So, how do successful people think, and if I’m typing that question out loud, what does that say about me?



How do we, um, they do it?


Think, think, think.


Do I need to trade in my irreverence, current state of near-poverty and dreaded cynicism in order to be in tune with a little book I picked up from the extensive leadership collection of a most famous motivator named John C. Maxwell? Hmmm…


I had heard of John Maxwell, but had never read him before (unlike, apparently 20 million others) and maybe, it’s time to do so. This particular book—How Successful People Think—is only 124 gift-book-sized pages, and I think I’ll be able to finish it in the two weeks I borrowed it from my Toastmasters Club’s new library. Just nine pages a day.


My only obstacle to doing this is the fact that I’ve always been a little suspicious of the various cottage industries built around motivational writing and speaking. I say that even as I’m angling to join the ranks of such successful speakers and writers. I ask myself: is this what I do, or can do?


Think, think, think.


For me, the speaking part is fairly easy; the tough part is driving full throttle on the notion that my voice needs to be heard because I have an empowering message to deliver. I simply don’t want to be one of those fake-it-till you-make-it cats that strings others along.


But still: why not me?  Please don’t answer that, as one of my inner voices is already beating the crap out of me under the guise of honest communication. Why are my inner voices so brutally honest, omniscient and omnipresent?


Think, think, think.


I’ve only read about one-fourth of this mini-tome so far, and I’m not sure if it’s very deep or very simplistic. I coined a word for that in my Wordapodia book: deeplistic. This seems to be a good case study of deeplism.


But why fight it? In the first 32 pages, Maxwell has already shared some good common-sense tips about how I can carve out the time and place for focused thought in my daily or weekly schedule. He writes about ways in which I/we can harness our creative thinking powers and utilize the resources of other successful thinkers.


I think I can do all this if I don’t over-think it.


At around 3:30 this morning (you think you’re an insomniac; think again), I did a search for John Maxwell, and ended up signing up for his Minute with Maxwell daily video message. The man has great pipes,  even if he seems too snake-oily for my tastes? Snake-oily should be a word. So, is he too…polished?


Okay, he is an evangelical Christian, not that this is a bad thing…necessarily. And I’m sure that he has connected with people from every conceivable background. Twenty million readers; not all unique, but still. Besides, he doesn’t look all that slick, and his voice is kind of soothing.


Any Tony Robbins fans in the house? I’ve never attended one of his seminars or purchased one of his CDs, but apparently, he also has  millions of adherents and trainees. I only hear his periodic radio infommericals, and can’t bear his voice for more than about 15 seconds. So, maybe Maxwell will be my audio leadership muse.


Think, think, think…


I never knew much about Winnie the Pooh—that silly, fluffy old bear with stuffing for brains—but have become a huge fan ever since I got bit with the fatherhood bug three years ago. Pooh always goes to his thinking spot—which is stocked with vats of honey— and engages in deep thoughts about such weighty issues as where did I put my honey jar (?), or where did I last see Eeyore’s tail? The thoughts only come to him after he admonishes himself to Think, think, think.


So if it works for Pooh Bear—the most blissful character I’ve ever read and watched—why can’t it work for me, or you?


On his Acknowledgments page, John Maxwell writes:


I’d like to say thank you to


Margaret Maxwell,

who shares her thinking with me daily


Charlie Wetzel,

who does my writing


Stephanie Wetzel,

who proofs and edits the manuscript, and


Linda Eggers,

who runs my life.




Wow, is it too cynical to ask what the hell Maxwell does while he gets daily thoughts from his wife and the Wetzels do his writing, proofing and editing? Oh yeah, last and certainly not least, Linda has the small task of running his life.


Maybe, successful people just trust themselves to trust others more than the other ­­­­____ % of them, er, us.  I think he has a winning formula here.


Think, think, think.


I’ll even do my own thinking, honey-guzzling and writing, but who can do my proofing, and who is going to run my life?


Time to start recruiting for a great new life-runner.


I know I can’t pay a salary at this time, but I’ll offer up a fair percentage of our generated revenue, and I think this will amount to a whole lot of money. Very, very soon.


As always, thank you for reading. Please check out my other books, blogs and speaking information.




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