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The Original Science of Self-Improvement
and Success that Has Changed the
lives of 30 Mil ion People
MAXWELL MALTZ, M.D.F....
The Original Science of Self-Improvement
and Success that Has Changed the
Lives of 30 Million People
"Psycho-Cybernetics changed my destiny. From a small farm-
house nearly 2 miles from a major road in Chucketauck,
Virginia...
Contents
Introduction Xl
CHAPTER ONE
The Self-Image:
Your Key to Living Without Limits ....................... 1
CHAPTER T...
vi Contents
CHAPTER SEVEN
You Can Acquire the Habit of Happiness .................. 117
CHAPTER EIGHT
Ingredients of the "...
Contents vii
CHAPTER FIFTEEN:
More Years of Life and More Life in Your Years ............. 280
CHAPTER SIXTEEN:
True Stori...
Acknowledgments
The Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation's founding board members:
WIlliam Brooks
Matt Oeschsli
Jeff Paul
Jeff He...
lntroduction
"7;:year 2000 was the 40th anniversary of the
.1~:blication of Dr. Maltz's original Psych0-
Cybernetics. The ...
xii Introduction
source influenced by his work. By acquiring this book, you have gone
to the first and still foremost sour...
Introduction xiii
sulky and became a harness racing driver (at age 46), and found myself
relying heavily on Psycho-Cyberne...
CHAPTER ONE
The Self-lmage: Your Key to
Living Without Limits
Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those
who ...
2 Chapter One
This was barely predictive of everything that has occurred in the
four decades that followed.
When Psycho-Cy...
The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 3
our conscious gaze. In fact, it may not be consciously recognizable at...
4 Chapter One
The person who perceives himselfto be a "failure type person" will
find some way to fail, in spite ofall his...
The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 5
Numerous case histories have shown that you are never too young
or too...
6 Chapter One
tively about a particular situation, as long as you hold a negative con-
cept ofself. Numerous experiments h...
The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 7
Lecley's work, try to find a copy of his book: SelfConsistency, A Theo...
8 Chapter One
who had lost his touch and his faith in himselfbecame a model ofself-
confidence. And perhaps the most start...
The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 9
The mystery inspired me: If the scalpel was magic,
why did some people...
10 Chapter One
psychologic effect as the eradication of the scar from the cheek of my
salesman patient. I began to see tha...
The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 11
times, though, it either stimulates attempts at weight loss or fitnes...
12 Chapter One
one that you can feel free to express creatively, rather than hide or
cover up. You must know yourself-both...
The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 13
was excerpted in popular magazines including Reader's Digest and
Cosm...
14 Chapter One
all the other negatives as normal human behavior. Average persons
feel awfully weak and impotent when they ...
The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 15
The brain is roughly three pounds, yet it contains the equivalent
of ...
16 Chapter One
other servo-mechanism, it must have a clear-cut target, objective, or
problem to work upon.
In short, the g...
The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 17
The reason it would remain with us rather than just bounce off
like w...
18 Chapter One
ticular goals. While the human mind is an endlessly complex creation,
and while you could read hundreds of ...
The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 19
Athletes
Psycho-Cybernetics and athletes have long been linked. In 19...
20 Chapter One
golfer spends about 86% of their time doing nothing but wrestling
with their thoughts and emotions, feeling...
The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 21
with their marketing. At last count, Joe's organization had nearly 4,...
22 Chapter One
reception you get. As a salesperson it will help you enormously to
understand that nobody on the face of th...
The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 23
Picasso's father was a mediocre artist at best. No, this isn't like b...
24 Chapter One
In Mind over Golf, Coop tells golfers:
If you've attended a PGA or LPGA Tour event and found your own
swing...
CHAPTER TWO
How to Awaken the
Automatic Success Mechanism
Within You
Ifone advances confidently in the direction ofhis dre...
26 Chapter Two
Your Built-In Guidance System
Every living thing has a built-in guidance system or goal-striving
device, pu...
How to Awoken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 27
In attempting to explain such things, we usually say that anim...
28 Chapter Twa
Contemporary business leaders also acknowledge the importance
and power of imagination:
Consider the role o...
How to Awaken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 29
distinctive aromas lingering in the air ofOld New Orleans? Roa...
30 Chapter Two
"electronic brain," which can function automatically to solve prob-
lems, give you needed answers, and prov...
How to Awaken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 31
system that propels them forward in the general direction of t...
32 Chapter Twa
has learned something of the correct response needed. Next, your
automatic mechanism uses feedback data fur...
How to Awaken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 33
You already have reached this point with any number of things
...
34 Chapter Two
A Look at the Automatic Mechanism in Action
We marvel at the awesomeness of interceptor missiles that can c...
How to Awaken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 35
hands since Dr. Weiner first tinkered with cybernetics. What o...
36 Chapter Two
settings. Kreskin himself insists that everybody possesses the same
abilities as he does; the difference is...
How to Awoken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 37
where and set out to find it. Dr. Norbert Wiener has said, "On...
38 Chapter Two
In the morning he was surprised to see in his nocturnal sketch features
which he thought it impossible the ...
How to Awaken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 39
So What Exactly Is Psycho-Cybernetics?
You might think ofPsych...
40 Chapter Two
In her book Revolution from Within: A Book ofSelf-Esteem, Gloria
Steinheim tells the story of the Royal Kni...
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The new psycho cybernetics
"Psycho-Cybernetics changed my destiny. From a small farmhouse
nearly 2 miles from a major road in Chucketauck,
Virginia, to a successful career as an author, consultant, lecturer
to organizations like NASA, Disney, AT&T ... Dr.
Maltz's suggestions gave me the confidence to bring out my
talents and go for my dreams."
-LEE MILTEER, author, Success Is An Inside Job
"I was flunking out of college when 1 first read PsychoCybernetics,
and it literally turned my life around."
-MARSHALL REDDICK, PH.D.
The late DR. MAXWELL MALTZ received his doctorate in
medicine from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of
Columbia University. After post-graduate work in plastic
surgery in Europe, Dr. Maltz headed several departments of
reparative surgery in New York hospitals. He was a prominent
international lecturer on the physical and psychological
aspects of plastic surgery, and published two books on these
subjects: New Faces, New Futures and Dr. Pygmalion. The original
ideas that formed the basis of Psycho-Cybernetics grew out
of ideas he developed in his very successful private practice in
New York, where he treated patients from all over the world,
including many celebrities.
DAN s. KENNEDY is a marketing consultant, popular professional
speaker, and author of nine books. He is the CEO of
the Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation and author of The New
Psycho-Cybernetics audio program.

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Transcript of "The new psycho cybernetics"

  1. 1. The Original Science of Self-Improvement and Success that Has Changed the lives of 30 Mil ion People MAXWELL MALTZ, M.D.F.1.C.S.EDITED AND lJPDA11:D BY DAN S. KENNEDY AND l1iE PSYCI·tO-CYBHRNEllCS POUNDATION, INC.
  2. 2. The Original Science of Self-Improvement and Success that Has Changed the Lives of 30 Million People
  3. 3. "Psycho-Cybernetics changed my destiny. From a small farm- house nearly 2 miles from a major road in Chucketauck, Virginia, to a successful career as an author, consultant, lec- turer to organizations like NASA, Disney, AT&T ... Dr. Maltz's suggestions gave me the confidence to bring out my talents and go for my dreams." -LEE MILTEER, author, Success Is An Inside Job "I was flunking out of college when 1 first read Psycho- Cybernetics, and it literally turned my life around." -MARSHALL REDDICK, PH.D. The late DR. MAXWELL MALTZ received his doctorate in medicine from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University. After post-graduate work in plastic surgery in Europe, Dr. Maltz headed several departments of reparative surgery in New York hospitals. He was a prominent international lecturer on the physical and psychological aspects of plastic surgery, and published two books on these subjects: New Faces, New Futures and Dr. Pygmalion. The orig- inal ideas that formed the basis of Psycho-Cybernetics grew out of ideas he developed in his very successful private practice in New York, where he treated patients from all over the world, including many celebrities. DAN s. KENNEDY is a marketing consultant, popular pro- fessional speaker, and author ofnine books. He is the CEO of the Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation and author of The New Psycho-Cybernetics audio program.
  4. 4. Contents Introduction Xl CHAPTER ONE The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits ....................... 1 CHAPTER Two How to Awaken the Automatic Success Mechanism Within You................................ 25 CHAPTER THREE Imagination-The Ignition Key to Your Automatic Success Mechanism .......................... 43 CHAPTER FOUR How to De-Hypnotize Yourself from False Beliefs .................................... 69 CHAPTER FIVE How to Succeed with the Power of Rational Thinking.................................. 82 CHAPTER SIX How to Relax and Let Your Automatic Success Mechanism Work for You....................... 101 v
  5. 5. vi Contents CHAPTER SEVEN You Can Acquire the Habit of Happiness .................. 117 CHAPTER EIGHT Ingredients of the "Success-type" Personality and How to Acquire Them ............................ 134 CHAPTER NINE How to Avoid Accidentally Activating Your Automatic Failure Mechanism ..................... 155 CHAPTER TEN How to Remove Emotional Scars and Give Yourself an Emotional Face Lift ........................ 180 CHAPTER ELEVEN: How to Unlock Your Real Personality..................... 203 CHAPTER TWELVE: Do-It-YourselfTranquilizers that Bring Peace of Mind........ 224 CHAPTER THIRTEEN : How to Tum a Crisis into a Creative Opportunity ........... 243 CHAPTER FOURTEEN: How to Get and Keep "That Winning Feeling" ............. 261
  6. 6. Contents vii CHAPTER FIFTEEN: More Years of Life and More Life in Your Years ............. 280 CHAPTER SIXTEEN: True Stories of Lives Changed Using Psycho-Cybernetics The Case of the Least-Likely-to-Succeed Stockbroker .... 297 The Case of the Professor's "F"...................... 299 The Case of the Alcoholic's Daughter................. 300 The Case of the Rodeo Cowboys .................... 301 The Case of the Woman Who Could Not Walk......... 303 "Vocabulary. .......................................... 307 Recommended Reading . ................................. 309 Additional Resources. ................................... 311 About the Authors ..................................... 313 The Artist's Gift ...................................... 315 Index . ............................................. 317
  7. 7. Acknowledgments The Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation's founding board members: WIlliam Brooks Matt Oeschsli Jeff Paul Jeff Herman, The Foundation's hard-working literary agent, Eugene Brissie and Ellen Schneid Coleman at Prentice Hall Press, who have been consistently and enthusiastically supportive of the "renaissance" of Dr. Maltz's works.
