The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz – Book Review


After reading the 4 Hour Work Week I decided to check into the other books he put in the “Restricted Reading” section. The restricted reading is going on a low information diet to help quiet the head and make life a little more sane. I have indulged in some of his advices such as limiting checking my email to 2 times a day and have found that it gives me more time, less stress and I am more relaxed throughout the day now too. Not constantly thinking about email and hitting the pelletized cocaine retrieval button 80 times a day, I have more time to do more important things with my time. Like spending more time with my daughter walking around the neighborhood, or working on other Niche Sites I am developing like RockabillyLifestyle.Com, which I probably have to much crap on right now, which is in itself another story.

The Magic of thinking big by David Schwartz, is the book I decided to start reading, and goes into some theory that I have always thought to be true before I read the book, and that is you can change a persons day, attitude or demeanor, with an expression of kindness, or treating them as “Important”, and not just another person to step on.

It’s not just about someone else though, it’s all about You. Your actions, the way you think, the way you treat other people and how you react to others and certain situations. It’s geared to help you become bigger than what you are now, a better person, and help you to succeed in what you do in all aspects of your life not just your jobs or financial goals. True it is about learning to be successful and succeeding, but it’s got a bigger broader picture. It goes through a whole range of thinking practices and misinformation’s.

A few examples are:

* Believe You Can Succeed and You Will
* Cure Yourself of the Fear of Failure
* Build Confidence and Destroy Fear
* 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

Whenever I am about to talk to someone I now pause and mentally think about what I am going to say to them. I try to stay on the positive side of things and this is one huge thing I was happy he covered. When you have to approach someone about the job they are doing, and it may not be so good, it gives examples how to approach it and keep it positive while also addressing the situation at hand.

Success is not so much about how big you are or how big your company is, it’s about how big your thinking is, and how it makes others feel. It focuses on and retrains your mind to get out of the mind trappings of daily life and think big, bigger than you used to.

The book, first published in 1965, is still a classic and currently read by many people and has practical advice and guides for today’s world. Those reading this currently are big time CEO’s, life coaches, and many other successful professionals. If you get the audio book, just be prepared as the author is part of the narrative and sounds a little dated, but it’s still an excellent listen. I highly recommend The Magic of thinking big by David Schwartz.

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41 Responses to “The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz – Book Review”
  1. A couple of years ago I interviewed Christine Comaford (author of Rules for Renegades) and one great tip she gave me was to make at least one persons day for them by giving them a sincere compliment.

    And it’s true – it makes them feel good and you feel good for doing so.

    .-= Andrew @ Blogging Guide´s last blog ..How to use the Free Tool JingProject to Create Videos =-.

    • Larry says:

      Andrew, I started doing this yesterday due to your comment. I started to say something to at least one person a day to give them a compliment, and try to make their day in some way, or at least make them smile.

  2. Lance Nelson says:

    Hi Larry,

    This a really good advice. Think big…. and think and pause before saying anything to keep it all positive is a tip I will put into practice today.

    thanks again, Lance
    .-= Lance Nelson´s last blog ..Bansko Bars And Restaurants: A Musical Theme =-.

  3. Hi Larry, I’m reading 4 Hour Work Week right now. Thinking big is something that I want to focus on this year. Not so much as in unrealistic type stuff that doesn’t really matter (like making 1 million dollars next week) but just stepping outside of the box a little more than usual.

    I’ve seen some good examples over the years of people doing this and I think that it really can make a ‘big’ difference in levels of success and I suspect can be a lot of fun too.

    I really like your point about how we can make someone else feel good by our actions and words. There have been many times that my day has been improved by the kindness of people I don’t even know with a smile and hello or a few encouraging words. And when it comes from someone you do know and look up to – you can’t beat it. You just never know and it feels great to be the giver as well as the receiver.

    The Magic of Thinking Big is definitely on my to read list.
    .-= Jan – queenofkaos´s last blog ..Learning to Let Go – Part One =-.

    • Larry C. says:

      I realize that people sometimes have bad days, like i do sometimes, and when I am having a bad day, I especially try to remain positive because it makes me feel better on a bad day, when I am nice and make someone else smile.

  4. Rich Hill says:

    Cure Yourself of the Fear of Failure.

    That is a big one,

    Too many of us worry about what to tell our friends and family when we fail. Stop worrying, That is part of what causes the failure.
    Good book review, thanks.
    .-= Rich Hill´s last blog ..Does Any Average Blogger Make Money with Tweets that are Sponsored? =-.

    • Larry C. says:

      The only way I have found that I am able to change, innovate and come up with success is to fail BIG! nothing comes from mediocre failure, so I say dream big and fail huge!!! hahahaha

  5. Brian says:

    Thanks for the review, and you’re right, it is all about you! The examples you listed are certainly outstanding rules to live by; I’ve recently implemented some of them and have felt a positive impact in my life.

