The Rule of Five

rule_of_5 I love John Maxwell’s book, “Put Your Dream To The Test.” It is the most practical book I have read about dreams. It is the kind of book that can set you on a course for your life. One of the practical steps that John talks about is practicing the rule of five. The rule of five is this: “If you would go every day to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp ax, eventually, no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down.” John tells the story of Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield’s Chicken Soup for the Soul. Most people probably think that Chicken Soup, which has 170 titles and sold 112 million copies was an instant hit, but that was not the case. It was challenging finding a publisher for the first book. After the book was published it did not sell very well. The authors developed the “Rule of Five” from the story about the tree. Every day they did five specific things that would move them closer to their dream. PYDTTT_BookThey write: “We made phone calls to people who could review the book, we wrote press releases, we called in to talk shows, we gave away free copies at our talks, we sent them to ministers to use as a source for their sermons, we gave free “Chicken Soup for the Soul” talks at churches, we gave book signings at any bookstore that would have us, we asked businesses to make bulk purchases for their employees, we got the book into PX’s on military bases, we asked our fellow speakers to sell the books at their talks, – we even got gas stations, bakeries, and restaurants to sell the book. It was a lot of effort – a minimum of five things a day, every day, day in and day out – for over two years.” I love this story! Every dream involves hard work and perseverance. The Apostle Paul said it like this. “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” There is no such thing as waiting for your dreams to happen. Our dreams come from God, be we have to walk them out and sometimes we have to run them out. Do five things every day that move you toward your dream. If you can’t do five things then do one thing every day, but whatever you do, don’t stand still. Here is my question for you: What are you doing today to move you closer to your dream?
Mark Harper

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