Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz Book Summary PDF

Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz Book Summary

Any good plastic surgeon is and must be a psychologist. When you change a man’s face you almost invariably change his future. Change his physical image and nearly always change the man – his personality, his behavior – and sometimes even his basic talents and abilities.


Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz Summary

Maxwell Maltz was a plastic surgeon (†1975). And he was a psychologist. He discovered that when he changed a man’s face, he often also changed his personality and life. When he altered a person’s face, then the person changed for better after the operation. Yet, this was not always the case. In some cases the plastic surgeon Maltz adjusted a certain disfigurement of a patient’s face, and still that person’s life did not change after surgery.

That’s what struck him most!

He realized that the mere reconstruction of the physical image itself was not the real key to changes in personality. And this realization was the key reason why a plastic surgeon did significant research in human psychology.

So, Maltz was interested in psychology, more precisely, he was interested in why some people’s lives changed after plastic surgery and some’s didn’t. In the search for an answer he came across the then-popular science of “Cybernetics” (the book Psycho-Cybernetics was published in 1960).

What the heck is Cybernetics?

The word “Cybernetics” comes from a Greek word which means literally, “the steersman.” Servo-mechanisms are so constructed that they automatically “steer” their way to a goal, target, or “answer.” When we conceive of the human brain and nervous system as a form of servo-mechanism, operating with Cybernetic principles, we gain new insight into the why and wherefore of human behavior. I choose to call this new concept “Psycho-Cybernetics”: the principles of Cybernetics as applied to the human brain.

“The steersman” – That’s what Cybernetics originally meant in Greek. Now, you can understand that a servo-mechanism is a cybernetic system which steers automatically to a pre-chosen target. Think of a guided missile. You start by setting a target/goal and then you launch it. From now on, the missile works automatically! It uses its mechanical “senses” (it may be radar or sonar or heat or whatever) to stay on track. These mechanical senses give positive or negative feedback depending on whether the missile is still on target or not. When it’s not on target anymore (negative feedback) it simply adjusts its course until it gets positive feedback when it’s back on target.

That’s cool stuff. You set a target, launch, and then the missile stays on target automatically.

And now it gets SUPER interesting!

If we look at the human brain and the nervous system together as a form of servo‑mechanism, we gain new insight into the human behavior. This concept is called “Psycho-Cybernetics!”

The basic idea is this: Whatever goal we have in mind, our brain and nervous system will guide us there automatically… (Crazy idea?!)

We’ll learn about how and why it works that way. And we’ll definitely learn how to use it for good in our own lives. Maxwell Maltz tells us how to set our life goals and how we can achieve what we want to achieve. That’s what the book is basically about: How can we add more years to life – and more life to our years.

Let’s get started set our target on SUCCESS!

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Chapter 1
The Self Image: Your Key to a Better Life

The “self-image”, the individual’s mental and spiritual concept or “picture” of himself, was the real key to personality and behavior. Change the self-image and you change the personality and the behavior.

Do you remember that Maltz was looking for the reason why some patients changed their lives after surgery and some didn’t?

Well, he found the reason! It is the SELF-IMAGE!

Many patients changed in personality after surgery because they also changed their self-image. The ones that didn’t change their self-image stayed the same after surgery. So, depending on whether or not the patient changed his self-image after surgery he also changed his personality.

So, what exactly is the self-image and why is it the key to a better life?

Let’s find out!

Whether we realize it or not, each of us carries about a mental blueprint or picture of ourselves.
This self-image is our own conception of the “sort of person I am.” It has been built up from our own beliefs about ourselves.


Each of us carries a mental blueprint of ourselves. That is, we all have a mental picture of “what sort of person we are” in our mind. That’s our self-image.

For example, you might feel like “I’m just the kind of person who forgets things” or “I always wake up once a night” or “I’m just a person who gains muscles easily” or “I’m just a very clumsy person.”

Whatever you think to know about yourself is part of your self-image. That’s what you think you are and you carry that with you – all the time.

There are also many things about your self-image that you are not aware of. This could include that deep inside you don’t feel worthy or you feel weak or whatever it might be. These beliefs about yourself have been formed from past experiences.

Most of these beliefs have unconsciously been formed from our past experiences, our successes and failures, our humiliations, our triumphs, and the way other people have reacted to us, especially in early childhood.

Wow! Most of our beliefs about ourselves come from experiences in the early childhood!

These experiences form a picture of self – our self-image.

Let’s say, as a small kid you failed in catching a baseball. The other kids, or the older brother or whoever then made fun of you – they humiliated you. You then concluded that you suck at baseball or you suck in sports or you’re a failure. Maybe deep inside the humiliation formed a belief that you’re not worthy. Obviously, these conclusions would not have been justified. And it is well possible that after that experience you thought of yourself as bad in sports. And you probably still think like that. From that ONE experience you formed the part of your self-image that you suck in sports.

Sounds crazy, right?

This example may be a bit exaggerated, yet that’s exactly how it works!

It’s also possible that you reacted completely differently. Maybe you would have continued playing and tried again, and succeeded. In that case you’d maybe have concluded that you’re good at baseball or that you never give up or that you’re a great catcher. And then this experience would have become part of your self-image.

Okay, let’s recap! We all carry a mental picture of ourselves with us. These are the things we think about us to be true, some consciously (e.g. “I’m a great catcher”) and some unconsciously (e.g. deep inside you don’t feel worthy). These mental pictures have been formed from passed experiences mainly in early childhood. It is very well possible that we don’t even remember those experiences.

So, we know what the self-image is and how it forms.

Now, let’s further look at why it is so important and why it holds the key to a better life.

To completely understand the importance of our self-image, we need to understand how our subconscious mind works.

The new science of “Cybernetics” found proof:

The so-called “subconscious mind” is not a “mind” at all, but a mechanism – a goal-striving “servo-mechanism” consisting of the brain and the nervous system, which is used by, and directed by mind. Man does not have two “minds,” but a mind, or consciousness, which “operates” an automatic, goal-striving machine.

Cool stuff!

Our subconscious mind works like a goal-striving machine!

Do you remember how the guided missile works? You set a target and launch the missile. Then it keeps on track automatically thanks to positive and negative feedback it receives from its “senses”.

And that’s how our subconscious mind works!

Our subconscious mind is our goal-striving machine and works automatically to achieve any goals we set for it.

What?! Yes! Our subconscious mind works automatically on achieving the goals we set for ourselves. The goals are, and that’s important, the mental pictures we have in mind. And these pictures we have in mind come from our self-image! This is exactly why our SELF-IMAGE is so crucial! (Read that again…)

The key goal-image is our Self-Image.

