’s most famous and innovative composers:

John Williams.

Surely you know his works,

even if you don’t know his name.

Remember the five notes that are the key

to communication in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind?

Or the ominous music that always accompanies the appearance

of sharks in the movie Jaws?

What about the soundtracks from the movies Star Wars

or Raiders of the Lost Ark or Harry Potter?

All are compositions of John Williams.

“The great composer does not work because he is inspired,

but is inspired while he is working.”– Ernest Newman

Williams, the son of a jazz musician,

was born in Queens,

New York and raised in Los Angeles.

He soon showed his promising musical talent

and studied with Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco.

After a stint in the United States Air Force,

he studied piano at Juilliard,

then played music at clubs and studios in New York City.

He entered the film industry by working for composers

such as Franz Waxman, Bernard Herrmann,

Alfred Newman, Henry Mancini and Jerry Goldsmith.

That habit of success did not make Williams arrogant.

“If music is widely known,” he says,

“it shows the pervasive nature of movies in our society.

Over time, I assume that all

but the greatest works of art are erased from memory,

but I feel fortunate and privileged

that people react as expected. ”

I find the music and life of John Williams inspiring.

I hope you see it too.

But never forget:

Motivation drives you,

but discipline keeps you going.

That is the Principle of Consistency.



1. Align your motivational methods with your personality type.

Use whatever personality traits you like to research your personality type.

(If you haven’t used one,

look for a personality test like the Myers-Briggs Classification Index,

DiSC, and Personality Plus.)

Once you have a solid understanding of your personality type,

build a development system.

Keep it simple every day and use your strengths.

2. If you don’t find a way to value and appreciate the process,

it will be difficult to keep doing any activity.

Make a list of everything you like about the personal development process.

If your list is too short,

put in extra effort.

Anything you can find related

to motivation will help you further strengthen your personal development habits.

3. The more reasons why you have for personal growth every day,

the more likely you are to stick with it.

Let’s start with these reasons why.

Think about the short-term

as well as the long-term benefits.

Consider reasons related to purpose,


and dreams.

Think about how it can help you with your career,


and spirituality.

Any reason for personal growth is a good one,

as long as it’s yours.

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