Book Summaries

Book Summary – The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential by John C. Maxwell.

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John C. Maxwell was asked a question that changed the course of his life by Curt Kampmeier, he asked: “Do you have a plan for your personal growth?”. In The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, author and speaker John C. Maxwell shares 15 strategies and insights for developing a personal growth plan.

“To reach your potential you must grow. And to grow, you must be highly intentional about it”

Favorite Takeaways – The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John C. Maxwell

The 15 Laws of Growth are:

1. The Law of Intentionality: Growth Doesn’t Just Happen
2. The Law of Awareness: You Must Know Yourself to Grow Yourself
3. The Law of the Mirror: You Must See Value in Yourself to Add Value to Yourself
4. The Law of Reflection: Learning to Pause Allows Growth to Catch Up with You
5. The Law of Consistency: Motivation Gets You Going—Discipline keeps You Growing
6. The Law of Environment: Growth Thrives in Conducive Surroundings
7. The Law of Design: To Maximize Growth, Develop Strategies
8. The Law of Pain: Good Management of Bad Experiences Leads to Great Growth
9. The Law of the Ladder: Character Growth Determines the Height of Your Personal Growth
10. The Law of the Rubber Band: Growth Stops When You Lose the Tension Between Where You Are and Where You Could Be
11. The Law of Trade-Offs: You Have to Give Up to Grow Up
12. The Law of Curiosity: Growth Is Stimulated by Asking Why?
13. The Law of Modeling: It’s Hard to Improve When You Have No One but Yourself to Follow
14. The Law of Expansion: Growth Always Increases Your Capacity
15. The Law of Contribution:Growing Yourself Enables You to Grow Others

“Nobody ever got ready by waiting. You only get ready by starting.”

Growth Gap Traps

Eight misconceptions about growth that may be holding you back from being as intentional as you need to be.

1. The Assumption Gap—I Assume That I Will Automatically Grow
2. The Knowledge Gap—I Don’t Know How to Grow
3. The Timing Gap—It’s Not the Right Time to Begin

Law of Diminishing Intent: The longer you wait to do something you should do now, the greater the odds that you will never actually do it.

4. The Mistake Gap—I’m Afraid of Making Mistakes

5. The Perfection Gap— I Have to Find the Best Way Before I Start

6. The Inspiration Gap—I Don’t Feel Like Doing It

“Motivation is like love and happiness. It’s a by-product. When you’re actively engaged in doing something, it sneaks up and zaps you when you least expect it.”

7. The Comparison Gap—Others Are Better Than I Am

8. The Expectation Gap—I Thought It Would Be Easier Than This

“If you want to succeed, you need to do whatever it takes. Get up an hour early. Stay up an hour later. Give up your lunch hour. Put in extra time on the weekends. If you don’t, you’ll have to prepare to give up your dreams and any hope of reaching your potential.”

Motives Matter.

When you do things for the right reason, it gives you inner strength when things go wrong. Right motives help you to build positive relationships because they prevent hidden agendas and incline you to put people ahead of your agenda. Doing something for the right reasons also keeps life less cluttered and your path clearer. Not only is your vision clearer, but you also sleep well at night knowing you’re on the right track.

“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” – Carl Jung

1 . The Law of Intentionality : Growth Doesn’t Just Happen

The reality is that you will never get much done unless you go ahead and do it before you are ready. If you’re not already intentionally growing, you need to get started today. If you don’t, you may reach some goals, which you can celebrate, but you will eventually plateau. Once you start growing intentionally, you can keep growing and keep asking “What’s next?”

 “You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” – Jim Rohn

If you want to succeed, you need to do whatever it takes. Get up an hour early. Stay up an hour later. Give up your lunch hour. Put in extra time on the weekends. If you don’t, you’ll have to prepare to give up your dreams and any hope of reaching your potential.”

