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The Magic Of Thinking Big [Paperback]

David Schwartz
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 2 1987
Millions of readers have acquired the secrets of success through The Magic of Thinking Big. Achieve everything you always wanted: financial security, power and influence, the ideal job, satisfying relationships, and a rewarding, happy life.

Set your goals high...then exceed them!

Millions of people throughout the world have improved their lives using The Magic of Thinking Big. Dr. David J. Schwartz, long regarded as one of the foremost experts on motivation, will help you sell better, manage better, earn more money, and—most important of all—find greater happiness and peace of mind.

The Magic of Thinking Big gives you useful methods, not empty promises. Dr. Schwartz presents a carefully designed program for getting the most out of your job, your marriage and family life, and your community. He proves that you don’t need to be an intellectual or have innate talent to attain great success and satisfaction—but you do need to learn and understand the habit of thinking and behaving in ways that will get you there. This book gives you those secrets!
  • Believe you can succeed and you will
  • Cure yourself of the fear of failure
  • Think and dream creatively
  • You are what you think you are
  • Make your attitudes your allies
  • Learn how to think positively
  • Turn defeat into victory
  • Use goals to help you grow
  • Think like a leader

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Product Details

Product Description

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...

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'll jump on that 5-star bandwagon! July 2 2004
I could repeat everyone else's comments, or I could just give a quick overview of why I think you should read this book.
This book is a must-read for any person serious about improving themselves as a manager, a husband or wife, a friend, or a person in general. There are a lot of mediocre self-help books out there, and its refreshing to go back and re-read The Magic of Thinking Big, which is one of the few that sets the standard. I would classify this at the same level as Think and Grow Rich and How to win Friends and Influence People. This is one of those rare books thats actually flawless, and thats why it gets 5 stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By Tauros
David Schwartz is amazing.He raelly sets standard for his readers.This book is so wonderful,it will show its power only after reading 10 pages.Can you imagine what after reading complete book?
This book not only for MLM leaders but everyone of all ages should read it.
Author shows us how powerful our belief is,Then how to stop giving excuses,What is thinking big & how to think.How to use the power of words by speaking positive.
Our thoughts create our world.Change thoughts change your world.
This book will uncover the leader in you.Just follow your dreams & instructions given in this book.You & people around you will feel the different you in 1 month.
It worked for me, it will work for you too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This book is nothing more than many pieces of excellent advice with descriptive examples. TMOTB tells you how to be a better employee, a better boss, a better entrepreneur, and a better partner in your relationships. If you read the book, make summaries on some cards, and gradually incorporate the lessons into your life, there is no doubt you will achieve more success in all aspects of your life. Of course, reading and having good intentions is easy; the difficult part is making the changes, putting in the necessary effort.
The reason I give only four stars is the following: the book was written a long time ago, and it shows. The examples are dated, "he" is used throughout, and women are portrayed in a manner outdated by a half century. Despite this major flaw, I strongly recommend the book to those determined to improve their lives.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT Jan. 14 2012
By Pete K
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Found this book as one that needs to be re read several times with a highliter or pen/pencil because of the vast amount of tips and suggestions that it provides. Not a book to just read BUT study.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very special book. Jan. 1 2010
This book belongs in most every library. Quite an inspiring book -- both lofty in its sentiments and frank in its discussions. It is an older book, and as such some of the language is sexist, but the same can be said of course for most great literature (Don't get me wrong-- I'm not implying that "The Magic of Thinking Big" is "great literature") of earlier eras. There are other flaws as well, but wouldn't you prefer a useful and memorable book that is slightly flawed to a "perfect" but dull book? I would.

I personally found this book useful, and I have also been moved by the wide variety of people in different walks of life who have written that this book changed their lives. Try it yourself, see if it moves you. I am confident there is something in it for you as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars sets the standard Sept. 28 2003
"Sow a thought and you reap an action. Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny."
The Magic of Thinking Big sets the standard by which all other 'self-help' books should be measured. This classic will help you break through the excuses that have held you back from personal success. You will learn how to build your confidence, destroy fear through action, and overcome obstacles to turn defeat into victory. The dollar figures and some of the words in this book are dated, but the principles are timeless.
This book is a self-administered training program. Although wordy at times, the last twelve chapters have summaries that help you condense and apply each lesson to your life right away. Each of the 13 chapters deserves to be read, re-read, digested and applied over time. One chapter per week will allow you to read it four times per year. Extreme? Perhaps, but if any book is worth such an exercise, this is one. Try it and see.
Start to sow big thoughts...and reap a big destiny.
Larry Hehn, author of Get the Prize: Nine Keys for a Life of Victory
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great Book!
Published 1 month ago by Marc Van Humbeck
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A good book for everyone old or young
Published 1 month ago by iamasonador
3.0 out of 5 stars Alright
This book had some very interesting ideas - but a lot is based on business - not personal. Thats it.
Published 18 months ago by Anonymous
3.0 out of 5 stars Old School Rules...wishing it was updated
I really like the overall theme of this book and it closely resembles the Dale Carnegie books.

- Straight forward advice and some practical tips on dealing... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Fat Shot
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome service. This was my 2nd purchase and I will buy again from...
Awesome service. This was my 2nd purchase and I will buy again from you next time!!

I love the book!
Published 19 months ago by Hwang Davis Bae
5.0 out of 5 stars The Magic of Thinking Big
Well presented with good examples for each lesson. This book is easy to listen to and very motivating. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Dr. Hans Boehnke
1.0 out of 5 stars Too long to deliver
this item was supposed to be delivered with in 2-3 business days how it is never what they promised look out for the false promises they claim.
Published on Nov. 10 2011 by aku
5.0 out of 5 stars Want to unlock your true inner potential?
This book has been amazing in my life. I own a very successful oilfield service business. After reading this book and applying it to myself and business I have double my yearly... Read more
Published on Nov. 8 2011 by dmax_hp
5.0 out of 5 stars The Greatest book on success there is !
This is an extremely good book, loaded with everything you need to know when it comes to realizing your goals, dreams, and ambitions. Read more
Published on April 6 2011 by Evan
5.0 out of 5 stars Abaracadabra-The Magic of Thinking Big
What's it about? Changing your thinking patterns to get the things you want such as a higher income, financial security, or greater enjoyment in living. Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2010 by Rita
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