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Copyright 2015 by John C Maxwell, All rights reserved In accordance with the U S Copyright Act of 1976. the scanning uploading and electronic sharing of any part of this book. without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft. of the author s intellectual property If you would like to use material from. the book other than for review purposes prior written permission must be. obtained by contacting the publisher at permissions hbgusa com. Thank you for your support of the author s rights,The author is represented by Yates Yates. www yates2 com,Center Street,Hachette Book Group,1290 Avenue of the Americas. New York NY 10104,www CenterStreet com,Printed in the United States of America. First edition October 2015,10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1, Center Street is a division of Hachette Book Group Inc.
The Center Street name and logo are trademarks of,Hachette Book Group Inc. The Hachette Speakers Bureau provides a wide range of authors. for speaking events To find out more go to, www HachetteSpeakersBureau com or call 866 3 76 6591. The publisher is not responsible for websites or their content that are not. owned by the publisher, Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data. has been applied for,ISBN 978 1 4555 4817 0 hardcover. ISBN 978 1 4555 4815 6 international edition,IntentionalLiv HCtextF1 indd iv 8 6 15 4 42 59 AM.
Your Life Can Be a Great Story,W hat s your life story. When I meet people for the first time as soon as the intro. ductions are out of the way I ask them to share their s tories to tell. me who they are and where they re from where they ve been and. where they re going I want to understand what matters to them. Maybe you do the same The telling of our stories becomes an emo. tional connecting point for us It bridges the gap between us. Why is that, Everyone loves a good s tory we always have Stories tell us. who we are They,Inspire us,Connect with us,Animate our reasoning process. Give us permission to act,Fire our emotions,Give us pictures of who we aspire to be. Stories are us,IntentionalLiv HCtextF1 indd 1 8 6 15 4 42 59 AM.
2 Intentional Living, Every day millions of people watch movies read novels and. search the Internet for stories that inspire them or make them laugh. Every day we listen to our friends tell us about the dramatic or funny. things that happen to them Every day people take out their smart. phones to show pictures and share stories Stories are how we relate. to others learn and remember, As a communicator I spend a good portion of my days sharing. stories People don t care a lot about cold facts They don t want to. look at pie charts They want excitement They like drama They. care about pictures They want to laugh They want to see and feel. what happened Statistics don t inspire people to do great things. Stories do,What s Your Story,So I ll ask you again What s your story. I wish I could sit with you right now and hear it from you When. you get to the end of this book I ll tell you about a way you can. share your story with me and with others But before we get to that. I want you to think about your story so far What kind of story is it. We all have a bit of humor in our stories as well as some drama. We all have our ups and downs wins and losses There s a bit of. comedy tragedy and history in all of us But overall each of our. lives tells a larger story What do you want yours to say. I believe that no matter what plot each of our stories may fol. low deep down we all want one thing We want our lives to mat. ter We want our stories to be of significance Nobody wants to. feel like the world wouldn t miss him if he d never lived Are you. Have you ever seen the classic movie It s a Wonderful Life It s. IntentionalLiv HCtextF1 indd 2 8 6 15 4 42 59 AM,Your Life Can Be a Great Story 3. the story of George Bailey a man who dreams of traveling the world. and building things but who instead stays home in Bedford Falls. because he repeatedly chooses to do what he believes to be right. for others A point occurs in the movie where George experiences a. moment of crisis and he comes to believe that everyone around him. would be better off if he had never been born What he s really say. ing is that his life doesn t matter, The great twist in the story occurs when with the help of an.
angel George gets a chance to see what his town and others lives. would look like if he had never existed Without him it s a dark and. negative place George comes to recognize the positive impact he had. made because time after time he took action to do what he knew. was right and helped other people As Clarence the angel tells him. Each man s life touches so many other lives George had touched. many lives in small ways and made a difference, Have you looked at your life from that angle Have you thought. about what you want your life story to be Do you believe you can. live a life of significance that you can do things that really matter. Can you make your story great, With all my heart I believe the answer to these questions is yes. You have it within your power to make your life a great story one of. significance Every person can Regardless of nationality opportu. nity ethnicity or capacity each of us can live a life of significance. We can do things that matter and that can make the world a better. place I hope you believe that If you don t now I hope you will by. the time you re finished reading this book, Don t let the word significance intimidate you Don t let it stop. you from pursuing a life that matters When I talk about significance. I m not talking about being famous I m not talking about getting. rich I m not talking about being a huge celebrity or winning a Nobel. Prize or becoming the president of the United States There s nothing. IntentionalLiv HCtextF1 indd 3 8 6 15 4 42 59 AM,4 Intentional Living. wrong with any of those things but,To be significant all you.
have to do is make a,you don t have to accomplish any of. difference with others them to be significant To be signifi. wherever you are with cant all you have to do is make a dif. whatever you have day ference with others wherever you are. with whatever you have day by day,Back in 1976 I received a gift from. Eileen Beavers who was my assistant at that time As I unwrapped. it I saw it was a book and I was intrigued by the title The Greatest. Story Ever Told I couldn t wait to read it, But when I opened it I was shocked The pages were blank. Inside was a note from Eileen that said John your life is before. you Fill these pages with kind acts good thoughts and matters of. your heart Write a great story with your life, I still remember the excitement and anticipation that surged. through me when I read her words For the first time it made me. think about how I was the author of my life and I could fill every. page with whatever I wanted It made me want to be significant It. inspired me to do whatever I could to make my life matter. So what s the secret to filling the pages of your life What s the. key to a life that matters,Living each day with intentionality.
