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David Schwartz: The Magic of Thinking Book Summary


  • Success is determined not so much by the size of one’s brain as it is by the size of one’s thinking.
  • Case history after case history proved that the size of bank accounts, the size of happiness accounts, and the size of one’s general satisfaction account is dependent on the size of one’s thinking. There is magic in thinking big.
  • All of us, more than we recognise, are products of the thinking around us, and much of this thinking is little, not big.
  • As one thinketh in his heart, so is he (Prophet David)
  • Great men are those who see that thoughts rule the world. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
  • Think big and you’ll live big. You’ll live big in happiness. You’ll live big in accomplishment. Big in income. Big in friends. Big in respect.
  • Life is too short to be little. (Benjamin Disraeli)
  • Believe you can succeed and you will.
  • You can win success by believing you can succeed.
  • Belief works this way. Belief, the “I’m positive I can” attitude, generates the power, skill, and energy needed to do it. When you believe I can do it, the how to do it develops.
  • The how to do it always comes to the person who believes he can do it.
  • Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figure ways and means and how to. And believing you can succeed makes others place confidence in you.
  • Those who believe they can move mountains do. Those who believe they can’t, cannot. Belief triggers the power to do.
  • Belief in success is the one basic, absolutely essential ingredient of successful people.
  • 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.
  • Belief is the thermostat that regulates what we accomplish in life.
  • A person is a product of his own thoughts.
  • No one else is going to believe in you until you believe in yourself.
  • Here is the first step towards success. It’s a basic step. It can’t be avoided. Step one: Believe in yourself, believe you can succeed.
  • Think success, don’t think failure.
  • Thinking success conditions your mind to create plans that produce success. Thinking failure does the exact opposite. Failure thinking conditions the mind to think other thoughts that produce failure.
  • Believe Big. The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief. Think little goals and expect little achievements. Think big goals and win big success. Remember this, too! Big ideas and big plans are often easier – certainly no more difficult – than small ideas and small plans.
  • Nobody is going to order a man to develop. Whether a man lags behind or moves ahead in his speciality is a matter of his own personal application. This is something which takes time, work, and sacrifice. Nobody can do it for you.
  • Go deep into your study of people, and you’ll discover unsuccessful people suffer a mind-deadening thought disease. We call this disease excusitis. Every failure has this disease in its advanced form. And most “average” persons have at lease a mild case of it.
  • Study the lives of successful people and you’ll discover this: all the excuses made by the mediocre fellow could be but aren’t made by the successful person.
  • My physician and surgeon friends tell me the perfect specimen of adult life is nonexistent. There is something physically wrong with everybody. Many surrender in whole or in part to health excusitis, but success-thinking people do not.
  • I’m going to live until I die and I’m not going to get life and death confused. While I’m on this earth I’m going to live. Why be only half alive? Every minute a person spends worrying about dying is just one minute that fellow might as well have been dead.
  • The right attitude and one arm will beat the wrong attitude and two arms every time.
  • Just being grateful for the health you have is a powerful vaccination against developing new aches and pains and real illness.
  • It’s better to wear out than rust out. Life is yours to enjoy. Don’t waste it.
  • Most of us make two basic errors with respect to intelligence: 1. We underestimate our own brainpower. 2) We overestimate the other fellow’s brainpower.
  • The thinking that guides your intelligence is much more important than how much intelligence you may have.
  • For stickability is 95 percent of ability.
  • We often hear that knowledge is power. But this statement is only a half-truth. Knowledge is only potential power. Knowledge is power only when put to use – and then only when the use made of it is constructive.
  • The ability to know how to get information is more important than using the mind as a garage for facts.
  • My attitudes are more important than my intelligence.
  • The ability to think is of much greater value than the ability to memorise facts.
  • Ask yourself, “Am I using my mental ability to make history, or am I using it merely to record history made by others.”
  • Age has no real relation to ability.
  • A person age thirty still has 80 percent of his productive life ahead of him. And the fifty-year-old still has a big 40 percent – the best 40 percent – of his opportunity years left. Life is actually longer than most people think!
  • Most fear today is psychological. Worry, tension, embarrassment, panic all stem from mismanaged, negative imagination.
