The Magic of Thinking Big contains the secrets to getting the most out of your job, your marriage and family life. The book illustrates how you don’t need to be incredibly intelligent or unique to have the success you want, you simply need to think in a way that cultivates success. By thinking big you can motivate yourself to improve your work life, earn more money and get more happiness and fulfillment out of life.
Following are the 30 things I learnt from this books:
- Don’t make excuses for why you can’t reach your goals.
- All people have the same amount of hours in the day – Successful people find the time to become successful.
- You are not too young/old to become successful. Steve Jobs started Apple before he was twenty and Ronald Reagan had become 70 years old when he became president of America.
- Interest and enthusiasm is more important than intelligence.
- Compliment people at every opportunity.
- Use positive words.
- Learn to see/visualize what can be and not what is.
- Eliminate the word impossible and think how “it” could be done.
- Change is required for progress.
- Expose yourself to new things, friends, places, restaurants etc.
- Always accept every opportunity to do more.
- If you want something done. Hand it to the busiest person you know.
- Action cures fear. Action separates a dreamer from a doer.
- A fair idea acted upon is better than great idea not acted upon.
- Smile until you show your teeth towards all people and you’ll feel happier
- Walk faster than other people.
- Speak up, but don’t speak fast, so you avoid sounding insecure.
- Look sharp and you will think sharp and be perceived sharp.
- Sell yourself to yourself. Do a commercial about yourself.
- All children dream big, but repressive environment results in only 3-4% never give up success.
- Don’t let negative people destroy your plans. Seek advice only from successful people. They know its possible.
- Gossip is poison – Chopping your neighbors furniture doesn’t make your won better.
- Put service first and money will come.
- Call people by name.
- Avoid sarcasm and don’t make other people small.
- The better you treat people the better your are off. Praise people first.
- Think improvement and high standards in everything you do.
- Successful people spend time alone for super thinking. At least 30 min a day.
- Visualize goals for home, work and social activities.
- Every step should be seen as a step towards you direction to success.
In the words of Publilius Syrus:
A wise man will be master of his mind,
A fool will be its slave.
One line summary: It takes just three seconds to turn a negative impulse into a positive one.
Les Parrott in his book 3 Seconds: The Power of Thinking Twice outlines the six common impulses that typically sabotage success, claiming that three seconds is all that stands between those who settle for “whatever” and those who insist on “whatever it takes”.
He suggests to consciously replace the first automatic impulse with a second less natural but more effective one.
- Empower Yourself
- 1st impulse: “There’s nothing I can do about it.”
- 2nd impulse: “I can’t do everything, but I can do something.”
- Embrace a Good Challenge
- 1st impulse: “It’s too difficult to even attempt.”
- 2nd impulse: “I love a challenge.”
- Fuel Your Passion
- 1st impulse: “I’ll do what happens to come my way.”
- 2nd impulse: “I’ll do what I’m designed to do.”
- Own Your Piece of the Pie
- 1st impulse: “It’s not my problem, somebody else is to blame.”
- 2nd impulse: “The buck stops here.”
- Walk the Extra Mile
- 1st impulse: “I’ve done what’s required, and that’s that.”
- 2nd impulse: “I’ll go above and beyond the mere minimum.”
- Quit Stewing and Start Doing
- 1st impulse: “Someday I’m going to do that.”
- 2nd impulse: “I’m diving in … starting today.”
The key is to focus on the decisions that you make. 3 Seconds offers many examples of specific areas in which you can take control of your decisions.
There is also a section devoted solely to how to make this way of thought a habit. Simply reading the book is not enough! You have to take action. You have to train yourself to think through each decision and to not settle for less than whatever it takes, especially in moments when things are difficult.
“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. The people that get on in this world are those who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can’t find them, make them.” ~ George Bernard Shaw
Make Your Second Impulse, Your Second Nature.
Inhale … exhale … the difference of your lifetime can begin in the space of a single breath. The decision is yours. Start today.
Dick meets the son of a wealthy man and shows him around the city for a day. Later, the boy’s father tells Dick that “in this country poverty is no bar to achievement” and relates his own rise from apprentice printer to successful businessman. He notes that there was one thing he took away from the printing office “which I value more than money.” When Dick asks what this was, the man replies:
“A taste for reading and study. During my leisure hours I improved myself by study, and acquired a large part of the knowledge which I now possess. Indeed, it was one of my books that first put me on the track of the invention, which I afterwards made. So you see, my lad, that my studious habits paid me in money, as well as in another way.”
Source: Ragged Dick: Or, Street Life in New York with the Boot Blacks by Horatio Alger Jr.
The main take away from this book is that we should strive for success not just to get a fortune, but to gain tenacity, discipline, frugality, and optimism—qualities that cannot be bought.
We make mistakes. We focus on the wrong things. We get too far down a slippery slope. We steal. We cheat. We lie. We deceive others. We deceive ourselves. We see crime or fraud and don’t speak out.
You can be a good person and still exercise poor judgment.
We’re human. We all make mistakes.
Mistakes are bad, no doubt, but not learning from them is worse. The key to learning from mistakes is to admit them without excuses or defensiveness, rub your nose in them a little, and make the changes you need to make to grow going forward. If you can’t admit your mistakes, you won’t grow.
Failure is an event, not a person.
