Today Matters by John C. Maxwell

Today-Matters-by-John-C-MaxwellWe 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.

  1. Attitude: Choose and display the right attitude daily.
  2. Priorities: Determine and act on important priorities daily.
  3. Health: Know and follow healthy guidelines daily.
  4. Family: Communicate with and care for your family daily.
  5. Thinking: Practice and develop good thinking daily.
  6. Commitment: Make and keep proper commitments daily.
  7. Finances: Make and properly manage dollars daily.
  8. Faith: Deepen and live out your faith daily.
  9. Relationships: Initiate and invest in solid relationships daily.
  10. Generosity: Plan for and model generosity daily.
  11. Values: Embrace and practice good values daily.
  12. 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.”

 

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Learn more and laugh more

bill-gates-and-warren-buffet

In July 2016, Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft and now a philanthropist, wrote a memoir on his 25 years of friendship with Warren Buffett, the world’s best investor ever and one of the most-followed businessmen.

Here is how Gates started his memoir –

I don’t remember the exact day I first met most of my friends, but with Warren Buffett I do. It was 25 years ago today: July 5, 1991.

I think the date stands out in my mind so clearly because it marked the beginning of a new and unexpected friendship for Melinda and me—one that has changed our lives for the better in every imaginable way.

Warren has helped us do two things that are impossible to overdo in one lifetime: learn more and laugh more.

Source: 25 Years of Learning and Laughter

I think the most important message from above paragraph is “learn more and laugh more”.

Always Stay A Student

Every man I meet is my master in some point, and in that I learn of him. — Ralph Waldo Emerson

The great manager and business thinker Peter Drucker says that it’s not enough simply to want to learn. As people progress, they must also understand how they learn and then set up processes to facilitate this continual education. Oth­erwise, we are selling ourselves — and our careers — dreadfully short. The maxim for every successful person, after all, is – “Always stay a student”:

Too often, convinced of our own intelligence or success, we stay in a comfort zone that ensures that we never feel stupid (and are never challenged to learn or reconsider what we know). It obscures from view various weaknesses in our under­standing, until eventually it’s too late to change course. This is where the silent toll is taken.

…the solution is as straightforward as it is initially uncom­fortable: Pick up a book on a topic you know next to noth­ing about. Put yourself in rooms where you’re the least knowledgeable person. That uncomfortable feeling, that defensiveness that you feel when your most deeply held assumptions are challenged — what about subjecting your­self to it deliberately? Change your mind. Change your surroundings.

Source: The Maxim For Every Successful Person; ‘Always Stay A Student’

Work harder on yourself than you do on your Job

quote-jim-rohn

This is a followup on the answer I wrote on Quora. There I tried my best to keep the answer short and crispy, as I hate lengthy essay type of answers, as it is very hard to read on mobile device. (I use Quora mostly on my phone).

“Work harder on yourself than you do on your Job”, wise words from the late Jim Rohn, an entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker.

What does that mean?

Well most people, if they are employed, get up and go to work and spend eight hours or more in the workplace, working hard for someone else. There is nothing wrong with that and that’s what most of us do across the world.

The cycle repeats, day after day, week after week, year after year even. A third of our day is spent at work. A third of our day is spent making someone else’s goals and visions come true. But…

How much time do you spend working on yourself?
How many books did you read last year?
How many times did you exercise last year?

Most people go to work and never think about working on themselves.This is true for our health, as well as our minds.

Rushing out the door, coffee on the way and grabbing whatever for breakfast is not taking care of your body. Sacrificing your heath and well-being for someone else just to pay the bills, that isn’t living a good life.

I’m not telling anyone to not work hard at your job. In fact, I’m saying the opposite; “Work hard at your job and be proud to do that but work harder on yourself.

Make yourself a priority. Taking daily action to improve yourself in every area of your life. Start a plan to improve your health if you need to. Start a plan to read, learn and educate yourself more on whatever subject you desire. Feed your mind with positive information that will motivate and inspire you. If you want the exact opposite of this, continue to read the newspaper and watch the TV.

