The Magic of Thinking Big:  Quotes by David J. Schwartz

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The Magic of Thinking Big covers a wide range of ideas on what contributes to success. The following quotes and passages discuss some of the author’s key ideas about what it takes to succeed in whatever you set your mind to.

Keep reading for The Magic of Thinking Big quotes by David J. Schwartz.

The Magic of Thinking Big: Quotes and Passages

We are surrounded by people who seem more successful than us and who earn more money than we do. We may think, “What do they have that I haven’t got? Are they just smarter?” In The Magic of Thinking Big, author David J. Schwartz says it’s a matter of mindset. Below are some of The Magic of Thinking Big quotes that encapsulate some of the key ideas discussed in the book.

“The mind is what the mind is fed.”

We’ve all heard the old expression, “you are what you eat.” This means that our well-being is tied directly to the food we use to fuel our bodies. In The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz proposes that your mind is also a product of what it is fed, and what feeds your mind is your environment.

The size of your thinking, your attitude, and your goals all are the products of your environment, particularly the people around you. If you are surrounded by petty, negative people, you will likely pick up the habits of negative, petty thinking. If you are surrounded by positive, ambitious people, you will begin to reflect those traits, as well.

“Remember, the main job of the leader is thinking. And the best preparation for leadership is thinking.”

Inherent leaders understand that leadership starts with the mindset. If you don’t think of yourself as a leader, no one will treat you that way. In The Magic of Thinking Big, David J. Schwartz outlines four principles of leadership mindset:

  1. Put yourself in the minds of the people you’re leading.
  2. Think about the “human way” to handle a situation.
  3. Set an example of making progress.
  4. Take time for yourself to think.

“Meet problems and obstacles as they arise. The test of a successful person is not the ability to eliminate all problems before he takes action, but rather the ability to find solutions to difficulties when he encounters them.”

According to Schwartz, one of the distinguishing characteristics of successful people is how they deal with setbacks. Instead of quitting or reacting with anger, they treat setbacks as a learning opportunity. He gives a few examples in the book:

  • After a plane crash, the FAA examines the data to figure out what went wrong so it never has to happen again. This is a small victory pulled from a tragic setback. 
  • A student fails a course. She could be angry at the professor and feel outraged at the injustice. Or, she could figure out where she went wrong. Maybe she didn’t work hard enough or study properly. Maybe she should have asked for extra help. If she applies these lessons to the next course, she’ll be more likely to succeed.

“Go out of your way to meet people. And don’t be timid. Don’t be afraid to be unusual. Find out who the other person is, and be sure he knows who you are.”

Unlike most people who wait to be introduced, successful people take the initiative, finding out who the other person is—and making sure that other person knows who they are. More so, they go out of their way to meet people. There are six ways to emulate this:

  1. Introduce yourself to other people at every opportunity, whether it’s a work event, on an airplane, or on an elevator.
  2. Make sure the other person hears and knows your name.
  3. Make sure you know the other person’s name. Know how to pronounce it correctly.
  4. Make sure you know how to spell the other person’s name. Write it down.
  5. Follow up with a note (email or text if appropriate). If you want to know them better, it’s important to follow through and take the next step.
  6. Say nice things to strangers. Offer sincere compliments. 
The Magic of Thinking Big: Quotes by David J. Schwartz

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Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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