PSYCHO- CYBERNETICS, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life BY MAXWELL MALTZ, M.D.,F.I.C.S. FOREWORD: The Secret of Using This Book to. (Promise) soundofheaven.info > With this link. Psycho Cybernetics. (Self help book). Best Seller with over 35 million copies sold, by Dr Maxwell Maltz. The new psycho-cybernetics: the original science of self-improvement and success that has changed the lives of 30 million people / by Maxwell Maltz: edited.
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Maltz, Maxwell, The new psycho-cybernetics: the original science of self-improvement and success that has changed the lives of 30 million people. Free in-depth book summary of Maxwell Maltz' book Psycho-Cybernetics. Also in PDF. Dr. Maxwell Maltz, M.D., F.I.C.S., received his baccalaureate in science from PSYCHO-CYBERNETICS, A New Way to Get More Living Out of Life BY.
Abraham Lincoln once said, "God must have loved the common people for he made so many of them. Most of the pros, said Bulla, have one or more serious flaws in their "form. See yourself acting, feeling, "being," as you want to be. Let me repeat here Dr. They frequently cut deep into the psyche as well.
Instinctively, your hand will begin to "grope" back and forth, performing zigzag motions or "scanning" rejecting one object after another, until the cigarettes are found and "recognized. Recalling a name temporarily forgotten is another example. A "Scan- ner" in your brain scans back through your stored memo- ries until the correct name is "recognized.
First of all, a great deal of data must be fed into the machine. This stored, or recorded information is the machine's "memory. It scans back through its memory until it locates the only "answer" which is consistent with and meets all the conditions of the problem.
Problem and answer together constitute a "whole" situation or structure. When part of the situation or structure the problem is given to the machine, it locates the only "missing parts," or the right size brick, so to speak, to complete the structure.
The more that is learned about the human brain, the more closely it resembles—insofar as function is concerned —a servo-mechanism. For example, Dr. Wilder Penfield, director of the Montreal Neurological Institute, recently reported at a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, that he had discovered a recording mechanism in a small area of the brain, which apparently records everything that a person has ever experienced, observed or learned.
During a brain operation in which the patient was fully awake, Dr. Penfield happened to touch a small area of the cortex with a surgical instrument. At once the patient exclaimed that she was "reliving" an incident from her childhood, which she had consciously forgotten. Fur- ther experiments along this line brought the same results. When certain areas of the cortex were touched, patients did not merely "remember" past experiences, they "re- lived" them, experiencing as very real all the sights, sounds and sensations of the original experience.
It was just as if past experiences had been recorded on a tape recorder and played back. Just how a mechanism as small as the human brain can store such a vast amount of in- formation is still a mystery. British neurophysicist W. Grey Walter has said that at least ten billion electronic cells would be needed to build a facsimile of man's brain.
Power required to operate it would be one billion watts. A Look at the Automatic Mechanism in Action We marvel at the awesomeness of interceptor missiles which can compute in a flash the point of interception of another missile and "be there" at the correct instant to make contact.
Yet, are we not witnessing something just as wonderful each time we see a center fielder catch a fly ball? In order to compute where the ball will fall, or where the "point of interception" will be, he must take into account the speed of the ball, its curvature of fall, its direction, wind- age, initial velocity and the rate of progressive decrease in velocity. He must make these computations so fast that he will be able to "take off" at the crack of the bat.
Next, he must compute just how fast he must run, and in what direction in order to arrive at the point of interception at the same time the ball does. The center fielder doesn't even think about this. His built-in goal-striving mechanism computes it for him from data which he feeds it through his eyes and ears. The computer in his brain takes this in- formation, compares it with stored data memories of other successes and failures in catching fly balls.
All necessary computations are made in a flash and orders are issued to his leg muscles—and he "just runs. Wiener has said that at no time in the foreseeable future will scientists be able to construct an electronic brain anywhere near comparable to the human brain. It has no imag- ination and cannot set goals for itself. It cannot determine which goals are worthwhile and which are not. It has no emotions. It cannot "feel. Many great thinkers of all ages have believed that man's "stored information" is not limited to his own memories of past experiences, and learned facts.
Edison believed that he got some of his ideas from a source outside himself. Once, when complimented for a creative idea, he disclaimed credit, saying that "ideas are in the air," and if he had not discovered it, someone else would have. Rhine, head of Duke University's Para- psychology Laboratory, has proved experimentally that man has access to knowledge, facts, and ideas, other than his own individual memory or stored information from learning or experience.
Telepathy, clairvoyance, precogni- tion have been established by scientific laboratory experi- ments. His findings, that man possesses some "extra sen- sory factor," which he calls "Psi," are no longer doubted by scientists who have seriously reviewed his work. As Professor R. Rhine, "that there is a ca- pacity for acquiring knowledge that transcends the sen- sory functions.
This extra sensory capacity can give us knowledge certainly of objective and very likely of sub- jective states, knowledge of matter and most probably of minds. Many creative artists, as well as psychologists who have made a study of the creative process, have been impressed by the similarity of creative inspiration, sudden revelation, intuition, etc.
