Leo Tolstoy has been quoted as saying that “everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” John Maxwell is one of those individuals that doesn’t fit this comment and is found at the top of the motivational and growth industry. I like him because he started his career as a pastor; I believe that everything is spiritual. If a principle can stand with “the Golden Rule,” then it, and you, have my attention. He has been speaking on personal growth for 50-some years. He shares eight principles under the topic of self-improvement that we can apply to better ourselves. The first is to choose a life of growth. Next, he says to start growing today. Then we should focus on self-development, not self-fulfillment. Fourth, never stay satisfied with current accomplishments. The fifth principle is to be a continual learner. We should implement a plan for growth. To achieve this goal for personal growth, we will need to pay the price. Lastly, find a way to apply what you learn!
Here’s the Scott Arens take on John Maxwell’s eight. We should be all following a plan! This plan implies that we have a desire for growth. Therefore, we have already chosen. Improving yourself will improve the quality of your life. As for the second principle, you’re working your plan and have started. You are doing it. “Someday sickness” will not be a problem because you are growing today and not putting it off or saying that you will do it someday. Self-fulfillment is a delusion left over from the Sixties. You will never find yourself in “destination dreaming.” Happiness comes from growth. The fourth principle is to avoid being complacent or stagnant. Humble yourself and keep stretching that comfort zone. Next, never lose the desire to learn. Focus on those things within your career and those that keep life interesting. This flows into the next principle; create time within your schedule to plan your growth. Maxwell recommends an hour a day Monday through Friday marked on your calendar. Paying the price to grow is most likely our downfall. We don’t like being uncomfortable and self-development takes from our time and money. Don’t forfeit your potential! Finally, it will not do us any good to go through this entire exercise and then not accomplish anything new. He quotes Jim Rohn, “Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge. Let your learning lead to action.”
My challenge this week is to review and ponder the first seven principles and then implement the eighth by doing. I would like to finish with a Tolstoy comment. He would tell you that the key is in changing oneself because that, my friend, is changing the world! I thank you for reading the column. Please leave any comments at Scott@Arenscp.com.■