Psycho-Cybernetics – Book Notes

Title: Psycho-Cybernetics
Author: Maxwell Maltz, Md FICS
Format (Audio/Physical): Physical
Version or Published Date: Updated and Expanded (2015)
When Read: 10/2018 – 6/2019
Comment: This is my first set of book notes. I started this book before I decided to start publishing my book notes so this maybe incomplete.


  • The self-image is changed, for better or worse, not by intellect alone, or by intellectual knowledge alone, but by “experiencing.” Wittingly or unwittingly you developed your self-image by your creative experiencing in the past. You can change it by the same method.
  • Rightly speaking, no man should attempt to be a “success”, but every man can and should attempt to be “successful”. Trying to be a “success” in terms of acquiring prestige symbols and wearing certain badges leads to neuroticism, and frustration and unhappiness. Striving to be “successful” brings not only material success, but satisfaction, fulfillment, and happiness.
    Noah Webster defined success as “the satisfactory accomplishment of a goal sought for.” Creative striving for a goal that is important to you as a result of your own deep-felt needs, aspirations, and talents (and not the symbols which the “Joneses” expect you to display) brings happiness as well as success because you will be functioning as you were meant to function. Man is by nature a goal-striving being. And because man is “built that way,” he is not happy unless he is functioning as he was made to function—as a goal striver. Thus true success and true happiness not only go together but each enhances the other.

Chapter 1: The Self-Image: Your Key to a Better Life

  • You key to a Better Life
    • All your actions, feeling, behavior–even your abilities–are always consistent with this self-image.
    • Self-image can be changed
  • … the so-called subconscious mind is not a “mind” at all, but a mechanism–a goal striving “servo-mechanism” consisting of the brain and nervous system, which is used by, and directed by the mind… man does not have two “minds,” but a mind, or consciousness, that operates an automatic, goal-striving machine. This automatic, goal-striving machine functions very similarly to the way that electronic servo-mechanism function, as far as basic principles are concerned. But it is much more marvelous, much more complex, than any computer or guided missile ever conceived by man.
  • Like any other servo-mechanism, it must have a clear-cut goal, objective, or “problem” to work on.
  • The goals that our own Creative Mechanism seeks to achieve are mental images, or mental pictures, which we create by the used of imagination.
    • Ryan’s Note: The power of visualization
  • The Key Goal is our self-image
    • Ryan’s Note: Visualize who we want to be not the result per-say
  • Out Creative Mechanism works on information and data that we feed into it (our thought, beliefs, interpretations). Through our attitudes and interpretations of situations, we “describe” the problem to be worked on.
  • Our Creative Mechanism makes use of stored information, or “memory,” in solving current problems and responding to current situations.
  • The method itself consists in learning, practicing, and experiencing new habits of thinking, imagining, remembering , and acting in order to (I) develop an adequate and realistic self-image, and (2) use your Creative Mechanism to bring success and happiness in achieving particular goals.
    • Ryan’s note: 1) adequate/realistic self-image. 2) using the subconscious to direct your path
  • … you must practice and “experience”. Visualizing (creative mental picture) is no more difficult than what you do when you remember some scene out of the past, or worry about the future.
  • In order to direct your servo-mechanism toward success instead of failure, all you need is one experience that made you feel good about yourself.
  • You do not need a huge success experience to alter your self-image for the better. You do not need an experience that is a mirror of what you’re trying to create or accomplish. All you need is an experience like tying your shoe or learning to write your name for the first time.

