The Magic of Thinking Big gives you useful methods, not empty promises. Dr. Schwartz presents a carefully designed program for getting the most out of your job, your marriage and family life, and your community.The book, which has sold over 4 million copies, instructs people to set their goals high and think positively to achieve them. The author gives a step-by-step guide on how to achieve what one wants by changing their thought patterns and thought habits.

No matter whether your life goals are incredibly big and daunting or fairly small and achievable, chance are you’ve thought “Where do I even begin?” more than once.

The author suggests you start by creating a mindset in which you feel 100% capable of achieving whatever you set out to do.Why does this work? Because once you start believing in yourself enough, your brain will spark the creativity required to achieve your goal.

These ideas could have been the roots of what would later become positive psychology. One McKinsey study quoted in the book states that what management and societal leaders are looking for most, when working with people, is the drive to move forward.

People are looking for this attitude, because it makes sure you persevere in the face of failure and adversity, instead of running away at the first roadblock.Now David presents us with several strategies to improve your self-belief and confidence.

The first is to constantly work on your creative thinking skills. As opposed to just memorizing facts, which will only help you in certain situations, creative thinking will help you solve any kind of problem you will face.

Belief is everything and there is nothing mystical about the power of belief, but we must draw a distinction between merely wishing and actually believing. Doubt attracts ‘reasons’ for not succeeding, whereas belief finds the means to do the job. Schwartz was in conversation with an aspiring fiction writer. When the name of a successful author came up, the aspiring writer quickly said, ‘But I could never equal him; I’m not in his league.’ Knowing the writer in question, Schwartz pointed out that he was neither super-intelligent nor super-perceptive, merely super-confident. The writer had at some point decided to believe that he was among the best, and so he acted and performed accordingly.

Most of us believe that the result of an event is the best indicator of how successful we are, yet events are much more likely to reflect a person’s level of confidence. In Schwartz’s words: `Belief is the thermostat that regulates what we accomplish in life.’ Turn the thermostat up, and witness the results.

Remind yourself regularly that you are better than you think you are. Successful people are not supermen. Success does not require a superintellect. Nor is there anything mystical about success. And success isn’t based on luck. Successful people are just ordinary folks who have developed belief in themselves and what they do. Never—yes, never—sell yourself short.

Never depend on luck to get what you want. The only vaccination against ‘Excusitis’, as Schwartz calls it – ‘commonly known as failure’s disease’ – is conscious self-belief. Schwartz knows that as soon as we hit a rough spot our thinking is likely to shrink back to its normal size, yet this is exactly when it is crucial not to. Sporting champions do not collapse when, in the course of a game, they are being beaten. Instead of building a case against themselves, they will at this point remember that they are a champion.


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. Thinking larger thoughts is a kind of magic, since the effort put in is small compared with the long-term results. In the 1890s, a person named Gottlieb Daimler drew a three-pointed star on a postcard to his family and wrote next to it, ‘One day this star will shine down on my work.’ He co-founded Mercedes-Benz. Great accomplishments such as these demonstrate Schwartz’s claim that a person is best measured by the size of their dreams.