The Difference Maker

The Difference Maker

by John Maxwell

– A motivational speaker makes you feel good, but the next day you don’t know what to do; a motivational teacher makes you feel good but the next day you know what to do.

– Attitude is not everything, but it is the difference maker.

– Attitude is an inward feeling shown by outward behavior. People always try to mask the way they feel on the inside but attitude always wiggles it’s way out.

– There’s not a single part of your life that is not affected by your attitude and your future will be affected by your attitude as well.

– Your attitude comes from: 1

. Your attitude comes from who you are

2. Your attitude comes from your environment – how you grew up, who you’re around, etc. divorce, deaths, poverty, etc.

3. Your attitude is an expression of others, how you feel. Things that were said to you earlier in life you are reacting to them as a result.

4. Your attitude comes from your self image, how you see yourself. It’s hard to see anything in the world positive if you see yourself as negative.

5. Your attitude comes from your life experience.

6. Your attitude is affected by those you’re around, peers. You become like the people that you hang around with. You usually do not change the people that you’re around, acting like them. You become negative, bitter, complainer, etc. because that is how the people around you are.

7. Your attitude comes from your beliefs, what you think. Every thought that you have shaped your life.

8. Your attitude comes from your choices, what you do. Many people want to change life, and the things around them but the first person that needs to be changed is yourself.

– To change your life you must take responsibility for what you do with your attitude.

– Your attitude can be the difference maker, but it is not the only thing needed to be a success. If someone has good skills and an ok attitude and someone else has a great attitude but no skills, the person with more skills will get the job. A great attitude alone will not get you the job.

1. Your attitude cannot substitute for competence. If you think you could do something, that is confidence; if you know how to do something that is competence. The two are different.

2. A great attitude can help you personally, make you happy, make you more content and enjoy life, but but it cannot help your position.

3. Your attitude cannot substitute for experience.

4. Your attitude cannot substitute for personal growth. Quit waiting for the tide to come begin being the man you should be. Nothing can substitute for personal learning.

– Your attitude will not stay good automatically. Attitude will not fix everything, you must work at it.

– Attitude is the difference maker, but you cannot buy attitude.

– I cannot choose what happens to me but I can choose what happens in me.

– Some things are beyond my control, but I can choose to respond the right way.

– Gratitude to make the difference in your approach to life. Two men look through prison bars, one saw mud and the others other saw stars.

– The happiest people in life do not have everything, but they do make the best of everything. – Who we are determines how we see other people

– In life, obstacles are inevitable, so how are we going to handle them? Make the best of things. The path you choose depends on your attitude.

– Every challenge is an opportunity and every opportunity has a challenge.

– Your attitude has profound influence on how you see life and the way you live it.

– What negative thoughts consistently control your mind? You cannot change your attitude for the better until you recognize what is impacting your attitude for the worse.

– The desire to change is a key to growth in life.

– Change is possible but only if you want it bad enough.

– If you want to change your attitude, start with the change of behavior. Change your habits and you will change your attitude.


– If you let discouragement inside of you, it will conquer you from the inside out.

– Everyone has moments of discouragement, but the question is if you’re going to give up or get up.

– When discouragement comes there are splatters and bouncers: splatters are those that fall and splat, staying on the bottom. Bouncers are those that when they fall jump back up. Your attitude will help you determine if you’re going to be a splatter or a bouncer.

– Here are five attitudes to help you bounce back up with discouragement:

1. Get back up. You cannot solve your problems by ignoring them, but you cannot solve them by being fixated on them either. When you recognize the problem, begin focusing on the solution.

2. See the right people. Some people just lift you up, so get around the right people that will lift you up and give you hope. Everyone you come in contact with is in need of a lifter, you can lift them up and help them.

3. Say the right words. One of the big problems in discouragement is self talk, negative thinking. One of the biggest problems in life when it comes to discouragement is that we listen to ourselves instead of talk to ourselves. It’s not what happens to me or what happened that matters the most. This too shall pass.

4. Have the right expectations. Have to remain flexible and not expect for everything to go perfectly. Focus on what you can achieve not what you cannot achieve.

5. Make the right decisions. Instead of being held captive by these discouraging thoughts and times, decide to move forward. Change – It’s hard for everyone. Everyone wants to move forward, but we almost always resist change.

– Why people resist change:

1. People resist change because of what it may do to them personally.

2. People resist change because of fear of the unknown.

3. People resist change because the timing might be wrong. Find out if others are on board. Is the leadership capable of making this change? Are there other benefits involved in this change?

4. People resist change because it feels awkward. When was the last time you did something that felt awkward?

5. People resist change because of tradition. People think that just because something is a tradition that it must be right, but that is not always so.

– Without change there could be no progress.

– Make a commitment to pay the price for change.

– Things must change within you before the change without (outside of) you.

– Decide that there are some things not worth changing. What are the things that you’re willing to live and die for, the non-negotiables.

– It’s never too late to change.


– Problems are inescapable. All of us have problems. Your perspective about the problems make the difference. Problems can make you bitter or better.

