16 Insightful Quotes From “Intentional Living”

Intentional LivingJohn Maxwell’s books always contain so many great quotes from other wise men and women. Here are a few that caught my highlighter in Intentional Living.

“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” —Soren Kierkegaard

“If you aren’t in over your head, how do you know how tall you are?” —T.S. Eliot

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently…. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” —Steve Jobs

“One of the best places to start to turn your life around is by doing whatever appears on your mental ‘I should’ list.” —Jim Rohn

“You must get involved to have an impact. No one is impressed with the won-lost record of a referee.” —Napoleon Hill

“Most people don’t aim too high and miss. They aim too low and hit.” —Bob Moawad

“Anybody can do their best. God helps us do better than our best.” —Catherine Bramwell-Booth

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it makes some difference that you have lived and lived well.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Our souls are not hungry for fame, comfort, wealth, or power. Those rewards create almost as many problems as they solve. Our souls are hungry for meaning, for the sense that we have figured out how to live so that our lives matter, so that the world will be at least a little bit different for our having passed through it.” —Rabbi Harold Kushner

“People who matter most are aware that everyone else does, too.” —Malcolm Forbes

“Selfishness is the greatest challenge for a coach. Most players are more concerned with making themselves better than the team.” —John Wooden

“There is a direct relationship between your own level of self-esteem and the health of your personality. The more you like and respect yourself, the more you like and respect other people. The more you consider yourself to be a valuable and worthwhile person, the more you consider others to be valuable and worthwhile as well. The more you accept yourself just as you are, the more you accept others just as they are.” —Brian Tracy

“One of the greatest diseases is to be nobody to anybody.” —Mother Teresa

“Choose the way of life. Choose the way of love. Choose the way of caring. Choose the way of hope. Choose the way of belief in tomorrow. Choose the way of trusting. Choose the way of goodness. It’s up to you.” —Leo Buscaglia

“We’re concerned with how things turn out; God seems more concerned with how we turn out.” —Philip Yancey

“Most hockey players follow the puck on the ice. I never skate to where the puck is. I skate to where it is going.” —Wayne Gretzky

John Maxwell has a lot of great quotes himself! Here is the first batch of quotes I shared from Intentional Living. And be sure to check out my review of this outstanding book.

Links & Quotes

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“The thing required is not to add to the good actions we have already done, but only to do that out of love to God which men of reputation and virtuous lives due from a principle of honor and regard of themselves. …  Let us do all the same honest and virtuous actions, but let us do them for the sake of Him Who made us and to Whom we owe our all.” —Françoise Fenelon

“If, when no one is watching us, we are building ourselves up in the Word of God, then, when a crisis comes, we shall stand; but if we are not building on the Word of God, when a crisis comes we shall go down, no matter what our wills are like.” —Oswald Chambers

“So the issue for us is: Do we eagerly long for the coming of Christ? Or do we want Him to wait while our love affair with the world runs its course?” —John Piper

For all of my pastor friends who have kids, this post from Pastor Dave Barringer is an important read.

Dr. Tim Elmore uses John Wooden as a great example to ask the question: Are You A Coach Or A Teacher?

Have you heard that there are fewer Christians in America? Check out John Stonestreet’s analysis of the latest reports.

[VIDEO] John Maxwell talks about the consistency and perseverance of the professional—

Book Reviews From 2014

John Wooden On Marriage

Winning With PrincipleJohn Wooden wasn’t just a successful basketball coach, he was successful off the court as well. His courtship, marriage, and ongoing love for his bride years after her death is a sweet story. Check out what Coach had to say about marriage—

“Folks think Nellie and I had a perfect marriage, but it was because we worked at it. There are rough patches in any marriage. Very early, we understood that there would be times when we disagreed, but there would never be times when we had to be disagreeable.” 

“I had a successful basketball career, but I believe I had an even more successful marriage.”

I have more quotes from Coach Wooden posted here. And you can read my review of the book Winning With Principle, a book of quotes from Wooden, but clicking here.

Poetry Saturday—Don’t Look Back

John WoodenThe years have left their imprint
On my hands and on my face.
Erect no longer is my walk
And slower is my pace.

But there is no fear within my heart
Because I’m growing old
I only wish I had more time
To better serve my Lord.

When I’ve gone to Him in prayer
He has brought me inner peace
And soon my cares and worries
And other problems cease.

He has helped in so many ways,
He has never let me down,
Why should I fear the future
When soon I could be near His crown.

Though I know down here my time is short
There is endless time up there
And He will forgive and keep me
Forever in His loving care.

May I not waste an hour
That’s left to glorify the Name
Of the One Who died, that we might live
And for our sins, took all the blame. —John Wooden


17 Quotes From “Winning With Principle”

Winning With PrincipleJohn Wooden won the right way: with principle and integrity. And his wins were not short-lived, but they can last a lifetime. Check out a few quotes from Winning With Principle, a collection of quotes from Coach. You can read my full book review by clicking here.