  8. 8. lntroduction "7;:year 2000 was the 40th anniversary of the .1~:blication of Dr. Maltz's original Psych0- Cybernetics. The book has sold over 30 million copies in all of its dif- ferent editions worldwide, inspired a number of audio cassette programs for individuals as well as complete training programs cre- ated for corporations, sales organizations, even sports teams. In the 2000 Olympics, for example, the coach of the U.S. equestrian team used Psycho-Cybernetics techniques, as she has with other teams for many years. In many ways, Psycho-Cybernetics is the original science of self- improvement. I make that statement for three principal reasons: First, Dr. Maltz was the first researcher and author to under- stand and explain how the self-image (a term he popularized for cer- tain processes within the subconscious mind) has complete control over an individual's ability to achieve (or fail to achieve) any goal. Second, everything written, said, recorded or taught about self- improvement since Maltz wrote has derived from his work. Try and find any book on success or self-improvement written since 1960, right through to yesterday, that does not include a discussion of self- image and the techniques for improving and managing it-notably including visualization, mental rehearsal, and relaxation-and you'll realize how crucial the work of Maltz still is. The relatively young "science" of sports psychology, relied on heavily by professional golfers, sports franchises, coaches, and Olympians, owes an enormous debt, occasionally acknowledged, to Psycho-Cybernetics. Third, unlike philosophical musings about success, Psycho- Cybernetics is, in fact, scientific: It provides practical things to do (not just think about), that yield quantifiable results. What is unique about Psycho-Cybernetics is that it offers techniques that help make what- ever was once difficult easy. In short, whether you set out to lose weight and keep it off, lower your golfscore, double your income in selling, become a confi- dent public speaker, write the great American novel, or achieve any other imaginable goal, in order to succeed, you will use Psycho- Cybernetics techniques, either directly from Dr. Maltz or some other
  9. 9. xii Introduction source influenced by his work. By acquiring this book, you have gone to the first and still foremost source. It is significant that, with very little publicity or marketing, the original Psycho-Cybernetics book has had such amazing longevity, and is now a classic in its field. Today, just as ten, twenty, and thirty years ago, sales managers tell recruits, coaches tell athletes, consultants tell clients: Get and read this book. Now I dare to update the classic. In doing so, I have set out to preserve much of the original content; much of it, in fact, is unchanged; some has been modestly updated in language or example. To integrate it with other works of Dr. Maltz, I have added my own observations and lessons learned from teaching Psycho-Cybernetics techniques along with examples and stories submitted by many users of these techniques and culled from others' books referencing these techniques. Throughout, I have tried to maintain Maltz's original voice. Over the years since 1960, Dr. Maltz and those who followed him devoted increasing emphasis to translating the principles and concepts of Psycho-Cybernetics into actual, practical "mental train- ing exercises," and I've included a number of those as well. All things combined, this is the most complete Psycho-Cybernetics work ever published. * * * My own experiences with Psycho-Cybernetics began in child- hood, when I used it to conquer a stubborn, rather severe stuttering problem. I've gone on to enjoy a 20-year career as a professional speaker, in recent years addressing audiences as large as 35,000 and, in total, over 200,000 people annually. In adult life, I returned repeatedly to these techniques in my sales, consulting, and business activities, to assist me in my prolific writing career-nine published books, a monthly newsletter, over 50 different audio cassette programs, and as an advertising copywriter, my primary vocation. For example, using Psycho-Cybernetics, I am able to give my subconscious mind certain instructions and put it to work on a writ- ing assignment before going to sleep at night or taking a nap, wake up, instantly put fingers to keyboard and "download," pour out what the subconscious wrote while I slept. Not long ago, I climbed into a
  10. 10. Introduction xiii sulky and became a harness racing driver (at age 46), and found myself relying heavily on Psycho-Cybernetics. In my business life, I have worked with many millionaire and multimillionaire entrepreneurs, including some who have risen from poverty or financial disaster and others who have started from scratch and rapidly built empires. Most of them use these techniques. Many trace their understanding of them directly to Dr. Maltz, as I do. I first began working directly with Psycho-Cybernetics as a writer, editor, and publisher in the late 1980s. At the time, I worked with Dr. Maltz's widow, Anne Maltz, and a university associated with her, to develop a collection of audio tapes featuring Dr. Maltz's lec- tures, radio broadcasts, and interviews. Since then, I've been directly involved in the first book ever written featuring Psycho-Cybernetics specifically for salespeople, titled Zero Resistance Selling, an audio pro- gram The New Psycho-Cybernetics, book-on-tape programs, a 12-week home study course, and a monthly newsletter as well as special edi- tions of programs for certain professions, industries, corporations, and international translation. My point is that I've lived and worked with-and benefited from-Psycho-Cybernetics my entire life. I was told by Anne Maltz that she had difficulty telling my writing on this subject apart from her late husband's. That was an enormous compliment. I hope she was right, and that this expanded and updated version of the original comes across to you seamlessly, in one voice, Dr. Maltz's, as if he were here to prepare it himself. Ifyou have comments, I would enjoy hearing from you via fax at 602-269-3113, or mail c/o The Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation, 5818 N. 7th Street, Suite #103, Phoenix, AZ 85014. Ifyou would like to read back issues of the Foundation's newsletters, you may access them at www.psycho-cybernetics.com. I sincerely believe that you hold in your hands one of the most powerful tools for self-improvement and goal achievement available anywhere, at any time, at any price. It has been my privilege to have a small part in bringing it to you. Dan S. Kennedy
  11. 11. CHAPTER ONE The Self-lmage: Your Key to Living Without Limits Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance. -Bruce Barton Arevolution in psychology began in the late 1960s and exploded in the 1970s. When I wrote the first edition of Psycho-Cybernetics in 1960, I was at the forefront ofa sweeping change in the fields of psychology, psychiatry, and medicine. New theories and concepts concerning the "self" began emerging from the work and findings of clinical psychologists, prac- ticing psychiatrists, and even cosmetic or so-called "plastic surgeons" like myself. New methods growing out of these findings resulted in dramatic changes in personality, in health, and even in basic abilities and talents. Chronic failures became successful. "F" students changed into "straight A" pupils with no extra tutoring. Shy, retiring, inhibited personalities became happy and outgoing. At the time, I was quoted in the January 1959 issue of Cosmopolitan Magazine, in which T. F. James summarized these results obtained by various psychologists and MDs as follows: Understanding the psychology of the self can mean the differ- ence between success and failure, love and hate, bitterness and happi- ness. The discovery of the real self can rescue a crumbling marriage, recreate a faltering career, transform victims of "personality failure." On another plane, discovering your real self means the difference between freedom and the compulsions of conformity.
  12. 12. 2 Chapter One This was barely predictive of everything that has occurred in the four decades that followed. When Psycho-Cybernetics was first published, if you visited a bookstore to obtain a copy, you might have found it nestled on an obscure shelf with only a dozen or so other so-called "self-help" books. Today, ofcourse, "self-help" is one of the largest sections in the entire bookstore. Psychologists, psychiatrists, and therapists have pro- liferated, new specialists have emerged, such as sports psychologists and corporate performance coaches, and the stigma of seeking such help has disappeared to such an extent that in some circles doing so is trendy. Self-help psychology has become so popular it even has found a place in television infomercials! Once Difficult, Now Easy! I'm gratified that much of this modern explosion of ideas, informa- tion, and people to assist you with everything from conquering pro- crastination to shaving strokes offyour golf score appears to be based on Psycho-Cybernetics. You might say that my original work was ahead ofits time, or you might say that it has aged well. Whatever you conclude, the most important thing for you, personally, is that the fun- damental promise of Psycho-Cybernetics has been proven true beyond any doubt or argument-that is, "once difficult, now easy." Whatever is now difficult for you, whatever may have prompted your reading of this book, can be transformed from difficult to easy through the use ofcertain sound psychological concepts, easily understood and mastered mental training techniques, and a few practical steps. Your Secret Blueprint I would argue that the most important psychological discovery of modern times is the discovery of the self-image. By understanding your self-image and by learning to modify it and manage it to suit your purposes, you gain incredible confidence and power. Whether we realize it or not, each ofus carries within us a men- tal blueprint or picture ofourselves. It may be vague and ill-defined to
  13. 13. The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 3 our conscious gaze. In fact, it may not be consciously recognizable at all. But it is there, complete down to the last detail. This self-image is our own conception of the "sort of person I am." It has been built up from our own beliefs about ourselves. Most of these beliefs about our- selves have unconsciously been formed from our past experiences, our successes and failures, our humiliations, our triumphs, and the way other people have reacted to us, especially in early childhood. From all these we mentally construct a self(or a picture of a self). Once an idea or a beliefabout ourselves goes into this picture it becomes "truth," as far as we personally are concerned. We do not question its validity, but proceed to act upon itjust as ifit were true. The self-image then controls what you can and cannot accomplish, what is difficult or easy for you, even how others respond to you just as certainly and scientifically as a thermostat controls the temperature in your home. Specifically, all your actions, feelings, behavior, even your abili- ties, are always consistent with this self-image. Note the word: always. In short, you will "act like" the sort of person you conceive yourself to be. More important, you literally cannot act otherwise, in spite of all your conscious efforts or willpower. (This is why trying to achieve something difficult with teeth gritted is a losing battle. Willpower is not the answer. Self-image management is.) The Snap-Back Effect The person who has a "fat" self-image-whose self-image claims to have a "sweet tooth," to be unable to resist "junk food," who cannot find the time to exercise-will be unable to lose weight and keep it off no matter what he tries to do consciously in opposition to that self- image. You cannot long outperform or escape your self-image. If you do escape briefly, you'll be "snapped back," like a rubber band, extended between two fingers, coming loose from one.
