Eldon Taylor is an award-winning, New York Times best-selling author of more than 300 books, audio, and video programs. He’s the inventor of the patented InnerTalk technology and the founder and president of Progressive Awareness Research. He has been called a “master of the mind” and has appeared as an expert witness on both hypnosis and subliminal communication.
Eldon was a practicing criminalist conducting investigations and lie-detection examinations for many years. He is listed in more than a dozen Who’s Who publications, including Who’s Who of Intellectuals and Who’s Who in Science and Engineering. He is a fellow in the American Psychotherapy Association and an internationally sought-after speaker. His books and audio-video materials have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have sold millions worldwide.
Eldon is the host of the popular radio show Provocative Enlightenment. He has interviewed some of the most interesting people on the planet. His shows are thought-provoking and always fresh in both their perspective and the exchange.
Announcing I Believe, the latest release by New York Times best selling author, Eldon Taylor.
Eldon, why did you write I Believe?
I have spent over thirty years investigating why people self-sabotage or limit themselves, thus experiencing so much less than their highest best! What I have found is the reason rests solely in their beliefs—not their spiritual belief so much as their life beliefs. I found this to be true when I was conducting lie detection tests and discovering criminality, and equally true when I worked with elite athletes, business executives, professionals and lay people alike. The bottom line is this: What you believe always matters! It’s like a web that fastens itself to belief-anchors, causing disheartening mediocrity in place of the glorious success we all seek.
I Believe spells out the power of belief and how it influences everything from our health and longevity to our success with relationships and life. Astounding as it may seem, belief can (and has) defied our so-called laws of science and it has done so over and over again. As ordinary and trite as it may seem, belief nevertheless makes all the difference in success in all walks of life. Knowing how we acquire our beliefs, and which beliefs serve us while others sabotage us, is critical to maximizing our individual potential. I Believe: When What You Believe Matters! was written to empower you with the roadmap to decipher and re-write the programming governing your life.
Excerpt: The Mind-Body Belief System
Research with placebos—nontherapeutic substances are commonly thought of as sugar pills—is also telling when it comes to the role of belief and the function of the mind in matters of wellness. When the faith and expectation of a subject invests in the power of the placebo, amazing things happen. What’s more, the treatment is relative to the condition, so one false pill can treat pain half as well as aspirin and half as well as morphine. Not surprisingly, telling the patient that the same tablet increases discomfort will result in just that.
Placebos don’t have to be pills; they can be creams, injections, or even surgery. Just as interesting, the effect is larger if you increase the dosage size—say a larger capsule or two of them. Further, research shows that a branded item works better than a plain one, one in a shiny box elicits greater results than one in a plain package, a capsule trumps a tablet, with an injection working even better. If you use fancy, expensive-looking, sophisticated equipment, it yields even more dramatic outcomes. The bottom line is that the greater the expectation, the greater the effect. In other words, building a strong belief creates the foundation for the result.2
There are still more revealing facts about placebos that dovetail directly into our human psychology. For example, color is often employed to evaluate mood states, as in the Lüscher Color Test. The validity of this test has been determined to be overall 81 percent in agreement with the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysis.3 So how does color correlate with the placebo effect? Well, blue is more effective as a “downer,” and red is the preferred color for an “upper.” Further, as Daniel Keogh and Luke Harris point out in their very informative Internet film, studies have shown that people who take their medication on a regular basis are much less likely to die than those who don’t adhere to their drug regimen, even if they’re only taking placebos. If that’s not enough to convince you of the power of belief, then try this one. Again, the creators of the aforementioned film point out that placebos can also be addictive. In one study, 40 percent of the women who’d taken an inactive medication for five years suffered withdrawal symptoms.4
Remember that by definition, there’s no medical value to a placebo. It’s not what’s in the substance that matters but what we put in it via our belief. Clever researchers can weight our belief by feeding an already expectant psychology with the right color, shape, size, and so forth to further ensure the maximum effect!5 That’s right, a genuine medical result from a nonmedical intervention. It’s clearly our minds that have the power.
The Authority Figure
Several years ago, I conducted research that involved patients diagnosed with cancer. I used a cognitive approach by employing an audio recording (my Innertalk technology) designed to fundamentally influence what the subjects thought to be true, generating a positive outlook and confidence in the body’s ability to heal itself. In other words, the design of the study sought to measure the influence of a change in beliefs on the progression of cancer.
In short, this is what we found: First, every single patient who believed that the mind had a role in wellness, and whose physician believed this as well, was in complete remission (no evidence of cancer). By contrast, every single individual whose doctor reported that the mind had no role in wellness was dead. In a sense, it didn’t matter what the patient thought within this latter group—it all depended upon the medical authority.
