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Ryan DeJonghe - The Avid Reader

I didn't always read, but that changed in June of 2013. I dropped the unnecessary stuff and picked up the awesome stuff--like reading! I started posting my reviews on Amazon and within a few months rose to the top 0.1% of reviewers. My reviews then went to Goodreads, and now my blog (http://ryandejonghe.wordpress.com) and Twitter (@Ryan_Reads). If you are reading this, why not leave a comment or send me a note? I love talking to other folks about books and my reviews. Publishers and authors, feel free to drop me a note if you want me to review your book. I usually stick to mainstream publishing, but I'll consider anything. If I review your book, I’ll give you a fair and thorough review and let you know when the review goes live. You can reach me at dejonghes@gmail.com. Happy Reading!
How Successful People Grow: 15 Ways to Get Ahead in Life - John C. Maxwell

Stephen Covey concluded his seventh habit of highly successful people as “sharpening the saw.” It is true. True success is measured in growth, or as John Maxwell puts it, “If you focus on goals, you may hit goals—but that doesn’t guarantee growth.” Let that sink in a bit. Success is not in the number of items you’ve checked off, but rather is measured by personal growth. Maxwell’s latest book is an excellent tool to focus your growth building.


This book was previously published as THE 15 INVALUABLE LAWS OF GROWTH, but don’t let that turn you away. Being curious, I sought the original material from the library and I can testify that this book is a vast difference from the source. New chapters have been added and old chapters have been revamped. A lot of new material has been added in each chapter, and—perhaps even better—a lot of the dated material has been removed.


I loved Maxwell’s direct to the point teaching style that mixes personal story with quotes from some of his successful friends, mentors, and teachers. What’s reflected here is a columniation of Maxwell’s best material, presented in an easy to read, understandable, and applicable format.


There were just a couple of misnomers that could be taken out of context. For instance, in one chapter Maxwell advises not to compare yourself to others, but in another chapter encourages you to ask yourself who is ahead of you. Several chapters encourage focusing on the important (much like the recent book ESSENTIALISM, which I loved), but in another chapter Maxwell says to do more than expected. The key here being “context”.


Not too long ago I reviewed Maxwell’s LEADERSHIP 101, which I didn’t appreciate as much. That book was too bulleted with not enough explanation. Here, in HOW SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE GROW, Maxwell finds the sweet spot. There are many brilliant quotes by him and others that will be great to come back to and reflect upon. The timely quote for me appeared at the back of the book. Maxwell offered this gem from Robert Louis Stevenson: “I consider the success of my day based on the seeds I sow, not the harvest I reap.”  That kind of sums it all up for me.


Thank you to Faith Words and Center Street for providing me with a digital review copy of this book. I’ve got many, many highlights throughout!