The magic of thinking big
The magic of thinking big by David J. Schwartz will help you:
– Achieve success by understanding the power of your belief
– Believe that you can succeed
– Understand your mind and eliminate negative thoughts
-Vaccinate yourself against common excuses
-Think confidently and acknowledge that your success is limited by the level of your thinking
– Creating your future with visualization
– Understand the importance of looks to feel important
– Organize your environment for success
– To think big even when you face adversity
– Get more clarity about where you want to go in life
The magic of thinking big includes 13 chapters which respectively are:
– Believe You Can Succeed and You Will
– Cure Yourself of Excusitis, the Failure Disease
– Build Confidence and Destroy Fear
– How to Think Big
– How to Think and Dream Creatively
– You Are What You Think You Are
– Manage Your Environment: Go First Class
– Make Your Attitudes Your Allies
– Think Right Toward People
– Get the Action Habit
– How to Turn Defeat into Victory
– Use Goals to Help You Grow
– How to Think like a Leader
In a previous article, I highlighted the power of focus and that our life is the manifestation of where we direct our energy.
The magic of thinking big: The fundamentals
The level of your thinking determines the level of your success. The more you think big, the more likely you’re going to achieve great things in life. It’s crucial to have goals but you’ll also need to strongly believe in yourself. You have to believe that it is possible, not just wish that it might be possible.
When you believe in yourself, you exclude all fears and all self-doubts. You focus on the reasons and not the excuses. You will be much more motivated if you believe in yourself. The magic of thinking big unveils the “what” and the “how” to achieve what you aspire to.
To believe in ourselves, we need to adopt an “I-can-do-it and I-will-succeed” attitude. Remember that our accomplishments are limited by the level of our thinking. In doing so, be aware of Excusitis. Excusitis is composed of excuses, justifications and rationalizations of why you can’t do it. It will create huge barriers and prevent you from getting what you really want out of life. Excusitis is a disease and it affects so many people.
Cure yourself of Excusitis, the failure disease
We all have problems and the people who really succeeded in life faced the same problems. The only difference is that they didn’t see the problems as a barrier but more of a challenge to overcome.
Success requires us to get over our excuses and never hide behind them. Roosevelt could have hidden behind his handicap. Obama could’ve used his color by creating self-defeating talks against him running for President. And Kennedy still became President despite his very young age. Every successful person didn’t use excuses such their origin, nationality, religion, education etc.
We must acknowledge the excuses that we keep telling ourselves. To cure a problem, we first have to be aware of the problem then bring a solution to it. Any problem or disease gets worse in the long run if it is ignored or if it isn’t treated properly.
In short, the magic of thinking big encapsulates timeless principles in achieving great success. To be successful, the first principle is to believe in yourself and believe that self-confidence is critical.
Belief isn’t mere wish. You can’t have wishful thinking and hope that things will magically change.
Donald Trump put it in a simple maxim: “If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big”.
Feel the fear but do it anyway
Action is the only way to get rid of fear. By taking actions, fear disappears. With better preparation, you can overcome any challenge. The more you prepare and the less apprehension you’ll have. For example, most of us fear public speaking. If we prepare well however, the fear will still be there but we will trust ourselves.
Deep down, we understand that no matter what happens, if something goes wrong, we will know how to react. As the saying goes: “A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because its trust is not in the branch, but in its own wings” Always believe in yourself first and prepare, prepare and prepare!
Nothing limits you but your thoughts
Confucius said: “He who says he can and he who says he can’t are both usually right”
If you can create your reality with your thoughts, why would you restrict yourself? Direct your mind and your state towards the goals you plan to achieve.
When you hear yourself saying negative thoughts, realize that you have the choice. If you fail, remember that you can try again next time and do whatever it takes until you succeed.
How to think big
In the magic of thinking big, the author starts with a striking fact: most people are ultraconservative and they think small.
Success is measured by the size of one’s thinking. If we think big, we will achieve great things. So how can we think big?
Why do people think small?
Let’s start with why people think small. We think small because we sometimes have a poor self-image. Most of us sell ourselves short. Self-doubts and self-deprecations prevail over everything. Deep down, we feel that we are not enough.
In a previous article, I mentioned how we can change our lives by changing our self-image.
For instance, Mary is persuaded that a new reorganization of the team would result in higher productivity. It’s an amazing idea and it could triple their results. But Mary also tells herself that she’s not good enough to propose that idea to her boss. “Who am I to propose such thing” she tells herself. In just two days, she totally forgot about the change she wanted to bring. That’s self-deprecation, that’s selling yourself short. Stop thinking small!
