In this episode of the Intentional Man Podcast, Jonathan challenges listeners to make each day their masterpiece. He emphasizes the importance of living with intention and purpose, and highlights the impact of daily actions on long-term success. Drawing inspiration from legendary coach John Wooden, Jonathan encourages men to treat each day as a gift from God and to define their own criteria for a successful day. He provides practical steps for establishing daily actions that align with personal priorities and values. The episode concludes with a call to live intentionally and make the most of each day.


  • Each day is a gift from God, and living with gratitude is key to making each day a masterpiece.
  • Defining what success looks like in a day is crucial for living with intention and purpose.
  • Identifying daily actions that align with personal priorities and values is essential for making each day count.
  • Living intentionally and making the most of each day leads to long-term success and fulfillment.

Inspirational Graphics to Share


Welcome back to the intentional man podcast. I'm excited to be with you today I hope you leave today feeling inspired Encouraged and equipped to be the man. God has called you to be I believe that you were created to do something great I believe God has created you with unique gifts and talents and abilities To make an impact on the world and I know that just by being here that you are committed to growing and you're committed to pursuing your full potential So it's always my hope that on this podcast, that this can just be a small resource for you on your journey. In this episode, I want to challenge you to think about making each day your masterpiece. Making each day your masterpiece. So let me start off with a quick exercise. I want you to think about yesterday. If it's early in the morning today, think about yesterday. If it's the evening as you're listening to this, think about today. But think about the day and rate it on a scale of one to 10.

Rate your day on a scale of one to 10, with one being the worst and 10 being the best. So go ahead and think through what happened, what you did, how you felt, what you accomplished, the people you spent time with, and just give the day a rating, one through 10. If you need to pause to kind of think through it, feel free to do that. But do you have your number? Just whatever number pops into your head thinking about yesterday, pick a number. And we'll come back to that a little later in this episode. So.

Keep that in mind, that number that you have in mind. But if I asked you at the start of the day if you wanted to have a good day, I'm sure your answer would be an emphatic yes, right? Everyone wants to have a good day, but I don't think many people actually know what a good day looks like, or at least how to create a good day. And I think even fewer people understand that the way we live today impacts our tomorrow. I think inherently we know that, but do we consistently live like that's the truth?

And John Maxwell has a quote, he says that, the secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda. How you live each day is ultimately building the story of your life. Today is all that you got. You can't do anything about the past and the future. And it's very easy to either live in the past or the future though, right? Instead of living in the present. I heard a story from a legendary coach, John Wooden, and he was the coach at UCLA from 1964 to 1975. And in that time span, they won 10 national championships. This is men's basketball, men's college basketball. They won seven titles in a row in this stretch. There's only seven programs in the history of college basketball that have ever even won back to back championships. And UCLA is the only one to do it more than once. And in that time frame, they literally won seven straight. So insane success in this time frame.

But their coach during that span was John Wooden, and he's one of the best coaches of all time in any sport. And during that stretch, he won coach of the year six different times. And John Wooden, he lived by a seven -point creed that his father had passed down to him. And one of the points was make each day a masterpiece. And when he was nearing 100 years old, he said, make each day a masterpiece. When you do that as the weeks and months and years unfold behind you,

You'll have the deepest self -satisfaction knowing that your life has really meant something. You'll have achieved the most important kind of success, namely becoming the best that you are capable of becoming. You see, John Wooden, he knew that success was determined by your daily agenda. He knew that if you were faithful in the small things, that you would be faithful in the big things. He knew that if you did the right thing day in and day out with excellence, that it would compound into something special. And...

When his new recruits first came to UCLA, it's funny, the first thing he actually taught them was how to properly put on their socks and their shoes. He would teach them how to pull their socks tight with no folds or wrinkles or creases, and then he would teach them how to tie their shoelaces and put on their jerseys properly. These were the first things that he taught them. And the new recruits, when they'd come in, they thought he was crazy. These are like some of the top recruits in the country, the most highly touted guys, talented. He'd come in, they thought he crazy.