  14. 14. 4 Chapter One The person who perceives himselfto be a "failure type person" will find some way to fail, in spite ofall his good intentions or his willpower, even if opportunity is literally dumped in his lap. The person who con- ceives himselfto be a victim ofinjustice, one "who was meant to suffer," will invariably find circumstances to verify his opinions. You can insert any specific into this: your golf game, sales career, public speaking, weight loss, relationships. The control of your self- image is absolute and pervasive. The snapback effect is universal. The self-image is a "premise," a base, or a foundation upon which your entire personality, your behavior, and even your circum- stances are built. As a result, our experiences seem to verify and thereby strengthen our self-images, and either a vicious or a benefi- cent cycle, as the case may be, is set up. For example, a student who sees himself as an "F"-type student, or one who is "dumb in mathematics," will invariably find that his report card bears him out. He then has "proof." In the same manner, a sales professional or an entrepreneur will also find that her actual experiences tend to "prove" that her self-image is correct. Whatever is difficult for you, whatever frustrations you have in your life, they are likely "proving" and reinforcing something ingrained in your self- image like a groove in a record. Because of this objective "proof," it very seldom occurs to us that our trouble lies in our self-image or our own evaluation of ourselves. Tell the student that he only "thinks" he cannot master algebra, and he will doubt your sanity. He has tried and tried, and still his report card tells the story. Tell the sales agent that it is only an idea that she can- not earn more than a certain figure, and she can prove you wrong by her order book. She knows only too well how hard she has tried and failed. Yet, as we shall see, almost miraculous changes have occurred both in grades of students and the earning capacity of salespeople- once they were prevailed upon to change their self-images. Obviously, it's not enough to say "it's all in your head." In fact, that's insulting. It is more productive to explain that "it" is based on certain ingrained, possibly hidden patterns of thought that, if altered, will free you to tap more of your potential and experience vastly dif- ferent results. This brings me to the most important truth about the self-image: It can be changed.
  15. 15. The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 5 Numerous case histories have shown that you are never too young or too old to change your self-image and start to live a new, amazingly different life. Real Limits •Self-Imposed Area of :e:i+----_+-=Li:.:.:.:m:.:::its Possible ' : Area of --'--'-''-''---'+----* Under-Utilized Potential ,, ~----------- ______I This is what PEAK PERFORMANCE looks like! EDITOR'S NOTE: Here is another illustration of how the self-image operates. Picture us living inside two boxes. The line farthest out, the solid line, represents real or realistic limits. The dot- ted line, in the first drawing shown tightly confining Self, represents self-imposed limits. The area between the two is your area or range of under-utilized potential. As you discover the means of strengthening and liberating your self-image, you move the dotted line closer to the solid line, permitting greater use of your true potential. Success from the Inside Out, Not the Outside In One of the reasons it seems so difficult for a person to change habits, personality, or a way of life has been that nearly all efforts at change have been directed to the circumference of the self, so to speak, rather than to the center. Numerous patients have said to me something like the following: "Ifyou are talking about 'positive thinking,' I've tried that before, and it just doesn't work for me." However, a little questioning invariably brings out that these individuals employed positive thinking, or attempted to employ it, either on particular external circumstances or on some particular habit or character defect ("I will get that job." "I will be more calm and relaxed in the future." "This business venture will turn out right for me." And so on.) But they never thought to change their thinking of the self that was to accomplish these things. Jesus warned us about the folly of putting a patch of new mate- rial on an old garment or of putting new wine into old bottles. "Positive thinking" cannot be used effectively as a patch to the same old self- image. In fact, it is literally impossible to really think posi-
  16. 16. 6 Chapter One tively about a particular situation, as long as you hold a negative con- cept ofself. Numerous experiments have shown that, once the concept of self is changed, other things consistent with the new concept of self are accomplished easily and without strain. A System of Ideas One of the earliest and most convincing experiments along this line was conducted by the late Prescott Lecky, one of the pioneers in self- image psychology. Lecky conceived of the personality as a system of ideas, all of which must be consistent with each other. Ideas that are inconsistent with the system are rejected, "not believed," and not acted on. Ideas that seem to be consistent with the system are accepted. At the very center of this system of ideas-the keystone, or the base on which all else is built-is the individual's self-image, or his conception of himself. Lecky was a school teacher and had an opportunity to test his theory on thousands of students. He theorized that if a student had trouble learning a certain subject, it could be because (from the stu- dent's point ofview) it would be inconsistent for him to learn it. Lecky believed, however, that if the student could be induced to change his self-definition, his learning ability should also change. This proved to be the case. One student, who misspelled 55 words out of 100 and flunked so many subjects that he lost credit for a year, made a general average of 91 the next year and became one of the best spellers in school. A girl who was dropped from one college because of poor grades, entered Columbia and became a straight "A" student. A boy who was told by a testing bureau that he had no apti- tude for English won honorable mention the next year for a literary pnze. The trouble with these students was not that they were dumb or lacking in basic aptitudes. The trouble was an inadequate self-image ("I don't have a mathematical mind"; "I'm just naturally a poor speller"). They "identified" with their mistakes and failures. Instead of saying "I failed that test" (factual and descriptive), they concluded "I am a failure." Instead ofsaying "I flunked that subject," they said "I am a flunk-out." (For those who are interested in learning more of
  17. 17. The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 7 Lecley's work, try to find a copy of his book: SelfConsistency, A Theory ofPersonality.) Ledey also used the same method to cure students of such habits as nail biting and stuttering. My own files contain case histories just as convincing: the woman who was so afraid of strangers that she seldom ventured out of the house and who now makes her living as a public speaker. The sales- man who had already prepared a letter of resignation because he "just wasn't cut out for selling" and six months later was number one man on a force of one hundred salespeople. The minister who was consid- ering retirement because "nerves" and the pressure of preparing a ser- mon every week were getting him down, and who now delivers an average of three "outside talks" a week in addition to his weekly ser- mons and doesn't know he has a nerve in his body. Following Dr. Lecky's breakthrough thinking on this subject, born from observation, as well as my own observations and thoughts chronicled in the earlier editions of this book, a mountain of more sophisticated scientific research and anecdotal evidence has led to the acceptance of the controlling self-image by most of the academic psy- chological community. How a Plastic Surgeon Became Interested in Self-Image Psychology: My Story Offhand, there would seem to be little or no connection between sur- gery and psychology. Yet, it was the work of the plastic surgeon that first hinted at the existence of the self-image and raised certain ques- tions that led to important psychological knowledge. When I first began the practice ofplastic surgery many years ago, I was amazed by the dramatic and sudden changes in character and personality that often resulted when a facial defect was corrected. Changing the physical image in many instances appeared to create an entirely new person. In case after case, the scalpel that I held in my hand became a magic wand that transformed not only patients' appearance, but their whole life. The shy and retiring became bold and coura- geous. A "stupid" boy changed into an alert, bright youngster who went on to become an executive with a prominent firm. A salesman
  18. 18. 8 Chapter One who had lost his touch and his faith in himselfbecame a model ofself- confidence. And perhaps the most startling of all was the habitual "hardened" criminal who changed almost overnight from an incorri- gible-who had never showed any desire to change-into a model prisoner, who won a parole and went on to assume a responsible role in society. Some sixty years ago I reported many such case histories in my book New Faces-New Futures, written more for my peers than the public. Following its publication, and similar articles in leading maga- zines, I was besieged with questions by criminologists, psychologists, sociologists, and psychiatrists. They asked questions that I could not answer, but they did start me on a search. Strangely enough, I learned as much from my failures as from my successes, if not more. It was easy to explain the successes. The boy with the too-big ears, who had been told that he looked like a taxi cab with both doors open, had been ridiculed all his life-often cruelly. Association with others meant humiliation and pain. Why shouldn't he avoid social contacts? Why shouldn't he become afraid of people and retire into himself? Terribly afraid to express himself in any way, he became known as "stupid." When his ears were corrected, it would seem only natural that since the cause of his embarrassment and humiliation had been removed, he should assume a normal role in life, which he did. Or consider the salesman who suffered a facial disfigurement as the result of an automobile accident. Each morning when he shaved he could see the horrible disfiguring scar on his cheek and the grotesque twist to his mouth. For the first time in his life he became painfully self-conscious. He was ashamed of himself and felt that his appearance must be repulsive to others. The scar became an obsession with him. He was "different" from other people. He began to wonder what others were thinking of him. Soon his self-image was even more mutilated than his face. He began to lose confidence in himself. He became bitter and hostile. Soon almost all his attention was directed toward himself, and his primary goal became the protection ofhis ego and the avoidance ofsituations that might bring humiliation. It is easy to understand how the correction of his facial disfigurement and the restoration of a "normal" face would overnight change this man's entire attitude and outlook, his feelings about himself, resulting in greater success in his work.
