• minman


Updated: Nov 2, 2019

One of my favorite authors in the self help genre is John C. Maxwell, John is a former minister who has become an authority in leadership and mentoring. He has written several books on this subject.

I have just finished one of his little gems entitled HOW SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE THINK. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in self improvement especially where thinking is concerned.

The book has eleven chapters full of great material to focus our thinking, utilize strategic thinking to rely on bottom line thinking, just to mention a few of the dynamic chapters.

I would like to highlight a few comments from the introduction and a few of my favorite chapters.

First, from the introduction: “Good thinkers are always in demand” “Good thinkers solve problems, they never lack ideas that can build an organization, and always have hope for the future.” “Good thinkers rarely find themselves at the mercy of ruthless people who would take advantage of them or try to deceive them, people like Nazi diictator Adolph Hitler, who once boasted, “What luck for rulers that men do not think,” Those who develop the process of good thinking can rule themselves —even while under an oppressive ruler or in other difficult circumstances. In short, good thinkers are successful!”

Now from one of my favorite chapters of the book:HARNESS CREATIVE THINKING.

John quotes Vince Lombardi, NFL Hall of Fame Coach: “The joy is in the creating, not maintaining.”

I love the firstparagraph of this chapter: “Creativity is pure gold, no matter what you do for a living,” Annette Moser-Wellman, author of THE FIVE FACES OF GENIUS, asserts, “The most valuable resource you bring to your work and to your firm is your creativity. More than what you get done, more than the role you play, more than your title, more than your ‘output’ — its your ideas that matter.”

He goes on to enumerate the qualities of creative thinkers: they value ideas, they explore options, they embrace ambiguity, they celebrate the offbeat, they connect the unconnected, they don’t fear failure.


Among the other great chapters, there are two other notable capters in this book. They are Chapter 1: Cultivate Big Picture Thinking and Chapter 10: Practice Unselfish Thinking.

From Chapture 1, David Schwartz, Author of THE MAGIC OF THINKING, says: “Where success is concerned, people are not measured in inches or pounds, or college degrees, or family backgrounds; they are measured by the size of their thinking:. Another man has said: “You have to think anyway, so why not think big?”


Can benefit any person in any profession. Big picture brings wholeness and maturity to a person’s thinking. it brings perspective.

Big picture thinkers are exciting and stimulating to associate with. The following are some of their qualities: they are lifelong learners, they are never satisfied with what they know, they read new books, and learn new skills, they listen intentionally, they ask penetrating questions to enlarge their understanding and listening, they look expansively

Henry David Thoreau wrote: “Many an objective is not seen, though it falls within the range of our virtual ray, because it does not come within our intellectual ray.” For big picture thinkers, they realize there is a world out there besides their own.

They live completely. Do you want to have a “complete” life? Learn to live life with wholeness, expand your experiences and expand your life. Don’t be narrow minded!

How do we acquire the “wisdom” of Big Picture Thinking? Become comfortable with ambiguity. Don’t strive for certainity. Learn from every experience. Learn and expand on your successes. Learn from your failures. Be teachable. Gain insight from a variety of people. Learn from your customers, your colleagues and leaders. Give yourself permission to expand your world. Think outside the box, don’t be relegated to the box. Break new ground and explore and conquer the world!


Another great chapter!  Chapter 10


John quotes Ben Sweetland: “We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own.”  John says as we practice unselfish thinking it has the power to change your life, it may even redefine how you view your success.

The benefits of unselfish thinking: Few things in life bring greater personal rewards than helping others!

From Charles H. Burr: “Getters generally don’t get happiness; givers get it.”

Unselfish thinking adds value to others. When you get outside of yourself and make a contribution to others, you really begin to live. Unselfish thinking encourages other virtues. When you become a giver you can develop other virtues such as gratitude, love, respect, patience and discipline.

Unselfish thinking increases quality of life. There is no life as empty as the self centered life. There is no life as centered as the self empty life.

How do we experience the satisfaction of unselfish thinking?

We put others first! We expose ourselves to situations where people have needs!  We give quietly or anonymously!  We invest in people intentionally!  Continually check your motives!

Ben Franklin asked himself two questions every day. In the morning: “What good am I going to do today?” As he went to bed: “What good have I done today?”

As he closes the chapter, John gives a thinking question: “Am I continually considering others and their journey in order to think with maximum collaboration?”

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to any reader who would like to direct their thinking in productive and successful ways.

Other books by John Maxwell are also very powerful. As I say, he is one of my favorite authors.

Thank you for reading! We invite your comments!


Encouraging Literacy, Learning and Personal Development!

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