They thought he was crazy, but John Wooden, he knew that how you do anything is ultimately how you do everything. And he knew that if they were excellent in the small things that it would translate into their play. And he placed a great deal of urgency and importance on every single practice. He expected his players to give 100 % every practice because you can never get that practice back. If you only give 75 % one day, it's not like you can make up for it and give 125 % the next day. It doesn't work like that. Once you've given that amount of, you can't get it back. Once you've given 75%, you can't go back and give 100. Any day that's wasted is ultimately gone. And this is how he built a program that won 10 championships in 11 years. They made each day their masterpiece. And when he retired, they asked him what he missed the most about basketball. And it wasn't the championships, the fame, or the success, he said he missed practice the most because he just loved the process of getting better and actually making each day count and knowing that if you make each day count that it's gonna stack and it's gonna stack and it's gonna stack and then ultimately that's where success comes from. So the key to your success this year and being the man that you want to be and accomplishing the things that you want to accomplish will come down to how you live each day.

You can't change your life until you start to change something that you do every single day. To win the day, you have to make each day your masterpiece. So I want to take a journey with you this year to make our days count, to make our lives count, to make a difference in the world, to make it better than it was when we got here, to run the race with perseverance and to enter into heaven with little regret and little energy left. I just think there's too many good Christian men that are coasting through each day and I've been there and I continue to be there some days but I'm passionate about not wasting my life and coasting through each day. There's too many guys that are falling into traps of passivity, distraction and wasting time. There's too many good Christian men that are standing on the sidelines watching the game instead of being in the game. Life is too short to waste our days on things that don't matter. Life's too short to coast through life on autopilot.

And I think the psalmist knew this when in Psalm 90 he said, teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom. That when we know that our days are numbered, it gives us a sense of urgency to make each day count. And so, will this be the year, will this be the time, the season where you make each day count? I want to encourage you to think about that. And I want to just give you three quick keys today to make each day your masterpiece.

And the first key is, I was thinking through this, I think is to treat every day like it's a gift from God. And that seems simple, but I don't think it's something that we often think about. I think making each day a masterpiece, it starts with gratitude, and it starts with your mindset. How often do you wake up and thank God for another day of life? How often do you think about how miraculous it is that you're on this planet and that...that God in heaven created you because he wants to have a relationship with you. How often do you think about the fact that he made you just the way you are and that he made you for a specific purpose? Those truths, when you really think about them, are absolutely incredible. And has there ever been a time in your life where you've given someone a gift and they didn't like it or they never used it or you worked super hard to do something nice for someone and they didn't appreciate it?

Maybe you made a huge sacrifice for somebody and they didn't acknowledge it. How did that make you feel? I think we've all had those moments. But I can imagine sometimes that's how God feels when he sees us wasting our time on meaningless things, wasting our days on meaningless things, wasting the talent and the ability and the potential that he's given us. Mark Batterson has a quote that it's one of my favorites and he says that potential is God's gift to you and what you do with it is your gift back to God.

Potential is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God. Each day that you have is a gift. Each day is a miracle. When we shift our mindset and we think that way, I think that's when we can really begin to make the most of each day. John 10:10 10, it's a well quoted scripture. We probably hear it all the time, but it says, the thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.

Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice by becoming a man and dying on the cross so that we could have life and have it to the full. And I believe one of the ways that we acknowledge and appreciate that sacrifice is to give him our best day in and day out. The enemy, he wants to distract us. He knows that, I think that's how he's coming to kill, steal and destroy these days. That by distraction. He knows if he can get us preoccupied with things that don't matter, that he's robbing us from this life that God has intended. The life that Jesus came for, the purpose of giving us life to the full. So I want you to just think about that today. How can you start to live with more gratitude for each day? Maybe you write a message of gratitude to God for the life that he's given you, for the days that he's given you. Take time to actually write down a letter back to God, thanking him for time, thanking him for your talents, for your gifts, your abilities.

