It has been said that if you gather successful people from all walks of life, the one thing they would all have in common
is the way they think. I believe that is an accurate, though broad, generalization. In “How Successful People Think”, the author, Dr. John C. Maxwell, maxwell defines success as the progressive realization of a predetermined goal. I have a number of predetermined goals that I aspire to progressively realize, which would in turn, by the working definition in
the book, make me a successful person. To be a successful person, I must think like a successful person, and so, when i
saw “How Successful People Think” on the library shelf, I was immediately drawn to it. I have in my library collection of
books many works by John C. Maxwell which I have read and gleaned tremendous insights from. Two of his books in
particular, “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership” and “Developing the Leader Within You” have had a transformative
affect on my thinking. My experience with these two books in particular and Dr. Maxwell’s work in general compelled me
to read “How Successful People Think”. As was the case with his previous works, I was inspired and enlightened as a result of reading “How Successful People Think”. I chose to read the book hoping to receive strategies, tactics and even a system
of thinking that I could model in order to think more like successful people. I discovered exactly what I was looking for.
The book espouses eleven keys to help you think more effectively. Each chapter is devoted to expounding on one of the
eleven keys. Chapter one taught me the importance of and how to “Cultivate Big-Picture Thinking”. Big-picture
thinking helps you to lead more effectively, stay on target, see the vision others see and avoid the mundane. I learned
that big-picture thinking also promotes teamwork. In chapter two, I learned to “Engage in Focused Thinking”. Focused
thinking harnesses energy toward a desired goal. From chapter three, I learned how to “Harness Creative Thinking”.
Creative thinkers value ideas, explore options and don’t fear failure. Creative thinking adds value to everything. In
reading chapter four, I learned that I should “Employ Realistic Thinking. I am a naturally optimistic person and I’m not
overly anxious to become a more realistic thinker. However, I learned that cultivating the ability to be realistic in my
thinking will add tremendous value. Realistic thinking minimizes downside risk, gives me a target and a game plan,
and gives me credibility. It will prepare you today for an uncertain tomorrow and give you influence with others. The
remaining keys taught me “Explore Possibility Thinking”, “Question Popular Thinking”, and how to “Benefit from Shared
Thinking”. I learned why it’s important for me to “Practice Unselfish Thinking” and “Rely on Bottom-Line Thinking”.
I believe that practicing these eleven keys will help me to be more effective in my thinking and see clearly the
path to personal success after prison. I believe everything essentially begins with a thought. Better quality
thinking will enable me to produce better results in ever area of my life. Adapting those eleven keys into my system of
thinking will help me to think like successful people and produce the kinds of results that successful people produce.