That’s mind-blowing!

Our self-image is the main target of our goal-striving machine!

Our self-image that we built up mainly from childhood experiences (!) is our main goal we automatically strive for! Our self-image creates mental pictures in our mind that are interpreted as our targets or goals in life! And our subconscious mind automatically tries to achieve these goals!

This is MASSIVE!

Let that sink for a second.

Again, we built up our self-image mainly from early childhood experiences. This self‑image gets interpreted as our main goals in life and our automatic goal-striving machine (our subconscious mind) tries to achieve them!

With that in mind it becomes clear that all your actions, feelings, behavior – even your abilities – are always consistent with your self-image. Because your goal-striving machine automatically guides you there.

If you conceive yourself as a great catcher, you will always find some ways to verify that self-image. When you catch a ball, it’s clear that you caught the ball because you’re a great catcher. It verifies your self-belief. Also, your goal-striving machine will lead you there; it will basically catch the ball for you. On the other hand, if you don’t catch the ball, you’ll find a way to still see yourself as a great catcher. Maybe there was some wind or it was a tough ball or you didn’t focus or whatever. Your feelings and actions will still be consistent with your image of being a great catcher.

No matter what your self-image may be, you will always automatically act upon it.

If you think of yourself as a poor mathematician, you will always act accordingly. Your automatic goal-striving machine interprets that as your goal and will lead you there (!) – being poor at maths. Even if you just fail one test, it will strengthen your self-image of being poor at maths. It becomes a vicious cycle: You think of yourself as bad à your goal-striving machine will get you there à this will strengthen your self-image … and so on and on and on…

Your self-image is a sort of foundation upon which your personality and your behavior are built. As you act upon that self-image you experience things that seem to verify and thereby strengthen that self-image.

The “self-image” sets the boundaries of individual accomplishment. It defines what you can and cannot do.

Your self-image or what you consciously or unconsciously think about yourself to be true, defines who you are and sets the boundaries. What you think to be true about yourself becomes true. You automatically act upon your self-image.

Hopefully that’s clear. We automatically act upon our self-image! It defines what we can and cannot do. Our self-image determines our actions, feelings and behavior.

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world. – Buddha

And now comes the GOOD NEWS!

The self-image can be changed. Numerous case histories have shown that one is never too young nor too old to change his self-image and thereby start to live a new life.

FANTASTIC! The self-image can be changed!

To change our behavior and personality, we need to change our self-image.

Once the concept of self has changed, other things consistent with the new concept of self, are accomplished easily and without strain.

Alright, when we change our self-image, we change our feelings, actions and behavior. This explains why some patients changed their life after surgery – because their self-image changed due to surgery.

It now becomes clear why our self-image is the key to a better life. The self-image defines who we are, and we actually can change it – without surgery! A change in self-image can turn failure into success!

The book helps us to develop an adequate self-image and to use our goal‑striving mechanism to bring success and happiness into our lives. Basically, the book helps us to add more years to our lives and more life to our years.

Let’s find out how to change our self-image in the next chapters!

Chapter 2 
Discovering the Success Mechanism
within You

A bird does not need to take lessons in nest-building. Nor does it need to take courses in navigation. Yet birds do navigate thousands of miles, sometimes over open sea. They have no newspapers or TV to give them weather reports, no books written by explorer or pioneer birds to map out for them the warm areas of the earth. Nonetheless the bird “knows” when cold weather is imminent and the exact location of a warm climate even though it may be thousands of miles away.

Impressive! I used to watch a lot of animal documentaries – I love animals! They certainly have more native instincts than we have. Such instincts assist animals to successfully cope with their environment and help them survive. Let’s call that “success instinct.”

Man too has a success instinct, much more marvelous and much more complex than that of an animal.
Man’s built-in “Success Mechanism” also is much broader in scope than an animal’s. In addition to helping man avoid or overcome danger, and the “sexual instinct” which helps keep the race alive, the Success Mechanism in man can help him get answers to problems, invent, write poetry, run a business, sell merchandise, explore new horizons in science, attain more peace of mind, develop a better personality, or achieve success in any other activity which is intimately tied to his “living” or makes for fuller life.

So, man’s “success instinct” is much more a “Success Mechanism”. The success mechanism in man (and obviously women, too!) helps to get answers to problems, write poetry, run a business, attain more peace of mind, develop a better personality or catch a ball in baseball. Basically, our human success mechanism helps us living a better life.

Do you remember the automatic goal-striving mechanism that we all have built-in? You know, the subconscious mind which works automatically to achieve our self‑image (goals). Well, THAT’S our success mechanism!

The brain and nervous system constitute a marvelous and complex “goal-striving mechanism,” a sort of built-in automatic guidance system which works for you as a “success mechanism,” or against you as a “failure mechanism,” depending on how “YOU,” the operator, operate it and the goals you set for it.

That’s interesting!

We’ve already learned that our brain and nervous system together build a marvelous goal‑striving machine that automatically strives for our main goal-image – our self‑image. It’s like a built-in satnav that leads us automatically to our self-image.

Now, if the mechanism works for us it’s called success mechanism. If it works against us it’s called failure mechanism. It fully depends on the operator, which is us! That’s important! YOU ARE THE OPERATOR! Everything that you achieve or don’t achieve in life is because of you! As you operate your goal-striving mechanism everything depends on the goals you set for your machine. You yourself set the goals for it. Depending on these goals the goal-striving mechanism works for or against you. And always keep in mind that your main goal is your self-image!

(And by the way: Psycho-Cybernetics does not say that man is a machine. Rather, it says that man has a machine which he uses.)

Let’s say you think of yourself as a great catcher. When you try to catch a ball, your success mechanism does most of the work for you. For example, you see the ball flying high. What now happens is quite impressive. You see the ball; then you just run. Yet, how to run and why and how far happens automatically. You don’t stand there and think about what to do next. You don’t go “Wow, that ball comes fast. I need to turn around and then move my left leg and then my right and then jump two meters and then reach out with my left arm and catch the ball.” This is impossible. It all happens automatically. It happens unconsciously. That’s your success mechanism that works for you! It only needs your senses (you see the ball) and stored information from previous experiences.

If you felt that you’re a bad catcher you wouldn’t catch the ball. Even if you tried. Your automatic goal-striving mechanism would work against you as a failure mechanism. It sees your goal-image of being a bad catcher and tries everything so you don’t catch the ball. You may try consciously to catch the ball, but that’s just not going to work out as your failure mechanism automatically works to achieve your goal-image which is to not catch the ball.

Do you see how this works?

