The Magic of Thinking Big
by David Schwartz
The book in one sentence
Believe in yourself, develop the right attitudes, enjoy a happy life and have fun.
My personal opinion
The Magic of Thinking Big is a classic of the self-help genre. I like this typical American approach and enjoyed reading the book. It is similar to the Psychology of Winning.
David Schwartz recommends in the beginning of the book, in order to develop a positive mindset, that you have to start observing yourself and your social environment. Ask yourself, why some of your friends or colleagues enjoy a happier, a more successful life than the others. Observe and learn from them.
Personally, I believe that your social environment has a great impact on your character, your attitude, how you face difficult situations. There is this public saying by Jim Rohn that “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” I totally agree with that!
The book consists several examples. Since it is a bit older – first published in 1959 – you will come across some interesting stories. This here is one of my favourites: “Currently, there is some talk of building a tunnel under the English Channel to connect England with the Continent. Whether this tunnel is ever built depends on whether responsible people believe it can be built.” Between the first copy of The Magic of Thinking Big and the opening of the Eurotunnel were more than 30 years but finally they finished this project only a few believed in.
At the end of every chapter David Schwartz summarises the most important points. You can use the book therefore as a great reminder. Just take a look at the summary of the various chapters and get some energy out of it!
To whom I would recommend this book
If you are a fan of this American-style, motivational self-help books, go for it!
What I learned from this book
- “Those who believe they can move mountains, do. Those who believe’ they can’t, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.”
- “Persons with mediocre accomplishments are quick to explain why they haven’t, why they don’t, why they can’t, and why they aren’t.”
- Live until you die and do not get life and death confused.
- Use your brain to think and do not use it as a warehouse for facts: “The ability to know how to get information is more important than the mind as a garage for facts.”
- Attitude is more important than intelligence. Thinking is more important than memorising.
- “Look at your present age positively. […] Compute how much productive time you have left. […] invest future time in doing what you really want to do.”
- Be polite and friendly. To everyone. Always.
- Think confidently, act confidently: Be a front seater, practice making eye contact, walk faster, practice speaking up, smile big.
- Use more positive words.
- Take responsibility.
- Focus on the big picture, ask yourself what really matters and do not fall into the triviality trap.
- Look for solutions and not why something can’t be done.
- Welcome new ideas. Don’t let the status quo paralyse your mind.
- Never stop learning: “It isn’t so much what you know when you start that matters. It’s what you learn and put to use after you open your doors that counts most.”
- “Capacity is a state of mind.”
- “The body is what the body is fed. By the same token, the mind is what the mind is fed.” – surround yourself with the best people, with the best books and content.
- “Big men do not laugh at big ideas.”
- “Put service first, and money takes care of itself.”
- “Always give people more than they expect.”
- Focus on remembering names.
- Be open to meet new people: “Take the initiative. Be like successful. Go out of your way to meet people. And don’t be timid. Don’t be afraid to be unusual. Find out who the other person is, and be sure he knows who you are.”
- Nobody is perfect. We all have the right to be different.
- “The person who does the most talking and the person who is the most successful are rarely the same person.”
- “The important thing is not where you were or where you are but where you want to go.”
- “Business is interested in competencies, not diplomas.”
- The main job of a leader is thinking.
Want to read this book?
Check it out on Amazon.com – The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz
Thanks to the publisher for printing such a great book!