*A Book Review*
By Maxwell Maltz
by Michael C. Gray
June 29, 2001
Psycho-Cybernetics is a classic personal development book. Most of the current speakers in the area of personal development, including Zig Ziglar, Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy and others owe a debt to Maxwell Maltz for the foundation of their material. The psychological training of Olympic athletes is also based on the concepts in Psycho-Cybernetics.
Maxwell Maltz was a cosmetic surgeon. He was amazed when, after he had performed some impressive reconstruction procedures, patients would complain they couldn’t see the difference! “I still feel ugly.”
Maltz recognized that, in addition to the reconstruction work on the outside, the patient needed to have reconstruction work on the “inside,” on the patient’s self-image.
The self image is a mental picture that each person has of himself or herself. It includes our beliefs about our abilities and deficiencies, whether we are popular or not, and so forth. Some of these beliefs may have been true at one time, but are no longer true. Until those beliefs are changed, our behavior will continue to be defined by those beliefs. For example, a person may have had a traumatic automobile accident when he or she was driving. He or she may be afraid to drive because of the self-image as a “bad driver.” Until that self-image is changed, that person will continue to be limited by that belief.
Maltz saw human behavior as a negative feedback (cybernetic) system. This is the type of system used in a torpedo or a guided missile. When the torpedo or missile is fired, it will correct its course to reach its goal. People also correct their behavior to reach their goals, including behaving according to their self image.
One of Maltz’s key concepts was the Theater of the Mind, or synthetic experience. Here is an example of how it works. There are three teams of basketball players. One team practices making free throws. The second team doesn’t practice. The third team sits on a bench and mentally practices making free throws. When the three teams are tested, the team that practiced out-scores the team that didn’t practice. However, the team that mentally practiced performs nearly as well as the team that actually practiced.
Maltz found he could actually improve performance by helping an individual mentally “see” himself or herself doing the activity perfectly.
Thousands, possibly millions, of people have benefited by putting these ideas to work.
Put Psycho-Cybernetics on your “must-read” list.
Looking back on my more than 30 years of leadership experience, I have come to the conclusion that leadership is broken. Most “best” practices are not, much of what’s regarded as “conventional wisdom” might be conventional, but it’s far from wise, and most of what passes for generally accepted leadership principles resemble little more than watered down rhetoric often flawed to the core. This is my inaugural contribution here on Forbes, and the general theme of what I’ll be addressing in this and subsequent pieces is busting leadership myths and business axioms that do more harm than good. First up: the theory of the self-made man.
Do you view yourself as a self-made man or woman? If you do, you may want to take another look in the mirror. What’s wrong with the “self-made” theory? Everything. If your pride, ego, arrogance, insecurity, or ignorance keeps you from recognizing the contributions of others, then it’s time for a wake-up call. If your hubris is overwhelming your humility then the text that follows is written just for you.
Today’s “pop leadership” culture seems to encourage personal glorification above all else. Here’s the thing – real leaders don’t take credit, they give it. While I take complete responsibility for all my failures and shortcomings, I take very little credit for my own success. Virtually all of the good things that have happened to me over the years have been the result of the collaborative efforts of many. I have found most mature people not suffering from delusions of grandeur tend to share this perspective. Leadership isn’t about self-serving behaviors; it’s about service beyond self. It’s not about you, and when it becomes about you, trouble is not too far away.
I don’t know about you, but I absolutely reject all the “self-made man” propaganda floating around business circles as patently false. The myth of the self-made person is so ridiculous that it shouldn’t require shattering. Enter the media – journalists and publicists have made legends of out of success stories like Bill Gates, Michael Dell, Richard Branson, Mark Cuban and a host of other inspirational stories. While I don’t question for a moment the legendary success of the aforementioned, I do question whether said success was solely a matter of “self.” Behind every success are significant investments and contributions by some if not all of the following people: family, friends, associates, protagonists, antagonists, advisors, teachers, authors, mentors, coaches, and the list could go on.
Other than in a Rambo movie, there is no such thing as an army of one. Savvy leaders tend to seek out help wherever they can find it. Without question, the most successful business people on the planet are those that have learned to blow through self-imposed barriers to openly harness the power of broader spheres of influence. As much as some people won’t want to hear this, “help” is not a dirty word. Realizing that you need help is a sign of leadership maturity, and asking for help is a sign of leadership sophistication. If you want to raise your leadership game to a new level, learn to operate beyond the limitations of your own personal bubble and make yourself easy to help.
So my question is this: Are you easy to help? Think about it…do you make it easy for others to want to help you, or is your demeanor such that most people won’t lift a finger to assist you in a time of need? How many times during the course of your career have you witnessed executives and entrepreneurs who desperately need help, but either don’t recognize it, or worse yet, make it virtually impossible for someone to help them? Smart leaders easily engage, effortlessly collaborate, and instinctively look for help from others. If you desire to enlist others in your success, incorporating the following 5 things into your leadership style will help:
1. Don’t be a jerk: While people don’t necessarily have to like you in order to help you, it certainly doesn’t hurt. However I can promise you that if you’re perceived as a jerk people will not only go out of their way not to help you succeed, but they will do everything possible to impede your success. I have long been a believer that contrary to popular opinion, nice guys (and gals) do in fact finish first.
2. Give credit where credit is due: Smart leaders understand there is far more to be gained by giving away credit than by retaining it. The best leaders don’t seek credit – they seek results. They understand the force multiplier that comes via a motivated team effort.
