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Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow's Success

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Most of us look at our days in the wrong way: We exaggerate yesterday. We overestimate tomorrow. We underestimate today. The truth is that the most important day you will ever experience is today. Today is the key to your success. Maxwell offers 12 decisions and disciplines-he calls it his daily dozen-that can be learned and mastered by any person to achieve success.

313 pages, Paperback

Published November 8, 2005

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About the author

John C. Maxwell

732 books4,941 followers
John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker, and author who has sold over 16 million books. His organizations have trained more than 2 million leaders worldwide. Dr. Maxwell is the founder of EQUIP and INJOY Stewardship Services. Every year he speaks to Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and audiences as diverse as the United States Military Academy at West Point, the National Football League, and ambassadors at the United Nations. A New York Times , Wall Street Journal , and Business Week best-selling author, Maxwell was named the World's Top Leadership Guru by Leadershipgurus.net. He was also one of only 25 authors and artists named to Amazon.com's 10th Anniversary Hall of Fame. Three of his books, The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership , Developing the Leader Within You , and The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader have each sold over a million copies.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 367 reviews
Profile Image for Amy | Foxy Blogs.
1,409 reviews970 followers
November 22, 2021
Re-read on 11/21/2021
Listening Length: 3 hours 06 minutes.
Every once, in awhile, I to go to my first love in reading; non-fiction. I really enjoy John C. Maxwell because he’s a motivational speaker who uses Christian values to share his thoughts on different subjects. His book, Today Matters, can be used by any faith system. Don’t let the word “Christian” hold you up from reading this book because it’s not a bunch of ideas set to scripture.

TODAY MATTERS and there are 12 principles to put into practice.

♥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 my 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 my 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.

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.”

descriptive text here
Profile Image for Wendy White.
Author 5 books22 followers
February 11, 2012
I can't stand the feeling of one day blurring into another, of weeks where you just don't feel anything had changed or improved. As I age I'm becoming more aware of my limited time - if I died tomorrow, would I look back on what I've done in the last ten years and say "Yep - that sure was worth the effort?" Or would I wonder why I spent so much time worrying about unimportant things, wasting energy on unimportant things, and not doing the stuff that I really cared about?

This is probably the best book I've ever read on building up a set of practices that will allow you to do your best life's work - make every day worth getting up for. What I love most is how practical Maxwell is - he provides activities and processes to go through for each aspect of building a solid foundation for your life. He also provides wonderful examples of people who have (or haven't) lived their lives in accordance with their principles.

This book to me has come at just the right time to really push me through the process of moving from just knowing to doing. Also, even though I thought I wasn't looking for a quick fix, as I looked at Maxwels's examples I realise I have been - I might not have consciously thought it, but I've been trying to find The One Solution that I can follow that will then bring me all the health, wealth and happiness I need. This book is very clear, though, that all success, all good relationships, are not due to some magical quick fix. They're due to decisions made every day, and repeated every day, that take you further or closer to your ideal. And it is the tiny, daily choices we make that make the difference - not a one off event propelling us into greatness.

Or think of it this way - you may have a golden opportunity arrive - for love, work, fame etc - but if you have not spent your life practicing for that moment - by becoming an interesting lovable person, by choosing to improve in your craft every day - then you may be unable to seize that opportunity.

Maxwell breaks these concepts down in a way that just really hit home in a way some of these messages haven't before. I've dog-eared this book more than anything else I've read in years and I'll be coming back to it often.

Profile Image for Paul.
237 reviews27 followers
December 17, 2012
The writer admits early on in the book that he hoards snippets and it shows. Most of this book is a restatement of his central theme using different quotes and stories. Based around his "daily dozen," Maxwell urges that "The way you live your life today is preparing you for your tomorrow."

Each chapter is dedicated to a different focus. Maxwell explains how your decisions impact your life and gives suggestions on how to carefully craft your actions in the present to create your future. For example, in the chapter on attitude, he suggests monitoring your attitude at the start of a task, creating a vision to achieve happiness, choosing and displaying the right attitude every day and having the attitude of the person you want to become.

