My Notes From: The Magic of Thinking Big

This are my notes from David J. Schwartz’s book The Magic of Thinking Big:

Believe You Can Succeed And You Will

  • When you believe I-can-do-it, the how-to-do-it develops.
  • Belief in success is the one basic, absolutely essential ingredient of successful people.
  • It is well to respect the leader. Learn from him. Observe him. Study him. But don’t worship him.

How to develop the power of belief:

  1. Think success, don’t think failure.
  2. Remind yourself regularly that you are better than you think you are.
  3. Believe Big. The size of your success is determined by th size of your belief.

Cure Yourself of Excusitis, The Failure Disease

“But My Health Isn’t Goodd”

  • There is something physically wrong with everybody. Many surrender in whole or in part to health excusitis, but success-thinking people do not.
  • Book recommendation: How to Live 365 Days a Year by John A. Schindler
  • The right attitude and one arm will beat the wrong attitude and two arms every time.

Four things you can do to lick health excusitis:

  1. Refuse to talk about your health. One may (sometimes) get a little sympathy, but one doesn’t get respect and loyalty by being a chronic complainer.
  2. Refuse to worry about your health.
  3. Be genuinely grateful that your health is as good as it is.
  4. It’s better to wear out than rust out.

“But You’ve Got to Have Brains to Succeed”

  1. We underestimate our own brainpower.
  2. We overestimate the other fellow’s brainpower.
  • What really matters is not how much intelligence you have but how you use what you do have.
  • The thinking that guides you intelligence is much more important than how much intelligence you may have.
  • The ability to know how to get information is more important than using the mind as a garage for facts. -Henry Ford

Three ways to cure intelligence excusitis:

  1. Never underestimate your own intelligence, and never overestimate the intelligence of others.
  2. Remind yourself several times daily, “My attitudes are more important than my intelligence.”
  3. Remember that the ability to think is of much greater value than the ability to memorize facts.

Build Confidence and Destroy Fear

  • Action cures fear. Indecision, postponement, on the other hand, fertilize fear.
  • In a way, most job applicants are a little like beggars – they’ll accept anything, and they aren’t particular.

How to Think Big

Four ways to develop the big thinker’s vocabulary:

  1. Use big, positive, cheerful words and phrases to describe how you feel.
  2. Use bright, cheerful, favorable words and phrases to describe other people.
  3. Use positive language to encourage others.
  4. Use positive words to outline plans to others.
  • See what can be, not just what is!
  • 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.
  1. Practice adding value to things.
  2. Practice adding value to people.
  3. Practice adding value to yourself.

How to Think and Dream Creatively

  • Big people monopolize the listening. Small people monopolize the talking.
  • Top level leaders in all walks of life spend much more time requesting advice than they do in giving it.

You Are What You Think You Are

  • Each person working with us is important, else he wouldn’t be on the payroll.
  • The way we think toward our jobs determines how our subordinates think toward their jobs.
    1. Always show positive attitudes toward your job so that your subordinates will ‘pick up” right thinking.
    2. As you approach your job each day, ask yourself, “Am I worthy in every respect of being imitated? Are all my habits such that I would be glad to see them in my subordinates?”
  • Build your “sell-yourself-to-yourself” commercial and practice it out loud in private at least once ad day.

The “How am I thinking?” Checklist:

  1. When I worry:
    • Would an important person worry about this? Would the most successful person I know be disturbed about this?
  2. An idea:
    • What would an important person do if he had this idea?
  3. My appearance:
    • Do I look like someone who has maximum self-respect?
  4. My language:
    • Am I using the language of successful people?
  5. What I read:
    • Would an important person read this?
  6. Conversation:
    • Is this something successful people would discuss?
  7. When I lose my temper:
    • Would an important person get mad at what I’m mad at?
  8. My jokes:
    • Is this the kind of joke an important person would tell?
  9. My job:
    • How does an important person describe his job to others?

Cement in your mind the question “Is this the way an important person does it?”

  1. Look important.
  2. Think your work is important.
  3. Give yourself a pep talk several times daily. Build a “sell-yourself-to-yourself” commercial.
  4. In all of life’s situations, ask yourself, “Is this the way an important person thinks?”

Manage Your Environments: Go First Class

The number one obstacle on the road to high-level success is the feeling that major accomplishment is beyond reach. This attitude stems from many, many suppressive forces that direct or thinking toward mediocre levels.

