The Magic of Thinking Big Book Summary I David J. Schwartz

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Book – The Magic of Thinking Big (Summary)

Author – David J. Schwartz

Genre – Self-help

First Published – 1959

I loved this line in the book; everything about thinking big made great sense. Thought of the great philosopher Disraeli: “Life is too short to be little.”

The concept of thinking big is as old as it can get. Many great minds have mentioned it. Prophet David said, “As one thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Sixteenth-century poet John M. Milton mentioned, “The mind is its place and in itself can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven.” Shakespeare observed, “There is nothing good or bad except that thinking makes it so.”

If thinking big achieves so much, why doesn’t everyone believe it that way? The author suggests it’s because all of us are more influenced by the surrounding environment, which is not big enough.

About the Author

David Joseph Schwartz, Jr. was an American motivational writer and coach, best known for his book “The Magic of Thinking Big” in 1959. He was a professor of marketing, chairman of the department, and Chair of Consumer Finance at Georgia State University.

About the Book

Here are excerpts from the book on critical topics.

1) Belief

  • There is nothing magical or mystical about the power of Belief. When we believe we can do it, “how” develops? Latching on to that development from Belief leads one to success.
  • So believe you can and you will. On the other hand, disbelief is a hostile power. Think doubt and fail. So, you’d better think of victory and succeed.

2) Excuses

  • One can find this everywhere he sees no progress or lack of progress. It comes in many forms, and people use it to avoid improvement.
  • It is highly recognized in four forms – Health excuses, Intelligence excuses, age excuses (for most people, they are too young or old to try anything new), and Luck excuses.

3) Beat Fear with Action and Gain Confidence

  • Though mostly psychological, fear is accurate, and action is the best way to conquer fear. The moment we act, fear loses its grip on us. Action cures fear. Use your mind as a memory bank and keep depositing positive, encouraging thoughts so that when you ask for reassurance under challenging situations, it will provide you with more scenarios where you handled things well. To think and act confidently.
  • Our actions can determine how we are perceived, and the more we act in that manner, the more confident we feel. One may consider walking 25% faster to harness the power of smiling. Speaking up rather than holding back helps us gain more Confidence.

3)Thinking Big

  • One of the most deteriorating human weaknesses is self-depreciation. We are selling ourselves short. We tend to underestimate ourselves and overestimate others where we are more significant than we think.
  • Look at things not as they are but as they can be. Visualization adds tremendous value to everything. A big thinker always visualizes what can be done in the future rather than seeing only the present.
  • Consider as small as answering a greeting question: How are you? Say I am Fine and see you how you feel. Say I am good. Thank you. How are you? And then how you think.
  • There is a book titled Stop Saying You Are Fine by Mel Robbins, which explains how the choice of our words affects our lives.
  • Focus your attention on significant objectives. Before getting involved in a petty matter, ask yourself, “Is it essential?” This question alone can save a lot of energy and help us navigate through trivial arguments and get reduced by them.

4) Creative Thinking

  • Creative thinking is not limited to scientific pursuits or new inventions only. Everything that requires us to think out of routine is creative thinking. Be it keeping the child occupied constructively, selling to an impossible customer, or finding new ways to enhance the outcome or reduce efforts.
  • First, we must believe it can be done to capitalize on creative thinking. Assuming it can be done sets the mind in motion to find ways to do it. Our only focus should be how something can be done rather than why it can’t.

5) We are What We Think We Are

Others see in us what we see in ourselves. We receive the kind of treatment we think we deserve. Respect from others comes from respecting self. There are a few things one may consider –

  • Look at the part you want to become.
  • Think your work is essential.
  • Give yourself a pep-talk several times a day.

6) Manage your Environment, Go First-Class

  • The body is what the body is fed. Similarly, the mind is what the reason is provided. The only difference is that we can’t get mind food in the market like body food in packages. Be aware of your surroundings and change if it doesn’t help you grow. Or be careful what you pick from your surroundings.
  • Speak with enthusiasm. If you are not interested in anything, it may be because you don’t know much about it. Dig deeper into it, and you will find it interesting. Make people feel important; you can only do that once you think it is essential. One sure way to do this is practicing appreciation.7)

7) Think Right Toward People

  • Personal likability is one of the most significant success factors. You can only have others interested in you when you are genuinely interested in others and always think right toward others. Personal likability is considered way above everything else when it comes to getting ahead, whether professionally or personally.
  • One negative thought is enough about a person, and then the mind will come up with many more reasons why you don’t like that person. The Opposite is equally valid. We must think good thoughts about others, as most people have good qualities if they put a little effort into focusing on the good in others.

8) Get the Action Habit

  • A fair idea with prompt action is much better than a great one without effort or follow-through. Every success and progress we see around us is an Idea executed well and followed through. Thinking will only do well if acted upon promptly.
  • Three to four real-life examples of action habits are reliable and inspire one to act on ideas rather than put them off until the right time. And as Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Time is always right to do the right thing.”

Two things you may consider in creating a great relationship.

  • Be Always first to speak or introduce.
  • Say good or nothing at all when talking about others.

9) How to Turn Defeat into Victory

  • On our way to success, we often face setbacks or significant defeat. We either surrender to it or learn from it and move forward. This decision makes the difference between staying low or cracking in considerable success. Many successful people often succeeded using setbacks as a learning.
  • Often, staying with a problem consistently blinds us toward the situation. We should take a break, get off the problem, and engage in entirely different activities to refresh our minds, which often helps us gain new perspectives on the same problem.

10) Use Goal to Help You Grow

Goals word written on paper
  • Set a clear goal for something concrete to look forward to in your personal or professional life. Once you write down your plan, your mind will assist you in finding ways to achieve it. It also helps in asking the right questions to ponder. Makes goals as specific as possible, especially in the home, work, and social area.
  • Setting goals is a powerful way to live. It gives us something to look forward to and keeps us engaged in a constructive activity to accomplish a goal. People with specific written goals tend to achieve more than people with vague mental goals.
  • Break down goals always in as small steps as possible. This helps avoid overwhelming feeling traps and allows us to act on dreams. The journey of miles starts with a single step. All we have to work on is the next mile. And soon, we will reach our goal.

11) Spend Time Alone

Woman siting in lotus posture
  • Leaders spend time alone to confer their thoughts and plan their future moves. From all religious, political, and industrial leaders, one of the most common traits is that they spend time along their way.
  • You may consider meditation as it is one of the best ways to clear your mind.

I have also created a video of a few quotes from the book – I hope you like it. Please subscribe to my YouTube channel – Myread4change.

You can read more great quotes and lines from the book here


This is one of the excellent books I have read recently, and I recommend you read this book. You will surely come up with helpful tactics to change limiting Beliefs, which will broaden your perspective towards different situations in life.

I hope this Summary helped you in some way. Please leave a few words in the comment box.

I wish you great success.


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55 thoughts on “The Magic of Thinking Big Book Summary I David J. Schwartz”

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