Earlier this week I posted my book summary of John C. Maxwell’s book, Make Today Count, over three consecutive days. The entire summary will soon be available as well on the www.books2wealth.com website. Book summaries are not book reviews and are not critiques. They are a straightforward report of the key points of the book. In a summary there is no effort to say the book is good or bad. That is saved for reviews.
I first reviewed this book in 2008 and gave it a very good review. It is a good book, in fact as I said in 2008 it is an excellent book. It outlines a plan to make the best of each day throughout your life in key areas that the author thinks most important. It will appeal to people who want to improve themselves and strive for a high level of performance.
Do Not Be Overwhelmed
Make Today Count can be, for many people, overwhelming. If you were to seriously do everything that Maxwell urges you to do every day you would be overwhelmed. Although Maxwell does not say so, it is hard to believe he actually expects anyone to put all his suggestions and prescriptions into action the day you read the book and each day thereafter. Benjamin Franklin embarked on a self-improvement project similar to what Maxwell describes in his book. Franklin however, even as a very young man, understood the folly of overwhelming oneself and chose to pick one item at a time and focus on it for a week. Then he would move to the next “virtue” on his list.
Franklin understood that overwhelming oneself achieves little but frustration and a sense of failure. Franklin also understood that by focusing on one thing to the exclusion of others success is more likely. Maxwell touches on this in his sections on Priorities and Commitment. He understands and teaches the importance of focusing on what you want to achieve. He just fails to apply this to the use of his book. This book is an excellent example of a work so rich in content that it will overwhelm anyone trying to put it all into practice in one day or even in one week. It is a good example of why I advocate using a book like this over time – to study it carefully and apply its lessons over time – one bite at a time. That will not overwhelm. That is achievable.
How to Get the Most Out of It
To get the most from this book read it through once. Then put it down for a day. Reflect on its totality but do not think you have to do it all at once. Then day by day, week by week, read a single chapter or part of a chapter and develop ways to incorporate the lessons in your life. Even if you only implemented one idea a month from this book, in a year you would have accomplished a great deal. Also, as you read the book some of its ideas will resonate with you and some many not. You may find some parts totally unacceptable for you. That is fine. You should take from it what you find helpful and feel free to reject what is not helpful. This book is about personal growth. Real growth takes lots of time and effort. It cannot happen overnight. If you can maintain that perspective you will not feel the least overwhelmed.
The Long View
Finally, put a reminder on your calendar for a year from now. A year from now pick up the book again and review it. Take stock of those things you have been able to use and perhaps those things you’ve overlooked. You will invariably find that some ideas you rejected a year before are now worth considering. You will do this if you have seriously pursued growth and personal development. As we change our acceptance and understanding also changes. This is a book you can go back to many times over the years and continue to find gems in it that you have either forgotten or never appreciated to begin with.
Books like this are like onions. At first they appear to be a simple package of ideas. Over time and study and reflection however the layers peel back and you see the deep value of its content. This book is a rich source of ideas and stimulation. It will inform and motivate you only if you take it one step at a time as your energy allows.
Do this and you will find it very satisfying. Fail to do this and you may find it unrealistic and reject it. That would be a pity.
Daniel R. Murphy
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.