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’.
Here’s a deeper insight into how the Law of Attraction actually works:
I’ve noticed that as soon as I sign up for a seminar or workshop, changes begin.
It may be just the decision that triggers change, or it may be something more esoteric.
Let me tell you a true a story about how this works…
A few weeks ago I decided to go back into the studio with my band and record my sixth singer-songwriter album.
As soon as I decided to do this, song ideas and new opportunities came to me.
For example, one day I looked in Facebook and there was a notice that rock legend Melissa Etheridge was doing a crowdfunding campaign for her new album.
As you’ll see in a minute, I’m a huge fan of hers.
I scanned her offerings and there was one for a two-hour, in-person, songwriting lesson with Melissa herself.
That excited me.
It also made me nervous.
After all, I’m a newbie as a singer-songwriter and Melissa is a goddess at it.
But as I say, “A goal should scare you a little and excite you a lot.”
I decided to go for it.
Within 24 hours, new energy for music hit me like waves of hot electricity.
I started writing new songs almost instantly.
Yet I haven’t had my session with Melissa yet!
As I mentioned, I’m a huge fan of Melissa Etheridge. Have been almost twenty years.
I fell in a hypnotic trance when I saw her on TV around 1995, scorching the screen with just her voice and acoustic guitar on an episode of Unplugged.
I mentioned her in my book on P.T. Barnum, There’s A Customer Born Every Minute.
I’ve seen her perform live numerous times.
I was a card carrying member of her fan club for years.
I bought a guitar signed by her.
I bought and read her autobiography.
I bought her song books to learn how she wrote her hits.
I tried to meet her, too.
She was going to be in the same organization I’m a member of (Transformational Leadership Council) and I thought I’d see her at one of our retreats.
I still haven’t met her.
But I will, when I have my private songwriting lesson with her.
And knowing I will, and knowing I will discuss my singer-songwriter passions with her soon, has turned on some “music production” switch inside me.
Just this morning, as I was working out, I received an entire song.
It just sort of “appeared” in my head.
I knew it was good because I couldn’t stop humming it.
I jumped off the treadmill and wrote the words down.
It was a complete song.
Everything was there.
I was amazed and delighted that it came with no effort and came by inspiration.
But it came AFTER I booked my lesson with Melissa and BEFORE I’ve had it!
Throughout my life I’ve noticed that when anyone makes a decision to attend an event designed to improve them, changes begin.
I saw it when I signed up to do a fire walk decades ago.
I saw it when I registered to experience The Forum seminar long ago.
I saw it when I signed up for Bill Phillip’s Body-For-Life challenge ten years ago, and more recently when I registered for his Transformation Camp and personally trained with him.
I saw it when I booked a saxophone lesson with Grammy nominated sax player Mindi Abair.
And I see it almost daily when people join my Miracles Coaching program.
As soon as they sign on the dotted line, and know they are committing to change, the change begins.
I’m convinced it’s the decision to change that does it.
The decision sends a solid message to all parts of you that you are going in a new direction.
Suddenly your mind has a new target; a new goal.
Instantly your brain goes on “alert” for anything to help you with the upcoming changes.
There may be a more esoteric reason for it, too.
When you declare you are going to do something new, the Universe takes note, applauds you, and sends you support.
As Goethe put it –
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back — concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.“
Decision is the key.
It’s like turning the ignition switch on to engage the Law of Attraction.
Decide and things happen.
So, if there is something big you are considering doing, I say DO IT.
Just Do It!
Show your support for your desired change by signing up for it.
Make the decision.
It’s a concrete way to tell yourself and the world that you are doing something new, and you and the world respond by beginning the change that very day.
And yes, I am VERY excited to meet and learn from the rock icon herself – Melissa Etheridge!
PS – Learn more about Miracles Coaching.
That’s how many times I’ve watched the Netflix documentary, Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru, which was released on July 15, only days ago.
I’m in the movie The Secret and I haven’t watched that film three times in ten years.
So why am I so captivated with this film about Tony?
It’s raw but real.
Hard-hitting but healing.
Profane but profound.
I found myself crying throughout it.
