Maxwell Maltz was a well-known plastic surgeon who passed away in 1975. He graduated from Columbia University, and taught at universities in Nicaragua and El Salvador for many years. Along with these achievements, he also wrote multiple other books, but this book, Psycho-Cybernetics remains his most popular and most influential. It has sold millions of copies in dozens of languages and continues to be in print today.
It is funny that a plastic surgeon writes about self-help, but he said that while dealing with his patients many of them would continue having negative feelings about themselves even after surgery to repair what was “wrong,” so he decided to dive deeper and see what was actually going on. His findings helped inspire many others, including myself, and helped influence many of the popular self-help speakers of our time, such as Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, and Tony Robbins.
This is one of those books that I highly think everyone should read. We all go through our moments of feeling inadequate at some instances in life, some more than others. But because we all go through it as part of being human, we should all learn about why we go through it and what we can do about it. Just because we don’t feel good about ourselves now doesn’t mean that there aren’t good things about us, just that we need to rewire our brains to remember all the good. I believe that success breeds success, and that’s the same type of idea that this book pushes. We need to focus on positivity and success in our daily lives.
I love the practical advice that it gives, especially in the early chapters, which can really help us develop these success habits. Maltz does a good job at helping the readers understand that these things are important and good, but that unless we can make them into habits in our daily lives we most likely won’t see massive success. Like I said, I believe everyone should own a copy of this book. With the world swimming in a constant sea of negativity and backstabbing and comparisons, we need to all prepare ourselves to know how to combat all of that and I think this is one of the weapons we should have to help in that battle.
I can’t say enough about what this book did for me personally. I know that there haven’t been a lot of book reviews yet, but this book is already in my top 3 for personal growth and self-help. I started reading it at a time when I was having lots of self-doubts and looking back at my personal failures in a negative light instead of realizing the growth that I have made because of them, and I was in a really bad place personally.
This book helped me see what I could do personally to start being excited in the mornings again instead of dreading waking up. I heard someone say that when we think of SELF-help, we often forget the self. I know in the past I’ve read these types of books and been upset because the author didn’t help me at all. But the point of these books is that we, as readers, need to constantly look for the applicable lessons and apply them in our lives so we can help ourselves. It’s like a dessert recipe. We have all the directions, but unless we actually read carefully and do the work ourselves we aren’t going to be able to enjoy the rich results.
Each night I am going to try and remember three things I did well during the day that day, as well as visualizing how I want to have success in a specific way the following day. This will help me get into the habit of gratitude for things that have gone well, as well as helping me see ways in which I did something well and give myself the credit that I deserve, because many times I would rather deflect the credit for positive things but accept the blame for negative things and I know that needs to change in order for me to reach my lofty goals.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. GO BUY THIS BOOK. It’s a quick read, and the material is rich enough to make you want to keep reading. On top of that, it is full of amazing motivational quotes by Maltz himself, as well as other people that he references, that will get you excited about life. Just read some of the ones I posted below to get an idea of the quality of the quotes and material in the book. They are deep enough themselves that I could have an in-depth conversation about any one of them for hours. We all need to prepare ourselves for the times when we face insecurity and repeated failures in our lives, and this book can help us get ready and know how to respond. I give it a 9/10.
Top 8 Quotes
“We simply must get it through our heads that holding a low opinion of ourselves is not a virtue, but a vice.”
“We destroy our self-confidence by remembering past failures and forgetting all about past successes.”
“We learn wisdom from failure much more than from success; we often discover what will do, by finding out what will not do; and probably he who never made a mistake never made a discovery.”
“No man ever became great or good except through many and great mistakes.”
“The feeling of insecurity is based upon a concept or belief of inner inadequacy.”
“Our errors, mistakes, failures, and sometimes even humiliations, were necessary steps in the learning process.”
“To find life reasonably satisfying, you must have an adequate and realistic self-image that you can live with.”
“Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible.”
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