  19. 19. The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 9 The mystery inspired me: If the scalpel was magic, why did some people who acquired new faces go right on wearing their old personalities? mat about the exceptions, those who didn't change? mat about the Duchess who all her life had been terribly shy and self-con- scious because of a tremendous hump in her nose? Although surgery gave her a classic nose and a face that was truly beautiful, she contin- ued to act the part ofthe ugly duckling, the unwanted sister who could never bring herself to look another human being in the eye. If the scalpel itselfwas magic, why did it not work on the Duchess? Or what about all the others who acquired new faces but went right on wearing the same old personality? How to explain the reac- tion of people who insist that the surgery has made no difference what- ever in their appearance? Every plastic surgeon has had this experience and has probably been as baffled by it as I was. No matter how drastic the change in appearance may be, certain patients will insist that "I look just the same as before-you didn't do a thing." Friends, even family, may scarcely recognize them, may become enthusiastic over their newly acquired "beauty," yet the patients themselves insist that they can see only slight or no improvement, or in fact deny that any change at all has been made. Comparison of before and after photo- graphs does little good, and may even arouse hostility. By some strange mental alchemy the patient will rationalize: "Of course, I can see that the hump is no longer in my nose-but my nose still/oaks just the same." Or, "The scar may not show any more, but it's still there." Scars That Bring Pride Instead of Shame Still another clue in search of the elusive self-image is the fact that not all scars or disfigurements bring shame and humiliation. men I was a young medical student in Germany, I saw many a student proudly wearing his "saber scar," much as an American might wear the Medal of Honor. The duelists were the elite of college society and a facial scar was the badge that proved you a member in good standing. To these boys, the acquisition ofa horrible scar on the cheek had the same
  20. 20. 10 Chapter One psychologic effect as the eradication of the scar from the cheek of my salesman patient. I began to see that a knife itself held no magical powers. It could be used on one person to inflict a scar and on another to erase a scar with the same psychological results. The Mystery of Imaginary Ugliness To a person handicapped by a genuine congenital defect, or suffering an actual facial disfigurement as a result of an accident, plastic surgery can indeed seemingly perform magic. From such cases it would be easy to theorize that the cure-all for all neuroses, unhappiness, failure, fear, anxiety, and lack of self-confidence would be wholesale plastic surgery to remove all bodily defects. However, according to this the- ory, persons with normal or acceptable faces should be singularly free from all psychological handicaps. They should be cheerful, happy, self-confident, free from anxiety and worry. We know only too well this is not true. Nor can such a theory explain the people who visit the office of a cosmetic surgeon and demand a face lift to cure a purely imaginary ugliness. There are, for example, the 35- to 45-year-old women who are convinced that they look "old" even though their appearance is perfectly normal and in many cases unusually attractive. There are the young girls who are convinced that they are ugly merely because their mouth, nose, or bust measurement does not exactly match that of the currently reigning Hollywood celebrity, teen pop star, or the most popular girl in their school. There are men who believe that their ears are too big or their noses too long. Such imagined ugliness is not at all uncommon. Surveys ofevery- one from teenagers and college students to mature men and women consistently show high numbers-70%, 80%, even 90%-dissatisfied in some way with their appearance. Ifthe words "normal" or "average" mean anything at all, it is obvious that 90% of our population cannot be "abnormal" or "different" or "defective" in appearance. Yet surveys have shown that approximately the same percentage of our general population find some reason to be ashamed of their body image. Of course, in some cases, this becomes constructive dissatisfac- tion that motivates healthy weight loss and exercise. Many other
  21. 21. The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 11 times, though, it either stimulates attempts at weight loss or fitness doomed to failure (because of strong self-image-based restrictions) or simply cause people profound unhappiness. These people reactjust as ifthey suffered an actual disfigurement. They feel the same shame. They develop the same fears and anxieties. Their capacity to really "live" fully is blocked and choked by the same sort of psychologic roadblocks. Their "scars," though mental and emotional rather than physical, are just as debilitating. Why Are the Rich and Powerful Unhappy? Why do the popular, successful, wealthy "beautiful people" of Hollywood, athletes awarded megamillion-dollar contracts and set for life, and enormously influential and powerful business or political leaders engage in amazingly unhappy and self-sabotaging acts of alco- hol or drug abuse and addiction, or in all manner of publicly humili- ating and destructive behavior? You see it reported everyday. "They've bought the BMW and they have the $3-million Mill Valley house. And they still wake up in the morning and say 'I don't feel good about myself.''' That's a quote from Dr. Stephen Goldbart, a psy- chologist treating many dot.com and tech industry millionaires in Silicon Valley for what is characterized as "undeserved wealth syndrome." Wealth, success, power, and celebrity are no more guarantees of happiness and peace of mind than surgical improvement ofsome per- sonal appearance flaw. The Self-Image-The Real Secret Discovery of the self-image explains all the apparent discrepancies we have been discussing. It is the common denominator-the determining factor in all our case histories, the failures as well as the successes. The secret is this: To really live, that is to find life reasonably sat- isfying, you must have an adequate and realistic self-image that you can live with. You must find your selfacceptable to you. You must have a wholesome self-esteem. You must have a self that you can trust and believe in. You must have a self that you are not ashamed to be, and
  22. 22. 12 Chapter One one that you can feel free to express creatively, rather than hide or cover up. You must know yourself-both your strengths and your weaknesses-and be honest with yourself concerning both. Your self- image must be a reasonable approximation of "you," being neither more nor less than you are. "When this self-image is intact and secure, you feel good. "When it is threatened, you feel anxious and insecure. "When it is adequate and one that you can be wholesomely proud of, you feel self-confident. You feel free to be yourself and to express yourself. You function at your optimum. "When the self-image is an object of shame, you attempt to hide it rather than express it. Creative expression is blocked. You become hostile and hard to get along with. If a scar on the face enhances the self-image (as in the case of the German duelist), self-esteem and self-confidence are increased. If a scar on the face detracts from the self-image (as in the case of the salesman), loss of self-esteem and self-confidence result. "When a facial disfigurement is corrected by plastic surgery, dra- matic psychologic changes result only if there is a corresponding cor- rection of the mutilated self-image. Sometimes the image of a disfigured selfpersists even after successful surgery, much the same as the "phantom limb" may continue to feel pain years after the physical arm or leg has been amputated. I Begin a New Career These observations led me into a new career. In 1945 or so, I became definitively convinced that many of the people who consult a plastic surgeon need more than surgery and that some do not need surgery at all. If I were to treat these people as patients, as a whole person rather than as merely a nose, ear, mouth, arm or leg, I needed to be in a posi- tion to give them something more. I needed to be able to show them how to obtain a psychological, emotional, and spiritual face lift, how to remove emotional scars, how to channel their attitudes and thoughts as well as modify their physical appearance. This determination launched me on a continuing process of pointed observation, documenting my own case histories, lecturing both to peers and to the public, then writing this book, first published in 1960. This book caught the public's imagination in a special way. It
  23. 23. The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 13 was excerpted in popular magazines including Reader's Digest and Cosmopolitan, purchased by the thousands by corporations for their salespeople and other employees, adopted by top athletes, coaches and teams, including the Vince Lombardi-coached Green Bay Packers. Its success led quickly to many speaking engagements, seminar tours, radio and television interviews, even my own radio program. Invitations to speak about my discoveries came from churches, col- leges, and corporations. Ultimately, I also wrote several other books, extensions of this one, including The Magic Power ofSelf-Image. Late in my life, three decades after its first publication, I was gratified that Psycho-Cybernetics continues to sell tens of thousands of copies each year, almost entirely thanks to word-of-mouth recommendations, and is inspiring new interpretations. With each passing year, as I accumulated more experience teach- ing the power of self-image, counseling, and monitoring the results people achieved with this information, I became more convinced than ever that what each ofus really wants, deep down, is more life-some- thing I termed aliveness, the experience of living a life unrestricted by self-image-imposed, artificial limits. Happiness, success, peace of mind-whatever your own conception of supreme good may be-is experienced in its essence as more life. When we experience expansive emotions of happiness, self-confidence, and success, we enjoy more life. And to the degree that we inhibit our abilities, frustrate our God- given talents, and allow ourselves to suffer anxiety, fear, self-condem- nation and self-hate, we literally choke off the life force available to us and turn our back on the gift that our Creator has made. To the degree that we deny the gift of life, we embrace death. Your New Program for Liberated Living In my opinion, the professions of psychology and psychiatry are often far too pessimistic regarding people and their potential for self- directed change, even greatness. Since psychologists and psychiatrists deal with so-called "abnormal" people, the literature is almost exclu- sively taken up with various abnormalities, with some people's ten- dencies toward self-destruction. Many people, I am afraid, have read so much of this type ofviewpoint that they have come to regard such things as hatred, the destructive instinct, guilt, self-condemnation, and
  24. 24. 14 Chapter One all the other negatives as normal human behavior. Average persons feel awfully weak and impotent when they think ofthe prospect ofpit- ting their puny will against these negative forces in human nature, in order to gain health and happiness. If this were a true picture of human nature and the human condition, self-improvement would indeed be a rather futile thing. However, I believe-and the experiences of my many patients have confirmed the fact-that you do not have to do the job alone. There is within each one of us a life instinct, which is forever working toward health, happiness, and all that makes for more life for the indi- vidual. This life instinct works for you through what I call the Creative Mechanism or, when used correctly, the Automatic Success Mechanism that is built into each human being. In this book, I will endeavor to give you very practical ideas and instructions for liberating your own self-image, fully activating your own Automatic Success Mechanism. Ifyou will give all this a reason- able chance, I'm confident you too will be pleasantly amazed at all the positive changes you will experience. New Scientific Insights into the Subconscious Mind There is admittedly debate about the actual, structural makeup of the human mind. Crammed into your brain are more neurons than there are stars in the Milky Way, hundreds of billions of them-an unimag- inable number. Each of these neurons receives input from tens of thousands of the other neurons and sends messages to tens of thou- sands of others, adding up to over one million-billion connections. In his book about the brain, Bright Air, Brilliant Fire, neuroscientist Gerald Edelman speculated that if you were to attempt counting the links, one per second, you might finish 32 million years later. The operation is something roughly akin to your clicking on the "you've got mail" beeping icon on your computer and finding 10,000 or 20,000 e-mail messages that require sorting, prioritizing, organiz- ing, and responding to, just to get everything right so that you can accomplish the first simple task of your day, such as tying your shoelaces. You would "melt down" at the prospect, but your brain han- dles it in nanoseconds with aplomb.
