John C. Maxwell is an internationally recognized leadership expert, speaker,
and author who has sold over 16 million books.
HOW SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE THINK
We have many books in our house from many different authors. I would venture to say that 90% of them are Christian, and the other 10% are maps and travel books. One of the authors that we have quite a few books from is Dr. John C. Maxwell. Since we have been discussing changing the way we think in this T4AC Series, I thought that I would share with you some from Dr. Maxwell’s book: How Successful People Think:
Chapter 8: Question Popular Thinking
” I’m not an answering machine. I’m a questioning machine. If we have all the answers, how come we’re in such a mess?” – Douglass Cardinal
Economist John Maynard Keynes, whose ideas profoundly influenced economic theory and practices in the twentieth century, asserted, “The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from the old ones.” Going against popular thinking can be difficult, whether you are a businessperson bucking company tradition, a pastor introducing new types of music to his church, a new mother rejecting old wives’ tales handed down from her parents, or a teenager ignoring popular styles.
Many of the ideas in this book go against popular thinking. If you value popularity over good thinking, then you will severely limit your potential to learn the tyes of thinking encouraged by this book.
Popular thinking is…
- Too Average to Understand the Value of Good Thinking,
- Too Inflexible to Realize the Impact of Changed Thinking,
- Too Lazy to Master the Process of International Thinking,
- Too Small to See the Wisdom of Big-picture Thinking,
- Too Satisfied to Unleash the Potential of Focused Thinking,
- Too Traditional to Discover the Joy of Creative Thinking,
- Too Naive to Recognize the Importance of Realistic Thinking,
- Too Undisciplined to Realize the Power of Strategic Thinking.
- Too Limiting to Feel the energy of Possibility Thinking,
- Too Trendy to Embrace the Lessons of Reflective Thinking,
- Too Proud to Encourage the Participation of Shared Thinking,
- Too Self-absorbed to Experience the Satisfaction of Unselfish Thinking, and
- Too Uncommitted to Enjoy the Return of Bottom-line Thinking.
If you want to become a good thinker, then start preparing yourself for the possibility of becoming unpopular.
1. Popular Thinking Sometimes Means Not Thinking
My friend Kevin Myers sums up the idea of popular thinking by saying, “The problem with popular thinking is that it doesn’t require you to think at all.” Good thinking is hard work. If it were easy, everybody would be a good thinker. Unfortunately, many people try to live life the easy way. They don’t want to do the hard work of thinking or pay the price of success. It’s easier to do what other people do and hope that they thought it out.
Look at the stock market recommendations of some experts. By the time they publish their picks, most are following a trend, not creating one or even riding its crest. The people who are going to make money on the stocks they recommend have already done so by the time the general public hears about it. When people blindly follow a trend, they’re not doing their own thinking.
2. Popular Thinking Offers False Hope
Beno Muller-Hill, a professor in the University of Cologne genetics department, tells how one morning in high school he stood last in line of forty students in the schoolyard. His physics teacher had set up a telescope that his students could view a planet and its moon. The first student stepped up to the telescope. He looked through it, but when the teacher asked if he could see anything, the boy said no; his nearsightedness hampered his view. The teacher showed him how to adjust the focus, and the boy finally said he could see the planet and the moon. One by one, the students stepped up to the telescope and saw what they were supposed to see. Finally, the second to last student looked into the telescope and announced that he could see nothing.
“You idiot,” shouted the teacher, “You have to adjust the lenses.”
The student tried, but he finally said, “I still can’t see anything. It is all black.”
The teacher, disgusted, looked through the telescope himself, and then looked up with a strange expression. The lens cap still covered the telescope. None of the students had been able to see anything!
Many people look for safety and security in popular thinking. They figure that if a lot of people are doing something, then it must be right. It must be a good idea. If most people accept it, then it probably represents fairness, equality, compassion, and sensitivity, right? Not necessarily. Popular thinking said the earth was the center of the universe, yet Copernicus studied the stars and planets and proved mathematically that the earth and the other planets in our solar system revolved around the sun. Popular thinking said surgery didn’t require clean instruments, yet Joseph Lister studied the high death rates in hospitals and introduced antiseptic practices that immediately saved lives. Popular thinking said that women shouldn’t have the right to vote, yet people like Emmeline Pankhurst and Susan B. Anthony fought for and won that right. Popular thinking put the Nazis into power in Germany, Hitler’s regime murdered millions and nearly destroyed Europe. We must always remember there is a huge difference between acceptance and intellegence. People may say that there’s safety in numbers, but that’s not always true.
Sometimes it is painfully obvious that popular thinking isn’t good and right. Other times it is less evident. For example, consider the staggering number of people in the United States who have run up large amounts of debt on their credit cards. Anyone who is financially astute will tell you that’s a bad idea. Yet millions follow right along with the popular thinking of buy now, pay later. And so they pay, and pay, and pay. Many promises of popular thinking ring hollow. Don’t let them fool you. (To Be Continued) Pages 81-85
Choosing the road less traveled…
The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Luke 10:2
ARE YOU “UNPOPULAR” FOR THE GOSPEL’S SAKE?
Are you unpopular for the Gospel’s sake? Now I do not mean unpopular in the flower sack dresses- no zipper pants- full unkept beard- no makeup kind of a way, I mean in a “I-LOVE-GOD-TOO-MUCH-TO-DISAPPOINT-HIM” kind of a way. 2011 has been prophesied to be the “judgement” year. Many things are coming to the surface in the Church that before was yet to be revealed. Many things that were never acceptable before (under direct instruction from the Word of God) are now becoming acceptable and becoming popular. Fornicating, lust of the flesh, adultery, idolatry, debt, partying, drunkenness, lasciviousness of ANY kind… all is very popular in the church now-a-day. Confirming 2 Timothy 3:1-5:
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.
The Message Version says it this way:
Don’t be naive. There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They’ll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they’re animals. Stay clear of these people.
As you press into the things of God, His; WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, and HOW- you will find yourself become more and more unpopular with these types of people. They will hate you, they will mock you, they will try to control you, and they will try to influence you to change who you are in Christ. Don’t fret over this- this is merely their insecurity speaking, and they are feeling your heat for the Word. Just as you can not hold fire without being burned, so these “popular” people cannot stand to be in the presence of righteousness without their own issues (lack of faith) staring them back in the face. Jesus admonished us all to take the logs out of our own eyes before criticizing others, popular people expect you to have the same log they have… only bigger. After all, you wouldn’t be being “popular” if you didn’t! I suppose that as enough of us in the Body of Christ become wholehearted in Christ… the “unpopular” righteous will become God’s majority! HALLELUJAH! That’s ME! That’s YOU!
God bless you friends as you go about your day today and seek God out for direction and the BEST thing to do for YOU, your family and your life. GOD is SO proud of you and your quality decision that you made to be souled-out to Him, and to walk wholeheartedly! You may be one of the only persons you know, but keep influencing others and don’t worry- pretty soon WE are all going to be the “popular” ones, for God’s tide flows in favor of the righteous and in His PERFECT timing!
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Let’s keep the Word GROWING! May God be with you today in ALL that you do!
Other *TIME 4 A CHANGE* articles:
- How Observing the Gospel Made Me Rich
- When Jobs No Longer Cut It
- The Eternal Love Mindset VS The Eternal Salvation Mindset
- Why Be New… When You Could be YOU?
- When God Gives You a Vision… Make Visionade!
- It’s *Time 4 A Change*… NEVER Quit Dreaming!