Welcome to the Why Should I Read series. This is the companion site to the YouTube channel Why Should I Read That.
I’m Jon DeLange and I’ll be breaking down a concept or two from a series of books in order to answer questions I believe, most of us are asking.
Today we are going to be looking into a book entitled The Magic of Thinking Big, by Dr David J. Schwartz. This book was first published in 1959 and the things that Dr Schwartz talks about in that book are as true today as they were then. I’ll point out a couple things that I learned reading this book, but believe me there are thousands more lessons and applications to get from reading this classic.
Define success… Why?
This step is key in many personal development literature, one of the original works in the genre, Think and Grow Rich, by Napoleon Hill, lays out a process of writing down stated goals and creating a mental picture of oneself achieving that goal. This method was pulled from Hill’s interviews of 500 early 1900’s millionaires.
Dr. Schwartz also recommends this process so that by having stated goals, you automatically decide based on your end-game. If I’m driving down the freeway, any exit is the best exit until I know where my destination is. If I drive from Detroit to Chicago, unless I know I’m driving to Chicago, I won’t follow the clearly marked signs that say Chicago.
As you go through this process of defining what your goals are, a great framework can be used, I found it in Launching a Leadership Revolution by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady. They state that material goals, recognition goals, and missional goals are the three levels of motivation. Each person is motivated differently by items in these categories. For example, I am highly motivated by recognition from those that I have respect for. If a mentor of mine tells me that I have done a good job, I generally respond more strongly to that than the thought of being rewarded with a material bonus of some kind.
Action Cures Fear
This is probably one of the biggest things I learned reading this book. Chapter 3 is entitled Build Confidence & Destroy Fear.
On Pg. 48 of Magic of Thinking Big, Dr. Schwartz states, “The traditional ‘It’s only in your mind’ treatment of fear assumes that fear doesn’t exist. But it does. Fear is real. Fear is success enemy number one.”
In the rest of the chapter, Schwartz goes on to state that there is always some sort of action to take in response to a fear reaction. This conscious exercise of the muscle of courage in the face of fear builds a habit of overcoming that one can use to conquer increasingly larger fears in life.
- If you fear making a certain phone call, make it! And the fear dissipates.
- If you fear being out of shape, go to the gym or do exercise and over time your fear disintegrates.
- If you fear something totally out of your control, pray, and then put it out of your mind by taking a positive action in some other area.
In a personal example, when I have told some people that I am starting a youtube channel based on my book-a-week reading list, some have responded by saying “That’s a lot of work to choose to do.” I don’t know if they were trying to put fear into my thoughts of starting, but at some point I had to start this series despite never, repeat: never, filming or editing video.
Eventually, later, some point, those are all failure words. The only acceptable way to not do something now is to have a definite point by which you will do so! If I have a great idea for a blog post or video, but never post it, was it really a great idea??
If for no other reason, read this book to expand what you believe to be your potential.
If you have a goal for yourself that doesn’t stretch you or scare you, what kind of thinking are you teaching yourself? Have you ever accomplished far more than you set out to do? I’m not always about cheesy motivational quotes, but it bears repeating, “If you aim for the moon and miss, at least you’ll be among the stars.”
I see people every day that are uninspired or of my generation that give up on the dreams that they have.
If you read this book, define success for yourself, consistently take action towards that goal, check and adjust as you go, there’s no reason you cannot accomplish what you set out to do, regardless of how far it may seem at the present time.
Thank you for your attention, time is the only resource we don’t have the opportunity to reclaim and as such it is the most precious commodity… but that’s a post for another time.
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