The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

Rating: 8/10

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High-Level Thoughts

Want to do something big, or unsure if you should go after something big? You need this book. It is also an excellent book on simply being a better person. I think anyone would be improved immensely from reading it.

Summary Notes

This is a book on thinking big. The premise is that most people go through life with small amibitions, small goals, thinking small, and they only rise to the size of their dreams. But by thinking big, what’s now called “10x” thinking, you can do great, huge things, so long as you believe in yourself and follow through on the pursuit of those huge goals.

“All of us, more than we recognize, are products of the thinking around us. And much of this thinking is little, not big. All around you is an environment that is trying to tug you, trying to pull you down Second Class Street. You are told almost daily that there are “too many chiefs and not enough Indians.” In other words, that opportunities to lead no longer exist, that there is a surplus of chiefs, so be content to be a little guy.”

“Life is too short to be little.”

“Those who believe they can move mountains, do. Those who believe they can’t, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.”

“It is well to respect the leader. Learn from him. Observe him. Study him. But don’t worship him. Believe you can surpass. Believe you can go beyond. Those who harbor the second-best attitude are invariably second-best doers.”

No one will believe in you until you believe in yourself.

“Remind yourself regularly that you are better than you think you are. Successful people are not supermen.”

“Believe Big. The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success. Remember this, too! Big ideas and big plans are often easier— certainly no more difficult— than small ideas and small plans.”


  • “Procedure One, then, in your individual program of thinking yourself to success, must be to vaccinate yourself against excusitis, the disease of the failures.”
  • “the thinking that guides your intelligence is much more important than how much intelligence you may have.”
  • Never underestimate your own intelligence, and never overestimate the intelligence of others.

“Action cures fear. Indecision, postponement, on the other hand, fertilize fear.”

Convey Confidence!

  • Be a front seater, sit at the front
  • Make eye contact
  • Walk 25% faster
  • Speak up
  • Smile big

“Look at things not as they are, but as they can be. Visualization adds value to everything. A big thinker always visualizes what can be done in the future. He isn’t stuck with the present.”

“Here’s a technique that works: before complaining or accusing or reprimanding someone or launching a counterattack in self-defense, ask yourself, “Is it really important?” In most cases, it isn’t and you avoid conflict.”

“Keep your eyes focused on the big objective. Many times we’re like the salesman who, failing to make the sale, reports to his manager, “Yes, but I sure convinced the customer he was wrong.” In selling, the big objective is winning sales, not arguments.”

“Each day before you begin work, devote ten minutes to thinking “How can I do a better job today?” Ask, “What can I do today to encourage my employees?” “What special favor can I do for my customers?” “How can I increase my personal efficiency?””

If you want something done quickly, give it to a busy person.

How to harness and develop your ideas:

  1. Do not let them escape, write them down!
  2. Review these ideas you’re writing down
  3. Cultivate and fertilize your ideas, combine them, nurture them, grow them, expand them

“The moral: Practice uplifting self-praise. Don’t practice belittling self-punishment. You are what you think you are. Think more of yourself and there is more of you.”

“Before reading anything, ask yourself, would an important person read this?”

“Prolonged association with negative people makes us think negatively; close contact with petty individuals develops petty habits in us. On the bright side, companionship with people with big ideas raises the level of our thinking; close contact with ambitious people gives us ambition.”

“Remember: People who tell you it cannot be done almost always are unsuccessful people, are strictly average or mediocre at best in terms of accomplishment. The opinions of these people can be poison.”

“Use the dig-into-it-deeper technique to develop enthusiasm toward other people. Find out all you can about another person— what he does, his family, his background, his ideas and ambitions— and you’ll find your interest in and enthusiasm about him mounting. Keep digging, and you’re certain to find some common interests. Keep digging, and you’ll eventually discover a fascinating person.”

Everyone wants to feel important, help them

Always give people more than they expect to get.

Increasing your likability:

  • Remember names
  • Stay comfortable and easy to be around
  • Stay calm, don’t be easily ruffled
  • Don’t be egotistical
  • Be interesting so that people may benefit from talking to you
  • Study to get the “scratchy” elements out of your personality, and find out what they are
  • Heal every misunderstanding that you have
  • Practice liking people
  • Never miss an opporunity to offer congratulations or other praise
  • Give spiritual strength to people

Take action to conquer fear!!


  • You must form an image now of who you want to be in 10 years.
  • Visualize your future in terms of work, home, and social. Where do you want it to be?
  • “The quickest way to the end is to retire and do nothing. Every human being must keep an interest in life just to keep living.”

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