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The Magic of Thinking Big is a life-changing book.
It's a book about the great power of belief and about how the right type of thinking can transform what you're capable of.
The well-written content and nicely formatted style of the book blend together to produce a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
It has the ability to inspire and, if you put the advice into practice, change your life at a deep, deep level.
First, Some Facts About This Outstanding Book
When was The Magic of Thinking Big Written?
I was surprised to learn that this book was written way back in 1959. Maybe it's because I still hear a lot about this book, see it all over the place, and know people from all walks of life still benefit from it.
What is The Magic of Thinking Big about?
At a basic level, The Magic of Thinking Big is about thinking bigger so that you can get more out of your life. But at a deep level, this book is about much more than that. It's a step-by-step approach to addressing limiting beliefs in multiple areas of your life, from associating with the right kind of people to thinking more creatively when approaching leadership and big projects.
Who is the author of the book The Magic of Thinking Big?
David Schwartz, Ph.D, wrote this book. He was a professor at Georgia State University and the president of Creative Educational Services. He was a world-renowned thinker on life strategy. He lived from 1927 to 1987.
How The Book, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz Found Me
This was one of the most-clicked link in my weekly newsletter that went out on March 1st, 2022, so I decided to write more about it.
This is a book that had a big, big impact on me.
I was at a turning point in my life, having recently left my job managing a web design / local SEO agency.
The founder was in the process of selling me the company while also doing some really unethical things.
Essentially, he was using money improperly and stripping the company of value as he was trying to pass it off to me.
There's more to it than that, but I put in my two weeks when I was blocked from the finances, which prevented me from making good decisions for the company.
So, it was at this point of turmoil that The Magic of Thinking Big came into my life.
Books have a way of finding me at the right time, and that was especially the case with this one.
As I wrote in my newsletter, I remember exactly where I was when I was reading this book, Alki Beach in Seattle.
West Seattle is one of my favorite spots in the world, and my wife and I were there to relax during a stressful time.
When I remember where I read a book, it means that the book had a significant impact on my life.
General Impressions of The Magic of Thinking Big (Belief / Attitude is Everything)
The Magic of Thinking Big, at first glance, seems like another one of those stupid, self-help books.
But there's a reason that it has been popular since 1959.
At the highest level, it's a book about exactly what it says on the cover: thinking bigger and the massive impact that has human action.
But as you start to peel away chapter after chapter, you realize how thoughtful of a book it is--and that the author, David Schwartz, has the knowledge to back up his arguments.
This book is for anyone who is stuck in their current way of thinking.
People who struggle with limiting beliefs can especially benefit from this well-structured belief system of a book.
At the time I started reading this in late 2021, I already had a growth mindset and a pretty well-developed belief system, so I didn't think I would get much out of it.
The first chapters addressed beliefs, and I wondered if I would continue reading.
But I have a rule to read at least 50 pages before I put a book down, so I continued.
At its core, this is a book that can build successful people from the ground up.
Everything is rooted in our experience, and we can change our experience if we change our attitude, or how we think and act in the world.
That's a deceptively simple concept with massive consequences.
Schwartz argues over and over for the massive power of belief.
If you have a true belief in success, you can be successful.
As a Ph.D, Schwartz studied thinking, motivation, and leadership ideas extensively in his lifetime, and he fills The Magic of Thinking Big with relevant examples.
For instance, if you have a lack of belief, how can you expect to accomplish anything significant?
This jives with my own personal experience.
I only ever started making money online after I got rid of my limiting beliefs that doing so was bad and evil.
My parents were both public-school teachers, and they were not of the entrepreneurial sort.
I had to work hard to get to the point where I was confident putting myself out there online, first on Twitter and then on my various mental-health websites.
What Schwartz does so well with this book is graduate the reader, so to speak, from limited or no belief to substantial belief, then to strong belief and then, finally, to unwavering belief and complete belief in what is possible.
He then narrows in, chapter by chapter, on specific areas of your life you can address by thinking bigger and using successful action to accomplish your dreams.
What is Big Picture Thinking? - My Favorite Chapters of Magic of Thinking Big
How to Dream and Think Creatively
This chapter was a review of some concepts I already understood, but the way it was presented helped me consider what's actually possible in my life.
I really liked how the author emphasized that you need to first remove the word "impossible" from your vocabulary.
If you tell yourself that you must find a way, you will find a way to accomplish what once seemed impossible.
By every day asking yourself, "What can do better?" your mind will begin to find a way.
A mind that is forced to find a way will eventually do it.
Thinking this way, you need to be open to experimentation.
A core tenet of the principles that make up my belief system is that life is a series of small experiments.
I don't have to do anything forever.
Instead, constantly performing small experiments will teach me what works and what doesn't.
Tradition can be compelling in some ways, but it's toxic for a creative mind.
You have to be open to ideas.
The author argues that the biggest people listen the most to others. They are receptive.
Small people, on the other hand, do all the talking, usually because they are insecure and not confident in their ability to make big things happen.
This pairs well with the following chapter.
Think Right Toward People
One of the most beautiful ideas of the entire book is this: "Make yourself lighter to lift."
Now, what does that mean?
It means that you need other people to be successful, and you want to make yourself an easy person to lift up and support.
You do this not by telling people how they're wrong--but by being kind, generous, and inspiring others.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is an obvious example of this concept, but think about the people in your life who you respect the most.
They are most likely people who genuinely care about other people.
They practice "conversation generosity," as the author calls it. That means they encourage other people to speak.
They are active listeners and empathetic at their core.
They overcome seemingly insurmountable odds in this way.
How to Turn Defeat Into Victory
This advice came at the right time, as I had just quit a stable job and decided to start my own business.
Schwartz writes that you must, "seek out your faults and weaknesses and then correct them. This makes you a professional."
It now seems obvious, but I hadn't thought about corrective action in that way.
If I want to make a living by providing services and content on the Internet, I need to treat it as the job that it is.
If someone doesn't like something I did, it's not a personal attack. It's an opportunity to get better.
Again, it comes back to mindset and taking persistent, corrective action to improve.
Your thoughts become things.
Think good, expansive thoughts, and your life will grow.
Think bad, limiting thoughts, and your life will shrink in proportion to your negative thinking.
What Can the Power of Belief and Big-Picture Thinking Do For You?
Will you like The Magic of Thinking Big?
Most likely, you will.
If you want to change your life in any substantial way, you're going to need to update your beliefs.
Usually, the road map is there for you and you already know what you need to do.
What's holding you back is not reality. What's holding you back are, almost always, your beliefs about what you can and cannot do.
This has absolutely been the case for me.
And this book did, in fact, help me think bigger.
It gave me a more complete picture of what's possible for my life and for that I am forever grateful to the author, David Schwartz, for making this his life's work.