Wednesday, 8 July 2009


The world has been mourning Michael Jackson, an amazing musician and performer who sadly died recently at only 50 years of age. Theres been a lot of controversy in his short life about many things, not least the amount of plastic surgery he underwent. He never seemed happy with his looks and it has been said how he thought he was ugly. All this turned my thoughts to Maxwell Maltz.

Maxwell Maltz was a highly regarded plastic surgeon who noticed that with the surgery that he did some people were completely transformed. Changing their bodies changed their personality. Once they had the plastic surgery they became the person they wanted to be, whilst others, no matter how much surgery they had never seemed to “find their true selves”. No matter how much they reconstructed their physical image it was not necessarily the key to their happiness, something else was needed.

Once this something else was reconstructed the person changed, inside. He said it was as if personality had a face, and this non physical face was the key to personality changes. He believed self image is the key to human personality, change the self image and you change the personality and behaviour. Self image defines what you can and cannot do, so if you expand your self-image you expand the area of possibility.

Successful men and women have for years used mental pictures and rehearsal; practice to achieve success. For example Napoleon practiced his soldiering in his imagination for many years before he went on to fight any battles. Positive visualisation can change your self image; Maxwell Maltz believed before you can change you must see yourself in the new role.

Using positive visualisation to picture the desired result literally forces you into positive thinking. This exercise can help you achieve your best possible self; by forming a picture in your imagination of the self you want to be and see yourself in the new role.

In San Francisco two psychologists with the Veterans Administration reported on an experiment; whereby mental patients were asked to answer questions as if they were a typical well adjusted person. In order to answer the questions as a typical well adjusted person would answer they had to imagine how a typical well adjusted person would act. They had to imagine themselves in the role of a well adjusted person and this in itself was enough to cause them to begin acting as ……………. And feeling like ……………………

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