The Law of Expansion

In his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John Maxwell shares his Law of Expansion. Quoting Robert J. Kriegel and Louis Patler from their book, If It Ain’t Broke … Break It: “We don’t have a clue as to what people’s limits are. All the tests, stopwatches, and finish lines in the world can’t measure human potential. When someone is pursuing their dream, they’ll go far beyond what seems to be their limitations. The potential that exists within us is limitless and largely untapped… when you think of limits, you create them.

Maxwell shares his suggestions for increasing the great leaders’ thinking capacity and capacity for action.

Increasing Thinking Capacity

  1. Stop Thinking More Work and Start Thinking What Works – Ask yourself three questions: What am I required to do? What gives the greatest return? What gives me the greatest reward?
  2. Stop Thinking Can I? and Start Thinking How Can I? – Quoting Robert Schuller: “What would you attempt if you know you couldn’t fail?” To Maxwell, the answer was obvious: “A lot more than I was currently attempting.” Some hints to overcome self-skepticism: Believe that you can. Perseverance – Don’t give up. Change your thinking – use failure as a resource to help you find the edge of your capacities.
  3. Stop thinking One Door and Start Thinking Many DoorsMaxwell’s learning in this:
  • There is more than one way to do something successfully
  • The odds of arriving anywhere increase with creativity and adaptability
  • Movement with intentionality creates possibilities
  • Failures and setbacks can be great tools for learning
  • Knowing the future is difficult; controlling the future is impossible
  • Knowing today is essential; controlling today is possible
  • Success is the result of continued action filled with continual adjustments

Increasing Capacity for Action

  1. Stop Doing Only those things You have Done Before and Start Doing Those Things You Could and Should Do – Quoting Pablo Picasso: “I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order to learn how to do it.
  2. Stop Doing What Is Expected and Start Doing Mare Than Is Expected – Quoting boxer Jack Jackson: “Going far beyond that call of duty, doing more than others expect, this is what excellence is all about! And it comes from striving, maintaining the highest standards, looking after the smallest detail, and going the extra mile. Excellence means doing your very best. In everything! In every way.”
  3. Stop Doing Important Things Occasionally and Start Doing Important Things Daily – Quoting poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: “Not enjoyment and not sorrow is our destined end always; But to live that each tomorrow find us further than today.

What beauty and greatness Maxwell gives great leaders!  May you heed Zig Ziglar’s counsel in your new starts: “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”Remember also Babe Ruth’s word about persistence: “You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”  Great leaders never give up!

Have a beautiful day and a magnificent week!!!

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