What does your daily agenda say about you?


How would you describe your life? Are you achieving what you desire? Are you accomplishing the things that are important to you? Do you consider yourself a success? How do your prospects look for the future?

If I could come to your house and spend just one day with you, I would be able to tell whether or not you will be successful. You could pick the day. If I got up with you in the morning and went through the day with you, watching you for 24 hours, I could tell in what direction your life is headed.

When I tell this to people at conferences, there’s always a strong reaction. Some people are surprised. Some get defensive because they think I would be making a snap judgment about them. A few get ticked off because they think my claim sounds arrogant. Others are intrigued and desire to know why I make such a statement.

Here is why: I believe that the secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. If you make a few key decisions and then manage them well in your daily agenda, you will succeed.

You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. You see, success, doesn’t just suddenly occur one day in someone’s life. For that matter, neither does failure. Each is a process. Every day of your life is merely preparation for the next. What you become is the result of what you do today. In other words…

You are preparing for something.

The question is, What are you preparing for? Are you grooming yourself for success or failure? As my father used to tell me when I was growing up, “You can pay now, and play later, or you can play now and pay later. But either way, you are going to pay.” The idea was that you can play and take it easy and do what you want today, but if you do, your life will be harder later. However, if you work hard now, on the front end, then you will reap rewards in the future.

Think about it: What are you preparing for today? Success or failure? Does your daily agenda indicate that you make a habit of paying before you play? Answering these questions is a good predictor of what you will become tomorrow and in the future.

From Today Matters

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  1. 1
    tony Hawley says:

    Thank you friend John for adding value to my life again!

  2. 2
    avinash says:

    yes …..True ! The Magic of success is How much you pay ? irrespective of time & Money…………

  3. 3
    Chris Schwartz says:

    As always thank you for increasing my knowledge on how to be a better person and leader. At this point I am pretty sure that there is not enough time in the day to read everything you print.

    Thank you for your leadereship guidance.

  4. 4
    Luzminda says:

    Thank you so much John.Listening always to your video message has of great values empowering my spiritual growth and every day life struggle for success.

  5. 5
    Nataliya says:

    Thank you for your inspired recommendation very much

  6. 6
    Kujembola tayo says:

    Can I get this on tracts. I feel it may be selfish for me to have this soft copy without been able to share with those who can’t afford to av the soft copy around me. God bless you for this great impact of your post. I cherish God in your life.

  7. 7
    Joe Lalonde says:

    Thanks for sharing these words of wisdom John.

    We don’t like to admit it, but we are often creating the situations that we live in.

    That is why goals are important. It gives us our aim and direction.

  8. 8
    Tatiana says:

    Very good article! Thank you!

  9. 9
    Mike says:

    The Hawaiian Fisherman

    An investment banker was at the pier of a small coastal Hawaiian village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellow fin tuna. The Banker complimented the Hawaiian on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.
    The Hawaiian replied, “Only a little while.”

    The banker then asked, “Why didn’t you stay out longer and catch more fish?”

    The Hawaiian said, “With this I have more than enough to support my family’s needs.”

    The banker then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?”

    The Hawaiian fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take nap with my wife, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my friends, I have a full and busy life.”

    The banker scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing; and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat: With the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats. Eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor; eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Honolulu, then Los Angeles and eventually New York where you will run your ever-expanding enterprise.”

    The Hawaiian fisherman asked, “But, how long will this all take?”

    To which the banker replied, “15 to 20 years.”

    “But what then?” asked the Hawaiian.

    The banker laughed and said that’s the best part. “When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

    “Millions?…Then what?”

    The banker said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take nap with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your friends.”

    — Author Unknown

  10. 10
    Fez Butt says:

    What a great article, so poignant yet so succinct.
    Thanks John :)

  11. 11
    Eric Connor says:

    This is a great reminder John.

    I also think about your principle of Kaizen in terms of both our productivity and who we are becoming as persons. It’s the days that add up to weeks and months and years. If I can just get THIS day right then I can worry about tomorrow when it comes.

  12. 12
    Kirk Goodwin says:

    Great Post. As part of the John Maxwell Team, I have just added UBalance coaching to my services. This technique takes control of your daily and weekly agenda and helps you set your sights on success.

    If you’d like to learn more:

  13. 13
    Abu mojisola says:

    Am greatly blessed by your article and all other books written by you.You are such a blessing to me.Reading your leadership bible daily always inspire and get me on the move in my career and my relationship with people.Keep the good work going John Maxwell.

  14. 14
    Patricia Rose says:

    Mr. Maxwell – you are a wonderful inspiration to us. Love your books over the years. Teamwork makes the dream work was bought and given to our Senior Pastor some years ago. How may we ( in Jamaica) get in touch with you to provide some one-and -one inspiration to those whose Leadership and zeal are flagging or burnt out? Recently bought your book Time Matters. Great Investment.

    Do look forward to hearing from you.

  15. 15

    “If I could come to your house and spend just one day with you, I would be able to tell whether or not you will be successful. You could pick the day. If I got up with you in the morning and went through the day with you, watching you for 24 hours, I could tell in what direction your life is headed.”

    This is one great inspiration for personally me John. Thank you for challenging all your readers with this. This has been one of the best readings I have done in recent times. Truly enjoyed this post. Thanks again.


  16. 16
    brenda says:

    wow Mr Maxwell this is something awesome to me very helpful info

  17. 17

    Yes, success is in details. Each small decision, every step we make, it propels us towards results.

  18. 18
    Delphia says:

    True are your phrases and you sound like a person who knows an individual in and out ….if i may put it this way , you kind like a pyschologist.

    The truth hutrs some may think you are arrogant yep’ but they actually know the truth.

    keep up the good work of waking the deaths.(sarcastic)

  19. 19
    kakobya says:

    Dr.Max,have decided to focus much on my daily agenda inorder to be successful.

  20. 20

    Terrific! Couldn’t have said this better…and we’ve tried! We’ll be citing this daily to our clients. Thank you, John!

    -the IRUNURUN Team

  21. 21
    Gustino Kachingwe says:

    Once again that’s a nice post from that end John!
    Quite inspiring. Keep it up.

  22. 22
    francis kapelewela says:

    This is a great lesson .At times we overlook that everything that happens in our lives happens in a day and the sum of our days make up our lives.Thanx for the enlightenment john

  23. 23
    Ciprian Bud says:

    Time is the only limited resource. Be careful how you use it.

    Thank you John!

  24. 24
    Tom Xiong says:

    Wow, I will take this and prepare my self for changes toward success in my life. Thanks JOHN.

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