  25. 25. The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 15 The brain is roughly three pounds, yet it contains the equivalent of entire cities full of giant buildings full of computer circuitry. It is surely the most complex and amazing thing we will ever discover. And it is still a frontier because research keeps uncovering new revelations about how the human mind operates. On top of the "mechanical" aspects, there are psychological and spiritual matters, the issue ofmind as the pathway to the soul, the con- scious and subconscious, the Freudian concept of id, the idea of three operating systems rather than two (reptilian, limbic, and cerebral), left brain-right brain, and on and on. My take on all this has been criticized by some as simplistic. It's possible that research continuing long after my departure will eventu- ally demonstrate that I've been partly right and partly wrong, and will produce even better insights into practical self-improvement. If and when that occurs, I'd applaud. But for now, let me just say that to you it shouldn't matter much whether some professor of psychology with lots of letters after his name looks down his nose at what we are dis- cussing as oversimplistic. Let's you and I focus on the most important point: what works. And I can assure you that what we are discussing here has worked for thousands and thousands and thousands of peo- ple, and will work for you. By "work" I mean empower you to get more of what you want out of life. My exploration of the science of cybernetics convinced me that the so-called "subconscious mind" is not a mind at all, but a goal-striv- ing servo-mechanism consisting of the brain and nervous system, which is used and directed by the mind. The most usable concept is that man does not have two minds, but rather a mind (or consciousness), which operates an automatic, goal-striving machine. This automatic, goal- striving machine functions in much the same way as electronic servo- mechanisms function, but it is much more marvelous, much more complex, than any electronic brain, computer, or guided missile ever conceived by man. The Creative Mechanism within you is impersonal. It will work automatically and impersonally to achieve goals of success and happi- ness, or unhappiness and failure, depending upon the goals you set for it. Present it with "success goals" and it functions as a "Success Mechanism." Present it with negative goals, and it operates just as impersonally and just as faithfully as a "Failure Mechanism." Like any
  26. 26. 16 Chapter One other servo-mechanism, it must have a clear-cut target, objective, or problem to work upon. In short, the goals you attempt to convey to this mechanism are filtered through the self-image, and if they are inconsistent with the self-image, they are rejected or modified. By discovering how to alter your self-image, you end its conflict with your goals. Then ifyou can communicate your goals directly to your Creative Mechanism, it will do what is necessary for you to achieve them. Like any other servo-mechanism, our Creative Mechanism uses the information and data that we feed into it (our thoughts, beliefs, interpretations). Through our attitudes and interpretations of situa- tions, we describe the problem to be worked on. Ifwe feed information and data into our Creative Mechanism to the effect that we ourselves are unworthy, inferior, undeserving, inca- pable (negative self-image), this data is processed and acted on as any other data in giving us the "answer" in the form of objective experi- ence. When someone we know acts-or when we behave-in a way that is astoundingly "wrong" and wonder why, the answer is basically miscommunication with the servo-mechanism; the servo-mechanism is functioning perfectly but acting on a severe misunderstanding. In the excellent book Battling the Inner Dummy (ID)-The Craziness ofApparently Normal People, David Weiner and Dr. Gilbert Hefter state, "It is apparent that even the most civilized among us have an inner craziness, a potential for irrationality with which we must contend." The computer jargon, usually used by computer experts shrugging their shoulders at some wild malfunction, is GIGO- Garbage In, Garbage Out. In other words, if neuron channels process enough "garbage" and link together in a certain way, the outcome or output is "garbage behavior." Like any other servo-mechanism, our Creative Mechanism makes use of stored information, or "memory," in solving current problems and responding to current situations. Sometimes this "stored data" can remain in control long after any truth or usefulness has evaporated. Again quoting from Battling the Inner Dummy, this example: "You are no good, you will never amount to anything" we might be told by our father at the age of ten, after we just failed a math quiz in school. This is the kind ofstatement that might become a limbic memory within our id, our Inner Dummy, and remain with us for years, if not for a life- time ..."
  27. 27. The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 17 The reason it would remain with us rather than just bounce off like water off a duck's back is what they call limbic memory, or what I view only slightly differently as self-image imprinting. This is most controlled by three factors: authoritative source, intensity, and repeti- tion. What we hear from a source we accept as authoritative-such as the father we see as omnipotent, from whom we desperately seek acceptance as a child-is given far more weight than the same state- ments if heard from what is to us at the time a less credible source. What we see, hear, or experience with intensity-such as the father yelling it at us, in front of others, making us humiliated-has added weight. And what we hear repetitively from authoritative sources has even more weight. Years after this "programming" has ceased, it may still be governing all sorts of behavior, because the servo-mechanism continues acting upon it as current. Your program for more liberated living consists in, first of all, learning something about this Creative Mechanism, or automatic guidance system within you. In the process, you will learn how to use it as a Success Mechanism, rather than as a Failure Mechanism. Second, you will actually "program," and "reprogram," or "engineer," the personality and the life experiences you desire. It is not widely known, but the controversial Dr. Timothy Leary, a 1960s hippie icon but also a scientist, was as fascinated with the link between mechanical cybernetics and the workings of the human mind as 1. In an interview in 1992, Leary stated, "It is a genetic imperative to explore the brain. Because it's there. If you're carrying around in your head 100 billion mainframe computers, you just have to get in there and learn how to operate them." I think it is your personal imperative to invest the time, energy, and study needed to better understand and use your mind power, including your self-image power. He also said, "We can only understand our inner workings in terms of the external mechanical or tele-Iogical models that we build." This program now in your hands is exactly that: a path to greater understanding of your own mind, based on tele-Iogical models, such as guided missile and computer technologies. The method itself consists in learning, practicing, and experiencing new habits of thinking, imagining, remembering, and acting in order to (1) develop an adequate and realistic self-image and (2) use your Creative Mechanism to bring success and happiness in achieving par-
  28. 28. 18 Chapter One ticular goals. While the human mind is an endlessly complex creation, and while you could read hundreds of texts by neuroscientists and be no further along in improving your use of your own mind, self- improvement with Psycho-Cybernetics can be remarkably simple and it offers rapid results. H you can remember, worry, or tie your shoe, you can succeed with Psycho-Cybernetics! As you will see later, the method to be used consists of creative mental picturing, creatively experiencing through your imagination, and the formation ofnew automatic reaction patterns by "acting out" and "acting as if." You may already have read or heard quite a bit about such techniques and tried them with mixed or disappointing results. If so, it does not necessarily mean that you used them improperly, nor does it mean that you are somehow unable to use them successfully. It more likely means that you attempted applying the techniques in con- flict with your self-image. Once you use them in concert with modi- fying, managing, and strengthening your self-image, you will see positive results. I often told my patients that "Ifyou can remember, worry, or tie your shoe, you will have no trouble applying this method." The things you are called upon to do are simple, but you must practice and "expe- rience." Visualizing-creative mental picturing-is no more difficult than what you do when you remember a scene out of the past or worry about the future. Acting out new action patterns is no more difficult than "deciding," then following through on tying your shoes in a new and different manner each morning, instead of continuing to tie them in your old habitual way, without thought or decision. All Those Who Have Benefited from Psycho-Cybernetics You might be encouraged by a quick list of those who use these meth- ods exactly as I am going to describe them to you as we proceed through this book.
  29. 29. The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 19 Athletes Psycho-Cybernetics and athletes have long been linked. In 1967, the newspapers reported that "the big thing now with the Green Bay Packers is Psycho-Cybernetics." This was the Vince Lombardi-era Packers, and Coach Lombardi, as well as famous players Jerry Kramer and Bart Starr, all carried their copies of the book with them and shared it with their teammates. A New York Times article from July 1968 reported on Yankee great Mickey Mantle uncovering Jim Bouton's copy of Psycho-Cybernetics and finding it full of handwritten margin notes. Jack Nicklaus, the late Payne Stewart, and many other top golfers have made very specific statements about their reliance on "the men- tal side of golf." In a foreword to the book Mind over Golf, referring to his victories in the 1989 PGA Championship and the 1991 U.S. Open, Payne Stewart wrote, "With myoId mind-set I don't think I would have been able to prevail in either of those major championships. But with my new mental approach, I was able to raise my game to the highest level when I had to." (Mind over Golf, incidentally, is written by Dr. Richard Coop, a professor of educational psychology at the University of North Carolina, a contributing editor to GolfMagazine, and a coach to many golfers. I recommend his book as a companion to this one, should golf be your recreation or vocation.) In this book, you will also discover rodeo riders, Olympic ath- letes, football players, and many coaches who rely on Psycho- Cybernetics strategies in general, or specifically by name, to succeed. Coaches In 1997, The Psycho-Cybernetics Foundation received a letter from Linda Tyler Rollins, assistant athletic director for academic affairs at the University of North Texas. She wrote that she had been teaching from Psycho-Cybernetics for years and that, in a course for incoming scholarship athletes, "the vocabulary they become accustomed to dur- ing their academic and athletic careers at UNT is based on the con- cepts presented by Dr. Maltz before these students were born!" A Boston psychologist now coaching pro golfers, profiled in Golf Magazine, Dr. Gloria Spitalny, says: "By my calculations, the average
  30. 30. 20 Chapter One golfer spends about 86% of their time doing nothing but wrestling with their thoughts and emotions, feeling one way or another about what is taking place, feeling exhilaration or anger, struggling to keep focused, worrying about what's happened or what is up ahead." It only stands to reason that if 86% of the time spent playing the game is dominated by thought and emotion, not physical action, that 86% of the success/failure determination is due to management of thoughts and emotions, not swing mechanics or putting prowess. This same thing is true in every athletic activity, so more and more coaches are devoting more and more time and energy to mental preparation and psychological motivation. Several top coaches have written their own books about these subjects, notably including Pat Riley and Phil Jackson of the NBA. Brendan Suhr, former assistant head coach with Chuck Daly at the Detroit Pistons and the Orlando Magic, is a fan of Psycho-Cybernetics and, in a video program about Psycho- Cybernetics, explained that he used the principles in suggesting new "mental pictures" to players struggling with different aspects of the game. Entrepreneurs and Business leaders Consider Ray Kroc, the milkshake machine salesman who looked at the McDonald brothers' little hamburger stand and envisioned some- thing amazing. Long after McDonald's hamburger shops were every- where, Mr. Kroc was asked in an interview how he felt about the tendency of competitive fast food restaurant chains to copy every new McDonald's idea, product, or promotion so quickly. He replied, "We can invent faster than they can copy." He was making a statement of self-image-an affirmation of confidence, initiative, and power-in regard to a set of circumstances that many people would complain about and feel threatened by. Every business visionary and leader of note has a similar "bring it on!" approach which, from a Psycho- Cybernetics standpoint, I admire. Let me tell you one quick story about a remarkable young busi- ness leader by the name ofJoe Polish. Joe is a carpet cleaner by trade, who discovered certain effective, albeit unorthodox, methods for mar- keting and promoting such a business, and used that as a springboard to develop a company that teaches and assists other carpet cleaners
  31. 31. The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 21 with their marketing. At last count, Joe's organization had nearly 4,000 carpet-cleaners as members from all over the United States and sev- eral foreign countries, with combined sales of over $800 million in cleaning services and products each year! Several hundred of those carpet-cleaning business owners belong to Joe's "telephone coaching program" too. Joe is a young man who has risen above a difficult fam- ily background, without a college education, and with no formal edu- cation in marketing, to become the leading figure in his entire industry. In fact, he was named the Person of the Year by the number one industry trade journal. Joe says that he has "worn out" his copy of Psycho-Cybernetics and recommends it to all his members, and has even held a special seminar for his members built around Psycho- Cybernetics, with the editor of this book as a guest speaker. The rea- son? As Joe says, "all the business and marketing knowledge and technical skills in the world coupled with the best products, prices and positioning are offar less value than they should be if the person who possesses them lacks the inner confidence needed to use them." "One of the things we teach," Joe adds, "is how to sell at prices higher than your competition, and that has more to do with the indi- vidual business owner's self-image than it does with anything else." Sales Professionals Bill Brooks, a Founding Member of the Board of the Psycho- Cybernetics Foundation, has devised complex and sophisticated sales training systems for sales forces ofsome ofAmerica's biggest corpora- tions. His High Impact Sales System has been the subject of several very fine books, including You're Working Too Hard to Make a Living. Bill has succeeded personally as a salesman and assisted thousands of others. And, while he is very focused on methodology, he freely admits that the most sophisticated, perfectly engineered system for selling cannot produce results in the hands of salespersons attempting to function in conflict and combat with their own self-images. Zig Ziglar is arguably America's most celebrated motivational speaker and sales trainer. In his book Secrets ofClosing the Sale, which has sold well over 250,000 copies, Zig writes: "The salesman's self- image has a direct bearing on his sales success... when your self-image is solid, you can go from one prospect to the next, regardless of the
  32. 32. 22 Chapter One reception you get. As a salesperson it will help you enormously to understand that nobody on the face of this earth can make you feel inferior without your permission. Once you get your image right, then your sales world and your personal world will improve. Dr. Maxwell Maltz, author of Psycho-Cybernetics, said the purpose of all psy- chotherapy is to build the self-esteem, that is, the image of the patient ... your self-image is important, so build a good one and you will be able to build your sales career bigger, better and faster." • • • In this book, you'll be privy to a handful of case histories involv- ing sales professionals, including the man with the too-big nose and too-big ears. You will see that Psycho-Cybernetics crosses all occupa- tional, vocational, educational, or situational borders to work almost as reliably and consistently as gravity! (Note: Chapter 16 of this book features five amazing stories of individuals' successes with Psycho- Cybernetics.) But What About Genetics or "Natural Talent''? The argument of genetic predestination is utterly without merit. Bunk. In his outstanding book, Profiles ofPower and Success, Dr. Gene Lundrum provides in-depth analytical, psychological profiles of four- teen extraordinarily successful visionaries and achievers, and flatly concludes that nurture, not nature, is the basis for success. "Based on the family histories of these visionaries, heritage had little or nothing to do with their success." Instead he identifies certain characteristics with which, he says, they were "programmed" and they "programmed themselves." Ifgenetic talent were the barrier to success you cannot overcome or the ultimate secret behind achievement, you would expect Walt Disney to have come from "breeding stock" evidencing extraordinary creativity and entrepreneurial accomplishment. Walt Disney's father failed in five different businesses, including a Florida motel. Master architect Frank Lloyd Wright's "sire" was an unemployed, itinerant minister, so inept he never kept anyone job for more than a year.
