David Schwartz

The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz Book Summary, Notes, and PDF

Last Updated on November 16, 2020

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The first thing that you should ask yourself is why other people earn more than you.

So what’s the issue? Are they smarter than you? Do they work harder than you? If the reply to these inquiries is no, then the next big question should be: “What do these people do that I don’t?”

Schwartz, the author of this book, states that the main thing that separates these successful people from us is that these people think five times bigger than you. We are the products of our thinking. If we feel small, we become small. Therefore, if we believe that we are big people, we will slowly attain it and become a big person.


There Is A Lot Of Space At The Top

In the course of writing his book, Schwartz has spoken to many different people that attained success at the top level. Instead of getting a lot of mixed reactions, Schwartz simply stated that these people claimed they achieved success because they desired to become successful. Though the saying states that there are too many chiefs and too few Indians, the truth is precisely the opposite. Some people want to lead; others choose just to follow. Success isn’t having talent or an extra gift, or even your given circumstances – it is merely a choice that people make for their lives.

There have been many different reasons why you might be holding yourself down. 

You might have unknowingly created a list of things that you can and cannot attain, or believed that you could only grow to a certain point.

These little things in life become people’s perception of you, created by those that love you a lot. And yet, that painting is not a picture of yourself.

This book shows us the fact that the painting that is us is a big piece of canvas. Schwartz quotes Disraeli, who once said: “Life is too short to be small.” We must make our imagination large and apply it to ourselves. Thinking big works in all different aspects of our lives, including our career, finances, and our relationships with people – may it be a lover or a best friend. 

The theory of thinking big has a more substantial impact than we might believe. We are challenged to see ourselves in bright light and have a broader concept of life. This is a choice that is not as difficult as it seems. We just need to keep choosing to be successful, instead of sitting in the darkness.

The Silent Route To Attaining Success

The bestseller book is all about becoming more successful and getting ahead of our peers. It dedicates a significant portion own how to increase your wages, get a large dream house, and offer your kids the best education in a top university overseas. 

This book teaches us how to think and feel like a famous person. So if it was written in the 1950s, how did people attain success back then? 

It has a few passages about moving from a small apartment to a new suburban house. Readers are still attracted to it because it promises they’ll become prosperous. Still, Schwartz states that to achieve material wealth, we must know that we must gather immaterial wealth as well. This means that we need to spend some time meditating with our inner selves. Decisions come up when we are in complete solitude. You also need to attain a habit that is 100 percent correct. The action comes up with proper thought, and leaders should spend some time by themselves to tap into their unique thinking.

Believing Is The Key To Everything

There is a myth about the power of believing. Still, we must draw a line and know the difference between wishful thinking and believing in order to permit something to be real. 

Doubt lets us notice all the reasons we won’t be able to succeed; however, believing means doing the job correctly. 

Schwartz started a conversation with a well-known author. When both of them were talking about another famous author, the writer quickly said: “I can never become his equal; I am not in his league.” Schwartz then asked the writer why. He pointed out that the writer was neither extremely intelligent or perceptive, but just extremely confident. The well-known author had, at a point, felt that he was the best amongst his peers, so he acted like he was the best and became the best.

A lot of us believe that the result of how successful we were will make us attain that success. Yet, some events are more likely to reflect that person’s confidence level. As the author of the book stated, “Belief is the thermostat that makes us accomplish what we believe in.” 

Turn the thermostat upwards, and you will be shocked by the results.

What Is The Failure Disease

Schwartz states that giving excuses is the failure disease. 

The author explains that people limit themselves and rely on reasons that stop them from attaining their objectives. Schwartz feels that most justifications tend to relate to health, age, and other similar factors.

Excuses Relating To Someone’s Health

First, do not talk about your health. The more attention you give to your bad health, the worse the health will turn out to be. Do not give your sickness any more thoughts, and notice that it already has. 

Do not worry about what might happen either before any significant issues events have occurred. There is no point bothering about something that hasn’t even become real yet. 

Know that you have substantial health and throw a celebration about it. Don’t complain that you have asthma, it will just hold you back, so be grateful you do not have other health problems, and you can move up and down without any difficulty. You just need to switch to a healthy mindset.

