Maxwell Maltz (1899-1975) was a cosmetic surgeon who developed Psycho-Cybernetics, a system of ideas that can be employed to improve one's self image and in turn lead a more successful and fulfilling life. He wrote several books, among which Psycho-Cybernetics was a long-time bestseller that undoubtedly influenced many subsequent self-help teachers..
"What is opportunity, and when does it knock? It never knocks. You can wait a whole lifetime, listening, hoping, and you will hear no knocking. None at all. You are opportunity, and you must knock on the door leading to your destiny. You prepare yourself to recognize opportunity, to pursue and seize opportunity as you develop the strength of your personality, and build a self-image with which you are able to live -- with your self-respect alive and growing."
"Live in the present. The past is gone; the future is unknown -- but the present is real, and your opportunities are now. You must see these opportunities; they must be real for you. The catch is that they can't seem real if your mind is buried in past failures, if you keep reliving old mistakes, old guilts, old tragedies. Fight your way above the many inevitable Traumatizations of your ego, escape damnation by the past, and look to the opportunities of the present. I don't mean some vague moment in the present -- next week or next month, perhaps. I mean today, this minute."
"Stand up to crises. Don't let them throw you! Fight to stay calm... even surmount the crisis completely and turn it into an opportunity. Refuse to renounce your self-image. No matter what happens, you must keep your good opinion of yourself. No matter what happens, you must hold your past successes in your imagination, ready for showing in the motion picture screen of your mind. No matter what happens, no matter what you lose, no matter what failures you must endure, you must keep faith in yourself. Then you can stand up to crises, with calm and courage, refusing to buckle; then you will not fall through the floor. You will be able to support yourself."
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