Chapter 2: Discovering the Success Mechanism Within You

  • The word “cybernetics” comes from a Greek word that means, literally, “the steersman.” Servo-mechanisms are so constructed that they automatically “steer” their way to a goal, target, or “answer.”
  • Servo-mechanisms are divided into two general types: (I) where the target, goal, or answer is known and the objective is to reach it or accomplish it, and (2) where the target or answer is not known and the objective is to discover or locate if. The human brain and nervous system operates in both ways.
  • The torpedo accomplishes its goal by going forward, making errors, and continually correcting them. By a series of zigzags if literally gropes its way to the goal.
  • When you select the goal and trigger it into action, an automatic mechanism takes over.
  • … when we set out to find a new idea, or the answer to a problem, we must assume that the answer exists already–somewhere–and set out to find it.
  • “Once a scientist attacks a problem which he knows to have an answer, his entire attitude is changed. He is already some 50 percent of his way towards that answer”. — Dr. Norbert Wiener
  • Dog eared page
    • 1. … This goal or target must be conceived of as “already in existence–now” either in actual or potential form. It operates by either (1) steering you to a goal already in existence or (2) “discovering” something already in existence.
      • Ryan’s Notes: 1) You supply the clear goal
    • 2. … It is the function of the automatic mechanism to supply the means whereby when you supply the goal. Think in terms of the end result, and the means whereby will often take care of themselves
      • The precise action step will come to you without stress, tension, or worry about how you are going to accomplish the result you seek. Many people make the mistake of interfering with their Success Mechanism by demanding a how before a goal is clearly established… Remain calm and relaxed and the answers will arrive
      • “In all mental workings, effort defeats itself.” — Brain Tracy
      • Ryan’s Note: State -> Story -> strategy
      • Ryan’s Notes: 2) your servo-mechanism supplies the actions
    • 3. … All servo-mechanisms achieve a goal by negative feedback, or by going forward, making mistakes, and immediately correcting course.
    • 4. Skill learning of any kind is accomplished by trail and error mentally correcting aim after an error,… further learning, and continued success, is accomplished by forgetting the past errors, and remembering the successful response, so that it can be imitated.
    • 5. You must learn to trust your Creative Mechanism to do its work and not “jam it” by becoming too concerned or too anxious as to whether it will work or not, or by attempting to force it by too much conscious effort… “let it” work, rather than “make it” work… its nature is to operate spontaneously according to present need. Therefore, you have no gurantees in advance. It comes into operation as you act and as you place a demand on it by actions…. “Do the thing and you will have power,” said Emerson

Chapter 3: Imagination: The First Key to Your Success Mechanism

  • … Only an understanding of the fact that his imagination had wrought such havoc with his self-image that he had lost sight of the truth.
  • We either use our imagination constructively or destructively. The key is becoming aware of which way you’re using yours–and improving on it daily.
  • Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a real experience. In either case, it reacts automatically to information that you give to it from your forebrain
  • Your nervous system reacts appropriately to what you think or imagine to be true.
  • It follows that if our ideas and mental images concerning ourselves are distorted or unrealistic, then our reaction to our environment will likewise be inappropriate.
  • Cybernetics regards the human brain, nervous system, and muscular system as a highly complex servo-mechanism: an automatic goal-seeking machine that “steers” its way to a target or goal by use of feedback data and stored information, automatically correcting course when necessary.
  • … this concept does not mean that you are a machine, but that your physical brain and body functions as a machine that you operate.
  • Each day, he had his students close their eyes, relax their bodies as much as possible, and create a “mental motion picture” of themselves as they would like to be. In this mental motion picture they would see themselves as sober, responsible persons. They would see themselves actually enjoying life without liquor.
  • However, it is common knowledge among psychologist that most of us underrate ourselves; short change ourselves and sell ourselves short. Actually, there is no such thing as a “superiority complex.” People who seem to have one are actually suffering from feelings of inferiority–their “superior self” is a fiction, a cover-up, to hide from themselves and others their deep-down feeling of inferiority and insecurity.
  • It doesn’t matter how you acted yesterday. You do not need to try to have faith you will act in the ideal way tomorrow. Your nervous system will take care of that in time–if you continue to practice. See yourself acting, feeling, “being,” as you want to be. Do not say to yourself, “I am going to act this way tomorrow.” Just say to yourself: “I am going to imagine myself acting this way now–for thirty minutes today.”
  • The biggest key is to practice every day.
    • Ryan’s note: This whole chapter is about visualization.

