An instructive if macabre story about the power of our speech

Here’s an amazing if macabre story about the power of our speech. It comes from Dr. Joseph Murphy’s masterpiece The Power of Your Subconscious Mind:

Every two or three years I give a series of lectures at the London Truth Forum in Caxton Hall . . . . Dr. Evelyn Fleet, the director, told me about an article which appeared in the English newspapers dealing with the power of suggestion. This is the suggestion a man gave to his subconscious mind over a period of about two years: “I would give my right arm to see my daughter cured.” It appeared that his daughter had a crippling form of arthritis together with a so-called incurable form of skin disease. Medical treatment had failed to alleviate the condition, and the father had an intense longing for his daughter’s healing, and expressed his desire in the words just quoted.

Dr. Evelyn Fleet said that the newspaper article pointed out that one day the family was out riding when their car collided with another. The father’s right arm was torn off at the shoulder, and immediately the daughter’s arthritis and skin condition vanished.

This must have occurred in the late 50s or early 60s England, as the book was first published in 1963. Dr. Murphy then goes on to note:

You must make certain to give your subconscious only suggestions which heal, bless, elevate and inspire you in all your ways. Remember that your subconscious mind cannot take a joke. It takes you at your word.

 I’ll say.

What you speak is what you live

Though extreme, this narrative highlights two points I can use in my life right now:

  1. I aim to be much more attentive to my everyday phrases.
  2. I will never say: I’d give my right arm . . . for anything!

In my youth I was fond of saying “I’d give my left testicle” for . . . whatever — whatever was my passing fancy of that moment. Fortunately for me it was for a passing interest and not a passionate longing, or else I might be flying solo testicle today.

Your speech reflects what you expect from life. When I’ve been attentive to where my excitement is when I speak, some themes are way cool (my genuine thrill for others when they experience the flow of good in their lives), and other themes are way past their use-by date.

The next post will address this further.

So for me this is a reminder that it’s back to the basics — back to Number 1 above — being much more attentive to the stories I tell. This blogsite is part of that effort.

Hearing stories from others who’ve revolutionized their thinking, which translates into how they speak about themselves and their world, is the best reinforcement I can imagine. Thanks for all that each of you have shared so far —

Posts in a similar vein


Will Rogers: The mistake that launched a massive career

First! For those of you not aware of Will Rogers (shame, shame), a quick synopsis:

Will Rogers was THE most popular humorist of 20th Century America. Whoever else you think it could be, it’s not. It’s not Johnny Carson or Bill Cosby or Newt Gingrich or anyone from the 40s or 50s. Will Rogers was America’s humble everyman funnyman into the mid-1930s when he died in a small plane crash.

(Don’t get me started on small planes! . . . Lynyrd Skynyrd, Patsy Cline, Jim Croce, Elvis — oh no, that was a toilet — Buddy Holly, John Denver, politicians you won’t know by name, my wife’s free pass John Kennedy Jr. . . . . how many people do you know by name who’ve died in large jet planes?! . . . subside, Evan, subside . . . shhhh . . . .)

Will Rogers was a fierce advocate for the underdog, for the working man — and just plain enjoyable as a human being. Between his newspaper column, radio program and movies, Will Rogers had a greater percentage of the national audience than anyone had before or since.

But Will Rogers might not have had that massive an effect on the American psyche if he hadn’t rolled with a mistake.

In his early years Will Rogers traveled the vaudeville circuit doing rope tricks. One time onstage he messed up the trick, made a joke about it and went on.

Imagine yourself: You’ve intended for things to flow smoothly in your life. You do all the requisite things to insure your success — you practice, you visualize, you feel it. In fact, you feel greatness ahead of you and have no idea how it will come to pass. Then you mess up in the most public arena possible . . . .

Back to Will. When Rogers flubbed his rope trick, his easy humor saved the day and got a laugh. The theater manager saw the potential and urged Rogers to include humorous banter in his act.

He did and slowly the extraordinary happened — he evolved into Will Rogers.

There are three kinds of men: The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

The next time something goes wrong, seek — truly — the benefit. It is there.

This blog was inspired by the recent article in Success magazine (June 2011) by Robert Burns. It is worth picking up, for this and half-a-dozen other articles. It’s the one with Steve Martin on the cover.

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And a bonus post because I like you


Getting to sleep on time

When my friend Gil was attempting to get his time to bed under control he undertook an innovative program. 

He set alarms.

His approach was simple. (I’m a simpleton, simple always sets my heart a-throb.) He set an alarm for each major inflection point on the way to lights out at the ideal time.

