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4.5 out of 5 stars146
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on 6 May 2012
If you are feeling stuck, this book can really shift your mindset. It feels like you are being spoken to by an extremely wise, unusually friendly and very dear friend. If you truly take on board the insights provided and act upon even a fraction of some of the advice provided by this author, it is life changing. This book was clearly written a long time ago and as a consequence, some of the comments are old fashioned and sexist but if you can see past that, don't hesitate for a moment and buy this book. A real gem. I wish I'd found it years ago.
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on 16 April 2005
The Magic of Thinking Big is the first book I ever read to do with aiming high, organising your life and living purposefully, and it is a testemant to the quality of the book that my copy is now an incomprehensible mess of highlighted passages, scribbled notes and scrawled realisations. I have read and re-read it many times and have committed it's principles to memory. Cliched as it is, I can say this book has changed my life immeasurably.
THINKING BIG is clearly descended from the famous THINK AND GROW RICH, the book in which Napoleon Hill interviewed men of fortune to discover what common traits had sealed their success. In THINKING BIG, David Schwartz undertakes the same project and arrives at 10 chapters of widely-applicable 'success principles'.
Each chapter focuses on a different principle -'Attitude', 'Environment', explained in the typical format of the genre, with a wealth of illustrative stories and examples, often about salesmen. Each chapter contains a dozen ideas which have proven invaluable, and Schwartz summarises each chapter helpfully with an action plan.
The flaw of THINKING BIG is a common one of all 'development' books, in that it has dated considerably, and overuses made up terminology. A reader must be prepared to stomach terms such as 'excusitis' and 'Mr. Skid Row'. They may also find some of Schwartz's values questionable. Whilst it is a sound assertion that associating with the same group all the time will restrict your horizons, ideas such as 'make friends with lots of people in different jobs' can result in an entirely superficial social life. As with all books like this, you must read with a keen eye, as some of Schwartz's advice is a 'quick fix' which will be of no use without genuine inner progress (ie - 'walk faster').
That said, THINKING BIG contains more useful distinctions and ideas than most books combined, and it's continued popularity is justified. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to make a change in their lives, as it is in a different league to the kind of junk which fills out the pitiful 'self-help' sections of most bookstores. To anyone already engaged in a study of success, I would recommend this as great motivation, although many of it's ideas are to be found elsewhere (THINK AND GROW RICH covers much of the same ground). If anything, THE MAGIC OF THINKING BIG is the most accessible book of it's kind, and the ideal precursor to books such as THINK AND GROW RICH and UNLIMITED POWER, which expand on the ideas which Schwartz describes.
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on 10 May 2001
No matter what your state of mind is, no matter how many inhibitions are ruling your life or how on top of the world you feel, this book will take you places you never imagined to get close to before. With its incomparable logic it is clear and simple and therefore easy read. It is a book very difficult to put away once you started reading it. For me it has been a true eye opener, so I recommend everybody to read it, learn and act accordingly. You will be surprised of the consequences. The theories presented are supported by a variety of case studies picturing situations that most of us can relate to in some way. It helps you overcome a perhaps disturbing excusitis, it teaches you to dream again, to rethink what you truly are, to realize what to do about your environment, to get to terms with your attitudes, your fellow men and your action habits. It also creates guidelines of how to turn defeat into victory and thereby it helps you grow tremendously. Do you want to be a quitter or a success? Read the book and you have no doubt. But only you can decide to what extent you want to change. This is a book on fundamental decisions that can actually improve your life dramatically.
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on 1 November 2013
I thought that the audiobook has a few goods points, however, it is very short and must only be summary of the book. Wouldn't recommend the audiobook, buy the normal book if you are interested
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on 13 March 2012
I've read lots of self help books and always disliked their patronising tone or overdramatic wording. This book had me writing down quotes and passages at every chapter. It's written well, it's tone is empowerment and not preaching. It inspires you rather than feeding you useless filler.

I'd reccommend this if you have dreams and ambitions, it relights the belief in yourself and makes the impossible seem possible
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on 26 November 2003
Having lost my job I was feeling a little sorry for myself to say the least, that was until a friend recommended this book. I know this has been said so many times about this type of book, but it really did change my life. I could easily have slipped into a downward spiral of self pity and despair, but after reading this book I know that I can do anything.
I cannot recommend this book enough, READ IT and you will understand why.
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on 28 March 2004
I first read this book nearly 10 years ago and its a very motivational and insprational book written in a straighforward style. I keep it by my bedside and read it when I feel the need for some motivational kick start therapy. It works.
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on 27 September 2013
I read a lot of books in this genre and after a while I do tend to skim read some of the more oft-explored advice and anecdotes, not because they're bad but just because you've 'heard them before'. This book is no exception as lots of it has already been discussed. It was written quite some time ago (if you can overlook how almost every fictitious character is a 'chap' and an excellent wage is $15,000 a year - it's age shouldn't represent a problem) which could explain why the good bits are in the main press already.

However some times it only takes a few sentences to create that 'aha' moment and this book provided a couple, such as the stories regarding being action oriented. On that basis I can't give it anything less than five stars.

This is a fantastic book for anybody starting their personal development journey as it's literally teaming with sage, easy to read, objective advice. And for everybody else, it's always nice to be reminded of the basic formula to success especially when you consider that it's all basic.

Happy reading
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on 22 August 2003
Until reading this, I had never considered reading a 'motivational' or 'self help' book, especially as most of them are of the American Genre of 'hot coal walkers'. However, with some time on my hands and a slightly dented confidence after losing my job, I read this book eleven years ago and was very impressed. Of course, in the end its just a book, not the Holy Grail for all life's problems, but it is a useful tool for helping you to examine exactly how you behave, why you behave like you do, what you are about and how this knowledge effects your attitude, life choices and future success in whatever you do.

None of these books will 'change your life' without real effort on your part, and certainly not all of what these authors have to say is without room for criticism, but this book of simple and practical 'life truths' certainly motivated me and gave me another perspective on things. Looking back, the book did change my life's direction in subtle but very important ways and helped to give me the confidence to do what I wanted to do. Of course, succeeding at it still takes courage, knowledge, effort, persistence and a bit of luck!

Another book I'd thoroughly recommend is Stephen Covey's 'The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People'. This is much more a philosophical mishmash of 'common sense' things that most of us never actually implement! If you are looking for some quick fix solution to help your sales technique or bank balance, there are other books that are better suited to your needs. But if you are trying to clarify what you really want and how best to achieve it (whilst remaining a balanced and pleasant individual) then these two books are worth reading, and reading again.

Definitely worth investing a few quid and some time.
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on 15 March 2013
I read this when I was 22, I was a cleaner in an amusement arcade back then. Pretty hopeless and bitter. Family life was terrible, money was non existent. I am 40 now and I am a successful Programme Manager running multi-million pound projects. This book didn't do that, I did that. But this book helped me to get there. If I had not read this book, I would still be a cleaner. It made that much of a difference. Read it, it just might change your life.
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