Each chapter has a number of headings followed by some text. If you want just the meat from the book, you could read only the headings. The supporting text is mainly anecdotal stories and inspirational quotes. Of most value are the reflective questions and exercises that end each chapter. I see how these could be useful in a coaching conversation so I'll be keeping this book around for reference and inspiration.
358 reviews47 followers
May 16, 2012
This is without a doubt my all time favorite motivational book. Every chapter in it is full of inspiration toward leading a full and rewarding life. I've read it at least 10 times and every time I am inspired and uplifted. I'm just going to list the 12 chapter titles to give you the book in a nutshell or rather 12 nutshells.

1. Today's attirude gives me possibilities.
2. Today's priorities give me focus.
3. Today's health gives me strength.
4. Today's family gives me stability.
5. Today's thinking gives me an advantage.
6. Today's commitment gives me tenacity.
7. Today's finances give me options.
8. Today's faith gives me peace.
9. Today's relationships give me fullfillment.
10. Today's generosity gives me significance.
11. Today's values give me direction.
12. Today's growth gives me potential.

John Maxwell writes from a Christian perspective so it while the principles are applicable, the Christian perspective may not be in line with those of another faith.
Profile Image for Sunshine Rodgers.
Author 12 books292 followers
December 19, 2022
I have read other books by John Maxwell, so I knew that “Today Matters” would be great! This is a book I definitely recommend! In these pages, Maxwell talks about the keys to success and how to make today your masterpiece. He uses personal examples from his life as well as shares historical and significant stories about failures and victories. Maxwell encourages the reader that attitudes, family, positive thinking, generosity (to name a few!) provides good results in life. Maxwell talks about the many kinds of thoughts: Big Picture thinking, creative thinking, realistic thinking, bottom-line thinking (to name a few!). After each chapter, there are application questions and exercises with spaces to write down your thoughts. Maxwell reflects on his health, priorities and finances from his teens, 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s. Maxwell tells his readers to always strive for excellence and not to compare yourself to others. In Chapter 10, John Maxwell talks about his faith and how his belief in God gives him peace. I read this book with my bible study at church and it was a great discussion piece! Awesome words of wisdom!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Ioana.
819 reviews
June 14, 2020
După lecturarea acestei cărți mi-am dat seama că am o listă de făcut în care să îmi prioritez ideile și aspirațiile, dar și să încep să lucrez mai mult pe partea cu dezvoltarea personală pentru că viața merită trăită bine și la întreg potențialul dorit.
Profile Image for Eat.Sleep.Lift.Read..
156 reviews34 followers
July 8, 2017
Today Matters. It's a such a simple concept yet most of us tend to ignore it.

"I'll do it tomorrow" ... ring any bells?

Johny boy has put together a list 0f 12 simple yet powerful principles.
As with any book of this type, the 'principles' are all very common sensical. Yet there is something reaffirming and, dare I say it, empowering in reading them and if you're so inclined - taking notes.

It's a fucking horrible feeling when days blur into each other and if someone asked you about yesterday, last week, last month; nothing jumps out at you.

Screw that, today matters and so does this book.
Profile Image for Bebe.
162 reviews44 followers
March 12, 2014
كتاب ولا أروع كتاب قيم جداً

إذا ارت أن ترتاد أفاقاً لم تطأها من قبل فيجب أن تفكر في اساليب لم تفكر فيها من قبل.
وسيعلمك هذا الكتاب الذي وضعه جون سي.ماكسويل كيف تفعل هذا في هذا الكتاب
المهم الممتع ، يوضح لنا جون سي.ماكسويل كيف تفكر بطريقة تجعلك في المقدمة
في هذه الأوقات العصيبة وتوجد لنفسك إمكانات وفرصاً مثيرة....
يستحق ٥ نجمات واكثر

Profile Image for Mark.
519 reviews66 followers
June 8, 2020
Good book with practical and honest points that will help most become far more productive. WARNING for some people: This has a heavily religious slant, but, in Maxwell's defense (as if he needs that) it's done in a way that is ADDED as he sees it... NOT intertwined in his reasoning. (His religious notes are NOT like "do X solely because of biblical thought Y." it's much more like "do X because of reason Z and that's bolstered by biblical thought Y.")