“You learn as much from those under your supervision as they do from you.”

“Truth will always stand the test of scrutiny.”

“There is no substitute for hard work. If you are looking for the easy way, the shortcut … you’ll not be developing your talents.”

“The best competition I have is against myself to become better.”

“Time spent getting even would be better spent getting ahead.”

“Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of the self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best you are capable of becoming.”

“There is nothing stronger than gentleness.”

“You can do more good by being good than any other way.”

“If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.”

“Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.”

“Don’t measure yourself by what you have accomplished, but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.”

“Players with fight never lose a game; they just run out of time.”

“The shining trophies on our shelves can never win tomorrow’s game.”

“Always try to be better today than you were yesterday.”

“Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It’s courage that counts.”

“Things turn out the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

“Consider the rights of others before your own feelings and the feelings of others before your own rights.”

Winning With Principle (book review)

Winning With PrincipleNot only did John Wooden win, and win, and win on the basketball court, he won off the basketball court too. Literally decades after he stopped coaching, his players still traced their off-the-court success to the principles Coach taught them, and they continued to seek out his wise counsel. Winning With Principle is a collection of quotes from this legendary coach.

Coach Wooden was a lifelong learner. He relied on lessons his father taught him, he continued to read and memorize other wise people, and he continually learned how to adapt with the changing times. Some people have called Wooden’s maxims “homespun wisdom,” but I call it down-to-earth practical wisdom.

There are dozens of books that Wooden’s former players have written on the life lessons they leaned from Coach, but it’s best to hear from the man himself. This book of quotes is the perfect introduction to this amazing man’s wisdom.

Smarter Work

I met this morning with my teaching team. These are some great leaders-in-training who are helping me both think through what we need to talk about with our students in our youth group, and they help teach some of these points as well. This morning we refined the next series that we want to deliver. I had a pretty good idea going in, but my teaching team made it so much better!

I love leadership teams. The New Testament frequently uses the phrase one another to show that “all of us” is a lot better than “one of us.”

  • My team helps me think of things I may have missed on my own
  • My team challenges me to clarify my words
  • My team gives me perspectives that I wouldn’t have caught
  • My team makes my good ideas better
  • My team gives me a chance to invest in and train up the next generation of leaders

Do you have a good team around you? Do you have people challenging you to think in new ways? Do you have people who can sharpen you? Do you have people around you that pour into your life, and allow you to invest in them too?

Two great team quotes from some coaches who knew what they were talking about:

“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 want to have responsibilities to your team members.” —Lou Holtz

“The main ingredient in stardom is the rest of the team.” —John Wooden

I promise you “all of us” makes you look a whole lot smarter than just “one of us”! If you’re not already, start developing a team—you’ll be glad you did.

Apples To Apples

As I was packing some sliced apples in school lunches I was contemplating the cliché about comparing apples-to-apples. We use this cliché when things are similar, or at least in the same category. If things are dissimilar or in different categories we might say we’re comparing apples-to-oranges.

If your life was in the “apple” category, to what other “apple” would you compare? Interesting question!

You are a unique individual. God has not made—ever—anyone like you, nor will He ever—in all of the future—make another “apple” like you. You are a one-of-a-kind, completely distinct from the 7 billion human beings on Earth right now. No one who has ever lived or ever will live is an “apple” like you.

So comparing yourself to anyone else is always an apples-to-oranges comparison.

Again I ask you to consider: to what other “apple” would you compare?

I believe the only other apple to which you can honestly and realistically compare yourself is: YOU! You can only compare yourself to the God-given potential in you. You are your own apple-to-apple comparison because no one else is in your category. God doesn’t expect you to be an Albert Einstein or a Winston Churchill or a Madam Curie—He just expects you to be you. To be the best you He created you to be.

Earnestly desire and zealously cultivate the greatest and best gifts and graces (1 Corinthians 12:31 AMP).

When you expect nothing less than your very best from yourself, you will help bring out the very best in others too. If your apples-to-apples comparison is just a you-to-you comparison, it relieves the pressure from others to compare their apple to your orange.

Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out (1 Thessalonians 5:15, The Message).

Check out these great quotes about doing your personal-apple-best

  • Doing your best is more important than being the best.” —John Wooden
  • “It was ever Alexander The Great’s nature, if he had no rival, to strive to better his best.” —Arrian
  • “From day to day I do the best I can and will continue to do so till the end.” —Abraham Lincoln
  • “One of satan’s wiliest tricks is to destroy the best by the good.” —E.M. Bounds
  • “To find the best in others, and to give of oneself; to leave the world a better place whether by a healthy child, a redeemed social condition, or a garden patch; to have lived your life with enthusiasm and to have sung with exaltation; and finally to know that one life has breathed easier because you have lived, that is to have been successful.” —Emerson

Do your personal-apple-best today, and stop comparing yourself to another’s orange. When you can do this you will find it easier to encourage others to do their personal-apple-best too.

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