Jessica La

How to Start Anything: The Magic Of Thinking Big

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What you'll learn...

“The size of bank accounts, the size of happiness accounts, and the size of one’s general satisfaction account is dependent on the size of one’s thinking. There is magic in thinking big.

Why you should read this book

If I tell you that you can achieve anything you want, as long as you believe you can, would you believe me? I’m sure at one point, when the Wright brothers said they wanted to fly like a bird and set off to invent something that would enable such, someone would have laughed at the sheer impossibility of it. Sure enough, in 1903, they created the world’s first successful airplane that took flight.

How did they do it? Well, it came down to 2 keys things:

  1. They believed they could and,
  2. They took the necessary actions to fulfill their belief.

While the actual methodology and experiments they took are beyond the scope of this blog post, ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ however, tells all about the first and arguably most important sequence to their success. It’s the book to read not only for the inspiration to start, but to start something big.

To start what, you ask? Anything and everything, such as starting that business, or starting a freelance programming career; taking better care of your health or getting the grades you want; taking your hobbies and passion and making something out of it

You know, to start that thing you always wanted to do, but never did, because you were too afraid to ask, or didn’t feel qualified enough or 100 other reasons.

And beyond that, to think bigger because we all often fall under the fallacy of selling ourselves sort: I can never achieve X because I am simply not Y enough!

I’d like to note that inspiration is not a word I like to use often, only because inspiration, much like motivation, is fickle and not sustainable. Success in anything requires a degree of effort and hard work, and when the going gets tough, there is no relying on lofty things like inspiration and motivation to get you going. Therefore, it’s important that you develop the discipline and habit to follow through, always. 

So when I say you read a book for an inspiration to start, I mean you read this book to understand the tools and principals that will lay the foundation for what it takes to be successful in whatever it is that you want to set off to achieve.

This is a book delineating success principles in anecdotal ways widely known if you’re familiar with the genre of personal development. However, it’s also a fantastic book to reference whenever you need to be reminded of why you’re doing what you’re doing, or why you should start, and to start big. 

And of course, the start to anything begins with a start to shifting your thinking.

The Key learnings

The things you believe in will be what you end up getting

Firstly, there is a fundamental difference between belief and wishful thinking. You can wish for a supercar, but that won’t mean you’ll get one. However, believe you can get a supercar and, you will. Wishing for things won’t get you success, but believing in success will give you success.

When you understand that belief is an attitude, then you’ll understand that your beliefs will inspire the power, skills and energy needed to achieve such goals. It is the first means of achieving anything.

“When you believe I-can-do-it, the how-to-do-it develops.”

If success is an attitude, so is failure

Failure is an attitude. Success is also an attitude. Therefore, you have the power to choose the attitude of the outcome you want to have. You have control over your attitude, and thus, you always have the power to determine the outcome of your future.

Additionally, avoid the excuses of health, intelligence, age and luck. The characteristics that we embody are a hinderance only when we think it is. Likewise, those same characteristics are also assets when we believe it is.

Think you’re too old to do something? Fauja Singh ran his first marathon at 90 and continued running marathons until he was 100.

Think you’re not intelligent enough? What use is intelligence if you don’t know how to use the knowledge you acquire?  Knowledge is potential power, and it is our thinking that gives knowledge power, not intelligence.

Rather than spending time thinking of why you can’t, develop the attitude to start thinking why and how you can.

Think Confident

So how do you develop the attitude to believe you can? You develop confidence and overcome your fears.

First, remember that all confidence is acquired and developed. It is not something any of us are born with. When you start to feel fear – isolate it, understand exactly what it is you are afraid of and then take action. Action almost immediately cures fear.

Think back to all the times when you had to do something that you dreaded: that 6th grade speech, getting that essay started, important presentations, going in for that job interview. Now remember the relief you felt every time you got through it, even just starting it. That’s the action curing your fear.

I would know, I got my job as an AI analyst with no experience, degree or relevant industry knowledge. And I did it just by thinking confidently and taking action. 

As the maxim goes, to think confidently you must act confidently: fake it till you make it.

In order to conquer your fears, you’ll need to repeat that same action that cures it, over and over. In addition, start making eye contact with people, or speaking up in class or meetings. The more you do it, the less you’ll start to fear it, and the more confident you will become.