  1. Those who surrendered completely: You can easily spot these people because they go to great lengths to rationalize their status and explain how “happy” the really are.
  2. Those who surrendered partially: This group includes many talented, intelligent people who elect to crawl through life because they are afraid to stand up and run.
  3. Those who never surrender.
  • Go first class when you have questions. Seeking advice from a failure is like consulting a quack on how to cure cancer.
  • What happens on weekends and between 6pm and 9am directly affects a person’s performance from 9am to 6pm.
  • Go first class: that is an excellent rule to follow in everything you do, including the goods and services you buy.
  • Go first class in everything you do. You can’t afford to go any other way.

Make Your Attitudes Your Allies

Grow the attitudes of:

  1. I am activated.
  2. I am important.
  3. Service first.
  • To activate others, to get them to be enthusiastic, you must first be enthusiastic yourself.
  • Use the dig-into-it-deeper technique to develop enthusiasm toward other people.
  • Keep digging, and you’ll eventually discover a fascinating person.
  • To get enthusiasm about anything – people, places, things – dig into it deeper.
  • Ask yourself every day, “What can I do today to make my wife and family happy?”
  • “Put service first” is an attitude that creates wealth. Put service first, and money takes care of itself.

Think Right Toward People

Success depends on the support of other people. The only hurdle between you and what you want to be is the support of others.

  • A person is not pulled up to a higher-level job. Rather he is lifted up.
  • Successful people follow a plan for liking people. Do you?
  • It’s a mark of real leadership to take the lead in getting to know people.
  • The most important person present is the one person most active in introducing himself.
  • The person who does the most talking and the person who is the most successful are rarely the same person.
  • The more successful the person, the more he practices conversation generosity, that is, he encourages the other person to talk about himself, his views, his accomplishments, his family, his job, his problems.
  • Don’t be a conversation hog. Listen, wind friends, and learn.

Get The Action Habit

  • Leaders in every field agree on: There is a shortage to of top-flight, expertly qualified persons to fill key positions. There really is plenty of room at the top.
  • Destroy fear through action.
  • The only way to start is to start. Don’t deliberate. Don’t postpone getting started.
  • People who get things done in this world don’t wait for the spirit to move them; they move the spirit.
  • When you see something that you believe ought to be done, pick up the ball and run.

How to Turn Defeat Into Victory

  • Inside, Mr. Mediocre feels defeated. He feels beaten but tries hard to endure the sentence of mediocrity that “fate” ha handed him. He, too, has surrendered to defeat, but in a reasonably clean, socially “accepted” way.

Use Goals to Help You Grow

  • Use goals to live longer. No medicine in the worlds is as powerful in bringing about long life as is the desire to do something.
  • Invest in yourself. Purchase those things that build mental power and efficiency. Invest in education. Invest in idea starters.

How to Think Like A Leader

  • Achieving high-level success requires the support and the cooperation of others.
  • Success and the ability to lead others – that is getting them to do things they wouldn’t do if the were not led – go hand in hand.
  • Ask yourself:
    • “What kind of world would this world be, If everyone in it were just like me?”
    • “What kind of company would this company be, If everyone in it were just like me?”

The four leadership principles:

  1. Trade minds with the people you want to influence. It’s easy to get others to do what you want them to do if you’ll see things through their eyes. Ask yourself this question before you act “What would I think of this if I exchanged places with the other person?”
  2. Apply the “Be-Human” rule in your dealings with others. Ask, “What is the human way to handle this?” in everything you do, show that you put other people first. Just give other people the kind of treatment you’ll like to receive. You’ll be rewarded.
  3. Think progress, believe in progress, push for progress. Think improvement in everything you do. Think high standards in everything you do. Over a period of time subordinates tend to become carbon copies of their chief. Be sure that master copy is worthy duplicating. Make this a personal resolution: “At home, at work, in community life, if it’s progress I’m for it.”
  4. Take time out to confer with yourself and tap your supreme thinking power. Managed solitude pays off. Use it to release your creative power. Us it to find solutions to personal and business problems. So spend some time alone every day just for thinking. Use the thinking technique all great leaders use: confer with yourself.