Start to think big
David J Schwartz invites us to list five chief assets we possess. It’s a better strategy to focus on our strengths rather than solving our weaknesses. Know yourself more for example by taking assessment personality tests such as the MBTI, the Strengthsfinders 2.0 etc. You will see that you outsmart many people in some of your strengths. You are better than you think so stop doubting yourself. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to boast yourself and become arrogant.
Another way to start thinking bigger is to use positive images and words. Your vocabulary should be motivating, positive and hopeful. See things as they could be not as they are; see what can be, not just what is.
As the author put it “Big thinkers are specialists in creating positive, forward looking, and optimistic pictures in their own minds and in the minds of others. To think big, we must use words and phrases that produce big, positive mental images.”
You are what you think you are
Your appearance is important because when you look important, you think of yourself as important. Work on your physique and on your clothing, it will get you more confident. You need not to buy expensive brands. Just dress in a way you want to be perceived. David J Schwartz recommends to buy half as much and half of quality. “Your physical exterior affects your mental interior. How you look on the outside affects how you think and feel on the inside.”
Managing your environment
Jim Rohn said: “We are the average of the 5 people we spend the most time with”.
If you spend most of your time with 4 low income people, you will be the fifth. The environment you live in can create internal change within you. Find people who want to move forward, the ones that uplift you when you aspire for great things. Don’t let negative people hold you back. All they want to do is to keep you at their level.
In the same way, choose who you get advice from. Some people share their opinions although they never experienced it. Despite their good intention, run away from good advisers who never accomplished what you intend to do.
Free advice won’t be much of a help and it would even kill your motivation.
Never share your plans to “realistic” people whose duties are to define how reality works. They rarely if never see how things could be: they all will discourage you!
In the end, you will see that there are 3 categories of people: the people who persisted, those who have given up some of their dreams and those who completely gave up on all their dreams (the majority).
Make your environment work for you, not against you.
Make your attitude your allies
“What you are shouts so loudly in my ears I cannot hear what you say.” (Emerson)
We are social creatures and we can’t live on our own. We can’t achieve anything unless we work with others. There’s always a level of interdependence.
To work together, we have to support each other. People would trust us more if our thoughts, words and actions are in alignment. Our attitude then is crucial. If people respect us and have consideration, if we gain credibility in their eyes, we will be successful.
Attitude can be more important than our credentials
One of the fundamental principles in human relationship for example is to make the others feel important. It’s an inherent need that we all have. It’s a natural desire: we want to feel that we are “somebody”.
Therefore, satisfying this craving, this hunger to be important will help you forward to success as the author highlighted.
Concretely you can first start by showing and expressing appreciation. Let people know when you appreciate what they did for you. Congratulate them for their achievements. Secondly, make it a habit to call people by their names. Remember, we all want to feel important and hearing our name does exactly that. Remember then to pronounce correctly and spell it correctly.
Use goals to help you grow
“The important thing is not where you were or where you are but where you want to get”
“Reduce your plan to writing…. the moment you complete this, you will have definitely given concrete form to the intangible desire.” —Napoleon Hill
Happiness comes from a sense of control of our life. We need to know what we want and determine where we want to go.
Let me ask you a few questions.
How do you see yourself in five, ten even twenty years? What do you want to accomplish?
We need to develop clarity and must be specific about the answers. How much would you earn? How would your family life look life? Where do you want to live? What type of person would you like to become.
Write down your goals
Don’t Just Think It—INK IT
It is important to write down your goals. Use a pen and a paper and write them down, the key is to see them as often as possible. As Darren Hardy in his book “The compound effect” mentioned: Don’t Just Think It—INK IT
“The weakest ink is stronger than the strongest mind. Unless you write down your goals, they are often lost in the shuffle and excitement of new problems, challenges and decisions. Eliminate outside interruptions. “ Darren Hardy
The second step is tos map out a plan and identify the actions required to achieve those goals.
Break down your goal into smaller achievable tasks. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step and Rome wasn’t built in one day.
Finally, get feedbacks. Feedbacks are essential to monitor whether our actions led us closer or further to our goals.
As James Allen said: “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.”
Starting from today, be crystal clear on where you want to go and visualize what you want to accomplish, who you want to be and what you want to experiment ten years from now.
A few paradigm shifts:
Direct your thoughts and interpret the occurring events in a helpful manner. In every project for example:
– Focus on the success, not the past disappointments
– Think about progress, not stagnation
– Prefer “taking actions” to stability
– Think about the solution, not the problems.
This book inspired millions of people and helped them achieve great success.
The magic of thinking big was one of books in Tim Ferriss’ recommended list.
Just like him, whenever I feel down or get discouraged, I read aloud the first two chapter of this book. We need to feed our mind with great self-development books and “The magic of thinking big” by Dr Schwartz nourishes our mind just like any other classics in the field of personal development.