Think Creative

Then, start to think creatively. Creativity exists everywhere. Creativity is innovation, and innovation is just finding new and better ways of doing pretty much anything.

As an example, before voice-to-text on Youtube search bars existed, I once observed my little sister, who was 4-5 years old at the time and couldn’t spell very well, ask Siri: ‘spell (insert cartoon)’. Siri would answer her, and my sister would then type the letters she saw from Siri’s answer on the Youtube search bar.  

It was a surprising and interesting thing to see: she had found a creative solution to not being able to spell what she wanted to watch when no one was around to help. It proves to me all the more that we all have it in ourselves to be creative in every aspects of our lives, no matter why we think we aren’t. 

In other words: Creativity exists beyond occupations, competence and intelligence. Creativity exists when we think we can. 

Think BIG

And to sum it up, you can’t think creatively without thinking big: don’t close yourself off. Always seek progress, don’t limit your capacity, initiate friendships and always learn by listening to those around you.

Ensure that you are conversationally generous, and by that, I mean, listen more. I’m guilty for being a chatterbox, but I find that when I focus on listening, I get so much more out of the conversation. 

When you monopolize listening in conversations, you: a.) learn more and b.) will make people like you (people love to talk about themselves). 

“Everything in this world is just ideas acted upon. Be someone who does things.”

It’s a great slogan, and a big cliché, but if you ever wonder if you want to do something, just do it.

You don’t need permission and you don’t need everything to be perfect. You start, you take action and you deal with each problem one at a time. Understand that fear, doubt, no-motivation, procrastination are all cured by taking action.

Above all, taking action will never be as scary as wondering of what might’ve been.

Therefore, set goals. Set big goals. Think where you want to be in 5, 10 years times, and start working towards it. Think big, but take the small steps that take you one step closer towards your goal.

“The important thing is not where you were or where you are but where you want to get.”

Lead by thinking big

When you start to think big, creatively, confidently and put people first, people will like you and the more people that like you, the more they will support you.

Gaining the support of others is the key step in achieving what you want.

Here are 4 effective leadership principles:

  1. Think like those you want to influence. Understand them, and give them what they want.
  2. Ask yourself, what is the human way to handle this?
  3. Always strive for progress and progression, no matter how small.
  4. Listen to yourself, confer with yourself. We often hear so much noise from the world that we forget to take some time out and listen and have a conversation with ourselves. Managed solitude pays.

In a nutshell…

Think big, then think bigger. Believe in yourself, what you are doing and keep taking one step at a time towards your goals.

Like most books, but particularly this one, you can only benefit from it if you take action as you read. You’ll gain insights into the things stopping you from starting, namely fear and not believing in yourself.

For instance, think back to all the accomplishments in your life. I’m sure you would never have achieved those goals if you didn’t think or believed you could in the first place.

To sum up, starting is often the hardest thing to do, but it’s also the simplest thing to do to achieve something great.

Action Points

  1. First, think about what your goals are and write them down. What is the sort of person you want to be in 5 years time? Where do you want to be financially? Who do you want around you? If the mere thought of your goals aren’t scaring you, then it’s not big enough.
  2. Then, break down your goals and work backwards. What are the steps that will help you reach it? What are the things you’ll need to do? How can you quantify things to measure your progress?
  3. Track it. You can only achieve what you can measure, and softwares like Goals on Track keep you accountable and help you really know how you’re going.
  4. In addition, start believing in yourself by taking action and acquiring confidence. Belief doesn’t come instantly, so take the time to foster it. If you want to be good at public speaking, start doing what a good public speaker does such as speaking up more in everyday situations and taking classes. Through action, you’ll gain confidence, and then you’ll find belief.

And last, but not least, don’t sell yourself short. There is no dream too big and no dream too silly to not pursue.

Good luck!

Jessica La

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Jessica La

Hi, I’m Jessica 👋 — and I write content read by 500K+ monthly tech/marketing readers.

I focus on effective PR for growth at the highest quality. And I get results. Fast. 

My shtick?

Great products deserve to be seen and used.

And I create great content with high-quality links to help you achieve that.

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