  33. 33. The Self-Image: Your Key to Living Without Limits 23 Picasso's father was a mediocre artist at best. No, this isn't like breed- ing horses or show dogs. Evidence abounds that the conditioned, programmed, nurtured, and directed self-image controls success, not a genetic transfer over which you have no control. You cannot select your parents. You can select your self-image with Psycho-Cybernetics. Someone can argue this by pointing a finger at Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods. While it is true they each exhibit exceptional raw physical talent, that talent alone would surely have gone to waste with- out the healthy self-image conditioned through a variety ofinfluences, not the least of which were "authoritative sources," such as Tiger's father or Michael's college coach, Dean Smith. And for every Jordan, I can point my finger to an athlete of admittedly "average" physical talent who rises to the very top of his sport. In baseball, Ty Cobb and Pete Rose come to mind. In football, Fran Tarkenton or Doug Flutie, both erroneously judged by the experts as "too small" to play the game, are examples. Do not tolerate for a minute the idea that you are prohibited from any achievement by the absence of in-born talent or ability. This is a lie of the grandest order, an excuse of the saddest kind. PRESCRIPTION Begin collecting scrapbooks on persons, past or present, who exhibit both the qualities ofcharacter and personality and the life achievements to which you aspire. Select a different representative for each characteristic, each aspiration. Become the reigning expert in these peoples' lives by collecting and reading their biographies, autobiographies, articles about them, speeches made by them, others' analyses of them that can be found in books like Dr. Lundrum's, Napoleon Hill's, and others. Discover the almost uni- versal absence of predisposition (from genetics and often from their early environment and upbringing) for the personality they developed and the accomplishments of their lives. Ferret out the forces, thoughts, and influ- ences that actually shaped them. By making this your hobby, you will feed your imagination with valuable raw material that it can utilize to build the stronger, more goal-oriented self-image you require to achieve your life aspirations.
  34. 34. 24 Chapter One In Mind over Golf, Coop tells golfers: If you've attended a PGA or LPGA Tour event and found your own swing seemed to contain a little more rhythm and tempo than usual the next time you played, it was no accident. By watching the tour profes- sionals swing their clubs with proper pace, you were able to absorb some of their talent and it showed in your game. This is common for many golfers of all talent levels. Even the most disjointed golfer begins to look rhythmical after observing smooth swingers such as Mark O'Meara, Gene Littler, or Nancy Lopez. The problem is that the newfound tempo doesn't last very long unless you're able to reinforce your visualization by regularly watching the tour pros. This is exactly what I'm suggesting you do: "watch" the people who best exemplify the characteristics you wish to strengthen and who are living as you aspire to live by studying them through every media and source available. MENTAL 'TRAINING EXERCISE Pick someone to thoroughly study for a month, to get so intimately famil- iar with the way he or she thinks that you can sit down and have a conver- sation with the person and solicit advice and coaching in your imagination.
  35. 35. CHAPTER TWO How to Awaken the Automatic Success Mechanism Within You Ifone advances confidently in the direction ofhis dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. -Henry David Thoreau "l X Then I first began getting serious about ponder- VV ing the inner workings of the mind, I was amused to read an article by R. W Gerard, in the June 1946, issue of Scientific Monthly on the brain and imagination, in which he stated that it was sad but true that most of our understanding of the mind would remain as valid and useful if, for all we knew, the cranium were stuffed with cotton wadding. Since then, of course, understanding of how the human mind operates has expanded exponentially. Much of the thanks goes to the computer industry. When humans set out to build an "electronic brain" and to construct goal-striving mechanisms within computers, we had to discover and utilize certain basic principles. Having discov- ered them, scientists began to ask themselves: Could this be the way the human brain works also? Could it be that in making man, our Creator had provided us with a servo-mechanism more marvelous and wonderful than any electronic brain or guidance system ever dreamed of by man, but operating according to the same basic principles? In the opinion of famous cybernetic scientists like Dr. Norbert Weiner, Dr. John von Newmann, and others, the answer was an unqualified "yes." 25
  36. 36. 26 Chapter Two Your Built-In Guidance System Every living thing has a built-in guidance system or goal-striving device, put there by its Creator to help it achieve its goal-which is, in broad terms, to "live." In the simpler forms oflife, the goal to live sim- ply means physical survival for both the individual and the species. The built-in mechanism in animals is limited to finding food and shel- ter, avoiding or overcoming enemies and hazards, and procreating to ensure the survival of the species. In humans, the goal to live means more than mere survival. Humans have certain emotional and spiritual needs that animals do not have. Consequently, for them to "live" encompasses more than physi- cal survival and procreation ofthe species. It requires certain emotional and spiritual satisfactions as well. The built-in human Success Mechanism is also much broader in scope than an animal's. In addition to avoiding or overcoming danger, and the "sexual instinct" that helps keep the race alive, the human Success Mechanism can help him get answers to problems, invent, write poetry, run a business, sell mer- chandise, explore new horizons in science, attain more peace of mind, develop a better personality, or achieve success in any other activity that is intimately tied in to "living" or that makes for a fuller life. It is important to accept that you possess just such a Success Mechanism. The Success IIlnstinct" in Action A squirrel does not have to be taught how to gather nuts, nor does it need to learn that it should store them for winter. A squirrel born in the spring has never experienced winter. Yet in the fall of the year it can be observed busily storing nuts to be eaten during the winter months when there will be no food to be gathered. A bird does not need to take lessons in nest-building, nor does it need to take courses in navigation. Yet birds navigate thousands of miles, sometimes over open sea. They have no newspapers or TV to give them weather reports, no books written by explorer or pioneer birds to map out for them the warm areas of the earth. Nonetheless the bird "knows" when cold weather is imminent and the exact location of a warm climate even though it may be thousands of miles away.
  37. 37. How to Awoken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 27 In attempting to explain such things, we usually say that animals have certain "instincts" to guide them. Analyze all such instincts and you will find they assist the animal to successfully cope with its envi- ronment. In short, animals have a "success instinct." We often overlook the fact that humans also have a success instinct, much more marvelous and much more complex than that of any animal. Our Creator did not short-change us. On the other hand, we are especially blessed in this regard. Animals cannot select their goals. Their goals (self-preservation and procreation) are preset, so to speak. And their Success Mechanism is limited to these built-in goal images, which we call "instincts." Humans, on the other hand, have something animals haven't: Creative Imagination. Thus humans, of all creatures, are more than creatures; they are also creators. With imag- ination, they can formulate a variety of goals. They alone can direct their Success Mechanism by the use of imagination or imaging ability. You might say that animals are hard-wired, and that is that. But we operate with software and can continually alter our output. Thus, a formula emerges: You, As Creator of Your Own Life Experiences (1) Conscious Mind Decision + (2) Imagination Communicates Goal/Target to (3) Self-Image = (4) "Work Order"lnstructions to Servo-Mechanism We often think of Creative Imagination as applicable only to poets, inventors, and the like. But imagination is creative in everything we do. Although they did not understand why or how imagination sets our creative mechanism into action, serious thinkers of all ages, as well as hard-headed practical men, have recognized the fact and made use of it. "Imagination rules the world," said Napoleon. "The faculty of imagination is the great spring of human activity, and the principal source of human improvement ... Destroy this faculty, and the condi- tion of man will become as stationary as that of the brutes," said Dugold Stewart, the famous Scottish philosopher. "You can imagine your future," said hard-nosed industrialist HenryJ. Kaiser, who attributed much of his success in business to the constructive, positive use of creative imagination.
