Insights from “The magic of thinking big by David J. Schwartz”

This book was given to me by a very close friend of mine. She received it as a gift from her boss while doing an internship in Rotterdam. He told her that the book helped him with his career and business. As she knows that I appreciate personal development books, she thought I would eventually like it. In fact, I really enjoyed the book. It was fun, easy,  and compelling.

In a talk that was given by Sir Ken Robinson during a TED Conference on creativity and education, he explained that our educational system has been designed with respect to previous needs of industrialization. In fact, the system promoted the most useful subjects for the industry like maths, physics and economics. Since the industrial era, little but few changes have been made to our education system to keep up with the new tendencies. He then explained that number of students are gifted in some disciplines like arts, singing or acting but they aren’t educated to be artist, singers or actors. This systemic discrimination does that several students are kept out of their creative capacities and restrained into a “OneFitForAll” model. He then followed by explaining that we know one of the three characteristics of intelligence along being dynamic and distinct, is that, it is Diverse. He finally concluded that implementing an educational system that gives equal chances to all disciplines represents the best bet to produce creative individuals in all realms.

By analogy, this book explains that we have been educated out of “Thinking big” principles, we have been told in our childhood that we need to learn and study to secure a good job. We have been told, to behave correctly, to avoid taking unnecessary risks and to be good employees in order to have decent careers.
Despite all the good intentions behind these advises, they never worked. How come they will work for us. There is a necessary pattern shift to do in order to learn the true principles of success.

Clear your thoughts, brace yourself and lets get started !

The magic of thinking big is a self help book designed to meet three main objectives. One, to help you refine your ideas and clear acquired misconceptions. Two, to equip you with practical guidelines to implement the principles of thinking big in your life. Three, to empower “Thinking big” principles in your environment.

Refining your ideas

Three main points for refining your ideas, The first point can be explained by one of nature basic laws,  The law of seed and soil. Suppose you plant seeds of corn, take care of them, water them, you will undoubtedly get corn back. Now, if you plant seeds of nightshades you will undoubtedly get poison plants back. “As you sow, so shall you reap” as written in the bible. By the same token, if you think failure, all you can get back is failure. However if you plant ideas of success, you will always get success back.
Second point, We all have this inclination for self-sabotage and few are masters in that field, they can come up with very sophisticated excuses that can almost convince anybody of their misfortune. David Schwartz stated that all of them fall into one of those categories; Health excuses, Brain excuses, Age excuses or Luck excuses. Truth is that success and failure are not related to any of these circumstances more than it is related to people attitude toward them.“One hand and the good attitude will always beat two hands with the wrong attitude”.
Last point, It is easier to build over feelings of confidence than over feelings of fear. We can all agree that when we are feeling confident we are more prone to have a greater impact. Building confidence and curing fear is, thus, mandatory. Few tips that can help us : 1/ Making frequently good deposits of positive emotions in our mind’s bank of emotions 2/ Going through the proper motions to feel the corresponding emotions.

Guidelines to apply the principles

Big thinkers share common qualities that they use to their advantage and which help them achieve more, have a better impact and empower things around them. You’ll always find that they are using positive words that convey hope, positivism and confidence. Business philosopher Jim Rohn said “Don’t be lazy with words, words can work miracles” he was referring to what prophets accomplished through the words of compassion, understanding, love and forgiveness. When Dr. Martin Luther King announced the emancipation proclamation. He started with the sentence “I have a dream”, he used powerful words to convey optimism, hope and positivism for the future. Big thinkers also have the quality to see things not as they are but as they could be. When Steve Jobs announced the first personal computer “Macintosh”, he didn’t intended to sell it to few businesses and consumers. But he wanted every home and family to have its own personal computer. We can witness now that not each family have its own computer but almost any individual has its own PC. When Larry page and Sergey Brin were fundraising for Google, they didn’t say they were creating a new search engine that not only research data but also evaluated its relevancy. Instead they could convince investors by saying that they were connecting the world through their engine.
Big thinkers put their heart into what they do, they are almost like preachers. They have so much drive and motivation, they love what they do, and they do it for the sake of doing it. It is very hard to find any Big Thinker motivated by  trivial things like money and power.

Besides the qualities they possess, big thinkers carry themselves well, they possess a set of skills that helps them navigate efficiently in different environment. Self control, self motivation, empathy, social skills…they exhibit all the qualities of emotionally intelligent people as described by Daniel Goleman in his book “Emotional Intelligence”. How ? by committing themselves to two set of rules.

Personal rules:
Previously we have discussed how big thinkers see things as they should be not as they are. Which reveals a philosophy of continuous improvement in all circumstances. They do apply the same principles – in their thinking : by asking questions like How do I behave  with new ideas ? – in their dress code : How should I look to convey the values I want to transmit ? – in their attitude : How should I respond to critics, threats, setbacks ?  – in their work : How can I give meaning and have a better impact in my work ? This process of constant improvement reveals the character of big thinkers and, at the same time, serves to convey an image of confidence, control and competency.
People rules:
The power to lead is a power of collaboration, inspiration and example. People interactions are at the center of all interest those days. Diversity enriches production, creativity and capacity to solve complex problems. Big thinkers know how to foster the power  of collaboration in their environment. They know how to value people, by giving them the opportunity to talk and share their opinions, by showing respect to who they are,  and by greeting them for the efforts they provide.

The big thinker is a social and intelligent thinker that knows to invest in his emotions to find the drive and motivation to keep going in front of difficulties and setbacks. He is also a capable collaborator that knows to behave around people and get the most of them.

Empowering your environment

In his “five level of leadership” model , John Maxwell explained the various stages of implementing an efficient leadership in your organisation. In fact his models is a five step by step model that help organisation increase collaboration, communication and consequently performance. The first level of leadership is in fact an authoritative level when all commitment is based upon position. The second level is permission, in this level relations matters, leadership is based upon relationships and understanding. The third level is production, this is where results starts to show, it is where the adjustments are made and the machinery starts to work efficiently. The forth level is People, empowering people around you to grow, learn and advance. Your company grows by growing its people. The fifth and last level is the penickle level where mastery is attained, you have done it so many times for so many long that everything seems to flow fluently.

The five levels of leadership demonstrate two important elements. First that relationships are at the center of effective influence, building and taking care of your relationships is a key element in building and growing your circle of influence. Second, that empowering your environment is done through investing in the people around you. Investing your patience, your understanding, your tolerance and your knowledge. “Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back by becoming more.” – Tony Robbins


If you are experiencing a lot of setbacks in your life, If you are struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel, if you think that things doesn’t work as they should be. This book will definitely help you see and refine your philosophy about life and wealth. Please take a moment to give it a read, it is worth the effort.
Do not hesitate to leave your comment, I will be delighted to read them.


References :
The magic of thinking big – David J. Schwartz
The five level of leadership – John Maxwell
Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman
The Strangest Secret – Earl Nightingale
The treasury of quotes – Jim Rohn


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