When you live each day with intentionality there s almost no. limit to what you can do You can,transform yourself your family your. When you intentionally, use your everyday life community and your nation When. to bring about positive enough people do that they can change. change in the lives of the world When you intentionally use. others you begin to live,your everyday life to bring about posi. a life that matters,tive change in the lives of others you. begin to live a life that matters, I vividly remember watching Reese Witherspoon s emotional.
IntentionalLiv HCtextF1 indd 4 8 6 15 4 42 59 AM,Your Life Can Be a Great Story 5. acceptance speech after she won the Best Actress Academy Award. in 2006 for portraying June Carter Cash in Walk the Line With. erspoon said that people often asked June how she was doing and. she d say I m just tryin to matter The actress went on to say that. she understood exactly what June meant because she too was trying. to make her life matter by living a good life and doing work that. meant something to somebody, And isn t that what all of us want To make our lives matter So. if that is true why doesn t it happen for everybody. Get into the Story, Most people want to hear or tell a good story But they don t real. ize they can and should be the good story That requires intentional. living It is the bridge that crosses the gap to a life that matters I ll. explain this in detail in the next chapter but right now I ll just say. this when unintentional people see the wrongs of the world they. say Something should be done about that They see or hear a story. and they react to it emotionally and intellectually But they go no. People who live intentionally jump in and live the story them. selves The words of physicist Albert Einstein motivate them The. world is a dangerous place not because of those who do evil but. because of those who look on and do nothing, Why do so many people do nothing I think it s because most. of us look at the evils and injustice around us and we become over. whelmed The problems look too big for us to tackle We say to our. selves What can I do I m just one person, One person is a start One person can act and make a change.
by helping another One person can inspire a second person to be. intentional and another Those people can work together They can. IntentionalLiv HCtextF1 indd 5 8 6 15 4 42 59 AM,6 Intentional Living. become a movement They can make an impact We should never let. what we cannot do keep us from doing what we can do A passive. life does not become a meaningful life, Not long ago I read A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Don. Miller He eloquently writes about seeing our lives as stories He. explains I ve never walked out of a meaningless movie thinking. all movies are meaningless I only thought the movie I walked out on. was meaningless I wonder then if when people say life is meaning. less what they really mean is their lives are meaningless I wonder if. they ve chosen to believe their whole existence is unremarkable and. are projecting their dreary lives on the rest of us 1. If you are reading these words and thinking to yourself That s. me My life is meaningless My existence is unremarkable I wish. my life were less dreary then I have good news for you This doesn t. have to be your story Your story can be about a life that matters. Don Miller also writes You can call it God or a conscience or you. can dismiss it as that intuitive knowing we all have as human beings. as living storytellers but there is a knowing I feel that guides me. toward better stories toward being a better character I believe there. is a writer outside ourselves plotting a better story for us interacting. with us even and whispering a better story into our consciousness 2. No matter what your beliefs are, If your story isn t as I can tell you this If your story isn t. meaningful or significant,as meaningful or significant or com. or compelling as you,want it to be you can,pelling as you want it to be you can.
change it change it You can begin writing a new,story beginning today Don t settle for. being merely a teller of stories about significance Decide to be the. story of significance Become the central character in your story of. making a difference,IntentionalLiv HCtextF1 indd 6 8 6 15 4 42 59 AM. Your Life Can Be a Great Story 7,Your Story Not History. I have to admit this notion goes against everything I learned in col. lege It may go against your education too In the courses I took on. speaking the professors taught us to take our stories from history. not to draw upon personal experiences to illustrate our points They. believed to do anything other than that appeared egocentric. As a bourgeoning communicator however I observed that the. greatest speakers didn t just tell better stories They actually made. the stories better by living them first Their stories came from their. experiences They were at the heart of their best stories. And that s what I want for you I don t want you to be merely a. storyteller of significance I want you to be a story liver Your story. still has many blank pages You can write on them with your life. When you get right down to it intentional living is about living your. best story, One of the biggest comedy acts of the sixties and seventies was. the Smothers Brothers I remember a routine they performed on their. television variety show that went something like this. What s wrong Tommy asked Dick who was the straight man. You seem a bit despondent, I am replied his brother Tommy I m worried about the state.
of our American society, Well what bothers you about it Are you worried about the. extent of poverty and hunger in the land,Oh no that doesn t really bother me. I see Well are you concerned about the growing threat of. nuclear war,No that s not a worry of mine, Are you upset about the use and abuse of drugs by the youth of. No that doesn t bother me very much,IntentionalLiv HCtextF1 indd 7 8 6 15 4 42 59 AM. 8 Intentional Living, Looking rather puzzled Dick asked Well Tom if you re not.
bothered by poverty and hunger war and drugs what are you wor. 2 Intentional Living Every day millions of people watch movies read novels and search the Internet for stories that inspire them or make them laugh Every day we listen to our friends tell us about the dramatic or funny things that happen to them Every day people take out their smart phones to show pictures and share stories Stories are how

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