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The Magic of Thinking Big Paperback


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Product Details

  • Series: A fireside book
  • Paperback: 238 pages
  • Publisher: Fireside; Reprint edition (April 2, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671646788
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671646783
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (384 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. David J. Schwartz was a professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta and the president of Creative Educational Services, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in leadership development.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Believe You Can Succeed and You Will

Success means many wonderful, positive things. Success means personal prosperity: a fine home, vacations, travel, new things, financial security, giving your children maximum advantages. Success means winning admiration, leadership, being looked up to by people in your business and social life. Success means freedom: freedom from worries, fears, frustrations, and failure. Success means self-respect, continually finding more real happiness and satisfaction from life, being able to do more for those who depend on you.

Success means winning.

Success -- achievement -- is the goal of life!

Every human being wants success. Everybody wants the best this life can deliver. Nobody enjoys crawling, living in mediocrity. No one likes feeling second-class and feeling forced to go that way.

Some of the most practical success-building wisdom is found in that Biblical quotation stating that faith can move mountains.

Believe, really believe, you can move a mountain and you can. Not many people believe that they can move mountains. So, as a result, not many people do.

On some occasion you've probably heard someone say something like, "It's nonsense to think you can make a mountain move away just by saying 'Mountain, move away.' It's simply impossible."

People who think this way have belief confused with wishful thinking. And true enough, you can't wish away a mountain. You can't wish yourself into an executive suite. Nor can you wish yourself into a five-bedroom, three-bath house or the high-income brackets. You can't wish yourself into a position of leadership.

But you can move a mountain with belief. You can win success by believing you can succeed.

There is nothing magical nor mystical about the power of belief.

Belief works this way. Belief, the "I'm-positive-I-can" attitude, generates the power, skill, and energy needed to do. When you believe I-can-do-it, the how-to-do-it develops.

Every day all over the nation young people start working in new jobs. Each of them "wishes" that someday he could enjoy the success that goes with reaching the top. But the majority of these young people simply don't have the belief that it takes to reach the top rungs. And they don't reach the top. Believing it's impossible to climb high, they do not discover the steps that lead to great heights. Their behavior remains that of the "average" person.

But a small number of these young people really believe they will succeed. They approach their work with the "I'm-going-to-the-top" attitude. And with substantial belief they reach the top. Believing they will succeed -- and that it's not impossible -- these folks study and observe the behavior of senior executives. They learn how successful people approach problems and make decisions. They observe the attitudes of successful people.

The how-to-do-it always comes to the person who believes he can do it.

A young woman I'm acquainted with decided two years ago that she was going to establish a sales agency to sell mobile homes. She was advised by many that she shouldn't -- and couldn't do it.

She had less than $3,000 in savings, and was advised the minimum capital investment required was many times that.

"Look how competitive it is," she was advised. "And besides, what practical experience have you had in selling mobile homes, let alone managing a business?" her advisors asked.

But this young lady had belief in herself and her ability to succeed. She quickly admitted she lacked capital, that the business was very competitive, and that she lacked experience.

"But," she said, "all the evidence I can gather shows that the mobile home industry is going to expand. On top of that, I've studied my competition. I know I can do a better job of merchandising trailers than anybody else in this town. I expect to make some mistakes, but I'm going to be on top in a hurry."

And she was. She had little trouble getting capital. Her absolutely unquestioned belief that she could succeed with this business won her the confidence of two investors. And armed with complete belief, she did the "impossible" -- she got a trailer manufacturer to advance her a limited inventory with no money down.

Last year she sold over $1,000,000 worth of trailers.

"Next year," she says, "I expect to gross over $2,000,000."

Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figuring ways and means and how-to. And believing you can succeed makes others place confidence in you.

Most people do not put much stock in belief. But some, the residents of Successfulville, USA, do! Just a few weeks ago a friend who is an official with a state highway department in a Midwestern state related a "mountain-moving" experience to me.

"Last month," my friend began, "our department sent notices to a number of engineering companies that we were authorized to retain some firm to design eight bridges as part of our highway building program. The bridges were to be built at a cost of $5,000,000. The engineering firm selected would get a 4 per cent commission, or $200,000, for its design work.

"I talked with 21 engineering firms about this. The four largest decided right away to submit proposals. The other 17 companies were small, having only 3 to 7 engineers each. The size of the project scared off 16 of these 17. They went over the project, shook their heads, and said in effect, 'It's too big for us. I wish I thought we could handle it, but it's no use even trying.'

