. today . matters .

Today Matters by John Maxwell explores 12 important areas of life in which commitment to succeed is essential. What you do today determines where you will be tomorrow, and this book will motivate you to make today a masterpiece.

Here are some notable quotes from the book:

When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare. -John Wooden

Ultimately, no one can network himself to success unless he has something to offer in the first place. -pg. 7

Growth comes from making decisions and following through on them. -pg. 10

People create success in their lives by focusing on today. -pg. 10

Hoping for a good future without investing in today is like a farmer waiting for a crop without ever planting any seed. -pg. 12

The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. -pg. 14

Successful people make right decisions early and manage those decisions daily. -pg. 15

The people who neglect to make those decisions and to manage them well often look back on their lives with pain and regret — not matter how much talent they possessed or how many opportunities they once had. -pg. 15

You can pay now and play later or you can play now and pay later. -pg. 19

The only adequate preparation for tomorrow is the right use of today. – pg. 20

Most people don’t lead their own lives–they accept their lives. -John Kotter

Successful people conquer their feelings and form the habit of doing things unsuccessful people do not like to do. -pg. 26

Be the change you want to see in the world. -Mahatma Gandhi

The greatest gap in life is the one between knowing and doing. -Dick Biggs, author of Burn Brightly Without Burning Out

You have to give 100 percent every day. Whatever you don’t give, you can’t make up for tomorrow. If you give only 75 percent today, you can’t give 125 percent tomorrow to make up for it. -John Wooden

Make each day your masterpiece. -John Wooden

…in his book, Civilization and Its Discontents, Freud wrote, “What good to us is a long life if it is difficult and barren of misery that we can only welcome death as a deliverer?” Without a doubt, his attitudes, not his accomplishments, influenced his outlook on life. He was a miserable person who was unhappy his entire life. What’s sad is he chose his discontent. -pg. 40

The confident person increases his chances for success. The pessimist invites the negative outcome he expects. -pg. 41

He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts and multiply the grief which he purposes to remove. -Samuel Johnson

The thoughts in your mind will always be more important than the things in your life. -pg. 44

You cannot buy or win happiness. You must choose it. -pg. 44

I can’t think of one legitimate criticism of positive thinking. -pg. 45

Each of us must take responsibility for our own attitude. If you want today to be a good day, you need to take charge of the way you look at it. -pg. 47

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us. -Walt Emerson

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. -John Wooden

Reflection today motivates your discipline every day, and discipline every day maximizes your decision of yesterday. -pg. 61

Devoting a little of yourself to everything means committing a great deal of yourself to nothing. – Michael LeBoef

Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists of the elimination of nonessentials. -Lin Yutang

The reason most goals are not achieved is that we spend our time doing second things first. -Robert J. McKain

Experience isn’t the best teacher–evaluated experience is. -pg. 73

If you prioritize your life and plan your day but don’t follow through, your results will be the same as those of someone who didn’t prioritize at all. -pg. 76

You can escape a lot of things that might hurt you. You can quit a hazardous job. You can move from one climate to another. You can stay away from someone who wants to harm you. But you can’t get away from your body. For as long as you live, you’re stuck with it. If you make choices that cause you to be continually hurting or unhealthy, it will affect every aspect of your life–your heart, mind, and spirit. -pg. 85

Neglect enough todays, and you’ll experience the “someday” you’ve wanted to avoid! -pg. 93

Successful people make the major decisions in their life early and manage them daily. – pg. 99

Though you cannot go back and make a brand-new start, my friend, you can start now, and make a brand-new end. -pg. 99

The home…is the lens through which we get our first look at marriage and all civic duties; it is the clinic where, by conversation and attitude, impressions are created with respect to sobriety and reverence; it is the school where lessons of truth or falsehood, honesty or deceit are learned; it is the mold which ultimately determines the structure of society. -Perry F. Webb

Your character is little more than the collection of choices you make and habits you cultivate every day. -pg. 110

…a marriage can’t survive on leftovers. It needs to be fed continually, or it will eventually starve. -pg. 114

Someone once said that you should never let yourself feel that you ought to be at work when you’re with your family, and you should never feel that you ought to be with your family when you’re at work. That’s a great perspective. If you and your family can figure out and agree on how much time you should spend together and you protect those thimes, you should be able to adopt that mindset. -pg. 118

…a successful marriage is one that can go from crisis to crisis with a growth in commitment. -pg. 120

A family’s response to problems will either promote bonding or be destructive. -pg. 121

Thought is the original source of all wealth, all success, all material gain, all great discoveries and inventions, and all achievement. -Claude M. Bristol

It doesn’t matter what profession a person pursues, thinking precedes achievement. -pg. 133

A small man is made up of small thoughts. -Victor Hugo

Capital isn’t so important in business. Experience isn’t so important. You can get both these things. What is important is ideas. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life. -Harvey Firestone

People who do not develop and practice good thinking often find themselves at the mercy of their circumstances. They are unable to solve problems, and they find themselves facing the same obstacles over and over again. And because they don’t think ahead, they are habitually in reaction mode. -pg. 134

