12 Quotes From “Think On These Things”

think-on-these-thingsJohn Maxwell’s books always inspire me to think differently. In Think On These Things—the first book Maxwell wrote—we get to see the seed thoughts that would appear in fuller form in his later books. Be sure to check out my review of Think On These Things by clicking here, and then enjoy a dozen John Maxwell quotes.

“Your life today is a result of your thinking yesterday. Your life tomorrow will be determined by what you think today.”

“The truth of a man is known not by how he acts when he is in control but how he reacts when things are beyond his control.”

“Your willingness to learn and adjust positively from mistakes and shortcomings will largely determine how far you will travel the road to success.”

“A thankful heart is one that has had time to count blessings.”

“Our spiritual, physical, and emotional condition will greatly determine how we react to situations. The better we feel, the more capable we will be to evaluate difficult situations and make important decisions.”

“If you haven’t made any mistakes lately, I question if you are trying hard enough. … When you make a mistake, you can resolve never to make another one. But that is impossible. You can decide that mistakes are too costly and become fearful of them, that that fear will keep you from fulfilling your potential. You can constantly think about your mistakes and live with regret, but that is self-torture. Finally, you can learn from your mistakes and become a better person, and that is progress.”

“Success is never instantaneous. It is never an accident. Success is continuous. It takes growth and development. It is achieving one thing and using that as a stepping-stone to rise higher up the mountain of accomplishment.”

“No problem will leave you the same person after it has gone. Problems are the great dividers between success and failure. How you handle them will determine on which side you will live.”

“An experience is not a failure if it prods us to keep on trying. An experience is not a failure if through it we discover how we failed and put that knowledge to good use. An experience is not a failure if through it we discover our own true selves. An experience is not a failure if through it we become better-disciplined individuals.”

“Problems are reminders. They remind us that we need God’s help to handle the upheavals of life.”

“Experience is a hard teacher. She gives the test first and the lesson afterward. Experience is yesterday’s answer to today’s problems.”

“It is vitally important to realize that either the situations around us control our lives or we control them.”

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17 Quotes From John Maxwell In “15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth”

15 Invaluable Laws of GrowthJohn Maxwell books almost exhaust my highlighter because of all the great content I am trying to take in! You can read my book review of 15 Invaluable Laws Of Growth by clicking here. Below is the first batch of quotes from this book.

“No one improves by accident. Personal growth doesn’t just happen on its own. And once you’re done with your formal education, you must take complete ownership of the growth process, because nobody else will do it for you.”

“I had to get started if I wanted to find the best way. It’s similar to driving on an unfamiliar road at night. Ideally, you would like to be able to see your whole route before you begin. But you see it progressively. As you move forward, a little more of the road is revealed to you. If you want to see more of the way, then get moving.”

“You discover the reasons to stay with growth only if you stick with it long enough to start reaping the benefits.”

“Preparation (growth) + attitude + opportunity + action (doing something about it) = luck”

“The greatest danger you face in this moment is the idea that you will make intentional growth a priority later.” 

“Guard your self-talk. Whether you know it or not, you have a running conversation with yourself all the time. What is the nature of yours? Do you encourage yourself? Or do you criticize yourself? If you are positive, then you helped to create a positive self-image. If you’re negative, you undermine your self-worth. … If we want to change our lives, we have to change the way we think of ourselves. If we want to change the way we think of ourselves, we need to change the way we talk to ourselves.”

“Stop comparing yourself to others. … What happens when you compare yourself to others? Usually it’s one of two things: either you perceive the other person to be far ahead of you and you feel discouraged, or you perceive yourself to be better than the other person, and you become proud. Neither of those is good for you, and neither will help you to grow. 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.”

“Motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing.”

“If you don’t try to create the future you want, you must endure the future you get.”

“I’ve never known anyone who said, ‘I love problems,’ but I’ve known many you have admitted that their greatest gains came in the middle of their pain.”

“Life’s difficulties do not allow us to stay the same. They move us. The question is, in which direction will we be moved: forward or backward? When we have bad experiences, do we become bitter or better? Will those experiences limit us or lead us to grow?”