So, it’s not that you’re a bad catcher but that you set the wrong goal! Even if you say “I want to catch the ball” and try to set the right goal, unconsciously you don’t set the right goal because your self-image is that you’re a bad catcher. And that’s what’s interpreted by your goal-striving mechanism as your main goal. Your self-image is a stronger goal than what you just say. Basically, it’s your self-image that works for or against you.

Again, we see the importance of our self-image. We also know that our built-in goal‑striving mechanism works either for or against us. And the cool thing is that we’re not like animals whose goals are pre-set (survival and reproduction), but we have the power to select our own goals! We have the power to choose our goals!

Man has something animals haven’t – Creative Imagination. Thus man of all creatures is more than a creature, he is also a creator. Man alone can direct his Success Mechanism by the use of imagination, or imaging ability.

The human being has Creative Imagination. We can create! By the use of our imagination we can set new goal-images. These goal-images then get interpreted as our main goals and are strived for automatically! That’s how we can use our machine within us! Remember, you operate that machine!

Imagination is IMMENSELY powerful!

Imagination rules the world. – Napoleon Bonaparte 

We’ll look into imagination in chapter 3, where we’ll also learn how to set our goal-images.

Before that, let’s look at the main principles by which your success mechanism operates.

You do not need to be an electronic engineer, or a physicist, to operate your own servo-mechanism, any more than you have to be able to engineer an automobile in order to drive one, or become an electrical engineer in order to turn on the light in your room.

Again, we are not a machine, but we have a machine that we can operate. To do that successfully we don’t need to know how it works exactly, yet we need to know the following basic principles:

  1. Your automatic mechanism works with end goals. So, you need to have a clear goal or target in mind. And it must be conceived as already in existence – now. Your self-image is your main end goal!
  2. Don’t be afraid of mistakes. All servo-mechanisms achieve a goal by negative feedback, or by going forward, making mistakes, and immediately correcting course. You can call this trial and error. Your mechanism will only remember the successful response and act accordingly in the future.
  3. Let your mechanism do its work. It works automatically, so don’t jump in consciously. Let it work rather than make it work.
  4. You still need to take actions. And only then you can correct course along the way. You must not wait to act until you have proof – you must act as if it is there, and it will come through.

Basically, HAVE END RESULTS IN MIND. These are the goals your success mechanism will shoot for! It’s your self-image if you don’t consciously think of other end goals. Start taking action and your desired end results will come through automatically if you let your machine do its work. It will correct course along the way.

Cool! Now, you understand the main principles of your success mechanism. That’s important as everything that follows is based on this! That’s the main idea! That’s what you need to understand in order to understand the book!

Just as a short recap: You built your self-image mainly upon experiences from the early childhood. This self-image now is the main goal your automatic goal-striving mechanism shoots for. Depending on your self-image your mechanism works either as a success mechanism or as a failure mechanism. In the following chapters you’ll learn how to use this principle for you. You’ll learn how to achieve any goals by changing your self-image! à Curious? Learn how right now!

Chapter 3 
Imagination - The First Key to Your
Success Mechanism

A human being always acts and feels and performs in accordance with what he imagines to be true about himself and his environment. This is a basic and fundamental law of mind. It is the way we are built.

Whatever you imagine to be true about yourself will determine your feelings and actions. This is a law of mind!

Whatever you imagine to be true about yourself will determine your feelings and actions. (Did I repeat myself? Yes, because it’s important!)

You will automatically act upon your imagination, about what you believe to be true about yourself. Your self-image is the most important picture you have about yourself. Therefore you feel and perform in accordance with it. This is crucial!

Again, this happens automatically. It’s your goal-striving machine that acts upon what you imagine to be true about yourself. So, your self-image equals an imagination about yourself and determines your actions!

When you have in mind that you are a great catcher, then you will feel and act accordingly. So, you IMAGINE yourself as a great catcher, you see yourself catching the ball and that will actually happen.

There was an interesting experiment with college students: They were asked to imagine that one hand is immersed in ice water. Thermometer readings showed that the temperature actually did drop in the “treated” hand! Amazing!

Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a “real” experience. In either case, it reacts automatically to information which you give to it from your forebrain.

This is BIG!

Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between an imagined experience and a real experience


There was a study that tested the power of mental practice in basketball free throws. There were three groups:

  1. Group: They actually practiced 20 minutes a day for twenty days throwing free throws.
  2. Group: No sort of practice.
  3. Group: They spent 20 minutes a day imagining that they were throwing the ball at the basket. When they missed they would imagine that they corrected their aim accordingly.

The first group which actually practiced 20 minutes a day improved in scoring by 24%. The second group which had no sort of practice showed no improvement. The third group which practiced in their imagination improved in scoring by 23%!


Again, your nervous system cannot tell the difference between a real experience and one vividly imagined.

You act, and feel, not according to what things are really like, but according to the image your mind holds of what they are. You have certain mental images of yourself, your world, and the people around you, and you behave as though these images were the truth, the reality, rather than the things they represent.

You don’t feel and act according to what things are really like, but you feel and act according to the image your mind sees. What you interpret. This happens automatically.

Let’s say you’re jogging though a forest and come across a bear. You’d probably run for your life, you’d focus and your heart would beat faster. All this would happen automatically. What if the bear was not real? You would still react in exactly the same way, because you imagined the bear to be real. So, what you imagine to be true determines your feelings and behavior.

How does that knowledge now help you?

Because of your automatic goal-striving mechanism! With imagination you can create the desired end result and your success mechanism will lead you there! It only needs a target to shoot at.

So, how can you do that?

Maxwell Maltz encourages us to exercise our imagination for 30 minutes a day. You should close your eyes. Let’s say you want to improve your catching in baseball. Now, imagine the desired pictures as vivid and detailed as possible. Pay attention to the small things, sights, sounds, objects. Basically, you see yourself acting and reacting appropriately, successfully, ideally. You imagine yourself acting as you want to act, and as if it was already true. You see it in front of your mental eyes, you can feel it, it feels as if it was true! You see yourself catching ball after ball, you see the details, you see yourself celebrating and hear your teammates shouting your name. And so on. This will be built into your automatic mechanism and stored as positive thoughts and experiences.

Basically, if you vividly imagined yourself as a great catcher, your subconscious mind will think it’s real and start to believe that you’re a great catcher à This will change your self-image! From thinking about yourself as a bad catcher to thinking about yourself as a great catcher! You will then act accordingly…

You can do that with anything you have in mind. When you’re preparing for an exam, it certainly helps imagining yourself celebrating after the successful result has been published. You see the end goal in mind and your automatic mechanism will guide you there. You will automatically do what’s necessary to get there!