As you begin to work harder on yourself, your output in your job will increase too so everyone wins here. When you work harder on yourself, every area of your life improves. Health, finances, relationships, family. Make a commitment to begin working on yourself today. It will be the best investment you ever make.

It isn’t what the book costs; it’s what it will cost you if you don’t read it. (Jim Rohn)

Brian Tracy: “Your life is never the same after you discover continuous learning, leaders are readers. If you want to be more successful on the outside you have to become more on the inside. You must be all the time continue upgrading your knowledge and skills. You can change all things for the better when you change yourself for the better. You may just be one idea away from transforming your life and you have to reaffirm the profound idea of learning and learning…. Continuous learning is your key to unlocking unlimited success and growth. That alone is life transforming.”

“It isn’t what the book costs; it’s what it will cost you if you don’t read it.” (Jim Rohn)

John Maxwell: “Learning never stops. Yesterday’s learning will keep me where I am. Today learning is only to be enough for today. Today is for today only. It got me on a path of growth which created an appetite to grow that has never stopped.I just see the benefits of it in so many ways. I can’t imagine going one day without learning something, experiencing something new, and then passing it on to others.”

“You must take on responsibility for your own education.” (Jim Rohn)

Zig Ziglar said: “When you finish school you don’t finish your education; it is a lifetime matter.’ Education goes on and on….. Education gets you a job. Self education gets you rich; formal education makes you a living; self education makes you a fortune. Never seize your quest for knowledge and development; thirst for ideas that can be life changing; and then learn to pass it on, and pass it on to your children.”

Where would you start if you wanted to improve your life? For things to change for you, you have to change! It’s about a mindset and attitude that will lead to actions!

Learning is earning

learning-is-earning

Learning Equals Earning. True or False?

The answer is True.

It might surprise you how many people think the answer is false. And they use the examples of well-known people who are extraordinarily wealthy but did not finish school. The most frequently used example is Bill Gates, who famously dropped out of Harvard and went on to become the wealthiest person on the planet.

But very few of us will be like Bill Gates. Rather, most of us earn income the old fashioned way – by getting jobs that pay well.

Learning is part of economic survival for most of us. If we don’t stay current, up to date, and continuously re-skilled in our professions (regardless of what they are), we fall behind. Thomas Picketty, the economist who wrote Capital in the 21st Century, stated it clearly in the quote below:

Over more than 300 years of history, the only predictable factor that drives individual earnings potential is “skills and knowledge.”

Learn and grow, or go obsolete.

Bonus: Read the Review of Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Bill Gates | gatesnotes

 

Lifelong Learning

We need to teach how doubt is not to be feared but welcomed. It’s OK to say, “I don’t know.” — Richard Feynman, Nobel-prize winning physicist

Abraham Lincoln said, “I do not think much of a man who is not wiser today than he was yesterday.” This opens the premise that learning is a daily adventure and doesn’t stop just because school does. Highly effective people are always focused on continuous learning and competing against themselves to grow and learn day by day.

As professional careers or working lives become extended, workplaces become more age and culturally diverse. On top of this many hard skills will need updating.

Today, with the demands made on us from every angle and attention spans decreasing,  even those who understand well the need for lifelong learning, can find it challenging to stay the course.

Peter-Drunker-quote-continuous-learning

In this video Bill Clinton answers the question “What is the most important thing you have learned?” at the Global Education and Skills Forum 2014:

I think the most important thing that I have learned is that there’s more to learn. That we should — that we should all be hungry for a lifetime.

Click here to watch the full video.

Very often, especially those who have had lengthy and rigorous training, take their foot off the gas once they have qualified, or reached a certain level of seniority.

You don’t want to go there – especially mid-career.  Make learning a priority.

Read more at:

Warnings: If you get good at learning and find that you know more than most people around you, be careful that you don’t turn into a know-it-all.