This book gives valuable tips too on how to increase happiness in the life journey. These are great fundamental concepts that are a good sanity check for points you might be missing or for which you might be underperforming.
Profile Image for Anna.
159 reviews3 followers
May 27, 2017
Audiobook. I listened to this one off and on as I was travelling for work and leadership training. Mr. Maxwell was a good narrator. The book itself was decent but nothing jaw-dropping. I do admit it may have suffered from the fact I've spent the past week and a half with similar messages being thrown at me in class almost non-stop at work. But I thought it was pretty good. There's a lot of focus on values and trust which resonates. Good for a car ride or a long walk, especially if you are trying to keep focused on the higher ideals of leadership rather than the difficulties.
Profile Image for Evan Steele.
254 reviews4 followers
March 27, 2022

This is a reread for me and it was good to revisit this book in particular and Maxwell as a whole.

Maxwell is the master of condensing important things into understandable, relatable, and actionable points. This book highlights the importance of each day, and how handling each day well will lead to immediate and long-term improvements.

This book deserves a real review but I am swamped at the moment and will be sure to reread this again soon.
Profile Image for Paul Gustavson.
Author 5 books2 followers
September 1, 2012
This book is practical in every way. Good for folks who have what I would call Self Inflicted Attention Deficit Disorder. Key I think though is having a clear purpose statement.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jakob.
4 reviews
February 14, 2018
Really great read,
Motivates one to consider ways to better utilize, focus on, and embrace the same 24 hours we all have.
Profile Image for Leah.
366 reviews19 followers
March 1, 2019
As always can never go wrong with John Maxwell. definatly want to start applying the principals stated so that my tomorrow can be better.
Profile Image for Maralgoo Ganbat.
21 reviews7 followers
February 14, 2021
Жон Максвэлийн "Өнөөдөр амьдрах зарчим" буюу Today Matters by John C. Maxwell

КОВИД-19-ийн нэг сайн тал нь хөл хорионд орсон үедээ цахимаар ажил, хичээлээ амжуулахын хажуугаар өөртөө гаргах цаг зав арай илүү болох юм. За тэр ч яахав, “хүн хэлэхээс нааш, цаас чичихээс цааш” гэдэг шиг хүн өөрөө мэдэж байгаа хэрнээ хэлүүлэхээс нааш нэг их байнга ухаарч хийдэггүй, хэрэгжүүлдэггүй зарим зүйлс байдаг тээ. Тийм болохоор өөрт хэрэгтэй, хувь хүний хөгжил тал руугаа ном бариад гол ажлынхаа хажуугаар хааяа уншчихвал зүгээр санагддаг юм. Харин байнга уншвал хортой юм шиг санагддаг. Бүүр нэг хэд хэд эхлүүлсэн ч уншигддаггүй байсан номоо сая уншиж дуусгалаа. “Өнөөдөр амьдрах зарчим” буюу “Today Matters” номонд өнгөрсөн бол нэгэнт өнгөрөөд байхгүй болсон цаг хугацаа, харин ирээдүй бол өнөөдрийг хэрхэн өнгөрүүлсний үр дүн учраас өнөөдрийг хэрхэн тултал нь үр дүнтэй өнгөрүүлэх 12 зарчим болон тэдгээрийг хэрхэн өөртөө дадал зуршил болгох тухай гардаг.

Тус номонд Жон Максвелл тухайн 12 зарчмуудын агуулгатай нийцсэн өөрийн болон бусдын тухай түүх, болсон явдлууд, онч мэргэн үгнүүдийг жишээ татан бичсэн байдаг. Хувь хүний хөгжлийн номнууд дээр хүмүүсийн туулж өнгөрүүлсэн туршлага, түүхийг эш татаж бичдэг ч гэсэн энэ номон дээр хэтэрхий олон хүний богино, богино жишээ, онч мэргэн үгнүүдийг их дурдсан байсан нь дэндүү залхмаар санагдсан. Мөн миний гарт байсан нь монгол хэл дээрх орчуулгын ном байсан болоод ч тэр юм уу, “модон” үг хэллэгүүд ихтэй, зарим жишээ нь гол агуулгатайгаа авцалдахгүй, ер нь л нэг тийм “наалдацтай” санагдаагүй. Эсвэл би иймэрхүү номнуудыг нэг их сонирхож, ач холбогдол өгөхөө больсон ч байж магадгүй л юм.

