Friday, April 1, 2011

CH9: Get Over Yourself--Everyone Else Has

Wow! I am loving this John Maxwell book Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success.  The overall concepts are great but all the little quotes and stories tucked inside the big ideas are so meaningful in themselves.  The main idea of chapter nine is that in order to continue to fail forward, we must get over ourselves by turning our focus from us to others.  There were some really powerful points captured here that I want to share.
"Many people who struggle with chronic failure do so because they think of no one but themselves.  They worry about what other people think of them.  They scramble to make sure no one gets the better of them.  They continually focus on protecting their turf."

John Maxwell's Tips:

Stop Focusing On Yourself
Negative thinking and a general poor mental health can be caused by self-absorption.  Dwelling on yourself and your own problems hurts others as well as yourself.  Feeling like your life is lacking something can be overcome by developing a giving spirit.  In helping others you are less likely to focus on yourself.

Stop Taking Yourself Too Seriously
Maxwell says that most people walk around with a "doom and gloom attitude."  "Recognize that laughter breeds resilience."

Start Putting the Team First
We all function as a part of many "teams" within our families, friendships, communities, churches, and businesses.  The dynamics won't work if individuals compete with each other.  We must take turns stepping back to lift up others in order to reach a goal.  Maxwell tells a story of a basketball team built of phenomenal players who were beat by a less talented team.  Instead of working together, several teammates tried to make big moves all on their own.

Start Adding Value to Others Continually
Maxwell asks you to think about whether the lives of the people you know are better or worse because of you.
  1. Put others first in your thinking.  Our heart controls our thinking and our thinking controls our actions.  Our actions paint a picture of our values for others.
  2. Find out what others need.  God gave us two ears and one mouth, listen more and talk less.  Ask others what matters to them and find out by observing how they spend their time and money.
  3. Meet those needs with excellence and generosity.  "Be more concerned with what you can give rather than what you can get because giving truly is the highest level of living."

"No enterprise can exist for itself alone.  It ministers to some great need, it performs some great service, not for itself, but for others; or failing therein it ceases to be profitable and ceases to exist." 
-Calvin Coolidge

There isn't much here that we haven't heard before probably.  But when it all comes together, it makes you evaluate where your own head is at.  One of my first posts that went up this year was called Climbing Out of a Rut.  It is the second most read post of all time.  Maxwell might suggest I include "get over yourself" as a bullet in that post.

Reading this chapter has me pumped for another of John Maxwell's books waiting on my shelf, Winning with People: Discover the People Principles that Work for You Every Time.

Continue your own education.  Pick up a book.


Related Articles:
Quotes From Failing Forward
The Fear Cycle