“If you have ever settled for the status quo and then wondered why your life isn’t going the way you’d hoped, then you need to realize that you will only reach your potential if you have the courage to push yourself outside your comfort zone and break out of a mind-set of mediocrity. You must be willing to leave behind what feels familiar, safe, and secure. You must give up excuses and push forward. You must be willing to face the tension that comes from stretching toward your potential.”

“Where do you find the internal impetus for stretching? Measure what you’re doing against what you’re capable of. Measure yourself against yourself. … The greatest stretching seasons of life come when we do what we have never done, push ourselves harder, and reach in a way that is uncomfortable to us. That takes courage, but the good news is that it causes us to grow in ways we thought were impossible.”

“Even the bad choices can ultimately help us to change for good, because they clarify our thinking and show us ourselves.”

“When it comes to growth and success, immediate gratification is almost always the enemy of growth. We can choose to please ourselves and plateau, or we can delay our gratification and grow. It’s our choice.”

“Stop thinking ‘more work’ and start thinking ‘what works?’ Asked most people how they can increase the capacity and they’ll tell you by working more. There’s a problem with that solution. More work will not necessarily increase your capacity. More of the same usually results in more of the same, when what we actually want is better than what we have.”

“I believe it honors God when we enjoy life and live it well. That means taking risks—sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but always learning.” 

9 More Quotes From “Mentoring 101”

The Complete 101 SeriesJohn Maxwell always includes the best quotes from other authors in his books. Here are some of the quotes he shared in Mentoring 101.

“We exist temporarily through what we take, but we live forever through what we give.” —Douglas M. Lawson

“When people are made to feel secure and important and appreciated, it will no longer be necessary for them to whittle down others in order to seem bigger in comparison.” —Virginia Arcastle

“Some of us tend to think, ‘I could have been a success, but I never had the opportunity. I wasn’t born into the right family, or I didn’t have the money to go to the best school.’ But when we measure success by the extent were using what we’ve received, it eliminates that frustration.” —Fred Smith

“A true measure of your worth includes all the benefits others have gained from your success.” —Cullen Hightower

“Always help people increase their own self-esteem. Develop your skills in making other people feel important. There is hardly a higher compliment you can pay an individual than helping him be useful and to find satisfaction from his usefulness.” —Donald Laird

“There are a lot of coaches with a good ball clubs who know the fundamentals and have plenty of discipline but still don’t win the game. Then you come to the third ingredient: If you’re going to play together as a team, you’ve got to care for one another. You’ve got to love each other. Each player has to be thinking about the next guy and saying to himself: ‘If I don’t block that man, Paul is going to get his legs broken. I have to do my job well in order that he can do his.’ The difference between mediocrity and greatness is the feeling these guys have for each other.” —Vince Lombardi

“There is no future in any job. The future lies in the person who holds the job.” —Dr. George W. Crane

“The reason so many people never get anywhere in life is because when opportunity knocks, they are out in the backyard looking for four-leaf clovers.” —Walter P. Chrysler

“The greatest leader is willing to train people and develop them to the point that they eventually surpass him or her in knowledge and ability.” —Fred A. Manske, Jr.

To read the quotes from John Maxwell that I shared from this book, please click here.

14 Quotes From John Maxwell In “Mentoring 101”

The Complete 101 SeriesI recently reviewed The Complete 101 Collection by John Maxwell. These are a great introduction to many of his more in-depth books (you can read my review by clicking here). Here are some quotes from Dr. Maxwell in Mentoring 101.

“Most people who desire success focus almost entirely on themselves, not others, when they start to make the journey. They usually think in terms of what they can get—in position, power, prestige, money, and perks. But that’s not the way to become truly successful. To do that, you have to give to others.”

“A person consumed with himself never considers spending time raising others up.”

“I believe that innate sense of motivation continues to exist in adults, but for too many people it has been beaten down by lack of support, busyness, stress, bad attitudes, lack of appreciation, scarce resources, poor training, or faulty communication. To get people excited about growing to their potential, you need to re-motivate them. Once you help them overcome the old things that knocked them down, they often motivate themselves.”

