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

Loved this line in the book and everything about thinking big made great sense. Thought of the great philosopher Disraeli: “Life is too short to being little.”

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

If thinking big achieve so much, why doesn’t everyone think it that way? And Author suggest its 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 of key topics.

1) Belief

  • There is nothing magical or mystical about the power of Belief. When we believe we can do it, how-to- do-it develops. Latching on to that develop from belief leads ones to success.
  • So believe you can and you will. On the other hand disbelief is negative power. Think doubt and fail. So better think victory and succeed.

2) Excuses

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

3) Beat Fear with Action and Gain Confidence

  • Fear though mostly psychological, is real and action is the best way to conquer fear. The moment we act fear loses grip on us. Action cures fear. Use mind as memory bank and keep depositing positive, encouraging thoughts so when you asked for reassurance in difficult situation it will provide you more scenario where you handled things well. To think and act confidently.
  • Our action 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, harness the power of smiling. Speaking up than holding back to help us gain more confidence.

3)Thinking Big

  • One of the most deteriorating human weakness is self-depreciation. Selling oneself short. We tend to underestimate ourselves and overestimate others. Where in, actually we are bigger 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 answer 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 feel.
  • Think above trivial things. Focus your attention on big objectives. Before getting involved in a petty matter, ask yourself, “Is it really important?” This question alone can save lot of energy and help us navigate through trivial arguments and getting 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 child occupied in constructive way, selling to impossible customer, or finding out new ways of doing things that either enhances the outcome or reduces efforts.
  • First to capitalize creative thinking we must believe that it can be done. Believing 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 be done.

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 few things we may consider –

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

6) Manage your Environment Go First Class

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

7) Think Right Toward People

  • Personal likability is one of the biggest factor in success. And 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 be it in professional or personal life.
  • One negative thought is enough about a person and then mind will come up with many more reason why you don’t like that person. Opposite is equally true. It’s very important that we think good thoughts about other people as most people good qualities if take little trouble to focus on good in others.

8) Get the Action Habit

  • Fair idea with prompt action is much better than great idea with no action 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 given on action habit is so reliable and inspire one to act on ideas than put it 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 great relationship

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

9) How to Turn Defeat in to Victory

  • On our way to success we often face setbacks, or major defeat. We either surrender to it or learn from it and move forward. This decision makes the whole difference between staying low or crack in major success. Many successful people often succeeded using setback as a learning and made big.
  • Often staying with problem consistently blinds us toward situation. We should take break and get off of the problem and engage in completely different activity to refresh our mind, which often helps in gain new perspective toward same problem.

10) Use Goal to Help You Grow

Goals word written on paper
  • Set clear goal to have something concrete to look forward to being in personal or professional life. Once you write down your goal, mind will assist you in finding ways in how to achieve. It also helps in asking right questions to ponder upon. Makes goal as specific as possible especially in home, work and social area.
  • Setting goal is a powerful way to live. It gives something to look forward to and keep us engage in constructive activity to accomplish goal. People with specific written goals tend to achieve more than people with vague mental goals.
  • Break down goals always in as small step as possible. This help avoid overwhelming feeling trap and allows us to act on goal. Journey of miles start with single step. All we have to work on is 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, plan their future moves. From all religious, political, industrial leaders one of the most common trait is common that they spend time along in their own way.
  • You may consider meditation as it is one of the best way to clear mind.

I have also created video of few quotes from the book – Hope you like it. Please do subscribe to my You tube channel – Myread4change

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


This is one of the great book I have read recently and I recommend you read this book. You will surely come up with useful tactic to change limiting belief and it will broaden your perspective towards different situations of life.

You may download The Magic of Thinking Big E-book free here.

Hope this Summary helped you in some way. Please leave few words in the comment box.

Wish you great success.


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