Good thinkers are always in demand. A person who knows how may always have a job, but the person who knows why will always be his boss. Good thinkers solve problems, they never lack ideas that can build an organization, and they always have hope for a better future. Good thinkers rarely find themselves at the mercy of ruthless people who would take advantage of them or try to deceive them, people like 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 while under an oppressive ruler or in other difficult circumstances. In short, good thinkers are successful. I’ve studied successful people for forty years, and though the diversity you find among them is astounding, I’ve found that they are all alike in one way: how they think! That is the one thing that separates successful people from unsuccessful ones. And here’s the good news. How successful people think can be learned. If you change your thinking, you can change your life!
You often hear someone say that a colleague or friend is a “good thinker,” but that phrase means something
different to everyone. To one person it may mean having a high IQ, while to another it could mean knowing a bunch of trivia or being able to figure out a whodunit when reading a mystery novel. I believe that good thinking isn't just one thing. It consists of several specific thinking skills.
Becoming a good thinker means developing those skills to the best of your ability. It doesn’t matter whether you were born rich or poor. It doesn’t matter if you have a third-grade education or possess a Ph.D. It doesn’t matter if you suffer from multiple disabilities or you’re the picture of health. No matter what your circumstances, you can learn to be a good thinker. All you must do is be willing to engage in the process every day.
It’s hard to overstate the value of changing your thinking. Good thinking can do many things for you: generate revenue, solve problems, and create opportunities. It can take you to a whole new level—personally and professionally. It really can change your life.
Consider some things you need to know about changing your thinking:
1. Changed Thinking Is Not Automatic
Sadly, a change in thinking doesn’t happen on its own. Good ideas rarely go out and find someone. If you want to find a good idea, you must search for it. If you want to become a better thinker, you need to work at it —and once you begin to become a better thinker, the good ideas keep coming. In fact, the amount of good thinking you can do at any time depends primarily on the amount of good thinking you are already doing.
2. Changed Thinking Is Difficult
When you hear someone say, “Now this is just off the top of my head,” expect dandruff. The only people who believe thinking is easy are those who don’t habitually engage in it. Nobel Prize-winning physicist Albert Einstein, one of the best thinkers who ever lived, asserted, “Thinking is hard work; that’s why so few do it.” Because thinking is so difficult, you want to use anything you can to help you improve the process.
3. Changed Thinking Is Worth the Investment
Author Napoleon Hill observed, “More gold has been mined from the thoughts of man than has ever been taken from the earth.” When you take the time to learn how to change your thinking and become a better thinker, you are investing in yourself. Gold mines tap out. Stock markets crash. Real estate investments can go sour. But a human mind with the ability to think well is like a diamond mine that never runs out. It’s priceless.