Chapter 4: Dehypnotise Yourself from False Beliefs

  • “… When the hypnotist has guided the subject to the point where he is convinced that the hypnotist’s word are true statements, the subject then behaves differently because he thinks and believes differently”
  • Lecky concluded that poor grades in school are, in almost every case, due in some degree to the students’ “self-conception” and “self-definition.”
  • I do not compare myself unfavorably with them and feel that I am no good merely because I cannot do certain areas, every person I meet, from the newsboy on the corner, to the president of the bank, is superior to me in certain respects. But neither can any of these people repair a scarred face, or do any number of other things as well as I.
  • Feelings of inferiority originate not so much from facts or experiences, but our conclusions regarding facts, and our evaluation of experiences.
  • It all depends on “what” and “whose” norms we measure ourselves by.
  • And this feeling of inferiority comes about for just one reason: We judge ourselves, and measure ourselves, not against our own “norm” or “par” but against some other individual’s “norm.” … The next logical conclusion in this cockeyed reasoning process is to conclude that we are not “worthy.”
  • The person with an inferiority complex invariably compounds the error by striving for superiority. His feelings spring from the false premise that he is inferior… If he feels bad because hi is inferior, the cure is to make himself as good as everybody else, and the way to feel really good is to make himself superior.
  • The truth about you is this:
    • You are not “inferior”
    • You are not “superior”
    • You are simply “You.”
  • … modern man’s anxiety and insecurity stemmed from a lack of self-realization, and that inner security can only be found “in finding in oneself an individuality, uniqueness, and distinctiveness that is akin to the idea of being created in the image of God.” … self-realization is gained by “a simple belief in one’s own uniqueness as a human being, a sense of deep and wide awareness of all people and all things, and a feeling of constructive influencing of others through one’s own personality.”
  • Physical relaxation plays a key role in the dehypnotization process,
  • It has been amply demonstrated that attempting to use effort or will power to change beliefs or to cure bad habits as an adverse, rather than a beneficial
  • “When the will and imagination are in conflict, the imagination invariably wins the day”
  • Making an effort to refrain from the habit actually reinforced the habit, he found. His experiments proved that the best way to break a habit is to form a clear mental image of the desired end result, and to practice without effort toward reaching that goal. Dunlap found that either “positive practice” (refraining from the habit) or “negative practice” (performing the habit consciously and voluntarily) would have beneficial effect provided the desired end result was kept constantly in mind.
  • The important factor in learning … is the thought of an objective to be attained, either as a specific behavior pattern or as the result of the behavior, together with a desire for the attainment of the object.”
  • Physical relaxation, when practiced daily, brings about an accompanying mental relaxation and a relaxed attitude that enables us to better consciously control our automatic mechanism. Physical relaxation also, in itself, has a powerful influence in dehypnotizing us from negative attitudes and reaction patterns.
  • Practice exercises pages 67 and 68.

Chapter 5: How to Utilize the Power of Rational Thinking

  • Ryan’ Note: This is why the values from DWD is powerful. Consciously setting your unconscious mechanism. Need to reset these for my current goals.
  • Your automatic mechanism… “unconscious,” is absolutely impersonal. It operates as a machine and has no “will” of its own. It always tries to react appropriately to your current beliefs and interpretations concerning environment. It always seeks to give you appropriate feelings, and to accomplish the goals that you consciously determine. It works only on the data that you feed it in the form of ideas, beliefs, interpretations, opinions.
  • It is conscious thinking that is the “control knob” of your unconscious machine. It was by conscious thought, tough perhaps irrational and unrealistic, that the unconscious machine developed its negative and inappropriate reaction patterns, and it is by conscious rational thought that the automatic reaction patterns can be changed.
  • These negative experiences do not inhibit, but contribute to the learning process, as long as they are used properly as “negative feedback data”.
  • However, as soon as the error has been recognized as such, and correction of course made, it is equally important that the error be consciously forgotten, and the successful attempt remembered and dwelt on.
  • These memories of past failures do no harm as long as conscious thought and attention are focused on the positive goal to be accomplished. Therefore, it is best to let these sleeping dogs lie.
  • Ryan’s note: Reframing the negative to what else could this mean. Life is happening to me.
  • The minute that we change our minds and stop giving power to the past, the past with its mistakes loses its power over us.
  • Like others who had a Puritan education , I had the habit of meditating on my sins, follies, and shortcomings… Gradually I learned to be indifferent to myself and my deficiencies.
  • … getting the subject to see that some negative concept of his was inconsistent with some other deeply held beliefs.
  • “Would you physically get down on all fours and crawl into the man’s office, prostrating yourself before a superior personage? … “Then why do you mentally cringe and crawl?
  • There are standard convictions which are strongly held by nearly everyone. These are (I) the feeling or belief that one is capable of doing his share, holding up his end of the log, exerting a certain amount of independence , and (2) the belief that there is “something” inside you which should not be allowed to suffer indignities.
  • Do you become anxious and fearful for no good reason in a situation that is relatively safe?
  • “Is this belief based on an actual fact or on an assumption–or a false conclusion?” Then ask yourself the questions:
    • Is there any rational reason for such a belief?Could it be that I am mistaken in this belief?Would I come to the same conclusion about some other person in a similar situation?Why should I continue to act and feel as if this were true if there is no good reason to believe it?
  • “we have to deal primarily with thought and thought habits. ‘As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.'”
  • … your automatic mechanism does not reason about, or question, the data you feed it. It merely processes it and reacts appropriately to it.
  • It is very important that the automatic mechanism be given true facts concerning the environment. This is the job of conscious rational thought: to know the truth, to form correct evaluations, estimations, and opinions. In this connection most of us are prone to underestimate ourselves and overestimate the nature of the difficulty facing us. “Alway think of what you have to do as easy and it will become so.
  • Practically always it seems to be due to the tendency to exaggerate the difficulty and importance of your mental labors, to take them too seriously and fear they will find you incapable.
  • It is the job of your conscious mind to pay strict attention to the task at hand… these incoming sensory messages can keep your automatic mechanism currently advised of the environment and allow it to respond spontaneously.
  • In short, conscious, rational thought selects the goal, gather information, concludes, evaluates, estimates, and starts the wheels in motion. It is not, however, responsible for results. We must learn to do our work, act on the best assumptions available, and leave results to take care of themselves.