За, ерөнхий агуулгын хувьд нэг тиймэрхүү санагдлаа. Харин өдөр тутам анхаарвал зохих 12 зарчим нь амьдралд ойр, өөрт дадал зуршил болгосон байхад хэрэгтэй л зүйлс байлаа. Үүнд:

1. ХАНДЛАГА. Өдөр бүр аливаа зүйлд эерэг хандлагатай байж, зөв зан байдлыг харуулах. Өнөөгийн нийгэмд стресстэй тулгарах үедээ хааяа ухрах нь чухал байдгийг сануулав.

2. ЧУХЛЫН ЭРЭМБЭ. Өдөр бүр “чухлын эрэмбэ”-ийг тогтоох. Зарим нэг шалдар булдар ажлуудыг хойш нь тавьж, сошиал медиагаа хааж, хамгийн чухал гэж үзсэн ажлуудаа дарааллуулж, дугаарлаад, эхнээс нь түүн дээрээ гол анхаарлаа төвлөрүүлэх хэрэгтэйг анхааруулав.

3. ЭРҮҮЛ МЭНД. Өдөр бүр эрүүл мэндийн мөрдлөгийг баримтлах. Зөв хооллох, богино хугацаанд ч гэсэн дасгал хөдөлгөөн хийх (дасгал хийсний дараа ��м хүний хийморь яаж сэргэдгийг санаж байгаа биздээ хаха), за тэгээд гадуур гарахаар бол коронагийн халдвар хамгааллын дэглэмээ мартуузай.

4. ГЭР БҮЛ. Өдөр бүр гэр бүлтэйгээ ярилцаж, хамт байх цаг зав зарцуулах. Заавал нээх сүртэй юм байх албагүй, өөрийн хуваарьт таарсан хамт хийх хөөрхөн амархан зүйлс ч байж болноо.

5. БОДОЛ. Өдөр бүр өөдрөг санаа бодолтой байх. Оюун ухааны цэвэрлэгээ л гэж бод. Бодож суухад өөрт тохиромжтой хаана ч юм газар олж, дор хаяж нэг цагийг өөрийгөө дүгнэх, хийж буй зүйлсээ эргэцүүлэн бодоход зарцуулаарай.

6. ҮҮРЭГ ХАРИУЦЛАГА. Өдөр бүр өөрийн зохих үүрэг хариуцлагаа биелүүлж амьдрах. Амьдралд хүлээсэн хариуцлагаа хойшлуулж эсвэл зугтаалаа гээд угаасаа л өөрийн чинь хийх ёстой зүйлс юм чинь одоо яахаас ч аргагүй шүү дээ. Тийм болохоор түүнийгээ сайхан ухамсарлаад, үүрэг хариуцлагаа хүлээгээд, өсөж дэвжихийн төлөө хөдөлмөрлөөрэй. Чадахгүй гэвэл төр засгийг буруутгаад байлгүй өөртөө л гомд доо найзаа ккк.

7. МӨНГӨ, САНХҮҮ. Өдөр бүр мөнгө олж, зохистой зарцуулах. Мөнгийг зөв аргаар чадах чинээгээрээ олж, чадах чинээгээрээ хуримтлуулж, чадах чинээгээрээ хэрэгтэй хүнд нь туслаарай. Аан бас, зардал бүртээ ухаалаг байгаарай.

8. ИТГЭЛ. Өдөр бүр итгэлээ гүнзгийрүүлж, хадгалах. Чимээгүй бясалгал хийж, оюун санааны сууриа бэхжүүлвээс таны итгэл таныг хамгаалах болноо.

