When my drummer was here recently for the recording of my sixth self-help singer-songwriter album, titled The Great Something, he talked about how much he loved the old 1960’s hit television show, The Twilight Zone.
It’s Twilight Zone-ish enough that my drummer has the same name as me, grew up in the same area of Ohio as me, and went to the same college as me – but we never met until five years ago, for the making of my first singer-songwriter album.
But it gets even stranger when one night an episode of The Twilight Zone aired on television – one I don’t recall ever seeing before.
As I watched, an idea for an “instant change” self-help technique came to me with a jolt.
Oh, this is good, I thought to myself, laughing.
Wait till I tell everyone about this!
And this is where the story gets really interesting.
But let’s start at the beginning.
I’m a huge fan of The Twilight Zone TV show.
I was five years old when it first aired in 1959, but I saw virtually every episode after that, and still watch them today. Each show was genius. Great acting, great stories, great lessons.
Over half of the 150 episodes were written by the man who created the show: Rod Serling.
Serling deeply influenced me when I was a teenager.
I studied his scripts, short stories, and movies to unlock his mastery at writing.
I loved his screenplays for Seven Days in May and Requiem for a Heavyweight.
Talk about hypnotic writing!
Rod Serling’s Advice to Writers (1962)
DON’T LET SENTIMENTALITY REAR ITS UGLY HEAD!!!
MAKE PEOPLE THINK… STUN THEM… GRAB YOUR AUDIENCE IMMEDIATELY
DON’T OVERLOAD DIALOGUE
HAVE A POINT OF VIEW… DON’T ACCEPT SOMEONE ELSE’S CONCEPT
OVERALL THEME LEADS TO CHARACTERS THEN ON TO PLOT
RESEARCH BACKGROUND FOR ANY STORY
CONTINUITY… TIE SCENES OR PARAGRAPHS TOGETHER
I almost signed up for the Famous Writers School, as Serling was on their board (as was John Caples, another writer who would influence me decades later).
It didn’t happen. I was still in high school, and my parents couldn’t or wouldn’t swing the tuition for the correspondence course.
But something even better happened.
I met Rod Serling.
He was giving a presentation in Youngstown, Ohio, not far from my home. Two friends and myself went to hear the great one speak. It was around 1970.
I was too excited to sit still.
I was star-struck and eager to meet the icon.
He walked out on stage, cigarette in hand, tanned, tiny, unshaven, tight lipped, and uncomfortable.
I was instantly disappointed.
Serling was a chain-smoking little man with darkness and insecurity in him.
He said if there was a thump at night, he’d be the first one outside in his shorts.
He said he was the only boxer who had to be carried into as well as out of the ring.
He was articulate, self effacing, and entertaining.
But I wanted to see a super human, not a mortal.
Though I was shy and nervous, I managed to ask him a question.
I raised my hand.
He nodded at me.
“Do you plan to write your autobiography?” I asked.
“No,” Serling replied. “Nothing much has happened in my life. It’d be boring.”
I was shocked.
Here was one of early television’s most influential writers.
A creative mind on the level of genius.
He wrote screenplays for some of the most haunting TV shows and movies ever.
He won several Emmy Awards for his work.
He served in the war and received the Purple Heart and Bronze Star, as well as trauma and wounds that would give him nightmares his entire life.
He was known as “the angry young man” of Hollywood, fighting with TV executives over censorship, racism, and war.
He was also unhappy.
“I was traumatized into writing by war events,” Rod Serling explained. “By going through a war in a combat situation and feeling the desperate sense of terrible need for some sort of therapy. To get it out of my gut, write it down. This is the way it began for me.”
And he thought his life story would be boring???
It was a turning point for me.
I decided if this insecure man can become a scrip writing legend, than there was a chance for me to make it as an author, too.
And now, before I get to the point of this entire article, let’s pause for a commercial break….
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And now let’s continue with this article….
Back to the episode I saw the other night.
It took place in an office.
A businessman is talking to his secretary.
He is preparing to go on a trip.
He goes to his phone, starts to dial his wife’s number, when suddenly someone shouts, “CUT!”
The man freezes.
He watches as his office walls are moved.
And then he sees an entire film crew looking at him.
He is on a movie set.
The yelling of “CUT!” caused him to freeze.
He is almost traumatized by this turn of events.
He didn’t know he was on a set, or in a movie, or was an actor.