  • Fear is real. Fear is success enemy number one. Fear stops people from capitalising on opportunity; fear wears down physical vitality; fear actually makes people sick, causes organic difficulties, shortens life; fear closes your mouth when you want to speak. Fear – uncertainty, lack of confidence – explains why we still have economic recessions. Fear explains why millions of people accomplish little and enjoy little. Truly, fear is powerful force. On one way or another fear prevents people from getting what they want from life. Fear of all kinds and sizes is a form of psychological infection.
  • Action cures fear. Indecision, postponement, on the other hand, fertilise fear.
  • Use this two-step procedure to cure fear and win confidence: 1. Isolate your fear. Pin it down. Determine exactly what you are afraid of. 2. Then take action. There is some kind of action for any kind of fear.
  • People are alike in many, many more ways than they are different.
  • To think confidently, act confidently.
  • Motions are the precursors of emotions.
  • Psychologists tell us we can change out attitudes by changing our physical actions. For example, you actually feel more like smiling if you make yourself smile.
  • Psychologists also tell us you can actually change your attitudes by changing your posture and speed of movement. Watch, and you discover that body action is the result of mind action.
  • A smile will give them a real boost. They’ve been told that a smile is excellent medicine for confidence deficiency.
  • A big smile gives you confidence. A big smile beats fear, rolls away worry, defeats despondency.
  • How big we think determines the size of our accomplishments.
  • The greatest human weakness is self-deprecation – that is, selling oneself short.
  • You’re bigger than you think. So fit your thinking to your true size. Think as big as you really are! Never, never, never sell yourself short!
  • We do not think in words and phrases. We think only in pictures and / or images.
  • To think big, we must use words and phrases that produce big, positive mental images.
  • Big thinkers train themselves to see not just what is but what can be.
  • It isn’t what one has that’s important. Rather, it’s how much one is planning to get that counts. The price tag the world puts on us is just about identical to the one we put on ourselves.
  • Keep your eyes focused on the big objective.
  • In selling, the big objective is winning sales, not arguments.
  • To do anything, we must first believe it can be done. Believing something can be done sets the mind in motion to find a way to do it.
  • When you believe, your mind finds ways to do.
  • When you believe something is impossible, your mind goes to work for you to prove why. But when you believe, really believe, something can do done, your mind goes to work for you and helps you find the ways to do it.
  • Belief releases creative powers. Disbelief puts the brakes on.
  • Eliminate the word impossible from your thinking and speaking vocabularies. Impossible is a failure word. The thought “It’s impossible” sets off a chain reaction of other thoughts to prove you’re right.
  • Average people have always resented progress.
  • Capacity is indeed a state of mind.
  • The success combination is do what you do better (improve the quality of your output) and do more of what you do (increase the quantity of your output.)
  • The bigger the person, the more apt he is to encourage you to talk; the smaller the person, the more apt he is to preach to you. Big people monopolize the listening. Small people monopolize the talking.
  • A leaders is a decision-making human machine. Now, to manufacture anything, you’ve got to have raw material. In reaching creative decisions, the raw materials are the ideas and suggestions of others.
  • A mind that feeds only on itself soon is undernourished, becoming weak and the incapable of creative progressive thought. Stimulation from others is excellent mind food.
  • Ideas are fruits of your thinking. But they’ve got to be harnessed and put to work to have value.
  • Don’t lead ideas escape. Write them down. Every day lots of good ideas are born only to die quickly because they aren’t nailed to paper.
  • For thinking regulates actions.
  • How you think determines how you act. How you act in turn determines: How others react to you.
  • Your physical exterior affects your mental interior. How you look on the outside affects how you think and feel on the inside.
  • Your appearance talks to you; but it also talks to others. It helps determine what others think of you.
  • Pay twice as much and buy half as many.
  • Quality is far more important than quantity.
  • You are what you think you are. If your appearance makes you think you’re inferior, you are inferior. If it makes you think small, you are small. Look your best and you will think and act your best.
  • Until a person thinks his job is important and thinks positively about it, he can’t be helped.
  • You are what you think you are, what your thought power directs you to become. Think you’re weak, think you lack what it takes, think you will lose, think you are second-class – think this way, and you are doomed to mediocrity. But think instead, I am important. I do have what it takes. I am a first-class performer. My work is important. Think this way, and you’re headed straight to success.
  • The key to winning what you want lies in thinking positively toward yourself.
  • You are what you think. Think enthusiasm and you’ll be enthusiastic.
  • Practice uplifting self-praise. Don’t practice belittling self-punishment. You are what you think you are. Think more of yourself and there is more of you.
