John Maxwell is the author of over 100 books but the most known is The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You. Even though his work focuses mainly on leadership, a lot of what he teaches can definitely be implemented in all areas of our lives.
This is why I decided to put together these lessons, for you to get to know the man who has influenced millions upon millions of people all over the world. He is incredible.
Life-Changing Lessons to Learn from the Inspiring John Maxwell
1. We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are.
“We cannot become what we need by remaining what we are.”~ John Maxwell
2. The greatest day in your life is when you take total responsibility for your attitude.
“The greatest day in your life and mine is when we take total responsibility for our attitudes. That’s the day we truly grow up.”~ John Maxwell
3. If you don’t change the direction you are going, then you’re likely to end up where you’re heading.
“If you don’t change the direction you are going, then you’re likely to end up where you’re heading…”
4. Success is knowing your purpose in life.
“Success is… knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.”
5. The whole idea of motivation is a trap.After you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.
“The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or whatever. Do it without motivation. And then, guess what? After you start doing the thing, that’s when the motivation comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.”~ John Maxwell
6. A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.
“A man must be big enough to admit his mistakes, smart enough to profit from them, and strong enough to correct them.”~ John Maxwell
7. The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.
“The greatest mistake we make is living in constant fear that we will make one.”~ John Maxwell
8. If you start today to do the right thing, you are already a success even if it doesn’t show yet.
“If you start today to do the right thing, you are already a success even if it doesn’t show yet.”~ John Maxwell
9. Everything begins with a decision. Then, we have to manage that decision for the rest of your life.
“Everything begins with a decision. Then, we have to manage that decision for the rest of your life.”~ John Maxwell
10. A successful leader will always find he right place for others, not just for himself.
“A successful person finds the right place for himself. But a successful leader finds the right place for others.~ John Maxwell
11. You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.
“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.”~ John Maxwell
12. If a change doesn’t feel uncomfortable, then it’s propably not really a change.
“Dont ever be impressed with goal setting; be impressed with goal getting. Reaching new goals and moving to a higher level of performance always requires change, and change feels awkward. But take comfort in the knowledge that if a change doesn’t feel uncomfortable, then it’s propably not really a change.”~ John Maxwell
13. The wisest person of all learns from others’ successes.
“It’s said that a wise person learns from his mistakes. A wiser one learns from others’ mistakes. But the wisest person of all learns from others’s successes.”
14. Always look around yourself and notice, learn, grow.
“Look behind you: What have you learned? Look around you: What is happening to others? Look above you: What does God expect of you? Look besides you: What resources are available to you?”~ John Maxwell
15. If you wouldn’t follow yourself, why should anyone else?
“If you wouldn’t follow yourself, why should anyone else?”~ John Maxwell
16. When the leader lacks confidence, the followers lack commitment.
“When the leader lacks confidence, the followers lack commitment.”~ John Maxwell
17. You can’t move people to action unless you first move them with emotion.
“You can’t move people to action unless you first move them with emotion…. The heart comes before the head.”~ John Maxwell
18. He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.
“He who thinks he leads, but has no followers, is only taking a walk.”~ John Maxwell
19. People treat you according to how they see themselves, rather than how you really are.
“When you realize that people treat you according to how they see themselves rather than how you really are, you are less likely to be affected by their behavior.”~ John Maxwell
20. A person who knows how may always have a job, but the person who knows why will always be his boss.
“A person who knows how may always have a job, but the person who knows why will always be his boss.”~ John Maxwell
21. Comparing yourself to others is really just a needless distraction.
“Comparing yourself to others is really just a needless distraction. The only one you should compare yourself to is you. Your mission is to become better today than you were yesterday. You do that by focusing on what you can do today to improve and grow.”
22. You are a work in progress.
“I always try to remember that I am a work in progress. When I maintain that perspective, I realize that I don’t have to be perfect. I don’t have to have it all together. I don’t need to try to have all the answers. And I don’t need to learn everything in a day.
When I make a mistake, it’s not because I’m a failure or worthless. I just didn’t do something right because I still haven’t improved enough in some part of the process. And that motivates me to keep growing and improving. If I don’t know something, it’s an opportunity to try to improve in a new area.”~ John Maxwell
23. People’s successes are measured by the size of their thinking.
“Where success is concerned, people are not measured in inches, or pounds, or college degrees, or family background; they are measured by the size of their thinking.”~ John Maxwell
24. It is easier to move from failure to success in from excuses to success.
“It is easier to move from failure to success in from excuses to success.”~ John Maxwell
25. Humility is about thinking of yourself less.
“People with humility don’t think less of themselves; they just think of themselves less.”
26. Thinking is hard work; that’s why so few do it.
“Thinking is hard work; that’s why so few do it.”
27. Little progress is better than no progress at all
“Little progress is better than no progress at all. Success comes in taking many small steps. If you stumble in a small step, it rarely matters. Don’t gift wrap the garbage. Let little failures go.”
28. People tend to become what the most important people in their lives think they will become.
“People tend to become what the most important people in their lives think they will become.”
29. Great leaders always seem to embody two seemingly disparate qualities. They are both highly visionary and highly practical.
