The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz

Summary

  1. Success is determined not so much by the size of one’s brain as it is by the size of one’s thinking. Think big to live big
Key Takeaways
  1. Most of us are the product of the thinking around us – be extremely choosy about who you spend time with and carefully guard your time / space
  2. A person is a product of his own thoughts
  3. Nobody is going to believe in you until you believe in yourself
  4. The ability to know how to get information is more important than using the mind as a garage for facts
  5. Action cures fear. Clarify and isolate your fear and then take action
  6. To think confidently, act confidently
  7. Set up a weekly improvement plan – jot down ideas during the week in what you can do better and Sunday night sit down and figure out how to actually address the good ideas
  8. Big people monopolize the listening. Small people monopolize the speaking
  9. Go First class – from friends, to thoughts, to experiences, to jobs, etc. Hold yourself to a high bar and don’t accept less than what you deserve. You can’t afford not to
  10. Take your time after failure to seriously deconstruct what went wrong, how you can improve and how you can avoid that situation in the future – salvage something from every setback
  11. Defeat is only a state of mind. Nothing more
  12. Be constructively self-critical
  13. Must combine persistence with experimentation – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result is insanity
  14. You must form an image now of the person you want to be 10 years from now if you are to become that image
  15. 4 leadership principles
    1. Trade minds with the people you want to influence – imagine what would be helpful, good to your boss, customer, wife, etc.
    2. Think, “what is the way to handle this?” – be human and let your actions show that you put people first, praise your people as often as possible
    3. Think progress, believe in progress, push for progress – think improvement in everything you do and think high standards in all you do
    4. Take time out to confer with yourself and develop your supreme thinking power
  16. There is room to do everything better. Nothing in this world is done as best as possible
What I got out of it
  1. A good and inspiring book on how to lead a successful life – so much more about how you think and react to situations than your in born intelligence, status, looks, etc.
  • Most of us are the product of the thinking around us – be extremely choosy about who you spend time with and carefully guard your time / space
  • True, deep belief generates the power, skill and energy needed to accomplish your goal. Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figure ways and means and how-to
  • When the mind disbelieves or doubts, the mind attracts “reasons” to support the disbelief. Think doubt and fail
  • Respect the leader, learn from him, observe him, study him, but don’t worship him. Believe you can surpass
  • A person is a product of his own thoughts
  • Nobody is going to believe in you until you believe in yourself
  • Strengthen belief by – thinking of success, remind yourself regularly that you are better than you think you are (never sell yourself short), believe in big things
  • Life is one big science experiment – keep experimenting, observe the results and determine what works and what doesn’t
  • You’ll often find that “excusitis” is what separates successful and unsuccessful people. The more excuses, the less likely the person is successful
  • The more frequently you repeat an excuse to yourself, the more you come to belief it. Catch yourself quickly when you start hearing yourself give excuses
  • Major excuses – health, intelligence, age, luck
    • Health – don’t talk about bad health, don’t worry about your health, be grateful your health is as good as it is and enjoy life – it is mean to be lived, not simply gotten through
    • Intelligence – doesn’t matter how much you have but how you use what you have. Never underestimate your own intelligence, attitude more important than intelligence, ability to think much more important than memorizing facts
    • Age – youth and old age are only liabilities when one thinks they are, invest future time into what you really want to do
    • Luck – nothing happens without a cause, accept the law of cause and effect, don’t be a wishful thinker
  • Knowledge is only a potential power – it is power only when put to use
  • The ability to know how to get information is more important than using the mind as a garage for facts
  • Fear is real but you can learn to conquer it by consciously working on your confidence.
  • Action cures fear. Clarify and isolate your fear and then take action
  • Allow only positive thoughts into your memory bank and only withdraw positive memories.
  • No reason to be intimidated or afraid of anyone. Should always respect everyone
  • Develop an understanding attitude
  • Doing the right thing keeps your conscience satisfied and this builds self-confidence
  • To think confidently, act confidently
  • Build confidence by – being a front seater, make confident eye contact, walk faster, speak up (try to be the first one to speak up/comment in a meeting or event), smile big
  • One of the most common weaknesses people face is self-deprecation
  • Determine your five strongest assets and then for each asset write the name of three people who are successful but do not have that asset
  • Look at things not as they are but as they can be
  • Always think about how you can help or add value to things and/or people
  • Be and think above the trivial – see the big picture
  • Average people have always and will always resent progress
  • There is no one best way to do anything
  • Avoid traditional thinking as it freezes your mind to creativity – become open to new ideas, experiment with new things, be progressive