Again, your nervous system cannot tell the difference between a real experience and a vividly imagined experience.

That’s what you should take away from this chapter. That’s the key!

Let’s repeat it again: Your nervous system cannot tell the difference between a real experience and a vividly imagined experience!

Now, let’s jump right into chapter 4 and learn how you can dehypnotize yourself from false or negative beliefs.

Chapter 4 
Dehypnotize Yourself from False Beliefs

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. But if you have accepted an idea – from yourself, your teachers, your parents, friends, advertisement – or from any other source, 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.

You’ve probably heard or seen how a hypnotized subject behaved like a chicken. That’s the classic example. The subject believes to be true that he is a chicken. And then he acts like a chicken…

Maxwell Maltz described some examples of a professional hypnotist at work – A weight-lifter who couldn’t lift a pencil off a table because he believed he was too weak. Or a man that was told that he was stronger now and then he actually increased his strength!

You see, people can get hypnotized either negatively or positively.

The most fascinating thing about this is that the actual strength of the subjects was not affected. It was only the belief that changed! So, the basic abilities do not change, it’s only the belief that changes. It is your belief that sets limits to the things you can or cannot do! And that’s the power of our subconscious mind that is so powerful that when we believe something to be true, it will make it happen in absolutely unbelievable ways!

It does not matter where that idea comes from, but if you believe it to be true, if you are convinced that it is true, you act as if it was true. You act like a chicken if you believe you are a chicken. Yet you also act like an F-student if you believe you are an F-student. You act like an A-student if you believe you are an A-student. You act like a great catcher if you believe you are a great catcher. And you will NEVER catch a ball if you believe you can’t. Never? Well, you know: “A blind man may perchance hit the mark.” You know what I mean: If you believe you can’t, you most certainly can’t

Believe you can succeed and you will.  – David J. Schwartz
Within you, whoever you may be, regardless of how big a failure you may think yourself to be, is the ability and the power to do whatever you need to do to be happy and successful. Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible. This power becomes available to you just as soon as you change your beliefs.

WHAT A MESSAGE! I suggest you read it again.

Do you see how important our beliefs are? They are part of our self-image. They determine our actions. And strong beliefs make themselves come true.

Think about this: If you are firmly convinced that an idea is true, it has the same power over you as the hypnotist’s words have over the hypnotized subject!

This is HUGE!

Just imagine the power of true belief…!

And interestingly…

It is no exaggeration to say that every human being is hypnotized to some extent, either by ideas he has uncritically accepted from others, or ideas he has repeated to himself or convinced himself are true.

We are all HYPNOTIZED! At least to some extent.

Let’s look at the example we used earlier. Do you remember the situation when you couldn’t catch the baseball and others humiliated you? Now, let’s say they said that you can’t play baseball or that you can’t catch a ball. When you just took what they said as truth, then you will never be able to catch a ball. Because that’s a belief you have and you think it’s true. Yet actually it’s just a stupid idea from the others! It’s not true as long as you don’t believe it to be true.

We’ve probably all been hypnotized in a similar way.

The author states that about 95% of the people have feelings of inferiority. This is a handicap to success and happiness. AND it is not true! NOBODY is an inferior person!

That’s what Maltz means when he says that we are hypnotized. Many people think they are inferior… which is BS!

These feelings of inferiority do not originate in our experiences but in our comparison to others. We judge ourselves, and measure ourselves, not against our own “norm” but against some other individual’s “norm.” When we do this, we always, without exception, come out second best.

We are probably not the best at anything, which is completely fine. Yet we think that we’re inferior just because someone else is better at something…

When I see my friend dancing like Michael Jackson it makes me an inferior dancer, BUT it does not make me an inferior person! When I see Cristiano Ronaldo playing soccer it makes me an inferior soccer player, but not an inferior person. When I see Ronnie Coleman lifting weights it makes me an inferior weight-lifter, but it does not make me an inferior person!

When I want to compete with these guys then I’ll just feel miserable and not worthy. I CANNOT compete with them! And neither can they compete with me…

Stop measuring yourself against “their” standards. You are not “them” and can never measure up. Neither can “they” measure up with yours – nor should they. Once you see this simple, rather self-evident truth, accept it and believe it, your inferior feelings will vanish.

You are simply YOU. You are an individual. You are unique.

So, I don’t need to compete with anybody. It’s better when I don’t.

Realize that you are YOU and not “them!” You are already good how you are!

So, how can you dehypnotize yourself from inferior/limiting beliefs that already exist within you?

Maltz advises us to use physical relaxation.

Physical relaxation has a powerful influence in “dehypnotizing” us from negative attitudes and reaction patterns.

We should sit comfortably or lie on our back and just “let go.” Then we can use mental goal‑pictures and let our automatic mechanism realize those images.

I share with you my favorite mental goal-picture that helps me relax (I got it from the author Maxwell Maltz himself).

Imagine that your body is made of concrete. See yourself lying there with a heavy concrete body. Feel how your heavy concrete legs and arms are sinking down in your bed. And you cannot lift them up as they are so heavy. Your body sinks down and down and you get relaxed and relaxed.

Beliefs are hyper POWERFUL! So, start dehypnotizing yourself from limiting beliefs by relaxing your body. And stop comparing yourself to others. You are not “them”, you are simply YOU. And YOU have the power to re-program your mind with the beliefs you want to have!

Chapter 5 
How to Utilize the Power of Rational Thinking

Your automatic mechanism, or what the Freudians call the “unconscious,” is absolutely impersonal. It operates as a machine and has no “will” of its own. It always tries to react appropriately to your current beliefs and interpretations concerning environment. It always seeks to give appropriate feelings, and to accomplish the goals which you consciously determine upon. It works only upon the data which you feed it in the form of ideas, beliefs, interpretations, opinions.

This is important!

Your automatic goal-striving mechanism has no will of its own. It’s a machine. It tries to act as good as possible upon what YOU tell it in form of your beliefs, interpretations, thoughts etc. Again, you are the operator of your subconscious machine! And it works only with the material you feed it.

It is conscious thinking which is the “control knob” of your unconscious machine. And it is by conscious rational thought that the automatic reaction patterns can be changed.

YOU, and only you, have the power to control your machine! You can consciously choose your thoughts so you can change the reactions of your machine. Therefore you need to control your present thinking. That’s crucial. It’s called “conscious thought control.”

Let’s say you’re new in college and you’re asked whether you’d like to play baseball in the college team. You immediately go “No. I can’t play baseball, I’m a horrible catcher.” This is an automatic response and you can even feel it in your guts that you don’t want to play because you’re afraid of failure or whatever. This is still your belief because of this ONE bad experience when you got humiliated as a kid…

The author suggests asking yourself “WHY?”

