Actionable Book Summary: “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David J. Schwartz

The basic principles and concepts supporting ‘The Magic of Thinking Big’ come from the highest-pedigree sources… minds such as Emerson, who said, ‘Great men are those who see that thoughts rule the world.’ … Amazingly perceptive minds like Shakespeare, who observed, ‘There is nothing either good or bad except that thinking makes it so.’

The Magic of Thinking Big, page 3

The Magic of Thinking Big, by motivational coach and professor Dr. David J. Schwartz, is filled with lessons that illustrate how a subtle shift in thinking can help ordinary people achieve big success in life. Although the book was first published in 1959, there is growing scientific evidence now that having a positive outlook has a myriad of benefits.

This book has plenty of actionable advice on how we can shift our thinking. I found the lessons around using action to cure fear and a “sell-yourself-to-yourself” commercial to be very practical. I write about these in more detail below.

As Emerson’s and Shakespeare’s quotes show, our thoughts have a significant influence on our behavior. If you’re looking for ways to elevate your thinking or perhaps get out of a bit of a rut, this book can be a great place to start.

Continue reading the summary here.

This summary was written for the Actionable Book Club – a book club where members read a business/leadership/self-help book every month and summarize their biggest takeaways. If you’re interested in learning more about the Actionable Book Club check us out here.

To see the full collection of over 1000 book summaries – available for free – visit

Weekly Learnings Roundup (June 25, 2017)

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Learning Roundup. These bite-sized, weekly posts are designed to give you a quick hit of interesting learnings and articles I came across this week.

It’s a motley assortment of tips, resources, and links that will hopefully give you a bit of inspiration for the upcoming week. Enjoy!

What I’m reading —

6 Healthy Relationship Habits Most People Think Are Toxic by Mark Manson

Lots of valuable gems in here for anyone in a relationship (or looking to be in one). The first point “Letting Some Conflicts Go Unresolved” is a counter intuitive one. In his research of thousands of happily married couples, John Gottman (who’s basically the godfather of relationship research) highlights that “the idea that couples must communicate and resolve all their problems is a myth”. There will always be persistent disagreements and annoyances; it’s the couples that can let go of them that do the best in the long term.

Book that I’m enjoying —

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee

An incredibly well-told chronicle of the gene. From the original discovery of the gene by an obscure German scientist to the DNA double helix by Watson and Crick to the current possibilities of gene editing, this is a fascinating look at the most important building block of all living things. There are massive implications in this book on the future of humanity. It’s a hefty read but worth the exploration.

A quote that’s inspiring me —

Finding your passion isn’t just about careers and money. It’s about finding your authentic self. The one you’ve buried beneath other people’s needs.

— Kristin Hannah

Product I’m loving —

Webber Naturals Magnesium Citrate Powder

In a previous Weekly Learnings post, I highlighted the impact that magnesium supplementation has had on my health and particularly my sleep. (In an upcoming post, I’ll share how my sleep efficiency increased by 83% likely due to adding 450mg of magnesium to my diet). Webber Naturals is the one that’s been working for me but there are a lot of quality options for magnesium citrate that are affordable. Make sure you add it to hot water so it dissolves properly and dulls the strong berry flavour.

Featured image via Pexels.

As always, thanks for checking out this Weekly Learnings Roundup. Follow me on Twitter @peternakamura to see the full list of articles that I share on a daily basis.

Actionable Book Summary: “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius

The second step: Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being… Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy.

Meditations (page 102)

Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD) was a Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD. He is known as the last of the Five Good Emperors and is considered one of the most important Stoic philosophers. His book, Meditations, was written as a personal guidebook to answer some of the greatest questions of life. Why are we here? How should we live our lives? How should we ensure that we do what is right?

Meditations is a popular book read by leaders in business, politics, sports, and many other fields. The lessons, even after almost 2000 years, are still applicable to the challenges that we face today. Aurelius shares his take on a wide range of topics including the importance of humility, the transient nature of human life, and how our mission as people is to help each other. Although I am an amateur when it comes to Greek and Roman philosophy, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Meditations and found the lessons highly applicable to my life.

If you haven’t already read Meditations, I would recommend putting it on your list soon. I specifically recommend the translation by Gregory Hays as it does a fantastic job making it accessible for modern readers.Continue reading the summary here.

This summary was written for the Actionable Book Club – a book club where members read a business/leadership/self-help book every month and summarize their biggest takeaways. If you’re interested in learning more about the Actionable Book Club check us out here. To see the full collection of over 900 book summaries – available for free – visit

Weekly Learnings Roundup (May 1, 2016)

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Learning Roundup. These bite-sized, weekly posts are designed to give you a quick hit of interesting learnings and articles I came across this week.

