JumpStart Your Thinking

A 90-Day Improvement Plan


By John C. Maxwell

Formats and Prices




$12.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around December 15, 2015. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

#1 New York Times bestselling author John C. Maxwell shares the secrets to success in this 90-day guide, based on his book Thinking For a Change.

Maxwell provides the wisdom and inspiration you need to become a better thinker and achieve your dreams by mastering the eleven types of successful thinking, including: Big-Picture Thinking — seeing the world beyond your own needs and how that leads to great ideas; Focused Thinking — removing mental clutter and distractions to realize your full potential; Creative Thinking — thinking in unique ways and making breakthroughs; Shared Thinking — working with others to compound results; and Reflective Thinking — looking at the past to gain a better understanding of the future.

Filled with inspiring quotes, engaging lessons, and stimulating questions, over the course of three short months you’ll make daily strides toward more effective thinking while tracking your progress in this portable volume.


Begin Reading

Table of Contents


Copyright Page

In accordance with the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, the scanning, uploading, and electronic sharing of any part of this book without the permission of the publisher constitute unlawful piracy and theft of the author's intellectual property. If you would like to use material from the book (other than for review purposes), prior written permission must be obtained by contacting the publisher at permissions@hbgusa.com. Thank you for your support of the author's rights.


Perhaps you've wondered, as I often have, why it is that some people are successful and others are not. I've looked for answers to that question throughout my life. In the process, I've also asked myself if there is one thing that all successful people have in common. What one thing separates those who go to the top from those who never seem to get there?

The answer is not that some people get better opportunities and better educations or that some people are just lazy and had bad breaks. The answer is: Good Thinking! Those who embrace good thinking as a lifestyle understand the relationship between their level of thinking and their level of progress. They also realize that to change their lives, they must change their thinking.

Here's the simple difference: Successful people think differently than unsuccessful people.

That's why I'm excited that you want to jumpstart your thinking. I've been a student of good thinking all my life, so I know how important it is for making progress. It's something I first learned from my father, Melvin Maxwell, because he is an example of someone who changed his life as a result of changing his thinking.

If you met my dad, he would tell you that he was born with a naturally negative bent to his thinking. In addition, he grew up during the Depression, and when he was six years old, his mother died. He was not a happy or hopeful child. But as a teenager, he began to see that all the successful people he knew had one thing in common: They filled their lives with positive thoughts about themselves and others. He desired to be successful like them, so he embarked on the daily task of changing his thinking. To his delight, after much time and effort, his thinking changed him.

People who know him today see Dad as a totally positive person. They would be surprised to find out that he started his life with a negative mind-set. This change in his thinking allowed him to rise to a level of living that seemed above his potential. He went on to be the most successful person in his professional circle. He became a college president and touched the lives of innumerable people. To this day he is my hero.

So how skilled is your thinking? Does your thinking help you achieve? If you're currently not successful, or you're not as successful as you would like to be, it may be because you need to jumpstart your thinking.

I am very excited to present you with this 90-day plan to improve your thinking, because to do well in life, we must first think well. The way you think really impacts every aspect of your life. It doesn't matter whether you are an entreprenuer, teacher, parent, scientist, or corporate executive. Good thinking will improve your life. It will help you to become an achiever.

Over the next 90 days, you will be provided with ideas and action steps to help you make the best use of your most precious possession: your mind. You'll discover that new mental habits can be learned and that by changing them, you can change your life. Drawing from some of the best thinkers in history, you will learn specific techniques on how to think, not what to think. You will see an immediate impact and open the door to new possibilities.

What will it take for you to jumpstart your thinking? Consistently set aside 15 minutes every day for the next 90 days to think intentionally about how you think. Read and consider the inspirational quote for the day, read and digest the lesson, and move forward by taking action in response to the question.

If you spend time implementing the kind of successful thinking described in the daily readings for the next three months, you will place yourself on the pathway of success. It could be the difference that makes all the difference in your life!