9. ХАРИЛЦАА ХОЛБОО. Өдөр бүр гүн бат харилцааг бүрдүүлэх. Хүн бол нийгмийн амьтан учраас бусадтай байнга л харилцаа холбоотой байх хэрэгтэй. Гэхдээ олон хүнтэй харилцаж, олон хүн таньдаг байлаа гээд 100% амжилттай явна гэсэн үг биш, харин тоочны сайхан хүмүүстэй итгэлцэж, зөв харилцаатай байхыг хэлж буй болой.

10. ӨГӨӨМӨР СЭТГЭЛ. Өдөр бүр бусдад талархах. Талархсан сэтгэлээ илэрхийлж байвал зохистой талаар л яриад байх шиг байсан даа.

11. ҮНЭТ ЗҮЙЛС. Өдөр бүр сайн үнэ цэнэтэй байж, хэрэгжүүлэх. Мэдээж материаллаг зүйлсийн талаар яриагүй. Өөрийн тань дотоод үнэт зүйлсээ хүндэлж, ямар ч үед таны үндсэн үнэ цэнэтэй нийцэхгүй байгаа зүйлийг хүлээн зөвшөөрөлгүй хасаад явчих гэсэн санааг өглөө.

12. ӨСӨЛТ. Өдөр бүр өсөлтийг эрэлхийлж, мэдрэх. Шинэ туршлага олж авах эсвэл идэвхтэй суралцах гэх мэт өөртөө хэрэгтэй зүйлсийг өдөр бүр бага ч гэсэн хийж байгааарай. Тэгээд сурсан зүйлээ өөрийгөө болон бусдыг сайжруулахад хэрэглэж чадвал таны сурах гэж хичээсний үр дүн, ашиг гарсанд тооцож болно.
Profile Image for Waris Ahmad Faizi.
87 reviews4 followers
April 8, 2023

"Today Matters" is a motivational and inspirational book written by my favorite author John C. Maxwell.

The central theme of "Today Matters" is that success is not just about what you achieve in the future but what you do today. Maxwell emphasizes that every day counts, and how we spend our time, our attitude, and our actions, determine the success or failure of our lives.

The book is divided into 12 chapters, each addressing an essential aspect of personal growth and success. Maxwell uses practical examples, inspiring stories, and personal experiences to convey his message. The chapters cover topics such as attitude, priorities, health, relationships, self-discipline, and goals, among others. The author believes that if we focus on these areas every day, we can achieve success in all areas of our lives.

One of the strengths of the book is that it is very practical. The author provides clear steps and action plans that readers can follow to make positive changes in their lives. Maxwell also encourages readers to keep a journal to track their progress and stay accountable.

Another strength of the book is that it is very relatable. Maxwell shares personal stories of his own struggles and successes, making the book more engaging and inspiring. The language is simple and easy to understand, making it accessible to a wide range of readers.

Overall, "Today Matters" is a highly motivational and practical book that offers valuable insights and practical strategies for personal growth and success. The author's emphasis on the importance of daily habits and actions is a valuable reminder that success is not just about setting goals but also about taking action every day.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to achieve success in all areas of their lives.
Profile Image for Jeff.
14 reviews2 followers
November 14, 2021
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about John C. Maxwell's 12 Daily Practices. He outlines each of the 12 into real world examples and walks the reader through his personal journey of how those maxims evolved throughout his lifetime (20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s). The progression of both the daily practices and lifetime examples keeps the reader yearning for more. I plan to implement some of the Daily Practices immediately, and one day hope to live by all of them.
Profile Image for John Maurer.
135 reviews
January 6, 2023
Not my favorite from John C. Maxwell. Ultimately felt like there was only one message supported by multiple quotes and stories that made the whole confusing and all over the place. I did enjoy his few points on family, marriage and his honesty with health.
Profile Image for Justin Mann.
10 reviews
April 3, 2023
Another good book by Maxwell. Lots of pointers on how to make today count. I admit, I don't think I could be as committed as he is to some of the daily practices, but I still learned a lot from reading this book.
Profile Image for Laila.
244 reviews22 followers
May 12, 2020
Essentially. self-help books centre around "know thy self", this book is like that too but utilising Biblical principles. If you desire to change for the better, don't let fear hinder you: it's really never to late to start anew.
Profile Image for Lanre Dahunsi.
175 reviews17 followers
January 29, 2021
We often exaggerate yesterday, overestimate tomorrow and underestimate today.