Chapter 6: Relax and Let Your Success Mechanism Work for You

  • we could relieve ourselves of a vast load of care, anxiety, and worry if we could but recognize the simple truth that our creator made ample provisions for us to live successfully in this or any other age by providing us with a built-in Creative Mechanism.
  • Five Rules for Freeing Your Creative Machinery
    • Do your worrying before you place bet, Not After the Wheel starts Turning
    • Form the habit of consciously responding to the present moment
      • Look neither forward nor backward beyond a 24-hour cycle. Live today as best as you can. By living today well you do the most within your power to make tomorrow better.
      • Practice becoming more consciously aware of your present environment. What sights, sounds, odors are present in your environment right now
      • Consciously practice looking and listening.
    • Try to do only one thing at a time
    • Sleep on it
    • Relax while you work

Chapter 7: You Can Acquire the Habit of Happiness

  • A ten-study of frustration at Yale University brought out that much of what we call immorality and hostility to others is brought about by our own unhappiness.
  • Happiness is not something that is earned or deserved. Happiness is not a moral issue, any more than the circulation of the blood is a moral issue.
  • One of the most pleasant thoughts to any human being is the thought that he is needed, that he is important enough and competent enough to help and add to the happiness of some other human being. However, if we make a moral issue out of happiness and conceive of it as something to be earned as a sort of reward for being unselfish, we are very apt to feel guilty about wanting happiness.
  • If you are to be happy at all, you must be happy–period! Not happy “because of.”
  • You are acting the same way. You are letting outward events and other people dictate to you how you shall feel and how you shall react.
  • “Men are disturbed not by the things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen.”
  • … one of the things that helped me was that I kept reminding myself that all these impossibles were opinions, not facts. I not only managed to reach my goal–but I was happy in the process.

