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The Magic of Thinking Big

By David J. Schwartz
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The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
Synopsis

The Magic of Thinking Big (1959) unveils why believing in ourselves is a pivotal key to success, and how we’re each capable of achieving any of the goals we’ve always dreamed of. The author’s methodology is supported by his work as a professor and leadership counselor, as well as by his innumerable interactions with people and businesses that have seen both sides of the success-failure coin.

Key idea 1 of 9

Instead of memorizing facts, do what successful people do and sharpen your creative-thinking skills.

You might be familiar with the term “knowledge is power,” which means that the more we know, the more we can do. This saying fails to distinguish between the two types of knowledge: fact memorization and creative thinking.

With fact memorization, you learn pieces of information and store them in the brain to be recalled later. But many of these remembered facts end up like old boxes in a garage: you only access them when you need what’s inside.

Creative thinking, on the other hand, is focused on finding innovative solutions. This means crafting new, improved approaches for handling any kind of problem or challenge.

Although memorizing facts is important in its own right, creative thinking gives us the ability to quickly and efficiently overcome any hurdles we encounter. Fact memorization makes our brains rigid; creative thinking makes our brains adaptive and flexible.

This means that successful people always focus on improving their creative thinking rather than merely trying to remember facts.

You can boost creative thinking with these three actions: be receptive to new ideas, take as many opportunities as possible to try new things, and devote ten minutes each morning to reflecting on the question, “How can I do a better job today?”

One way you can help promote these three actions is by diversifying your lifestyle.

For example, make sure you spend time with people who support you yet also challenge your beliefs and ideas openly. Or join a community group in an area outside your occupation. If you’re a car salesman, for example, you may find it interesting to join something as far removed from your line of work as a graphic design club. This will bring new skills and – who knows – maybe allow you to eventually start designing advertisements for your company.

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