Action cures fear
We often look ways how to improve ourselves, how to be successful and how to get motivation. World is full of different books and videos giving different tips on how to do so. David Schwartz book The Magic of Thinking Big is a self-help book published in 1959.
When we are asked what we want to do if we could do anything the answers might be getting a bigger house, traveling, getting a better job or to be rich. When asked why we have not done those things we have endless list of excuses in our back pocket. What is really stopping us achieving our dreams is ourselves thinking too small. According to Schwartz thinking big takes you anywhere you want to. Everything depends on how you feed your mind, was it good or bad thoughts. Besides positive thoughts you need to have willpower.
Most people cannot think big. For example, lot of people I know only want a ‘decent’ job once they graduate. Not even a good one just decent. That is their biggest plan for their life. I have few friends who are ambitious and want to have their own business and be millionaires but the percentage of this people is rather low. The biggest problem most people have is they cannot think big. If you can’t even do the first step right, there is no hope. If your biggest vision decent job you cannot expect anything great to happen. It’s just like setting the finish line 100 meters away from you every time you run you are not going to be great marathon runner if 100 meters is what you are aiming at. There’s many steps you need to take before being successful after you are able to think big else it’s just called delusional. You need work hard and work smart.
I have been always a person who thinks big, it is in my blood. I have gotten the example from my dad. He never stays still, he works all the time in new projects and ideas. He has never had just a ‘decent’ from 9 to 5 job. He has always been an entrepreneur and finding his ways to be successful. It doesn’t mean he hasn’t ever failed. He has and badly but it is the attitude that differentiates people who think big and the ones who think small.
One of the main points Schwartz gives is value yourself, believe in yourself. Even it sounds bit cliché but most people cannot even believe they could earn millions one day. Some might even think ‘I won’t be anything and do not deserve to be around successful people’. I feel when I surround myself with successful people or hear their stories it just motivates me more and makes me realize I could be like that person one day. I prefer to surround myself with people with similar mindsets. When done so it is easier to share my dreams and get support on achieving them. If you want me to be your business partner but you do not believe you could make million dollars why would I even consider working with you. If you put a low price tag on yourself, you cannot expect others to put any higher price tag on you. There is a lot of true in what Henry Ford said ‘ The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he cannot are both right.’ It is up to us which one we choose to be.
According to Schwartz many people suffer from excusitus. It means always finding excuses for everything: I am too young, I am too old, I have not graduated yet, I do not have money or I have children. It is always finding an excuse for not making your dreams reality. If you are going to be a person always finding excuses, you will be the only one feeling sorry for yourself. If you do not end up there where you want to be it is consequence of the decisions you made. Sometimes I find myself finding excuses. I often postpone taking actions on working towards my goals. Now my excuse is that I have been busy and once I go on exchange I will have more time to work on myself. This is partly true and partly excuse. The real issue is bad time management and little laziness and the belief I can learn things later instead of now. The first step is to start thinking big, I have already taken that step long time ago, now I need to look more into the 20 other steps how to actually make it happen. Knowing myself I will still find few more excuses before really starting to work on myself.
Schwartz tells us to smash those limited beliefs and insecurities we have and delete impossible from our vocabulary. One thing that really made me think is action cures fear. If we are afraid of something we just have to get it done. After getting it done will give you a winner feeling. When you feel you can accomplish the impossible in one are it means you can accomplish it other areas of your life. When I was 17-years-old I went to Mexico. I was so afraid of speaking Spanish, I felt if I did not know it correctly I would fail so instead of trying to speak it I would just speak English. In the middle of my exchange I was put to give a presentation in Spanish in a full room of people. I was so nervous. After I survived that I felt yes I can do this. Every time I feel nervous of speaking publicly I look back to that moment and think if I was able to do it in my third language I can easily do it in my mother tongue. We need to put ourselves in a positions where we are capable of doing things and getting experiences that prove our old beliefs wrong. After that I have been facing my fears and taking new challenges. I am now in that point I do not fear the next steps.
Schwartz tells about the importance of depositing positive memories into your memory bank. We cannot focus on negative memories, it will feed our minds and keep us from moving forward. I am guilty of this. I tempt to think a lot of old memories and not always the good ones. I think about the things I am not the proudest of or moments I could have handled better. It does not really stop me moving forward. I just have high expectations of myself and being self-critical. I know I should forget those negative thoughts and focus more on thinking the moments I am proud of. However, I do not regret any decisions even if the lead to failure, they were just learning experiences and want to make me do even better next time.
The book is all about thinking big, believing big and playing big. Step one is to believe in yourself that you can succeed. We need to think confidently and to act confidently. My motto often is ‘fake it till you make it’ it is impossible to know everything put it is possible to make others think like you would. We should start to act already like that person we want to be. If we want to be successful we should already pick up those habits successful people have. It is time to take actions, if you have an idea work for it. We need to be persistent, have patience and keep on going. We have to see the long term. This book made me realize that I am a big thinker put the biggest lesson I got out of it was how small thinkers think and how I could help motivate them and help them to overcome their fears.