This week, I want to highlight the importance of reading. If you’re looking to become successful or become a more well-rounded human being, reading and accumulating knowledge is an essential part of that journey. In the Quartz article below, most successful people like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates are reading at least a book or two a month. As Buffet says, reading and accumulating knowledge is like compound interest, the more that you accumulate the faster it compounds. It makes sense. If you have more tried and tested ideas from books in your mind stimulating creativity and clarity, the more successful you’ll be at connecting the dots in your own life.

I especially like reading books because I find the standard of writing to be higher than blog posts or articles. You’ll also find yourself being immersed into that book for the duration of the reading experience that you’ll start thinking about the ideas even when you’re not reading the book. In the links below, I have a quick recommendation below for a resource called Goodreads on how you can keep track of all the books you want to read and even set a goal for your reading habit.

Enjoy this week’s roundup!

Favourite links from the week:

If you want to be like Warren Buffett and Bill Gates, adopt their voracious reading habits (Quartz)

America’s obsession with adult coloring is a cry for help (Quartz)

A new study suggests mindfulness isn’t quite as miraculous as we’ve been led to believe (Quartz)

People Won’t Grow If You Think They Can’t Change (Harvard Business Review)

My 10 Favorite Purchases in 10 Months (Tim Ferriss)

Productivity tip of the week:

Keeping a meditation journal

If you spend some time meditating, I recommend keeping a meditation journal. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a long-form journal but just an opportunity to jot down on a few notes on how your meditation went. I like to put down a score between 1 to 10 to give myself a sense of how my meditation session went. Eventually, I begin to identify commonalities between good meditation sessions (e.g. better focus on breathing) and be honest with myself on whether I’m putting in my best effort during my meditation. I like using Moleskin notebooks – particularly the small pocket size version – for this practice.

Free service I’m loving:


This is probably the best website I’ve found when it comes to organizing your to-read list, keeping track of books you’ve read, and discover books you want to read next. Goodreads is basically a community of book lovers that rate, comment, and organize books of all varieties. They have a pretty decent user interface to keep track of books that you want to read and even allows you to set a “Reading Challenge” for the year. I highly recommend checking it out (it’s free) and look up a few books you’d like to read next!

A podcast that I’m enjoying:


Personally, I think the team at Radiolab make some of the most entertaining and educating audio episodes available on the web. The stories are all so unique and well researched and the hosts, Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, make the topics accessible with their low-key, friendly banter. I’ve learned a lot about the world from goats in the Galapagos to a genome editing technology called CRISPR to the world of K-POP. There is no topic these guys won’t approach with curiosity. It’s a really good podcast to listen to as you’re winding your day down.

A quote that I’m pondering:

“Don’t let a bad day make you feel like you have a bad life.” —Unknown

As always, thank you to those that liked, re-tweeted, or commented on my Tweets. See you on next week’s round up!

Links of the Week (Nov. 8-14)


This week’s Links of the Week is short and sweet. We’ve got one link to a “Top 10” book list and a couple of articles on employee engagement and startups. Enjoy!


Lessons Every Startup Can Learn From The Hotel Industry (Inc.)

So why isn’t disrupting a market with a fanatical focus on delivering the best quality customer service considered a barrier to entry? Can customer service become an investable competitive advantage?

This article was by-far the most popular Tweet of the week – and for good reason. It makes a compelling case that startups can use excellent customer service as a barrier to entry against competition. So much of the startup world is focused on creating a better app or developing new technology, but customer service can be a key differentiator – just look at Zappos as an example.

There are a lot of great tactics from the hotel world that the article recommends to improving your customer service including never saying “no”, managers being on the frontline, and honouring loyalty over price. If your startup is looking for a way to distinguish itself, consider customer service – it’ll make your customers and staff happy to be working with you.


Employee Engagement: Building Bridges (David Zinger)

On a Bhosporous ferry ride in Istanbul I saw the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge near the Black Sea. I believe this is an iconic image for work on employee engagement…I love how the bridge is being built from both sides. In employee engagement, engagement must be built by both the employee and the organization.

Great visual and metaphor of what it means to develop employee engagement. Both sides have to be open and ready to engage, and there’s much more than meets the eye. Building a bridge can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience but it takes a lot of coordination and hard work.


Top 10 ‘Start Your Own Business’ Books of 2015 (Inc.)

2015 could arguably be named the “year of the entrepreneur.” Shark Tank became must-see TV, the SEC allowed regular folks to invest in startups, and has become one of the most-visited business websites in the world.

I’m excited to check out Guy Kawasaki’s new book The Art of the Start and Jay Samit’s Disrupt You! Darren Hardy (from SUCCESS) also has a new book out called The Entrepreneur Rollercoaster which may be an interesting read for managing the emotional rollercoaster of being an entrepreneur. Either way, it’s a good list if you’re planning out your 2016 reading list.

Some great articles this week. Thank you to those that liked, re-tweeted, or commented on the posts. Looking forward to next week’s roundup!