Searching for a new idea, or an answer to a problem, is in fact, very similar to searching memory for a name you have forgotten. You know that the name is "there," or else you would not search. The scanner in your brain scans back over stored memories until the desired name is "recognized" or "discovered. Norbert Wiener has said, "Once a scientist attacks a problem which he knows to have an answer, his entire attitude is changed.
He is already some fifty per cent of his way toward that answer. If you really mean business, have an intense desire, and begin to think intensely about all angles of the problem—your creative mechanism goes to work—and the "scanner" we spoke of earlier begins to scan back through stored information, or "grope" its way to an answer.
It selects an idea here, a fact there, a series of former experiences, and relates them—or "ties them to- gether" into a meaningful whole which will "fill out" the incompleted portion of your situation, complete your equation, or "solve" your problem. When this solution is served up to your consciousness—often at an unguarded moment when you are thinking of something else—or per- haps even as a dream while your consciousness is asleep —something "clicks" and you at once "recognize" this as the answer you have been searching for.
In this process, does your creative mechanism also have access to stored information in a universal mind? Numer- ous experiences of creative workers would seem to indi- cate that it does. How else, for example, explain the ex- perience of Louis Agassiz, told by his wife: Weary and perplexed, he put his work aside at last and tried to dismiss it from his mind. Shortly after, he waked one night persuaded that while asleep he had seen his fish with all the missing features perfectly restored.
In vain—the blurred record was as blank as ever. The next night he saw the fish again, but when he waked it disappeared from his memory as before. Hoping the same experience might be repeated, on the third night he placed a pencil and paper beside his bed before going to sleep. He hastened to the Jardin des Plantes and, with his drawing as a guide, succeeded in chiseling away the surface of the stone under which portions of the fish proved to be hidden.
When wholly exposed, the fossil corresponded with his dream and his drawing, and he suc- ceeded in classifying it with ease. There must be some grounds, some justification, some reason for deciding that the old picture of self is in error, and that a new picture is appropriate.
You cannot merely imagine a new self-image; unless you feel that it is based upon truth. Experience has shown that when a per- son does change his self-image, he has the feeling that for one reason or another, he "sees," or realizes the truth about himself.
Science has now confirmed what philosophers, mystics, and other intuitive people have long declared: Every human being has access to a power greater than himself. This means "YOU. Read this chapter through at least three times per week for the first 21 days. Study it and digest it Look for ex- amples in your experiences, and the experiences of your friends, which illustrate the creative mechanism in action. Memorize the following basic principles by which your success mechanism operates.
You do not need to be an electronic engineer, or a physicist, to operate your own servo-mechanism, any more than you have to be able to engineer an automobile in order to drive one, or become an electrical engineer in order to turn on the light in your room.
You do need to be familiar with the following, however, because having memorized them, they will throw "new light" on what is to follow: Your built-in success mechanism must have a goal or "target. It operates by either 1 steering you to a goal already in existence or by 2 "discovering" some- thing already in existence. The automatic mechanism is teleological, that is, oper- ates, or must be oriented to "end results," goals. Do not be discouraged because the "means whereby" may not be apparent.
It is the function of the automatic mechanism to supply the "means whereby" when you supply the goal. Think in terms of the end result, and the means whereby will often take care of themselves. Do not be afraid of making mistakes, or of temporary failures.
All servo-mechanisms achieve a goal by nega- tive feedback, or by going forward, making mistakes, and immediately correcting course. Skill learning of any kind is accomplished by trial and error, mentally correcting aim after an error, until a "successful" motion, movement or performance has been achieved.
You must learn to trust your creative mechanism to do its work and not "jam it" by becoming too concerned or too anxious as to whether it will work or not, or by attempting to force it by too much conscious effort. You must "let it" work, rather than "make it" work. This trust is necessary because your creative mecha- nism operates below the level of consciousness, and you cannot "know" what is going on beneath the surface.
Moreover, its nature is to operate spontaneously according to present need. Therefore, you have no guarantees in advance. It comes into operation as you act and as you place a demand upon it by your actions. You must not wait to act until you have proof—you must act as if it is there, and it will come through. I have seen this demonstrated many times in my prac- tice.
A particularly memorable instance of this fact con- cerned a patient who was literally forced to visit my office by his family. He was a man of about 40, unmarried, who held down a routine job during the day and kept himself in his room when the work day was over, never going any- where, never doing anything.
He had had many jobs and never seemed able to stay with any of them for any great length of time. His problem was that he had a rather large nose and ears that protruded a little more than is normal. He considered himself "ugly" and "funny looking. He hardly felt "safe" even in his own home.
The poor man even imag- ined that Ms family was "ashamed" of him because he was "peculiar looking," not like "other people. His nose was of the "classical Roman" type, and his ears, though somewhat large, attracted no more attention than those of thousands of people with similar ears. I saw that he did not need surgery. He was not really ugly. People did not consider him odd and laugh at him because of his appearance. His imagination alone was responsible for his misery.
His imagination had set up an automatic, negative, failure mechanism within him and it was operating full blast, to his extreme misfortune.
