Make Today Count
by John C. Maxwell
How much does today matter to you? How about tomorrow? Are you interested in making a difference in your “todays” and “tomorrows” this year? Then this may be the book for you.
Ephesians 5:15-16 says, “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
Make Today Count is an easy to read, small, hardcover book that can fit in your purse. I like to carry it with me, pull it out, and read a couple sentences when I have a few spare moments. I find it a very beneficial tool to refer to along the way. Every time I read it, I am motivated and inspired to make today count.
John Maxwell believes that daily success is determined by your daily agenda; therefore your daily agenda should consist of good decisions and daily discipline. In his introduction, he shares how he has learned to make Today count by narrowing down his daily agenda to the “Daily Dozen.” These twelve areas include: Attitude, Priorities, Health, Family, Thinking, Commitment, Finances, Faith, Relationships, Generosity, Values, and Growth.
I’d like to give you a sneak peek into John Maxwell’s book by sharing a few quotes and statements from each of the twelve categories. I hope these thoughts will motivate you to want to read the entire book!
Attitudes: Like any discipline, your attitude will not take care of itself. That’s why it needs to be attended to daily. Begin each day with an attitude check. Watch for red flags signaling that your attitude might be in trouble.
“If your thinking changes, then everything else can follow.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Priorities: If you don’t decide how your day will be spent, someone else will.
Health: Mickey Mantle reportedly said, “If I had known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself.” I think that statement could apply to many people as they age.
Family: Building a solid family doesn’t just happen on its own. You have to work at it.
A marriage can’t survive forever on leftovers. It needs to be fed continually, or it will starve.
I think a lot of people go into marriage expecting it to be easy. Marriage isn’t easy. Family isn’t easy. Life isn’t easy. Expect problems, stay committed, and develop strategy for getting through the rough times.
People who use their feelings as a barometer for the health of their marriage are destined for a breakup. If you intend to stay married only as long as you feel the love, you might as well give up. Just like anything else worth fighting for, marriage requires daily discipline and commitment.
Thinking: “All that a man achieves or fails to achieve is the direct result of his thoughts.” James Allen.
I’ve found that the more good ideas I’m exposed to, the more my thinking improves.
If you spend time with good thinkers, you will find that the exposure sharpens your thinking.
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.
Commitment: “Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them, day after day. What you promise today must be reviewed and decided tomorrow and each day that stretches out before you.” Arthur Gordon.
Finances: The earlier you make the decision and practice sound financial management, the more options you will have. Failing to plan is like planning to fail.
Faith: Developing your faith is very similar to developing yourself physically. Perhaps that’s why the Bible contains so many athletic metaphors for spiritual growth. If you want to get into good physical condition, you need to exercise your body regularly. If you don’t, you not only don’t gain strength and conditioning, you begin to lose what you once had.
Relationships: Good relationships require a lot of effort.
I have learned that you can’t tell the people you love how much you love them too often.
The best way to help people is to see the best in them. I look for one thing I admire in them and give them 100 percent encouragement for it.
“You can’t make the other fellow feel important in your presence if you secretly feel that he is a nobody.” Les Giblin
People who disrespect others always hurt themselves relationally—and they often reap other negative consequences.
Generosity: I will live to give. Margaret and I recognized that greatness is not defined by what a person receives, but by what a person gives. True generosity isn’t a function of income—it begins with the heart.
If you wait until you feel like giving, you may wait forever.
No man becomes rich unless he enriches others.
Values: Once you’ve created your list of values, write a descriptive statement for each one explaining how you intend to apply it to your life and what benefit or direction that will bring.
When you embrace your values whole heartedly and articulate them continually, you dramatically increase your chances of living them.
Growth: The problem most people have is that they want things to stay the same yet also get better. Obviously, that can’t happen. If you truly want to grow, then commit yourself to not only accepting change, but seeking it.
“If a person will spend one hour a day on the same subject for five years, that person will become an expert on that subject.” Earl Nightingale
“Up is not an easy direction. Often the most difficult part of the upward climb is putting into practice what we learn.“ Mike Abrashoff.
The final test of all learning is always application.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading these excerpts as much as I have. I encourage you to read the whole book! You will not be disappointed. Write down your daily dozen list, and look it over as you prepare for each new day. It will help you stay focused on what is really important in life. Use your list as part of your daily prayer life – for yourself, and others.
As John Maxwell says, “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. Success doesn’t just suddenly occur one day in someone’s life. For that matter neither does failure. Each is a process.”
Always rely on the Lord’s strength and wisdom as you strive to make each day count for eternity! (“For without me ye can do nothing.” John 15:5 “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13)
If you would like to read this book, you can find it in our church library under “Christian Walk.” You can purchase it from Barnes & Noble for $9.99 or about the same price at online sites when you include shipping. There is a website that is called Discount Book Sale. If this is the first time you ordered from them, you can purchase the book for $1.42 and that price includes shipping – a very good deal for first time customers. www.DiscountBookSale.com
Gina is happily married to Jim Hall who is the Director of Payroll at St. Luke’s Hospital & Health Network in Bethlehem, PA. They have been members of the Lehigh Valley Baptist Church for over 30 years. They have 7 children & 11 grandchildren. The 3 oldest children are married. Two boys and two girls are at home. Our 2 girls came from the wonderful country of China. We love all our children immensely and enjoy a very happy, fulfilled home. Training her children in the ways of the Lord brings great delight!
Gina loves to read motivational and inspirational books. She finds them a tremendous source of spiritual and personal growth in her life.
Born in a Catholic home, Gina came to know the Lord at 25 years of age, through the witness of a member from the Lehigh Valley Baptist Church. You can read her testimony here on our church website.