Better an empty purse than an empty head. -German proverb

All that a man achieves or fails to achieve is the direct result of his thoughts. -James Allen in As A Man Thinketh, pg. 49

Only by practicing and developing your thinking will your ideas get better. -pg. 136

So what do you do about your weaknesses? Gather people around you who are strong in those areas. -pg. 138

If you don’t write down your ideas, there is a great danger you will lose them. -pg. 141

What you do every day in the area of thinking really matters because it sets the stage for all your actions, and it will bring you either adversity or advantage. -pg. 143

Excellence means doing your very best in everything, in very way. That kind of commitment will take you where half-hearted people will never go. -pg. 163

The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight. But they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

If you want something out of your day, you must put something in it. -pg. 166

Money has yet to make anyone rich. -Seneca, Roman philosopher

You are what you are – no matter how much or how little money you have. -pg. 179

Ideally, a person’s life should follow a pattern where the main focus goes from learning to earning to returning. -pg. 183

What often puts out the fire of desire is the belief that the work is too great for the return. -pg. 187

Do not pay too much attention to fame, power, or money. Some day you will meet a person who cares for non of these, and then you will know how poor you are. -Rudyard Kipling

The underlying message from God is not to act differently, but to become different. -pg. 205

Right now you already have faith in something. Your goal should be to align your beliefs with the truth. -pg. 206

[This] is the great conversation in our life: to recognize and believe that the many unexpected events are not just disturbing interruptions of our projects, but the way in which God molds our hearts and prepares us. -Henri Nouwen

Unbelief puts our circumstances between us and God. Faith puts God between us and our circumstances. -F.B. Meyer

I prayed for faith, and thought that some day faith would come down and strike me like lightning. But faith did not seem to come. One day I read in the tenth chapter of Romans, ‘Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.’ I had closed my Bible and prayed for faith. I now opened my Bible and began to study and faith has been growing ever since. -D.L. Moody

Appreciate your people as your greatest assets, and they will continually increase in value. -pg. 225

Always start a relationship by asking: Do I have ulterior motives for wanting to relate to this person? Is my caring conditional? Am I trying to escape something? Am I planning to change this person? Do I need this person to help me make up for a deficiency in myself? If your anser to any of these questions is ‘yes’, leave the person alone. He or she is better off without you. -pg. 228-229

No man becomes rich unless he enriches others. -Andrew Carnegie

The service we render to others is really the rent we pay for our room on this earth. -Sir Wilfred T. Grenfell

If you want to be proactive in the way you live your life, if you want to influence your life’s direction, if you want your life to exhibit the qualities you find desirable, and if you want to live with integrity, then you need to know what your values are, decide to embrace them, and practice them every day. -pg. 163

I believe that it is more a phenomenon of a wrong value system that it is the age group in which it occurs. All of a sudden you realize that the ladder you’ve been climbing is leaning against the wrong wall. -James Dobson, concerning midlife crisis

Try not to become men of success. Rather, become men of value. -Albert Einstein

The gap between knowing and doing is significantly greater than the gap between ignorance and knowledge. -pg. 268

To be successful, my values — not my feelings — need to control my actions. -pg. 269-270

By choosing to embrace and practice good values every day, you choose the higher cause in life. And your life goes in a direction that you will always feel good about. You may not always get what you desire, but you will always be the person you desire to be. -pg. 273

People who settle for mediocrity don’t stand out. Their stories don’t get told. -pg. 279

The truth is, if we don’t take responsibility for our growth, it won’t happen. Growth is not automatic. -pg. 280

Experience is good only if it’s reflected on and one learns from both his mistakes and successes. -pg. 281

Hell begins on that day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts we wasted, of all that we might have done that we did not do. -Gian Carlo Menotti

Gifting without growth leads to ineffectiveness. -pg. 282

In order to do more, I have to be more. -Jim Rohn

The gap between your vision and your present reality can only be filled through a commitment to maximize your potential. -pg. 285

The problem most people have is that they want things to stay the same yet also get better. -pg. 285-286

If you truly want to grow, then commit yourself to not only accepting change, but seeking it. -pg. 286

The great mystery isn’t that people do things badly but that they occasionally do a few things well. The ony thing that is universal is incompetence. Strength is always specific. Nobody ever commented, for example, that the great violinist Jascha Heifetz probably couldn’t play the trumpet very well. -Peter Drucker

If the destination appeals to you, but you cannot enjoy the journey it takes to get there, you would be wise to reexamine your priorities to make sure you have them right. -pg. 287

If a person will spend one hour a day on the same subject for five years, that person will be an expert on that subject. -Earl Nightingale

Don’t waste your time on anything of low value. -pg. 291

Up is not an easy direction. It defies gravity, both cultural and magnetic. -Mike Abrashoff

The final test of any learning is always application. -pg. 291-292

The greatest of all miracles is that we need not be tomorrow what we are today. The greatest of all insights is that we cannot be tomorrow what we do not do today. That’s why today matters. -pg. 292

That’s what happens when you seek and experience improvements daily. Your potential grows, and so does your ability to make an impact on your world. -pg. 295


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