“Why do I believe I can’t? Is this belief based upon an actual fact – or upon an assumption – or a false conclusion?”

Ask yourself the following four 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?

This is a POWERFUL exercise! Think hard about it! Get emotional! (You can do that with any negative belief you have.)

What you’re doing now is conscious present/rational thinking. That’s how you can change your negative beliefs! You probably see that your belief of being a bad catcher is stupid. You may conclude that you never really tried and that there’s no reason for your belief. Even the best catchers in the world could not catch ALL the balls. Unless you’ve really, really tried you cannot say for sure that you can’t do it. You always need to try first. So, rather than saying “No, I’m a bad catcher.” you could say “Yeah. I’ll give it a try!”

The minute that we change our minds, and stop giving power to the past, the past with its mistakes loses power over us.

Change your mind! You have the power to consciously change what you believe. Lead your machine! You’re the operator! With the help of rational thought you’ve got the power!

We are not doomed or damned by the past. Because we did have unhappy childhood experiences does not mean that our patterns of behavior are “set,” predetermined and unchangeable. Our present thinking, our present mental habits, our attitudes towards past experiences, and our attitudes toward future – all have an influence upon old recorded engrams. The old can be changed, modified, replaced, by our present thinking.

Yes! We are not doomed by the past! Just because we once got humiliated does not mean that we still need to feel how we felt back then. The old can be changed by the present thinking.

No longer can you derive sickly comfort from blaming your parents, society, your early experiences, or the injustices of “others” for your present troubles.
The past explains how you got here. But where you go from here is your responsibility.

This is MASSIVE!

The past explains how you got here. Not more. And it certainly does not decide on where you’re going! This is your very own responsibility!

As soon as you realize that the old can be modified, you no longer can blame your past. Ask yourself right now “Why?” “Why exactly do I think that I’m a bad catcher?” “Is there any rational reason for that belief?” “Did I really try?” “Why should I be a bad catcher if I never tried?” “Maybe I’m a great catcher!” à “Let’s try!”

Think NOW and you can change your beliefs! This is your duty!

It is the task of your rational thought to “inform” your machine with true facts concerning the environment: to know the truth, to form correct evaluations, estimations, opinions. In this connection most of us are prone to under-estimate ourselves and over-estimate the nature of the difficulty facing us.

Analyze the situation. Don’t give in to your first feelings, but try to inform your machine as good as possible. You’ll see that what you’re facing is much less of a problem than what you might have thought first. Don’t underestimate yourself. If you’re unsure, ask yourself “WHY?” Ask the four questions we looked at and think about them. It will help immensely.

Always think of what you have to do as easy and it will become so.
– Emile Coué
In short, conscious rational thought selects the goal, gathers information, concludes, evaluates, estimates and starts the wheel in motion. It is not, however, responsible for results. We must learn to do our work, act upon the best assumptions available, and leave results to take care of themselves.

That’s the BASIC idea of this book!

You can consciously set your goals and imagine what you want to achieve and where and how you want to end up. You can focus on what you want. Yet, you cannot control the process. This is up to your machine! So, inform your machine as good as possible with unbiased facts rather than old beliefs. Also, YOU start the machine, you set it in motion, you launch the missile! Then it will take care of itself. Then keep feeding information about the environment so the automatic mechanism can take corrective actions. Leave the results to take care of themselves.

Do you remember that when you consciously try to catch a ball, it gets super difficult and in most situations impossible. You need to let your unconscious machine work on results. All you can do consciously is feeding information: Gather knowledge/information, evaluate and estimate the situation. That’s it! Your automatic goal-striving machine will take care of the rest.

Relax and let your subconscious work…

Quick Recap 

You act, and feel, not according to what things are really like, but according to the image your mind holds of what they are.

The plastic surgeon Maxwell Maltz discovered that when he altered someone’s face he often changed that person’s personality and life!

He found out that the SELF-IMAGE was the key to the human personality and to a better life.

The self-image works subconsciously as a goal-picture. Our subconscious mind which works as an automatic goal-striving mechanism sees this goal-picture as the No. 1 goal! Our self-image defines our lives! Our Creative Mechanism tries everything to achieve this self- or goal‑image! Even if it is a negative picture we have about ourselves! In that case it works as a Failure Mechanism. Yet, when we know how this works we can choose our goal-images by conscious choice – that’s how we can activate our Success Mechanism!

We can use imagination to set our desired goals and to change our self-image.

Remember, our nervous system cannot tell the difference between a real experience and a vividly imagined experience! If you completely understand that, you know how powerful it is…

The fantastic thing is that we can change our self-image and our beliefs by conscious choice. Right now, we can think about our beliefs and ask ourselves “Why do we hold these beliefs?” Maybe, when we think rationally, we’ll realize that some of these beliefs are stupid and completely irrational – and we can change them!

We are where we are because of our past, yet where we go is in our own responsibility. We shall not blame our past for how we live right now.

Right now, we can set our Mechanism for Success! Right now, we can change who we are. Right now, we can change our self-image and become who we want to be!

Chapter 6
Relax and Let Your Success Mechanism
Work for You

Our trouble is that we ignore the automatic creative mechanism and try to do everything and solve all our problems by conscious thought, or “forebrain thinking.”
It is the job of the forebrain to pose problems and to identify them – but by its very nature it was never engineered to solve problems.
Yet that is precisely what modern man tries to do – solve all his problems by conscious thought.

That’s clear.

We learned in the previous chapter that we can consciously choose our thoughts, beliefs and opinions, yet we cannot consciously get to the results. We consciously recognize and pose the problem, but we have it solved by our machine. We let our automatic goal-striving mechanism do its job.

Creative ideas are not consciously thought out by forebrain thinking, but come automatically, spontaneously, and somewhat like a bolt out of the blue, when the conscious mind has let go of the problem and is engaged in thinking of something else.

You’ve probably heard about that phenomenon: The masters of the past and the present have always found their specific “something” when they were not actively engaged in it. They always spent hours, days or even years consciously working on the problem, figuring out everything they could (gathering knowledge), but they came to the solution when they were not engaged in it. That’s when their creative mechanism did its job – solving a creative problem. This phenomenon is called serendipity – the occurrence of something we are not expecting.

For example, Albert Einstein worked for ten long years on the problem of general relativity until one evening he decided to give up! He went to bed early and when he awoke the solution suddenly came to him… when he was not engaged in the topic anymore.

That’s interesting… So, how can you awaken your creative mechanism? How can you have your creative mechanism do the work for you? How can you find a solution just coming to you?