Ready? Let's get started!


You are today where your thoughts have brought you. You will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.


Changing from negative to positive thinking will transform a person's life, but it isn't always easy, especially if you have a difficult time with change. For some, it's a lifelong struggle. Do you know what most people's number one challenge is when it comes to making positive personal changes? It's their feelings. They want to change, but they don't know how to get past their emotions. But there is a way to do it. Consider the truth contained in the following syllogism:

Major Premise: I can control my thoughts.

Minor Premise: My feelings come from my thoughts.

Conclusion: I can control my feelings by controlling my thoughts.

If you are willing to change your thinking, you can change your feelings. If you change your feelings, you can change your actions. And changing your actions—based on good thinking—can change your life. That truth has the power to set you free.



Thought is the original source of all wealth, all success, all material gain, all great discoveries and inventions, and all achievement.


It may seem obvious that the quality of people's thinking leads to the quality of their results. However, one of the reasons people don't achieve their dreams is that they desire to change their results without changing their thinking. That's never going to work. If you want to jumpstart your thinking, you must believe that only good thinking creates the foundation for good results.

In As a Man Thinketh, James Allen, philosopher of the human spirit, wrote, "Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results. This is but saying that nothing can come from corn but corn, nothing from nettles but nettles." Simply put, if you expect to reap corn when you plant nettles, you're not going to get corn—no matter how much time you spend watering, fertilizing, or cultivating your plants. If you don't like the crop you are reaping, you need to change the seed you are sowing!

Do you want to achieve? Then sow the "seed" of good thinking.



Beware when the great God lets loose a great thinker on the planet.


Do you realize that the quality of your thinking is the lid for your potential? To paraphrase the words of King Solomon, wisest of all ancient kings, "As people think in their hearts, so they are." If you're an excellent thinker, you have excellent potential; but if your thinking is poor, you have a lid on your life.

Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, refused to believe the popular notion that a town of less than 50,000 in population could not support a discount store for very long. He thought for himself and struck out on his own. Today Wal-Mart is the world's largest retailer and company by revenue, employing more than two million people. How's that for potential! No wonder Jack Welch, former chairman of General Electric, said, "The hero is the one with ideas."

The greatest detriment to your potential success tomorrow is your thinking today. If your thinking is limited, so is your potential. But if you can keep growing in your thinking, you will constantly outgrow what you're doing. And your potential will always be off the charts!



An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an invasion of ideas.


Here's some good news as you begin your thinking journey: No matter how complicated life gets or how difficult problems may seem, good thinking can make a difference—if you make it a consistent part of your life. The more you engage in good thinking, the more good thoughts will come to you. Success comes to those who habitually do things that unsuccessful people don't do. Achievement comes from the habit of good thinking. The more you engage in good thinking, the more good thoughts you will continue to think. It's like creating a never-ending army of ideas capable of achieving almost anything.

If you're like many people, you believe good thinking is so complicated that it lies beyond your reach. But in truth, it's really a very simple process. Every person has the potential to become a better thinker. I've observed that unsuccessful people focus their thinking on survival, average people focus on maintenance, and successful people focus on progress. A change of thinking can help you move from survival or maintenance to real progress. Ninety-five percent of achieving anything is knowing what you want and paying the price to get it.



Nothing limits achievement like small thinking; nothing expands possibilities like unleashed thinking.


Did you know that good thinking isn't just one thing? It consists of several specific thinking skills. Becoming a good thinker means developing all the thinking "pieces" to become the kind of person who can achieve great things. Throughout the rest of this book, we'll focus on the following types of thinking:

   Big-picture Thinking

   Focused Thinking

   Creative Thinking

   Realistic Thinking

   Strategic Thinking

   Possibility Thinking

   Reflective Thinking

   Uncommon Thinking

   Shared Thinking

   Unselfish Thinking

   Bottom-line Thinking

These are your building blocks. If you develop each of these kinds of thinking, you will become a better thinker and your life will change.



