The Magic of Thinking Big

What is the central message or theme of the book?

The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz is a motivational self-help book that revolves around the central message of thinking big to achieve extraordinary success in life. The book emphasizes the power of one's mindset, beliefs, and actions in shaping their destiny. By thinking big, individuals can break free from limiting beliefs, reach their full potential, and create a fulfilling and successful life.

What problem does the book address or seek to solve?

The book addresses the common problem of "Excusitis" - the habit of making excuses for one's failures or lack of progress. Schwartz believes that many people sabotage their own success by holding on to self-limiting beliefs and negative thought patterns. The book seeks to solve this problem by encouraging readers to replace excusitis with a growth-oriented mindset focused on thinking big and taking proactive action.

What unique insights or perspectives does the book offer?

  • The Power of Positive Self-Talk: One unique insight from the book is the importance of positive self-talk. Schwartz emphasizes that how we speak to ourselves can significantly impact our self-esteem and confidence. By using empowering language and affirming positive beliefs, individuals can boost their self-worth and enhance their chances of success.
  • Visualization Techniques: The book introduces visualization as a powerful tool for achieving goals. By vividly imagining one's desired outcomes and success scenarios, individuals can strengthen their belief in achieving those goals and align their actions with their visions.
  • The Art of Taking Action: Schwartz highlights the significance of taking consistent action towards one's goals. He emphasizes that thinking big alone is not enough; it must be accompanied by persistent effort and dedication. By taking small steps each day, individuals can make significant progress towards their aspirations.

What notable anecdotes or stories are featured in the book?

While the book doesn't rely heavily on personal anecdotes from Schwartz's own life, it does include numerous stories and examples to illustrate its points. Here are a few:

  1. The Story of Claude M. Bristol: Schwartz recounts the story of Bristol, a successful businessman, who attributed his success to the habit of thinking big. Bristol believed that if you feed your mind with positive thoughts and really believe in them, your life will change accordingly.
  2. The "Okay-I'll-Give-It-A-Try" Attitude: Schwartz shares a story about a salesman who was consistently outperformed by his colleagues. The salesman's problem was his lack of belief in himself and his product. After adopting an "Okay-I'll-give-it-a-try" attitude and truly believing in his ability to succeed, the salesman's performance drastically improved.
  3. The Power of Belief: Schwartz tells the story of a group of salespeople who were told they were using a new type of phone that would make them more successful. In reality, the phones were no different, but the salespeople's belief in their improved tools led to increased sales.
  4. The Story of a Hotel Chain Owner: Schwartz shares the story of a successful hotel chain owner who attributed his success to hiring employees with the right attitudes. He believed that skills could be taught, but attitudes are ingrained and can make or break a person's success.
  5. The "Cure-All" Prescription: Schwartz tells a story about a doctor who gave a patient suffering from a psychosomatic illness a "cure-all" prescription. The prescription was simply a note that said "Think Big!" The patient's condition improved as he changed his mindset and started thinking more positively.

What are some of the best quotes from the book?

"Practice thinking big for 30 days."

"Stretch your vision. See what can be, not just what is. Practice adding value to things, to people, and to yourself."

"Think, 'I'm activated,' not 'I'm busy.'"

"You are what you think you are."

"Use goals to help you grow. Goals are not only a means to an end. They are a way of life."

"You can do what you want to do. You can be what you want to be."

"Ask yourself, 'Am I using my potential?'"

"Think and dream creatively. The law of creative vision works in everything you do."

"Manage your environment: go first class."

"Remind yourself regularly that you are better than you think you are."

"Go first class. You can't afford not to."

"Think positively toward yourself and others."

"Use the big thinker's vocabulary. Use big, bright, cheerful words."

"Think progress, believe in progress, push for progress."

"Practice adding value to things, to people, and to yourself."

"Excusitis is the failure disease."

"Learn to meet and mingle with people, to like them, and to win their friendship and affection."

"Build confidence and destroy fear. Action feeds and strengthens confidence; inaction in all forms feeds fear."

"Action cures fear. Indecision, postponement, on the other hand, fertilize fear."

"Success means personal prosperity: a fine home, vacations, travel, new things, financial security, giving your children maximum advantages."

"Believe big. The size of your success is determined by the size of your belief."

"Cure yourself of the fear of failure. Failure is a trickster with a keen sense of irony and cunning."

"Believe it can be done. When you believe something can be done, really believe, your mind will find the ways to do it."

"Belief, strong belief, triggers the mind to figure ways and means how to."

"Think success, don't think failure. At work, in your home, substitute success thinking for failure thinking."

How can reading this book benefit or inspire the reader?

Reading The Magic of Thinking Big can bring several benefits and inspire readers to take charge of their lives:

  • Improved Self-Confidence: The book teaches readers how to develop unshakable self-confidence and belief in their abilities. By shedding self-doubt and embracing a positive attitude, individuals can tackle challenges with determination and resilience.
  • Goal Achievement: Through effective goal-setting techniques, readers can learn to set ambitious yet achievable goals and create a roadmap for their success. The book encourages them to break free from their comfort zones and pursue bigger dreams.
  • Overcoming Obstacles: By cultivating resilience and a growth mindset, readers can learn to view failures and setbacks as stepping stones to success. They will be inspired to persevere and maintain a positive outlook even during challenging times.
  • Enhancing Interpersonal Skills: The book emphasizes the value of networking and mentorship in personal and professional growth. Readers can learn to build valuable connections and seek guidance from experienced mentors.
  • A Path to Personal Fulfillment: By adopting the principles of thinking big, readers can align their actions with their passions and values, leading to a more fulfilling and purpose-driven life.


In wrapping up, The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz is a transformative guide that propels readers to shatter self-imposed barriers and adopt a 'think big' mentality. The book's core message is that by broadening our mindset, trusting our capabilities, and taking persistent action, we can attain significant success and satisfaction in life.

Schwartz tackles the issue of 'excusitis' and negative thinking, offering valuable insights such as the potency of positive self-talk, visualization, and the necessity of action. The book's teachings, illustrated through captivating real-life anecdotes, empower readers to build unwavering self-confidence, set and achieve ambitious goals, overcome challenges resiliently, and enhance interpersonal skills.

The Magic of Thinking Big is a practical guide for personal and professional development, offering actionable strategies that can be applied across life's various facets. It encourages readers to venture beyond their comfort zones, think without restrictions, and start their journey towards realizing their full potential.

In a world often clouded by self-doubt and negativity, this book stands as a beacon of optimism, reinforcing that with the right mindset and actions, extraordinary success is within our grasp. So, dare to think big, harness the power of your thoughts, and witness the magic unfold in your life.