Maxwell Maltz shares five rules for freeing your creative machinery:

  1. Do your worrying before you place your bet, not after the wheel starts turning. (Roulette Metaphor)

If you make a decision, then stop worrying afterwards. The decision is made. When you choose to go to the dentist, don’t worry or feel annoyed because you have to go. You’re going because you chose so. Period.

I remember the time when I had university exams: At the exam itself I wasn’t worrying at all because I did my best preparing for it. Yet, there were many others worrying about everything; the questions, the possible answers, whether it’s easy or tough and so on. They were worrying the hell out of them. But what for? They couldn’t do anything about it, it was too late to worry…

  1. Form the habit of consciously responding to the present moment.

Your creative mechanism can only react appropriately and spontaneously when you pay attention to the “NOW.” It cannot react to what may happen – but to what is happening. You can plan and prepare everything for tomorrow, but don’t worry about how you will react tomorrow. Focus on the here and now. Give feedback to your creative mechanism about the here and now and not about tomorrow or yesterday. It needs quality information about the here and now if you want it to react appropriately and spontaneously. Respond to the present.

  1. Try to do only one thing at a time.

Your creative machinery can only handle one job at a time. Don’t study and watch TV, don’t read this summary and listen to the radio, don’t work on two fronts at the same time. Don’t multitask. That will only make you nervous as you’re trying to do the impossible. The simple and obvious truth is that we can only do one thing at a time. One job after another. Step by step.

  1. Sleep on it.

In sleep, the creative mechanism has an ideal opportunity to work independently of conscious interference, if you have previously started the wheels turning. Work on your problem during the day and when you’re stuck pose questions before you go to bed and your subconscious will help you solving your problem. In sleep, you cannot think consciously so you don’t disturb or interfere with your creative mechanism doing its job. Let it work while you sleep. When you have BIG decisions to make, it is very wise to sleep on it. You’ll most likely know how to decide in the morning.

  1. Relax while you work.

Remember relaxed feelings you’ve experienced (maybe from the mental exercise in chapter 4) while you work. Tell yourself “I feel more and more relaxed” while you’re working. This will reduce fatigue, tension and anxiety and help your creative machine do its job. My brother often actively (and loudly) yawns and stretches during work; this reduces stress and provides energy.

Basically, let your creative mechanism work. You gather the knowledge and imagine your desired end result, but you leave the main work to your subconscious. Therefore you need to relax from time to time and let the mechanism work for you. Try to implement the five rules one by one: Don’t worry. Respond to the present moment. Do only one thing at a time. Sleep on it. Relax while you work.

That’s the only way how your creative mechanism can work independently and successfully – you need to relax, trust and let it do its job.

Chapter 7 
Acquire the Habit of Happiness

Dr. John A. Schindler’s definition of happiness: A state of mind in which our thinking is pleasant a good share of the time.

Thinking pleasantly for a good share of the time…

That’s happiness. And I like it!

Nobody is 100% happy ALL THE TIME! There’s always some moments of feeling down at least a little tiny bit.

Yet, we can think pleasantly for a good share of the time, can we? Yes, we can!

There’s a bunch of reasons why being happy is what you want to be.

We think better, perform better, feel better, and are healthier when we are happy.
Unhappiness is the sole cause of all psychosomatic ills and happiness is the only cure. – Dr. John A. Schindler

So, why are so many people unhappy then?

The author states that popular thinking is about becoming happy solely if certain other needs are fulfilled first. “Be good, and you will be happy.”

  • “I would be happy, if… something was fulfilled first…”
  • “I would be happy, if I was successful and healthy”
  • “I would be happy, if I had a lot of money”
  • “I would be happy, if I was on holiday”
  • “I would be happy, if I had a great body”

THIS is opposite thinking! Be happy first, then you’ll be healthy, successful and good!

Be happy first, then you’ll be healthy, successful and good!

We are never living, but only hoping to live; and, looking forward always to being happy, it is inevitable that we never are so. – Pascal

Being happy has nothing to do with whether we have something or not. Being happy has nothing to do with what’s happening. Being happy has nothing to do with what you’ve achieved. Being happy has to do with habit! It can be learned!

Happiness is a mental habit, a mental attitude, and if it is not learned and practiced in the present it is never experienced.

How can it be that the exact same situation makes someone happy and someone else unhappy?

Let’s say two people walk along a street and suddenly a car drives by and soaks them (the car drives through a puddle). Now, you have two options: Option A: You can grouch and swear and be angry and completely pissed (unhappy). Option B: You can … laugh and be happy. It’s over anyway, and maybe the driver is a douche, and maybe you’re dirty and wet and cold, but, what should you do but be happy and take it as it is? You can’t change the situation, you can only control your feelings about it.

My point is: It’s always better to be happy rather than pissed… and this happy‑reaction to whatever happens should become habitual (automatic and unthinking).

Men are disturbed, not by things that happen, but by their opinion of the things that happen. – Epictetus

So, how can you become habitually happy or happy for a good share of the time?

Let’s say that you’ve learned the following reaction pattern: If something does not work out exactly how you’ve wished, you feel blue, unhappy and mad. For example, you learn for an exam and imagine yourself to get an A. You get a B only and you react unhappy and mad… This reaction happens automatically, it’s learned. It’s a learned behavior. Of course, most people understand that you’re unhappy now, yet what does it help you? Nothing! It’s better if you feel good instead. You can analyze the situation and say, “Alright, I wanted an A, I prepared for an A, but I got a B, which is still above average. Next time I’ll do even better. I’m going to learn from my mistakes. Let’s look forward.”

So, this habit of an unhappy reaction to an unwished situation can be changed, or reversed by making a conscious decision – and then by practicing the newly wished response (being happy even if something does not work out perfectly). It does require constant watchfulness and practice until the new behavior pattern is thoroughly learned.

You need to keep watching yourself and observing your reactions. Maxwell Maltz advises us to practice the new behavior for 21 days in a row. A simple trick is to consciously decide each morning when you put your shoes on, how you put them on (left or right first, how to tie them; this usually happens habitually). Take this as a reminder to change your wished happy-response. For example: Each morning when you deliberately put on your shoes say to yourself: Regardless of what happens, today, I will react as calmly and intelligently as possible.

This simple exercise will help you reacting habitually calmly and intelligently no matter what happens. You just need to stick with it for the next 21 days.

What helps is generally observing yourself and your reaction patterns. You’ll discover that you don’t always react how you think would be ideally. The more you observe yourself the more you’ll find out about yourself. You’ll find reaction patterns that really don’t delight you. Again, the good thing is that such habitual reaction patterns can be changed by conscious choice. So, consciously decide that you want to react calmly no matter what happens. Now, always when something happens and you react in a certain way, you’ll become aware of it and can react how you wish to à calmly in our example.