  38. 38. 28 Chapter Twa Contemporary business leaders also acknowledge the importance and power of imagination: Consider the role of imagination in the remarkable rise of Starbucks Coffee. In his book Pour Your Heart into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, its CEO Howard Schultz talks of strolling the streets of Italian towns and having his imagination cap- tured by the little sidewalk coffee or espresso bars, packed with happy people, infused with energy, even romance. Schultz saw an opportu- nity, as he puts it, to reinvent a routine commodity-coffee. He noted: "Ifit capturesyour imagination, it will captivate others. " The Starbucks shop you visit today is the result of Schultz' imagi- native efforts to replicate the romantic, happy experience of the Italians and their espresso bars in your downtown or your shopping center. Mr. Schultz writes: "Every Starbucks store is carefully designed to enhance the quality of everything the customers see, touch, hear, smell or taste ... what's the first thing you notice when you approach a Starbucks store? Almost always, it's the aroma. Aroma triggers mem- ories more strongly than any ofthe other senses, and it obviously plays a major role in attracting people to our stores. Keeping that coffee aroma pure is no easy task." He goes on to describe how they banned smoking before it became the norm and do not sell certain foods in deference to the purity of the aroma, how they carefully select only certain kinds of background music over which the hiss of the espresso machine and the swish of the metal scoop shoveling out fresh beans can be heard, and on and on. Such intense attention to every minute detail requires imagination! Howard Schultz' "creation" of the Starbucks experience echoes the phenomenal imagination-to-reality leadership of Walt Disney. Pick just about any Disney attraction and look closely, and you will notice amazing attention to detail born of the imagination. Former Disney confidante and creative thinking consultant to companies like Apple Computer and GE, Mike Vance gives us this insight into the creation of the Blue Bayou restaurant inside Disneyland, then repli- cated at Disney World, in his book Think Outside The Box: Ifyou were designing a restaurant with a New Orleans theme, the Blue Bayou restaurant, what would you picture in your mind? The Louisiana bayou country? Shadowy swamps? And what else? No shadowy, mysteri- ous swamp is complete without fireflies darting about ... what about the
  39. 39. How to Awaken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 29 distinctive aromas lingering in the air ofOld New Orleans? Roasting cof- fee with chicory adulterating the brew adds to the unmistakable ambiance of the French Quarter. The chicory aroma of fresh coffee was circulated through the restaurant's air conditioning system ... the strains of that Dixieland band in the background, combined with the distinctive sounds of crickets chirping and a lone banjo, picking out a lazy melody in the distance. Mike notes that you may not identify each ofthese and other details but that, combined, they transport you to a different place and time. Virtually every person who visits Disneyland or DisneyWorld once, as a child or adult, returns more than once-a 100% retention of customers! It is no happy accident. It is imagination power put to the most practical ofuses, for corporate profit. Of course, many people waste much of their imagination power, frittering it away on aimless daydreaming and fantasy, with no real appreciation for what it might do if applied purposefully. The sun's light, diffused, is gentle warmth; directed through a magnifying glass in a certain way, it is incendiary. The imagination, aimless, may provide pleasant entertainment. Applied purposefully, it can effectively program your self-image and, in turn, your Automatic Success Mechanism to realize whatever goals you choose. How Your Automatic Success Mechanism Works You are not a machine, not a computer. But in a very real sense, you have an awesomely powerful com- puter-like success machine at your disposal. Your physical brain and nervous system make up a servo-mechanism that you use and that operates very much like a computer, a mechanical goal-seeking device. Your brain and nervous system constitute a goal-striving mechanism that operates automatically to achieve a certain goal, very much as a self-aiming torpedo or missile seeks out its target and steers its way to it. Your built-in servo-mechanism functions both as a "guidance sys- tem" to automatically steer you in the right direction to achieve cer- tain goals or to make correct responses to environment, and also as an
  40. 40. 30 Chapter Two "electronic brain," which can function automatically to solve prob- lems, give you needed answers, and provide new ideas or inspirations. The word cybernetics comes from a Greek word meaning literally "the steersman." Servo-mechanisms are so constructed that they auto- matically "steer" their way to a goal, target, or "answer." In 1948, the physicist Dr. Norman Weiner began using "cybernetics" to denote the field of study of control and communication in animals, humans, and machines. In Psycho-Cybernetics, we are learning to more effectively communicate with and through the self-image so as to better control the servo-mechanism within. Your servo-mechanism is capable of being an Automatic Success Mechanism or an Automatic Failure Mechanism. That depends on what marching orders or programming it gets through your self- image. When we conceive of the human brain and nervous system as a form of servo-mechanism, operating in accordance with cybernetic principles, we gain a new insight into the why and wherefore ofhuman behavior. I chose to call this new concept "Psycho-Cybernetics": the prin- ciples of Cybernetics as applied to the human brain. I must repeat. Psycho-Cybernetics does not say that a human being is a computer. Rather, it says that we have a computer that we use. Let us examine some of the similarities between mechanical servo-mechanisms, such as computers, and the human brain: Understanding the Two General Types of Servo-Mechanisms Servo-mechanisms are divided into two general types: (1) where the target, goal, or "answer" is known and the objective is to reach it or accomplish it; (2) where the target or "answer" is not known and the objective is to discover or locate it. The human brain and nervous sys- tem operate in both ways. An example of the first type is the self-guided torpedo or the interceptor missile. The target or goal is known-an enemy ship or plane. The objective is to reach it. Such machines must "know" the target they are shooting for. They must have some sort of propulsion
  41. 41. How to Awaken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 31 system that propels them forward in the general direction of the tar- get. They must be equipped with "sense organs" (radar, sonar, heat perceptors, etc.), which bring information from the target. These "sense organs" keep the machine informed when it is on the correct course (positive feedback) and when it commits an error and gets off course (negative feedback). The machine does not react or respond to positive feedback. It is doing the correct thing already and just keeps on doing what it is doing. There must be a corrective device, however, that responds to negative feedback. When negative feedback informs the mechanism that it is off the beam-e.g., too far to the right-the corrective mech- anism automatically causes the rudder to move so that it will steer the machine back to the left. Ifit overcorrects and heads too far to the left, this mistake is made known through negative feedback, and the cor- rective device moves the rudder so it steers the machine back to the right. The torpedo accomplishes its goal by going forward, making errors, and continually correcting them. Bya series of zigzags, it literally "gropes" its way to the goal. Dr. Norbert Weiner, who pioneered the development of goal- seeking mechanisms in World War II, believes that something very similar to the foregoing happens in the human nervous system when- ever you perform any purposeful activity, even in such a simple goal- seeking situation as picking up a pencil from a table. We are able to accomplish the goal of picking up the pencil because of an automatic mechanism, not by "will" or conscious think- ing alone. All that the conscious thought does is to select the goal, trigger it into action by desire, and feed information to the automatic mechanism so that your hand continually corrects its course. In the first place, said Dr. Weiner, only an anatomist would know all the muscles involved in picking up the pencil. And ifyou knew, you would not consciously say to yourself, "I must contract my shoulder muscles to elevate my arm, now I must contract my triceps to extend my arm, etc." You just go ahead and pick up the pencil and are not conscious of issuing orders to individual muscles, nor of computing just how much contraction is needed. When "you" select the goal and trigger it into action, an auto- matic mechanism takes over. First of all, you have picked up a pencil or performed similar movements before. Your automatic mechanism
  42. 42. 32 Chapter Twa has learned something of the correct response needed. Next, your automatic mechanism uses feedback data furnished to the brain by your eyes, which tell it "the degree to which the pencil is not picked up." This feedback data enables the automatic mechanism to continu- ally correct the motion of your hand, until it is steered to the pencil. Picking up a pencil probably isn't very exciting. But it should be, because the little process just described that we use to pick up a pencil or perform any number of other routine, unchallenging tasks is exactly the same process we can use to achieve much more complex and seemingly challenging goals. What's exciting is that you "own" the process and use it constantly. No new goal- achieving capabilities are needed and none are lacking. In other words, ifyou can pick up a pencil, you can speak confidently and persuasively to large audiences, or write compelling advertising, or start a business, or play golf or- you name it. You already "own" the "process." In a baby, just learning to use its muscles, the correction of the hand in reaching for a rattle is very obvious. The baby has little stored information to draw upon. Its hand zigzags back and forth and gropes obviously as it reaches. As learning takes place, correction becomes more and more refined. We see this in a person just learning to drive a car, who overcorrects and zigzags back and forth across the street. Once, however, a correct or successful response has been accom- plished, it is remembered for future use. The automatic mechanism then duplicates this successful response on future trials. It has learned how to respond successfully. It remembers its successes, forgets its failures, and repeats the successful action as a habit. This is why the most adept, successful achievers in different fields appear to be succeeding so effortlessly. Top-performing sales professionals respond to prospects' objections or concerns without missing a beat, say just the right thing at just the right time. Their responses have become habits-instinctive, in a way.
  43. 43. How to Awaken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 33 You already have reached this point with any number of things you do well. This fact, that you have done so, guarantees that you can do so again, for any other purpose you choose. How Your Brain Finds Answers to Problems Let's return to our examination of "the process." Now let us suppose that the room is dark so that you cannot see the pencil. You know, or hope, there is a pencil on the table, along with a variety of other objects. Instinctively, your hand begins to grope back and forth, per- forming zigzag motions (or "scanning"), rejecting one object after another, until the pencil is found and "recognized." This is an example of the second type of servo-mechanism. Recalling a name temporarily forgotten is another example. A "scanner" in your brain roams through your stored memories until the correct name is recognized. An electronic brain solves problems in much the same way. First, a great deal of data must be fed into the machine. This stored, or recorded, information is the machine's "memory." A problem is posed to the machine. It scans back through its memory until it locates the only answer that 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. You are familiar with this in search engines on the Internet and search functions within computer software. The earliest versions of these in computers were relatively slow, awkward, and inefficient. Today's versions are lightning fast by comparison, but still very limited in scope and power if compared to the equivalent "search engine" included in your own mind. People who become very committed prac- titioners of Psycho-Cybernetics get very, very good at using their internal search engines. Many writers and speakers, for example, tell me of giving their subconscious instructions about their need for a good anecdote, story, joke, or forgotten details of a story for a writing task or speech, then taking a nap, to awake with exactly the material they wanted "on their minds."