Start to cultivate that practice of waking up with gratitude and just thanking God for each day and making the most of each day. I think that's key number one. The second key is you actually have to define what success is in a day. It's hard to win the day when you don't know what a win looks like. And we're not gonna live with urgency until we know exactly why it's so important to make the most out of each day. At the beginning of this episode, I asked you to rate your day on a scale of one to 10. So let me ask you now, what was the criteria that you used to rate your day? Was it just based off your emotions for the day? Was it based on what you accomplished? Did you even have criteria for your rating? A lot of times we don't even think about this. When I was first asked this question, I didn't necessarily know the answer to it. But if we don't clearly define what makes a good day, how do we know if we have a good day or not?

It's really easy to only base your rating on what you've accomplished that day, right? Like I think this is our natural tendency as guys, is most of the time we're gonna go towards what did we get done, how successful were we with business or our career, but maybe you had a really productive day and knocked a bunch of things off your to -do list. Does that make it successful? Maybe, that could be an element of it. What if you didn't get the things done that you wanted to get done? Does that mean that it was a failure? And I would say it depends.

But I want you to also think about your day in terms of the man that you were. Did you impact others? Did you have a good attitude? Did you live with courage and alignment with your vision and with your values? You could have accomplished everything on your to -do list but blown off some of your key relationships. Would you classify that as a success? Probably not. So I want you to think about what is important to you and establish a good criteria for what actually is a good day. You should be able to know when your head hits the pillow at night if you made your day a masterpiece. And that criteria should be based on what's most important to you. So think through your priorities, think through the legacy you wanna leave, think through how you wanna be remembered, think through how you wanna make people feel when they're around you, think about the purpose and the mission that God has given you, use those things to then kinda deconstruct what a successful day would be. And then the last thing, once you have that definition of success, is to actually establish daily actions that you need to take in order to win the day. So if we don't define the daily actions that we need to take, then our criteria for making each day a masterpiece will just become good intentions. And we have to move from good intentions to intentionality. You can't just cruise through the day and hope to take actions that will help you win the day. Hope is not a good strategy.

We have to actually define it. We have to get clear. We have to know the things that we have to do and then we have to go do them. And if you haven't defined your actions for the day that line up with your priorities, then you're probably not gonna make the most of each day. So if success for you involved gratitude, like I mentioned earlier, maybe an action would be to start each day writing down things that you're grateful for. Or to spend 10 minutes in worship and prayer. Or to spend however much time in the word. Or to pray before each meeting and each activity. Something that gets you centered on gratitude. You see the difference there? If I just say, I wanna live with more gratitude, but don't actually define some things and some steps I need to do to make that happen, I'm probably not actually gonna live with gratitude. So that's why this step here is so important. So here's my encouragement to you. Take some time the night before, so when you're finishing your day, take some time.

and identify the things that you would need to do the next day to make it a win. Identify how much time you should be spending with your family. And then identify the attitude that you want to have when you're with your family. Identify not only the things that you have to accomplish, but the way that you want to show up in each situation. So again, remember, John Maxwell, he encourages us that the secret to our success is found in our daily agenda. We have to make the most of each day.

If we want to get to where we want to go, if we want to be the men that we want to be. If we don't start living each day with urgency, we're going to end up down the line and realize we have a lot of wasted time and a lot of wasted potential. So to recap those steps, step one, treat each day like it's a gift from God. Step two, define what daily success looks like. In step three, identify the daily actions that you need to take in order to make each day a masterpiece.

Let's be men that make the most of the time that we've been given on this earth. Let's be men that actually give time, energy, and attention to the things that matter most in this life. I believe in you. I'm proud of you for being here and for investing in your personal growth. So now go build a life that you're proud of by living intentionally. I'll see you next time.


Get Your Free Habit Score!

See how intentional you are living
Gain instant access to the Intentional Man Habit Assessment by entering your email below.