Fortunately, after several sessions with him, and with the help of his family, he was able gradually to realize that the power of his own imagination was responsible for his plight, and he succeeded in build- ing up a true self-image and achieving the confidence he needed by applying creative imagination rather than de- structive imagination. It enters into our every act. For imagination sets the goal "picture" which our automatic mechanism works on.
We act, or fail to act, not because of "will," as is so commonly be- lieved, but because of imagination. A human being always acts and feels and performs in accordance with what he imagines to be true about him- self and his environment. This is a basic and fundamental law of mind.
It is the way we are built. When we see this law of mind graphically and dramati- cally demonstrated in a hypnotized subject, we are prone to think that there is something occult or supra-normal at work. Actually, what we are witnessing is the normal operating processes of the human brain and nervous system. For example, if a good hypnotic subject is told that he is at the North Pole he will not only shiver and appear to be cold, his body will react just as if he were cold and goose pimples will develop.
Thermometer readings show that the temperature does drop in the "treated" hand. Tell a hypnotized sub- ject that your finger is a red hot poker and he will not only grimace with pain at your touch, but his cardiovas- cular and lymphatic systems will react just as if your finger were a red hot poker and produce inflammation and perhaps a blister on the skin. When college students, wide awake, have been told to imagine that a spot on their fore- heads was hot, temperature readings have shown an actual increase in skin temperature.
Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a "real" experience. In either case, it reacts automatically to information which you give to it from your forebrain. Your nervous system reacts appropriately to what "you" think or imagine to be true. The Secret of "Hypnotic Power" Dr. Theodore Xenophon Barber has conducted exten- sive research into the phenomena of hypnosis, both when he was associated with the psychology department of American University in Washington, D.
C, and also after becoming associated with the Laboratory of Social Rela- tions at Harvard. Writing in Science Digest recently he said: When the hypnotist has guided the subject to the point where he is convinced that the hypnotist's words are true statements, the subject then behaves differently because he thinks and believes differently.
The mysterious force or power does not exist. A little reflection will show why it is a very good thing for us that we do feel and act according to what we be- lieve or imagine to be true. Truth Determines Action and Behavior The human brain and nervous system are engineered to react automatically and appropriately to the problems and challenges in the environment.
For example, a man does not need to stop and think that self-survival requires that he run if he meets a grizzly bear on a trail. He does not need to decide to become afraid. The fear response is both automatic and appropriate. First, it makes him want to flee. The fear then triggers bodily mechanisms which "soup up" his muscles so that he can run faster than he has ever run before.
His heart beat is quickened. Adrena- lin, a powerful muscle stimulant, is poured into the bloodstream. All bodily functions not necessary to run- ning are shut down. The stomach stops working and all available blood is sent to the muscles. Breathing is much faster and the oxygen supply to the muscles is increased manifold. All this, of course, is nothing new. Most of us learned it in high school. What we have not been so quick to realize, however, is that the brain and nervous system which re- acts automatically to environment is the same brain and nervous system which tells us what the environment is.
The reactions of the man meeting the bear are commonly thought of as due to "emotion" rather than to ideas. In short, the man on the trail reacted to what he thought, or believed or imagined the environment to be. The "messages" brought to us from the environment consist of nerve impulses from the various sense organs.
These nerve impulses are de- coded, interpreted and evaluated in the brain and made known to us in the form of ideas or mental images. In the final analysis it is these mental images that we react to. You act, and feel, not according to what things are really like, but according to the image your mind holds of what they are like.
You have certain mental images of yourself, your world, and the people around you, and you behave as though these images were the truth, the reality, rather than the things they represent. Let us suppose, for example, that the man on the trail had not met a real bear, but a movie actor dressed in a bear costume.
If he thought and imagined the actor to be a bear, his emotional and nervous reactions would have been exactly the same. Or let us suppose he met a large shaggy dog, which his fear-ridden imagination mistook for a bear.
Again, he would react automatically to what he believed to be true concerning himself and his environ- ment. It follows that if our ideas and mental images concern- ing ourselves are distorted or unrealistic, then our reac- tion to our environment will likewise be inappropriate.
Why Not Imagine Yourself Successful? Realizing that our actions, feelings and behavior are the result of our own images and beliefs gives us the lever that psychology has always needed for changing person- ality. It opens a new psychologic door to gaining skill, success, and happiness. This is possible because again—your nervous system can- not tell the difference between an actual experience and one that is vividly imagined.
If we picture ourselves performing in a certain manner, it is nearly the same as the actual performance. Mental practice helps to make perfect. In a controlled experiment, psychologist R.
Vandell proved that mental practice in throwing darts at a target, wherein the person sits for a period each day in front of the target, and imagines throwing darts at it, improves aim as much as actually throwing darts. Research Quarterly reports an experiment on the effects of mental practice on improving skill in sinking basketball free throws.
One group of students actually practiced throwing the ball every day for 20 days, and were scored on the first and last days. A second group was scored on the first and last days, and engaged in no sort of practice in between.
