The Magic Of Thinking Big is a personal development book written in 1965 by David J. Schwartz. The premise of the book is simple: Think big to live big.
David Schwartz tells us that we need to upgrade our thinking to upgrade our life. Before we can achieve big things, we have to think big things. In his eyes, success has little to do with intelligence, having wealthy parents, being lucky, or whatever.
He claims that success is determined not so much by the size of one’s brain but by the size of one’s thinking. He offers countless strategies to help us upgrade our thinking and become more successful in everything we do.
In this summary, we will look at 13 of his best ideas. These ideas have made a massive difference in my life, and I’m convinced they will help you improve your life.
‘Case history after case history proved that the size of the bank account, the size of the happiness account, and the size of someone’s satisfaction account depend on the size of their thinking; there is magic in thinking big.”
Believe you can succeed, and you will
Belief is a powerful force that generates the energy and skill necessary to achieve our goals. The how-to-do-it naturally follows when we have a positive attitude and believe we can succeed.
Our belief triggers our minds to find ways and means to accomplish our objectives. We must firmly believe in our abilities to accomplish important things in life.
For instance, if we believe we can become a millionaire, we can achieve this goal. However, if we suffer from Excusitis, a condition where we find excuses to justify our disbelief, we might not be able to achieve our goals. Doubt and disbelief attract negativity and prevent us from succeeding.
Negative thoughts and doubts can hinder our subconscious mind from achieving our objectives, making us prone to failure. Therefore, believing in ourselves and having a positive attitude to achieve our aspirations is crucial.
Cure yourself of excusitis, the failure disease
Successful individuals tend to make fewer excuses than those who have not achieved their goals. People with mediocre accomplishments tend to explain why they can’t, won’t, or aren’t doing something.
Do you find yourself making excuses like “I’m too tired,” “I’m too old,” or “I’m not smart enough?” According to Schwartz, those who are successful have fewer excuses.
Luck is not the determining factor in our success; it results from our actions and efforts over time. Every action reacts, and we must take responsibility for our decisions and their consequences.
We should accept the law of cause and effect and recognize that success requires preparation, planning, and success-producing thinking.
If we encounter setbacks, we should learn from them and use the knowledge gained to continue progressing toward our goals.
It is encouraging to realize that we have control over our lives and are not solely reliant on external factors.
As creators of our destiny, we can make choices and take actions that will lead us to success. We can learn from the behaviors and practices of those who have achieved what we desire.
For instance, if we aspire to be physically fit, we can emulate the actions of other fit individuals. Similarly, if we seek financial prosperity, we can adopt the habits of successful entrepreneurs.
Accepting the concept of cause and effect makes life more straightforward and manageable, as stated in The Magic of Thinking Big.
Don’t sell yourself short.
Many individuals view themselves as inferior and incapable of achieving certain things. This lack of self-confidence and self-worth, which Schwartz refers to as self-deprecation in The Magic of Thinking Big, can hold them back.
Meanwhile, you may know less skilled or less qualified people than others in higher positions. How did they get there? It’s simple – they have a higher opinion of themselves.
They possess greater self-belief, self-esteem, and a positive self-image, which makes them confident that they can perform the job well.
They don’t suffer from low self-esteem or self-deprecation, nor do they underestimate themselves or overestimate others. Instead, they have a healthy level of self-esteem that allows them to recognize their abilities and potential.
According to The Magic of Thinking Big, this allows them to succeed.
Use big, bright, cheerful, and optimistic words.
How we communicate through language has a powerful impact on the images and movies our minds create.
Our minds don’t think in words but rather in visual representations. For example, when we hear the phrase “pink elephant,” our minds conjure up an image of a pink elephant. Therefore, choosing our words carefully is essential because they can shape our thoughts and emotions.
For instance, “problem” creates negative connotations in our minds, whereas “challenge” creates more positive associations.
Similarly, “try” implies a lack of commitment or potential failure, while “do” conveys a sense of confidence and certainty. We can cultivate a more optimistic and motivated mindset by using language that inspires positive images and movies.
The language we use to express our moods and feelings significantly impacts our mental and emotional states. To promote positive emotions, we should avoid using negative words when describing how we feel. Instead, we should choose positive words that create pleasant images and emotions.
Furthermore, when talking about other people, we should use positive language that paints them positively. By using emotionally-charged words like “legend,” “great,” or “fun,” we can create positive feelings in the listener and even the person we are referring to. This not only fosters good relationships but also associates us with positive emotions in the minds of others.
Overall, the power of words cannot be overstated. Using big, bright, and cheerful words can cultivate positive emotions and relationships in our personal and professional lives.
Look important – it helps you think necessary.
One important rule is to ensure that your appearance reflects positively on you. It is essential always to leave your home feeling confident that you look like the person you aspire to be.
A well-dressed person conveys the message of intelligence, success, and trustworthiness, while a shabby person may be perceived as careless, inefficient, and unimportant.