Chapter 8: Ingredients of the “Success-Type” Personality and How to Acquire Them

  • The success-type personality is composed of:
    • Sense of direction
    • Understanding
    • Courage
    • Compassion
    • Esteem
    • Self-Confidence
    • Self-Acceptance
  • Sense of direction
    • … he had been motivated by strong personal goals that he wanted to attain, including securing his present position. These goals, which were important to him, kept him on the track. However, once he got the promotion, he ceased to think in terms of what he wanted, but in terms of what others expected of him, or whether he was living up to other people’s goals and standards.
    • Prescription: Get yourself a goal worth working for… a project. Decide what you want out of a situation. Always have something ahead of you to “look forward to”–to work for and hope for. Look forwards, not backwards… Develop a “nostalgia for the future”… Get interested in some project to help your fellow man–not out of a sense of duty, but because you want to.
  • Understanding
    • Understanding depends on good communication
    • Most of our failures in human relations are due to “misunderstandings.”
    • Prescription: Look for and seek out true information concerning yourself, your problems, other people, or the situation, whether it is good news or bad news… “It doesn’t matter who’s right, but what’s right.”
  • Courage
    • Having a goal and understanding the situation are not enough. You must have the courage to act, for only by actions can goals, desires, and beliefs be translated into realities.
    • All problems, personal, national, or combat, become smaller if you don’t dodge them, but confront them.
    • Someone has said that faith is not believing something in spite of the evidence. It is the courage to do something regardless of the consequences.
    • Prescription: Be willing to make a few mistakes, to suffer a little pain to get what you want.
  • Compassion*
    • It is a psychological fact that our feeling about ourselves tend to correspond to our feelings about others, he invariably begins to feel more compassion towards himself.
    • One of the best known methods of getting over a feeling of guilt is to stop condemning other people in your own mind–stop judging them…
    • Compassion toward other people is symptomatic of the successful personality is because it means that the person is dealing with reality. People are important.
    • Prescription: (1) Try to develop a genuine appreciation for people by realizing the truth about them; they are children of God, unique personalities, creative beings. (2) Take the trouble to stop and think of the other person’s feeling, his viewpoints, his desires and needs. Think more of what the other fellow wants, and how he must feel. (3) Act as if other people are important and treat them accordingly. In your treatment of other people have regard for their feelings. We tend to feel about others in accordance with the way we treat them.
  • Esteem
    • Jealousy… is nearly always caused by self-doubt.
    • Prescription: The biggest secret of self-esteem is this: Begin to appreciate other people more; show respect for any human being merely because he is a child of God and therefore a “thing of value.” … Practice treating other people as if they have some value… For real self-esteem is not derived from the great things you’ve done, the things you own, the mark you’ve made–but an appreciation of yourself for what you are–a child of God.
  • Self-Confidence
    • Confidence is built upon an experience of success… Even a small success can be used as a stepping-stone to a greater one.
    • Another important technique is to form the habit of remembering past success, and forgetting failures.
    • This is because the computer in his brain remembers and reinforces his successful attempts, and forgets the misses.
    • To engage our Success Mechanism, repeat the commands that work and remember them. Forget the mistakes and errors. Anytime you hit the wrong button or key, retrace your steps and go back to repeating the steps that are successful.
    • Prescription: Use errors and mistakes as a way to learning–then dismiss them from your mind. Deliberately remember and picture to yourself past successes. Everyone has succeed sometime at something. Especially when beginning a new task, call up the feelings you experienced in some past success, however small it might have been.
    • Just as “goals” can be seen as “projects”–“success experiences” can be called “happy moments” or something similar.
  • Self-Acceptance
    • Prescription: Accept yourself as your are

Chapter 9: The Failure Mechanism: How to Make It work for You Instead of Against You

  • Insecurity:
    • The feeling of insecurity is based on a concept or belief if inner inadequacy.
    • … due to the fact that we use a false measuring stick.
  • Uncertainty
    • It is based on the fallacious premise that if no decision is mad, nothing can go wrong.
    • Many people are indecisive because they fear loss of self-esteem if they are proven wrong. Use self-esteem for yourself, instead of against yourself, by convincing yourself of this truth: Big men and big personalities make mistakes and admit them. It is the little man who is afraid to admit he has been wrong
    • No man ever became great or good except through many and great mistakes. — William E. Gladstone
  • Emptiness
    • Many people acquire the outward symbols of success, but when they go to open the long-sought-for treasure chest, they find it empty. It is as if the money they have strained so hard to attain turns to counterfeit in their hands.
    • … lost the capacity to enjoy.
    • The failure mechanism is self-perpetuating, unless we step in and break the vicious cycle.
    • Emptiness may also be the symptom of inadequate self-image. It is impossible to psychologically accept something that you feel does not belong to you–or is not consistent with your self.
    • … the man who feels guilty, insecure, and anxious when he realizes he has “succeeded.”
      • Ryan’s note: This is similar to the person that can’t take a compliment. My old self-image allowed me to take a compliment, but not to internalize it as my self-image improves my success increases
  • Automobiles come equipped with negative indicators placed directly in front of the driver, to tell you when the battery is not charging, when the engine is becoming too hot, when the oil pressure is becoming too low, etc. To ignore these negatives might ruin your car. However, there is no need to become unduly upset if some negative signal flashes. You merely stop at a service station or a garage, and take positive action to correct. A negative signal does not mean the car is no good. All cars overheat at times.

Chapter 10: How to Remove Emotional Scars, or How to Give Yourself an Emotional Face-Lift

  • … the person who feels “lonely” or out of touch with other human beings, also feels out of touch with his real self and with life.
  • Emotional scars prevent you from creative living, or being what Dr. Arthur W. Combs called a “self-fulfilled person”… goal of every human being should be to become a “self-fulfilled person.”.. is not something you’re born with, but must be achieved. self-fulfilled persons have the following characteristics:
    • They see themselves as liked, wanted, acceptable, and able individuals
    • They have a high degree of acceptance of themselves as they are.
    • They have a feeling of oneness with others.
    • They have a rich store of information and knowledge.
  • Three Rules for Immunizing Yourself Against Emotional Hurts
    • Be too big to feel threatened
      • … is the development of a healthy, strong ego by building up self-esteem.
    • A self-Reliant, Responsible Attitude Makes You less vulnerable
      • Develop a more self-reliant attitude. Assume responsibility for your own life and emotional needs.
    • Relax away emotional hurts
      • If there is no tension present, there is no disfiguring emotional scar left.
      • “No man is hurt but by himself,” said Diogenes
  • “‘I can forgive, but I cannot forget,’ is only another way of saying ‘I will not forgive.'”

Chapter 11: How to Unlock Your Real Personality

  • When we say that a person “has a good personality,” what really mean is that he has freed and released the creative potential within him and is able to express his real self.
  • The symptoms of inhibition are many and varied: shyness, timidity, self-consciousness, hostility, feelings of excessive guilt, insomnia, nervousness, irritability, inability to get along with others.
  • Frustration is characteristic of practically every area and activity of the inhibited personality. His real and basic frustration is his failure to “be himself” and his failure to adequately express himself. But this basic frustration is likely to color and overflow into all that he does.
  • The purpose of negative feedback, however, is to modify response, and change the course of forward action, not to stop it altogether.
  • When we overreact to negative feedback or criticism, we are likely to conclude that not only is our present course slightly off beam, or wrong, but that it is wrong for us to even want to go forward.
  • However if negative feedback is to be effective in helping us to talk better, it should (I) be more or less automatic or subconscious, (2) it should occur spontaneously, or while we’re talking, and (3) response to feedback should not be so sensitive as to result in inhibition.
  • Excessive Carefulness Leads to Inhibition and Anxiety
  • Excessive carefulness, or being too anxious not to make an error, is a form of excessive negative feedback.
  • If you want really to do your best in an examination, fling away the book the day before,
  • Mangan also found that he could overcome his stage fright and self-consciousness when calling on big shots, or in any other social situation, by saying to himself, “I’m going to eat with Ma and Pa,” conjuring up in his imagination how he had felt and how he had acted… The Knack of Selling Yourself
  • Poise is the deliberate shunting aside of all fears arising from new and uncontrollable circumstance.
  • If you are among the millions who suffer unhappiness and failure because of inhibition–you need to deliberately practice dishibition. You need to practice being less careful, less concerned, less conscientious. You need to practice speaking before you think instead of thinking before you speak–acting without thinking, instead of thinking of “considering carefully” before you act.
  • “Yes,” I say, “you are correct. The world does need a certain amount of inhibition. But not you…”
  • Here, the principle of cybenetics enters into the picture again. Our goal is an adequate, self-fulfilling, creative personality. The path to the goal is a course between too much inhibition and too little. When there is too much, we correct course by ignoring inhibition and practicing more disinhibition.
  • The feedback signals that can tell you whether you are off course because of too little inhibition are numerous, and include
    • You continually get yourself into trouble because of overconfidence.
    • You habitually “rush in where angels fear to tread.”
    • You habitually find yourself in hot water because of impulsive, ill-considered actions.
    • You can never admit you’re wrong
    • You are a load talker or a blabbermouth
  • … too much inhibition, and the signals of too much inhibition are also many:
    • You are shy around strangers; you dread new and strange situations.
    • You feel inadequate, worry a lot, are anxious, overly concerned
    • You are nervous and feel self-conscious; you have “nervous symptoms” such as facial tics, blinking your eyes unnecessarily , tremor, difficulty in going to sleep
    • You feel ill at ease in social situations
    • You hold yourself back and continually take a backseat.
  • You need to follow St. Paul’s advice to the Ephesians: “Be careful in nothing”
  • Stop criticizing yourself. The inhibited person indulges in self-critical analysis continually. After each action, however simple he says to himself, “I wonder if I should have done that.”
  • Let people know when you like them. The inhibited personality is afraid of expressing “good” feelings as bad ones. If he expresses love, he is afraid it will be judged sentimentality; if he expresses friendship, he is afraid it will be considered fawning or apple-polishing
  • Compliment at least three people every day. If you like what someone is doing, or wearing, or saying–let them know it. Be direct. “I like that idea, Joe.” “Mary, that’s great work you did today.” “Jim, that proves to me you are a smart person.” And if you’re married, just say to your spouse, “I love you” at least twice a day.

