How Successful People Think


How Successful People Think

In difficult times, what is a successful person's most valuable resource? Excellent thought!

Good thinkers are in high demand. A person who understands how may always have a job, but the person who understands why is always his boss.

How Successful People Think
Good thinkers solve problems, they never run out of ideas for how to build a company, and they always have hope for a better future. Good thinkers are rarely at the mercy of ruthless people who would exploit or deceive them, such as Nazi dictator Adolf 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 if they are subject to an oppressive ruler or are otherwise placed in difficult circumstances. In short, good thinkers succeed.

I've studied successful people for forty years, and while there is incredible diversity among them, I've discovered that they are all alike in one way: how they think!

That is the only difference between successful and unsuccessful people. And now for the good news. It is possible to learn how successful people think. You can change your life if you change your mind!


Do you want to learn how to think clearly? Do you want to think better tomorrow than you do today? Then you must engage in a continuous process of improving your thinking. I advise you to do the following:

1. Be Open to Positive Feedback

Good thinkers always prime the idea pump. They are always looking for things to get the thinking process going, because what goes in always influences what comes out.

Read books, subscribe to trade magazines, listen to CDs, and spend time with intelligent people. And keep something that interests you in front of you, whether it's someone else's idea or the seed of an idea you've come up with yourself. Put it in writing and keep it in a convenient location to stimulate your thinking.

2. Surround Yourself with Good Thinkers

Everyone in my life who I consider to be close friends or colleagues is a good thinker. Now I adore everyone. I try to be nice to everyone I meet, and I want to help as many people as possible through conferences, books, audio lessons, and other means. People I seek out and choose to spend time with, on the other hand, all challenge me in their thinking and actions. They are always striving to improve and learn.

Sharp people sharpen one another, just as iron sharpens iron, according to the writer of Proverbs. If you want to be a sharp thinker, surround yourself with sharp people.


3. Decide to Think Positive Thoughts

To become a good thinker, you must be deliberate about your thinking process. Put yourself in the right place to think, shape, stretch, and land your thoughts on a regular basis. Make it your top priority. Thinking is a practice.

I recently had breakfast with Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-fil-A, an Atlanta-based fast food restaurant chain. I told him I was working on a book and asked him if he prioritized thinking time.

He not only said yes, but he also told me about his "thinking schedule." It aids him in combating the hectic pace of life, which discourages intentional thinking. Dan says he sets aside half a day every two weeks, one full day every month, and two or three full days every year just to think. "This helps me keep the main thing, the main thing," Dan explains, "because I am so easily distracted."

Read: 50 Best Jobs for Your Personality

You could do something similar, or you could create your own schedule and method. Whatever you decide, go to a special thinking place, bring paper and a pen, and make sure to write down your thoughts.

4. Put Your Good Thoughts into Action

Ideas have a finite lifespan. You must act on them before the deadline. Ace of the First World War "I can give you a six-word formula for success: think things through-then follow through," Eddie Rickenbacker said.

5. Allow Your Emotions to Inspire Another Positive Thought

You cannot begin the thinking process by relying on your feelings. I wrote in Failing Forward that you can act your way into feeling much faster than you can feel your way into action. If you wait until you feel like doing something, you will almost certainly never do it. The same can be said for thinking. You can't put it off until you feel like thinking about it. 

However, I've discovered that once you've gotten into the habit of good thinking, you can use your emotions to fuel the process and generate mental momentum. Test it out for yourself. Allow yourself to savor the moment and try riding the mental energy of your success after you have gone through the disciplined process of thinking. If you're anything like me, it'll spark additional thoughts and productive ideas.

6. Rep the procedure.

A good thought does not a good life make. People who have one good idea and try to ride it for the rest of their lives are often unhappy or destitute. They are the one-hit wonders, one-book authors, one-message speakers, and one-time inventors who spend their entire lives attempting to protect or promote their single idea. Success comes to those who have a mountain of gold that they are constantly mining, not to those who find one nugget and try to live on it for fifty years. To become someone who can mine a lot of gold, you must keep repeating the good thinking process.


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