I wrote the following post last year, but as I find myself reading Maxwell’s book again, I thought I would share this again. I mentioned yesterday that I was planning on having my two oldest children (15 and 13) read this book. Maxwell was once asked which of his books he would recommend for younger students and this was his top choice (if memory serves). At any rate, the fact that I find myself reading it year after year around New Year’s speaks volumes to me. I really have found it to be a “go to” resource.
By the way, I also just started reading The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy, which hits on similar themes, but is by no means the same book as Maxwell’s. I hope to soon share some key ideas that I learn from that book soon.
Hope you find it helpful,
Key Ideas from Chapter 1 of John Maxwell’s Today Matters
Everything underneath my signature below comes directly from Chapter 1 of Maxwell’s book, Today Matters. I read it seven years ago and picked it up again last week and started reading it.
It’s a powerful book that emphasizes the importance of making and then managing daily choices. I have said often that the hardest part about life or about parenting is that it’s so daily. It’s that daily faithfulness and consistency and intentionality and discipline that enables us to make incremental, yet positive changes in our lives. Conversely, it’s the lack of faithfulness, consistency, intentionality, and discipline that moves us, ever so slowly, in the wrong direction in our lives.
Maxwell’s book does an excellent job of highlighting the various spheres of life and shows us how we can add value in our own lives and in the lives of others in those spheres. It’s not a hard read at all. In fact, it takes no time to read through a chapter. However, don’t be tempted to “read for speed.” Take your time and ponder the ideas that he shares (and the great illustrations and examples).
I don’t want to twist Joshua’s words at the end of the biblical book that bears his name, but there is a real sense in which we must “choose this day” whom or what we will serve. And while Joshua was declaring that he and his household would serve (worship, obey, follow) the one true God, I think we can certainly say that each day are we called to wake up and “choose this day” what road we will walk down. And then, the next day, we have to wake up and choose yet again… and then do it. We must be purposeful and intentional. We can’t just go with the flow. We can’t just let others decide who we will be and what we will do. We must live our own lives and that living begins with intentional choices.
Enjoy the following key ideas from Maxwell. They are worth thinking about.
Grace and Truth,
The way you live today impacts your tomorrow.
The problem is that we want the rewards of success without paying the price.
“You don’t win an Olympic gold medal with a few weeks of intensive training,” says Godin. “There’s no such thing as an overnight opera sensation. Great law firms or design companies don’t spring p overnight… Every great company, every great brand, and every great career has been built in exactly the same way bit by bit, step by step, little by little.”
The truth is that people who do nothing more than wait for an opportunity won’t be ready to capitalize on one if it does appear. As basketball legend John Wooden says,” When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” And for those who receive their wish – of a promotion, start-up money or anything else – it rarely changes anything in the long term if they haven’t already done all the groundwork to be successful.
…real, sustainable change doesn’t happen in a moment. It’s a process.
Growth comes from making decisions and following through on them.
People create success in their lives by focusing on today. It may sound trite, but today is the only time you have. It’s too late for yesterday. And you can’t depend on tomorrow. That’s why today matters.
“Yesterday Ended Last Night.” …no matter how badly I might have failed in the past, it’s done, and today is a new day.
Hoping for a good future without investing in today is like a farmer waiting for a crop without ever planting any seed.
Benjamin Franklin asserted, time is “the stuff life is made of.” Today is the only time we have within our grasp, yet many people let it slip through their fingers. They recognize neither today’s value nor its potential.
If we want to do something with our lives, then we must focus on today. That’s where tomorrow’s success lies.
Here’s the missing piece: The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda.
It all comes down on what you do today. When I talk about your daily “agenda,” I don’t mean your to-do list. …I’m focusing on something bigger. I want you to embrace what may be a whole new approach to life.
Make the Decision Once… Then Manage It Daily
If you make decisions in those key areas once and for all – and then manage those decisions daily – you can create the kind of tomorrow you desire. Successful people make right decisions early and manage those decisions daily.
Benjamin Franklin rightly observed, “One today is worth two tomorrows what I am to be, I am now becoming.”