Today is the only time you have. It’s too late for yesterday. And you can’t depend on tomorrow. That’s why today matters.

The 12 Daily Practices (Daily Dozen)

Attitude: Choose and display the right attitudes daily.
Priorities: Determine and act on important priorities daily.
Health: Know and follow healthy guidelines daily.
Family: Communicate with and care for my family daily.
Thinking: Practice and develop good thinking daily.
Commitment: Make and keep proper commitments daily.
Finances: Earn and properly manage finances daily.
Faith: Deepen and live out my 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: Desire and experience improvements daily.

Misconceptions of Success

We believe success is impossible – So we criticize it.
We believe success is mystical – So we search for it. (No Quick Fix)
We believe success comes from luck – So we hope for it.
We believe success is productivity – So we work for it.
We believe success comes from an opportunity – So we wait for it.
We believe success comes from leverage -So we power up for it.
We believe success comes from connections – So we network for it.
We believe success comes from recognition – So we strive for it.
We believe success is an event – So we schedule it.

The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. If you make a few key decisions and then manage them well in your daily agenda, you will succeed. You will never change your life until you change something you do daily.

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. You see, success doesn’t just suddenly occur one day in someone’s life. For that matter, neither does failure. Each is a process. Every day of your life is merely preparation for the next. What you become is the result of what you do today. In other words . . .YOU ARE PREPARING FOR SOMETHING.

“The secret of success in life is for a man to be ready for his time when it comes.” -Benjamin Disraeli.

The most successful people in life are the ones who settle their critical issues early and manage them daily . The earlier you settle the critical issues in your life, the greater your potential for success.

When it comes to change, there are really only three kinds of people:

1. Those who don’t know what to do
2. Those who know what to do but don’t do it
3. Those who know what to do and follow-through

Attitude: Choose and display the right attitudes daily.

Your Attitude at the beginning of a task affects its outcome more than anything else. When you approach a task—especially an important one you don’t relish—fix your mind on the facts, not on your feelings. Focus on the possibilities, not the problems. That will put your attitude on the right track. And if it starts on the right track, it’s more likely to end up at the right destination.
Your Attitude towards others often determines their attitude toward you.

“All things being equal, attitude wins. All things not being equal, attitude sometimes still wins.”

Your attitude is a choice. If you desire to make your day a masterpiece, then you need to have a great attitude. If it’s not good now, you need to change it. Make the decision.

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

2. Priorities: Determine and act on important priorities daily.

“Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”

British prime minister William Gladstone said,

“He is a wise man who wastes no energy on pursuits for which he is not fitted; and he is wiser still who from among the things he can do well, chooses and resolutely follows the best.”


Priorities don’t stay put; you have to revisit them every day. Why? Because conditions continually change. So do methods of getting things done. Your values, once defined, are going to be steady. You will be able to rely on them. But how you carry them out needs to be flexible.

According to a survey taken by Day-Timers, Inc., only one-third of American workers plan their daily schedules. And only 9 percent follow through and complete what they planned.6 If you want to be effective, you must be able to make the transition to planning.

“Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists of the elimination of nonessentials.” – Lin Yutang

3. Health: Know and follow healthy guidelines daily.

“People are funny. When they are young, they will spend their health to get wealth. Later, they will gladly pay all they have trying to get their health back.”


Nothing is better than perspective for helping a person want to do the right thing. When you have something to live for, not only does it make you desire a long life, but it also helps you to see the importance of the steps along the way. Seeing the big picture enables us to put up with little irritations.

It’s hard to find motivation in the moment when there is no hope in the future. A sense of purpose helps a person to make a decision to change and then to follow through with the discipline required to make that change permanent.

