The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz

I read the most inspiring book last week and have to say that this kick ass book is a total game-changer! The author published this classic in 1959 and it continues to remain relevant and something I should probably read every year.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is wants more out of life in terms of career growth and relationships because it holds the power to transform your mindset in your life. It’s a manual for success by building confidence in yourself because typically a person's thinking is always in the process of becoming small and marginalizing itself. The book is a powerful reminder of the great things that can be accomplished with the right attitude so I found it a very effective motivational tool. This is an absolute must read in how to create a success plan in life. The best part is he summarizes the main points at the end of every chapter. Here are some excerpts I found insightful:

"Blaming others is destructive. You gain absolutely nothing from "proving" that someone else is wrong. Have the courage to be your own constructive critic. Seek out your faults and weaknesses and then correct them."

"Acquire the quality of relaxed easy-going so that things do not ruffle you. Be extremely careful to avoid the petty cut him-down language. Before complaining or accusing someone ask yourself 'is it really important? In most cases, it isn't and you avoid conflict."

"The successful people are active; we'll call them activationists. The just average people, the mediocre and unsuccessful are passive. We'll call the passivationists. Mr. Activationist is a doer. He takes action, gets things done, follows through on ideas and plans. Mr. Passivationist is a "don'ter. He postpones doing things until it's too late. Example Mr. A  decides he should attend church regularly. He does. Mr. P thinks it's a good idea to go to church regularly too, but he finds ways to postpone acquiring this new habit. In the end Mr. A gets things done and gains confidence and self-reliance. Mr. P doesn't get the things done he wants done because he won't act. Thus he loses confidence in himself, destroys his self-reliance, lives in mediocrity."

"Ever notice how seldom children complain about the weather?  They take hot weather in stride. Complaining about the weather makes you more miserable and it spreads misery to others.  Other people want to be around alive, enthusiastic people. Being around complainers and half-dead people is uncomfortable."

"Remember, your appearance "talks." Be sure it says positive things about you. Never leave home without feeling certain you look like the kind of person you want to be. People do evaluate you on the basis of your appearance because it is the first basis for evaluation other people have. The well-dressed person's appearance says positive things. It tells people, "Here is an important person: intelligent, prosperous, and dependable. This man can be looked up to, admired, trusted."

"Pay twice as much and buy half as many. With everything you wear, quality is far more important than quantity. Your garments will last more than twice as along because they are more then twice as good.  You owe it to others, but more important, you owe it to yourself to look your best. Your appearance says here is a person who has self-respect, so treat him that way. Go first class: that is an excellent rule to follow in everything you do, including the goods and services you buy. "But I can't afford to go first class." The simplest answer is: you cannot afford to go any other way. It's better to have fewer things and have quality than to have many things and have junk."

"The person who does the most talking and the person who is the most successful are rarely the same person. The more successful the person, the more he practices conversation generosity, he encourages the other person to talk. Conversation generosity helps you learn more about people."

"One characteristic of successful people: enthusiasm. Always spread good news because it garners enthusiasm and please people. No one ever won a friend by broadcasting bad news."

"Average people recent progress. Soak up all the good ideas you can. Be an experimental person."

"We've found an amazingly close correlation between a person's job respect and his job performance. Impressed when a job applicant thinks his present job is important, even though there may be something about it he doesn't like."

"If you mispronounce or misspell someone's name, that person feels that you feel he is unimportant. Learn to remember names.  The most important person present is the one person most active in introducing himself. Drop a personal note or make a phone call to the new friends you feel you want to know better. Go out of your way to meet new people."

"Being fired from a job can be a blessing in disguise. You might not really like the job much and might have stayed there and never have gone far. Now you have a chance to find something you really like to do. The difference between success and failure is found in one's attitudes toward setbacks."

"Prolonged association with negative people makes us think negatively; close contact with petty individuals develops petty habits in us."

"Compliment people at every possible opportunity."

"Set monthly goals for yourself of accomplishment. You will only accomplish what you set out to do. The most regarding kind of investment is self-investments, building mental power and proficiency. Set goals to get more energy. Set goals to get things done."

Check out this post of mind about goal crushing.

Once Upon a Time & Happily Ever After | Foxy's Domestic Side
Puppies & Pretties | Making the Most of Everyday
Mishaps & Mayhem of Solitary Life | A Lovely Little Wardrobe

There's a phrase I like that goes "look better than you feel." We're judged on how we look, fair or not fair, and I'm not talking about vanity here. So if you're in a hurry, or just running errands or feeling under the weather, you always want to present your best self when you step outside of your home because it says you respect yourself and thus you demand the respect of others. A good example is a man in a suit will be treated with more regard than a woman who shows up in yoga pants for a plane ride (check out this article).  

I thought his comment on not buying cheap clothing was really insightful. Just to be clear, this is not about buying designer clothes and spending a lot of money, he's just saying cheap looks cheap.  It's better to have a few nice quality shoes, that are constructed well, than to have a zillion cheap shoes that hurt your feet and look raggedly. Both collections of shoes end up costing the same, the volume is just different. 


  1. lol 'look better than you feel' I WISH I had time to do that right now! Totally agree though

    Love some of those quotes

    1. Oops I meant to take out my commentary thinking the blog post was too long with all the quotes. lol

  2. This sounds like a wonderful book - all the snippets you shared are so true! I may have to read this next.

    Daily Style Finds

  3. Adding this book to my list....I love all the little quotes!

  4. Crazy how something written in 1959 is still so relavent today, goes to show that no matter how much technology and the world has changed we as people remain the same with the same problems. Thanks for recommending!

  5. Need to add this to my reading list - can't believe I've never read it. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Ditto what all of my friends above ^^ said. I can't believe a book as old as I am can still be so timely. Thank you soooo much for sharing this with us. I will be getting it. Anna, did you do Alison's Rediscover Me challenge last time? If not, have you thought about registering for it this time? It has a lot of the same messages, emphasis that you share from The Magic of Thinking Big. Setting goals, identifying what is really important in life. I think you would love the challenge. I am looking forward to doing it again in September.

  7. Awesome post!! I am adding this to my list!! What great little nuggets and inspiration!! Bookmarking this!! And I think it's great something written so long ago is still very relevant. Technology will come and go but books are forever.

  8. Awesome post!! I am adding this to my list!! What great little nuggets and inspiration!! Bookmarking this!! And I think it's great something written so long ago is still very relevant. Technology will come and go but books are forever.

  9. Wow! This was a great post. Made me totally think about my current work environment and how I need to navigate through it. Thanks, Anna!