Potential is one of the most wonderful words in any language. It looks forward with optimism. It is filled with hope.
What about unfulfilled potential? That phase is as negative as the word potential is positive. Most people desire to reach their potential. The question is, how do you do it? I have no doubt that the answer is personal growth.
I didn’t always know this. In fact, I discovered it during a lunch in 1972 with a man named Curt Kampmeier. He asked me a simple question: “Do you have a plan for your personal growth?”
My answer was, “No.” I had thought if I worked hard enough, I would grow. He looked at me and said, “Growth never just happens. You have to be intentional about it.”
That meeting was significant, because it set me on a journey of personal growth that changed my life. Right away, my wife Margaret and I scrimped and saved to be able to purchase a kit that taught me how to create my growth plan.
And since then, I’ve committed to do something to pursue growth every day. I’ve read great books, listened to great speakers, and spent time reflecting on the things I learned so I could apply them to my life.
Over the years, I began to learn some crucial truths about growth that, when applied, allowed me to make great strides in my personal development. And this fall, my newest book is dedicated to sharing those truths.
It’s called The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, and it’s designed to help people understand how personal growth works and to help them become a more effective and fulfilled individual.
That help is offered in the form of fifteen laws:
The Law of Intentionality: Growth Doesn’t Just Happen
The Law of Awareness: You Must Know Yourself to Grow Yourself
The Law of the Mirror: You Must See Value in Yourself to Add Value to Yourself
The Law of Reflection: Learning to Pause Allows Growth to Catch Up with You
The Law of Consistency: Motivation Gets You Going–Discipline Keeps You Growing
The Law of Environment: Growth Thrives in Conducive Surroundings
The Law of Design: To Maximize Growth, Develop Strategies
The Law of Pain: Good Management of Bad Experiences Leads to Great Growth
The Law of the Ladder: Character Growth Determines the Height of Your Personal Growth
The Law of the Rubber Band: Growth Stops When You Lose the Tension Between Where You Are and Where You Could Be
The Law of Trade-Offs: You Have to Give Up to Grow Up
The Law of Curiosity: Growth Is Stimulated By Asking Why?
The Law of Modeling: It’s Hard to Improve When You Have No One But Yourself to Follow
The Law of Expansion: Growth Always Increases Your Capacity
The Law of Contribution: Growing Yourself Enables You to Grow Others
I’m grateful to Curt Kampmeier for what he said to me so many years ago. It was his question that set me on a journey of growth that has continued to this day. I believe that we all have potential within us, but we won’t reach that potential unless we grow into it.
If you want to lead well or be successful, it won’t happen by accident. You will need to grow into it. I believe these laws can help you. If you keep learning and growing every day over the course of many years, you will be astounded by how far it will take you.
This is a guest post by John C. Maxwell. He is a New York Times bestselling author (multiple times) and one of the world’s leading experts on leadership. He is one of my good friends. His newest book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Live Them and Reach Your Potential, was just released this week.
Michel Hyatt is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World. It is also a Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Amazon bestseller. He is also the former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers.