Dr. Maltz was a cosmetic or plastic surgeon. He devoted his life to making people feel better about themselves, specifically through correcting anomalies in their appearance; however, a certain percentage of his patients did NOT feel better -- some even insisted nothing had changed. This let Dr. Maltz to study the effect of SELF-IMAGEs on one''s life, i.e. how one sees oneself as opposed to what one really is, being his primary focus, at first. What he came to realize through his study and research is that self-image controls, to some extent, everything we can do and much that we cannot. If we wish to change our future, we need to change our self-image. But how can this be done? The author shows us many ways. We can, for instance, we can use our imaginations to SEE ourselves acting in a different way, more in line with our desires and goals. The author mentions, although he does not unreservedly urge, hypnosis as a possibility. He gives a number of exercises to help us change not only our self-image, but the thoughts that generated it; and with our thoughts, our lives. For one thing, Dr. Maltz defines happiness as a state where one thinks more pleasant than unpleasant thoughts. He gives several examples of people who have made such happiness a habit (it generally takes about 21 days or a bit more to establish a habit, by the way) and the changes in other ways are amazing as well. This includes achieving goals, even beyond what one has dared to dream of, up to that point.He gives several other techniques to help you to relax, give up fear, and develop faith and courage, as well.
This book is one of the seminal psychology books designed to help the individual overcome the hurtful negatives and to celebrate and experience the positive in life. The exercises and techniques he gives are very effective, and by the time one has finished this book, it is possible to have changed one''s entire outlook and behaviours and thought patterns in beautiful ways. It handsomely repays reading and rereading thoughtfully, and many times over.