2. The Law of Awareness: You Must Know Yourself to Grow Yourself

“No one can produce great things who is not thoroughly sincere in dealing with himself.”—JAMES RUSSELL LOWELL

To grow, you must know yourself: your strengths and weaknesses, your interests and opportunities. You must be able to gauge not only where you’ve been, but also where you are now. Otherwise you cannot set a course for where you want to go. And of course, every time you want to learn something, you must be able to take the new thing you’ve learned today and build upon what you learned yesterday to keep growing. ”

To reach your potential, you must know where you want to go and where you currently are. Without both of those pieces of information, you’re liable to get lost. Knowing yourself is like reading “You Are Here” on a map when you want to find your way to a destination.

  • The Law of the Mirror : You Must See Value in Yourself to Add Value to Yourself
  • “Personal development is the belief that you are worth the effort,time, and energy needed to develop yourself.”—DENIS WAITLEY

    Many people don’t believe in themselves. They don’t see the possibilities that God put in them. They possess a hundred acres of possibilities, yet never cultivate them because they are convinced that they won’t be able to learn and grow and blossom into something wonderful.

    “It’s impossible to consistently behave in a manner inconsistent with how we see ourselves. We can do very few things in a positive way if we feel negative about ourselves.” – Zig Ziglar

    If we want to change our lives, we have to change the way we think of ourselves. If we want to change the way we think of ourselves, we need to change the way we talk to ourselves. And the older we are, the more responsible we are for how we think, talk, and believe.

    4. The Law of Reflection: Learning to Pause Allows Growth to Catch Up with You

    “Follow effective action with quiet reflection. From the quiet reflection will come even more effective action.” —PETER F. DRUCKER

    Most good ideas are like skeletons. They provide good structure, but they need meat on their bones. They lack substance, and until they have it, they aren’t that useful. What would a speech be without good illustrations? A flat outline. What would a book be without fleshed-out ideas, good stories, and insightful quotes? Boring. Illustrating is the process of putting flesh on ideas.

    “All of us are watchers—of television, of time clocks, of traffic on the freeway —but few are observers. Everyone is looking, not many are seeing.” Peter M. Leschak

    The farther you go in life, the more critical it is that you take time to pause and think. The older you are, the less time you have to stay on purpose and do the things you were created to do. But here’s the good news: If you’ve been diligent in your efforts to grow along the way, you will also be better equipped to fulfill that purpose, even if it requires you to make significant changes or course corrections.

    “The wise man questions himself, the fool others.”Henri Arnold

    5. The Law of Consistency: Motivation Gets You Going—Discipline keeps You Growing

    “The hallmark of excellence, the test of greatness, is consistency.”—JIM TRESSEL

    Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing. That’s the Law of Consistency. It doesn’t matter how talented you are. It doesn’t matter how many opportunities you receive. If you want to grow, consistency is key.

    Your future is dependent upon your personal growth. Improving yourself daily guarantees you a future filled with possibilities. When you expand yourself, you expand your horizons, your options, your opportunities, your potential.

    “The successful person has the habit of doing the things that failures don’t like to do. The successful person doesn’t like doing them either, but his dislike is subordinated to the strength of his purpose.”E. M. Gray

    Most people never realize how close they are to achieving significant things, because they give up too soon. Everything worthwhile in life takes dedication and time. The people who grow and achieve the most are the ones who harness the power of patience and persistence.

    “If you think about it, you can see that discipline and motivation are two sides of the same coin. If you have the motivation you need, discipline is no problem. If you lack motivation, discipline is always a problem.”

    6. The Law of Environment: Growth Thrives in Conducive Surroundings

    “The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment you first find yourself in.” —MARK CAINE

    Change Yourself and Your Environment

    If you know that you need to make a major change to your environment, then there’s something you must keep in mind: You must also determine to change yourself at the same time. Here’s why: If you try to…

    • Change yourself but not your environment—growth will be slow and difficult;
    • Change your environment but not yourself—growth will be slow and less difficult;
    • Change your environment and yourself—growth will be faster and more successful.

    As you consider changing yourself and your environment, think about the elements that the right kind of growth environment provide:

    • The right soil to grow in: What nourishes me? Growth.
    • The right air to breathe in: What keeps me alive? Purpose.
    • The right climate to live in: What sustains me? People.

