The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz [Book Summary]


Each person aims to accomplish something in life. Such goals vary in magnitude, it could be a routine duty such as a garage to be cleaned by the end of the week or it could expand to put by $20,000 within a decade. 

At the moment you feel ready to go after these aims of yours, you ask yourself; where to begin and how?

Your best chance in answering this question lies in trusting yourself for you can do it no matter what. That is to fully believe in your capacity to reach whatever you dream of.

It is a guaranteed mechanism since believing in yourself to achieve a thing triggers some kind of a powerful sense of creativity in your head – that is the rational concentration required to figure out routes to your purposes.

So, once you strengthen your self-confidence that powerful sense of creativity magnifies. Moreover, to meet great expectations, like being a deputy director in a firm, you will have the qualifications to face the challenge based on the power of your belief.

Furthermore, this privilege of believing in yourself gets others to follow you, which is an extra quality you earn from that privilege.

The McKinsey Foundation for Management Research proved this theory by studying the behaviors of head-managers and presidents in governmental, scientific and religious fields to reveal their preferences in choosing partners and employees. 

Yet, the ultimate quality they wish to have in a nominee?

The absolute desire to move forward toward a purpose – the quality that depends conditionally on the extent to which someone has faith in himself.

Such a desire that presidents have is what makes success as it provokes motivation in people despite any obstacles they face. Presidents think this power of belief is the ideal characteristic of a nominee for it what keeps from giving up on any doing.

Simply, when you believe in yourself, your brain finds the power that enables you to do the work, and one good side effect of it, you empower yourself through people who follow your lead and believe in you.


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Chapter 1 – Instead of memorizing facts, do what successful people do and sharpen your creative-thinking skills.


Maybe you have heard of the concept “knowledge is power”, that is you need to increase the facts you learn to better do the work, yet, this concept does not recognize the processes of getting knowledge; memorization and innovation.

In the first knowledge, you are exposed to chunks of information to learn and keep in your short-term memory for later. Though such knowledge you acquired appears to you only when you retrieve it for something, just like a box in the store.

While in innovation, you concentrate your mental efforts on exploring resolutions. Meaning, you are creating a whole new path or trying to improve one, to help you in solving many obstacles.

We can’t deny the importance of memorization for it is the true path for knowledge, innovation, on the other hand, introduces a faster and sufficient solution for any issue. Learning by heart idles the brain’s processes, while critical thinking provokes it to adapt.

Consequently, a felicitous person works on elevating critical thinking skills instead of just recalling information stored in memory from before.



Three ways are all you need to increase your innovative skills: one, open your mind for new approaches, two, always push yourself for new experiences, three, begin your day with few minutes to brainstorm a way to improve your work.

To support the mentioned above, you need to test various patterns in living your life.

For instance, while you make sure to enjoy your time with friends and family, keep thinking out of the box. Another way is through taking off from your current job to go beyond your city and communicate with new people in a different field. Say you are a vehicle trader, try to change this occupation of yours to something that is artistical like a graphic designer. This way will renew your qualities and – you are never certain – it may open your eyes to creating campaigns for your firm.  


Chapter 2 – Eradicate all negative thoughts by thinking and acting positively every day.


Nowadays, negativity is found wherever you go – starting with criminals we read about in newspapers and with commercial ads about obesity and plastic surgeries. Nevertheless, mass communication is not guilty alone.

Your dearest person might expel “you-can’t-make-it-so-don’t-even-try” word – for instance, your friend would laugh at you if you express your wish of being a general director in a firm one day.

And when it keeps going like this, we find it so common to think negatively without noticing it. Such passive thoughts act like intellectual giants who keep growing powerful as long as we keep thinking of them, till we become overwhelmed by them and no positivity is left in mind.

Speaking the truth, thinking negatively is not good for mental health nor it is an ordinary habit. Actually, it’s among factors that prevent you from promoting success. This explains how everyone says “it can’t be done” tends to be a failure.  