“As you develop people, remember that you are taking them on the journey towards success with you, not sending them. Stay with them until they’re ready to fly. And when they are ready, get them on their way.”

“The people closest to me determine my level of success or failure. The better they are, the better I am. And if I want to go to the highest level, I can do it only with the help of other people. We have to take each other higher.”

“When we examine ourselves, we naturally give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. Why? Because we see ourselves in the light of our intentions. On the other hand, when we look at others, we usually judge them according to their actions. Think about how much more positive our interaction with others would be if we believed the best in them and gave them the benefit of the doubt, just as we do for ourselves.”

“A study of 105 executives determined many of the characteristics shared by successful executives. One particular trait was defined as the most valuable: they admitted their mistakes and accepted the consequences rather than trying to blame others.”

“You can hire people to work for you, but you must win their hearts by believing in them in order to have them work with you.”

“Encouragement helps them reach their potential; it empowers them by giving them an energy to continue when they make mistakes. Use lots of positive reinforcement with your people. Don’t take acceptable work for granted; thank people for it. Praise a person every time you see improvement. And personalize your encouragement any time you can.”

“When you equip people, you teach them how to do a job. Development is different. When you develop people, you are helping them improve as individuals. You are helping them acquire personal qualities that will benefit them in many areas of life, not just their jobs.”

“There is no development without hard lessons. Almost all growth comes when we have positive responses to negative things.”

“When you don’t want to have a difficult conversation, you need to ask yourself: Is it because it will hurt them or hurt me? If it is because it will hurt you, then you’re being selfish. Good leaders get past the discomfort of having difficult conversations for the sake of the people they lead and the organization. The thing you need to remember is that people will work through difficult things if they believe you want to work with them.”

“Experience alone isn’t a good enough teacher—evaluated experience is. As the leader, you need to evaluate what looks like a win to make sure it is actually teaching what your employee needs to learn in order to grow and develop.”

“There is no greater accomplishment for mentors than when people they develop pass them by!”

6 More Quotes From “Teamwork 101”

Teamwork 101As always, John Maxwell includes a whole bunch of great quotes from other sources to make his case. In Teamwork 101, here are a few of the quotes I enjoyed.

“Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.” —Albert Einstein

“The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.” —Niccolo Machiavelli

“In order to have a winner, the team must have a feeling of unity. Every player must put the team first ahead of personal glory.” —Paul Bear Bryant

“The freedom to do your own thing ends when you have obligations and responsibilities. If you want to fail yourself—you can—but you cannot do your own thing if you have responsibilities to team members.” —Lou Holtz

“All getting separates you from others; all giving unites to others.” —Francis of Assisi

“No man can live happily who regards himself alone, who turns everything to his own advantage. You must live for others if you wish to live for yourself.” —Seneca

If you would like to read some of the original John Maxwell quotes from Teamwork 101, please click here.

Links & Quotes

link quote

“People in the unbelieving world have witnessed a good bit of hypocrisy, shallowness, disingenuousness, dishonesty, and corruption among the members of the Church. Many of them have installed a spam filter on their brains which automatically blocks anyone calling himself a Christian as having anything meaningful or significant to say. The only way to remove that filter is through a credible life of goodness, sincerity, and love. … Our credible lives, by themselves, won’t lead anyone to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. For this, we must be bold to make God’s Good News known, and to make it make sense.” —T.M. Moore

A related post: 5 Big Things We Get Wrong When Talking To Atheists About God.

“God is a mountain spring, not a watering trough. A mountain spring is self-replenishing. It constantly overflows and supplies others. But a watering trough needs to be filled with a pump or bucket brigade. If you want to glorify the worth of a watering trough you work hard to keep it full and useful. But if you want to glorify the worth of a spring you do it by getting down on your hands and knees and drinking to your heart’s satisfaction, until you have the refreshment and strength to go back down in the valley and tell people what you’ve found. My hope as a desperate sinner hangs on this biblical truth: that God is the kind of God Who will be pleased with the one thing I have to offer—my thirst. That is why the sovereign freedom and self-sufficiency of God are so precious to me: they are the foundation of my hope that God is delighted not by the resourcefulness of bucket brigades, but by the bending down of broken sinners to drink at the fountain of grace.” —John Piper

Pornography destroys lives! Here are 5 ways porn devastates lives.

