Derek Sivers

The Magic of Thinking Big - by David Schwartz

The Magic of Thinking Big - by David Schwartz

ISBN: 0671646788
Date read: 2008-07-26
How strongly I recommend it: 7/10
(See my list of 320+ books, for more.)

Go to the Amazon page for details and reviews.

A classic self-help book. Exactly what you'd expect. But very good.

my notes

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.

Belief in great results is the driving force, the power behind all great things.

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

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.

"We need from every man who aspires to leadership - for himself and his company - a determination to undertake a personal program of self-development."

Any training program must provide (1) what to do (2) how to do it (3) results.

No one is born with confidence.

Action cures fear.

Cure fear and win confidence:
1. Isolate your fear. Pin it down. Determine exactly what you are afraid of.
2. Take action. There is some kind of action for any kind of fear.

Setbacks? Confident, successful people don't give it another thought. Successful people specialize in putting positive thoughts into their memory bank.

Get a balanced view of the other person. Keep these two things in mind when dealing with other people:
1. The other person is important. Every human being is.
2. But also: you are important, too.
So when you meet, make it a policy to think, "We're just two important people sitting down to discuss something of mutual interest and benefit."

An exercise to help you measure your true size:
1. Determine your five chief assets. (Education, experience, appearance, home life, attitude, personality, etc.)
2. Under each asset, write the names of three people who have achieved a large success but who do not have this asset to as great a degree as you.

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 in the present.

Practice adding value to things. Remember the real estate example. Ask yourself, "What can I do to add value to this room or this house or this business?" Look for ideas to make things worth more. A thing - whether it be a vacant lot, a house, or a business - has value in proportion to the ideas for using it.

Practice adding value to people. As you move higher in the world, more of your job becomes people development. Ask, "What can I do to add value to my subordinates? What can I do to help them become more effective?" Remember, to bring out the best in a person, you must first visualize his best.

Practice adding value to yourself. Ask, "What can I do to make myself more valuable today?"


Expense accounts
petty: reduces expenses
big: increases income by selling more

petty: talks negative
big: talks positive

petty: retrenchment or status quo
big: expansion

petty: limited
big: promising

petty: looks for ways to avoid work
big: looks for more ways and things to do, especially helping others

petty: competes with the average
big: competes with the best

petty: cutting down on necessary items
big: increase income and buy more of what's necessary

petty: short run
big: long run

"There are some very sharp men in this room." The executive presented his problem, then listened.

Test your own views in the form of questions. Let other people help you smooth and polish your ideas. Use "what do you think of this suggestion?" Don't be dogmatic.

Rub shoulders, and minds, with other success-oriented people.

To gain the respect of others, you must first think you deserve respect. The more respect you have for yourself, the more respect others will have for you.

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?"

What happens on weekends and nights directly affects a person's perfomance during the workday. The person with a constructive office-job life nearly always is more successful than the person who lives in a dull dreary home situation.

Make your environment make you successful. Get your advice from successful people. Your future is important. Never risk it with freelance advisors who are living failures.

Get plenty of psychological sunshine. Circulate in new groups. Discover new and stimulating things to do.

One way to build enthusiasm to a new location: resolve to dig into the new community. Learn all you can about it. Mix with the people. Make yourself feel and think like a community citizen from the very first day. Do this, and you'll be enthusiastic about your new environment.

People do more for you when you make them feel important.

Customers will buy more from you, employees will work harder for you, associates will go out of their way to cooperate with you - if you will only make these people feel more important.

Have the courage to face your faults.

Many ambitious people go through life with admirable persistence and show of ambition, but they fail to succeed because they don't experiment with new approaches. Stay with your goal. Don't waver an inch from it. But don't beat your head against a wall. If you aren't getting results, try a new approach.

The company president ought to be trying to keep his mind free of inconsequential details and doing his own thinking on the basic principles and factors - so that he can make clear and better judgements.

Where do you want your company to be 10 years from now?

Form an image now of the person you want to be 10 years from now.

Not being specific about what you want is like going to an airline ticket counter and saying, "Give me a ticket." The people selling tickets can't help you unless you give them a destination.

The most important qualification for an executive is the sheer desire to get ahead.

You are not pulled to high levels of success. Rather you are *lifted* there by those working beside and below you.

Leadership principles:
1. Trade minds with the people you want to influence.
2. Think: What is the human way to handle this?
3. Think progress, believe in progress, push for progress.
4. Take time out to confer with yourself and develop your supreme thinking power.