“Though you cannot go back and make a brand-new start by You can start now, and make a brand-new end.“

4. Family: Communicate with and care for my family daily.

When you have a strong family life, you receive the message that you are loved, cared for, and important. The positive intake of love, affection and respect . . . gives you inner resources to deal with life more successfully.

“Before going to War—pray once. Before going to Sea—pray twice. Before getting Married—pray three times.” – Russian Proverb

5. Thinking: Practice and develop good thinking daily.

Success doesn’t come by accident. People don’t repeatedly stumble into achievement and then figure it out afterward. Whether you’re a doctor, a businessperson, a carpenter, a teacher, or a parent, your level of success will increase dramatically if you place high value on thinking. The greater your thinking, the greater your potential.

“Every time a person puts an idea across, he finds ten people who thought about it before he did—but they only thought about it.” Ideas, put into action, give an advantage.” – Alfred Montapert

6. Commitment: Make and keep proper commitments daily.

Anyone who desires to achieve and become successful must be like a fine craftsman: committed to excellence. A great craftsman wants you to inspect his work, to look closely at its finest details. In contrast, sloppy people hide their work. And if anyone finds fault with it, shoddy workers find fault with their tools. Which are you most like? Excellence means doing your very best in everything, in every way. That kind of commitment will take you where halfhearted people will never go.

In general, people approach daily commitment in one of two ways. They focus on the external or the internal. Those who focus on the external expect conditions to determine whether they keep their commitments. Because conditions are so transitory, their commitment level changes like the wind. In contrast, people who base their actions on the internal usually focus on their choices. Each choice is a crossroad, one that will either confirm or compromise their commitments.

“Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them, day after day. What you promise today must be renewed and redecided tomorrow and each day that stretches out before you.” – Arthur Gordon

7. Finances: Earn and properly manage finances daily.

To know whether your attitude about money and possessions is what it should be, ask yourself the following five questions:

1. Am I preoccupied with things?
2. Am I envious of others?
3. Do I find my personal value in possessions?
4. Do I believe that money will make me happy?
5. Do I continually want more?

Having money may not make people happy, but owing money is sure to make them miserable”

“If you owe $1,000, you’re a piker. If you owe $100,000, you’re a businessman. If you owe $1 million, you’re a tycoon. If you owe $1 billion, you’re a magnate. If you owe $100 billion, you’re the government.” – Rose Sand

Materialism is not about possession—it’s an obsession. I’ve known materialistic people with no money and nonmaterialistic people who possess lots of money.

“Money is like manure. If you let it pile up, it just smells. But if you spread it around, you can encourage things to grow.” – Gun Denhart

8. Faith: Deepen and live out my faith daily.

Faith not only can help you through a crisis, it can help you to approach life after the hard times with a whole new perspective. It can help you adopt an outlook of hope and courage through faith to face reality.

“A faith that hasn’t been tested can’t be trusted”

In the past, many people hoped that science would provide all the answers to life’s questions. But science cannot do that. Ironically, what is embraced as scientific fact changes from generation to generation. Just look at the way scientists have viewed our solar system. Ptolemy believed the earth was at its center. Copernicus asserted that the sun was at its center and the planets moved in circular orbits around it. Kepler proved that the orbits were elliptical. Today, scientists no longer argue the structure of the solar system, but ideas about how it was formed change continually.

“Faith is to believe what we do not see; and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.”

9. Relationships: Initiate and invest in solid relationships daily.

Most people give away their relational energy on a first-come, first-served basis. Whoever gets their attention first gobbles up their time and relational energy. That’s why the squeaky wheels instead of the high producers at work consume so much attention and why so many people have nothing left to give when they get home from work.

• When people don’t like you . . . they’ll try to hurt you.
• If they can’t hurt you . . . they won’t help you.
• If they have to help you . . . they won’t hope you succeed.
• When they hope you don’t succeed . . . life’s victories feel hollow.