In his battle against pornography and gluttony, Jimmy Needham wrote, “Real freedom came for me when I began, by God’s grace, to see that my cravings were for more than just food or sex. All my appetites were, at root, for an all-satisfying God.” Read more in his post Our Odyssey Against Sexual Temptation.

“If America is to survive, we must elect…individuals who will seek Divine guidance in the affairs of state.” —Billy Graham

“God commands you to choose for rulers, just men who will rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect their duty and place unprincipled men in office, the government will soon be corrupted.” —Noah Webster

[VIDEO] John Maxwell shares one of my favorite anecdotes to make a good point about efficiency—

10 Quotes From John Maxwell In “Teamwork 101”

Teamwork 101The 101 Series of book from John Maxwell is a great introduction to the many topics which he address in greater depth in other books. Here are some quotes from Dr. Maxwell which I especially enjoyed.

“I believe that insecurity, rather than poor judgment or lack of intelligence, most often causes leaders to surround themselves with weak people.”

“On good teams, trust is a nonnegotiable. On winning teams, players extend trust to one another. Initially that is a risk because their trust can be violated and they can be hurt. At the same time that they are giving trust freely, they conduct themselves in such a way to earn trust from others. They hold themselves to a high standard. When everyone gives freely and bonds of trust are developed and are tested over time, players began to have faith in one another. They believe that the person next to them will act with consistency, keep commitments, maintain confidences, and support others. The stronger the sense of community becomes, the greater their potential to work together. Developing a sense of community in a team does not mean there is never conflict. All teams experienced disagreements. All relationships have tension. But you can work them out.”

“Create an environment that unleashes new leaders.” 

“Teams that don’t bond can’t build.”

“For a team to be successful, the teammates have to know they will look out for one another.” 

“In a sport such as basketball, the players on the team recognize that scoring is what is important. When a team is more effective at scoring than the opponent, it wins. Because the team members know that, they spend their time in improving and perfecting their ability to score. That is their focus. In contrast, in many organizational settings, the team members don’t know what it means to ‘score.’ They may have a list of duties, but they don’t know how those duties go together to make a score. It would be the equivalent of a basketball player who knew how to set a pick, dribble, and pass, but who never knew all the skills were used together to score baskets. If just one player on a basketball team doesn’t know what is important to the team, it makes him ineffective. And when he is in the game, it is impossible for the team to succeed. The same is true in any organization. Anyone who doesn’t know what’s important to the team not only fails to contribute to the team, but actually prevents the team from achieving success. That is why it is so important for leaders of the team to identify what is important to the team and to communicate that information to her team members.”

“People on the team must be made to feel that they are in an environment where it is safe to offer suggestions or criticism without feeling threatened.” 

“The key to being competitive is channeling it in a positive way. If you squash it, you lose an edge that motivates you to do some of your best work. If you let it run wild, you run over your teammates and alienate them. But if you control it and directed, competitiveness can help you succeed.”

“Don’t let the personality of someone you work with cause you to lose sight of the greater purpose, which is to add value to the team and advance the organization. If that means listening to the ideas of people with whom you have no chemistry, or worse, a difficult history, so be it. Set aside your pride and listen. And in cases where you must reject the ideas of others, make sure you reject only the idea and not the person.” 

“Being an encouraging leader and leading across is not about getting your own way. It’s not about winning at all costs. It’s about winning respect and influence with your peers so that you can help the whole team win. Should you be passionate and determined, believing in yourself and your ability to contribute? Definitely. Should you hold on to your deeply held values and stand on principle when those are in jeopardy? Absolutely. But never forget that having a collaborative spirit helps the organization. When you think in terms of our idea instead of my idea or her idea, you’re probably on track to helping the team win.”

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