Self-Improvement 101 (John Maxwell)

Maxwell, John C. Self-Improvement 101. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009.

This might sound like a self-help book, but there is nothing feel-good about it.  It requires work, discipline, and owning up to mistakes: basically the opposite of a Joel Osteen sermon.

Patterns for Improvement

Maxwell’s goal is leadership but this could probably work in any subject.  It’s what I’ve been doing for years now.

Monday: spend one hour with a devotional to develop your spiritual life.
Tuesday: Spend one hour listening to a leadership podcast or audio lesson.
Wednesday: Spend one hour filing quotes and reflecting on the content of Tuesday’s tape.
Thursday: Spend one hour reading a book on leadership.
Friday: Spend half the hour reading the book and the other half filing and reflecting.
When you spend time reading, you should be asking:

Where can I use it?
When can I use it?
Who else needs to know it (15)?

We should aim for self-development, not self-fulfillment (10). This means attaining the purpose for which you were called.

Understanding the Learning Process

Ste 1: Act

Step 2: Look for your mistakes

Step 3: Search for a way to do it better.

Step 4: Go back to step 1 (36).

When you go to a lecture or a seminar, how will you evaluate your growth?  (While I personally dislike journals, find some filing system to….)

T: indicates you need to spend some time thinking on that point.
C: indicates something you need to change.
J: A smiley face means you are doing something well.
A: indicates something you need to apply.
S: means you need to share that information with someone else (38).

The mentoring part is tricky.  You need to find a mentor whose success is obtainable for you, yet not too easy.

“To reach your potential, get in your strength zone.”

Defining success
Know your purpose
Growing to your maximum potential
Sowing the seeds that benefit others (59).

We focus on strengths because one’s calling is connected to his giftedness.

Ten Trade Offs worth making

(1) Trade Affirmation for Accomplishment

(2) Trade Security for Significance

(3) Trade Financial Gain for Future Potential

(4) Trade Immediate Pleasure for Personal Growth

(5) Trade Exploration for Focus

(6) Trade Quantity of Life for Quality of Life

(7) Trade Acceptable for Excellent

(8) Trade Addition for Multiplication.  Leaders who gather followers add to what they are doing.  Leaders who develop leaders multiply what they are doing.

(9) Trade the first half for the second half.

(10) Trade your work for God for a walk with God.



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