How you choose to interpret your failures will either move you forward in life or hold you back. Every failure can be turned into a stepping stone to success. Every mistake is a lesson in what not to do. Every setback is an opportunity to dig deeper in to yourself, to access resources you didn’t know you have and to acquire wisdom you could gain no other way.
It’s not the failures that define us so much as how we respond to them.
We exaggerate yesterday, overestimate tomorrow and ultimately, underestimate today. The way you live your life today is preparing you for your tomorrow.
Today Matters by John C. Maxwell, addresses this problem with daily disciplines. These disciplines are categorized by the 12 concepts(aka The Daily Dozen) of attitude, priorities, health, family, thinking, commitment, finances, faith, relationships, generosity, values and growth.
- Attitude: Choose and display the right attitude daily.
- Priorities: Determine and act on important priorities daily.
- Health: Know and follow healthy guidelines daily.
- Family: Communicate with and care for your family daily.
- Thinking: Practice and develop good thinking daily.
- Commitment: Make and keep proper commitments daily.
- Finances: Make and properly manage dollars daily.
- Faith: Deepen and live out your faith daily.
- Relationships: Initiate and invest in solid relationships daily.
- Generosity: Plan for and model generosity daily.
- Values: Embrace and practice good values daily.
- Growth: Seek and experience improvements daily.
Each chapter is devoted to one of the concepts listed above and includes a description, thoughts for reflection and exercises. There are many inspirational stories and fun facts to keep the book interesting and to make these concepts more applicable to real world situations.
Throughout each chapter the author gives examples on how to embrace the values he discuss. If you don’t have your own core value set that you base your life off of, then some of these might be a good starting point for you to consider investing your time and energy into.
”By making today great, you can make your life great, because when you take care of today, tomorrow will take care of itself.”
From John Maxwell’s Today Matters: 12 Daily Practices to Guarantee Tomorrow’s Success (Maxwell, John C.).
- We exaggerate yesterday, overestimate tomorrow and ultimately, underestimate today.
- The way you live your life today is preparing you for your tomorrow.
- “You don’t win an Olympic gold medal with a few weeks of intensive training,” says (Seth) Godin. “There’s no such thing as an overnight opera sensation. Great law firms or design companies don’t spring up overnight…every great company, every great brand, and every great career has been built in exactly the same way: bit by bit, step by step, little by little.” There is no magic solution to success. — P.4
- As basketball legend John Wooden says, “When opportunity comes, it’s too late to prepare.” — P.6
- Most people want to avoid pain, and discipline is often painful. But we need to recognize that there are really two kinds of pain when it comes to our daily conduct. There’s the pain of self-discipline and the pain of regret. Most people avoid the pain of self-discipline because it’s the easy thing to do. What they may not realize is that the pain of self-discipline is momentary but the pay-off is long lasting. — P.26
- Someone once defined hard work as the accumulation of the easy things you didn’t do when you should have. — P.27
- You may have a million reasons not to get started now. But deep down, none of them can be as compelling as your desire to change, grow, and succeed. In a month or a year or five years from now, you may have only one regret — that you didn’t start now. Today matters. The way you spend today really can change your life. — P.31
- Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming. — John Wooden, P.37
- Chinese author and philosopher Lin Yutang said, “Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is the noble art of leavings things undone. The wisdom of life consists of the elimination of non essentials.” — P.67
- Because I wanted to improve myself and pick up skills I didn’t learn in college, in 1971 I began working on a business degree. While reading for one of the courses, I came across a paragraph written about Italian economist Vilifredo Pareto. It contained information about prioritizing called the Pareto Principle. It said that by focusing your attention on the top 20 percent of all of your priorities, you would get an 80 percent return on your effort. That was my eureka moment! That’s when I made this decision: I will prioritize my life and give focus and energy to those things that give the highest return. — P.69
- British prime minister William Gladstone said, “He is a wise man who wastes no energy on pursuits for which he is not fitted; and he is wider still who from among the things he can do well, chooses and resolutely follows the best.” — P.73
- I’m continually reading books on leadership and communication. Every month I try to read one excellent book in its entirety and skim a second one that may not have as much content. — P.128
- I think a lot of the time we take relationships for granted. Because of that, we don’t always give them the attention they deserve or require. But good relationships require a lot of effort. To keep me on track in my relationships requires a lot of effort. To keep me on track in my relationships so that I’m investing in them as I must to make them successful, I practice this discipline: Every day I make the conscious effort to deposit goodwill into my relationships with others. — P.229
- Pulitzer prize-winning composer Gian Menotti said, “Hell begins on that day when God grants us a clear vision of all that we might have achieved, of all the gifts we wasted, of all that we might have done that we did not do.” — P.281
In John Maxwell’s book, “Make Today Count”, he describes managing his life daily, according to the following “Daily Dozen”.
Just for today…I will choose and display the right attitudes.
Just for today…I will determine and act on important priorities.
Just for today…I will know and follow healthy guidelines.
Just for today…I will communicate with and care for my family.
Just for today…I will practice and develop good thinking.
Just for today…I will make and keep proper commitments.
Just for today…I will earn and properly manage finances.
Just for today…I will deepen and live out my faith.
Just for today…I will initiate and invest in solid relationships.
Just for today…I will plan for and model generosity.
Just for today…I will embrace and practice good values.
Just for today…I will seek and experience improvements.
Just for today…I will act on these decisions and practice these disciplines.
And, then one day…I will see the compounding results of a day well lived
From the book Today Matters by John C. Maxwell