A third group was scored on the first day, then spent 20 minutes a day, imagining that they were throwing the ball at the goal.
When they missed they would imagine that they corrected their aim accordingly. The first group, which actually practiced 20 minutes every day, improved in scoring 24 per cent. The second group, which had no sort of practice, showed no improvement. The third group, which practiced in their imagination, improved in scoring 23 per cent! They Call It a Game. Yet, he lost the championship to a rather obscure player, Alekhine, who had given no hint that he even posed a serious threat to the great Capablanca.
The chess world was stunned by the upset, which today would be comparable to a Golden Gloves finalist defeat- ing the heavyweight champion of the world. Phillips tells us that Alekhine had trained for the match very much like a boxer conditioning himself for a fight.
He retired to the country, cut out smoking and drinking and did calisthenics. Roth tells how a group of salesmen in Detroit who tried a new idea increased their sales per cent. Another group in New York increased their sales by per cent. And individual salesmen, using the same idea, have increased their sales up to per cent.
Charles B. He says something or asks a question or raises an objection. If you always know how to counter what he says or an- swer his question or handle the objection, you make sales He will imagine the prospect throwing the widest kind of curves at him. Then he will work out the best answer to them. If you have an important interview coming up, such as making an application for a job, his advice was: Go over in your mind, all the various questions that you are likely to be asked.
Think about the answers you are going to give. Then "rehearse" the interview in your mind. Even if none of the questions you have rehearsed come up, the rehearsal practice will still work wonders. It gives you confidence. And even though real life has not set lines to be recited like a stage play, rehearsal practice will help you to ad lib and react spontaneously to whatever situa- tion you find yourself in, because you have practiced re- acting spontaneously.
Marston would say, ex- plaining that we are always acting out some role in life. Why not select the right role, the role of a successful per- son—and rehearse it? Marston said, "Frequently the next step in your career cannot be taken without first gaining some experience in the work you will be called upon to perform.
Bluff may open the door to a job you know nothing about but in nine cases out of ten it won't keep you from being fired when your inexperience becomes evident. There's only one way I know to project your practical knowledge beyond your present occupation and that is rehearsal planning.
He hated practice and sel- dom does practice for any length of time at the actual piano keyboard. When questioned about his small amount of practice, as compared with other concert pianists, he said, "I practice in my head.
Kop, of Holland, a recognized authority on teach- ing piano, recommends that all pianists "practice in their heads. It should be memorized, and played in the mind, before ever touching fingers to the keyboard. Imagination Practice Can Lower Your Golf Score Time magazine reported that when Ben Hogan is play- ing in a tournament, he mentally rehearses each shot, just before making it.
He makes the shot perfectly in his imagination—"feels" the clubhead strike the ball just as it should, "feels" himself performing the perfect follow- through—and then steps up to the ball, and depends upon what he calls "muscle memory" to carry out the shot just as he has imagined it.
Alex Morrison, perhaps the most well-known golf teacher in the world, has actually worked out a system of mental practice. Morrison had Lehr sit in an easy chair in his living room and relax while he demonstrated for him the correct swing and gave a brief lecture on the "Morrison Keys. Morrison goes on to tell how several days later, with no physical preparation whatever, Lehr joined his regular foursome, and amazed them by shooting 9 holes in an even par, The core of the Morrison system is "You must have a clear mental picture of the correct thing before you can do it successfully.
Johnny Bulla, the well-known professional golfer, wrote an article several years ago in which he said that having a clear mental image of just where you wanted the ball to go and what you wanted it to do was more important than "form" in golf. Most of the pros, said Bulla, have one or more serious flaws in their "form. It was Bulla's theory that if you would picture the end result—"see" the ball going where you wanted it to go, and have the confidence to "know" that it was going to do what you wanted, your subcon- scious would take over and direct your muscles correctly.
The Real Secret of Mental Picturing Successful men and women have, since the beginning of; time, used "mental pictures," and "rehearsal practice," to achieve success. Napoleon, for example, "practiced" sol- diering, in his imagination, for many years before he ever went on an actual battlefield.
Webb and Morgan in their book Making the Most of Your Life, tell us that "the notes Napoleon made from his readings during these years of study filled, when printed, four hundred pages. He imagined himself as a commander, and drew maps of the island of Corsica showing where he would place various defenses, making all his calculations with mathe- matical precision. When a boy he used to "play" that he was a hotel operator. Henry J. Kaiser has said that each of his business ac- complishments was realized in his imagination before it appeared in actuality.
It is no wonder that the art of "mental picturing" has in the past sometimes been associated with "magic. Cybernetics regards the human brain, nervous system, and muscular system, as a highly complex "servo-mecha- nism. Morgan and Ewing T. Copyright, by John J. Reprinted by permission of Doubleday and Company, Inc. As stated earlier, this new concept does not mean that "YOU" are a machine, but that your physical brain and body functions as a machine which "YOU" operate.
This automatic creative mechanism within you can operate in only one way. It must have a target to shoot at. As Alex Morrison says, you must first clearly see a thing in your mind before you can do it. When you do see a thing clearly in your mind, your creative "success mech- anism" within you takes over and does the job much bet- ter than you could do it by conscious effort, or "will power. Thus, mental-picturing the desired end result, literally forces you to use "positive thinking.
