So, in the twentieth century, Maxwell Maltz was plastic surgeon. He discovered in process doing countless surgeries that his few patients when they had new appearance their lives totally changed. Other patients still believed they were unattractive. They still thought that they couldn’t get any benefit from the physical transformation in their appearance. And disrupt Maxwell Maltz really deeply. He spent second part of life looking at inner scars rather than inner scars. And he really got into self-image psychology is a power of subconscious mind to form a healthy & happy life. Psycho-Cybernetics is essentially the combination of that self-image psychology with the science that was really popular during his time called cybernetics.
So, we’ll go over of the big ideas that form the core of Psycho-Cybernetics. But first, let’s see the idea of cybernetics is the Greek term for the steersman. It literally means the steersman and cybernetics was a popular science. All about things like guided missiles that were servomechanisms that had a target that could be programmed. And then they had a program that would allow them having a target and then be launched and adjust their course to reach the target that’s cybernetics. So, the idea is that we humans are goal-oriented much like a directed missile or a servomechanism. And that we operate best when we got some clear goal and we’re taking action toward that goal. So that’s a basic idea of Psycho-Cybernetics.
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Psycho-Cybernetics is full of different frameworks and ideas mostly related to how self-esteem and self-image have outcomes in our life. Now there’s some of other stuff built in there but generally focuses on self-esteem.
He continues and discusses about how as plastic surgeon he observed that a lot of times changes in his patients came through their beliefs, not their actual physical changes. So, if someone changed their physical outlook & then believed that they are beautiful, they started acting that way. But if they still believed that they were disfigured then they would continue to feel that way. And that would have really big impacts on their lives and also what they accomplished. He then continues to talk quite much about visualization as the tool for improvement in many different ways. And its reason is his interest in some hypnosis type stuff. And says that those thoughts are strong that they come across.
That it’s true so he recommends that you try doing things like visualizations where you sit, close your eyes, clear your mind, think about what you wish to happen. And how that really helps increase your effectiveness and happiness depends on what you are working on.
Maltz then continues to talk about how rational thought can help keep you in balance & guide you forward. So, he says to question thoughts as they pop up so you can question yourself something is this rationale does this make sense. And as you question about these beliefs, you can dispel the beliefs, once you compare them to the broader view of life.
Maltz talks about importance of relaxation. So that, if you’re just way too fixated on one problem and driving all the energy in it. You might have a great difficulty in solving it. But as soon you go, you take the nap or focus on some other thing for a while. Your mind can kind of crank away at it. So that when you come back you’ll have an answer that you needed.
Now there’s big chunk book that talks about what you can control and concentrating on that. So, the example that he uses is basically the telephone ringing. So, a stimulus comes in when the phone is ringing & you can sit there and choose whether to answer it or not. Here is an action that the phone is calling you to do but you are ultimately in control of how you react. Then you can expand this to a great range of incoming stimuli. Something happens but you always have a choice to react to it. He says if it helps, you can contemplate about that phone call. Then you select what you will do. So, as you expand that belief and build-up your habits & you can realize as any stimulus happens you got choice to make the reaction that you want.
He then goes over some frameworks for success and for failure and different attributes of what caused those two things. And wraps up by talking about setting goals. And how the people who are getting older have as much life as they’ve set goals for. So, he just talks about how when you’re really driven to a purpose then you got more energy and more life to get things done. If you do not have goals & you’re not working towards anything. Then the life and energy are kinds of just sucked out of you. So, there’s quite a little information & bunch of different frameworks within this book. But the heaviest thing that Maltz hits is building your self-esteem and self-image. And getting the tools to really feel good about yourself and have these beliefs that lead you more success.
Let’s move on to other considerations. One thing, if you end up reading the book to think about is there are several references to under a Christian type of theology they’re not essential to the book. But that’s something just to be aware of. You can still get valuable information about self-esteem and whatnot without really digging into that stuff. But that is a point to bring-up that stuff is in there.
Another thing is as with all of the books in this kind of genre and that is a little older there’s many of woo-woo stuff. So, as always anything that doesn’t really resonate with you just naturally you can’t quite understand that you’re skeptical to do more research. Because these principles or at least the mechanics behind them have been explained in a separate way through psychology and just over time.
Let’s move on to the applicable content and exercises. This book talks heavily about creating the positive and empowered self-image.
- What activities do you participate in which make you feel more powerful?
- How can you leverage those events to create more positivity in life as a whole?
If you would like to try these techniques, set yourself a timer for about five minutes, during that time close the eyes either focus on your breathing or something you would like to accomplish. See how that makes you feel.
So all-in-all there’s a good value to be gotten out of Psycho-Cybernetics. You might have to be around a bit and kind of parse out what Maltz’ saying but there is some good stuff in there.
Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. This is an old book so basically, it’s from the 50s. It talks about the psychology, self in the psychology of the way people look at themselves. Some stories are very interesting because he is actually plastic surgeon. He worked as plastic surgeon in war and then started his own plastic surgery practice when the war ended. Few stories in here are quite illuminating about people’s visions of self. And one such story is that people who got plastic surgery often want to transform their lives by changing their appearance. It’s a common incident that a person after getting constructive surgery has then gone on to start dancing or singing or acting or becoming gregarious and fun-loving. Simply because the bruise in their nose was removed.
Yet conversely other people can have their plastic surgery done, and facial features are corrected and in harmony with their look that they don’t believe they’re any different. They don’t even consider that the surgery took place. A doctor often has to show a picture of it before surgery and a picture after the surgery. And even then, some patients refused to trust that that was the same person. Even when looking in a mirror some people still see that ugly bump on the nose. And declined to think that the new look they have now is real them. Even, if you just see at that slightly from an objective point we can start to see that our mentality truly shapes ourselves and our identity.
The way you think, the way you objectify yourself or the way that you understand yourself could be the very reason you have problems in life. It seems that through these stories in this book, the doctor kind of wheeze story of conscious reality create a type of perception that lasts pretty much all throughout your life. If you’re mindful of your own thoughts of yourself then you can change those thoughts and change yourself. Your thoughts really create your reality.
In understanding that I think that goal-setting and creating a meaningful life is also going and create better self-image and much more happiness in your lives. This novel is not about how to be happy or how to face emotions. The book is the psychological take on what is it that makes us define ourselves and how we see ourselves.
When you read this book, you will realize after a section, it is critical because it makes us into monsters or into angels and depending on how we see ourselves. We might be living a narcissistic unreal reality which is not matched by rest of the world. My goal as an individual is to be unbiased and to try to see reality in its truest form. But I’m sure that I to fall into the traps of self-perception and judgment. Because I believe our harshest judges are ourselves.
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Psycho-Cybernetics is the famous self-help book of Maxwell Maltz. PDF and Kindle links to this incredible novel are given below. You can freely download.