The Disciplined Shall Inherit Earth

Steve Chandler

My good friend the hypnotherapist Lindsay Brady dazzled our mastermind group the other day by making some demonstrations on how the mind controls the brain, and how you can ultimately control your habits and behavior more than you ever thought.

Or, as Lindsay says, "'Hypnosis' can change your behavior. It can eliminate your old, unwanted habits and replace them with new desirable ones... And cause your normal behavior to be consistent with what you choose for it to be, instead of behaving as you don't want to behave. The power is in you! Through the application of hypnotherapy -- almost like magic -- you experience a new and desirable way of living, and you feel, behave and act as though the old undesirable behavior was never there."

Catch Lindsay's website here ( and go see him if you can.

Well, I know what Lindsay Brady says is true because I went to Lindsay long ago to see if his famous hypnotism master could cure me of an addiction to smoking cigars. I had been in the habit of lighting up a cigar after every major success in my life, and . . . well . . . you can understand why it became an addictive habit very quickly.

His session worked! It worked! And so I soon began using Lindsay Brady for other habits I wanted to eliminate and his process was as powerful as ever. Now he is teaching me a discipline called self-hypnosis so I can refine this process and practice it daily. It's an exciting discipline.

One person who has NOT gone to see Lindsay Brady yet is the pop and folk singer Joni Mitchell. I've long been a fan of her music so I watched her last week in an interview on CBS Sunday Morning, and I saw that she was smoking during the whole interview wherever they went, even as she walked through an art museum! I looked her up on the internet and found stories that say she smokes all day, every day and even in concert she now comes out for her encore with a smoke in her hand.

What was ironic was that in her interview she said the saddest part of her life today is watching how we are "polluting" this planet. Is her body not a part of the planet? I don't mind that someone smokes, because that's up to them, but the irony was definitely there.

"We are approximately half way through our interview and Joni is approximately half way through a packet of Marlboro Lights. Mitchell chain-smokes, and it's one of the smoothest chains you've ever seen. As her left hand stubs one out, her right is already loosening the next from the packet. She's been smoking since she was nine - maybe literally - and she wasn't about to quit simply because her voice packed up during a video shoot and doctors were showing her fibre optic shots of an open wound on her larynx", The Independent (UK), Oct. 29, 1994.

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Discipline is a strange and wonderful thing. You don't hear it talked about much because of its profoundly negative associations. That's too bad. Because it works wonders.

Many scholars believe that the familiar Biblical quotation "The meek shall inherit the earth" is the result of inaccurate translation. In their view, the Greek word praos, which was translated "meek," should have been rendered as "trained" or "disciplined." This alteration gives an entirely different meaning to the phrase. Too bad we've all been trying to be meek all these years thinking we'll inherit something from it when that wasn't the idea at all.

The great quote from David Campbell says, "Discipline is remembering what you want." Yes, from moment to moment. In everything I do.

One of my own disciplines is to read this observation of the great composer Igor Stravinsky at least once a week: "My freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self of the chains that shackle the spirit."

The great musicians and dancers and athletes all know about the power of discipline, constraint and practice. But what about the rest of us? Oh, well, we're just distracted, right?

Tom Wolfe writes in In Our Time: "The time you can waste (I speak from experience) going chuk, chuk, chuk, chuk, on your calculator and watching the little numbers go dancing across the black window----all the while feeling that you are living life at top speed----is breathtaking. I have become interested in the life of Balzac. I am convinced that the reason this genius was so productive---he published at least sixty books between the ages thirty and fifty-one---was that he enjoyed no time- or labor-saving devices whatsoever, not even a typewriter. He dropped nothing and went nowhere at a moment's notice."

Lindsay Brady teaches us how to use the mind to program the brain. He reminds me of the Irish poet Brendan Kennelly who said "Never talk defeat. Use words like hope, belief, faith and victory." The mind can feed the brain those words, and the brain will carry them out.

This Irish poet (intuitively) and Lindsay Brady (through experience and deep study) know something about the neurological pathways in the human brain. Actual paths and patterns are formed in the brain through repetition of words, thoughts and pictures. Most people picture what they dread and don't want to happen. Then they talk about that to themselves and friends and co-workers. Soon their brain is actually LOOKING for all those dreaded situations and starts interpreting even the most innocent remarks as malicious or hurtful or inconsiderate. You can live that way if you wish. Programming your biocomputer with cynical, skeptical software.

Or you can program yourself for hope, belief, faith and victory. It's your life.

Steve Chandler, author of Reinventing Yourself
Copyright 2008. All Rights Reserved.

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