Thinking For a Change

Today, I wanted to talk about one of my favorite books, Thinking for a Change by John C Maxwell. One of the reasons I love this book is because we are never taught how to think or different ways to think. In fact, the book is subtitled 11 ways highly successful people approach life and work and Maxwell gives you thinking strategies. This book is broken into 2 parts there are 3 chapters and 11 thinking strategies.

Part 1: Change your thinking, change your life.  Chapter one is about understanding the value of good thinking and in this section Jack Welch has a quote that states 99.9% of all employees are in a pile because they don’t think. Chapter 2, realize the impact of changed thinking, here it’s talking about thinking at the next level. Mark Victor Hansen was very successful in the Chicken Soup books and he was making about a million dollars at the time. He came into contact with Tony Robbins and he knew that Robbins had made about 153 million dollars that year. So he asked him how did he get there. Tony asked in return who was in Mark’s mastermind group. Mark replied that it was a bunch of other millionaires. Tony stated that was the problem and Mark needed some billionaires in his group to help get his thinking to the next level. Chapter 3, master the process of intentional thinking. John’s goal is to have one good thought a day. May not sound like much, but one good thought a day is 5 good thoughts a week, 52 weeks a year, that’s 260 good thoughts! Record those thoughts over a lifetime and see quickly you will grow.

The section on becoming a good thinker is excellent and on its own worth the price of the book.

Part 2 is the eleven thinking skills. Skill 1, develop picture thinking. One of the quotes from this section stood out to me. It stated you will become as small as your controlling desire and as great as your dominant aspiration. Develop focusing your thinking. You want to develop a strategy to really pinpoint your thoughts into a narrow focus and not get way out there with your thoughts and thinking. It’s also vitally important to be creative in your thoughts. When I want or need to be creative I look for someone who has the futuristic strength theme, from the Clifton Strengths. Someone who has the futuristic strength theme is always thinking way ahead in the future. They think about the future quicker and more easily than most other people. They are very creative. So if you know someone like that, meet with them to aid you in thinking creatively. Realistically, you don’t want your thinking to be way outside the box. It can be out of the box, but you want to stay in that realistic area. Plan your life, live your plan, and be strategic about it. This is something John talks about and it’s in an area that I specialize in. I help people structure their lives around the 6 F’s and learning how to execute that. Possibility increase thinking increases your possibilities. In this section, John talks about the concept of B-hags. If you have ever read the book Good to Great. BHAGS are Big, Hairy, Audacious, Goals. They are goals that really stretch way out there. Reflective thinking brings you into perspective. We look at experiences when we look at reflective thinking. We think, okay, what went well with that experience, what could have gone better, and what would I do differently next time. Popular thinking brings average results. John says in the book that great leaders swim against the crowd. They are usually the first ones to take an idea and go against popular, or group, thinking. Good leaders also understand the power of shared thinking. We talked a little about Mark Victor Hansen and Tony about mastermind groups. Mastermind groups are a great way to share thinking, best practices, and ideas. Unselfish thinking makes you a part of something greater than yourself. We all want to be part of something greater than ourselves. We all want to leave some sort of legacy or have some sort of significance. The last lesson John shares is the question, what are you trying to achieve. What is the baseline, what is your goal? If you are a high achiever already, then you are looking to go from great to world-class. Contact me to learn about coaching at my website www.theascentperformancegroup.com and remember Be Great!

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