"But one of these small firms, a company with only three engineers, studied the plans and said, 'We can do it. We'll submit a proposal.' They did, and they got the job."

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

Actually, in these modem times belief is doing much bigger things than moving mountains. The most essential element -- in fact, the essential element -- in our space explorations today is belief that space can be mastered. Without firm, unwavering belief that man can travel in space, our scientists would not have the courage, interest, and enthusiasm to proceed. Belief that cancer can be cured will ultimately produce cures for cancer. Currently; there is some talk of building a tunnel under the English Channel to connect England with the Continent. Whether this tunnel is ever built depends on whether responsible people believe it can be built.

Belief in great results is the driving force, the power behind all great books, plays, scientific discoveries. Belief in success is behind every successful business, church, and political organization. Belief in success is the one basic, absolutely essential ingredient in successful people.

ardBelieve, really believe, you can succeed and you will.

Over the years I've talked with many people who have failed in business ventures and in various careers. I've heard a lot of reasons and excuses for failure. Something especially significant unfolds as conversations with failures develop. In a casual sort of way the failure drops a remark like "To tell the truth, I didn't think it would work" or "I had my misgivings before I even started out" or "Actually, I wasn't too surprised that it didn't work out."

The "Okay-I'll-give-it-a-try-but-I-don't-think-it-will-work" attitude produces failures.

Disbelief is negative power. When the mind disbelieves or doubts, the mind attracts "reasons" to support the disbelief. Doubt, disbelief, the subconscious will to fail, the not really wanting to succeed, is responsible for most failures.

Think doubt and fail.

Think victory and succeed.

A young fiction writer talked with me recently about her writing ambitions. The name of one of the top writers in her field came up.

"Oh," she said, "Mr. X is a wonderful writer, but of course, I can't be nearly as successful as he is."

Her attitude disappointed me very much because I know the writer mentioned. He is not super-intelligent nor super-perceptive, nor super-anything else except super-confident. He believes he is among the best and so he acts and performs the best.

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.

Look at it this way. Belief is the thermostat that regulates what we accomplish in life. Study the fellow who is shuffling down there in mediocrity. He believes he is worth little, so he receives little. He believes he can't do big things, and he doesn't. He believes he is unimportant, so everything he does has an unimportant mark. As times goes by, lack of belief in himself shows through in the way the fellow talks, walks, acts. Unless he readjusts his thermostat forward, he shrinks, grows smaller and smaller in his own estimation. And, since others see in us what we see in ourselves, he grows smaller in the estimation of the people around him.

Now look across the way at the person who is advancing forward. He believes he is worth much, and he receives much. He believes he can handle big, difficult assignments -- and he does. Everything he does, the way he handles himself with people, his character, his thoughts, his viewpoints, all say, "Here is a professional. He is an important person."

A person is a product of his own thoughts. Believe Big. Adjust your thermostat forward. Launch your success offensive with honest, sincere belief that you can succeed. Believe big and grow big.

Several years ago after addressing a group of business men in Detroit, I talked with one of the gentlemen who approached me, introduced himself, and said, "I really enjoyed your talk. Can you spare a few minutes? I'd like very much to discuss a personal experience with you."

In a few minutes we were comfortably seated in a coffee shop, waiting for...

More About the Author

Dr. David J. Schwartz was a professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta and the president of Creative Educational Services, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in leadership development.

Customer Reviews

The book itself is a great read and very inspiring.
Andrew R. O'keefe
It's a book that will help you change the way you think, and gives you the tools to change your life.
Diana
One of the best books I have had the pleasure of reading.
Book Worm

