Psycho Cybernetics Summery by Maxwell MaltzTHN
Who’s your favorite life coach? Is it Brian Tracy, Zig Ziegler, Tony Robins, …, who is s/he?
Whoever it is, the three that I have floated above give credit for their programs to this book.
The core message in this book is managing the power of self-affirmation and mental visualization techniques to awaken the mind-body connection.
Ever wondered why it is said all of us have a gift but very few people achieve great heights of success in what they do?
On the flipside, how many times have you met seemingly successful people in life but inside them is a wrecked life? Their kids hate them, they have a horrible sex life, people only respect them for their positions and not who they really are as humans, – a long list 😔
According to Dr. Maltz, this happens when there is a mind-body disconnect. He developed this observation after performing plastic surgery on his many patients over time. Often, his patients had expectations that were not satisfied by the surgery. So, he pursued a means of helping them set the goal of a positive outcome through visualization of that positive outcome, what we call self-affirmation.
This phenomenon where patients thought plastic surgery solved their problems can be likened to the XY problem, a cognitive dissonance in humans.
The XY problem, is largely viewed as a communication problem encountered in fields like customer care, help desks or even emergency dial-ups where the real issue, X, of the person asking for help is obscured, because instead of asking directly about issue X, they ask how to solve a secondary issue, Y, which they believe will allow them to resolve issue X. You can see this play out everyday in life: instead of a person solving a real internal issue, they rather go for an external non-issue. For instance, people tend to post their “good times” on social media to appear happy or successful because they may be trying to prove a point to someone else in the hope of solving their inner insecurities.
However, resolving issue Y often does not resolve issue X, or is a poor way to resolve it, and the obscuring of the real issue and the introduction of the potentially strange secondary issue can lead to the person trying to help having unnecessary difficulties in communication and offering poor solutions. For instance, the aforementioned may end up in debt trying to please people who don’t actually really care and probably sink into more trouble and find even lesser happiness than they project on the outside.
Psycho – a common slang for mental instability when combined with cybernetics – a phrase loosely translated from Greek to mean “a helmsman who steers his ship to port,” can lead to the development of a powerful inner-state by creating a sync between the mind and bodily actions.
Many of the psychological methods of training elite athletes are based on the concepts in this book and nearly all the top life-coaches model their programs from this study.
The conscious mind contains roughly 40 bits/s while the sub-conscious mind 40 million bits per second. Understanding the key difference between these two levels of your mind, will lead to greater performance. The three key areas of study by Dr. Maxwell across the 16 chapters of this book are bound to the following attributes:
1. Self Image
Give a dog a bad name and …. When it comes to self-image, we should reverse our minds to transform our inner critics into our inner coach. The inner-critic is as a result of outer actions and it is not the true us.
If you look at all your success or failure in life, that is your blueprint!
Blueprint (BP) is directly proportional to your Life Condition (LC). In other words, Self-image (SI) minus Life condition equals your Blueprint (that is; SI – LC = BP).
According to Tony Robbins, when experiencing an excellent part of your life, you will realize your BP=LC. However if you also exermine the worst part of your life (or when you have issues in life), you will realize your BP is not equal to your LC. This is self-image and it is relative.
Your Blueprint (BP) is the outcome and Life Condition (is like the process). By understanding these two conditions, you will be able to make up your mind on what you need to improve between the your Life condition (LC) and Blueprint (BP) to strike a healthy balance.
This concept can be found in Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity when it was popularly simplified as, “When you sit with a nice girl for two hours you think it’s only a minute, but when you sit on a hot stove for a minute you think it’s two hours.”
Controlling and moulding our self-image is very important and the basic foundation for achieving our goals. Self-image is not what others think or say of you. It’s about yourself. How you view yourself.
2. Automatic Success or Failure Mechanism
Your brain is a guidance on the things you mould your attention on. Should we call this the law of focus? Basically: garbage in, garbage out!
The things you do on a daily basis drive you towards your ultimate destination. This is known as slight-edge behavior. Question is, “do you know your end game or destination?”
If you don’t, you will become part of someone else’s plan for your life. It doesn’t matter what or where. In relationships, work, sports, free time, and so on. Do you understand why you do what you do? Or are you just on the passenger’s seat?
Self destruction happens from within and conditioning habits and outside influences are how your self-image is moulded.
If you were raised being told you can’t be rich because nobody in your lineage was ever rich, that’s how you will end up. But you can can change this self-image projected unto you by external factors and condition it into strength. For example, the statement above should motivate you to develop the following end game or goal, “I know nobody in my lineage was ever rich. For that, A RICH FAMILY MUST COME FROM ME.”
You’ve just turned your INNER CRITIC to INNER COACH.
This way, realize; failure and success happens automatically. It’s your choice to develop a mechanism to transform youself!
3. Conditioning, Focus and Imagination
Albert Einstein observed that, “imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination, encircles the world”
From the two points above, realize you can condition your mind and when you focus, your imagination becomes a reality.
