Psycho-Cybernetics, Updated and Expanded

By Maxwell Maltz; Published In 2015
Genres: Self Help, Psychology, Nonfiction
A bicycle maintains its poise and equilibrium only so long as it is going forward towards something. You have a good bicycle. Your trouble is you are trying to maintain your balance sitting still, with no place to go.

Adopt the motto—"It doesn't matter who's right, but what's right.

Beauty Is More Than Skin Deep

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.

Functionally, a man is somewhat like a bicycle,” I told him. “A bicycle maintains its poise and equilibrium only so long as it is going forward towards something. You have a good bicycle. Your trouble is you are trying to maintain your balance sitting still, with no place to go. It’s no wonder you feel shaky.

Get yourself a goal worth working for.

Happiness is a mental habit, a mental attitude, and if it is not learned and practiced in the present it is never experienced. It cannot be made contingent upon solving some external problem. When one problem is solved, another appears to take its place. Life is a series of problems. If you are to be happy at all, you must be happy - period! Not happy "because of".

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 towards 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.

I don't like these cold, precise, perfect people, who, in order not to speak wrong, never speak at all, and in order not to do wrong, never do anything," said Henry Ward Beecher.

I have found that one of the commonest causes of unhappiness among my patients is that they are attempting to live their lives on the deferred payment plan. They do not live, or enjoy life now, but wait for some future event or occurrence. They will be happy when they get married, when they get a better job, when they get the house paid for, when they get the children through college, when they have completed some task or won some victory. Invariably, they are disappointed.

Our errors, mistakes, failures, and sometimes even our humiliations, were necessary steps in the learning process. However, they were meant to be means to an end - and not an end in themselves. When they have served their purpose, they should be forgotten. If we consciously dwell on the error, or consciously feel guilty about the error and keep berating ourselves because of it, then - unwittingly - the error or failure itself becomes the "goal" that is consciously held in imagination and memory.

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.

Remember that both behavior and feeling spring from belief. To root out the belief that is responsible for your feeling and behavior—ask yourself, “Why?” Is there some task that you would like to do, some channel in which you would like to express yourself, but you hang back feeling that “I can’t”? Ask yourself, “Why?” “Why do I believe that I can’t?” Then ask yourself, “Is this belief based on an actual fact or on an assumption—or a false conclusion?” Then ask yourself the questions: 1. Is there any rational reason for such a belief? 2. Could it be that I am mistaken in this belief? 3. Would I come to the same conclusion about some other person in a similar situation? 4. Why should I continue to act and feel as if this were true if there is no good reason to believe it?

The important thing for you to remember is that it does not matter in the least how you got the idea or where it came from. You may never have met a professional hypnotist. You may never have been formally hypnotized. But if you have accepted an idea - from yourself, your teachers, your parents, friends, advertisements, from any other source - and further, if you are firmly convinced that idea is true, it has the same power over you as the hypnotist's words have over the hypnotized subject.

The self-image sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. It defines what you can and cannot do. Expand the self-image and you expand the “area of the possible.” The development of an adequate, realistic self-image will seem to imbue the individual with new capabilities, new talents, and literally turn failure into success.

The "Success-type" personality is composed of: S-ense of direction U—nderstanding C-ourage C-harity E-steem S-elf-Confidence S-elf-Acceptance.

The very heart of his system was his finding that effort was the one big deterrent to either breaking a bad habit or learning a new one. 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.