Thursday, May 5, 2016

“Having a life that matters comes from the ability to add value to others.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell (2015-10-06) from his book, Intentional Living: Choosing a Life That Matters (p. 92). Center Street. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

This Sunday is Mother’s Day and John talks about his mother. 

He says, “It seemed she always had time for me. Always. And whenever she gave her time to me, I knew I had her full attention. We would sit down together and she would listen to me, sometimes for hours. She always listened until I was talked out. No interruptions, with continual visual expressions to let me know that she was hearing every word and understanding the feelings that accompanied each idea. She heard with her ears and connected with her eyes. Her heart constantly gave me unconditional love.”

He goes on, “Does it sound like she was a saint? She was. She was my mother! Mom asked questions only when I was finished talking. They were filled with amazing insight because she always heard me out. Her reflective nature allowed her to think through each question she asked and couch it in a context of love. Her questions helped me sort out my feelings and caused me to reflect. It was at her side that I learned to listen and ask questions.”

She was adding value to John.  He then says, “The first question you must ask yourself is this: How can I add value to others? If you can quiet yourself enough to listen for that answer from within yourself, you will begin to understand your why. I have to tell you that this question has been the foundation and driver of every significant act in my life. Did you get that? Having a life that matters comes from the ability to add value to others. This is where significance starts.”

That is where it starts.


So who will you add value to today?

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

“People have a harder time living without a why to live for.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell (2015-10-06) from his book, Intentional Living: Choosing a Life That Matters (p. 84). Center Street. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

I understand that.  When I retired from church planting and pastoring I was a little lost.  I wasn’t sure what my why was anymore.  But I found that my desire to make a difference in people’s lives was still there.  Instead of preparing each week to stand before people with a message, I found I could do the same thing but everyday with my computer.  That is where this blog came into the picture. 

John says, “I’m like my dad. I want to keep living and giving until I’ve got nothing left. To this day, my dad’s still in the game, and he is ninety-four years old! Every morning he gets up excited. Why? Because he still has his why! Every day he visits old people— it never dawns on him that he is an old person. Everyone he meets is someone whom he wants to encourage to keep going, to keep focusing on their reasons to live. He makes fifty pastoral visits a week to various homes.”

John goes on, “People who know my dad say to me, ‘You’re blessed to have his genes.’ I agree. But I’m even more blessed to know my why. That will sustain me a long time. I’m going to live fully until I die. And God willing, I’ve still got a long way to go. But when I finally do pass and I am six feet in the ground, I hope they put on my epitaph, ‘Here lies a man who lived with purpose and intentionality,’ because that’s how I want to be remembered.”

We each were created by God with a purpose, a why and we never will retire from it.  That why is what energizes you, motivates you, makes you feel alive.  

So why would we want to retire from that? 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

“People’s strengths and their individual purposes are always connected.”

A thought by John C. Maxwell (2015-10-06) from his book, Intentional Living: Choosing a Life That Matters (p. 83). Center Street. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title of the book to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Why am I here?  What am I supposed to do with my life?  What is my purpose?  All of those are important questions that will make a difference in how we look at our strengths.

John says, “People’s strengths and their individual purposes are always connected. I embrace that truth because I believe God has gifted everyone with the ability to be great at what they are supposed to do.” 

He then says, “Your why is fuel for your strengths. And your strengths are the way to fulfill your why. Every time you use your strengths to live out your why, you build on your strength and increase your why. Living this way adds layers of ability, purpose, credibility, and significance to your life. The more you do, the more you learn, because you are layering each experience into your life.”

He then explains, “Think about it like this. When you start off doing something, you are usually not very good at it. But with time and practice, you get better. After a while, you create layers of success that you can build on, and you also build up tremendous confidence as a result. That’s what great athletes do. They don’t start off playing their sport at a professional level. It takes years of practice to get to the highest level. How do they do it? They layer wins, losses, pain, and gain.”

He then finishes this section by saying, “When you know your why, you know the history and purpose of each experience in your life.”

That is how God works it all together.


Do you see the importance of knowing your why?