30 Lessons From The Magic of Thinking Big

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:

  1. Don’t make excuses for why you can’t reach your goals.
  2. All people have the same amount of hours in the day – Successful people find the time to become successful.
  3. 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.
  4. Interest and enthusiasm is more important than intelligence.
  5. Compliment people at every opportunity.
  6. Use positive words.
  7. Learn to see/visualize what can be and not what is.
  8. Eliminate the word impossible and think how “it” could be done.
  9. Change is required for progress.
  10. Expose yourself to new things, friends, places, restaurants etc.
  11. Always accept every opportunity to do more.
  12. If you want something done. Hand it to the busiest person you know.
  13. Action cures fear. Action separates a dreamer from a doer.
  14. A fair idea acted upon is better than great idea not acted upon.
  15. Smile until you show your teeth towards all people and you’ll feel happier
  16. Walk faster than other people.
  17. Speak up, but don’t speak fast, so you avoid sounding insecure.
  18. Look sharp and you will think sharp and be perceived sharp.
  19. Sell yourself to yourself. Do a commercial about yourself.
  20. All children dream big, but repressive environment results in only 3-4% never give up success.
  21. Don’t let negative people destroy your plans. Seek advice only from successful people. They know its possible.
  22. Gossip is poison – Chopping your neighbors furniture doesn’t make your won better.
  23. Put service first and money will come.
  24. Call people by name.
  25. Avoid sarcasm and don’t make other people small.
  26. The better you treat people the better your are off. Praise people first.
  27. Think improvement and high standards in everything you do.
  28. Successful people spend time alone for super thinking. At least 30 min a day.
  29. Visualize goals for home, work and social activities.
  30. 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.

 

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Quotes From Today Matter

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

 

Just for Today by John C. Maxwell

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

Pearls of Wisdom – Norman Vincent Peale

“Throw your heart over the fence and the rest will follow.”

Norman Vincent Peale is the author of the famous book The Power of Positive Thinking. That book and other works from Peale went on to sell tens of millions of copies. During the depression he, JC Penney and Thomas Watson – of IBM fame – spent time on philanthropy. Peale also had his own radio show for over half a decade.

Here are some of my favorite tips from Peale.

  1. Focus on today.
    • Don’t take tomorrow to bed with you.
  2. Don’t walk around with the world on your shoulders.
    • Drop the idea that you are Atlas carrying the world on your shoulders. The world would go on even without you. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  3. You may be surprised if you just step up and face your obstacles.
    • Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.
    • The “how” thinker gets problems solved effectively because he wastes no time with futile “ifs” but goes right to work on the creative “how.”
  4. Understand to overcome.
    • Understanding can overcome any situation, however mysterious or insurmountable it may appear to be.
  5. Expect to get what you expect.
    • Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure. The way you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it. You are overcome by the fact because you think you are.
    • Formulate and stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding. Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade. Your mind will seek to develop the picture… Do not build up obstacles in your imagination.
    • Believe it is possible to solve your problem. Tremendous things happen to the believer. So believe the answer will come. It will.
  6. Find the upsides of the problem.
    • Every problem has in it the seeds of its own solution. If you don’t have any problems, you don’t get any seeds.
    • Problems are to the mind what exercise is to the muscles, they toughen and make strong.
  7. Check your phraseology.
    • Watch your manner of speech if you wish to develop a peaceful state of mind. Start each day by affirming peaceful, contented and happy attitudes and your days will tend to be pleasant and successful.
    • Never talk defeat. Use words like hope, belief, faith, victory.
  8. Don’t go too fast.
    • To go fast, row slowly.
  9. Develop the most useful habits of thinking.
    • Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast.
    • Repetition of the same thought or physical action develops into a habit which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.
  10. Learn not only from your mistakes.
    • We’ve all heard that we have to learn from our mistakes, but I think it’s more important to learn from successes. If you learn only from your mistakes, you are inclined to learn only errors.
    • Check what you did right and don’t get lost in basking on your glory. It will make it easier to repeat whatever you did that created the success.

It’s More Expensive to Be Poor Than to Be Rich

Terry Pratchett had a really perfect explanation for one of the many reasons why it’s more expensive to be poor than to be rich:

“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.

Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of ok for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars.

But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that’d still be keeping his feet dry in ten years’ time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet.

This was the Captain Samuel Vimes ‘Boots’ theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”

Quoted from here: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/72745-the-reason-that-the-rich-were-so-rich-vimes-reasoned

By this model, one reason the rich are so rich is because they manage to spend less money… and not just on boots.

For those not familiar, and getting not too spoiler for context, Vimes gets to know the daughter of the oldest, wealthiest family in the city and has lots of occasion to observe the habits of the rich. He goes on to observe how wealthy households never throw anything away – they buy top quality and use it forever/pack it for the next generation.

The bad financial choices (buying the $10 pair of boots every year when the $50 pair will last a decade) are not truly choices, good or bad. They’re the only option.

 

My Favorite lines from Books

This post in inspired by the thread on Quora. An irresistible page-turner is a wonderful thing, but there are books which pack sentences so prevailing that you stop reading, lower the book and simply live in the words for a moment. Here are my personal favorites:

  1. “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” ~ 1984 by George Orwell
  2. “It’s much better to do good in a way that no one knows anything about it.”  ~ Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  3. “You forget what you want to remember, and you remember what you want to forget.” ~ The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  4. “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” ~ The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  5. “Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.” ~ Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
  6. “The only lies for which we are truly punished are those we tell ourselves.” ~ In a Free State by V.S. Naipaul
  7. “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” ~ The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  8. “Still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.” ~ Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  9. “As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once.” ~ The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
  10. “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” ~ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling
  11. “My advice is, never do tomorrow what you can do today. Procrastination is the thief of time.” ~ David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  12. “Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.” ~ Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
  13. “I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” ~ The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  14. “One must be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.” ~ The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
  15. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us” ~ Lord of the Rings: A fellowship of the ring by J.R.R Tolkien
  16. “Libraries were full of ideas – perhaps the most dangerous and powerful of all weapons.” ~ Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
  17. “It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” ~ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling
  18. “To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation.” ~ Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  19. “Each of us had something to learn from the others and something to teach in return.” ~ Confessions (Penguin Classics) by Augustine
  20. “For you, a thousand times over.” ~ The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  21. “If you lived honestly, your life would heal itself.” ~ Emotional Resilience by David Viscott
  22. “The greatest victory in life is to rise above the material things that we once valued most.” ~ The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on Life’s Journey by Muhammad Ali and Hana Yasmeen Ali
  23. “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” ~ Animal Farm by George Orwell

The Bed of Procrustes

A man with hammer, sees every problem like a nail. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, in his book The Bed of Procrustes, writes –

Procrustes, in Greek mythology, was the cruel owner of a small estate in Corydalus in Attica. He had a peculiar sense of hospitality: he abducted travelers, provided them with a generous dinner, then invited them to spend the night in a rather special bed. He wanted the bed to fit the traveler to perfection. Those who were too tall had their legs chopped off with a sharp hatchet; those who were too short were stretched.

We humans, facing limits of knowledge, and things we do not observe, the unseen and the unknown, resolve the tension by squeezing life and the world into crisp commoditized ideas, reductive categories, specific vocabularies, and prepackaged narratives, which, on occasion, has explosive consequences.

Source: The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

It represents Taleb’s view of modern civilization’s hubristic side effects — modifying humans to satisfy technology, blaming reality for not fitting economic models, inventing diseases to sell drugs, defining intelligence as what can be tested in a classroom, and convincing people that employment is not slavery.

You can read the review of this book here and here.