The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz | Book Summary and PDF
In The Magic of Thinking Big PDF, you will learn:
- Key strategies on how to think and act bigger in order to live greater lives
- How to develop an attitude of taking action
- Examples of people that can serve as guide and inspiration for thinking big
- A powerful concept to boost your self-esteem
- A simple exercise for thinking big and feeling better about yourself
The Magic Of Thinking Big by David Schwartz is a classic in the field and psychology of motivation. It is simply about dreaming big and taking action.
One of the great things about this book is how it is prompting us to think bigger. If you are going to look at two people — one who is a small thinker and the other one a big thinker — it’s not hard to decide where to bet your money. Indeed, where would you put your dollars? It would be on the person who you know is thinking big, who is going to take action.
The Magic of Thinking Big recommends useful ways and strategies on how to think and act bigger in order for us to live bigger lives. The following are among the book’s biggest ideas.
Key Ideas on Thinking and Acting Big to Help You Live a Bigger Life
1. Design your environment for success
The first big idea is to make your environment make you successful. This means designing your environment so that it leads you to becoming successful. In such environment, no matter what the default condition is, you will be still successful.
Imagine yourself hanging out with the kinds of people who are not as successful as you are, or who are not going in the same direction as where you want to head in life. What do you think will happen? More likely, you will not succeed as your environment is not presently designed to make you successful.
What could you do and start?
You could say —
- “I’m going to create my environment in such a way that I can spend time with people who are more successful than I am or who are at a higher level than I am right now. This could help ensure my success.”
- “I am designing my environment into something that will enable me to become successful and be a bigger person, big enough to walk with these giants.”
This is what you would want to do.
EXAMPLE: When you want to lose weight or to build a better body, one of the key things you would want is to clear your house of all the junk food or of any temptation around that could keep you from your resolve to keep fit and healthy.
Not having any of these temptations around means not having such kind of food to eat. But having cookies, chips, sodas and alcohol lying around the house will more likely cause you to end up consuming them, and you will find yourself in a situation where the environment is failing you.
Thus, it is an amazing thing about us human beings that we can design our environments, and our environments, in turn, design us. They make us. But it is our job, a requirement for us, to design the environment that we are after — the big thinking environment. That’s what the magic of thinking big is.
2. Take Action
The next big idea is action, but it is something I would want to call attack, attack, attack.
In life, there are countless times that we are called to take action. But despite the need to go after the things that we want, we somehow find ourselves not taking the necessary actions to obtain or achieve them.
Why do we stop ourselves from taking the needed actions?
It is because oftentimes we feel like we need to be more prepared. We feel like we need to have all our dots lined up, which doesn’t need to be the case.
The truth is, the longer we wait, the more fearful we become.
The biggest friend of fear is time
The more time you feel you need to give yourself to think about the situation and how you are going to handle it, the bigger and stronger your fear will grow.
This is because inaction basically feeds fear. Time feeds fear. Therefore, action is the one that can kill fear.
Action precedes action
This is the law of nature: In order to move anything, you’ve got to act on it. You’ve got to take action. More than just spending time thinking about it, most important is to act, act, act. You need to attack the problem that is in front of you rather than just wait for something to happen to move the things for you.
Perspectives from History
A great example of taking action comes from the life of Napoleon Bonaparte. While in the battlefield, he was told that the conditions of the war at that moment were not right so they may have to wait for two days before they attack.
Napoleon got furious and replied, “I don’t care about the circumstances. Hell, I make circumstances. You have to attack right now. I’m not going to wait. I will make these circumstances move according to me. You have to attack!”
The lesson Bonaparte is teaching us here is that in any situation, you have the option to just go and spend time getting ready, or just attack and take action.
George Patton is known as a great general of modern times. In reference to humans’ tendency to sometimes spend too much time planning and not taking action, he wisely said,
“A good plan, executed violently today is much better than a great plan executed a week from now.”
Violently executed means you just take action no matter what. It means you are going to take action on a good plan and not wait for the perfect plan to materialize because by that time you probably would have lost your battle.
