Tuesday, April 1, 2014

How High Will You Climb? by John C. Maxwell - Book Review

From the publisher: How high will you climb? John Maxwell says it all depends on your attitude.
Nose up or nose down? Just as the angle of an airplane determines its altitude, so does the approach we take-to family, to work, to life in general-determine the attitude we present the world. The way we solve a problem is often secondary to the approach we take in facing the problem, our outward expression every bit as critical as the inward struggle. When the skies above appear stormy, how will you steer that internal plane we call attitude?
With How High Will You Climb?, author John Maxwell presents detailed lessons on the single invaluable quality that has become a person's primary force toward success. As the world around us delivers challenges-all the while marching on at its own inevitable pace-the attitude we choose affects each of us individually. And yes, an attitude can be chosen. Attitude is easy in times of joy and progress. But how do you handle the failures sure to interrupt the attainment of goals? What happens to us is often quite different from what happens in us.
Calling the Bible a "handbook on attitude performance," Maxwell emphasizes we are never actually flying solo. God supports our approach to problem solving and helps steer the attitude adjustments necessary to think correctly in a sometimes negative world. With a study guide to help evaluate and build upon your own flight angle, How High Will You Climb? establishes the fundamental elements for a steady, durable flight of life. 
How High Will You Climb is another in a line of great books from John C. Maxwell.  The conceit of this book is that our attitude will determine our altitude (success) in life.  Using the metaphor of life as flying a plane, Maxwell explains that the flying term "attitude" relates to whether a plane is going up or down.  This corresponds to our lives in that a good attitude (going up) will result in more success than a bad attitude (going down).
The book is divided into four parts: The Consideration of Your Attitude; The Construction of Your Attitude; The Crashing of Your Attitude; and The Changing of Your Attitude.  Each of these sections is divided into chapters addressing specific points relating to the overall topic of the section. Of particular interest to me were the last two sections.  It's interesting to examine both how people can end up with a bad attitude (not merely a pessimistic outlook, either) and how they can turn it around and create a positive attitude through deliberate change.
As always, Maxwell roots his ideas in Biblical truths.  Scripture is used multiple times, and the lives of Peter and Paul are referenced frequently.  Along with scripture, Maxwell uses anecdotes to help drive the points home.  These are particularly helpful in illustrating the concepts presented.
Finally, Maxwell includes study guides for each chapter, as well as "Attitude Applications" throughout each chapter.  These assist the reader, either personally or as part of a reading group, in not only reading about the attitude changes but in helping cement the changes as permanent.
Overall, I would recommend this book. It is a short and easy to digest volume full of good ideas.
I received a preview copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for an honest review. 

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