– The size of the person is more important than the size of the problem.

– Problems responded to correctly can actually advance us forward.

– Anticipate problems.

• A good leader does not see problems as abnormal but as something normal that happens in life.

• A problem not anticipated is a problem; a problem anticipated is only an opportunity.

– Face the problem.

• Most people try to flee from the problem, run from it. Others try to forget the problem, just ignore it. Others try to fight the problem but it does not go away. But we must face the problem so we can find a solution.

– Evaluate the problem.

– Embrace the problem.

• Each problem is an opportunity. Problems are wake up calls for opportunity.

• Problems will cause us to use our creativity and all that we have.

– Think of people who have bigger problems. When we have a friend who loses a loved one, all of our problems seem so petty.

– List out all of the ways that can be used to solve the problem. There’s a solution to every problem whether we know it or not.

– Determine the best three ways to solve the problem. Good thinkers always have more than one way to solve a problem. It is a mistake if we think that there’s only one solution to a problem.

– Refocus on the mission and move on. When you make a mistake, don’t fight it or justify it, just admit it and refocus on the mission.

– A problem solved is a springboard for success. Fear.

– Even the first man Adam had fear when he heard God’s voice and hid from him. Fear is a part of human nature.

– Here are some negative things the fear can do in a persons life:

1. Fear breeds more fear.

Most things will not come to pass, but we live in fear that they will.

2. Fear causes inaction.

Fear is like a warning sign that makes us afraid of a dog that could not even hurt us. Fear can create a debilitating cycle. Fear makes us afraid of trying something that could help us. If we give into fear we will never know what could happen. We cannot allow fear to paralyze us. If we are too afraid of failure, we will probably never win.

3. Fear weakens us.

We could not allow fear to vaster us and our strengths. Fear makes the wolf bigger than he really is. Sometimes fear makes us afraid of things that could not even really hurt us. Fear can push in the wrong direction by causing you to do something.

4. Fear keeps us from showing our potential. One of the greatest things we can do is be afraid of what could happen to us. People who are ruled by fear play it safe and that is dangerous.

– Fear can be overcome by anyone.

Here are few steps to overcome fear:

  1. Admit your fears. You cannot overcome your fears unless you admit that they exist.
  2. Discover the source of your fear. Most people’s fears are based more on feeling than they are on facts.
  3.  Realize how fears can limit you. Studies have shown that 95% of our fears are baseless. The truth is that life is dangerous so just decide to live it to the fullest.
  4. Accept normal fear as the price of progress. Do not let fear rule you rather except it as the price for becoming better or learning more. Don’t let fear stop you from taking steps in the right direction. The sting of the bee will stop you from getting the sweet honey from the honeycomb.
  5. Convert fear into fire. Everyone feels the same out of fear, but a warrior will turn that fear into fire and use it. Afraid of poverty, use it to have a strong worth ethic. Afraid of rejection, use it to learn to relate better.
  6. Focus on things that you can control. Many things you cannot control in life, but focus on the things that you can. There’s a great difference between being worried and being concerned. A worried person sees the problem does nothing, a concerned person sees the problem and finds a solution.
  7. Give today your attention, not yesterday or tomorrow. Most of our attention is given to what has passed or what will happen, but focus on today. Worrying about our past is a waste of time. If you have done the best that you can do, there’s no use worrying about it because nothing can change it. Do not focus just on the destination, enjoy the journey. Do all within your power to joy work here and now, you cannot change the past or the future.
  8. Feed the right emotion and starve the wrong one. Fear and faith are both present in our lives but the emotion that you feed will be the one that dominates. Focus on your faith and feed it, starve your fears and do not waste time thinking about it. Do the thing that you think that you cannot. Failure.

– There are three types of people in this world, the wills, the won’ts and can’ts.

– Don’t be afraid to take a risk. Life is full of rest.

– Everyone experiences failure, but we do not have to let us keep it keep us down.

– Failure does not have to keep you down. Do not let failure make you scared of trying again.

– Change your vocabulary. 2 dangerous words in English vocabulary: ”if only”.

– You may think that the odds are stacked against you but so what, every person who has achieved anything had the odds stacked against him/her. 

– Let failure mark you to success.

– Hold onto your sense of humor. Don’t take your mistakes too seriously, it is not a matter of life or death.

– Learn from your mistakes. You can learn more from your failures than your successes. Sometimes you win sometimes you learn, that’s the mark of a good attitude.

– Don’t lose your perspective. Failure is like success, it’s a day-to-day process. It is how you deal with life along the way, it is not a one-time event.

– Don’t become too familiar with failure.

– Make failure a gauge for growth.

– Never give up. If you give up, you will never know how close you were to success. Get back up. If you have experienced failure, you’re in a better position to succeed than those who have not failed. So if you feel a lot, celebrate because as long as you do not give up you’re in a good place.

– Never forget the power of choice, you are the person who decides your attitude.

– Everyone has a good attitude when things are going well, but you must decide to have a good attitude at every stage of life.

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