Recently I have been reading John Maxwell’s latest book The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth. Maxwell is a good communicator and successful author. He inspires and encourages many readers but I rarely read what he writes. His seemingly endless volumes of irrefutable laws, indispensable qualities, indisputable laws, or lists of lessons, ways, or practices for success, look like interminable lists that can be simplistic and difficult to remember.
Perhaps books of principles or guidelines should be read as collections of wisdom, quotations and experiences. Like selections in a buffet they don’t have equal appeal to everybody but in the end most people find something to taste and digest. Maxwell’s laws of growth can present new ideas or, perhaps more often, they remind us of what we already know but easily forget. Here are examples:
- The book’s title and content show the importance of growing deliberately and as long as we are able. Every day Maxwell takes time to focus on how he has grown in the previous few hours and how he can grow more in the immediate and distant future. Surely that focus on growth contributes to his success.
- Environments both stimulate and squelch growth. We grow when we interact with stimulating and challenging individuals, groups, ideas, books, and other growth-inducing experiences. Sometimes this involves taking risks. We grow as well when we provide opportunities to help others grow.
- Growth more often comes to those who can find value in whatever they do, who believe in their own growth potential, and who pause periodically to take a fresh stock of their lives.
Probably God wants all of us to grow but this happens in different ways. Some of us have the drive to produce, the courage to take risks, or the freedom to make proactive steps that stimulate growth in ourselves or others. Maxwell cultivates this kind of thinking and describes useful, invaluable ways to grow. But these may not apply to everybody. We don’t all define success in the same way and maybe there are different laws of growth for different personalities.
What do you think? What are you doing to grow and to grow others? Please share your comments.