QUICK HIT: John Maxwell is known for his leadership books, for his business books, for his motivational books, but Intentional Living goes beyond all that. This is a book that gets to your core, to the very source of your identity, and challenges you to find the meaning and purpose of your life and live with a goal in mind.
John Maxwell begins his latest book, Intentional Living, with these words: Your life can be a great story.
I feel like I should get some royalties from that, that’s all I’m saying. (For any who don’t know, I owned a review site called LifeIsStory.com for quite a few years.) This whole idea that life is story is at the heart of Intentional Living, which means I can just toss my half-written manuscript thesis in the trash pile because Maxwell’s already done it much better than I ever could. He’s often known for his leadership books, for his business books, for his motivational books, but Intentional Living goes beyond all that. This is a book that gets to your core, to the very source of your identity, and challenges you to find the meaning and purpose of your life and live with a goal in mind.
Intentional Living is divided into four groups:
- I want to make a difference
- Doing something that makes a difference
- With people who make a difference
- At a time that makes a difference
Each section not only motivates you to get up and get going, but also provides signposts for the way to go. At the heart of the book is Maxwell’s concern for other people. You’re only as big as your community. That’s why in the Doing Something section he focuses on people: put others first and add value to them. From there you can, in part three, connect and partner with like-minded and like-valued people.
The section I connected the most with was right at the beginning: Start Small but Think Big. I can get discouraged sometimes because I want to accomplish more than I have. I want to write books and preach to thousands and give talks at conferences. And here’s this automatic #1NYT bestseller reminding me that he began his professional career as the pastor of a tiny rural church in Indiana. So did I, actually. It was a good reminder that there is significance in the small things and that God rewards obedience in that.
Each page in this book has points I could talk on for hours. The layout and structure really lend itself to an almost devotional-like type of read—read a few pages during your lunch hour or before bed or in the morning. This isn’t a book I recommend you read quickly. This is a book that has to be processed and considered and digested. Listen, when John Maxwell says this is his most important book, it’s not a mere marketing ploy: he means it. For your own good, read this book.