Even though this was just a small test group, the results disturbed and puzzled me. That puzzlement changed recently when science learned through the use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that “parts of the prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices, which play key roles in vigilance and skepticism when judging the truth and importance of what people say, were deactivated” in the presence of an authority. While the first study I noticed of this nature was about the clergy, other studies show that this effect includes anyone we think of as an authority.10
Similar to the power of the placebo, it appears that the health-care professional can reverse the positive by informing us that matters are out of our hands, and as with the cancer patients in the study, we’ll just surrender to their preconceptions and die.
It now seems obvious: What we believe predisposes our expectation and behavior. It directly influences our health, sense of well-being, and even the aging process. So what is it that you anticipate? Do you think you’ll “catch” the cold, flu or other “bug” that’s going around? Do you assume you’ll be sick for a certain amount of time? Does it seem that some illnesses are more likely at a specific age, under certain conditions, or simply because of genetics? What would happen if you changed your own beliefs about this? Is it possible that you could become healthier, avoid many of the infections that go around, and recover more quickly when you do become sick? Many people are reporting just this result.
Excerpt: Trying, Losing and Persisting
You never lose unless you quit. Vince Lombardi is often quoted as saying, “The difference between winning and losing is quitting.” There are thousands of stories about people who failed miserably time after time before finally achieving their goals. They succeeded because they never quit.
Knowing your own limitations is different from quitting, which is a mental state. You may see a ballplayer walking off the field, but long before taking this action, his mind set sail through all the possibilities, reasons, and rationalizations for giving up. He may have even rehearsed the event—to try it on, so to speak—before the actual action. So as I said, it’s first a mental action, like my son’s strikeout.
There are people I’ve worked with in the past who persist at quitting. They’re not aware that they’re giving up, per se, any more than my son was aware that he’d surrendered to striking out before the first pitch was thrown.
Becoming aware of this tendency in ourselves is the only way we can end these self-destructive, self-sabotaging patterns. Persisting should be all about allowing our efforts to become better and better. We persevere at practice—reinforcing our improvement instead of mentally rehearsing our failure expectation. As Marilyn vos Savant is credited with saying, “Being defeated is only a temporary condition; giving up is what makes it permanent.”
I believe that inside every human being is a winner. Each and every one of us possesses a unique ability—a talent, if you will—and chief among all of our abilities is the one called “Doing our very best.” I believe that this ability is what makes us champions.
I remember being confused as a young man about such statements as “All men are created equal.” It doesn’t take an Einstein to see how untrue this statement is—or is it? I tell a story on myself in my book Choices and Illusions, in which I made just this inquiry. It seems appropriate here to share what I learned.
Imagine a rocket scientist who, after much work, launches an interstellar voyager. Imagine the pride he feels in the accomplishment. Now imagine a so-called menial laborer. On his hands and knees for endless hours, he scrubs and polishes a floor. He has worked so hard and with so much pride that he has scrubbed his knuckles raw. Now he stands back and beholds his labors. The floor absolutely glistens—every square inch of it. It never looked that good even when it was new. Now . . . which man senses the most pride, the rocket scientist or the floor scrubber?2
Even at a young age, I understood that feeling. The fact is that when you do your utmost, you enjoy the same state of specialness, the same ecstatic feeling, the same sense of purpose and pleasure as anyone else, regardless of the act (launching rockets or scrubbing floors).
I believe there are no real losers because in the end, you cannot escape yourself. You—both here and in the hereafter—will learn to persevere, and in time you’ll turn the act of trying or the pattern of losing into winning because that’s who you ultimately are! You’ll acquire the habit of applying your best to all that you do, and as the rocket scientist–floor scrubber story illustrates, that means you’ll always come out ahead. You were created a winner, and a winner you were meant to be. Believing in yourself makes winning happen, so the only question is what you’re going to do to reinforce a strong, vital faith in yourself—for what you believe always matters!
Always remember the following analogy from Alfred Adler. It’s one of my favorites, and it will help you remember to believe in yourself along the way, even when you feel you’re drowning.
What do you first do when you learn to swim? You make mistakes, do you not? And what happens? You make other mistakes, and when you have made all the mistakes you possibly can without drowning—and some of them many times over—what do you find? That you can swim? Well—life is just the same as learning to swim! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, for there is no other way of learning how to live!3
The only way you lose is by quitting. Failure becomes permanent only when you give up. When you visualize quitting, you’re rehearsing the event. Can you think of examples from your own life when you were so convinced you’d be unsuccessful that you never even tried? Isn’t this often the most basic frustration that people have during a midlife crisis? Do you dare to look again at those dreams you once had and discarded—and to try again, this time with persistence, determination, and tenacity?
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