Finding Your Best Self This same creative mechanism within you can help you achieve your best possible "self" if you will form a picture in your imagination of the self you wanted to be and "see yourself" in the new role.
This is a necessary condition to personality transformation, regardless of the method of therapy used. Somehow, before a person can change, he must "see" himself in a new role. Each day, he has his "students" close their eyes, relax the body as much as possible, and create a "mental motion picture" of themselves as they would like to be. In this mental motion picture they see themselves as sober, re- sponsible persons. They see themselves actually enjoying life without liquor.
This is not the only technique used by McGoldrick, but it is one of the basic methods used at "Bridge House" which has a higher record of cure for alcoholics than any other organization in the country. I myself have witnessed veritable miracles in personality transformation when an individual changes his self image. However, today we are only beginning to glimpse the potential creative power which stems from the human imagination, and particularly our images concerning our- selves.
Consider the implications, for example, in the fol- lowing news release, which appeared a couple of years ago under an Associated Press dateline: Some mental patients can improve their lot and perhaps shorten their stay in hospitals just by imagining they are normal, two psychologists with the Veterans Administration at Los Angeles reported.
Harry M. Grayson and Dr. Leonard B. Olinger told the American Psychological Assn. Then they were asked flatly to take the test a second time and answer the questions as they would if they were 'a typical, well-adjusted person on the outside. They had to imagine themselves in the role of a well- adjusted person. And this in itself was enough to cause them to begin "acting like" and "feeling like" a well- adjusted person.
We can begin to see why the late Dr. Albert Edward Wiggam called your mental picture of yourself "the strongest force within you. Such an image is as inappropriate and unrealistic as the inferior image of self. Our aim is to find the "real self," and to bring our mental images of our- selves more in line with "the objects they represent.
Actually, there is no such thing as a "superiority complex. How can you know the truth about yourself? How can you make a true evaluation? It seems to me that here psychology must turn to religion.
The Scriptures tell us that God created man "a little lower than the angels" and "gave him dominion"; that God created man in his own image. If we really believe in an all-wise, all-powerful, all-loving Creator, then we are in a position to draw some logical conclusions about that which He has created— Man.
Such a Creator would not deliberately engineer his product to fail, any more than a manufacturer would deliberately build failure into an automobile. The Fundamentalists tell us that man's chief purpose and reason for living is to "glorify God," and the Humanists tell us that man's pri- mary purpose is to "express himself fully. What brings more glory, pride, and satisfac- tion to a father than seeing his offspring do well, succeed and express to the full their abilities and talents?
Have you ever sat by the father of a football star during a game? Jesus expressed the same thought when he told us not to hide our light under a bushel, but to let our light shine —"so that your Father may be glorified. Leslie D. Weatherhead has said, "If.
That is a false picture and the false must go. God sees us as men and women in whom and through whom He can do a great work. He sees us as already serene, confident, and cheerful. He sees us not as pathetic victims of life, but masters of the art of living; not wanting sympathy, but imparting help to others, and therefore thinking less and less of ourselves, and full, not of self-concern, but of love and laughter and a desire to serve. Let us look at the real selves which are in the making the moment we believe in their existence.
We must recognize the possibility of change and believe in the self we are now in the process of becoming. That old sense of unworthiness and failure must go. It is false and we are not to believe in what is false. Harry Emerson Fosdick. Pic- ture yourself vividly as winning and that alone will con- tribute immeasurably to success. Great living starts with a picture, held in your imagination, of what you would like to do or be. Now you are to use the same method to build an adequate self-image that you previously used to build an inadequate one.
Set aside a period of 30 minutes each day where you can be alone and undisturbed. Relax and make yourself as comfortable as possible.
Now close your eyes and exer- cise your imagination. Many people find they get better results if they imagine themselves sitting before a large motion picture screen— and imagine that they are seeing a motion picture of them- selves. The important thing is to make these pictures as vivid and as detailed as possible.
You want your mental pictures to approximate actual experience as much as pos- sible. The way to do this is pay attention to small details, sights, sounds, objects, in your imagined environment. One of my patients was using this exercise to overcome her fear of the dentist.
She was unsuccessful, until she began to notice small details in her imagined picture—the smell of the antiseptic in the office, the feel of the leather on the chair arms, the sight of the dentist's well-manicured nails as his hands approached her mouth, etc.
And if the imagination is vivid enough and detailed enough, your imagination practice is equiva- lent to an actual experience, insofar as your nervous system is concerned. The next important thing to remember is that during this 30 minutes you see yourself acting and reacting appro- priately, successfully, ideally.
It doesn't matter how you acted yesterday. You do not need to try to have faith you will act in the ideal way tomorrow. Your nervous system will take care of that in time—if you continue to practice. See yourself acting, feeling, "being," as you want to be. Do not say to yourself, "I am going to act this way to- morrow.
If you have been shy and timid, see yourself moving among people with ease and poise—and feeling good because of it.