Everyone that ever did something, did it cause they imagined it. Cristiano Ronaldo isn’t as talented as Lionel Messi but he imagined he could be great despite growing up in abject poverty. So he put in the hard work, fused it with his talent and athletic body, focused, and the result was high achievement.
Lionel Messi struggled with a health condition that made his body weak and couldn’t grow strong. Barcelona saw a gem in him and chipped in to help him improve his health as a kid. They conditioned him to what he is today. He grew strong bones and were it not for this conditioning, Messi wouldn’t have played football.
Conditioning fused with a sharp focus brings imaginations to reality.
The Wright brothers dreamt of flying – they built aeroplanes.
Warner Bros dreamt of a film company, they built The Warner Bros.
Walt Disney imagined Disney Land, he build Disney World.
I also find this wisdom from the Bible valid as found in Habakkuk 2:2 and it says;
[Then the LORD told me: “I will give you my message in the form of a vision. Write it clearly enough to be read at a glance.]
This is the power of affirmations. Always right down your destination (goals) and read them daily. Through conditioning, focus and imagination, they will become a reality.
We are all products of imagination. To develop a sharp focus powerful than affirmations, we need to find a way to condition our minds. It could be for example, through special actions such as incantations.
Witches and magicians are synonymous with incantations. Phrases like hocus-pocus, open sesame, abracadabra, mumbo jumbo and so on can be associated with some automatic resultant action.
What are your habits and rituals before doing anything? What do you think always runs in the minds of great penalty or free kick takers when they stand over the ball? They always have a ritual ceremony to connect their mind and body so as to project their imagination.
In golf, a study was done on the legendary Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman to analyze high performance. It was observed that Jack Nicklaus always took the same time between every swing regardless of if he was up or down in the tournament leader board. On the other hand Greg Norman, took longer when he was winning and his pre-swing routine shortened when he would start to fall behind the leader board. This would instill a loss of focus on Greg Norman mentally, which eventually resulted in a loss.
For Kipchoge to beat the INEOS marathon record, he modeled after Jack Nicklaus. The time in each kilometer was kept relatively equal hence, the sub-2 record was achieved.
Imagination is very important skill humans posses. Most great thinkers in the history of mankind give credence to imagination over IQ. Einstein used his imaginations in dreams to uncover his theory of relativity. Same as Isaac Newton when he used his imagination of an apple falling from a tree to uncover the law of gravity.
When God created the universe and everything in it, the documentation in the Bible cites the use of the phrase, “Let there be __, and it became.”
I also use this concept to develop my systems based on previous & my present studies. And majority of my thesis on human behavior comes especially from watching people everywhere and anywhere.
This book has been my go-to self psychotherapy. The techniques have helped me balance a lot of stuff and operate at near maximum lengths since the things I do require a lot of patience and bravely acts to pull off.
I’ve never looked down on myself when I failed, lost something or faced rejection. No matter what people perceive me to be or say, I remain the true me. I know I am the same person only coming to contact with reality of my actions and the disconnect of people who know so little of me. This also means, I don’t tolerate toxic people on my space; be it on social media or contemporary life. I have power within me to control things I allow myself to.
Success and failure are lousy teachers. How you respond to them makes the difference between a better you and beaten you. If you manage your inner-state, all other things on the outside are just but sinking sand. The end goal of life I figured, is fulfilment. Fulfilment is inborn. I have learnt to find contentment in every situations
Fulfilment is the ultimate success – knowing whatever you did, you achieved the best you could possibly, based on your abilities and not by others’ determination or external drives. Want ecstasy in your life? Want to love more? Unlock your EQ and be mentally and physically stable? Wanna handle pressure better? Is this a state you wish to discover and unlock the powerful powers inside you?
Realize, being gifted, talented, beautiful, athletic or skillful, …., – is not enough!
Without hard and smart work with a dedicated focus; success would be ephemeral like the thrill of ejaculation. You will be like a one-hit wonder. But isn’t it better being a one-hit wonder than a phoney? The answer is none. That’s why you read a book like this – to have your mind fixed in order to achieve the mind-body connection and live in a beautiful state.
I’m happy whenever I pass somewhere (in my community works) people think is damned but see humans still find joy in living despite their bad conditions. And equally pissed when advantaged people act stupid in life and engage in defeatist vices like complaining, unhealthy competition, some even mocking God or other people’s religion in the name of being woke – things like that. The forces of nature aren’t for mocking. If something is in a state of tranquility, please let it be. Spirituality is powerful. That’s why top managers get rid of bad influences in the team.
Avoid projecting bad energy or thoughts coz that is what you attract!
Tap into the abundance of your subconscious mind in your quest for success, meaning and happiness. Highly recommend Psycho-Cybernetics for some of its concepts of achieving high life performance!
The other book I also like that is based on the Law of Attraction theory is “The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.” She delivers it in an interesting style. Influential people like Oprah Winfrey accredit most of their success to this one. Find its cover in the comments section.