  • The mind reflects what its environment feeds it just as surely as the body reflects the food you feed it.
  • The number one obstacle on the road to high-level success is the feeling that major accomplishment is beyond reach. This attitude stems from many, many suppressive forces that direct our thinking toward mediocre levels.
  • People who tell you it cannot be done almost always are unsuccessful people, are strictly average or mediocre at best in terms of accomplishment. The opinions of these people can be poison. Develop a defence against people who want to convince you that you can’t do it. Accept negative advice only as a challenge to prove that you can do it.
  • Don’t let negative thinking people – “negators” – destroy your plan to think yourself to success. Negators are everywhere, and they seem to delight in sabotaging the positive progress of others.
  • You are judged by the company you keep. Birds of a feather do flock together.
  • How we think is directly affected by the group we’re in. Be sure you’re in the flock that thinks right.
  • Be environment-conscious. Just as body diet makes the body, mind diet makes the mind.
  • People speak without a sound. How we think shows through in how we act. Attitudes are mirrors of the mind. They reflect thinking.
  • We read attitudes through expressions and voice tones and inflections.
  • Grow these three attitudes. Make them your allies in everything you do. 1. Grow the attitude of I’m activated. 2. Grow the attitude of you are important. 3. Grow the attitude of Service first.
  • To activate others, you must first activate yourself.
  • To activate others, to get them to be enthusiastic, you must first be enthusiastic yourself.
  • A man who lacks enthusiasm never develops it in another. But a person who is enthusiastic soon has enthusiastic followers.
  • Life up your smile. Smile with your eyes. Nobody likes an artificial, pasted-on, rubbery smile. When you smile, smile. Show a few teeth.
  • How we feel is, in large part, determined by how we think we feel.
  • People do more for you when you make them feel important.
  • You must feel important to succeed. Helping others to feel important rewards you because it makes you feel more important. Try it and see.
  • What’s puzzling about money is the backward approach so many people use in trying to make it. Everywhere you see people with a “money-first” attitude. Yet these same people always have little money. Why? Simply this: People with a money-first attitude become so money conscious that they forget money can’t be harvested unless they plant the seeds that grow the money. And the seed of money is service. That’s why “put service first” is an attitude that creates wealth. Put service first, and money takes care of itself.
  • You don’t get a raise on the promises of better performance; you get a raise only by demonstrating better performance. You can’t harvest money unless you plant the seeds that grow money. And the seed of money is service. Put service first, and money takes care of itself.
  • Always give people more than they expect to get. Each little extra something you do for others is a money seed.
  • Money seeds, of course, grow money. Plant service and harvest money.
  • Success depends on the support of other people. The only hurdle between you and what you want to be is the support of others.
  • Think right toward people, and they will like and support you.
  • Your mind is a mental broadcasting station. This broadcasting system transmits messages to you on two equally powerful channels: Channel P (positive) and Channel N (Negative).
  • Thoughts breed like thought. There is real danger that if you listen to negative comments about another person, you too will go negative toward that person.
  • Make a forceful promise to yourself. Refuse to let others prejudice your thinking. Stay tuned to Channel P. Once you’ve mastered the technique of thinking only good thoughts about people, greater success is guaranteed.
  • People are what we study in our success lab.
  • Excellent ideas are not enough. An only fair idea acted upon, and developed, is 100 percent better than a terrific idea that dies because it isn’t followed up.
  • Nothing comes merely by thinking about it. (John Wanamaker)
  • Think of it. Everything we have in this world, from satellites to skyscrapers to baby food, is just an idea acted upon.
  • As you study people – both the successful and the just average – you find they fall into two classes. The successful are active; we’ll call them activationists. The just average, the mediocre, the unsuccessful are passive. We’ll call them passivationists.
  • Be an activationists. Be someone who does things. Be a doer, not a don’t-er.
  • The rest of a successful person is not an ability to eliminate all problems before they arise, but to meet and work out difficulties when they do arise.
  • Ideas are important. Let’s make no mistake about that. We must have ideas to create and improve anything. Success shuns the man who lacks ideas.
  • Every day thousands of people bury good ideas because they are afraid to act on them. And afterward, the ghosts of those ideas come back to haunt them.
  • Give your ideas value by acting on them. Regardless of how good the idea, unless you do something with it, you gain nothing.
  • Use action to cure fear and gain confidence. Here’s something to remember. Action feeds and strengthens confidence; inaction in all forms feeds fear. To fight fear, act. To increase fear – wait, put off, postpone.