  • Set up a weekly improvement plan – jot down ideas during the week in what you can do better and Sunday night sit down and figure out how to actually address the good ideas
  • Capacity (potential, ability, etc.) is a state of mind
  • Always take on more opportunities – you will figure out how to handle it all along the way
  • Big people monopolize the listening. Small people monopolize the speaking
  • Try to meet weekly with people in your professional group as well as outside your professional group in order to exchange ideas and be exposed to new ones
  • The people who command the most respect also tend to be the most successful. To get respect for others you must truly believe that you deserve their respect
    • Dress right – your physical exterior affects your mental interior. Spend twice as much and buy half as much
    • Believe your job is important
    • Give yourself a pep talk – “sell yourself to yourself” put it in writing and say it aloud to yourself once per day
  • Enthusiasm and success are almost inherently bound to each other
  • Like the body, the mind is what it is fed (its environment). Make sure you are very conscious and choosy about what and who you surround yourself with
  • Remember, people who tell you it can’t be done almost always are unsuccessful people, are strictly average
  • Be careful about who you get advice from
  • The most successful tend to be the most humble and eager to help
  • Consciously find and hang out with groups which are different from your profession / thinking
  • Avoid all forms of gossip – it is poisonous thinking
  • Go First class – from friends, to thoughts, to experiences, to jobs, etc. Hold yourself to a high bar and don’t accept less than what you deserve. You can’t afford not to
  • Develop an instinct for quality as it lasts longer, will make you happier and people, even if subconsciously, judge you for it
  • You can “read people’s minds” by reading their attitudes. Attitudes are mirrors of the mind and reflect our thinking
  • When you have the right attitude, you reach your maximum potential and good results eventually follow – Be enthusiastic to get others to be enthusiastic, You are important, Service first
  • To get enthusiastic about something you are not enthusiastic about, learn more about it
  • Every single person wants to feel important – the more you can provide this, the more people will like you. Show genuine appreciation and give personalized compliments
  • Don’t have a money-first attitude – must give more to make more
  • Put service first and the money will take care of itself – always give people more than they expect to get
  • Success depends on the support of other people
  • Lyndon B. Johnson’s tips for success – Remember names, be a comfortable person, don’t be egotistical, be interesting, attempt to heal every misunderstanding, practice liking others until you do so genuinely, never miss an opportunity to say a word of congratulation to others
  • The person who makes the biggest effort to introduce himself is often the most important person in the room
  • How you think / react when you lose determines how long it will be until you win
  • Excellent ideas are not enough. An only fair idea acted upon, and developed, is 100% better than a terrific idea that dies because it isn’t followed up
  • Expect obstacles and difficulties and then meet these problems as they arise
  • The only way to start is to start. Don’t deliberate. Remove fear through action
  • Become the initiator. Take the initiative by being a crusader – when you see something that you believe ought to be done, pick up the ball and run; volunteer for what interests you and don’t be afraid of what other people may think
  • Take your time after failure to seriously deconstruct what went wrong, how you can improve and how you can avoid that situation in the future – salvage something from every setback
  • Defeat is only a state of mind. Nothing more
  • It is true that others sometimes trip us but more often than not we trip ourselves
  • Be constructively self-critical
  • Never blame luck. It never got anybody anywhere
  • Must combine persistence with experimentation – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result is insanity
  • You must form an image now of the person you want to be 10 years from now if you are to become that image
  • Nobody accomplishes more than he sets out to accomplish
  • Avoid the following at all costs – self-depreciation, “security-itis”, competition, parental dictation, family responsibility
  • Energy multiplies when you set a desired goal and resolve to work towards that goal
  • The life of a successful person is is completely integrated with their purpose
  • Success must be reached one baby step at a time. Ask yourself if your current action will help take you where you want to go. If not, do something else
  • The best type of investment you can make is self-investment
  • Create a habit of “One night of school per week” for the rest of your life – this is an amazing investment of yourself and will help you grow in many different ways
  • Build 30 day goals – step by step you will improve
  • Success and the ability to lead others goes hand in hand
  • 4 leadership principles – trade minds with the people you want to influence; think, “what is the way to handle this?” – be human and let your actions show that you put people first, praise your people as often as possible; think progress, believe in progress, push for progress (think improvement in everything you do and think high standards in all you do; take time out to confer with yourself and develop your supreme thinking power
  • If the thinking at the top changes, so does the thinking of the group.
  • Progressive checklist – Do I think progressively towards my work / family / myself/ community /
  • When “little” people try to bring you down, think even bigger
  • There is room to do everything better. Nothing in this world is done as best as possible 

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