“Great leaders always seem to embody two seemingly disparate qualities. They are both highly visionary and highly practical.”
30. Nothing will make a better impression on your leader than your ability to manage yourself.
“Nothing will make a better impression on your leader than your ability to manage yourself. If your leader must continually expend energy managing you, then you will be perceived as someone who drains time and energy. If you manage yourself well, however, your boss will see you as someone who maximizes opportunities and leverages personal strengths. That will make you someone your leader turns to when the heat is on.”~ John Maxwell
31. Your thinking, more than anything else, shapes the way you live.
“Your thinking, more than anything else, shapes the way you live. It’s really true that if you change your thinking, you can change your life.”~ John Maxwell
32. Life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% of how we react to it
“ Life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% of how we react to it ”~ John Maxwell
33. Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you?
“Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you?”~ John Maxwell
34. When people respect you as a person, they admire you. When they respect you as a friend, they love you. When they respect you as a leader, they follow you.
“When people respect you as a person, they admire you. When they respect you as a friend, they love you. When they respect you as a leader, they follow you.”
35. People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.
“People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.”~ John Maxwell
“You don’t really understand people until you hear their life story. If you know their stories, you grasp their history, their hurts, their hopes and aspirations. You put yourself in their shoes. And just by virtue of listening and remembering what’s important to them, you communicate that you care and desire to add value.”
“As people gain more authority, they often develop a lack of patience in listening to those under them. A deaf ear is the first indication of a closed mind.”
“You could use the 80/20 rule. Give 80 percent of your effort to the top 20 percent (most important) activities. Another way is to focus on exceptional opportunities that promise a huge return. It comes down to this: give your attention to the areas that bear fruit.”
“It is true: most people are more satisfied with old problems than committed to finding new solutions.”
“Good leaders motivate others by their listening skills. We are to: avoid prejudicial first impressions; become less self-centered; withhold initial criticism; stay calm; listen with empathy; be active listeners; clarify what we hear; and recognize the healing power of listening. Then we are to act on what we hear”
“No, none of these things are the key. When it comes right down to it, I know of only one factor that separates those who consistently shine from those who don’t: The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure. Nothing else has the same kind of impact on people’s ability to achieve and to accomplish whatever their minds and hearts desire.”
“In life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with your problems. If the possibility of failure were erased, what would you attempt to achieve?
The essence of man is imperfection. Know that you’re going to make mistakes. The fellow who never makes a mistake takes his orders from one who does. Wake up and realize this: Failure is simply a price we pay to achieve success.
Achievers are given multiple reasons to believe they are failures. But in spite of that, they persevere. The average for entrepreneurs is 3.8 failures before they finally make it in business.
When achievers fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic.
Procrastination is too high a price to pay for fear of failure. To conquer fear, you have to feel the fear and take action anyway. Forget motivation. Just do it. Act your way into feeling, not wait for positive emotions to carry you forward.
Recognize that you will spend much of your life making mistakes. If you can take action and keep making mistakes, you gain experience.
Life is playing a poor hand well. The greatest battle you wage against failure occurs on the inside, not the outside.
Why worry about things you can’t control when you can keep yourself busy controlling the things that depend on you?
Handicaps can only disable us if we let them. If you are continually experiencing trouble or facing obstacles, then you should check to make sure that you are not the problem.
Be more concerned with what you can give rather than what you can get because giving truly is the highest level of living.
Embrace adversity and make failure a regular part of your life. If you’re not failing, you’re probably not really moving forward.
Everything in life brings risk. It’s true that you risk failure if you try something bold because you might miss it. But you also risk failure if you stand still and don’t try anything new.
The less you venture out, the greater your risk of failure. Ironically the more you risk failure — and actually fail — the greater your chances of success.
If you are succeeding in everything you do, then you’re probably not pushing yourself hard enough. And that means you’re not taking enough risks. You risk because you have something of value you want to achieve.
The more you do, the more you fail. The more you fail, the more you learn. The more you learn, the better you get.
Determining what went wrong in a situation has value. But taking that analysis another step and figuring out how to use it to your benefit is the real difference maker when it comes to failing forward. Don’t let your learning lead to knowledge; let your learning lead to action.
The last time you failed, did you stop trying because you failed, or did you fail because you stopped trying?
Commitment makes you capable of failing forward until you reach your goals. Cutting corners is really a sign of impatience and poor self-discipline.
Successful people have learned to do what does not come naturally. Nothing worth achieving comes easily. The only way to fail forward and achieve your dreams is to cultivate tenacity and persistence.
Never say die. Never be satisfied. Be stubborn. Be persistent. Integrity is a must. Anything worth having is worth striving for with all your might.
If we look long enough for what we want in life we are almost sure to find it. Success is in the journey, the continual process. And no matter how hard you work, you will not create the perfect plan or execute it without error. You will never get to the point that you no longer make mistakes, that you no longer fail.
The next time you find yourself envying what successful people have achieved, recognize that they have probably gone through many negative experiences that you cannot see on the surface.
Fail early, fail often, but always fail forward.”