Living A Life Of Significance

Living a Life of Significance – an interview with John C. Maxwell

As a founding member of the John Maxwell Team, I have had the privilege of experiencing John’s wisdom and presence first-hand. It is my privilege to share an interview with him about his new book, Intentional Living.

You are quite a prolific author, John. So why was it important for you to write this specific book at this moment in time?

This is a book I’ve wanted to write for over two years. And it’s taken me 2½ years to do it. I feel like Intentional Living is my legacy book, because I believe it has the potential to help people more than any of my other books. It’s also my most personal book, telling much of my own story of discovering a life of significance.

My goal with this book is to help one million people experience lives of significance through intentional living, and be able to tell their own story of making a difference in the lives of others.

In your book you talk about living a life of significance. What does that mean exactly? How does someone know they’ve lived a life of significance?

It starts with putting other people first, followed by regularly adding value to them. This is best achieved when you tap into and use your greatest talents and gifts, along with your “why” – your purpose here on earth.

When you consistently add value to others from your “sweet spot,” you’re living a life of significance. tweet this

Do you truly think this is something that anyone can attain? 

Absolutely. Anyone can add value to others. Everybody has a talent. Everybody has skills. And I believe every person was created with purpose and can find out their “why.” That puts significance within the reach of everyone. The key is to be intentional.

You can’t just have good intentions. You can’t just want to do things that add value. You have to take action and follow through.

Your book is all about the power of living intentionally. How is that distinct from other approaches to making an impact in the world, such as goal setting or visioning?

You can set goals and never accomplish them. You can come up with a vision and never see it come to pass. Intentional living is the bridge to a life of significance because it puts intentions into action.

If I were a “fly on the wall” observing my own life, how would I know if I was living intentionally or not?

Look for the gap. Is there a gap between what you want to do and what you’re actually doing? Do you say, “I’m going to do ______,” and then tomorrow you still haven’t done it? The thing about intentionality is that it has the goals and vision on the front end, but it also has follow-through on the back end. Too many people wait to do anything because they want to do something that feels significant (big) on the front end.

Intentional living is about taking whatever action you can today, and continuing day after day. That is significance. tweet this

How can someone get started if they want to begin living intentionally?

The simplest thing is to choose someone in your life that you could add value to, and then not go to bed tonight until you’ve actually done it for them. If that seems a little hard to achieve, then I recommend that you try our 7 Day Experiment. It’s a free online resource that gives you seven simple and realistic ideas for adding value to others. And any person can easily do each one in a day. Doing the 7 Day Experiment will give you a taste of significance, along with practical tools for continuing to live intentionally.

It occurs to me that getting started may be the easy part – what’s the best way to ensure you keep going?

First, you have to make adding value to others important in your life. Because that is the motivation to keep you doing acts of significance. You also need to tap into your purpose. Because your purpose fires your passion. We’ve created another resource, the 30 Day Journey, to give you a more in-depth process of finding your own “why” and tapping into your passion, along with providing more practice in living a life of significance.

I truly believe that by living intentionally, each of us can make a difference with what we have, where we are right now. And if enough of us do that, we can change the world.

Image credit: geralt

John C MaxwellJohn C. Maxwell, the #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker who has sold more than 25 million books, was identified as the #1 leader in business by the American Management Association® and the world’s most influential leadership expert by Business Insider and Inc. magazine in 2014. His organizations — The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, and EQUIP — have trained more than 5 million leaders worldwide. Maxwell speaks to Fortune 500 companies, presidents of nations, and many top world business leaders.



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