The truth is, being happy is your conscious choice…

Chapter 8 
Ingredients of the Success-Type Personality and How to Acquire Them

Just as a doctor learns to diagnose disease from certain symptoms, failure and success can also be diagnosed. The reason is that a man does not simply “find” success or “come to” failure. He carries their seeds around in his personality and character.


Maxwell Maltz is sure that there are reasons for why someone is successful or not. He found the “seeds” of a SUCCESS personality.

A good personality is one which enables you to deal effectively and appropriately with environment and reality, and to gain satisfaction from reaching goals which are important to you.

With the following character seeds you will deal effectively with environment and reach your goals:

  • S–ense of direction
  • U–nderstanding
  • C–ourage
  • C–harity
  • E–steem
  • S–elf-Confidence
  • S–elf-Acceptance

Sense of direction

This is all about having goals in life. Imagine you’re driving a bicycle. You’re driving because you have a sense of direction, and it’s easy to keep the balance. As soon as you lose direction and you come to a stop, you lose balance and fall! It’s the same in life: As long as you’ve got a clear sense of direction, it’s easy to keep in balance, yet when you have no idea where to go, you lose balance. You become unfulfilled, unhappy and certainly not successful!

Do you remember that we are a goal-seeking mechanism? Well, what if there are no goals we’re striving for? Simply, we’re living a meaningless life, respectively; we are not really living at all! We are built to conquer environment, solve problems, achieve goals, and we find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve.

Nothing to strive for = no sense of direction = no real living!

So, get some goals! What do you want to achieve? How do you want to look like? How do you want to feel? What job do you want? How much do you want to earn? When do you want to finish your project? Who do you want to be? Check out the bonus goal‑setting guide.


This is about communication and feeding our creative mechanism with truthful information. To stay on track of our direction we need to understand our environment so we can feed our mechanism with the right information. The mechanism won’t work with faulty information. So, analyze your environment and find out the truth. Adopt the motto: “It doesn’t matter who’s right, but what’s right”.

Be honest with yourself and admit your mistakes but don’t cry over them. Correct them and go forward. In dealing with other people try to see the situation from their point of view as well as your own.


Having a goal and understanding the situation are not enough. You must have the courage to act, for only by actions can goals, desires and beliefs be translated into realities.

Imagine yourself back on the bike. When you act, you keep driving. Maybe you make a mistake and drive in the wrong direction, but you can still correct along the way. This is much better than not acting and standing still and losing balance. When you’re standing still there will be bikers driving around you ten times (making mistakes after mistakes) and they are still faster at the destination than you...

Be willing to make a few mistakes.


It is a psychologic fact that our feelings about ourselves tend to correspond to our feelings about others. When a person begins to feel more charitably about others, he invariably begins to feel more charitably toward himself.

Don’t judge others. Respect them and feel that they are worthy. They are unique personalities. Appreciate them. And act as if other people are important. You will develop a better and more adequate self-image.


Appreciate others. And appreciate yourself.

Is not man himself the most marvelous creation of all? This appreciation of your own worth is not egotism unless you assume that you made yourself and should take some of the credit. Do not downgrade the product merely because you haven’t used it correctly. Don’t childishly blame the product for your own errors like the schoolboy who said, “This typewriter can’t spell.”


Don’t downgrade yourself. Use your typewriter correctly, use your Success Mechanism correctly.

The biggest secret to more self-esteem is to appreciate others more. Practice treating other people as if they had some value – and surprisingly enough your own self‑esteem will go up.


Confidence is built upon an experience of success. Yet, what do most of us do? We destroy our self-confidence by remembering past failures and forgetting all about past successes.

What is wrong with us?

We want to do the opposite! Use failures and mistakes as a way to learn, and then forget about them! Everybody fails, all that matters is that you get back up and try again and again and again. Fail better next time. Cherish your little successes and practice. Practicing is all about failing and trying again. And fail BETTER next time. Making the same mistakes over and over again won’t help you either…


No real success or genuine happiness is possible until a person gains some degree of self-acceptance.
Self-acceptance means accepting and coming to terms with ourselves now, just as we are, with all our faults, weaknesses, shortcomings, errors, as well as our assets and strengths. Self-acceptance is easier, however, if we realize that these negatives belong to us – they are not us.

Accept yourself. Yes, accept yourself! You are who you are, with your weaknesses and your strengths. You make mistakes, but you are not a mistake! It’s only what you have done. Nobody is or will ever be perfect. We all make mistakes. It’s part of the game. Throughout life it is always moving toward an ideal goal, but never arriving.

I may not be perfect, I may have faults and weaknesses, I might have gotten off the track, I may have a long way to go – but I am something and I will make the most of that something.

Simply. Accept. Yourself. – YOU ARE.

Cool! These are the 7 seeds of a successful character: Sense of direction, Understanding, Courage, Charity, Esteem, Self-confidence and Self-acceptance.

Start with moving. Get that bike rolling. As long as you’re not standing still you’re living! Ask yourself where you want to go and what you want to achieve. And then act accordingly. Be respectful to others and accept them as they are. Then you will accept yourself and gain confidence with your actions. Failures only make you better, they don’t make “You”. Keep on rolling. And keep on living!

Chapter 9 
Tranquilize Yourself and Get Peace of Mind

Tranquilizers do not change the environment. The disturbing stimuli are still there. We are still able to recognize them intellectually, but we do not respond to them emotionally.
Tranquilizers work because they greatly reduce, or eliminate, our own response to disturbing stimuli.

I love this idea!

Tranquilize yourself.

Let’s look at a situation together. You just sat down to relax for a few minutes. Then suddenly, the telephone rings (external stimulus)… Do you answer the phone? Yes, you probably answer it. This happens (almost) automatically. We’re all conditioned to our environment in certain ways.

For example, many people learn to fear strangers because of parental admonitions to have nothing to do with strange people; “do not accept candy from a stranger,” “do not get into a car with a stranger,” etc. This is good for small children, yet many adults continue to feel uncomfortable in the presence of strangers. This is a learned response, it happens unconsciously. We are conditioned that way!

Back to the ringing telephone. You’ve probably learned the automatic response of answering the telephone when it rings. The idea of a tranquilizer now is that you reduce or eliminate your response. In that case you would choose to answer or not so that the response does not happen unconsciously. You do not have to answer the phone; you can refuse to respond to the signal. Basically, you uncondition yourself.