Therefore, if you want to see your dreams come true, it’s important to kick away all black and gloom. 



And for that to happen, make it a daily habit of yours to think and act positively. It will support you against negativity when you don’t give it a room to compound in your head.

You can achieve this by having some energetic words written down as a speech; a “sell-yourself-to-yourself” ad to ring a bell of your best qualities that make you see how distinctive a person you are compared to others.

Every day, read these words to yourself loudly one time – it’s better if you do it more than once – but do it many times in your heart. After a while, having faith in yourself will grow stronger as a shield against any outer negativity such as the umbrella prevents the rain.

Let’s say, you are a teacher who is a funny person with students, then, such quality shall be your self-reminder of what distinguishes you from your colleagues. In this way, you get a unique identification as being an effective academic staff at school, which will raise your self-confidence and push you to pay your efforts every day in all your participation.


Chapter 3 – No one is an island: success depends on the support of others, so treat everybody with respect. 


Has any of your colleagues ever been a villain with you unexpectedly? Normally at the beginning, you would think that this person is upset or, perhaps, mad.

What you have not realized is that they are not different from you, yet, they are probably under pressure of other issues they are facing on their own which is shaping their aggressive behavior in front of you.

Bearing this in mind, your attitudes towards them must remain the same way you expect them to have towards you, as a respectful person. When you behave in this manner, you will see how they will begin to act good to you in return.

Moreover, it reveals a good possibility of their supportive stand to you while you are working your own path to the highest position. Then, you realize how important this stand of theirs for your flourishment. 

Why? Because, if you want to “pull themselves up” by your own to promote the rank of your job or to succeed in something, you will need others to assist you. Usually, you will elevate because of your peers and employees, who surround you.



Ultimately, it’s expected from prosperous ones to be keen on maintaining connections with individuals in their community. Take the Former President of America Lyndon Johnson as an example, he kept on his ten-point scheme for success, that was based on knowing the name of each person worked under his command and appreciated them whenever they accomplished a successful task.

So, keep in mind that, eventually, to achieve success you never act alone. Knowing this, your attitudes must be based on respecting others’ capability to take your position up or down.


Chapter 4 – From the friends you keep to the advice you take, ensure that your environment is of the highest quality.


You’re probably familiar with the phrase “you are what you eat,” which implies you should follow a healthy diet if you wish to have a healthy body. That same idea applies to your mentality: the way you think is influenced by what you see and hear. Your living space, your friends, what you read – all of these activities as “mind food” and are instrumental in influencing your thought processes.

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying “you are what you eat” before, that means if you want to be fit and healthy, you better watch your food. And the same concept goes for your mental health; how you think is affected by what vision and words you receive. Your community, your fellows, your books and journals – are all that feed your brain and it’s considered as tools that affect the way you think.

For instance, being in accompany with prattlers in the long-term will most probably turn you into a one. Vice versa, sitting with people who keep good talks about each other makes you talk the way they do.

Choose well, you shape your personality according to whom you are with.

Thus, to flourish in your characteristics, follow the people who are flourishing: have a top-standards community for yourself by ensuring the best conditions at your house, school, social relations and entertainment times. That is all of those areas stand behind the growth of your personality.  



You can only achieve this by having successful figures by your side, who you would examine them. When you struggle with something and need counsel, seek it from the top-quality people whom you look at as role-models. As a result, the best counsel comes only from the top-ranked people. 

And be certain that all you need in your life are the best-qualified fellows, who don’t just think of their own interests but who also care for yours and who put their faith in your capacity in reaching your ambitions. With this healthy community by your side, you will be alerted by motivation during your long and hard way towards the top.

Finally, if you wish for success and for your dreams to come true, don’t hesitate to build the community that braces these aims.


Chapter 5 – Watch your attitude: it’s speaking for you even when you don’t open your mouth.


When you are in the middle of a conversation with a friend or someone important to you, you tend to notice and discomfort or disturbance they might encounter, no matter how they try to hide it. It’s our facial expressions and behavior that are so obvious to people around us. 