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32 Responses to My Notes From: The Magic of Thinking Big

  1. Richard says:

    hey! thx for the notes wanted to read the book for a long time. it seems a good read although there is a lot of the same stuff as in every success book. think big and in success terms, use affirmations, act successful, have high standards and dress well…be with great people not loosers. what was the best or most important thing or two you liked most?cheers

    • Erik Unger says:

      For me the 3 most important points from this book were:
      1. Cure Yourself of Excusitis
      2. The “How am I thinking?” Checklist
      3. The four leadership principles

  2. Darren says:

    Great notes, great book. thanks

  3. Norberto says:

    Great notes, thanks for sharing. I found your blog through Google. This book has Portuguese(I’m from Brazil) version called “A mágica de pensar grande”.

    This book is fantastic. I’m reading it again and with more attention after I bought it a two years ago.

    All the best.

    • masonmiller says:


  4. Harsh says:

    My gratitude to you for putting it all together in the most crytallised form. My effort will be to read the notes everyday to remind me and put my innerself on course of BIG….Thanks a tonne…Deeply appreciate your efforts and time.

    Best Wishes

    Harsh Modi
    Calcutta, India

  5. Masodev says:

    Great Summary of main point thanks :)

  6. Muneeza says:

    just perfect!!!

  7. Hello Erik,
    10 years ago a friend lend me this Book in Spanish (Pensar en grande: la magia del éxito), and 2 years ago I bought it the English Version. It is amazing!!

    Thank you for this Summary.

  8. Mukiibi Shadal says:

    Great work! thx

  9. Mukiibi Shadal says:

    I wish every body read this great piece of work!

  10. dr.karthik says:

    good review.
    can the career,home, financial aspects b quantified with some examples !
    i read this book some 7 years back.
    i recall the authir had provided xcellent examples with figures and real case studies 2 back his lessons.

  11. Pingback: The Confidence-Deception | Life, Law & other things

  12. Ayah Ghislain says:

    i am a big fan of your work and dream of being an excellent leader so as to continue in impacting the world.

  13. Adupa Denish says:

    amazing work. I enzoy reading the book.

  14. Kathleen Fox says:

    This book is great. I had this book many years ago when I lived in Ireland and when I moved to Scotland I misplaced it. I tried to buy just recently and could not find it as I was not looking for correct title. Just recently I remember the exact name and purchased. I love your notes. I have them on my iPhone for easy reference. Thank you for taking the time to record the important points. Well done. Thank you Kathleen.

  15. vinaydhar says:

    i am execited&i belive i can do every thing.thnks bro.

  16. Thanks for the summary of the book–it’s helpful to be able to quickly read all the main points, and see that it’ll be worth reading in its entirety. I enjoyed reading your “about me” and your definite goal towards space!

  17. Anjeru says:

    have not read the book but now will go ahead and find it.

  18. Shakir Husain says:

    Great work brother!! Thanks for sharing.

  19. John Romero says:

    What is disease of chapter 13 that a leader may encounter when forming a business because chapter 2 is excusitist, chapter 12 is the failure to follow desire, but I’m not picking up on chapter 13 can you help with that?

  20. FeLix Figueroa says:

    It’s sweet to know that generosity lingers insociety in the Midst of chaos. The simple reminder think big to make it, there are rules that are prominent in winning. Keep the summaries going, thank you.

  21. minal says:

    yes i like it very much to your notes

  22. nugget says:

    Great notes. And, of course a must-read book . A great nugget from this book, from my point of view, was: “Believe You Can Succeed and You Will.”
    I’ve put some more here

  23. Brad Man says:

    Thanks for this great summary. I keep hearing the audio book on youtube. But you have captured the key points. Thanks Buddy!

  24. Gideon says:

    Thanks for the high lights. This book gave the boost that i needed in a time in my life when i felt trapped, lost and confused. Keep up the good works.

  25. Tanveenkaur says:

    It’s a great experience for me to read this book in punjabi version. Nice thoughtful; Really good. It changes my attitude towards my life. Appreciatable.

  26. Khalid says:

    Thank you so much Sir!

  27. TOA says:


  28. nenad says:

    Thank you for summary, have a great success.

  29. Kuku says:

    Thanks for the summery this book give me the way how to change my negative thinkinking it’s great book tnx.

  30. Rogator Koma says:

    That was a great and motivating notes,I am looking forward to buy a book

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