Excuses Based On Someone’s Intelligence

It is common to listen to people stating that they are not as smart as so and so, or they lack the intelligence of another person. Schwartz believes that you are always underestimating your IQ and overestimating the IQ of the person sitting next to you. Focus on something that you are good at, and make sure to niche on something that you have a talent for. Make these things your asset. The author also reminds us that something is more important than ability and intelligence, which is the person’s attitude in life. 

If you have the right attitude, you will find that it is more useful than being the smartest person in your grade. Memorizing is not a valuable skill, and just because someone can remember facts and stories doesn’t mean that they have a higher IQ than you. You must cultivate the ability to think and perform properly. Use the skill to create your ideas, and not reproduce data from another person’s work.

Excuses Relating To Someone’s Age

The saying that points: “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is very damaging. It gives a person the feeling that you should put a limitation on yourself based on your age. 

The author wants everyone to view their current age positively, and not put a restraint on their abilities merely because of how old or young they are.

Always try and figure out the time that you have been given, and do not dwell on the past. The author states that someone that is 50 years old still has more than 40% of their life left, so they should make it their best and start living it to the fullest.

Excuses Relating On Someone’s Luck

People feel that they are unsuccessful because they do not have any good luck. 

However, the author reminds all of us that chance isn’t something that can provide us with success. Instead, things that make us successful are proper planning, thinking positively, and taking action. 

The founder of a big corporation simply worked very hard: they attained their objective and became successful. 

You do not get a promotion because you are a lucky person, you earned it because you were hard-working and proven yourself worthy of that position. 

The author encourages people to focus on developing proper skills that are needed to attain success rather than relying on luck, whether it is good or bad.

Schwartz stated that we should never depend on luck to obtain what you want. 

The only cure to excuses – the failure disease- is a self-belief that makes us successful. 

Schwartz states that once we reach our limits, our thoughts will start to shrink back to its original states. However, this is something that must happen as it is very crucial. 

Sports athletes do not collapse when they get beaten. Instead of having negative thoughts, they keep reminding themselves that they are a champion. Thus, they end up winning.

You might have an old car or a small apartment, but these things are not a reflection of what you have as long as you work hard towards your vision three years from today. Concentrate on your assets and how you are using them to alter the situation and make sure that you do not resort to self-criticism. 

Each big success is constructed step by step, so make sure to measure yourself with the objectives that you have set, and do not compare your goals to other people’s achievements.

Maintain Big Thinking While You Continue To Grow

Thinking big is one of the highlights of this book. 

The first thing you have to do is stop undercutting yourself. Remember that you are better than you think. Get rid of all self-doubt and negative thoughts. The author emphasizes how important being positive is. 

Focus on words and ideas that are positive and offer promise for a better tomorrow. 

Do not use toxic words that are negative and make you fail like won’t, impossible, etc. 

Thinking big will allow your vision to stretch.

As the author explains it, you need to concentrate on how things can be, not how things currently are. Another essential thing when visualizing bigger visions is to avoid small things, and don’t get caught by some minor issues. Always focus on the bigger picture and think of attaining success within the timeframe. 

It’s stated that a proper positive vocabulary is a critical factor of success. 

Instead of using bad words, the author states, we should use positive words. This will turn our mood into a better one and change people’s perception of ourselves. You might have an old car or a lot of debts and a crying baby, but this is not you as long as you work towards the vision you have for yourself for three years from now. You need to concentrate on your assets and change them to adapt to what you want to become.

Do not get stuck with small problems. 

The author reminds us again and again that each time we succeed, it’s like adding a new baby step to our journey. 

We should never compare ourselves to our friends and family. Compared to yesterday and today, are you a better version of yourself?

To think big, you need to dream big and think creatively to start improving the quality of your life. There are different methods to think and dream creatively, and it is essential to know which option you should take. 

Schwartz tells people not to get stuck with tradition: just because something is done this way doesn’t mean that it is the only way. 

You need to be open-minded and look for new ideas from a different perspective. Do not be scared to experiment. If you try different methods, you will be shocked at the things that you run into.