But how do we know this? In ancient times, when the human being had no spoken communication, body language and facial expressions were the only methods for contacting each other and making sense of that communication, rather than utterances. So, you can sense a behavior for it was the survival of mankind from the early beginning.

Your behaviors reflect what you are thinking of. Others will see it all the time and if you behave negatively, you won’t leave the same impression as a person who has good behavior. So, if you want to be received in good manners, you must embrace a positively overwhelmed attitude. 

And to maintain a positive attitude, be confident to follow what you truly consider the right thing to do ethically. Immoral behaves like cheating on someone dear to you or stealing something lead to suppressing the wrongdoing and wearing out the trust. Such negativism appears by misbehaviors. On the other side, boosting trust and nourishing good tempers require relieved and satisfying accounts of mind.



In a totally contrasting context, a different path to sustain positive behavior is to watch your physical appearance to the best. how you dress up empowers your inner self and shows your importance to others. Keep on doing that outfit on every occasion no matter what.  

Yet, above all that, believing that you have a major role to play in life is the main thing that produces behaviors in positive manners. Then, it will normally form a permanent flourishing cause for confidence and will keep a small room for you to be uncertain about yourself.  


Chapter 6 – Destroy fear – the number one enemy of success – by building confidence.


When people are about to have uncertain stances, they are often being comforted with a tip to conquer their fear; “fear is all in your head”.

Though, regardless of the origin of someone’s dread, created by one’s self or justified by the stance, it is actually there. It would be your first foe that stands against achieving success in getting your desire.

Usual dread is being afraid of others. It comes from dismissing the fact that they are no different from you. “supermen” or “superwomen” do not exist – basically, all people are alike. Nonetheless, if such dread remains uncontrolled, it is able to affect your accomplishment destructively. 

No matter the sort of dread you encounter, it is ought to recognize that all dreads have one cure; dependability.

Think of dependability as your invulnerable suit that forms a defense system in front of dread. When your dependability is solid enough, dread stands hardly and weakened to affect you.

The same way our defense suit requires convenient feeding to work properly, our dependability requires progressive support to strengthen and activate it at most. 

What are the most efficient mechanisms – among others – to create dependability? Initiate it in your doing no matter if you sense it or not. 



This will be hard to maintain at the beginning but it becomes your innate with time. This occurs due to the way you handle your feelings based on practicing your attitudes according to your wishful emotions. 

Practice your position in the first seats in a seminar or a conference to approach others face-to-face, and put up your move 25 percent more than you normally do. By doing so, you construct your dependability for such actions surpass you above the masses and push you to mix more with people – this way you empower your consciousness.

Always be aware that confidence does not come by birth. Eventually and surprisingly, a person who is super dependable had to pay efforts to be so.


Chapter 7 – Failures are eager to find excuses for why they fail, while successful people are eager to find ways to try again.


All people, each in their own way, understand the traditional concept of “There are two kinds of people in the world…”. Yet, we all mostly agree that there are two kinds of people, successful ones and failure ones: the ones who didn’t succeed in reaching their promises, and the others who accomplished their desires in life and profession.

So, what is the case of the flourishing ones that make them sustain their condition and prevents them from falling in lost? 

The case is their capability to raise every time they have a relapse. Failures, on the other hand, fall in a loop of justifications for their unsuccess. Successful ones are raising from the dust searching for new routes to start over. 

At last, disagreements, debility, relapses and private catastrophes challenged the failure person the same way it did to the successful one – yet, each of the two decided to tackle such struggles in a manner that meant for them to be the alpha one.

Think of the next story as a lesson on how a successful person becomes innovative: 



A husband and his wife wish to own a property but faced an inevitable fact that they can’t fulfill the cost. People often consider this situation as an indicator to get rid of the idea saying that this is their destiny. On the contrary, those two thought there must be away. 

