The Magic of Thinking Big6 min read

Published by Zach on


The Book in 3 Points

  • Desire, when harnessed, is power. Failure to follow desire, to do what you want to do most, paves the way to mediocrity.
  • Add value to everything you do, the items, your subordinates, and you.
  • Specifically, plan how to move the mountain. Believe you can move the mountain, and you will move the mountain.

Should You Read It?

I don’t see the hype. I would have given it a 3/10, but one chapter saved the day, chapter 12 on creating an action plan actually to do something. Some good lessons throughout but too many boring stories with broad advice. Don’t read it. Just go over my lessons learned here and read ch.12 in a bookstore somewhere.

Major Take-Aways

  • Believe that you can move the mountain, and you can move the mountain.
  • Everyone is a little bit of a hypochondriac; try to minimize that part in yourself. Try not to talk about your health, complain about your health, or emphasize your “bad” health.
  • You can find an excuse not to do anything, even eating or drinking water you could find an excuse for. Realize that and realize most excuses are nonsense.
  • Most people are nice people, and if you believe that they are, the more likely they will respond to the way you believe them to be (nice).
  • Change your vocabulary to positive, and pretend to be positive and happy; when someone asks you how you are feeling. Instead of, “ok,” answer, “Just wonderful! Thank you! And you?”
  • Add value everywhere: add value to things (a house you are selling, a business you are making). What makes it worth more? Add value to people. How can you make your subordinates more effective and successful? Add value to yourself, visualize yourself not as what you are but what you can be, and what can you do to yourself to make yourself more valuable?
  • What new idea do you have that counters traditional thinking?
  • Presentation to yourself and others is important. Dress well, be neat, and think your life and job are important (even if it feels like it isn’t).
  • Make new friends, join new organizations, and enlarge your social orbit. Select friends who are smarter than you and don’t stand for petty, unimportant things.
  • To make other people feel important, one bus patron got special treatment after speaking to the driver, “you sure have a lot of responsibility”; “it must take nerves of steel to drive through traffic like this every day”; “you sure keep this thing on the schedule.”
  • Memorize and call people by their names.
  • Lyndon Johnson’s Rules for success:
    • Learn to remember names. Inefficiency at this point may indicate that your interest is not sufficiently outgoing.
    • Be a comfortable person, so there is no strain in being with you. Be an old-shoe kind of individual
    • Aquire the quality of relaxed, easy-going so that things do not ruffle you.
    • Don’t be egotistical. Guard against the impression that you know it all.
    • Cultivate the quality of being interesting so people will get something of value from their association with you.
    • Study to get the “scratchy” elements out of your personality, even those of which you may be unconscious.
    • Sincerely attempt to heal, on an honest basis, every misunderstanding you have had or now have. Drain off your grievances.
    • Practice liking people until you learn to do so genuinely.
    • Never miss an opportunity to say a word of congratulation upon anyone’s achievement or express sympathy in sorrow or disappointment.
    • Give spiritual strength to people, and they will give genuine affection to you.
    • Create deadlines for yourself over the next 30 days to improve and get your goals done, be specific. You will only accomplish what you plan to accomplish. I want to launch something for example, here’s my plan:
      • Week 1: settle on ideas, resources, competitors, and niches, and make sure you are solving a real problem.
      • Week 2: plan from lean startup and 100m offers how to design my business, how would I sell it in the end?
      • Week 3: Finalize MVP
      • Week 4: Ask people to pay for it

Helpful Quotes

  • My favorite quote from the entire book: Desire, when harnessed, is power. Failure to follow desire, to do what you want to do most, paves the way to mediocrity.
  • The other fellow might look frightfully big, frightfully important. But remember, he is still a human being with essentially the same interests, desires, and problems as you.
  • Be a front seater […] sitting up front builds confidence. Practice it. […] Practice making eye contact. […] looking the other person in the eye, tells him, “I’m honest and aboveboard. I believe in what I’m telling you. I’m not afraid. I’m confident.”
  • Look at things not as they are, but as they can be.
  • I have learned in dozens of instances that I can count on a busy man to deliver. But I have often been disappointed in working with people who have “all the time in the world.”
  • Dig into it deeper, and you’ll develop enthusiasm.
  • In everything you do, life it up.
  • Yes, it’s easy and natural, but it isn’t right thinking towards people. If you follow the rule of letting the other person build the foundation of friendship, you may not have many friends.
  • “Customers,” says Mr. Pok, “should be treated like they are guests in my home.”
  • Make yourself lighter to lift.
  • Use action to cure fear and gain confidence.
  • Be a crusader. When you see something you believe ought to be done, pick up the ball and run.
  • Be a volunteer.
  • If you don’t produce, you don’t get where you want to go.
  • Surrender to desire and gain energy, enthusiasm, mental zip, and even better health.
  • A 10 year planning guide:
    • Work, in 10 years:
      • What income level do you want?
      • What level of responsibility do you want?
      • How much authority do i want to command?
      • What prestige do I expect to gain from my work?
    • Home in 10 years:
      • What kind of standard of living do I want to provide for my family and myself?
      • What kind of house do I want to live in?
      • What kind of vacations do I want to take?
      • What financial support do I want to give my children in their early adult years?
    • Social, in 10 years
      • What kind of friends do I want to have?
      • What social groups do I want to join?
      • What community leadership positions would I like to hold?
      • What worthwhile causes do I want to champion?
  • Do this: Start marching toward your ultimate goal by making the next task you perform, regardless of how unimportant it may seem, a step in the right direction. Commit this question to memory and use it to evaluate everything you do, “Will this help take me where I want to go?” If the answer is no, back off; if yes, press ahead. It’s clear. We do not make one big jump to success. We get there one step at a time. An excellent plan is to set monthly quotas for accomplishment.
Categories: Book Notes


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