A recent client mentioned something he’d once read in John Maxwell’s book, Failing Forward. He also mentioned that he’d lent his copy out and should get it back and revisit what was said.

Since I happened to have a copy, I wrote out several of my underlined passages that I thought might be encouraging, challenging and inspiring for my friend. I thought you might feel the same. So here they are, just as I sent them off to my client.

Failing Forward, John Maxwell, c. 2000, Maxwell Motivation Inc.

“What distinguishes winners from losers is that winners concentrate at all times on what they can do, not on what they can’t do.”

“In The Psychology of Achievement”, Brian Tracy writes about four millionaires who made their fortunes by age thirty-five. They were involved in an average of seventeen businesses before finding the one that took them to the top. They kept trying and changing until they found something that worked for them.”

“Steward B Johnson remarked, “Our business in life is not to get ahead of others, but to get ahead of ourselves – to break our own records, to outstrip our yesterday by our today.””

“People naturally tend toward inertia. That’s why self-improvement is such a struggle. But that’s also why adversity lies at the heart of every success. The process of achievement comes through repeated failures and the constant struggle to climb to a higher level.”

“Deep down, nobody wants to look bad. And if you take a risk and fall flat on your face, you might embarrass yourself. So what? Get over it. The only way to become better is to take steps forward – even shaky ones that cause you to fall down. Little progress is better than no progress at all. Success comes in taking many small steps. If you stumble in a small step, it rarely matters. Don’t gift wrap the garbage. Let little failures go.”

“Johann Wolfgang von Goethe addressed the importance of commitment: “Until one is committed, there is hesitance, the chance to draw back, and always ineffectiveness … The moment one definitely commits oneself … a whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way.””

“William Knudson joked, “Experience is knowing a lot of things you shouldn’t do.””

“Failures are milestones on the success journey. Each time you plan, risk, fail, reevaluate, and adjust, you have another opportunity to begin again, only better than the last time.”

We all have different takeaways from books we read. What’s mine from this read? Be encouraged. Never give up. Keep reaching for what’s possible.