Nurture great thoughts, for you will never go higher than your thoughts.


What difference can a shift in your thinking make? Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, gave this advice to a young businessperson who asked him how he could elevate himself among all of his other associates:

"The only way to get out of the pile and stand out to your boss is to understand this simple principle: When he asks you a question, assigns a basic project, or sends you out to gather some data, he simply wants you to go out and confirm what he already believes is true. If you want to elevate yourself, you must sink your thoughts and time into not only answering the question, but three or more other ideas, options, and perspectives that were probably not previously considered by your boss. The goal is to add value to the idea and the thought by exceeding expectations when the question is given to you. Because 99.9 percent of all employees are in the pile because they don't think, you will always be given more critical questions to answer. And in time, you will be the one giving out the questions to others!"

If you desire to climb up out of the pile, become the best thinker you can be.



People will never attain what they cannot see themselves doing.


Over the next six days, I want you to see how you can begin to change yourself as you take responsibility to change your thinking. If you follow the process faithfully, it will result in a changed life!

Step 1: Changing your thinking changes your beliefs. My friend author Gordon MacDonald says that if you do not believe in yourself, you will "fall victim to ideas and systems that are destructive to the human spirit and to human relationships… and grow dependent upon the thoughts and opinions of others." Or you may simply give up.

But here's the good news: Even if you currently lack what MacDonald calls "a strong mind," there's no reason to give up or live an unfulfilling life. The human mind can change, if you are willing to put in the effort to change your thinking. As you strive to change your thinking, tell yourself these three things:

Change is Personal—I need to change.

Change is Possible—I'm able to change.

Change is Profitable—I'll be rewarded by change.

Remember, no matter how old you are or what your circumstances may be, you can change your thinking. And when you change your thinking, you change your beliefs.



The first and most important step toward success is the expectation that we can succeed.



  • "An intriguing look at leadership with practical advice makes this book beneficial to. . .anyone who wants to develop and improve their skills."—Library Journal on Good Leaders Ask Great Questions
  • "Clear and inspiring, this is a great approach to leadership."—Publishers Weekly on Good Leaders Ask Great Questions
  • "The first time I met John Maxwell, I could tell that he and I shared the same values. He cares about people and he wants to help them. One of the best ways to do that is to teach people how to overcome failure and adversity. That ability turned my life around. If you read Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn, you will learn that valuable skill. I highly recommend this book."—Ben Carson, M.D., pediatric neurosurgeon and NYT bestselling author of America the Beautiful and Gifted Hands, on Sometimes You Win--Sometimes You Learn
  • "Millions of individuals--myself included--have been inspired by the words and works of John Maxwell. Now, in The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth, John again shares his remarkable insights and wisdom into how each of us can reach our full potential and make a positive difference in the lives of others."—Elizabeth Dole, former U.S. Cabinet Secretary, Senator and President of the American Red Cross, on The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth
  • "John has been a mentor and teacher for me for many years and what I love most about him is that he has pushed and helped me personally go through The 5 Levels of Leadership!"—Kevin Turner, COO, Microsoft, on The 5 Levels of Leadership

On Sale
Dec 15, 2015
Page Count
192 pages
Center Street

John C. Maxwell

About the Author

John C. Maxwell is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, coach, and speaker who has sold more than 24 million books in fifty languages. Often called America’s #1 leadership authority, Maxwell was identified as the most popular leadership expert in the world by Inc. magazine in 2014, and he has been voted the top leadership professional six years in a row on LeadershipGurus.net. He is the founder of The John Maxwell Company, The John Maxwell Team, and EQUIP, a non-profit organization that has trained more than 5 million leaders in 180 countries. Each year Maxwell speaks to Fortune 500 companies, presidents of nations, and many of the world’s top business leaders.

Learn more about this author