Dick meets the son of a wealthy man and shows him around the city for a day. Later, the boy’s father tells Dick that “in this country poverty is no bar to achievement” and relates his own rise from apprentice printer to successful businessman. He notes that there was one thing he took away from the printing office “which I value more than money.” When Dick asks what this was, the man replies:
“A taste for reading and study. During my leisure hours I improved myself by study, and acquired a large part of the knowledge which I now possess. Indeed, it was one of my books that first put me on the track of the invention, which I afterwards made. So you see, my lad, that my studious habits paid me in money, as well as in another way.”
Source: Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks by Horatio Alger Jr.
The main take away from this book is that we should strive for success not just to get a fortune, but to gain tenacity, discipline, frugality, and optimism—qualities that cannot be bought.
We exaggerate yesterday, overestimate tomorrow and ultimately, underestimate today. The way you live your life today is preparing you for your tomorrow.
Today Matters by John C. Maxwell, addresses this problem with daily disciplines. These disciplines are categorized by the 12 concepts(aka The Daily Dozen) of attitude, priorities, health, family, thinking, commitment, finances, faith, relationships, generosity, values and growth.
- Attitude: Choose and display the right attitude daily.
- Priorities: Determine and act on important priorities daily.
- Health: Know and follow healthy guidelines daily.
- Family: Communicate with and care for your family daily.
- Thinking: Practice and develop good thinking daily.
- Commitment: Make and keep proper commitments daily.
- Finances: Make and properly manage dollars daily.
- Faith: Deepen and live out your faith daily.
- Relationships: Initiate and invest in solid relationships daily.
- Generosity: Plan for and model generosity daily.
- Values: Embrace and practice good values daily.
- Growth: Seek and experience improvements daily.
Each chapter is devoted to one of the concepts listed above and includes a description, thoughts for reflection and exercises. There are many inspirational stories and fun facts to keep the book interesting and to make these concepts more applicable to real world situations.
Throughout each chapter the author gives examples on how to embrace the values he discuss. If you don’t have your own core value set that you base your life off of, then some of these might be a good starting point for you to consider investing your time and energy into.
”By making today great, you can make your life great, because when you take care of today, tomorrow will take care of itself.”