Although you are aware of it you no longer mind or obey it. Also, get clearly in your mind the fact that the outside signal in itself has no power over you; no power to move you.

Try to recognize the external stimulus but don’t respond to it emotionally. Don’t let yourself move by the ringing phone, you only move yourself if you wish/choose to. The signal itself shall have NO POWER over you!

It is a good idea to delay the response. This makes you r e l a x e d. . .

Delaying the response breaks up and interferes with the automatic workings of conditioning.

So, if the phone rings, just count to 5. This will relax you. You can still choose to answer, nobody just calls you for one second and then hangs up. You don’t miss anything if you wait a few seconds and take a deep breath. Consciously decide whether or not you want to answer. This counts for all external stimuli! If you’ve just learned about something, before you react, take a deep breath and delay your response.

Other external stimuli may be your mum shouting at you or your friend saying something to you which you don’t like at all. Also the weather, the traffic and the song on the radio are external stimuli. So, before you shout back at your mum, take a deep breath and choose your response. Also, think about how you want to react to your friend talking BS. If it suddenly starts to rain, relax and take it as it comes. The same holds true for the traffic jam and the song on the radio. Before you respond to those stimuli, wait a few seconds. Maybe you’ll realize that you don’t need to respond at all. The traffic jam doesn’t care whether you like it or not. Neither does the rain. If you don’t get affected by such trivialities you’ll simply have more peace of mind…

It is well to get clearly in your mind the fact that our disturbed feelings – our anger, hostility, fear, anxiety, insecurity, are caused by our own responses – not by externals. Response means tension. Lack of response means relaxation. Tension in muscles is a “preparation for action” – or a “getting ready to respond.” Relaxation of muscles brings about “mental relaxation,” or a peaceful “relaxed attitude.” Thus, relaxation is nature’s own tranquilizer, which erects a psychic screen or umbrella between you and the disturbing stimulus.

That’s cool! As we can choose our own responses we can choose how we feel. Tension versus relaxation! No decision has ever been so easy!

Relax and become peaceful. This protects you against disturbing stimuli such as the ringing telephone.

So, this is an easy tip: Just delay your response and it will bring peace of mind, less tension, less disturbed feelings such as anger, fear and insecurity. You are still aware of the signal yet it has no power to move you – physically and emotionally. Only you have the power to choose your response!

What Next? 

You will act like the sort of person you conceive yourself to be.

What now?

We’ve learned a lot from Maxwell Maltz. We shall not waste that knowledge and start acting right now! In my eyes, this is hugely important. As soon as you delay the use or implementation of that knowledge, you lose! That’s called procrastination. And most likely, you’ll never implement any of Maltz’s strategies if you don’t start immediately.

I suggest you go back to the beginning of this summary and read again the first three chapters. Then you can start with imagination (chapter 3). That’s the first step. Then you can implement other things you like step by step. You can for example acquire the habit of happiness (chapter 7) or you can dehypnotize yourself from false beliefs (chapter 4).

(Alternatively, you can schedule the start of the life-integration of what you’ve learned from Maxwell Maltz. So, if you don’t start right now, I highly recommend you write down the exact date and time when you want to start with e.g. re-reading the first three chapters. If you just say “Right. I’ll just do it tomorrow,” you most likely won’t do it… You can write it in your agenda: “Saturday so and so at 9 a.m. I will re-read the first three chapters of the Psycho-Cybernetics summary and determine how exactly I will start implementing the principles described there.”)

Remember you will not always win. Some days, the most resourceful individual will taste defeat. But there is, in this case, always tomorrow – after you have done your best to achieve success today

LEARN FROM MISTAKES! All masters have failed many times, but they learned from them and failed better the next time and again better the next time. To learn from mistakes, you need to make mistakes.

The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid of making one.

Remember, you are not your mistakes! You can learn from mistakes and then forget about them. That’s how you will improve yourself at anything!

We age not by years but by events and our emotional reactions to them.

How do you react when you fail?

Well, depending on your reaction you will either succeed or you will age (and lose) … Remember, it is never about what happens but about your reaction to what happens. You can always choose how you want to react. If you fail an exam you can either be angry and mad or you can be calm, analyze your mistakes and look forward. You have the choice.

You can always find the sun within yourself if you will only search.

You can always find the sun within yourself… What a lovely message! Even in the ugliest storm you can see the sun if you only look for it. You can be happy even if the circumstances do not seem great. And no matter what happens, think about these wise words:

Man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security only as he is moving forward.

Keep on moving.

No matter how often you fall, as long as you get up you will succeed. Do you remember the man on the bike? As long as he’s moving forward he doesn’t fall – even when he’s driving in circles…

Personally, I see failing as a good sign, it tells me that I’m still moving even if not always straight forward and at full speed. The more you fail the easier it gets to get up again. And again. And again. Failing will never end. That’s how you keep growing and getting better. So, be willing to make mistakes. At some point you will catch the ball… and you will succeed!

Download a free PDF version of this summary by clicking the link below:

P.S. Want more book summaries? Check out a list of all the books we’ve written about here or move on to another summary right away. Here are some of my favorites:

Jonas Salzgeber

What's up? My name's Jonas. I'm Swiss (not Swedish). I'm a life enthusiast and I'm curious about everything that gives me an advantage, boost, level upgrade... "That drink will make me unbeatable? I'll down it!" Haha. My motto? Go to bed a little wiser every day & be the best version of yourself.

  • Terri says:

    Oh my gosh thank you so much I just got the book psycho cybernetics in chapter one can get a little confusing thank God I found this site after reading each chapter I’m going to read your breakdowns of them for my note thanks again

  • Seth says:

    Thanks so much for putting it down all together in a simpler version. I planned to start and finish the book this weekend and somehow I happened to land in your website and finished the whole article.

  • Mike says:

    Nice summary – but the PDF summary covers 9 chapters – is it missing the last 4-5 Chapters?

    • Thanks Mike.
      I just checked my copy of the book, and you’re right. There are more chapters…
      It’s so long ago, I don’t remember why exactly I left them out. Sorry, you have to read them yourself or find the summary somewhere else.

      Thanks for the hint.

  • Simon says:

    Hi Jonas

    I have the book and found your summary very useful in keeping me motivated as I apply the book’s principles.


  • James says:

    this is an awesome summary, the way you explained it gave me a few light bulb moments. Have you implemented these tools since reading the book?

    • Thanks James.

      I’ve certainly implemented some tools.
      This might be the most important:

      “Delaying the response breaks up and interferes with the automatic workings of conditioning.”

      I try to get in the gap between stimulus and response and see what might be my best possible response or non-response.

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