The way you present yourself has a significant impact on the way others perceive and react to you. It is more likely that people will approach you and respond positively if you make a friendly and genuine impression.
Even if you do not engage with them verbally, your clothes, posture, body language, and smile communicate messages to others.
In addition, your appearance has a significant impact on your thinking and emotions. Your physical appearance can affect your mental state and feelings about yourself.
Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to your appearance and ensure that it reflects the person you aspire to be.
Build a sell-yourself-on-yourself commercial.
Our self-talk is crucial, and we can improve it by practising positive self-praise instead of belittling self-punishment. It’s essential to ask ourselves how we talk to ourselves and if we’re building ourselves up and becoming more confident.
Unfortunately, most of us engage in negative self-talk, but we can change this. One way is to create a “sell yourself on yourself” commercial, a short 100-200 word talk we give ourselves several times a day using big, bright, and cheerful words.
Doing this can boost our mood, make us feel better, and improve our self-esteem. If we practice this kind of uplifting self-talk, it can have a significant positive impact on our lives.
Ask yourself: “Is this the way an important person thinks?”
Upgrade your thinking. Think as essential people think. Upgrading your review upgrades your actions, and this produces success. Ask yourself: “Is this the way an important person thinks?”
Make your environment work for you, not against You.
According to experts, your future self, whether it be in one, five, ten, or twenty years, is greatly influenced by your environment.
The way you think, set goals, approach life, and develop your personality are all shaped by the environment you are exposed to.
Therefore, it can be said that your future is determined mainly by the environment you surround yourself with. This highlights the importance of being mindful of the environment you choose to be a part of.
The Magic of Thinking Big emphasizes the importance of your environment in shaping your future. This includes the people you surround yourself with, the media you consume, and the beliefs and attitudes you adopt.
Jim Rohn’s famous quote highlights how you become the combined average of the five people you spend the most time with regarding income, health, and attitude.
To achieve success, you should surround yourself with successful and positive people, consume media that supports your goals, and adopt the attitudes and beliefs of successful individuals.
Negative influences, or “negators,” should be avoided as they can poison your progress and motivation.
To make your environment work for you, spend time with ambitious and inspiring people, read biographies of successful individuals, and consume media that promotes positivity and personal development.
Controlling your environment and surrounding yourself with positive influences can increase your chances of success.
Practice conversation generosity
Through numerous experiments, I’ve discovered that the individuals who talk the most and those who achieve the most success are usually not the same.
However, it’s nearly always the case that the more successful a person is, the more they practice conversational generosity by encouraging others to talk about themselves – their opinions, accomplishments, family, job, and problems.
As human beings, we have a natural inclination to talk about ourselves. We enjoy discussing our lives, our difficulties, our relationships, our goals, and our aspirations.
Therefore, note who is doing most of the talking during conversations – is it you or the other person? Are you solely discussing your life, issues, and interests, or are you also focusing on the other person’s concerns and interests?
If you realize that you’re speaking too much, make an effort to slow down and allow the other person to speak, as per The Magic Of Thinking Big.
Be an activationist. Be someone who does things. Be a doer, not a don’t-er.
In “The Magic of Thinking Big,” the author discusses the concept of “activations” versus “passivationists.” Activations are successful individuals who take action and follow through on their plans, while passivation ists are mediocre and unsuccessful individuals who procrastinate and make excuses.
Many people, including the author, have a natural tendency towards passivation, but this approach leads to inaction and lack of achievement.
The author suggests that we must accept imperfection and take action toward our goals, even if we feel unprepared or uncertain of success.
Starting imperfectly is better than not starting at all. We need feedback to improve and make progress. For example, if we want to lose weight, we must take action by changing our diet and exercising regularly rather than just reading about it.
Ultimately, we cannot rely on hope, thoughts, or wishes to achieve success. We must actively do something and take consistent action towards our goals.
Blend persistence with experimentation to guarantee success
Success cannot be guaranteed by persisting in one way alone. However, success is almost always particular when persistence is combined with experimentation.
Many individuals with lofty goals often exhibit admirable persistence and ambition but fail to succeed because they refuse to try new approaches.
It’s crucial to remain committed to your objectives and not waver from them. But at the same time, it’s essential not to repeat the same approach if it isn’t yielding any positive results. If your efforts aren’t bearing fruit, try a new approach.
Thomas Edison is the first person that comes to mind when thinking of persistence blended with experimentation. He is one of the most successful innovators in history, having invented the light bulb, among other things.
However, he is also known for failing over 10,000 times before eventually successfully making the light bulb work.
Edison never gave up on his goal, but he also didn’t stubbornly stick to the same approach that wasn’t working. Instead, he experimented with new methods until he finally hit the jackpot. Persistence blended with experimentation worked wonders for him.
In the book the author says that if the first plan you adopt does not work successfully, replace it with a new project; if this new plan fails to work, replace it, in turn, with another until you find a plan that does work. Unfortunately, here is where most men meet with failure because they lack persistence in creating new plans to replace those who fail.