    The most significant factor in any person’s environment is the people. If you change nothing else in your life for the better than that, you will have increased your chances of success tenfold. So think long and hard about who you’re spending the most time with, for wherever they are headed, so are you.

    “If you need to make changes in yourself and your environment, don’t dwell on your past. You can’t change it. Don’t worry about your future. You can’t control it. Focus on the current moment and what you can do now.”

    7. The Law of Design: To Maximize Growth, Develop Strategies

    “If you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much.” —JIM ROHN

    There is no warm-up for life, no dress rehearsal, yet that’s the way many people seem to be treating it. Each of us goes on stage cold, with no preparation, and we have to figure it out as we go along. That can be messy. We fail. We make mistakes. But we still need to give it our best from the very start.

    Develop Systems

    It’s a process for predictably achieving a goal based on specific, orderly, repeatable principles and practices. Systems leverage your time, money, and abilities. They are great tools for personal growth. Systems are deliberate, intentional, and practical. They really work—regardless of your profession, talent level, or experience. They improve your performance. A life without any systems is a life where the person must face every task and challenge from scratch.

    “Systems permit ordinary people to achieve extraordinary results predictably. However, without a system, even extraordinary people find it difficult to predictably achieve even ordinary results.” Michael Gerber, author of The E-Myth

    8. The Law of Pain: Good Management of Bad Experiences Leads to Great Growth

    “Every problem introduces a person to himself.” —JOHN MCDONNELL

    Each time we encounter a painful experience, we get to know ourselves a little better. Pain can stop us dead in our tracks. Or it can cause us to make decisions we would like to put off, deal with issues we would rather not face, and make changes that make us feel uncomfortable. Pain prompts us to face who we are and where we are. What we do with that experience defines who we become.

    “No one likes it when they’re in the middle of a bad experience. It’s usually just painful. But if they manage the experience well, then they enjoy talking about it afterward. It becomes a great war story.”

    It’s always easier to see something positive in a negative experience long after it happens. It’s difficult to meet the negative experience in the moment with a positive mindset. However, if you can do that, you will always be able to learn something from it.

    Where there is no struggle, there is no progress. Facing difficulties is inevitable. Learning from them is optional. Whether you learn is based on if you understand that difficulties present opportunities to learn and treat them accordingly.

    9. The Law of the Ladder: Character Growth Determines the Height of Your Personal Growth

    “Achievement to most people is something you do… to the high achiever, it is something you are.” —DOUG FIREBAUGH

    Our reputation comes from what others believe about our outside. Our character represents who we are on the inside. And the good news is that if you focus on being better on the inside than on the outside, over time you will also become better on the outside.

    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. Expressions of care on the outside with a heart of hatred or contempt on the inside will not bring lasting peace. Continual growth and lasting success are the result of aligning the inside and the outside of our lives. And getting the inside right must come first—with solid character traits that provide the foundation for growth.

    “The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he hoped to make it.” –  J. M. Barrie

    10. The Law of the Rubber Band: Growth Stops When You Lose the Tension Between Where You Are and Where You Could Be

    “Only a mediocre person is always at his best.”—W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM

    Significance is birthed within each of us. If we are willing to stretch, that seed can grow until it begins to bear fruit in our lives. What’s fantastic is that the change within us challenges us to make changes around us, and our growth creates a belief in us that others can grow. When that happens in an environment and everybody is stretching and growing, then indifference is replaced with make-a-difference. And that’s how we begin to change our world.

    “To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end in life.” Robert Louis Stevenson

    11 The Law of Trade-Offs You Have to Give Up to Grow Up

    “People will cling to an unsatisfactory way of life rather than change in order to get something better for fear of getting something worse.” —ERIC HOFFER

    When we’re at the bottom, we make trade-offs because of desperation. We are highly motivated to change. As we climb, we change because of inspiration. At this higher level, we don’t have to anymore. We get comfortable. As a result, we don’t make the trade-offs.