What I thought was brilliant about this getting-to-bed program was its recognition of human behavior. Had Gil only set one alarm to remind him to go to bed now, then there might have existed several competing actions to complete that could derail the bedtime ideal — and once passed, what’s the use . . . 

The clever part is setting staggered alarms, to trigger different behaviors — like you might do for a child.

Here’s how you might do it:

  1. The first alarm might signal shutting down all electronics, heading to the bathroom, doing your deep thinking there, the brushing of the teeth, the changing into the jammies thing.
  2. The second alarm might trigger bed now, reading time.
  3. The final alarm would be lights out no matter what.
One, two, three — you’ve eliminated the thinking, which is always good for striking out into new behavioral territory. You lock into the pattern, you follow your plan, you do it each night for so many weeks it becomes ingrained. 
You have become your own Skinnerian lab specimen, but instead of getting a pigeon to peck a button, you’re getting to bed on time — which begets more sleep, which begets greater mental capacity, which begets a better life . . . .
This begetting could go on as long as it does in the Bible, let’s just end it here so we can begetting on to better things.
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How to become an early riser (or at least an earlier riser)

Small steps and incremental effort work wonders for me.

Some people can manage systemic upheaval in their lives as they make a radical change. Not moi. Not that I can’t handle it, I simply prefer the fluidity of the incremental to the shock of all-at-once. 
If small changes toward a larger result are more your fashion, then the following method for re-training yourself to awaken earlier will be right up your alley.
My whole life was dedicated to late night living, even when working day jobs. It took a fierce commitment to be among the last of the humans to sleep in my time zone. Once our son was born it became immediately apparent he didn’t care. I lost my late-night companion — Ann — right away. 
So if I cared to enjoy more family time I was going to have to adapt quickly
This is how I did it effortlessly, and how you can too.
I did it 15 minutes at a time. What can’t you do in 15 minutes at a time?!
I would set my alarm to go off 15 minutes earlier than was my custom. It would take me a few days to a week to acclimate to the new schedule — and then I would do it again.
By getting up only 15 minutes earlier you don’t activate the distress signal in your brain that you’re getting oh so much less sleep. It’s easy/ier.
And within a day or two or three you find yourself going to sleep a little earlier to accommodate your slightly earlier rising time.
As soon as the new time felt burned in over a few days, I would do it again — again for 15 minutes earlier.
This process worked so effectively I was waking up 2.5 to 3 hours earlier in less than two months. I had re-routed a life pattern without breaking a sweat. 
Once there as a newly-minted early riser, I discovered what all the fuss was about. The world is quiet and pregnant with possibility. There is a relaxed reverence in the air, you witness the sparkle of the new day arriving — and there is a voluptuousness to your experience of time because you are no longer hurried.
There is magic in fifteen minutes at a time. 
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Oh so distantly related post, but a quick (and fun) read

I write from beyond my abilities . . . and you can too.

Here’s what I’ve found: If you sit down with the intent to tap into your deepest resources, wisdom greater than you possess will leap to your command. It’s evident all over this website.

I recently read through some of these posts and was forced to admit repeatedly that I’m not as wise as the thought stream flowing through these pages. Not even remotely.

In life I’m a merry fool prancing about — here, ohhhh here, I’m oozing profundities not witnessed in my daily life . . . . ask my wife.

In re-reading some of these posts I inspired myself.

This was part of the mission. By inspiring myself I hope to inspire others. By encouraging myself I hope to encourage all. By elevating myself I aspire to elevate mankind in some infinitesimally small vibratory way.

He, uhh, raised the vibration of the place, man. That’s what I want said at my funeral. Or a biker bar.

Writing out your phenomenal self

You can inspire yourself too.

Writing it out is one of the most powerful ways I know to access and focus your inner genius.

My friend T-chele does this through journaling. She will journal through an issue the way miners tunnel through rock seeking the mother lode. Answers come to those who seek.

Or you can create your own dang blog — or get an inspirational group email going — or do it with a partner, back and forth each day or each week. You can write and re-write goals. You can write down who you aspire to be, on any surface that will hold markings.

Ann once wrote aspirational phrases on our bathroom mirror with lipstick. Turns out that’s hard to get off if you leave it there for awhile.

I recommend writing from your best self as often as you can. It’s one superior way to strike up a real acquaintance with SuperYou. It’s also the only way to experience for yourself the uncanny, eerie, supernatural majesty of the written word — your written word.

It’s as if you create anew by royal decree. By your written decree, it is so.

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