John Bunyan’s ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’
In the book The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, the protagonist is described as having this certain magical shield. But in order for the shield to manifest itself and to show its power to protect him, the protagonist has to run right into the face of his demons. He has to run straight into the face of his fears and his problems. Only by jumping into them will the shield open up to protect him every time.
3. Sell Yourself to Yourself
There are times in life when we stop on our tracks because we think that we are not good enough, not worthy enough, or we don’t have the qualities that we need. Here’s what David Schwartz encourages you to do:
- Identify the challenges that you have in front of you
- Write down all your great qualities which will ensure that you will win in this challenge
- Write or create a commercial or an advertisement about yourself
Sell yourself to yourself. Prove it to yourself that you are amazing. Convince yourself that you are not to be deterred by this challenge or problem, and that you are bigger than this problem.
It is important that you do this in the morning and also at nighttime. As you repeat this process of selling yourself to yourself again and again, you will have that newfound confidence, that feeling of being able to say, “Yes, I can do it because I have all these qualities.”
4. Your True Size
The last thing I want to talk about is the idea of your true size.
Sometimes in life, we stop ourselves from doing great things because we think that we don’t have the assets needed to accomplish them.
We say things like I don’t have these qualities that these great people have, this thing or that thing, the intelligence, the willpower… I am not young enough, not technically smart enough, not good looking enough, not tall enough, not well-built enough…
While you may have all these ideas in your head, you also make up all these excuses in your life because you assume yourself to be much smaller than you really are. Therefore, the following exercise is designed to address that kind of thinking.
5. Becoming more confident
One of the keys to thinking bigger is confidence. Confidence that you can dream big, act on your big dreams and make those dreams a reality.
One of the most potent ways to become more confident in life is to “Act as if”. In order to act as if, we must take on the identity of the person we most want to become. If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, imagine the entrepreneur you want to become and start acting like that imagined successful entrepreneur:
- How would you think
- How would you feel
- How would you talk
- How would you walk
Over time, you will become more confident because you are acting like that person you want to become.
6. Adjust your attitude
If you want to think and act bigger you have to adjust your attitude for that. Here are some ways in which you can adjust your attitude:
- Do what you believe is morally right
- If you do things that are morally wrong, you erode your sense of self esteem and self confidence because you believe that you are unable life’s goals without doing things that are not right.
- Doing the right things fosters confidence because you believe that you can improve your life with your own actions
- Look your best
- Always dress and look the part of the successful person you want to become. How you look changes the way you feel about yourself and changes your attitude towards everything.
- Believe that what you are doing is important
- If you believe that you are doing important things in your life, you will evaluate your self worth at a much higher level compared to someone who is doing small, unimportant things.
7. Build Powerful Relationships
There is an old African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” If we want to do great things in this world, we must enroll the power of others. We must be able to:
- Build meaningful relationships
- Win Friends
- Influence people
- Win people to our way of thinking
- Become a leader of people
- Garner their support
A lot of great books have been written on this topic including:
- Never Eat Alone
- How to Win friends and Influence People
- Emotional Intelligence
An Exercise for Thinking Big:
- Identify your 5 chief assets in which you consider yourself outstanding. These are just 5 things or areas where you really believe in yourself, or you think you are good at or you are proud of having or being.
- Along with each of those assets, put the names of people who do not even get close to your rank or level in connection with those assets, but are successful.
- If you think you’re not intelligent enough and need to be one, or if one of your listed assets is “street-smart,” you need to make a list of 5 other people who are not even close to being as intelligent or as street-smart as you are, but who are wildly successful.
- You may also make a list of people whom you think are not good-looking enough. These could be lists of people who are nowhere as close to being as good-looking as you are but who are way better or successful than you are when it comes to those particular areas.
- Identifying these people, whether they are in your life or outside of it, will give you an estimation of your true size and of your potential in this world. It will give you a reliable insight on why you must not stop yourself from going after your biggest dreams.
There you have it, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz.