How to Become a Better Thinker


Do you want to master the process of good thinking? Do you want to be a better thinker tomorrow than you are today? They you need to engage in an ongoing process that improves your thinking. The following are recommended.

1. Expose Yourself to Good Input

Good thinkers always prime the pump of ideas. They always look for things to get the thinking process started, because what you put in always impacts what comes out.

Read books, review trade magazines, listen to audios, and spend time with good thinkers. And when something intrigues you-whether its someone else’s idea or the seed of an idea that you’ve come up with yourself-keep it in front of you. Put it in writing and keep it somewhere in your favorite place to stimulate your thinking.

2.  Expose Yourself to Good Thinkers.

Spend time with the right people. All the people you consider to be close friends or colleagues are thinkers. Now, you love all people. You try to be kind to everyone you met and desire to add value to as many people as you can through conferences, books, training and etc. But the people you seek out and choose to spend time with all challenge you with their thinking and actions. They are constantly trying to grow and learn. From your wife to your boss in the organization. Everyone of them is a good thinker!

King Solomon in the Bible observed in the book of Proverbs that “Sharp people sharpen one another, just as iron sharpens iron. If you want to be a sharp thinker, be around sharp people.

3. Choose to Think Good Thoughts.

To become a good thinker, you must become an intentional about the thinking process. Regularly put yourself in the right place to think, shape, stretch, and land your thoughts. Make it a priority. Remember, thinking is a discipline.

Develop a schedule and method and set aside time to just think things over. Example, maybe half a day every two weeks. No matter what you choose, go to your thinking place, take a paper, and make sure you capture your ideas in writing.

The hectic pace of life at work, family and home affairs can distract your thinking process. When life is in motion, you cannot give serious attention to things that matters. It is through these set-aside thinking times that get you back on track on matters that are of important for your health, career and etc.

4. Act on Your Good Thoughts.

Ideas have a short shelf life. You must act on them before the expiration date.

Think things through-then follow through.

5. All Your Emotions to Create Another Good Thought

To start the thinking process, you cannot rely on your feelings. You can act your way into feeling long before you feel your way into action. If you wait until you feel like doing something, you will likely never accomplish it. The same is true for thinking. You cannot wait until you feel like thinking to do it. Once you engage in the process of good thinking, you can create your emotions to feed the process and create mental momentum.

Try yourself. After you go through the disciplined process of thinking and enjoy some success, allow to yourself to savor the moment and try riding the mental energy of that success.

6. Repeat the Process

Once good thought does not make a good life. The people who have one good thought and try to ride it for an entire career often end up  unhappy and destitute. They are the one-hit wonders, the one-book authors, one-message speakers, the one-time inventors who spend their life struggling to protect or promote their single idea. Success comes to those who have an entire mountain of gold that they continually mine, not 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 need to keep repeating the process of good thinking.

Source: Extract from the book “ How Successful People Think. Change your thinking, change your life” by John C. Maxwell @2009