    Just out of curiosity, are you based in the United States? If so, you need to disclose your Amazon affiliate links.
    .-= Brian´s last blog ..Epic Fail – Wishin’ and Hopin’ and Prayin’ for a Viral Video =-.

  6. I read Schwartz’s book 25 years ago for the first time and several times since. Like you I can recommend it. Schwartz was on the business faculty with author Thomas Stanley (The Millionaire Next Door) and Stanley mentions his work and their relationship in a couple of his books.
    I think the crux of The Magic of Thinking Big is that what you think matters. It is those thoughts that determine what you say to yourself and that ultimately determines your habits and actions. Those are the behaviors that create your life.
    This is a self development classic. It is worth reading if you only want to study the way authors approached this subject. If you are looking for a change in your life, start with an examination of your mindset and self talk. This book is a good guide to that process.
    .-= Bruce “the Mid-Life Mentor”´s last blog ..Anne Vaillancourt – How to keep your health throughout Menopause =-.

  7. The power of positive thinking is very effective in helping folks reach their goals. Sounds like I should read the book.
    .-= Birney Summers´s last blog ..Save Money by Using Energy Just Where You Need it =-.

  8. I also read The magic of Thinking Big back in the 80’s and it was a pivotal time in my life when i was figuring out what works in success. Maybe it’s time to re-read the book! thanks for the reminder.
    .-= Michelle Vandepas´s last blog ..Diana Scimone Born2Fly Stop Human Trafficking =-.

  9. Lisa says:

    My favorite part of the post:

    “you can change a persons day, attitude or demeanor, with an expression of kindness, or treating them as “Important”, and not just another person to step on”

    As a person with a lot of business experience working in an office setting, I cannot tell you how true that statement is. I think people forget that most everyone is good at something, has worth and value, and deserves to be treated with kindness and respect.

    I am certain the world in general would be a much better place if everyone was guided by that one quote each day before they spoke to or wrote to another human being. I believe it would not only change the person’s day, but also change the person.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..The Greeting Card =-.

    • Larry says:

      Thanks for that heart felt response. I truly feel that if you say thank you to someone who holds the door open for you, or if you hold the door for someone and genuinely smile at them while looking into their eyes, you can change someones day. Most times, not all times but most. at least.

  10. If David Schwartz had known about it, he would have included the “Law of Attraction.”

    As it is, it is almost a sequel to Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends & Influence People.”

    Good review. Worth a look again if you haven’t read it. Amazon is selling used copies for pennies on the dollar.

    We need all the inspiration to keep reminding ourselves that what we think about all day long, we become.
    .-= Corinne Edwards´s last blog ..BE A BLOGGER – WHO ME? =-.

    • Larry says:

      Corrine, I’m more of an audio guy so I may get those in audio, but I also like to have the physical books around for reference.
      Thanks for the reminders of those oft looked over books…Larry

  11. Debbie says:

    I read his book years ago and loved it. I was in verbal abusive marriage and just getting out of it. This book helped me learn who I was and what I was. It made me strong. Thanks for reminding me.
    .-= Debbie´s last blog ..Happiness Can Be Found In Your Uniqueness! =-.

  12. Joel says:

    Very interesting, I really liked your point “Success is not so much about how big you are or how big your company is, it’s about how big your thinking is, and how it makes others feel.”
    I think that sort of thinking is often missed, it all seems to be about ROI and profit and loss, even to an individual blogger level and very small businesses.
    .-= Joel´s last blog ..The Third Tribe? Is it Me Or Is This Thing Weird? =-.

  13. I remember reading this book too. It had a remarkable impact on my thinking. I love how the author puts responsibility for how life goes for us squarely in our laps. If you send out bad vibes, you’re going to get bad vibes back. What goes around, comes around. It’s never too late to start “Thinking Big”. Thanks for re-introducing Mr. Schwartz’s elegant reminders.
    .-= Cheryl from thatgirlisfunny´s last blog ..Your Power to Assist by Sending a Single Thought: Random Acts of Kick Arse =-.

  14. David Rogers says:

    I have another of David Schwartz’s books (magic of psychic power) on my shelf. Although its years since I last read it, I can still recall some of his basic, common sense advice. This has prompted a re-read, may look to this one as well. Thanks. David
    .-= David Rogers´s last blog ..Start Losing Control =-.

  15. Amy LeForge says:

    This is a book I’ve not heard of before, so I’m glad you reviewed it. The concepts sound like they line up with some of the values I want to teach my boys.