Use goals to help you grow
Nothing happens; only forward steps are taken once a goal is established. Without goals, individuals wander through life. They stumble along, never knowing where they are going, so they never get anywhere.
Establishing goals is crucial for success, as essential as air is for living. Without goals, nothing will happen, and success will remain a distant dream.
No one has ever stumbled upon success without a plan. Just like air, goals are necessary to sustain life. To make progress, you need to define your desired destination clearly. Without a plan, you are leaving your life to chance.
It’s impossible to get what you want out of life if you don’t know what you want. Without a clear destination, it’s difficult to gauge whether you’re moving in the right direction.
Setting goals has magical powers that can energize and motivate you to achieve them. You can find new energy and inspiration by setting a goal and putting in all your effort. Goals can cure boredom and even some chronic ailments.
Once you have established your goals, you have a clear path to follow every day. This allows you to focus your time and energy on achieving your goals without getting sidetracked by diversions or distractions.
How to think like a leader
The first leadership rule to effectively influence others is to trade minds with them. This involves seeing things from their perspective and understanding their needs and desires.
By doing so, you can tailor your approach to suit their specific situation and increase the chances of achieving your desired outcome.
It is essential to have a mindset focused on progress and believe in it to achieve progress. This mindset will help you to push for progress in all aspects of life.
Reflecting and conferring with yourself is also crucial in effective leadership. This lets you clear your mind and thoroughly think through your ideas and plans.
An excellent example of trading minds is demonstrated by a successful salesman who spends time anticipating how his prospects will react to his presentation.
Similarly, a politician who addresses the interests of different groups of people by using their language and addressing himself as Mr Typical Voter, not Dr College Professor, can effectively influence voters.
In summary, considering the interests of those you want to influence is critical to effective leadership in any situation.
Leadership Rule number 2: Think: What is the human way to handle this?
Leadership approaches can vary, with some choosing to assume the position of a dictator, making decisions without consulting others, while others may take a cold, mechanical approach, treating people as machines and following rules to the letter. However, successful leaders often adopt a third approach involving being human.
To be a better leader, it’s essential to approach complex matters involving people with a human touch. This involves talking to individuals privately, praising them for their strengths, and offering guidance on improving. Treating everyone with dignity and avoiding sarcasm or cynicism is crucial in this approach.
To develop a progressive outlook, one should focus on thinking about improvement and high standards in everything one does.
By thinking, talking, acting, and living the way their subordinates want to, leaders can influence them positively and create a high-level performance. The key is to be a master copy worth duplicating.
In summary, adopting a human approach to leadership and thinking positively about progress and improvement can help leaders succeed and positively impact their teams.
Take time out to confer with yourself and tap your supreme thinking power
Before anyone else is stirring about, the early morning would be best for you. Or late in the evening is a better time.
The important thing is to select a time when your mind is fresh and when you can be free from distractions. You can use this time to do two types of thinking directed and undirected.
To do undirected thinking, let your mind select what it wishes to think about. In such moments, your subconscious mind taps your memory bank, which feeds your conscious mind. Undirected thinking is constructive in doing self-evaluation.
It helps you understand essential matters like “How can I do better? What should be my next move?” Remember, the main job of the leader is to think. And the best preparation for leadership is thinking.
The book “The Magic of Thinking Big” is focused on improving one’s mindset. The key is to think big to achieve big things.
Positive beliefs and thoughts are essential for success. They give you the energy, power, and skills to accomplish your goals. On the other hand, negative beliefs lead to adverse outcomes and create excuses and doubts that hinder success.
Your beliefs shape your reality, so it’s crucial to be mindful of what you believe to be true. Eliminating the “failure disease” or excusitis is an excellent start to creating a positive mindset. Use optimistic language to talk about your life experiences and avoid negative people who bring you down.
Taking action is also essential to success. Become a doer and set goals for your future. Finally, it’s crucial to believe in yourself and your abilities. By doing so, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.
The Magic Of Thinking Big Book Review
The Magic of Thinking Big has been a transformative journey for me. Penned with eloquence by David J. Schwartz, this self-help classic has the power to shift paradigms and ignite the spark of positivity and ambition within its readers.
The book’s strength lies in its universal appeal; regardless of your profession, background, or personal circumstances, the practical wisdom embedded in its pages offers something of value for everyone. Schwartz promotes the compelling idea that one’s mindset has a profound impact on their success and happiness, and he does this with an engaging simplicity that makes the concepts easy to grasp and apply.
However, I did find the content slightly repetitive at times. Some of the ideas seemed to be rehashed in different chapters, which disrupted the flow and impact of the narrative. I gave it a 4-star rating instead of a full five.
Despite this minor drawback, The Magic of Thinking Big is a powerful manual for personal growth. It’s one of those books that keeps you thinking long after you’ve turned the last page. I would highly recommend this book for those feeling stuck, unsure, or simply searching for a motivation boost. It has certainly left an indelible mark on my life, reshaping how I perceive my capabilities and ambitions.