The Magic of Thinking Big

The Magic of Thinking Big

by David J. Schwartz

You do not need to have innate talent to achieve brilliant success and satisfaction. What you need is to understand how you need to think and what you need to do in order to achieve your goals. This book will not only inspire you, but will give you the tools to change your life for the better. It will provide a carefully designed plan for getting the most out of your job, your marriage, family life, and your community.

Summary Notes

Believe You Can Succeed And You Will

Faith can move mountains.” 

Believing in yourself is the first step to success. Believe you can achieve something, and you can, it’s that simple. The problem is, only a few people have this belief in themselves. As a result, only a few people end up achieving their goals. 

You may think it sounds like nonsense to think you can achieve something just by saying, ‘I can do it.’” 

To understand the power behind this statement, you must first differentiate between believing in something and wishing for it. For example, you cannot become successful by doing nothing and simply wishing for your dreams to happen. You can, however, achieve success through belief. 

There is nothing magical or mystical about the power of belief. It’s simple - “I’m-positive-I-can” attitude generates the power, skill, and energy needed to do what you need to do. When you truly believe that you can do it, the next steps become clearer. Powerful belief triggers the mind to figure out ways and means.

Actions to take

Cure Yourself Of Excusitis

99% of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses.” - George Washington 

Excusitis refers to the tendency of making excuses for your poor performance. It explains the difference between the person who is going places and the person who is barely holding his own. 

All the excuses made by the mediocre fellow could be, but are not, made by the successful person. You will find that the more successful the individual, the less inclined he is to make excuses.   

Like any disease, excusitis gets worse if you do not treat it properly. Once the victim of this failure disease has selected a “good” excuse, he sticks with it. Then he uses the excuse as an explanation for himself and others as to why he is not moving forwards. The more frequently he repeats it, the more convinced he becomes that this invented excuse is the real reason for his lack of success. 

For example, let’s say you wanted to learn skateboarding, but you failed repeatedly. After multiple tries, you think that your bad luck is the reason for your failure. Now, every time you try something and fail, your mind instantly reminds you it is because of your bad luck. By doing this, you ignore the real reasons for your failure and end up not improving yourself.

Actions to take

Build Confidence and Destroy Fear

Do the thing you fear, and the death of fear is certain.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Fear is a powerful force because it prevents people from getting what they want out of life. It is real, and we must recognize it exists before we can conquer it. Fear of all kinds and sizes is a form of psychological infection. We can cure a mental infection the same way we cure a body infection—with specific, proven treatments. 

The first step to cure fear is to understand that confidence is always gained and developed. No one is born with innate confidence. The people you know who radiate confidence, who have conquered worry, who are at ease everywhere, have all worked to gain their confidence. 

Action cures fear. When you take action despite your fears, your brain gets used to the activity. Over time, this enables you to build your confidence.

Actions to take

How To Think Big

If you think small, your world will be small. If you think big, your world will be big.” - Paulo Coelho.

Your thoughts determine your level of success. Successful people always choose to think big, while unsuccessful people choose to think within their limits. However, success isn’t necessarily determined by external factors, such as educational degrees and family backgrounds. The size of a person’s thinking is all that really matters. 

There are three common things that stop people from thinking big:

  1. Depreciating yourself. You should evaluate yourself because it allows you to recognize our strengths and weaknesses. However, many people focus on the negatives - i.e., a long list of our faults and inadequacies. Only focusing on your shortcomings can lead you to think that your flaws are all there is, and that you are not capable of anything so there’s no point in even trying.
  2. Using negative phrases. Words are the raw materials of thought. When spoken or read, our mind automatically converts words and phrases into pictures. Suppose you tell yourself, “I have failed.” What do you see? You see defeat and all the disappointment and grief the word “failed” conveys. 
  3. Thinking about trivial matters. Big thinkers always think of things that really matter and can therefore create a difference. They don’t waste time thinking about trivial, insignificant things and ensure that even their thoughts contribute towards their goals.

Actions to take

How To Think And Dream Creatively

Capacity is a state of mind.” 

There is a common fallacy about the meaning of creative thinking. People believe that science, engineering, art, and writing are all the creative pursuits there are. Most people associate creative thinking with things such as discovery of electricity, writing of a novel, or the development of color television.

However, creative thinking is not something restricted to specific occupations. In fact, it’s something we can do in everyday life. All you have to do is to think in a more creative manner about how you can improve the different things you do. 

For example, you could figure out ways to simplify record keeping, or keep your children occupied constructively, or help your employees enjoy their work more.

Actions to take

Manage Your Environment

You are a product of your environment.” - W. Clement Stone 

Your mind reflects what your environment feeds it, just as your body reflects the food you feed it. 

Your mind feeds on your environment—all the countless things that influence your conscious and subconscious thought. The things you feed your mind determine your habits, attitudes, and personality. Each of you inherited a certain capacity to develop. But how much of that capacity we have developed and the way we have developed that capacity depends on the environment.

You are a product of your environment; it shapes you and makes you think the way you do. The person you are today, your personality, ambitions and present status in life are largely the result of your psychological environment. 

The person you will be depends almost entirely on your future environment.

Actions to take

Get The Action Habit

Nothing comes merely by thinking about it.” - John Wanamaker 

In every field, there is a shortage of top-flight, expertly qualified persons to fill key positions. There is honestly plenty of room at the top, and not enough people to fill all the spots. There are many almost-qualified people, but they are often missing the secret ingredient to success: the ability to get results. 

Excellent ideas are not enough. An okay-idea that was fully developed is always better than an amazing-idea that ends up dying because of no action taken. Think about it. Everything we have in this world, from satellites to skyscrapers to baby food, was ultimately just an idea that has since been acted upon.

Actions to take

Turn Your Defeat Into Victory

Defeat is only a state of mind, and nothing more.”

People who have low levels of financial success differ in age, religious faith, education, background, and so on. However, one thing is common among them: each one has been defeated, whipped, and beaten. Each one has encountered circumstances that conquered him. Now, each one is desperate to present their reasons for what wrecked their dreams. 

When we move up and look at people with medium levels of financial success, we see that they too have similar reasons for their shattered dreams.They often try to explain away their mediocrity, instead of addressing and solving it.

It is only when we look at those who have achieved high levels of financial success that we find those who got back up when they fell down. These people have experienced every difficult situation you could ever describe, but they refused to let it keep them down.

When the people with low levels of success got knocked down, they could not face their obstacles and simply settled for less.  

The people with medium levels of success got up to their knees, but did not have the courage to continue onwards. However, when the people with high levels of success got knocked down, they bounced up, learned a lesson and moved forward.

When you are on the battlefield of your life, you’ll face several problems and obstacles. It is simply not possible to achieve high-level success without meeting opposition, hardship, and setbacks. However, use these setbacks to propel you forward instead of allowing them to hold you down.

Actions to take

How To Think Like A Leader

A Leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.” - John C. Maxwell 

No one can accomplish anything alone. Everyone needs teamwork and support from others to reach high levels of success. Ask any successful person out there - none of them got to where they were all by themselves. No one reaches high levels of success without the lift of the people working beside him. 

For example, Microsoft is one of the most valuable enterprises and the largest IT company in the world. It did not win this title with the hard work of only one person. There were multiple programmers, engineers, designers, and MBAs who worked hard to help the company achieve success and prosperity. 

Attaining high-level success requires the support and the cooperation of others. Gaining this requires good leadership abilities, including the ability to push your team to produce work beyond what they thought they were capable of. Success and the ability to lead others go hand in hand. The social influence of leaders cannot be understated - they are the true driving force of their team.

Actions to take

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