Imagine how you would feel if right now you heard a booming voice yell “CUT!” and then you saw the walls around you move apart, only to reveal a film crew that has been watching you the whole time.
The episode is from 1960. It’s #23. It was written by Richard Matheson. It’s called “A World of Difference.” Howard Duff is the key actor. Find it and watch it sometime.
And now let’s get to the point:
Here’s how I discovered a self-help “instant change” technique:
Whenever you notice anything not going the way you want it to, mentally or out loud yell, “CUT!”
And then do, think or say something different.
Use “CUT!” as a command to change your mind or even a situation.
A friend was complaining about her day.
I listened for a moment.
Then I blurted, “CUT!”
She stared at me.
“Let’s redo this scene,” I said. “Say your lines differently this time.”
I had to explain the entire Twilight Zone episode to her before she understood what I was doing, but my “pattern interrupt” caused her to smile and begin a new conversation.
I was served dinner at a restaurant.
I was about to complain about the dish when I remembered that complaining doesn’t help. It’s far wiser to state an intention instead.
So I yelled “CUT!” in my head.
“State what you want,” I told myself, “not what you don’t want.”
I then stated that I wanted my food heated up a little more, and the server smiled and handled it. No one was offended by a complaint, and I got what I wanted from the intention.
Do you see how this works?
I’m simply pretending that life is a stage play or television show.
As long as “the show” entertains me, fine.
But if I or someone in my real life reality show gets “out of tune” or goes “off script,” I can simply say “CUT!” and “Let’s do the scene again!”
“In almost everything I’ve written, there is a thread of this: man’s seemingly palpable need to dislike someone other than himself.”- Rod Serling
My own philosophy of life states that life is an illusion, anyway.
We’re all actors and actresses on the stage of life.
The problem is, we are all in a hypnotic trance and believe our roles.
“Awakening” is all about realizing you are acting out a script, though unconsciously.
By saying “CUT!” and pausing, you start to awaken from the trance and redirect your life.
In a real sense, you become the scriptwriter of your own life.
How cool is that?
I’m having fun using this self-help method in my daily life.
If I notice my thoughts start to go downhill, I just yell in my mind, “CUT!”
And then I choose to “redo my lines” by thinking more upbeat thoughts.
I doubt anyone involved with the making of The Twilight Zone ever thought of this way of retraining your brain and interrupting patterns, but I like thinking Rod Serling is smiling from above.
If not, then “CUT!” and “This time put a smile on your face, Rod!”
PS — One of my favorite screenplays by Rod Serling was titled, Patterns. It was a live television drama in 1955. It became a movie in 1956. Yelling “CUT!” is a great way to break a pattern. Just sayin’.
My first book was published in 1984.
It was called Zen and the Art of Writing.
It contained methods for increasing creativity, from NLP to meditation to Focusing to improv, all tools I had studied along the way in developing myself as a writer.
It was cause for celebration as I had struggled my entire adult life to get published, through homelessness and poverty, and a lot of desperate days and nights.
Well, I was finally published.
But ultimately that led to disappointment.
Because I didn’t have a name, or a following, or a marketing formula, or a very good publisher, the book was a dud.
I didn’t receive a dime from the book.
I was left to continue my struggle.
It would be almost ten more years (!) before I had a book published that did anything for me.
In 1992 I released The Seven Lost Secrets of Success and got a taste of what it’s like to be a rising star as an author.
I discovered that a book is an advertisement for my services.
People would read it and want to do business with me.
I never received an advance for the book, though.
But being the author of it brought me opportunities.
I was invited to speak at events, go on radio shows, get hired to write sales letters and ads, and more.
The book brought me business.
But it would get even better.
In 1994 I wrote The AMA Complete Guide to Small Business Advertising for the American Management Association.
I received a small advance – finally – for that book.
At first I was disappointed at such a low amount.
But after decades of trying to get published and finally receiving an advance, even a small one, I was grateful.
And that book changed my life.
Complete strangers and large companies hired me without meeting me, all because I was the author of an important book.
I’m talking known entities like The Red Cross, as well as movers and shakers such as politicians, lawyers, authors, speakers, celebrities, oil magnates, millionaires and billionaires, CEOs and more.
All I had to do was answer the phone.
And by then I had a bit of a local name as a copywriter, had my own small database of fans, and was with a publisher that at least knew a little about marketing.
I was able to leverage my books into attracting more money.
Being an author made me an author-ity.
That was a turning point in my career.
