A Night with John C. Maxwell – Part 1 of “A Successful You”

John C. Maxwell

I don’t know about you, but I read quite a few books on being successful by folks such as Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Dr. Wayne Dyer and  John C. Maxwell, to name a few. Imagine my excitement when I found out that John C. Maxwell would be awarded the Toastmasters International Golden Gavel award at the 2012 International Convention! Per Toastmasters International: “The prestigious Golden Gavel award is given annually during the Toastmasters International Convention to an individual distinguished in the fields of communication and leadership.”

Having purchased a few of Mr. Maxwell’s books, I booked my reservation for the convention to ensure that I would hear this man speak. I was not disappointed. He took the stage and immediately commanded the audience’s attention by opening up with humor and humility. He informed us that he gratefully accepted the award and decided to speak at the convention because he recognized that Toastmasters was in the same business as he is: to enrich others’ lives by helping them improve themselves. Talk about knowing how to win your audience over! He certainly did that.

Mr. Maxwell then told us how we could become successful. He shared three points with us. I will share the first one with you today: Knowing your purpose in life is the first step toward being successful. He said the most important day of our lives is when we are born; the second most important is the day we understand why we were born.  He continued that to discover our purpose, we should discover what we are passionate about, what we really care about. He believes that passion brings energy and that energy can propel us toward success.

Maxwell cautions that our passion is not always our purpose. If we cannot make a career out of our passion, we may not be successful at that career. He gave the example of people who are passionate about singing but are not good singers. He noted that we should not confuse our career with something that may be a hobby. Mr. Maxwell argued that our purpose is often found in our area of strength, which he called our giftedness. He avowed that we are created to be successful, and knowing what we do well will help us recognize our purpose.

Mr. Maxwell also said that too often, people spend their time trying to strengthen the areas that they are most weak in. He said that is a mistake.  He affirmed: “Don’t work on your weakness! You are weak in your weakness!” Studies have shown that people improve their performance by only a couple of points on a scale of 1 to 10. So, if you are operating at a level of 3, you will likely improve only to a level of 5, which is average. Maxwell declared that people frequently do not pay for average. They want above average. If we spend more time building on our strengths rather than our weaknesses, we are more likely to achieve success.

As you can see, this was a start to a great night. Stay tuned for the next two points!

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  1. Wow! Not sure how you remember all that from his talk. It appears you got it down verbatim. I agree, his talk was fantastic. Like you, I have many books of his in my library as well. It was a real treat to hear him in person. I enjoyed the post!



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