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

266 of 274 people found the following review helpful By ConsultantsMind on July 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
Simple actionable advice for self-improvement. Basically, we are what we think, so think big.
1) Build confidence in yourself. Action reduces fear, so act.
Take small steps at first: Sit in the front everywhere you go, practice eye contact, walk 25% faster, practice speaking up, smile big, use positve words.
2) Think and dream creatively. Believe that it can be done and then the mind finds a way to get it done. Be open to new ideas and be progressive. Stimulate yourself with diverse ideas from diverse people. Capacity is a state of mind.
3) You are what you think. "The price tag you put on yourself, is probably the same price tag that the world will put on you." (pg 75) Dress up. Think your work is important. Think enthusiastically. Ask yourself if you are the type of manager that a subordinate would respect and follow?
4) Manage your environment because it is food for your mind.
People who tell you that it cannot be done are usually unsuccessful people.
5) Make your attitudes your allies. Live it up. Broadcast good news. Do better work that others expect. Remember people's names. Take initiative to build friendships. Talk less. Listen.
6) Get the action habit. Nothing happens just by thinking. Do not worry about problems. You can handle them as they come. Successful people handle problems as they arise. You cannot buy insurance on all problems. Start now.
7) Turn defeat into victory. Defeat is a state of mind. Be constructively self-critical; do not just look for another reason that you are a loser. Think that there IS A WAY. If it does not work, then back off and start afresh. Get mentally refreshed.
8) Use goals to help you grow. Goal is a dream acted upon.
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154 of 163 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 18, 1999
Format: Paperback
Actually, one of two great books that has poitively affected my life, this great book by Dr. Schwartz is a must for anyone and everyone who wants more out of life; relationships, fn, business, career growth and of course--more money. The other book that affected my life isMore Wealth without Risk by Charles Givens. This will do for your financial life what Magic of Thinking Big does for personal growth. Both are must reads.
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243 of 266 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
It is always shady when you see someone using the usual cliché "This book has changed my life!". While I usually don't
take those comments seriously (too much money wasted in 'life-changing' books, I guess) I have to admit that sometimes
a particular book hits you with more impact than usual and after a couple of years some self-examination might leave you
with the impression that perhaps the author has indeed influenced your choice of paths more than you would have expected.
This was the case with me and Dr. Schwartz's "Magic". I am not an intense fan of self-help and motivational literature,
but do read a title or two now and then. I have read many of the classics like Dale Carnegie's books (almost all), Napoleon Hill's "Think and grow rich", Covey's "The 7 habits of highly successful people" and others like "How to be a start at work",
"The power of positive thinking",Psychocybernetics" and many more that have sold millions, are mentioned everywhere and everybody seems to love.
Maltz, Hill, the list goes on. The fact it that so far no book of this kind has proven to be as effective with me as this one. I
even felt I have wasted too much money. Not the case with this particular book. This is the kind of title where you read things you already know, you are after all mostly just looking for motivation. That extra push to get you going in particular moments when things aren't flowing as easily as you'd wish. And for that use, my preference goes to books that have an honest simplicity. This title isn't verbose, it isn't very technical or full or scholarship, perhaps even some of its examples are fully fictional. The truth is that I don't care about that, because it has proven very effective.
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94 of 102 people found the following review helpful By Cathy Brice on March 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
I first read the magic of thinking big over 21 years ago when I was invloved in a home based business. At the time, I was struggling, after reading Magic of Thinking Big, my business exploded.Writing my own 30 second commercial was one of the most powerful strategies that I got from this book.I also recommend Business Buy The Bible and Don't Set Goals (The Old Way) to add to your educational library.
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148 of 166 people found the following review helpful By Randy Gilbert on April 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
David Schwartz's classic success book "The Magic of Thinking Big" is one of the top ten all time best proactive success books. After you have read it you will begin to refer to the earlier part of your life as "before I read the book." Even before you finish reading it the first time, you will be a changed person - it's that incredible. I say first time because you will want to read it again and again. My copy is well read, well read, and well marked. It has been a treasured part of my library and I've recommended it to others countless times.
I consider David Schwartz to be one of the earliest "proactive thinkers" in the world. If you haven't read this book before, get ready for profound wisdom. Schwartz makes it easy to understand that our thoughts are things and have God given powers, far beyond what is commonly taught by others. I can tell you from my own astonishing situations and experiences that, "your success really is most definitely determined by what and how you think."
Schwartz covers all of the proactive bases: smart thinking, system thinking, futuristic thinking, and positive thinking. If you are truly seeking the kind of success and abundance that makes your life 100% livable - you must read this book. Many of his ideas are found in SUCCESS BOUND, another book built on learning how to live a proactively life that is God centered and fulfilling.
You will find that this exciting book becomes a part of you. Don't hold back - let it happen. In fact, you should spend 10 to 15 minutes every morning focusing your thoughts on the truths of this book, thereby allowing them to seep deep into your subconscious mind. If you do this I guarantee this wisdom will most assuredly bring you the success and abundance you deserve.
Enjoy the book and your new proactive success life!
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