I found myself having internal breakthroughs just watching it.
I found myself relating to Tony’s inspired approach to change.
The film captures Tony’s closed-door week-long event called Date with Destiny.
In some ways the event reminded me of the old Werner Erhard est program, and to today’s Landmark Forum.
This film puts you in Tony’s secret space, much like Luke Rhinehart’s The Book of est puts you in an est event.
In both cases, you can safely observe the sometimes rollicking emotions people experience.
And in both cases, you can experience transformation just by going for the ride.
All you have to do is pay attention and feel.
Oh, there are holes in the movie.
Tony says change happens in a moment.
Yet later in the film, when he’s asked how he changed, he says there was no one moment.
Tony comes across as the trigger for change and not any method or principle.
Yet if Tony is needed for change, then methods don’t exist; there is no method. It’s him.
But I’m not a critic of the film; I’m a fan.
That’s why I’ve seen it three times – so far.
I let any holes or inconsistencies slide by as I focus on the good in the movie, the breakthroughs, the insights, the energy, the sharing – all of which act as a catalyst to awaken viewers who aren’t even physically in the seminar room with the giant king gorilla.
This makes the film itself a tool for transformation.
Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore told Joe Berlinger (the director of this film on Tony), “I believe it will actually save lives.”
I believe it, too.
A few more reasons why I love the film –
Tony goes past the little problems people offer and goes deeper, to the operating system under what they present.
When a 19 year old says her problem is her diet, Tony digs deeper to discover her issue is with her father, not her diet.
The movie helps prove why we all need coaching; without a trained person’s objective feedback, we will continue to blame our problems on others or on little things and entirely miss the big hidden operating system below our conscious awareness.
And I love statements such as, “You know what your biggest problem is? Thinking you shouldn’t have any.”
Tony goes on to explain that problems are gifts.
I don’t know Tony personally — we spoke at the same event in Chicago years ago, but hours apart, so we have yet to meet* — and I get nothing for endorsing this film from him or the director or anyone else.
But I urge you to watch it and let it stir your soul.
PS – My own television show, all fourteen episodes, is edited and in the hands of Amazon. Stay tuned for details. Meanwhile, go watch the film about Tony Robbins: I Am Not Your Guru. It’s stirring, soulful and spellbinding.
* You can read about the event where I spoke on the same stage as Tony, Trump, and others at http://blog.mrfire.com/a-tony-robbins-first/
Throughout history, only a few books shook people deep enough to trigger a new direction in humankind, creating new policies, new procedures, and sometimes even war.
Thomas Paine did it.
Rachel Carson did it.
Harriet Beecher Stowe did it.
According to the New York Public Library, here are 25 other books that did it:
As an author, I’ve always wanted to write a book that makes a difference; one that made a measurable transformation in the world itself.
But I’ve wanted to do even more; I’ve wanted to do something on a scale so big, it would influence millions and actually elevate the planet.
Now, at long last, as humbly as I can, I can announce my magnum opus, the inspired new book of a long career –
Not only have I written the first manifesto to blend wealth and spirit, but I’ve created a full online training program to help people integrate the key principles in the manifesto so they can live AS Awakened Millionaires.
I’m more than excited to share this with you, and I invite you to check out both and spread the message of the new revolution:
The manifesto in print, on audio, or for your Kindle reader will be available April 16th http://www.amazon.com/Awakened-Millionaire-Manifesto-Spiritual-Movement/dp/1119264162/
The Awakened Millionaire Academy (the full online training) will be available April 3rd http://awakenedmillionaireacademy.com/
You can leap ahead and get on the early notification list right now by going to the above links.
Together, we can make a difference.
Will you join me?
When I attended my fourth transformation camp with legendary Body-for-Life fitness icon Bill Phillips, I briefly told the group (at Bill’s invitation) about the power of “I AM.”
Afterward, Bill told me, “We could do an entire seminar on just ‘I AM’.”
Here’s why Bill is right:
Anything you say after the words “I AM” creates your future.
You can say, “I AM broke” and your mind will create that reality.
You can say “I AM alone” and your mind will mirror that affirmation, too.