    One of the dangers of success is that it can make a person unteachable. Many people are tempted to use their success as permission to discontinue their growth. They become convinced that they know enough to succeed and they begin to coast. They trade innovation and growth for a formula, which they follow time after time. “You can’t argue with success,” they say. But they’re wrong. Why? Because the skills that got you here are probably not the skills that will get you there. This is especially true today when everything is changing quickly.

     “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.” Henry David Thoreau

    12. The Law of Curiosity Growth Is Stimulated by Asking Why?

    “Some men see things as they are and ask why. Others dream things that never were and ask why not.”—GEORGE BERNARD SHAW

    Beginners know they have a lot to learn and are open to every possible idea. They are willing to think outside of the box. They don’t get hung up on preconceived notions. They are willing to try new things. If you have a beginner’s mindset in an area, do everything you can to maintain it. If you have come to think of yourself as an expert, beware! Find a way to rekindle a learner’s attitude. Find a mentor who is ahead of you in that area.

    “The race will go to the curious, the slightly mad, and those with an unsatiated passion for learning and daredeviltry.” – Tom Peters

    When you enjoy your life, the lines between work and play begin to blur. We do what we love and love what we do. Everything becomes a learning experience.

    13. The Law of Modeling: It’s Hard to Improve When You Have No One but Yourself to Follow

    The most important personal-growth phrase you will ever hear a good leader say to you is “follow me.”

    No matter who you are, what you have accomplished, how low or how high your life has taken you, you can benefit from having a mentor. If you’ve never had one, you have no idea how much it can improve your life. If you have had mentors, then you already know—and you should start passing it on by becoming a mentor to others, because you know that it’s hard to improve when you have no one but yourself to follow.

    “Knowledge without support is sterile. Advice without friendship feels cold. Candor without care is harsh”

    14. The Law of Expansion Growth Always Increases Your Capacity

    “There is no finish line.”—NIKE COMMERCIAL

    We don’t have a clue as to what people’s limits are. All the tests, stopwatches, and finish lines in the world can’t measure human potential. When someone is pursuing their dream, they’ll go far beyond what seems to be their limitations. The potential that exists within us is limitless and largely untapped… when you think of limits, you create them.

    When it comes to growth, you don’t want to stake your future on one “door.” It may not open! It’s much better to consider many possibilities and look for multiple answers to all of your questions. Think in terms of options.

    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. –  Henry David Thoreau

    15. The Law of Contribution: Growing Yourself Enables You to Grow Others

    “If you’re not doing something with your life, it doesn’t matter how long it is!”

    Be a River, Not a Reservoir”

    Most people who do make personal growth part of their lives do it to add value to themselves. They are like reservoirs that continually take in water but only to fill themselves up. In contrast, a river flows. Whatever water it receives, it gives away. That’s the way we should be as we learn and grow. That requires an abundance mindset—a belief that we will keep receiving. But as long as you are dedicated to personal growth, you will never experience scarcity and will always have much to give.

    There is no success without sacrifice. If we succeed without sacrifice, then it is because someone who went before us made the sacrifice. If you sacrifice and don’t see success, then someone who follows will reap success from your sacrifice.

    Owning things doesn’t bring real satisfaction. In general, if you try to feed emotional or spiritual needs with material things, all it does is make you hungrier for more things. It doesn’t satisfy. However, if you meet those needs appropriately, then you can be content with or without a lot of possessions.

    Whenever people stop actively learning and growing, the clock has started ticking down to a time when they will no longer have anything left to give. If you want to keep giving, you have to keep growing.

    “This is the true joy of life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.” – George Bernard Shaw

    Sometimes people stop learning because they become complacent. They believe they have grown enough, or they want only to make the most of what they already have in terms of skill and knowledge. But when that happens, they start to plateau and then decline. They lose their innovative spirit. They begin to think about being efficient instead of breaking ground. They cut costs instead of investing in growth. Their vision becomes very limited. And instead of playing to win, they start playing not to lose.

    All the Best in your quest to get Better. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.

    Lifelong Learner | Entrepreneur | Digital Strategist at Reputiva LLC | Marathoner | Bibliophile |

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