Plastic surgeon, Dr. Maxwell Maltz, noticed that some of his patients, even after facelifts, still saw themselves in a negative way. After much research, he understood that the problem was not external but internal. What was in need of a makeover was not their face but their self‐image. Further research led him to elaborate a theory based on cybernetics he called psycho‐cybernetics.
Cybernetics, a theory developed by Dr. Norbert Wiener, is based on the concept of self‐regulating systems aided by goal seeking mechanisms. For example: a self guided torpedo that’s propelled forwards towards a target using “sense organs” (sonar, radar, heat perception, etc) to stay on course. If the torpedo has positive feedback, it continues as is. But if it has negative feedback, a corrective mechanism meant to steer the torpedo back in the right direction is automatically set off. The torpedo then zigzags back and forth until errors are corrected and it’s back on course.
Similarly, every time we give ourselves a direction, a self‐correcting mechanism goes off in our nervous system. And if an obstacle gets in our way, we don’t give up on our activity but, instead, make necessary adjustments. For example, if I’m pouring myself a glass of water and my cat gets in the way, my hand will automatically change its trajectory to keep from spilling the water. But still it will continue in its efforts to pour water.
For this self‐correcting mechanism to be activated, a goal is needed. Because you can’t get back on course unless you know where you want to go.
We set our goals based on the image we have of ourselves. And if we have a poor self-image, we’ve got problems. Solution? A self-image makeover! If we can change our thoughts, we can change our lives.
A diary can help. Not only can it help us learn more about ourselves, it can help us construct the image we want to have of who we are. In the words of John Lennon, “imagine!“
So maybe it’s time to sit down and write in our diaries about the life we imagine for ourselves. And write with all our will and desire to construct that image. And, if we ever feel lost, we can reread our words and self-correct to get back on course again.
So today in my diary I will write that I’m near the Eiffel Tower wearing a Muy Marcottage huipil dress! À toute à l’heure!
(from THE DIARY OF LUZ CORAZZINI)