7 Quotes From “Self-Improvement 101”

Self-Improvement 101In all of John Maxwell’s 101 books there is an overall theme, but there are also numerous snippets which we can immediately apply. Here are just a few of those thoughts from Self-Improvement 101.

“The ironic thing is that change is inevitable. Everybody has to deal with it. On the other hand, growth is optional. You can choose to grow or fight it. But know this: people unwilling to grow will never reach their potential.”

“The only way to improve the quality of your life is to improve yourself. If you want to grow your organization, you must grow a leader. If you want better children, you must become a better person. If you want others to treat you more kindly, you must develop better people skills. There is no sure way to make other people in your environment improve. The only thing you truly have the ability to improve is yourself.”

“There’s certainly nothing wrong with the desire to progress in your career, But never try to ‘arrive.’ Instead, intend your journey to be open-ended. Most people have no idea how far they can go in life. They aim way too low.”

“Pride is the number one hindrance to teachability. … While envy is the deadly sin that comes from feelings of inferiority, the deadly sin of pride comes from feelings of superiority. It creates an arrogance of success, an inflated sense of self-worth accompanied by a distorted perspective of reality. Such an attitude leads to a loss of desire to learn and an unwillingness to change. It makes a person unteachable.”

“People’s purpose in life is always connected to their giftedness. It always works that way. You are not called to do something that you have no talent for. You will discover your purpose by finding and remaining in your strength zone. Similarly, you cannot grow to your maximum potential if you continually work outside of your strength zone.” 

“What is the greatest obstacle you will face once you have achieved your goals and tasted success? I believe it is the ability to let go of what you have so that you can reach for something new.”

“Every new level of growth we hope to experience as leaders calls for a new level of change. You cannot have one without the other.”

You can check out my review of Self-Improvement 101 by clicking here.

21 Quotes From “Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn”

Sometimes You WinAs I mentioned in my book review (which you can read by clicking here), John Maxwell always expands my horizons with his writings. I appreciate his ability to use his own life experiences as well as historical and contemporary examples and writings. So some of my favorite quotes from Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn are from Dr. Maxwell, and some are from others that he quotes. Enjoy!

“I sometimes react to making a mistake as if I have betrayed myself. My fear of making a mistake seems to be based on the hidden assumption that I am potentially perfect and that if I can just be very careful, I will not fall from heaven. But a mistake is a declaration of the way I am, a jolt to the way I intend, a reminder that I am not dealing with facts. When I have listened to my mistakes, I have grown.” —Hugh Prather

“Those who profit from adversity possess a spirit of humility and are therefore inclined to make the necessary changes needed to learn from their mistakes, failures, and losses. … When we are focused too much on ourselves, we lose perspective. Humility allows us to regain perspective and see the big picture. … Humility allows us to let go of perfection and keep trying.” —John Maxwell

“Most people spend their entire lives in a fantasy Island called ‘Someday I’ll.’” —Denis Waitley 

“An idealist believes the short-run doesn’t count. A cynic believes the long run doesn’t matter. A realist believes that what is done or left undone in the short-run determines the long run.” —Sydney J. Harris

“Those things that hurt, instruct.” —Benjamin Franklin

“You can’t grow and learn if your focus is on finding someone else to blame instead of looking at your own shortcomings.” —John Maxwell

“The highest reward for our toil is not what we get for it but what we become by it. … Mistakes are not failures. They are proof that we are making an effort. When we understand that, we can more easily move out of our comfort zone, try something new, and improve. … Improvement demands a commitment to grow long after the mood in which it was made has passed.” —John Maxwell 

“Success in most things comes not from some gigantic stroke of fate, but from simple, incremental progress.” —Andrew Wood

“The main trouble with despair is that it is self-fulfilling. People who fear the worst tend to invite it. Heads that are down can’t scan the horizon for new openings. Bursts of energy do not spring from a spirit of defeat. Ultimately, helplessness leads to hopelessness.” —Norman Cousins

“Positive thinking must be followed by positive doing.” —John Maxwell

“When you are influential and highly respected, people tend to tell you what you want to hear, not what you need to hear. They are seeking your approval, or they flatter you. Unfortunately, this creates a gap between what you hear and reality. If you find yourself in that situation, you will need to work extra hard to get the people close to you to speak honestly into your life. And you will have to become highly intentional in observing and listening.” —John Maxwell 

“Wisdom is the reward you get for a lifetime of listening when you would have preferred to talk.” —Doug Larson

“Circumstances are the rulers of the weak; but they are the instruments of the wise.” —Samuel Lover 

“Mistakes are painful when they happen, but years later a collection of mistakes is what is called experience.” —Denis Waitley

“Ninety percent of those who fail are not actually defeated; they simply quit. … As you face bad experiences, it’s important for you to remember that you can rarely see the benefits while you’re in the midst of them. You usually gain perspective on the other side of it.” —John Maxwell 

“Most people would rather change their circumstances to improve their lives when instead they need to change themselves to improve their circumstances. They put in just enough effort to distance themselves from their problems without ever trying to go after the root, which can often be found in themselves. Because they don’t try to change the source of their problems, their problems keep coming back at them.” —John Maxwell

“To grow, you must be willing to let your present and future be totally unlike your past. Your history is not your destiny.” —Alan Cohen

“If I had my life to live over again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.” —Tallulah Bankhead

“Maturity is doing what you are supposed to be doing, when you’re supposed to be doing it, no matter how you feel.” —Dom Capers 

“Have you not succeeded? Continue! Have you succeeded? Continue!” —Fridtjof Nansen, Nobel Peace Prize winner

“How we think when we lose determines how long it will be until we win.” —G.K. Chesterton

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