In 1961, a little book appeared in American’s bookstores which changed psychology forever
The book’s author was Dr. Albert Ellis, Ph.D. a clinical psychologist from Columbia University. The magazine ‘Psychology Today’ notes that “No individual-not even Freud himself-has had a greater impact on modern a psychotherapy.”
This impact came from a psychological
handle which Dr. Ellis, discovered, and which I’ll describe in a minute.
Let’s first consider three Brain Principles (my own terms) which came as a result of Dr. Ellis’ work.
Brain Principle 1: Your Brain believes everything you tell it, without question!
The significance of this first principle is beyond measure.
Here is the reason.
There is a war going on!
If you are anything over the age of five, you’ve discovered that life can become a war with ourselves.
Let me illustrate:
Neuroscience has discovered that we have many brains.
•We have the one inside our head consisting of 100 billion neurons.
•The one in your heart consists of about 40,000 neurons. (“My heart tells me”)
•The one in your gut consists of 100,000 neurons (“My gut tells me.”)
•And they battle with each other. My brain says, “I look great!” My heart says, “I feel great!” and my gut says, “That pecan pie sure looks great!!!”
And dear reader, this battle ebbs and flows throughout our lives.
•You want to feel better about yourself…
•So you want to be more successful…
•So you must make more money…
•But you want to spend more time with your loved ones…
•But you need the money…
•And on and on and on.
So how does “Your brain believes everything you tell it” help us win the battles within that war?
Well, while we may be winning the war, we inevitably lose some of the battles.
And when we do, we declare, “I just cannot do this!” As our brain believes everything we tell it, it not only agrees, it makes sure we can’t! That’s the scary part!
And what about our feelings when we fail?
Brain Principle 2: Your feelings come from your beliefs
Dr. Ellis observed that our feelings about ourselves do not come from our failures; nor do they come from how we were raised; nor do they come from events in our lives; not do they come from what we have done.
Do you know where they originate, dear reader?
They come from our beliefs about our failures; and our beliefs about how we were raised; and our beliefs about events in our lives; and our beliefs about what we have done.
For example, when 9/11 occurred, every person in the world had immediate feelings of horror, confusion, anger and rage. However, over the next few days, the feelings in each person in the world gradually changed.
Why? Because over time, each person’s beliefs about 9/11 changed.
The Wonderful Handle
Now… here is the wonderful handle I was talking about.
You have a handle on what you are believing about yourself by looking at what you are saying about yourself!
In other words, your beliefs are directly revealed by your self-talk.
In fact, our beliefs are directly reflected in what we say to ourselves about our failures; and what we say to ourselves about how we were raised; and what we say to ourselves about events in our lives; and what we say to ourselves about what we have done.
This leads us to Brain Principle 3.
BRAIN PRINCIPLE 3: YOU CAN CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK!
This third principle has opened an unbelievably wonderful frontier for everyone who still wants to learn and grow and change. You can change the way you think…right now…as you read this.
When you protest, “Oh Steve, you just don’t understand! I’m stuck with these feelings, and I have been all my life.” My answer is “You’re absolutely right!” Why? Because that is what you are saying, and your brain not only believes you, it KEEPS YOU STUCK, and your feelings follow those beliefs!!!
For example, a month ago I was told I had cancer, cataracts, and pre-diabetes. However, my feelings did not come from the cancer, cataracts, or pre-diabetes; they came from my beliefs about them.
If they had happened 40 years ago, I would have felt devastated.
However, now I feel elated! The pre-diabetes has forced me to change my eating and exercising habits and I have lost weight, the cataracts will be replaced by corrective lenses inside by eyes so I may not need glasses, and the skin-cancer on my skull has been excised and I am cancer-free.
And when can you change how you think? Right now...as you are reading this!!!
And you know what? Your brain doesn’t even care if your new thoughts are true? All it cares about is what YOU….TELL IT!
However, (and here is the exciting part), when you lock onto those new thoughts, which makes them become predominant in your life, your brain rewires itself so those new thoughts not only become how you think, but according to the Bible, they become who you are! Proverbs 23:7: As a man thinks in his heart, so is he!
Every Moment Can Be a Do-Over
Think of this, dear reader. Your ‘old life’ ended when? One second ago!
So when did your new life begin? ONE SECOND AGO!
Now do the math; 60 seconds per minute, 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day.
So in one day, you have 86,400 new opportunities for a new do-over. In other words, you can have a new do-over for every moment that has been given to you in your life!!
All you have to do is take them!
Steven Campbell is the author of “Making Your Mind Magnificent” and conducts “The Winners Circle” every two months at Sonoma Mountain Village in RP. Contact Steven at 480-5007 or go his website at stevenrcampbell.com to ask about his one-day free monthly seminar.