That experience of being published and being seen as the authority happened repeatedly, and kept growing, as I kept writing, publishing, and marketing.
In 1996 I wrote one of the pioneering books on how to make money online.
It was titled Cyber Writing and it, too, brought me more business as a copywriter, even though the book itself brought me almost nothing in terms of royalties.
And because the Internet was now available to the masses, my audience became the entire world.
Of course, releasing Hypnotic Writing (thanks to Mark Joyner’s persistent encouragement) as my first e-book (and later selling it to a major publisher) did wonders in establishing me as the copywriter to hire.
I became an Internet celebrity.
I could list more publishing milestones, both audio and print, but you get the idea.
Obviously, being an author gives a credibility that is bankable.
But the best was yet to come.
In 2006 I was invited to appear in what became the hit movie The Secret — invited because of one of my books (The Attractor Factor) — and I ended up in the New York Times best-selling book, The Secret, too.
And while I wasn’t paid to be in the book (or the movie), being included in such historic wonders brought global attention to me and elevated my career into outer space.
Being a contributing author in such a mega-bestseller brought me even bigger and better opportunities, even when neither the book or movie brought me anything directly financially.
I’m now an acknowledged success.
The offers and opportunities keep rolling in.
It’s a sweet life.
But it sure didn’t happen overnight.
What I’m offering you today is a way to have “overnight” success – and save yourself all the hassle and disappointment I went through – by being a coauthor in my next bestselling book, what I’m calling “The Prosperity Factor.”
A few people want to know why there’s an investment to participate.
Because you’re paying to skyrocket your career in one strategic move.
You can play the game and try to get published on your own.
I did that.
It took me DECADES.
And even if and when you get published on your own, you still need to promote your book.
If you don’t have a built in audience, or a reputation, or a list, or a plan, good luck.
I tried that, too.
Took me years.
What I’m offering you is a one time chance to explode on the scene – riding on my name and fame, benefiting from my database and strategy, and guaranteed to be a bestselling author almost overnight.
I have a team in place to help you.
I have the printer and the contacts.
They all need paid.
Your investment is an investment to leap over the desperate masses and shine as a bestselling author – now, not decades from now.
It’s an investment in yourself.
Believe me, if I could have done this in my struggle years, and hitched my wagon to a star, and had success as an author almost instantly, I would have grabbed it.
It would have saved me years to decades of waiting, praying, trying, hoping and struggling.
If you see the value of being in and on the cover of my next bestseller, and advancing your career in one smart move, then go to http://www.instantbestsellingauthor.com
This is your chance.
PS – Keep in mind that a lot of people will want to be in this book, and space is obviously limited, so if you are sincerely interested in advancing your career in one strategic smart move, then please zip over to http://www.instantbestsellingauthor.com right now. This is your moment. Grab it. Why not do it right now, while it’s on your mind?
“Attract Money Now LIVE” is going to be a historic event.
I’m lining up hand picked “Speed Speakers” to give TED-like short presentations at my event http://www.attractmoneynowlive.com/ Besides the featured speakers —
— Body-for-Life fitness legend Bill Phillips
— movie star (“E.T.”) and healer Dee Wallace
— mind expander (What If UP?) Mindy Audlin
— I also have terrific 20-minute “speed” presenters on such subjects as —
– “Raising Entrepreneurs” (a parent explains how his grade-school children are running an online business)
– “Pain into Profit” (a divorcee turns her mess into a message)
– “Volunteer for Wealth” (a negotiating expert reveals how giving leads to receiving)
– “Remembering Your Wealth” (a musician reveals a new process for creating your new reality)
Get this —
I will also give a brand new presentation on Authentic ho’oponopono, based on the upcoming sequel to Zero Limits, that will no doubt stimulate you and maybe even “burn some hair” with the truth and new techniques it reveals.
There will also be a surprise comedy show on Saturday night, a special “install the concepts” session on Sunday morning, a live experience of Miracles Coaching, a demo of The Secret Mirror technique, and so much more.
You can also meet me and other attendees at a private social function on Friday evening.
AND you can have $12,000 in online videos to help you awaken your millionaire mind the very moment you register for this once-in-a-lifetime event. (!)
People are already signing up and coming from everywhere — Canada, Italy, Germany, Ukraine, France, South Africa, and more!
Go get the details at — http://www.attractmoneynowlive.com/
See you there!