  44. 44. 34 Chapter Two A Look at the Automatic Mechanism in Action We marvel at the awesomeness of interceptor missiles that can com- pute in a flash the point ofinterception ofanother missile and be there at the correct instant to make contact. The "smart bombs" we wit- nessed during the Desert Storm conflict utilized technology of this kind. Today's technology is far superior to what guided torpedoes in World War II submarines, and it is arguably possible for the so-called Star Wars defense system advocated by President Reagan to eventu- ally become reality. Yet are we not witnessing something just as amazing each time we see a center fielder catch a fly ball? 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, windage, initial velocity, and the rate of progressive decrease in veloc- ity. 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 or before the ball does. The center fielder doesn't even think about this. His built-in goal-striving mechanism computes it for him from data that he feeds it through his eyes and ears. The computer in his brain takes this information, compares it with stored data (memories of other successes and failures in catching fly balls). All necessary com- putations are made in a flash and orders are issued to his leg muscles- and he "just runs." Science Can Build the Computer but Not the Operator Dr. Weiner s'aid that at no time in the foreseeable future will scientists be able to construct an electronic brain anywhere near comparable to the human brain. "I think that our gadget conscious public has shown an unawareness of the special advantages and special disadvantages of electronic machinery, as compared with the human brain," he says. "The number of switching devices in the human brain vastly exceeds the number in any computing machine yet developed, or even thought of for design in the near future." His prophesy remains true as of this writing. To be sure, many miraculous computer-type machines and gadgets have come into our
  45. 45. How to Awaken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 35 hands since Dr. Weiner first tinkered with cybernetics. What once consumed rooms of space now fits in a hard drive that sits on your desk top. Still, nothing compares with your system of imagination, self-image, servo-mechanism. But even should such a computer be built, it would lack a pro- grammer. A computer cannot pose problems to itself. 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. It works only on new data fed to it by an operator, by feedback data it secures from its own "sense organs" and from information previously stored. Are You Connected to an Infinite Storehouse of Ideas. Knowledge. and Power? Many great thinkers of all ages have believed that a human being's "stored information" is not limited to personal memories ofpast expe- riences and learned facts. "There is one mind common to all individ- ual men," said Emerson, who compared our individual minds to the inlets in an ocean of universal mind. Thomas 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. Dr. J. B. Rhine, once head of Duke University's Parapsychology Laboratory, has proved experimentally that people have access to knowledge, facts, and ideas other than their own individual memories or stored information from learning or experience. Telepathy, clairvoy- ance, and precognition have been established by countless scientific laboratory experiments. Our government, the Russian government, and other nations have quietly invested huge sums and many years of ongoing research into such matters. In recent years people have brought these subjects to the public more as entertainment than science, such as Uri Geller or The Amazing Kreskin. While much of what passes for telepathy in magi- cians' and mentalists' stage performances is nothing but trickery, both Geller and Kreskin have had their abilities documented in laboratory
  46. 46. 36 Chapter Two settings. Kreskin himself insists that everybody possesses the same abilities as he does; the difference is in development and use. r am admittedly more interested in the thinking of a Thomas Edison than a Kreskin on this, but if you look at the entire span of research and relevant writings from the 1920s to the present, you'll find one common thread of great potential use to you, and directly related to Psycho-Cybernetics: You can give problem-solving or idea-getting tasks to your servo-mechanism, send it off on a search while you do other things, even while you sleep, and have it return with useful material you didn't know you knew and might never have obtained through conscious thought or worry. This becomes a common experience and great benefit for those of us who regularly rely on Psycho-Cybernetics. It occurs because the servo-mechanism has access to a much more expansive storehouse of information than the conscious mind. The famous composer Schubert is said to have told a friend that his own creative process consisted in "remembering a melody" that neither he nor anyone else had ever thought of before. Many creative artists, as well as psychologists who have made a study of the creative process, have been impressed by the similarity between creative inspi- ration, sudden revelation, or intuition, and ordinary human memory. 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 scan- ner in your brain scans back over stored memories until the desired name is "recognized" or "discovered." The Answer Exists Now In much the same way, when we set out to find a new idea or the answer to a problem, we must assume that the answer exists already some-
  47. 47. How to Awoken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 37 where and set out to find it. Dr. Norbert Wiener has said, "Once a sci- entist attacks a problem which he knows to have an answer, his entire attitude is changed. He is already some fifty per cent ofhis way toward that answer" (Norbert Wiener, The Human Use ofHuman Beings). When you set out to do creative work-whether in selling, man- aging a business, writing a sonnet, improving human relations, or whatever-you begin with a goal in mind, an end to be achieved, a "target" answer, which, although perhaps somewhat vague, will be "recognized" when achieved. 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 scans back through stored information or gropes its way to an answer. It selects an idea here, a fact there, a series of for- mer experiences, and relates them-or ties them together into a mean- ingful whole that will fill out the incomplete portion ofyour 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 perhaps 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? Numerous experiences ofcre- ative workers would seem to indicate that it does. How else, for exam- ple, can you explain the experience ofLouis Agassiz, told by his wife? He had been striving to decipher the somewhat obscure impression of a fossil fish on the stone slab in which it was preserved. Weary and per- plexed, 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. He went early to the Jardin des Plantes, thinking that on looking anew at the impression he would see something to put him on the track of his vision. 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. Towards morning the fish reappeared in his dream, confusedly at first, but at last with such distinctness that he no longer had any doubt as to its zoological characters. Still half dreaming, in perfect darkness, he traced these characters on the sheet of paper at the bedside.
  48. 48. 38 Chapter Two In the morning he was surprised to see in his nocturnal sketch features which he thought it impossible the fossil itselfwould reveal. 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 succeeded in classifying it with ease. You're No Einstein Sometimes a parent or teacher, frustrated at a young person's seeming inability to grasp mathematics, will utter the critical, disparaging, neg- ative affirmation "He's no Einstein," walking away in disappointment and frustration. Well, it turns out that Einstein was no Einstein either! In the book Sparks of Genius, researchers and authors Robert and Michele Root-Bernstein disclose that Einstein's peers knew that Einstein was relatively weak in mathematics, often needing the assis- tance of mathematicians to do the "detail work" to push his ideas for- ward. Einstein wrote to one such person, "Do not worry about your difficulties in mathematics. I can assure you that mine are far greater." Much ofEinstein's celebrated success came about in his imagina- tion, in very "unscience-like" ways. He once described an experiment in which he imagined himself to be a photon moving at the speed of light, imagined what he as a photon saw and felt, then imagined him- self as a second photon pursuing the first. What kind of scientific experimentation is this? Where is the blackboard filled with chalky logarithms and formulas we typically associate with Einstein? My own analysis of everything I've read about Albert Einstein is that he was a great practitioner of Psycho-Cybernetics. He acted as if a theoretical idea was a factual conclusion, then turned the "figuring out" over to his own servo-mechanism as well as to other "worker bees." I am convinced he connected with intelligence outside the realm of his own stored data through his imagination. He was a bril- liant target setter. His accomplishments stand as testament to an indi- vidual's opportunity to rise above and beyond his or her stored knowledge, education, experience or skill through the power of imag- ination. You can too.
  49. 49. How to Awaken the Automatic Success Mechanism within You 39 So What Exactly Is Psycho-Cybernetics? You might think ofPsycho-Cybernetics as a collection ofinsights, prin- ciples, and practical methods that enable you to do all of the following: 1. Conduct an accurate inventory and analysis of the contents of your self-image. 2. Identify erroneous and restrictive programming imbedded in your self-image and systematically alter it to better suit your pur- poses. 3. Use your imagination to reprogram and manage your self-image. 4. Use your imagination in concert with your self-image to effec- tively communicate with your servo-mechanism, so that it acts as an Automatic Success Mechanism, moving you steadily toward your goals, including getting back on course when confronted with obstacles. 5. Effectively use your servo-mechanism as something like a giant search engine, to provide precisely the idea, information, or solu- tion you need for any particular purpose-even reaching beyond your own stored data to obtain it. In a way, Psycho-Cybernetics is a communication system, for effectively communicating with yourself. Get a New Mental Picture of Yourself The unhappy, failure-type personality cannot develop a new self- image by pure willpower or by arbitrarily deciding to. There must be some grounds, some justification, some reason for deciding that the old picture of selfis 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 people change their self-image, they have the feeling that, for one reason or another, they "see" or realize the truth about themselves. The truth in this chapter can set you free of an old inadequate self-image-if you read it often, think intently about the implications, and "hammer home" its truths to yourself.
  50. 50. 40 Chapter Two In her book Revolution from Within: A Book ofSelf-Esteem, Gloria Steinheim tells the story of the Royal Knights ofHarlem, a prize-win- ning, championship school chess club improbably made up of a dozen "toughs" from Spanish Harlem. These kids were hanging out on the street, engaging in minor crime and violence, one foot mired in delin- quency, experimenting with drugs. Most people who observed them quickly concluded they were useless, hopeless, dangerous, very unlikely to achieve anything much beyond a jail sentence, and unwor- thy of any investment. But Bill Hall, an "ordinary" school teacher, somehow saw potential here that no one else could see. And through the activity of a chess club, he engineered an environment and a series of experiences that changed the way these kids saw themselves. Quite often, a person voted unlikely to succeed by others and by him- or herself fortunately encounters someone who sees a potential no one else sees, believes in him far more than he does in himself, and literally directs a change in that person's self-image through a deter- mined influence. However, there is no need to wait for someone else to do this for you. You can do it for yourselfwith Psycho-Cybernetics, and, as you'll discover in this book, thousands have. The fundamental message of Psycho-Cybernetics is that every human being has been literally "engineered for success" by the Creator. Every human being has access to a power greater than him- or herself. This means you. If you were engineered for success and happiness, then any old picture of yourself as unworthy of happiness or inherently unable to excel in a certain aspect oflife-ofa person who was "meant" to fail- must be in error. PRESCRIPTION Read this chapter through at least three times per week for the first 21 days. Study it and digest it. Look for examples, in your experiences and in the experiences ofyour friends, that illustrate the creative mechanism in action. Think about limiting ideas about yourself that may be held firmly in the self-image, that may be the "cause" of "effects" you no longer desire.

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