The Power of the Mind

15 September 2021
This concentration on inner attitudes is essential, as a person’s outer success can never rise above the one visualised internally.

In the late seventies I attended a management training programme that provided a great framework for the the future development of my leadership skills. The most important learning I got from that programme was a course on “The Power of the Mind”. We learnt a number of new thinking techniques that would ultimately help me shape my life story and in particular my overall leadership style for the next thirty five years. We were given a ten page extract from Maxwell Maltz book “Psycho Cybernetics” to read. I was truly fascinated as there were some belief techniques that really resonated with me.

I studied the concepts in depth and when we got to discuss them at our next session I was keen to understand more detail and also to share my reflection of how I believed thinking positively had already helped me so far. At the end of the session I cheekily asked the tutor why we were only given a few pages from the book and not the whole thing? The tutor replied “In my experience if I give you a book to read, most people don't read it”. “I find that people are more likely to not only read but better understand it, when they buy it for themselves”. He was right. I went out and brought the book. I wanted to know and understand more and I have read it cover to cover many times over the last forty years. I also have shared that tutors great advice whenever I’m recommending book titles in any of my own team workshops.

Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz was for me like verses from the holy bible are for Christians, it transformed my whole belief process. The book was first published in 1960 and many great motivational speakers like Tony Robbins and Brian Tracy have based their techniques on Maxwell Maltz learnings.

Psycho-Cybernetics (loosely translated from the Greek) “a helmsman who steers his ship to port”. The helmsman being our subconscious mind and the port our goals or aspirations. In essence it is the ability for us to create a deep belief in our subconscious mind that will ultimately steer our conscious mind to achieve. It is like an inner compass or GPS that whenever an outside factor or any influence starts to alter our course, the subconscious belief will always correct us back.

Maxwell Maltz was originally a plastic surgeon and not a professor in psychology. But when he found that some of his patients were not satisfied after their surgery even though he had significantly improved their physical appearance. He was intrigued why and discovered that the main reason was due to the fact that they had subconsciously locked in that they were ugly and no matter what external improvements were made they still believed they were ugly. He then developed techniques to change their beliefs and became interested in why setting goals works.

He discovered that the power of self-affirmation and mental visualisation techniques used the connection between the mind and the body. He specified techniques to develop a positive inner goal as a means of developing a positive outer goal. This concentration on inner attitudes is essential to his approach, as a person's outer success can never rise above the one visualized internally.

Another great example of how Psycho Cybernetics works is outlined by the Bob Proctor model. Bob Proctor is a Canadian self-help author and philosopher who is well renowned for his view on using the mind to make a “Paradigm Shift'' in your life. His model demonstrates how the mind has two parts, the first being the conscious mind which receives a multitude of thoughts but that it is the beliefs we establish the second part in our subconscious mind that ultimately drives the body's actions to deliver those beliefs.

It is important to remember that if you ever create a negative belief within your subconscious mind, even if a positive event happens in your life, your subconscious mind will steer you to take action and re-centre you back to that negative belief.

The reverse is also true and that got me excited. I had a framework that could help me to create a better life. I started to practice some of the techniques and I decided my first task was to look to reset the person I thought I was to the person who I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to create an environment where I could be at my best. So I used visualisation and affirmation to imagine that I was already that better person and part of a great family environment surrounded by people I love and who love me. It definitely worked for me and although over the years I have experienced some issues that could have easily derailed that vision. I firmly believe that strong subconscious belief and my inner compass have continued to guide me to achieve it everyday.

This blog is a modified extract from my book and we also highlight these key thought processes in more depth within our My Purpose Workshops.

– Brett Ashley

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