I first learned about this insightful book while walking the streets of Hong Kong. With headphones in my ears, I was listening to a John Maxwell Maximim Impact Membership call. He referenced "The Laws of Lifetime Growth" by Dan Sullivan and Catherine Nomura, and so I ordered it and was excited to start reading it. Tony Robbins said: "Change is inevitable; progress is optional." And this great little book provided me the tools to refocus my efforts on growing to my potential. Here were my takeaway lessons from the authors:
Law #1 is always make your future bigger than your past. It's not about how much time you have left, but rather what you do with that time. Instead of focusing on money, focus on contribution. Instead of applause, focus on courage. Instead of awards, focus on performance. Instead of comfort, focus on purpose.
Law #2 is always make your learning greater than your experience. You don't always get to choose all the experiences you have, but you do get to choose what to do with them.
Law #3 is always make your contribution bigger than your reward. How? Adopt a "no entitlement attitude." Believe you have to make some kind of valuable contribution to others before you deserve any reward. Don't wait for opportunity to come to you; proactively find ways to contribute.
Law #4 is always make your performance greater than your applause. You don't have control over other people's responses, approval, or applause, but you do have control over your performance.
Law #5 is always make your gratitude greater than your success. We are taught to thank someone when he or she does something for us, but there is much more in the world to be grateful for. Just look around you right now if you need proof. Look at everything in your environment that was created by others: the tools you use, the food you ate earlier, the furniture you're sitting on, the screen these words are displayed on. It's almost inconceivable how many people, how much ingenuity, and how much effort were required to create the situation you're in right now.
Law #6 is to always make your enjoyment greater than your effort. Often people get trapped doing what they are very good at, but not passionate about. Though these efforts may bring rewards, they do not bring enjoyment or significant growth over the long term. Finding a way to bring enjoyment to work engages our creativity and gives us the sense that we are in control rather than being oppressed by a task. It's not how much time and effort you put in that counts—what matters is the result.
Law #7 is always make your cooperation greater than your status. Cooperation begins with conversation: asking intelligent and open-ended questions; listening; respecting others' opinions; and understanding people's real concerns. Aim to be in charge rather than to be in control. Being in charge involves clearly communicating vision and goals and supporting your team to get the desired result. Being in control presumes that you need to personally drive every part of the process and dictate how things get done.
Law #8 is always make your confidence greater than your comfort. You're in a "comfort trap" if life starts to feel a bit too easy or routine, or it begins to lose the sense of meaning and excitement it once had. Security and comfort are desirable by-products of goal achievement, but when they become the goal itself, they quickly stop lifetime growth. Take on a new challenge to build your confidence. Goals get you striving, and striving leads to growth.
Law #9 is to always make your purpose greater than your money. Defining a sense of purpose can be a difficult task, but even the act of searching for purpose leads to growth. As children, we ask lots of questions. As we get older, we gradually begin to think we have a lot of the answers. But all growth lies in the territory of the unknown.
Law #10 is to always make your questions bigger than your answers. Engage your curiosity. Read a book or watch a documentary about a subject you've never explored before. Go somewhere you've never visited. Start a conversation with someone you wouldn't normally talk to.