    The whole idea of believing in yourself equaling success is one they have not embraced, to put it lightly. I know this is a life lesson that must be learned individually, but I’d rather just be able to tell them about it! I don’t like watching them struggle even though I know that’s necessary for growth.
    .-= Amy LeForge´s last blog ..The Tooth Fairy Almost Made Me Cry =-.

  16. Larry – I really don’t think I could only check my emails twice a day – definitely sounds like a challenge :). I’ve been interested in reading the 4 hour work week, but this is my first encounter with the Magic of Thinking. Perhaps I should spare some email reading time for book time, huh?
    .-= Keller Hawthorne´s last blog ..It’s Time to Become a Blogger =-.

    • Larry says:

      Keller, I have over 20 email accounts thaqt get checked daily. I hate it. But it’s a necessary evil, and if you remember I run several dating site. I have gotten down to checking those email accounts and approving/reviewing dating profiles to 1 to 2 times a day. It took a little practive but man you cannot imagine how much stress and worry it has lifted. I highly suggest a good try to this, just do some of Tim’s suggestions in the boko to help others understand what you are going to be doing, becoming more efficient. 🙂

  17. Well the 4 hour work week is on my list of books to read. In fact, I’m getting it from Amazon tonight.

    I don’t know how I managed to never have read The Magic of Thinking Big before.

    I cannot believe that book is 25 years old. It proves that certain basics in life never go out of style.

    Thanks for this post and thanks for pushing me to get the 4 hour work week.

    I have to start changing the way I work and manage emails and my time to get to a point where I’m happier with my work week.

    .-= Eat Smart Age Smart ´s last blog ..Have you tried black (aka purple) rice? =-.

  18. Tyrone says:

    Hi Larry,

    Wow, this is very helpful to keep the positive and broad mindset wherever we go. Actually, this is also the reason why our brains are placed on top of our bodies because it’s the superior acting organ which controls us all throughout and just by thinking purely on one thing and acting on it badly will definitely ruin everything.

    Thanks for sharing and I’m planning to read that book soon!

  19. Benjamin says:

    Hey Larry,

    I’m glad that the point is made to focus on prosperity in all areas of life… not just getting the ideal job or making more money.

    It has been said a thousand times and it seems that people still don’t understand…

    Money does not equal happiness!

    I enjoyed The 4 Hour Workweek quite a bit… I’ll have to check this book out to.

    Thanks for a great post!

    keep smiling,

    .-= Benjamin´s last blog ..Off Topic: Just for fun… =-.

  20. I’ve been thinking about going for the list Tim suggest in the 4HWW (I love that book, going through the extended edition right now), but didn’t get around it just yet. Good job on the review. Plenty of good tips and not just “listing” what the book is like.
    .-= Antti Kokkonen´s last blog ..Give it Away for Free =-.

  21. Phil says:

    Hi Larry,

    cool post and I think I will post this to my books wishlist. I am reading the 4-hour-workweek as well at the moment although I think, that it – in some circumstances – is not applicable to everyone. Still that is a very good book.

    Your topics list is very interesting so I think, this is a good addition to Tim’s book
    .-= Phil´s last blog ..Purpose of a good dashboard and an announcement =-.

  22. Teagan says:

    I like this part. . .

    “It’s not just about someone else though, it’s all about You. Your actions, the way you think, the way you treat other people and how you react to others and certain situations” . . .

    It’s not just saying something nice to someone, but taking responsibility for all your actions and how you treat other people, and how you think.

    Excellent review. Looks like I need to put this book on my reading list. Thanks for sharing.
    .-= Teagan´s last blog ..Happy Birthday Frances Moore Lappé =-.

  23. Robb Sutton says:

    This always reminds me of the saying…

    “Whenever you are pointing the finger at someone else, there are always four fingers pointing back at you.”

    Taking responsibility for your own moods and actions are the only way you can change how people interact with you.

    Interesting sounding book…I might have to check it out.
    .-= Robb Sutton´s last blog ..I Bridge The Gap and You Can Too =-.

  24. Jeff says:

    I have the audio version of The Magic of Thinking Big on my iPod, and listen to it whenever I need a boost. You know, like every afternoon or so.
    .-= Jeff´s last blog ..Drivers Ed, Little League, and Internet Shit-Talking =-.

  25. Tom says:

    Thank you. You are the one who sold this book to me. I have heard so much about it that after reading your post, finally I got it.
    .-= Tom´s last blog ..A Day Through The Eyes of a Blind Woman: Part 3 =-.

  26. Julius says:

    After checking out this post, I’m really thinking of reading The Magic of Thinking Big. I’m particularly interested in the “curing fear of failure” and “making attitudes into allies” thinking practices.
    .-= Julius´s last blog ..A Day Through The Eyes of a Blind Woman: Part 3 =-.


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