You can say “I AM ill” and your mind will manufacture a life to reflect your statement.
You might think that you are simply speaking what you are observing, but in reality you have created your current reality by your previous “I AM” thoughts, and your current “I AM” observations are creating the future you are about to experience.
This will get clear in a moment.
By the same token, you can take the same two words and attract something positive.
“I AM wealthy” will begin to create a life that attracts wealth.
“I AM loved” will begin to attract a life where you are loving and loved.
“I AM healthy” will begin to morph your body into one of health and fitness.
In other words, your new statements of “I AM” will begin to attract and create a life that will match it.
At first it might feel awkward, or even a lie, to say “I AM wealthy” when you don’t yet see wealth, but it’s those previous “I AM” observations about lack that created the current lack.
Stick with me.
This technique can transform your life forever.
Why do these two simple words have so much power?
Neville Goddard, one of my favorite mystical teachers, wrote:
“I AM wealthy, poor, healthy, sick, free, confined were first of all impressions or conditions felt before they became visible expressions. Your world is your consciousness objectified. Waste no time trying to change the outside; change the within or the impression; and the without or expression will take care of itself. When the truth of this statement dawns upon you, you will know that you have found the lost word or the key to every door. I AM (your consciousness) is the magical lost word which was made flesh in the likeness of that which you are conscious of being.” ― Neville Goddard, Your Faith is Your Fortune
In other words, you have already been practicing this technique of reality creation.
Whenever you said or thought, “I AM losing” or “I AM struggling” or “I AM not popular,” you were creating your own reality, not just observing it, albeit unconsciously.
All of your self negations, or statements of negativity, or lack, were actually attracting the very life you were complaining about.
It probably felt like you were just commenting on “what is” but in reality you were affirming what will be.
Neville also wrote —
“Chance or accident is not responsible for the things that happen to you, nor is predestined fate the author of your fortune or misfortune. Your subconscious impressions determine the conditions of your world. The subconscious is not selective; it is impersonal and no respecter of persons. The subconscious is not concerned with the truth or falsity of your feeling. It always accepts as true that which you feel to be true. Feeling is the assent of the subconscious to the truth of that which is declared to be true. Because of this quality of the subconscious there is nothing impossible to man. Whatever the mind of man can conceive and feel as true, the subconscious can and must objectify. Your feelings create the pattern from which your world is fashioned, and a change of feeling is a change of pattern.” ― Neville Goddard, Resurrection
The secret to creating a new reality is in first noticing what you are saying right now after “I AM” and then noticing how you are feeling.
If you don’t like either, you can change them.
As Neville pointed out, your subconscious/unconscious will ignore the outer and focus on the inner: your predominant thoughts and feelings.
It will then go about creating a mirror to what you are doing inside yourself.
Obviously, it would be wise to start speaking what you prefer and feeling it as already real.
Instead of letting your thoughts and spoken words be about what you don’t want, think and speak what you do want, and feel as though it is already real right now.
Speak as if what you desire is here: “I AM happy” versus “I WANT to be happy.”
The first phrase will begin to attract that reality now; the second phrase pushes it off in the distance and leaves you in a state of “want.”
You don’t want to want; you want to be right now.
As Neville said –
“Dare to believe in the reality of your assumption and watch the world play its part relative to its fulfillment.” ― Neville Goddard
The power of “I AM” is not new.
Every great New Thought teacher from Joseph Murphy, Walter C. Lanyon, Walter Devoe, Lillian DeWaters, Emmet Fox, Ella Wheeler, Christian D Larson, Edna Lister, Wayne Dyer, Joel Osteen, Oprah, and Thomas Troward have written or spoken about it.
What might be new is actually using it with conscious intent.
The other day, when I went into my gym for an upper body weight lifting session that I had learned from Bill Phillips, I told myself “I AM strong!” and “I AM a strongman who can lift more than ever!”
Those two words helped me have one of the most intense workout sessions of recent memory.
They triggered an inner strength that attracted an outer strength.
And all I did was leverage the two most powerful words of all time: “I AM!”
I AM confident you will love it. 🙂