The man called the property owner to borrow enough money to pay the first installment of the property’s price. To enable them to pay the installment of $100 per month, the husband started to save $25 from their regular monthly expenses and talked to his manager for overtime duty work during the holidays for $75 a month to complete the $100.

Finally, since this man decided to work it out as a flourishing individual and sharpened his qualities, he managed to own the house and to step foot on its door.


Chapter 8 – Reach your goals via two steps: devise a plan and, as you make progress, study all setbacks or mistakes you encounter along the way. 


If you have already considered your part in life and your goals, it might be a great feeling to get to this point. Yet, in the success scheme, you achieved only the elementary phase. 

Determining your aims is like a piece of cake but means nothing if you don’t act. And prior to making your move, you must set a concrete route-map to ensure the inevitability of achieving your aims.

Any blueprint for success must identify your moves to make, how to make them and the time when outcomes become visible.

Build your schema on the methodology – behaviors, and mechanism – of successful ones. Watch the role-models and ask the following question; “How did they do it?”



Keep in mind that no matter what perfect the plan is, always expect to have ups and downs in the way. In times of relapses or latenesses, figure out to get advantage from such obstacles considering them as chances for you to progress lessons for not falling in it again.

Physicians conduct research on corpses to study and learn the diseases, and the Civil Aviation Administration does the same on aircraft debris to discover the cause. This is due to the purpose of accidents and disorders analysis that shows us ways to prevent such occurrences later. 

It is the science that rests upon examining processes and relapses.

If you ever face a relapse, do not fall into depression nor blame yourself destructively. Instead, invest your efforts in solving the dilemma; “What can I do to make myself more deserving of the next opportunity?” 

Therefore, to accomplish your targets, one, make sure that your plan is efficient. But bear in mind that it will always have relapses. And if relapses occur, study them – this is how you know you are on the right route to your target and, then, you will discover your strength like you never before.


The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz Book Review


To achieve success, one major rule is to believe in yourself. Successful ones don’t have inner skills nor legitimate merits above others – they’re simply motivated and they have higher self-confidence due to their faith in themselves. Yet, such qualities are there within any person by gain, which when they absorb, they walk their achievable way to success for real. 


Listen more, talk less.

To whomever you are talking – a stranger or a very close fellow of yours – don’t waste time on speaking of yourself but put your energy to receive their words and thoughts, be a listener.

You can be easily driven by talking about yourself since you never get to know anyone as much as you know “you”. Nevertheless, if you want to show you interest and likeness in the other people to allow them to do feel the same for you, you should run this communication in questions revolving around them considering their reactions closely.  

Invest in the most important investment you will ever come across: yourself.

You empower your mindset and promote your awareness and realization through investing your time and money in reaching out to issues that concern you, via experts’ writings, seminars on an extended subject you want to learn about or receiving periodicals that encourage critical thinking skills. 

On your way to success, think only of “yourself” when it comes to investing your fortune. You reach the ultimate self-confidence when you arm yourself with “tools” to achieve your desired success. This self-confidence functions in a progressive flourishing rotation through driving you nearer to understand your goals and elevating your faith in yourself.

Avoid menial detours that take your attention away from the task at hand.

When you are occupied by a challenging job – like working on a narrative, there is a great possibility that you will get to a certain stage where you feel urged to stop. So you stop writing to take your pet out, lay down a bit, make a phone call, etc, which you amazingly find catchy – and a piece of cake – options for leisure.

Perhaps all those actions have a sort of importance, you will be lying to yourself if you believe that they are not just distracting you from doing your job. If you honestly find yourself determinant on success, you should not break the planned time for your work and you need to dedicate your great efforts to serve this time. And when a moment of distraction comes in the way, just say; “No. I’m ready to work right now. I’m in perfect condition to work right now.” over and over again till that moment passes, then, return to your unfinished work.


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Savaş Ateş

I'm a software engineer. I like reading books and writing summaries. I like to play soccer too :) Good Reads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/106467014-sava-ate

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