PS – Only 200 seats are available as that is all the room holds. If you want to be at this historic event with Bill Phillips, Dee Wallace, and the other amazing presenters, please register right now: http://www.attractmoneynowlive.com/
Years ago I wrote an article disapproving the NLP and hypnosis communication principle that people ignore the word “don’t” in a command. For example, “Don’t read this blog” is actually a command to read this blog, because the human mind doesn’t process the word “don’t”, at least according to NLP/hypnosis schooling.
Obviously, people are smarter than that. We learn what “don’t” and “no” mean when we are very young. When you learn accurate and advanced language patterns, as explained in my books Hypnotic Writing and Buying Trances, you can go beyond the basic misconceptions of communication.
Anyway, when I was in Krackow, Poland last month, Andrzej Batko and myself demonstrated the silliness of “don’t” in a short hilarious video Nerissa filmed. You can watch it by clicking on the below image. Better yet, don’t watch it right now.
Note: The article I wrote years ago on “don’t” thinking is at http://www.mrfire.com/article-archives/new-articles/do-not-read-this.html
Recently a close friend suddenly and completely severed our relationship.
It was shocking because it was so unexpected and so radical.
He offered no explanation, didn’t return my emails, and slammed the door on a five-year wonderful relationship.
It made me wonder what was going on in my friend’s life for him to act like this. Not only was it unnecessary, as a simple phone or in-person meeting could have cleared up whatever was bothering him, his action also severed a long term business relationship. I was planning to come out with new products I’d create with his help. This is wealth he’ll now miss out on receiving, as I can always do the products with someone else.
I told another friend about this troubling experience and he said, “It’s simply your turn.”
He went on to explain that the friend who turned against me had gotten mad at virtually every close friend over the years, including the one I was talking to.
As I thought about it, I realized this was a self destruction or self sabotage pattern.
Whenever things hit some sort of internal button, my old friend hit a switch inside his brain and flipped out. He’s been mad at every single mutual friend we have. Apparently it really is my turn.
I thought about this and wondered why we don’t see our self-destruct patterns, or if we do, interrupt them and stop them. It made me wonder about self sabotage and self destruction in myself and others.
I was in Krakow, Poland as I lay awake one night and reflected on all this. My mind was digging into the psychological motivations for acting out self destruction. After what seemed like hours I came to the conclusion that we don’t see our patterns while we’re in them. We only see them later, after the dust has settled and we can see clearly again. At that point, shame and regret often kick in.
But why don’t we see the pattern as it’s happening?
I remember an attorney once telling me that the human machine isn’t wired to admit fault. We will simply find it easier to blame others.
I also remember Dr. Hew Len, my coauthor for Zero Limits, saying that none of us want to take responsibility for what occurs. It’s too hard. Or said the other way, it’s just so easy to point fingers at others.
I asked Andrzej Batko (pictured above with me), an NLP master trainer and the wonderful man who brought me to Poland (twice so far) to hold Law of Attraction events in Warsaw, what he thought about self-destruction.
“It’s a mind trick,” he said. “I don’t usually see the self sabotage pattern in myself until after it’s over. If I’m aware, I can start to catch it before I repeat it.”
What can we do about this trick of the mind?
There appears to be two ways to stop self destruction or self sabotage:
1. Awareness. When you’re aware of a pattern, you can begin to interrupt it with a new behavior or insight so you don’t repeat it. This takes work. One book that can help is Why Is This Happening to Me …Again? by Michael Ryce. My own book, The Key, is also useful. Also, my Awakening Course can be the turning point for you.
2. Coaching. When you have a skilled coach to help reflect your behavior and thoughts back to you, you can more easily escape the unconscious spiral of self-destruction. If you don’t mind the plug, I suggest you check out the Joe Vitale Miracles Coaching program. It’s been helping thousands of people for more than four years now.
How important is coaching?
On the way to see the Leopard sports car, a hand made limited edition roadster made in Poland, I met a man who took all the money he made in one year and gave it to a coach for one year of training.
Consider that: he took an entire year’s wages to get one year of weekly coaching. He said this transformed his life. He’s now a successful, self-employed entrepreneur.
My friend with the self-destruct pattern of getting mad at friends will have to find his way out of the maze. I’ll continue to love him, clean on the experience with ho’oponopono, and monitor my own life for any signs of the mind trick that stops most of us from the success we truly want to attract.
Meanwhile, reflect on the patterns in your own life.
It may truly be time for a change.
PS — All above photos, taken in Warsaw, are by Grzegorz Sylla of www.fotani.com in Poland.