The author believes that we should ask ourselves a few questions each day. 

The first question is, “How can I be better than yesterday?” By asking yourself each day, you will soon make room for improvement each day. 

Even if these improvements are tiny, over time, they’ll add up. Reflect on what you are doing now and figure out how you can improve yourself. 

The second question to ask yourself is, “How much more can I do today to become better?” Once again, you need to reflect on yourself what you currently do, and make sure to open your mind for more opportunities to become better. There are usually other things that you can add in to become a better, more successful person.

Improve Your Environment Quality

As the author terms it, we should always aim for first class. This doesn’t mean buying an expensive ticket on a cruise or a plane. It means getting some useful advice from successful people and not letting yourself be satisfied with what you have. Don’t get mixed with people who settle with the small stuff.

Spend a lot of time with people that think big and are generous in their friendship. 

After a short while, a base level of what you deem possible will elevate to the next level. 

People judge us no matter whether we like it or not, and the world gives us the self-image as the one that we offer ourselves.

The author has many tips on how to think and act successfully, with real case scenarios for evidence, like:

  • Do not wait until all the terms are perfect before starting to take action on something. Words will never be accurate, so you have to act right now.
  • Persistence doesn’t mean that you will be successful. You need to combine it with experimenting.
  • Walk 25 percent faster than an average person! 

The author states that you need to be aware of your environment. Some of the settings might lift you, and you will be motivated to climb higher; other types of situations will hold you back. 

This is relevant to the people that you mix with. People that are negative, and tell you that you cannot do it, are the people that you should avoid. These people will hold you back, so make friends with successful people, and ask them for advice.

Possess A Good Attitude

It is crucial to have the right attitude, as this is not just for yourself; it is also how others see you. People respond with positivity to people that have good manners, and it shows in the way you smile, your voice, or the way you walk. When you hold your head high and walk around with a big smile on your face, it might seem silly, but it can cultivate a positive attitude for yourself. 

It is essential to make other people feel important. Give them respect and appreciate them. They will then start to help you out if you do so.

Become A Likeable Person

The author emphasizes the importance of being a likable person. It is critical to improving your life quality and thinking big. Figure out what you like in a certain someone and make sure that you are becoming that person. 

Build friendships when you can. Meet new people and make sure to remember their names. We need to remember that nobody is perfect. Not everything thinks alike; even if they are not on the same terms as you, it doesn’t make them a wrong person, just a different person.

You always need to let people have a say when they carry out a conversation with you. This allows them to share their point of view with you, and everyone has a different opinion on everything. Ask people questions and let them share with you. Then they’ll become more receptive to you. Make sure to think positively.

Now Is The Time

There is a common misconception that leads people to believe that there is a right time and place to make big decisions.

The truth is, you shouldn’t get stuck waiting for the perfect time, just start right now.

We cannot wait for the economy to become perfect, or an epidemic to stop, we must become successful by taking action right now. You need to become an action-taker to become successful in life. Your confidence will grow after choosing the right step in life. Start today.

Set Goals

The author states that it is crucial to have goals. 

Goals let you know where you are headed and where you want to go, five years from now. You need to plan and write down the things that you want to achieve in all areas of your life and make the goal your driving force. 

Make sure to reach those goals and tick them off one by one daily.

Think Big When There is A Disaster Ahead

The author lets us know how to stay on track and not restrain ourselves by thinking small. The same goes for when negative people hold you back. Schwartz knows that there are people that aren’t on your side, and want to see you fail. 

To avoid this, you should:

  • Not fight little people and remain a big person.
  • As you grow bigger, you will get attacked. Prepare yourself for these issues.
  • Someone that attacks you is not a good person. Feel sorry for them, but avoid their company.
  • If you feel weak, then you are weak. If you think that you are healthy, that means that you are strong.
  • Think of yourself as important, and soon you’ll feel that way.
  • You must know what skills you have and develop them.
  • Do not be afraid of others; they are no better than you.

Author Biography

Schwartz is a motivational writer and marketing professor born in America.

He is renowned for his book, The Magic of Thinking Big and other motivational work.

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