Goals are vitally important. They steer behaviors, work plans, and creative journeys. In light of this, I’ve chosen to showcase The Magic of Thinking Big, by David J. Schwartz. Originally published in 1959, Schwartz’s book remains in print, guiding those of us who dare to go after our dreams.
Let me start with an example of the impact this book has had. In 1966, Lou Holtz was hired by Marvin Bass to coach with him at the University of South Carolina. Holtz and his wife spent every last penny they had on a down payment for a house and moved to South Carolina with two kids and a third on its way. One month later Marvin Bass resigned to coach an expansion team for Canada’s Continental League and at 28 years of age, Holtz was unemployed. He recalls that it was the lowest point in his life. His wife, Beth, gave him a copy of this book. And that was the day Lou Holtz began making history. After reading it cover to cover, he made a list of 107 life goals. It provided the guiding force his life needed. To date, Holtz has achieved 102 of the 107 goals, including having dinner at the White House, being on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, coaching a team to a National Championship, and becoming coach of the year. Big goals. Big achievements. Inspired by one little book.
The Magic of Thinking Big delivers three hundred pages of life-changing advice. While some people might say Schwartz’s advice is cliché, he zooms in on thinking and how it colors our future—either for better or worse. His talk is heavy on attitude and how negative attitudes will block our goals and positive attitudes foster actions to accomplish them. He walks us through how to stop making excuses, how to develop confidence, as well as how to generate ideas and create a life environment that will make us successful. He emphasizes that we should be doers (and how to get into the “Action Habit”) and guides us to set up 30-Day Improvement Guides for immediate action as we march toward ten-year goals.
Although the language is dated and there are references and analogies that aren’t considered politically correct today (which is to be expected in any 57-year-old book), Schwartz offers timeless advice on making the most of our lives and our dreams.
I’m a firm believer that autumn is a new beginning and the perfect time to establish goals. Why not pick up a copy of The Magic of Thinking Big this August and use Schwartz’s guidance to help build your long-term goals. Oh! And don’t forget to look back at last summer’s planning blogs for help with establishing specific tasks!
Dreaming Big: anything-but-ordinary.html
The Five-Year Plan: planning-part-two-charting-your-5-year-plan.html
The One-Year Plan: planning-part-three-your-one-year-roadmap.html
Charting Tasks: planning-part-four-setting-a-realistic-measurable-quarterly-plan.html
Aim high! Work hard! Your goals are just a few actions away.