Chapter 12: Do-It-Yourself Tranquilizers That Bring Peace of Mind

  • Tranquilizers do not change the environment. The disturbing stimuli are still there. We are still able to recognize them intellectually, be we do not respond to them emotionally.
  • “I have a foxhole in my mind.” He went on to say that just as a soldier retreated into his foxhole for protection, rest, and recuperation, he periodically retired into hi own mental foxhole, where he allowed nothing to bother him.
  • Clear You Mechanism Before Undertaking a New Problem
  • You are basically an “actor”–not a “reactor”

Chapter 13: How to Turn a Crisis into a Creative Opportunity

  • Practice Without Pressure
    • Pressure retards learning
    • one man I know lines up six or eight empty chairs, imagines people sitting in them, and practices his speech on the imaginary audience.
  • Crisis Brings Power
    • “We lead timid lives, shrinking from difficult tasks till perhaps we are forced into them or ourselves determine on them, and immediately we seem to unlock the unseen forces…”
    • … fearlessly accepting the challenge, and confidently expending our strength.
    • This means maintaining an aggressive, goal-directed attitude, rather than a defensive, evasive, negative one: No matter what happens, I can handle it, or I can see it through, rather than I hope nothing happens.
    • Prescott Lecky, author of Self-Consistency: A theory of Personality has said that the purpose of emotion is “re-inforcement,” or additional strength… only one basic emotion–“excitement”–and that excitement manifests itself as fear, anger, courage, etc., depending on our own inner goals at the time
    • Any normal person who is intelligent enough to understand the situation becomes “excited” or “nervous” just before a crisis situation. Until you direct it towards a goal, this excitement is neither fear, anxiety, courage, confidence, nor anything else other than a stepped-up, reinforced supply of emotional steam in your boiler…. It is a sign of additional strength to be used in any way you choose.
    • The term “spirited” is a good one.
  • What is the Worst That Can Possibly happen?
    • Such reasons always exist, since at the worst nothing that happens to oneself has any cosmic importance. When you have looked for some time steadily at the worst possibility and have said to yourself with real conviction, ‘Well, after all, that would not matter so very much,’ you will find that your worry diminishes to a quite extraordinary extend.
    • … so-called crisis situations are not life-or-death matters at all, but opportunities to either advance, or stay where you are.
    • One salesman I know doubled hi income after he was able to change his attitude from a scary panicky, “Everything depends upon this” outlook to the attitude “I have everything to gain and nothing to lose.”

Chapter 14: How to Get That Winning Feeling

  • … you must think of the end result in terms of a present possibility. The possibility of the goal must be seen so clearly that it becomes “real” to your brain and nervous system. So real, in fact, that the same feelings are evoked as would be present if the goal were already achieved.
  • Our brain and nervous system cannot tell the difference between a real experience, and one that is vividly imagined… The only information concerning the environment, circumstance, or situation available to it is what you believe to be true concerning it.
  • On the other hand, if we keep our positive goal in mind, and picture it to ourselves so vividly as to make it “real,” and think of it in terms of an accomplished fact, we will also experience winning feelings: self-confidence, courage, and faith that the outcome will be desirable .
  • It is much easier and more effective to simply define your goals or end result. Picture it to yourself clearly and vividly. Then simply capture the feeling you would experience if the desirable goal were already an accomplished fact.
  • Getting the “winning feeling” is not just about “winning’ a game or an event. It’s also about how you feel when you’re at your best and remembering that feeling so you can repeat it again and again. Whether you can remember the feeling as well as what you did to create it, you have access to the experience again an again.
  • Begin by outlining and defining to yourself the most desirable possible outcome. Begin with your “suppose.” “Suppose the best possible outcome did actually come about?” Next, remind yourself that after all this could happen. Not that it will happen, at this stage, but only that it could. Remind yourself that, after all, such a good desirable outcome is possible.
  • Play them over and over to yourself. As your mental images become more detailed, as they are repeated over and over again–you will find that once more appropriate feeling are beginning to manifest themselves, just as if the favorable outcome had already happened. This time the appropriate feeling will be those of faith, self-confidence, courage–or all wrapped up into one package, “that winning feeling.
  • … failure feelings–fear, anxiety, lack of self-confidence– do not spring from some heavenly oracle.
  • They originate from your own mind. They are indicative only of attitudes of mind within you.
  • They mean only that you are underestimating your own abilities, overestimating and exaggerating the nature of the difficulty before you, and that you are reactivating memories of past failures rather than memories of past successes… but only your own mental attitude about the future event.
  • Knowing this, you are free to accept or reject these negative failure feelings; to obey them and take counsel of them, or to ignore their advice and go ahead. Moreover, you are in a position to use them for your own benefit.
  • The worrier’s job is not to overcome some particular source of worry, but to change mental habits. As long as the mind is “set” or geared in a passive, defeatist, I-hope-nothing-happens sort of attitude, there will always be something to worry about.
  • … the engrams in the human brain tend to change slightly each time they are “played back.” They take on some of the tone and temper of our present mood, thinking, and attitudes toward them. Also, each individual neuron may become a part of perhaps 100 separate and distinct patterns…
  • Don’t pit your will directly against the music. As long as the same mental imagery (the cause) occupies your attention, no amount of effort will change the music (the result). Instead, try putting a new record on. Change your mental imagery, and the feelings will take care of themselves.

