To Maximize Growth, Develop Strategies: The Low of Design

Do you usually allow life to simply happen to you? Or do you plan for it carefully? Are you proactive and strategic or you just react to whatever comes in your way? These are the core questions that John C. Maxwell his book, The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, is raising under his seventh law; The Law of Design.

 Previously, I summarized the first six laws as the following:

  1. The Law of Intentionality;
  2. The Law of Awareness;
  3. The Law of Mirror;
  4. The Law of Reflection;
  5. The Law of Consistency;
  6. The Law of Environment.

In this post, I will summarize the seventh law: the law of Design.

Life Lessons

Before discussing the low of design and how it is used for personal growth, Maxwell shared four life lessons that helped him in this area which are:

 Lesson No. 1: Life is very simple but keeping it that way is very difficult

Usually, we link our personal growth to our values so we use simple formulas and decisions to plan this area. The problem is that our life becomes more and more complex, so we need to design systems that help us to plan for our personal growth strategically.

 Lesson No. 2: Designing your life is more important than designing your career

Our society and education systems encourage us to plan for our careers carefully; we plan for degrees, certificates, career advancement opportunities …etc but we do a little in terms of planning for our personal growth.

Lesson No. 3: Life is not a dress rehearsal

Many people forget to take charge of their lives and plan early. Start today… Plan for your health, family, personal development and even plan to have more fun. What we live right now is not a rehearsal… We have to do our best in this moment. Fred Allen once said: “you only live once. But if you work it right, once is enough”.

 Lesson No. 4: In planning your life, multiply everything by two

Sometimes people give up soon because they don’t have a realistic outlook when planning their lives. If you think a project will take one resource (one unit of time, a certain amount of money, number of people to accomplish it…etc) plan for two. In this way, you make sure that you will have the right time and attention to achieve your plans.

To Develop Strategies, Depends on Systems

How can we start developing systems for our personal growth? Maxwell suggested creating Systems. He defines a system as “a process for predictably achieving a goal based on specific, orderly, repeatable principles and practices”.

Think of anything that you would like to achieve as a series of steps that have to be implemented on a consistent basis until you get to the final result. For example Maxwell created a system for personal growth and learning by capturing and filing all good stories, quotes and articles that he reads.

Elements of a Personal Growth System

Maxwell provided six guidelines to design our own systems which are:

  • Effective systems take the big picture into account: have a specific big picture in your mind about your end result, and then plan accordingly. There is no point of reading books, attending conferences, ..etc in a direction that is not aligned with your big picture.
  • Effective systems make use of priorities: continuously, ask yourself: “what is the most valuable use of my time right now?”. Recognize your most valuable time and make the most out of it. Value your Productive Time and create systems that maintain your priorities.
  • Effective systems include measurement: when setting your personal growth goals, make them measurable so you can track your progress. More importantly, these measurements should be built in your systems.
  • Effective systems include application: while developing your personal growth systems, you have to include specific actions to implement them.
  • Effective systems employ organization: don’t take time for granted. Be very organized and make sure that you don’t waste your time.
  • Effective systems promote consistency: never underestimate the power of your habits. “You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine. So any system you develop needs to promote consistency, and you must follow it consistently”.

 Final Thought

When developing your personal growth systems, make them simple and straightforward. Try to explain them to a friend. If you can’t, then they are too complicated and will not help you. Remember: “if you don’t design your own life plan, chances are you’ll fall into someone else’s plan. And guess what they may have planned for you? Not much”. Jim Rohn.

8 thoughts on “To Maximize Growth, Develop Strategies: The Low of Design

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