Lessons from the Magic of Thinking Big

Table of Contents


The write-up discusses crucial lessons from The Magic of Thinking Big, a bestseller by David Schwarts.

What is the magic behind success? This question has captivated people from all walks of life, whether you are a rising entrepreneur, an aspiring artist, or simply someone looking to get more out of life. In The Magic of Thinking Big, author David Schwartz provides thought-provoking insights into the allure of discovering the secrets behind achieving your biggest dreams and goals.

First published in 1959, Schwartz’s self-help classic reveals the psychological keys to harnessing your full potential through adopting an empowering mindset oriented toward ambitious targets and possibilities. By emphasizing practical strategies for raising your expectations, thinking creatively, and overcoming self-imposed obstacles, Schwartz taps into the human fascination with unlocking our latent talents and abilities.

As a professor and practitioner in motivation and leadership, Schwartz became deeply interested in identifying the core mental habits shared by highly successful individuals across different industries and backgrounds. Through extensive research, he pinpointed paradigms and techniques for channeling the imagination productively by thinking “big” – namely, permitting us to visualize expansive ideas and chase bold dreams.

The tantalizing promise behind Schwartz’s teachings – a blueprint for actualizing your loftiest aspirations – understandably resonates with everyone from students and parents to CEOs and artists. By demystifying notions of talent and genius, lessons from The Magic of Thinking Big empower anyone to nurture their full capability regardless of background, education, or other arbitrary factors.

Whether you feel stuck in a job or calling or want to squeeze more fulfillment from life, the motivational spark behind discovering how high achievers consistently realize success holds universal appeal. Ultimately, Schwartz taps into a fundamental human drive – the hunger to improve ourselves and our lives through unlocking our talents. The secrets behind such transformation may not be magical, but the journey towards expanded opportunity and vision begins by thinking big.

Unpacking Lessons from The Magic of Thinking Big

Author David Schwartz unpacks the power of mindset and how it impacts success. Two key themes emerge as central principles: setting high expectations for oneself and overcoming self-imposed limitations.

The Transformative Potential of Higher Expectations

Schwartz argues that most people set their sights far too low, hindering their ability to achieve great things. By contrast, adopting higher expectations unleashes greater motivation, effort, and persistence. Rather than restricting oneself to modest goals, Schwartz advocates the merits of envisioning grand achievements, even in the face of uncertainty or doubt from others. Higher expectations come with a willingness to take risks, accept challenges, and visualize desired outcomes.

Confronting and Moving Beyond Self-Imposed Limits

In addition to elevating expectations, Schwartz spotlights how we often stand in our way when pursuing success. He examines the various fears and assumptions that impose false limits on what we can accomplish. Schwartz contends that rejecting these self-limiting beliefs paves the way toward bigger thinking and goals.

Lessons from The Magic of Thinking Big

This theme also touches on having the courage to move beyond comfort zones and building resilience in the face of setbacks. By identifying and challenging self-imposed barriers, we gain the confidence to think more broadly. The critical lessons from The Magic of Thinking Big demonstrate how transforming one’s mindset and assumptions catalyzes achievement. We unlock greater success across endeavors by expecting more of ourselves and shedding limiting beliefs.

Why Thinking Big Matters

Adopting a “think big” mindset can profoundly benefit our psychology and practical achievements. By setting ambitious goals and visualizing desired outcomes, we become more motivated to take the necessary steps to accomplish them. This forward-thinking approach fuels resilience in overcoming obstacles as we consider the bigger picture.

Increased Motivation and Resilience

Thinking big expands our perspective and compels us to strive for more. When we set bold, far-reaching goals instead of limited ones, our motivation levels rise to meet the heightened challenge. We tap into reserves of mental strength we didn’t know we had. With eyes on a bigger prize, we become more resilient in the face of hardship. Temporary setbacks don’t deter us as easily because we understand they are merely part of a longer journey toward ultimate success.

Greater Achievements and Fulfillment

Allowing ourselves to dream big and chase ambitious visions opens the door for elevated personal and professional achievements. Our accomplishments become bigger and more meaningful when fueled by expansive thinking. We experience deep fulfillment in expressing our full potential and leaving an impactful legacy. Lifting our limits allows breakthrough innovations, record-setting athletic feats, transformative social reformations, and more. Without big thinkers striving tirelessly for their lofty goals, our world would suffer stagnation.

Strategies for Cultivating a Big-thinker Mindset

Embracing a “big thinker” mindset requires actively working to expand one’s vision and adopt a more proactive approach to life. Several strategies can help cultivate this empowering mental shift.

Set Audacious Goals

Setting bold, audacious goals forces us to think bigger and to conceive of accomplishments we may have previously thought impossible. Rather than limiting yourself, set goals that seem just out of reach – this will pull your thinking up to a higher level and drive you to grow.

Visualize Desired Outcomes

The brain has a hard time distinguishing vividly imagined scenarios from real ones. Use visualization to create detailed mental pictures of your biggest dreams coming true. Seeing yourself accomplish great feats will prime you to make them happen.

Monitor Your Self-talk

Our habitual inner voice shapes what we believe is possible for ourselves. Make your self-talk constructive and empowering. Celebrate small wins and coach yourself positively towards greater feats rather than dwelling on shortcomings.

Question Limiting Assumptions

We often unconsciously accept self-imposed limitations without scrutiny. Become aware of assumptions that restrict your thinking – “I could never do that” – and replace them with more empowering perspectives. This expands what you see as possible.

Surround Yourself with Big Thinkers

Our thinking is influenced by those we surround ourselves with. Seek bold, visionary people who empower you to see beyond your current reality. Their mindsets will rub off and pull your thinking to a higher level over time.


The key lessons from The Magic of Thinking Big provide valuable insights that can fuel personal and professional growth. By adopting an expansive mindset that sets bold expectations, we can overcome self-imposed limitations and achieve greater success.

Core Principles to Apply

Some of the core principles to take away include:

  • Believe in your potential and set goals that stretch your abilities
  • Visualize success and maintain positive self-talk to program your mind for growth
  • View obstacles as opportunities to learn and develop grit
  • Surround yourself with supportive people who share your big vision

Putting even a few of these principles into practice can set off a positive chain reaction of thinking bigger and achieving bigger.

Adopting a Growth Mindset

Cultivating a “growth mindset” is key to thinking big over the long haul. This means:

  • Viewing abilities and intelligence as flexible rather than fixed
  • Embracing failures and setbacks as part of the learning process rather than signs to give up
  • Being inspired by the success of others rather than threatened by it

With a growth mindset, we can expand our capabilities through strategic effort.

Share Your Experiences

As you apply the lessons on thinking big, share your experiences with others. Some questions to discuss include:

  • What goals are you now setting that once seemed out of reach?
  • What self-limiting beliefs have you overcome?
  • How has your vision for your future changed?
  • What accomplishments are you most proud of?

By sharing our stories, we can inspire each other to keep aiming higher and realize the magic of thinking big.

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