If you have been fearful and anxious in certain situations—see yourself act- ing calmly and deliberately, acting with confidence and courage—and feeling expansive and confident because you are. This exercise builds new "memories" or stored data into your mid-brain and central nervous system. It builds a new image of self. After practicing it for a time, you will be surprised to find yourself "acting differently," more or less automatically and spontaneously—"without trying.
You do not need to "take thought" or "try" or make an effort now in order to feel ineffective and act inadequately. Your present inadequate feeling and doing is automatic and spontaneous, because of the memories, real and imagined, you have built into your automatic mechanism.
You will find it will work just as automatically upon positive thoughts and experiences as upon negative ones. List here some experience out of your past that is explained by the principles given in this chapter: Alfred Adler had an experience when a young boy which illustrates just how powerful belief can be upon behavior and ability. He got off to a bad start in arithmetic and his teacher became convinced that he was "dumb in mathematics. They too were convinced.
Adler passively accepted the evaluation they had placed upon him. And his grades in arithmetic proved they had been correct. One day, however, he had a sudden flash of insight and thought he saw how to work a problem the teacher had put on the board, and which none of the other pupils could work.
He announced as much to the teacher. She and the whole class laughed. Whereupon, he became in- dignant, strode to the blackboard, and worked the prob- lem much to their amazement. In doing so, he realized that he could understand arithmetic. He felt a new con- fidence in his ability, and went on to become a good math student.
Adler's experience was very much like that of a patient of mine some years back, a businessman who wanted to excel in public speaking because he had a vital message to impart about his outstanding success in a diffi- cult field. What held him back was his belief that he could not make a good talk, and that he would fail to impress his audience, simply because he did not have an imposing appearance.
He mistakenly concluded that, if he could have an operation to improve his appearance, he would then gain the confidence he needed. An operation might have done the trick and it might not. The solution in this man's case was found when he became convinced that his negative belief was preventing him from delivering the vital information he had.
He succeeded in replacing the negative belief with a positive belief that he had a message of extreme impor- tance that he alone could deliver, no matter what he looked like. In due time, he was one of the most sought after speakers in the business world. The only change was in his belief and in his self-image. Now the point I want to make is this: Adler had been hypnotized by a false belief about himself. Not figura- tively, but literally and actually hypnotized.
Remember that we said in the last chapter that the power of hypnosis is the power of belief. Let me repeat here Dr. Barber's explanation of the "power" of hypnosis: You may never have met a professional hyp- notist. You may have never been formally hypnotized.
Scientific research has shown that Dr. Adler's experience was not "one in a million," but typical of practically all students who make poor grades. In Chapter One we told of how Prescott Lecky had brought about almost miracu- lous improvement in the grades of school children by showing them how to change their self-image.
After thou- sands of experiments and many years of research Lecky concluded that poor grades in school are, in almost every case, due in some degree to the student's "self-concep- tion" and "self-definition. With such self-definitions, the student had to make poor grades in order to be true to himself. It would be as "wrong," from his own viewpoint, for him to make good grades, as it would be to steal if he defines himself as an honest person. Murphy tells how Elmer Wheeler used Lecky's theory to increase the earnings of a certain salesman: The sales manager called his atten- tion to a very remarkable case.
Once, when the goal had been reached, he got sick and was unable to work any more that year, although doctors could find nothing wrong with him and he miraculously recovered by the first of the next year. Crowell Co. I gave a detailed case history of how "Mr.
Russell" aged 20 years almost overnight because of a false idea, then re- gained his youth almost as quickly when he accepted the truth. Briefly, the story is this: I performed a cosmetic operation on "Mr. Russell's" lower lip for a very modest fee, under the condition that he must tell his girl friend that the operation had cost him his entire savings of a life- time.
His girl friend had no objection to his spending money on her, and she insisted that she loved him, but explained she could never marry him because of his too- large lower lip. However, when he told her this and proudly exhibited his new lower lip, her reaction was just as I had expected, but not as Mr.
Russell had anticipated. However, she went further than I had counted on. In her anger and disgust she also announced that she was placing a "Voodoo curse" upon him. Both Mr. Russell and his girl friend had been born on an island in the West Indies where Voodoo was prac- ticed by the ignorant and superstitious.
His family had been rather well-to-do. His background was one of culture and he was a college graduate. Yet, when in the heat of anger, his girl friend "cursed" him, he felt vaguely uncomfortable but did not think too much about it. However, he remembered and wondered when a short time later he felt a strange small hard "bump" on the in- side of his lip.
A "friend" who knew of the Voodoo curse, insisted that he see a "Dr. Smith," who promptly assured him that the bump inside his mouth was the feared "Afri- can Bug," which would slowly eat away all his vitality and strength.
Russell" began' to worry and look for signs of waning strength. He was not long in finding them. He lost his appetite and his ability to sleep. I learned all this from "Mr. Russell" when he returned to my office several weeks after I had dismissed Him. My nurse didn't recognize him, and no wonder. The "Mr. Russell" who had first called upon me had been a very impressive individual, slightly too-large lip and all.