  • The only cure for stage fright is action. Getting right out there before the audience is the cure for dread, worry, fear.
  • Build confidence. Destroy fear through action.
  • Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. (Benjamin Franklin)
  • Thinking in terms of now gets things accomplished. But thinking in terms of someday or sometime usually means failure.
  • Ideas alone won’t bring success. Ideas have value only when you act upon them.
  • All it took was a persistent man who never thought he was defeated.
  • Salvage something from every setback.
  • We can turn setbacks into victories. Find the lesson, apply it, and then look back on defeat and smile.
  • Defeat is only a state of mind, and nothing more.
  • Have the courage to face your faults.
  • A failure is a man who has blundered but is not able to cash in on the experience. (Orville Hubbard)
  • We must have persistence. But persistence is only one of the ingredients of victory. We can try and try, and try and try again, and still fail, unless we combine persistence with experimentation.
  • Persisting in one way is not a guarantee of victory. But persistence blended with experimentation does guarantee success.
  • The difference between success and failure is found in one’s attitudes toward setbacks, handicaps, discouragements, and other disappointing situations.
  • Have the courage to be your own constructive critic. Seek out your faults and weaknesses and then correct them. This makes you a professional.
  • Blend persistence with experimentation. Stay with your goal but don’t your head against a stone wall. Try new approaches. Experiment.
  • A goal is an objective, a purpose. A goal is more than a dream; it’s a dream being acted upon. A goal is more than a hazy “Oh, I wish I could.” A goal is a clear “This is what I’m working toward.”
  • Nothing happens, no forward steps are taken, until a goal is established. Without goals individuals just wander through life. They stumble along, never knowing where they are going, so they never get anywhere.
  • The important thing is not where you were or where you are but where you want to get.
  • The most important lesson in career planning: Before you start out, know where you want to go.
  • No one accomplishes more than he sets out to accomplish. So visualize a big future.
  • A man is not doing much until the cause he works for possesses all there is of him. (John Wanamaker)
  • Success requires heart-and-soul effort, and you can out your heart and soul only into something you really desire.
  • All of us have desires. All of us dream of what we really want to do. But few of us actually surrender to desire, Instead of surrendering to desire, we murder it.
  • The point is this: energy increases, multiplies, when you set a desired goal and resolve to work toward that goal. Many people, millions of them, can find new energy by selecting a goal and giving all they’ve got to accomplish that goal. Goals cure boredom. Goals even cure many chronic ailments.
  • When you surrender to your goal, the goal works itself into your subconscious mind.
  • Now, with your goal absorbed into your subconscious mind you react the right way automatically. The conscious mind is free for clear, straight thinking.
  • To accomplish something, we must plan to accomplish something.
  • The person determined to achieve maximum success learns the principle that progress is made one step at a time.
  • The step-by-step method is the only intelligent way to attain any objective.
  • Sometimes it appears that someone achieves success all at once. But if you check the past histories of people who seemed to arrive at the top suddenly, you’ll discover a lot of solid groundwork was previously laid. And those “successful” people who lose fame as fast as they found it simply were phonies who had not built a solid foundation.
  • Profit comes from only one source: investment. There’s a lessons for each of us. To profit, to get the extra reward above a “normal” income in the years ahead, we must invest in ourselves. We must invest to achieve our goals.
  • Invest in education. True education is the soundest investment you can make in yourself.
  • How well educated a person is, is measured by how well his mind is developed – brief, by how well he thinks.
  • Get a clear fix on where you want to go. Create an image of yourself ten years from now.
  • Write out your ten-year plan. Your life is too important to be left to chance. Put down on paper what you want to accomplish in your work, your home, and your social departments.
  • Let your major gaol be your automatic pilot. When you let your goal absorb you, you’ll find yourself making, the right decisions to reach your goal.
  • Achieve your goal one step at a time. Regard each task you perform, regardless of how small it may seem, as a step toward your goal.
  • There are two special things you can do to develop your progressive outlook: 1. Think improvement in everything you do. 2. Think high standards in everything you do.
  • Take time out to confer with yourself and tap your supreme thinking power.
  • Check the lives of the great religious leaders, and you’ll find each of them spent considerable time alone.
  • Decisions and observations made alone in managed solitude have an uncanny way of being 100 percent right.
  • A wise man will be master of his mind, A fool will be its slave.

 

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