“If you have one true friend in life, you are very fortunate. If you have two real friends, it is highly unusual.” ”

If you desire to improve your understanding of people so that you can build positive relationships, then keep in mind the following truths about people—and actions you can take to bridge the gap often caused by them:

• People are insecure . . . give them confidence.
• People want to feel special . . . sincerely compliment them.
• People desire a better tomorrow . . . show them hope.
• People need to be understood . . . listen to them.
• People are selfish . . . speak to their needs first.
• People get emotionally low . . . encourage them.
• People want to be associated with success . . . help them win.

10. Generosity: Plan for and model generosity daily.

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of home and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” – U.S. President Woodrow Wilson

True generosity isn’t a function of income—it begins with the heart. It’s about serving others and looking for ways to add value to them. That’s the way to achieve significance in your life.

“Today, 2.5 percent of our income goes to charitable giving. That’s lower than it was during the Great Depression (2.9 percent). And 80 percent of Americans who earn at least $1 million a year leave nothing to charity in their wills.”

“Greatness is not defined by what a person receives, but by what that person gives.”

11. Values: Embrace and practice good values daily.

“People without values are adrift on the ocean of life. When the waves come crashing down, they have no place to rest. Any big storm can threaten to put them under. Any current is liable to take them places they don’t want to go. However, when you have strong values, you have something that holds you steady, even when the weather gets nasty.”

‘Methods are many, Values are few. Methods always change, Values never do.”

Discrepancies between values and practices create chaos in a person’s life. If you talk your values but neglect to walk them, then you will continually undermine your integrity and credibility. And that will happen even if you are unaware of your behavior and are not doing it intentionally.

12. Growth: Desire and experience improvements daily.

Often the most difficult part of the upward climb of growth is putting into practice what you learn. Yet that is where the true value is. The final test of any learning is always application. If what you’re learning can be used in some way to help and improve you or others, then it is worth the effort.

Author William Feather said:

“The only thrill worthwhile is the one that comes from making something out of yourself.” To make something out of yourself, you need to be willing to change, for without change, there can be no growth. The problem most people have is that they want things to stay the same yet also get better. Obviously, that can’t happen. If you truly want to grow, then commit yourself to not only accepting change, but seeking it.”
Profile Image for Meredith.
183 reviews29 followers
May 7, 2016
This book was FAB-U-LOUS! I wish I could rate this higher, because this book was literally one of the best I've ever read. As a person who seeks to live intentionally and constantly better myself, I found Maxwell's 12 daily disciplines highly practical and attainable. And I really appreciated the approach to this book. While Maxwell is a Christian and certainly shaped each point through a Christian worldview, this wasn't just another fluffy-devotional-spiritual-growth-book.

To me, Maxwell provides a wonderful guideline on how to apply the Bible and its spiritual principles to my life. Every. Single. Day. Because that's how we grow...little by little. I literally could have highlighted every sentence of this book. In short, every human being should read this.
46 reviews1 follower
August 12, 2016
Not too bad. There were a couple of good nuggets. In fact, I'll have my 10 year old son review chapters 1-3 (attitude, positive thinking, priorities). I did find, however, this books was a collection of John Maxwell's anecdotes ("When I was 22...") and powerful quotes from big thinkers. There wasn't much science or weight behind his approach. I enjoy books that refer to numbers or studies rather than one person's personal view of the world. While his view is fantastic and he's obviously successful, the pragmatist in me would like some concrete steps rather than feel good phraseology.

Not a horrible book, but not a top shelf contender.
24 reviews2 followers
February 19, 2016
It is always good to read a John Maxwell book! In this book, Maxwell lays out 12 things you can do every day to grow yourself. He give good examples of how he has implemented these practices in his own life. The good news is you don't have to start doing them all on day one to get value from them. You take few at a time and work on them until you are ready to move on to others. Once you have one practice down, you start using it. Overall a good approach and set of practices to provide success in your life.
Profile Image for Holly Buxton.
59 reviews
December 21, 2018
This short read is packed with timeless truths in how daily discipline can have lifelong benefits.

The book is a sort of reflection of the life of John Maxwell. The 12 disciplines Maxwell has lived by in his life are both inspiring and challenging. This books presents his life disciplines in an engaging narrative as Maxwell gave personal examples of how the disciplines have shaped his life over the long haul of decades lived.
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