He stood about six feet four, a large man with the physique of an athlete and the bearing and manner that bespoke of an inner dignity and gave him a magnetic personality. The very pores of his skin seemed to exude an animal- like vitality. The Mr. Russell who now sat across the desk from me had aged at least 20 years. His hands shook with the tremor of age. His eyes and cheeks were sunken.
He had lost perhaps 30 pounds. Russell I could get rid of the African Bug in less than 30 minutes, which I did. The bump which had caused all the trouble was merely a small bit of scar tissue from his operation. I removed it, held it in my hand, and showed it to him. The important thing is he saw the truth and be- lieved it.
He gave a sigh of relief, and it seemed as if there was an almost immediate change in his posture and ex- pression. Several weeks later, I received a nice letter from Mr. Russell, together with a photograph of him with his new bride. He had gone back to his home and married his childhood sweetheart. The man in the picture was the first Mr.
Russell had grown young again—over- night. A false belief aged him 20 years. The truth had not only set him free of fear and restored his confidence— but had actually reversed the "aging process.
Russell as I did, both "be- fore" and "after," you would never again entertain any doubts about the power of belief, or that an idea accepted as true from any source, can be every bit as powerful as hypnosis.
Is Everyone Hypnotized? It is no exaggeration to say that every human being is hypnotized to some extent, either by ideas he has uncriti- cally accepted from others, or ideas he has repeated to himself or convinced himself are true. These negative ideas have exactly the same effect upon our behavior as the negative ideas implanted into the mind of a hypnotized subject by a professional hypnotist.
Have you ever seen a demonstration of honest-to-goodness hypnosis? If not, let me describe to you just a few of the more simple phenom- ena which result from the hypnotist's suggestion.
It is not a question of the football player "not trying. He strains and struggles until the muscles of his arm and shoulder stand out like cords. But his hand re- mains fully rooted to the table. He tells a championship weight-lifter that he cannot lift a pencil from the desk. And although normally he can hoist a pound weight overhead, he now actually cannot lift the pencil.
Strangely enough, in the above instances, hypnosis does not weaken the athletes. They are potentially as strong as ever. But without realizing it consciously they are working against themselves. On the one hand they "try" to lift their hand, or the pencil, by voluntary effort, and actually con- tract the proper lifting muscles.
But on the other hand, the idea "you cannot do it" causes contrary muscles to contract quite apart from their will.
The negative idea causes them to defeat themselves—they cannot express, or bring into play their actual available strength. The gripping strength of a third athlete has been tested on a dynometer and has been found to be pounds. All his effort and straining cannot budge the needle beyond the pound mark. Now he is hypnotized and told, "You are very, very strong. Stronger than you have ever been in your life.
Much, much stronger. You are sur- prised at how strong you are. This time he easily pulls the needle to the pound mark. Again, strangely enough, hypnosis has not added any- thing to his actual strength. What the hypnotic suggestion did do was to overcome a negative idea which had pre- viously prevented him from expressing his full strength. In other words, the athlete in his normal waking state had imposed a limitation upon his strength by the negative be- lief that he could only grip pounds.
The hypnotist merely removed this mental block, and allowed him to express his true strength. As Dr. Barber has said, it is awfully easy to assume that the hypnotist himself must have some magical power when you see rather miraculous things happen during a hypnotic session. The stutterer talks fluently. The timid, shy, retiring Caspar Milquetoast becomes outgoing, poised, and makes a stirring speech. Another individual who is not especially good in adding figures with a pencil and paper when awake, multiplies two three-digit figures in his head.
All this happens apparently merely because the hypnotist tells them that they can and instructs them to go ahead and do it. To on-lookers, the hypnotist's "word" has a magical power. Such, however, is not the case. The power, the basic ability, to do these things was inherent in the subjects all the time—even before they met the hypnotist.
The subjects, however, were unable to use this power because they themselves did not know it was there. They had bottled it up, and choked it off, because of their own negative beliefs. Without realizing it, they had hypnotized themselves into believing they could not do these things. And it would be truer to say that the hypnotist had "dehypnotized" them than to say he had hypnotized them. Within you, whoever you may be, regardless of how big a failure you may think yourself to be, is the ability and the power to do whatever you need to do to be happy and successful.
Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you can change your be- liefs. Just as quickly as you can dehypnotize yourself from the ideas of "I can't," "I'm not worthy," "I don't deserve it" and other self-limiting ideas. In one sense of the word every person on the face of the earth is inferior to some other person or persons. I know this, but it does not induce feelings of inferiority within me and blight my life —simply because I do not compare myself unfavorably with them, and feel that I am no good merely because I cannot do certain things as skillfully or as well as they.
I also know that in certain areas, every person I meet, from the newsboy on the corner to the president of the bank, is superior to me in certain respects.
But neither can any of these people repair a scarred face, or do any number of other things as well as I. And I am sure they do not feel inferior because of it. Feelings of inferiority originate not so much from "facts" or experiences, but our conclusions regarding facts, and our evaluation of experiences.
