I figured I’d give myself an easy layup shot for my first non-introductory blog post to help make this new journey start off on a smooth path. Under the theme of Learning, this post is a book review of John C. Maxwell’s How Successful People Think. This should be pretty simple since everything I’ve read from John Maxwell has been pure gold, and this book was no different.
This book was a very quick read, since it’s a stripped-down version of his book “Thinking for a Change.” I actually just found that out after reading the book, whoops. I need to remember that Maxwell’s short books are primarily derived from a previous books of his. Anyways, regardless of that fact, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
If I was to compose my own summary of the book it would be that successful people value the power of thought; they are proactive in investing time and effort to challenge their thoughts and are not afraid to ask deep questions. They are strategic in not only seeing the big picture and allowing dreams to take them to new creative ideas, but also to be strategic in grounding themselves with good counsel.
The most important thing I learned: While Maxwell’s books are always full of great wisdom (My highlighted notes from this book was over 3,500 words) I want to not only boil down the book to its core message, but also to identify the singular most valuable insight I gained from this book. While there were many to choose from, I think this quote was the most powerful for me:
“Most people want their lives to keep improving, yet they value peace and stability at the same time. People often forget that you can’t improve and still stay the same. Growth means change. Change requires challenging the status quo. If you want greater possibilities, you can’t settle for what you have now. When you become a possibility thinker, you will face many people who will want you to give up your dreams and embrace the status quo. Achievers refuse to accept the status quo.”
This came to me at a critical time for me; I’ve been working on self improvement intentionally for the past year, but have tried to preserve the comfortable culture surrounding my life as well. I wanted to be better with nothing else changing around me. As how I’ve described in my first post, I breaking free from that mindset, and I need to discard many of my comforts to produce a real and lasting change.
Added bonus: Another great thought I gained from this book was taking time to reflect on what I’ve learned. I want to speed through and absorb as much knowledge as I can, but if I don’t produce a method properly digesting this knowledge, then I significantly limit my ability to utilize what I’ve learned.
“I believe I often get thoughts because I make it a habit to frequently go to my thinking places. If you want to consistently generate ideas, you need to do the same thing. Find a place where you can think, and plan to capture your thoughts on paper so that you don’t lose them. When I found a place to think my thoughts, my thoughts found a place in me.”
“You’ve got to think about ‘big things’ while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.”
“Big-picture thinkers are comfortable with ambiguity. They don’t try to force every observation or piece of data into pre-formulated cubby holes.They think broadly and can juggle many seemingly contradictory thoughts in their minds. If you want to cultivate the ability to think big picture, then you must get used to embracing and dealing with complex and diverse ideas.”
“Use the 80/20 rule. Give 80% of your effort to the top 20% (most important) activities. Another way is to focus on exceptional opportunities that promise a huge return. It comes down to this: give your attention to the areas that bear fruit.”
“Be sure to write your goals. If they’re not written, I can almost guarantee that they’re not focused enough. And if you really want to make sure they’re focused, take the advise of David Belasco, who says, ‘If you can’t write your idea on the back of my business card, you don’t have a clear idea.'”
“At the beginning of every month, I spend half a day working on my calendar for the next forty days. Forty days works for me rather than just thirty. That way, I get a jump on the next month and don’t get surprised. I begin by reviewing my travel schedule and planning activities with my family. Then I review what projects, lessons, and other objectives I want to accomplish during those five to six weeks. Then I start blocking out days and times for thinking, writing, working, meeting with people, etc. I set times to do fun things, such as seeing a show, watching a ball game, or playing golf. I also set aside small blocks of time to compensate for the unexpected. By the time I’m done, I can tell you nearly everything I’ll be doing, almost hour by hour, during the coming weeks. This strategy is one of the reasons I have been able to accomplish much.”
“Every time you remove the label of impossible from a task you raise your potential from average to OFF THE CHARTS!”
“Never tell a young person that something cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for somebody ignorant enough of the impossible to do that thing https://apotheke-zag.de/.”
-John Andrews Holmes
“One of the reasons I’ve been able to accomplish much and keep growing personally is that I’ve not only set aside time to reflect, but I’ve separated myself from distractions for short blocks of time: thirty minutes at the spa; and hour outside on a rock in my backyard; or a few hours in a comfortable chair in my office. The place doesn’t matter—as long as you remove yourself from distractions and interruptions.”
“When most people go to a conference or seminar, they enjoy the experience, listen to the speakers, and sometimes even take notes. But nothing happens after they go home. They like many of the concepts they hear, but when they close their notebooks, they don’t think about again. When that happens, they receive little more than a temporary surge of motivation.”
Definition of Success: “He has achieved success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much; who has enjoyed the trust of pure women, the respect of intelligent men and the love of little children, who has filled his niche and accomplished his task; who has left the world better than he found it, whether by an improved poppy, a perfect poem, or a rescued soul; who has never lacked appreciation of earth’s beauty or failed to express it, who has always looked for the best in others and given them the best he had, whose life was an inspiration, whose memory a benediction.”
-Bessie Anderson Stanley. Brown Book Magazine.
“What we think determines who we are. Who we are determines what we do.”
You can purchase this book at Amazon here:
“Breakthrough Rapid Reading” -Peter Kump
“The 4-Hour Work Week” -Timothy Ferriss
Life verse: “But a generous man devises generous things and by his generosity he will stand.” -Isaiah 32:8
Life Mission Statement: To be intentionally focused on providing opportunity and adding value to others.