This week’s book of the week is John C. Maxwell’s Intentional Living. John has sold over 26 million books many of them on leadership.5 We will probably be revisiting many more of his books later on. I would like to include the classic, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership later in 2019. I broke this next section into 3 core values that I found in the reading. The first one is belief.
“One of the most important steps you can take in life is to increase your belief. If you don’t believe you can make a difference, guess what? You won’t-no matter how talented you are, how many opportunities you receive, or how many resources you have at your fingertips. You have to belief.”¹
Belief is necessary to see something through. If you can’t believe how can you expect others to believe you as well? True belief gets tested. It is not always supported. There will be naysayers. If you are doing anything of importance, there will be critics. But when you come across those critics, just know and understand that you are headed in the right direction. There are times to listen to your pears, those counselors and to take heed. But when it comes to your mission, it is absolutely vital to stay on task. But to do so you need to make sure that your tasks are centered around #2’s core value, a focused purpose.
#2 A Focused Purpose
“When you get ready for a trip, almost all of your effort is focused on the purpose of the trip. That’s why it’s a lot more fun to pack for a trip then it is to unpack afterward. This concept applies more broadly to our lives. Whatever path you travel, you’re going to be able to do things more significantly because you understand your purpose for being there.”²
A focused purpose is all about your “why”. I absolutely love the above metaphor from John C. Maxwell. When you have purpose, when you have defined your why, you jump out of bed. It leaps beyond so called work into a mission. You become like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, where nothing will get in your way. There may be hurdles and there may be setbacks, but with a focused purpose and belief you keep going, keep figuring out how to get there.
#3 Add Value to Others
“The first question you must ask yourself is this: How can I add value to others? If you can quiet yourself enough to listen for that answer from within yourself, you will begin to understand your why. I have to tell you that this question has been the foundation and driver of every significant act in my life.”³
There is no better purpose than to add value to others. If your believes and your why only serves yourself, you become like Marvin the Martian trying to destroy planet earth for the beautiful sight of Venus.6 Adding value to others only strengthens your purpose and adds lasting joy instead of fleeting happiness.
“‘The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson”4
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