For example, the fact is that I am an inferior weight-lifter and an inferior dancer. This does not, however, make me an "inferior person. It is not knowledge of actual inferiority in skill or knowledge which gives us an inferiority complex and in- terferes with our living.
It is the feeling of inferiority that does this. And this feeling of inferiority comes about for just one reason: We judge ourselves, and measure ourselves, not against our own "norm" or "par" but against some other individual's "norm. The next logical conclusion in this cockeyed reasoning process is to conclude that we are not "worthy"; that we do not deserve success and happiness, and that it would be out of place for us to fully express our own abilities and talents, whatever they might be, without apology, or without feeling guilty about it.
All this comes about because we have allowed our- selves to be hypnotized by the entirely erroneous idea that "I should be like so-and-so" or "I should be like every- body else. The person with an inferiority complex invariably com- pounds the error by striving for superiority. His feelings spring from the false premise that he is inferior.
From this false premise, a whole structure of "logical thought" and feeling is built. If he feels bad because he is inferior, the cure is to make himself as good as everybody else, and the way to feel really good is to make himself supe- rior. This striving for superiority gets him into more trouble, causes more frustration, and sometimes brings about a neurosis where none existed before. He becomes more miserable than ever, and "the harder he tries," the more miserable he becomes.
Inferiority and Superiority are reverse sides of the same coin. The cure lies in realizing that the coin itself is spurious. The truth about you is this: You are not "inferior. You are an individual. You are unique.
You are not "like" any other person and can never become "like" any other person. God did not create a standard person and in some way label that person by saying "this is it. God created short people and tall people, large people and small people, skinny people and fat people, black, yellow, red and white people.
He has never indicated any preference for any one size, shape or color. Abraham Lincoln once said, "God must have loved the common people for he made so many of them. There is no "common man"—no standardized, common pattern. He would have been nearer the truth had he said, "God must have loved uncommon people for he made so many of them.
All you need to do is to set up a "norm" or "average," then convince your subject he does not measure up. A psychologist wanted to find out how feelings of inferiority affected ability to solve problems. He gave his students a set of routine tests. When in the course of the test a bell would ring, in- dicating that the 'average man's time' was up, some of the brightest subjects became very jittery and incompetent in- deed, thinking themselves to be morons.
Stop measuring yourself against "their" standards. You are not "them" and can never measure up. Neither can "they" measure up to yours—nor should they. Once you see this simple, rather self-evident truth, accept it and be- lieve it, your inferior feelings will vanish. Norton L. Our currently held beliefs, whether good or bad, true or false, were formed without effort, with no sense of strain, and without the exercise of "will power.
It follows that we must employ the same process in forming new beliefs, or new habits, that is, in a relaxed condition. It has been amply demonstrated that attempting to use effort or will power to change beliefs or to cure bad habits has an adverse, rather than a beneficial effect.
Knight Dunlap made a lifelong study of habits and learning processes and perhaps performed more experiments along this line than any other psycholo- gist. His methods succeeded in curing such habits as nail- biting, thumb-sucking, facial tics, and more serious habits where other methods had failed. Making an effort to refrain from the habit, actually re- inforced the habit, he found.
His experiments proved that the best way to break a habit is to form a clear mental image of the desired end result, and to practice without effort toward reaching that goal. Imagine your body as a machine that you can use whenever necessary. Author Maxwell Maltz uses this conception to define his theory of psycho-cybernetics. According to him, psycho-cybernetics is an understanding of the nervous system and the human brain as an automatic response that processes negative feedback to take its course.
By applying psycho-cybernetics, we can get more profound insights into the reasons humans behave the way they do. One such insight is the notion that humans are wired for success. When babies first try grabbing something, they cannot recall some past experience of such an act. So, the baby will try swinging back and forth until it succeeds in reaching the object.
Once it does, the baby will store the memory for future reference. As time goes by, the baby will start to refine its skills and will start referring to his successes and forget about his failures. A similar mechanism drives us when we work toward achieving our objectives. An interesting fact about the human nervous system is that it does not differentiate between real and imagined experiences. In other words, we respond according to our beliefs of what is true. What this means is that you can refine some skills in your head, through mental practice , without actually doing them in reality.
Now, whenever you are handling a creative project, it is common to hit mental obstacles. Most people used to creative practice know that when they stumble upon such a roadblock, the only thing they can do is relax and wait.
People possess a creative mechanism, which activates when we show interest in a particular problem. After we struggle with the issue for some time, we come to the moment when any further thinking limits us. Which explains why the best ideas come to our mind when we are not deliberately working.
This shows that although we cannot control creativity , we can stimulate it by altering our thoughts, and of course — actions. Most people consider happiness a future state which will come when we accomplish something. How many times have you heard people say: I will be happy once I get a promotion, or once I find a boyfriend.
But that is not the right way to practice happiness. Happiness only exists in the present. We need to realize that happiness depends only upon your thoughts and our attitudes toward the surroundings.
So, although it may be hard to grasp that we are in control of our own happiness, it gives us the opportunity to be constantly happy. By fixating on positive events and letting negative ones go.