3. Go out of your way to help others: Do unto others – what goes around comes around – you reap what you sow, and any number of other statements to that effect ring true more often than not. If you are sincerely interested in helping others, and make it a habit to go out of your way to do so, then those people will likely be inclined to reciprocate.
4. Know what you want and focus your efforts to that end: You must develop a clear picture of what it is that you want to accomplish, and then apply laser-like focus in the pursuit of your goals.
5. Make your goals known to those that can help you: It is not only important to communicate your vision to those in a position to help you succeed, but always make sure and ask for their help. Don’t be bashful or embarrassed, but rather confidently recruit others to become enablers and evangelists of your cause. You need to believe that one of your top priorities is team building, and consistently seek out greater numbers of people to champion your cause and scale your efforts.
In the final analysis it’s really all a matter of perspective – you can either view yourself as part of a hierarchical world sitting at the top of the org chart puffing your chest and propping-up your ego, or you can view yourself as the hub at the center of a large and diverse network. The latter is both more profitable and enjoyable than the former. You can either choose to build your career at the expense of others, or by helping others – choose wisely.
I welcome your thoughts on this topic, or other topics you’d like me to tackle in upcoming columns. The floor is now yours…
(Article By Mike Myatt).
Marshall McLuhan once said “I wouldn’t have seen it if I hadn’t believed it.” This morning I read a post from Bob Proctor. Bob has been a mentor and example to many for a long time, including to Vic, the gentleman who posted Bob’s words, and he further commented that, the post is a must read and that it’s not selling anything except the idea that you have the same potential inside of you as anyone else to create the life you want. Enjoy!
One of the key concepts to creating wealth is to understand that
money is not the goal. That’s right, I said, money is not the goal.
Frequently people will tell me that they want to make money.
However, I know it is not money they are really after. It is the
things that money can buy and the freedom of time to do what they
really want. While you may think this is an insignificant
difference, it is actually the reason so many people never become
Most of us were taught throughout our childhood that the whole
point of making money is to sock it away and build our own ‘nest
egg’. We think of this as a type of insurance against bad fortune,
accidents or old age when we can no longer work. The wealthy know
that money only works when it is in motion – not when it’s sitting
in a bank account. You must understand that wealth is an ongoing
journey of growth and circulation and if that circulation is
stopped, then the flow of money will cease.
While it may seem that there are many roadblocks on your journey to
wealth, the only real obstacle is what you believe, think, and feel
about money. Most of us were raised with the cliché “Seeing is
Believing” which is a skeptical and negative view of life. Still,
we hear it our whole lives until it becomes a part of our thought
process without our even realizing it. Wealthy people understand
that this cliché is exactly backward – you must believe in what you
can achieve before you will see it happen in your life. They know
that “Believing is Seeing.” The only thing that separates a
millionaire from you right now is a wealthy mindset and the
foundation of that mindset is belief.
Does this mean that the wealthy have some special skill or
knowledge? No – but they do possess some key characteristics that
help them become wealthy.
The first of these characteristics is a willingness to listen to
their own heart. If you could become wealthy by listening to the
masses, then the masses would be wealthy and they are not. It is a
natural tendency to ask the opinions of those we love or respect.
Unfortunately, we listen to their comments and biases not taking
into account the results in their own lives. We make a decision to
listen based on our emotional attachment rather than by looking at
what they have achieved. How can anyone who has not accumulated
wealth advise you on how to do it? They can’t.
A second characteristic of the wealthy is the ability to act when
opportunities present themselves. Opportunity is often imagined to
be something that you can’t miss or pass up. However, I know from
personal experience that opportunity is often only a whisper that
comes during some of the most trying times of life. If you read the
life stories of very wealthy and successful people, you will
frequently find they were fired from jobs, kicked out of school or
dealt with significant personal tragedies that other people would
view as devastating. Instead, they viewed the challenges as
opportunities and prospered.
The wealthy also understand that wealth is an ongoing process. It
is not a destination you arrive at one day and then stop. It is
also rarely accomplished overnight – although it can occur in a
short period of time. However, if you gain wealth before you have
gained a wealthy mindset then you are in danger of losing that
wealth forever. We have all heard of those that win the lottery
only to be near penniless a few years later. Since they were never
taught to think wealthy, they have very little chance of achieving
wealth that lasts and ultimately they lose what money they have.
Those with a wealthy mindset do what they love – and make money at
it. Often I see individuals who are seeking wealth like it’s
something outside that they have to search for. In reality, wealth
exists within you. You have activities and hobbies that you love
and you can make these into your business if you choose to. Those
who are successful and create a great deal of wealth do so because
they are doing something they love. The money follows and is just a
logical result of them realizing their dream. Money is not the
Whether you grow up in the worst circumstance or have every
advantage, you have the exact same potential inside of you to
create the life you want. No matter how many times you read or hear
someone talk about how to become wealthy, your life will never
change until you believe that it can – Believing is Seeing.
On Thu November 3, 2011 CNN ran a story on the woman who launched a firestorm by posting a 2004 video of her father, a Texas judge, beating her on the Internet and who said that, violence was a regular occurrence in her family home.
What’s your view on the subject of child whopping or some may use the language ‘child beating’? How far should a parent go in discipline of his/her child? Do the spare the rod spoil the child doctrine still hold water in today’s world, let’s hear your views?