My Take on “The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” by John Maxwell

I recently finished John C. Maxwell’s “15 Invaluable Laws of Growth” and wanted to share with you my favorite take-aways from the book. First of all, I would recommend the book to anyone who is on a path of personal growth.  The sub title for the book is “Live Them and Reach Your Potential”, and it accurately sets the tone for the book. Throughout the book Mr. Maxwell serves his reader as a mentor, task master and cheerleader.  The book is organized into fifteen chapters, one for each law. Each chapter is seasoned generously with personal accounts, examples and tons of quotes. If you are looking for motivational or business appropriate quotes this book may just be worth it for that purpose.

The premise of the book is that Mr. Maxwell is looking back on 40 years of intentional personal growth and sharing with his audience his secrets.  The book starts out with the story of himself as a young man looking for an easy recipe for moving forward in his career via self-improvement. He finds that there is not an easy blueprint and consequently spends years unlocking the keys. The 15 laws are the result of that pursuit.

The book is very dense with good advice so here are just a few of my main take-aways:

  • Growth doesn’t just happen. You must be intentional in order for it to happen and the longer you go doing the same old things, the less chance you have of changing. If you are going to change start NOW!
  • “If you want to be around growing people, become a growing person. If you’re committed, you attract others who are committed. If you’re growing, you attract others who are growing. This puts you in a position to begin building a community of like-minded people who can help one another succeed.”
  • Steps to build your self-esteem: Guard your self-talk; Stop comparing yourself to others, Move beyond your limiting beliefs; Add value to others; Do the right thing, even if it’s the hard thing; Practice a small discipline daily in a specific area of your life; Celebrate small victories; Embrace a positive vision for your life based on what you value; Practice the one-word strategy (what one word best describes you?); Take responsibility for your life.
  • Pause often to make sure you are on the right track. How often do we get caught up in the day-to-day and lose sight of our goal?
  • “Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.”  Work to improve yourself, not your job or your position.
  • “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. That means developing great habits. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments, and that bridge must be crossed every day.”
  • Practice the “Hot Poker Principle” which basically says; if we want to improve we need to put ourselves in an environment that leads to success, read great books, spend time with great people, listen to great tapes, etc. Basically if our environment is hot we will get hot, if it’s cold we will be cold.
  • Get your life in order and keep it in order. Your career will follow. If you are a mess personally it will negatively affect your career.
  • Be systematic in your growth. “Rarely does a haphazard approach to anything succeed.”
  • “Remember, if you always do what you’ve always done,you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. If you want to arrive at a new destination, you need to take a new path.”
  • “The right motions outwardly with wrong motives inwardly will not bring lasting progress. Right outward talking with wrong inward thinking will not bring lasting success.”
  • “If you are merely average or if you are no closer to your dream this year than you were last year, you can choose to accept it, defend it, cover it up, and explain it away. Or you can choose to change it, grow from it, and forge a new path.”
  • “In time I came to realize that I needed to act on my dream and formulate the details as I made the journey.” You must start first, doors that you didn’t even know about will become apparent along the way opening you up to new possibilities.

This is just a very small sample of the type of ideas that are available in the book. If you are looking for a method toward self development I can’t think of another book that is better. This book is broad in its subject area but very specific in its purpose.

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