The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth: Summary & Review

15 invaluable laws of growth

The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth lists John Maxwell’s rules to keep growing and improving.

Bullet Summary

  • Your character is the foundation of everything: work on that first
  • Don’t worry about plateauing or reaching your goals: there’s never a real stop to growth
  • And don’t make it just about you. The quintessential growth is making others grow

Full Summary

About The Author: John Maxwell is an American pastor, public speaker, and best-selling author of books on leadership and personal development.
He is also the author of 21 Irrefutable Rules of Leadership“, “Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn and How Successful People Think“.

The following are the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth:

1.  The Law of Intentionality

You don’t just grow “accidentally”, you must be intentional and deliberate about it.

2.  The Law of Awareness

You cannot improve if you don’t know yourself: where you stand and where you need to work the most.

The law of awareness says that the more you know yourself, the more you can grow.

3.  The Law of the Mirror

To effectively work on yourself, you must first believe you are worth the effort.
That means getting rid of limiting self-beliefs and developing high self-esteem.

Similar to what Don Ruiz says in The Four Agreements, Maxwell proposes that you only use yourself as a paragon. Don’t compare yourself to others.

4.  The Law of Reflection

Do take and schedule time to reflect on yourself, your lessons learned, and your next steps.

5.  The Law of Consistency

What will really make you grow in the long run is consistency.

Start small.
The author says most people don’t even show up and it’s very easy to beat them. Start there, by showing up: that’s your 80%.

On the science of developing good habits also read The Power of Habits.
For more on grit and consistency also read Grit by Angela Duckworth and The Compound Effect.

Motivation makes you start. Discipline keeps you going and growing

6.  The Law of Environment

The people and the environment around you are major contributors (or detractors) to your growth.

Make sure the people and the environment around you are not pulling you down but helping you up.

7.  The Law of Design

You must look at self-growth seriously. Look at it as a mission and design your plans to make it happen.

No plans are planning to fail.
Or as Jim Rohn said:

No plans means falling into someone else’s plan. And do you know what they’ve planned for you?
Not much…

8.  The Law of Pain

No pain, no gain.

Maxwell says that it’s good management of bad experiences that lead to the biggest growth.
As Ray Dalio said: pain + reflection = growth.

9.  The Law of the Ladder

I found the law of the ladder to possibly be the deepest in The 15 Laws of Growth.

Basically, it says that everything you built rests on the foundations of your character -who you are-.
If you go very high without a solid personal character, you’re on shakier and shakier foundations.

Achievement is not something you do, it’s who you are

And especially touching was Solzhenitsyn’s story.
Imprisoned for having to be critical of Stalin, he blesses his prison experience.
He says the objective of life is not to prosper as he had been brought up to believe but to mature and grow one’s soul.


10.  The Law of the Rubber Band

If you’re not stretching yourself, you aren’t growing.
Look for change, look for growth opportunities.
Always keep the growing tension in your life, never let your rubber go soft :).

11.  The Law of the Trade-Offs

To achieve your full potential you must be willing to sacrifice something.
Be it time in front of the TV set, your videogame playing hobbies or maybe working on something during holidays.

This is also similar to the law of sacrifice in Maxwell other fantastic book 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

My note:
I wouldn’t look at this law as sacrificing. I would actually encourage you to look at “sacrifices” as welcome opportunities to test and temper your character.

You can’t drink cola anymore? Great! That’s no sacrifice. That’s great for your body and it will strengthen your character.

12.  The Law of Curiosity

Growth is fueled by questions and curiosity.
To keep growing, you need to be thirsty about knowing more and more.

As the saying goes:

Those who know how to do will always have a job. Those who know why they have to do what they have to do will always be their bosses.

Also, read Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Learn.

13.  The Law of Modeling

Find a mentor and look for a coach who has already been where you are going.
They will help you grow quicker by showing you the way and pointing out your mistakes.

Also, read Mastery by Robert Greene.

14.  The Law of Expansion

Don’t think there’s ever a limit to your growth and expansion.

It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or achieved, you can always do more.
And that’s great news.

15.  The Law of Contribution

The greatest joy in life is in contribution. As you grow yourself, help others to grow as well.

15 invaluable laws of growth


The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth is an easy and pleasant read.

If you are into self-development you are probably aware of most of the concepts, but it can be a good refresher and you will possibly get some new gold nuggets.

For me, it was the Law of The Ladder or the idea that your character should be the foundation of your achievements.

That was a much-needed reminder and put things into the right perspective: first of all, it’s who you are. Then comes habits and then eventually achievements.

And that’s the order you should work on.

Read more summaries or get The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth on Amazon

Scroll to Top