Chapter 15: More years of Life and More Life in Your Years

  • … literally add insult to injury whenever the physical body suffers damage
  • If aging is brought about by using up of our adaptation energy, as most experts in the field seem to think, then our indulging ourselves in negative components of the Failure Mechanism can literally make us old before our-time by using up that energy faster.
  • They were optimistic, cheerful positive thinkers who not only expected to get well in a hurry, but invariably had some compelling reason or need to get well quick.
  • When we decide to curtail mental and social activities, we stultify ourselves. We become “set” in our ways, bored, and give up our “great expectations”
  • Dr. John Schindler, in his book How to Live 365 Days a Year, pointed out what he believed to be six basic needs that every human being has
    • The need for love
    • The need for security
    • The need for creative expression
    • The need for recognition
    • The need for New experiences
    • The need for self-esteem
  • I would add another basic need: the need for more life. The need to look forward to tomorrow and to the future with gladness and anticipation
  • Ryan’s notes: How do these compare to Tony’s 6 human needs? 1) Certainty 2) Uncertainty 3) Love 4) Significance 5)Growth 6) Contribution
  • This is why I tell my patients to “develop a nostalgia for the future” instead of for the past if they want to remain productive and vital. Develop an enthusiasm for life, create a need for more life, and you will receive more life.
  • Faith, courage, interest, optimism, looking forward bring us new life and more life. Futility, pessimism, frustration, or living in the past are not only characteristic of “old age,” they also contribute to it.
  • Dr Alexis Carrel, in writing of is personal observations of instantaneous healings at Lourdes, said that the only explanation he could make as a medical doctor was that the body’s own natural healing processes, which normally operate over a period of time to bring about healing, were somehow “speeded up” under the influence of intense faith.
  • I believe that there is one life, one ultimate source, but that this one life has many channels of expression and manifests itself in many forms. If we are to “get more living out of life,” we should not limit the channels through which life may come to us. We must accept it, whether it comes in the form of science, religion, psychology, or whatnot.
  • Another important channel is other people. Let us not refuse the help, happiness, and joy that others may bring us, or that we can give to them. Let us not be too proud to accept help from others, or too callous to give it. Let us not say “unclean” just because the form of the gift may not coincide with our prejudices or our ideas of self-importance.

Afterwords: What You Can Expect with Pyscho-Cybernetics

  • First, you will begin to notice that the calm, relaxed state you put yourself into before using mental imagery will grow stronger and you’ll carry this calmness with you throughout the day.
  • over time, this leads to a feeling of being in flow. Yet this flow doesn’t come if you only read the book or practice once in a while. It’s the “daily bath” you take in the principles of Pyscho-Cybernetics that makes the difference.
  • Second, you’ll note that Pyscho-Cybernetics, unlike other self-help systems, does not tell you to set a deadline for the goal you want to achieve.
  • I believe anyone would be better served without the rigid time frame. You could just begin to imagine the goal– and feel good about having it.You could imagine what you want, and when the action steps come to you, you follow through. once yo’ve taken these actions, you make progress. You may be surprised that you feel better and achieve your goal sooner than you’d expect. …never had to fight a belief about when you were going to achieve your goal. You only had to convince yourself that you could and would achieve the goal. Your automatic guidance system never got jammed.
  • Third, in the beginning you’re better off picturing a short-term goal or project–as well ass something that tend to be emotionally charged. Picturing something you’d like to create in a day or a week…
  • Start with small stuff before tackling the big stuff. In this way you’ll build confidence in the process–and in yourself.
  • Fourth, over time as you use mental imagery on a daily, consistent basis, other mental skills may begin showing up in your life.
  • It’s a fascinating topic of conversation at the very least. the way I see it, if the intuitive skill s are showing up of their own accord, without your even asking for them…
  • That morning, when I went into my mental movie house and for into a relaxed state of mind, I realized something strange. I could not visualize my goals. I could not look at past successes or moments of happiness.

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