A few years ago, I read this book called “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David J. Schwartz. The book was incredible back when I first read it, and I recently was hearing some praise coming from Tim Ferris’s podcast about the book, so I decided to revisit it.
I’m only a few pages deep and the wisdom of this book still astounds me. The timeless teachings that you can get from a book are truly portrayed in a work of art such as this one.
When it comes to success — whether you’re chasing success in business, personal lifestyle or elsewhere — habits are everything. To be healthy, one needs to form the habits of a healthy person (i.e. working out regularly, eating a healthy diet..). To be financially successful, one needs to do the things of a financially successful person (i.e. save money, invest in a diversified set of assets, own a piece of a business whether it’s a stock or startup..).
Similarly, our habits can be distilled into positive and negative ones. Schwartz uses this great example of imagining a horrible day. Just imagine a day where you tell yourself the weather sucks or the traffic is horrible. Then play that out in your mind.
Your day starts off with some small microcosm of suck and then it seeps — much like a viral disease — into the rest of your daily activities.
When you fall into the trap of negative thinking, then your entire thought patterns start to go negative. You start to see the glass as half empty in every situation that you find yourself. Suddenly, when someone cuts you off in traffic or the grocery store is out of your favorite drink, you feel as though it is a personal attack on you.
The inverse is that you can imagine an amazing day. You can see outside that the weather is gloomy and rainy but you can decide to appreciate that. Maybe you use that as an excuse to read a book or catch up on one of your favorite movies. Then, what could have easily been a shitty day turns into a great one. The glass appears half full in every situation you find yourself in. Suddenly, when the grocery store is out of your favorite drink, you see it as an opportunity to discover something new.
"And each time the victim makes the excuse, the excuse becomes imbedded deeper within his subconsciousness. Thoughts, positive or negative, grow stronger when fertilized with constant repetition. At first the victim of excusitis knows his alibi is more or less a lie. But the more frequently he repeats it, the more convinced he becomes that it is completely true, that the alibi is the real reason for his not being the success he should be." - The Magic of Thinking Big
“Thoughts, positive or negative, grow stronger when fertilized with constant repetition.” — reading this line evokes a great deal of excitement in me. It speaks directly to how I believe my daily life should be lived. I am always trying to form better habits.
In this context, forming better habits — i.e. eating healthy, going to the gym, putting together sound research on a stock pick/trade, saving money — can be looked at as fertilizing positivity with constant repetition.
Doing the right thing will make your life great. Doing the right thing with constant repetition will make you. It will cause a radical evolution in your ability to invest your money wisely or choose the right foods to stock in your refrigerator.
Positivity breeds positivity.