The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind Review & Summary | Joseph Murphy
Welcome to The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind Review & Summary by Dr. Joseph Murphy. This book was published in 1963 and helped millions of people. Murphy’s method of doing so is by changing the way people think. He studied Eastern religions and was a scholar of the I-Ching, an ancient Chinese divination text, whose origins are lost in history. He was also a Minister at the Los Angeles branch of the Church of Divine Science, a New Thought church which promotes a practical spirituality for 28 years. Murphy wrote ‘The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind’ because he felt that there were secrets he had found concerning the subconscious that were beyond time and culture, which he wanted to share.
The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind reviews many examples and real life case studies explaining how the subconscious mind can directly affect your success, wealth, health, relationships, marriage, and happiness. The strategies, concepts, and techniques taught in this book can be boiled down to one word: ‘thoughts’. Since our subconscious mind runs on the thoughts we feed it, in order to change our life, we need to change our thoughts. A thought repeated enough over time will eventually form a belief.
The main idea of the book is that we can achieve anything we want as long as our beliefs are congruent with what we want. Keep in mind, this is different to wishful thinking, affirmations and the law of attraction. While the concept is very similar, the method is different. I’ll dive into the methods and strategies in the summary below.
My Opinion Of ‘The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind’
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I think it’s one of the most powerful and classic books on the subconscious mind. However, this book is to be read with an open mind. There were some examples I skipped because I couldn’t digest them. For example, Murphy talks about using the subconscious mind to heal someone else’s wound or attracting the perfect partner through visualization. However, I’m not saying these concepts are false. I just didn’t resonate with some of them. Regardless, I do think it’s a very powerful book if you can get what you need out of it. I’m a firm believer that our thoughts play an important role in our success. I’ve already mapped out a few things I want to change about how I think. The truth is, I know that some of my biggest achievements have come about because of my own thought patterns.
Who I Recommend This Book To
As you can probably tell, this book is not well suited for those who are highly skeptical about the workings of the subconscious mind. That being said, anyone who is willing to be open minded or understands the importance of the subconscious mind, this book is a must read. The concepts, the strategies and just everything about it will definitely convince you that your thoughts affect your life. It will teach you how to use the power of your subconscious mind to achieve the success that you want. Read it, digest what you need out of it but more importantly, apply the strategies in your life.
Now, if you would like to read and enjoy the book with no spoilers, feel free to stop reading this post and grab ‘The Power Of The Subconscious Mind’ by Dr. Joseph Murphy here. On the other hand, if you would like to study the book, continue reading below. I will share my in-depth summary and study notes of the book. It’s designed to help you feel like you’ve read the entire book and understand the top key concepts without even actually reading the book. Below I will break down my top 5 Big Ideas from the book.
The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind Summary & Study Notes
Big Idea #1: How Your Subconscious Mind Works
Before we begin, I have to remind you that the subconscious mind doesn’t make ‘sense’ all the time. In fact, your subconscious mind could be seen as the irrational part and your conscious mind is the rational part. But Murphy’s whole point is that if we refuse to try understand the non-rational mind, our rational goals and plans will be sabotaged. In fact, while it’s good to understand how our subconscious works, it’s more important that we develop the faith that it can.
The Roles Of Your Conscious vs. Your Subconscious
Know that the conscious and subconscious are not two minds. They are merely two spheres of activity within one mind. Your conscious mind is the phase of your mind that chooses and reasons. For example, you choose your thoughts, beliefs, opinions, theories or dogmas. Whatever you believe on a conscious level, you’ll impress onto your subconscious mind. Your subconscious doesn’t have the power to choose, it simply takes what you give it, and executes it. Hence one of the most important aims of your conscious is to act as a watch-dog to what enters the doors of your subconscious mind. The main role of your subconscious is then to manifest what you desire back into real life as conditions, experiences, and events.
It All Starts With A Picture In Your Subconscious Mind
Think of your subconscious mind as a dark room which develops images of what you are going to live out in real life. It sees something first before it happens in real life. This is where the power of imagination comes in. By first imagining something in your subconscious, you can give it effect to happen in real life. This might sound far-fetched, but you actually do this all the time. For example, while playing sports, you imagine a play or a strategy in your head and then execute it. When you’re composing music, you first imagine how it would sound in your mind, before you play the notes and record it on paper. Same as when you’re designing a poster, you first imagine it and then put it on paper.
Take this same concept and apply this to every thing you see in your physical environment. For example, the laptop you’re reading this from was first an idea in someone’s mind before it was created. Airplanes were first an idea in the Wright brothers’ mind before it became reality. With the same logic, if you can see and feel yourself being successful, happy and healthy, you can create that reality in real life. Yet thought alone doesn’t do the trick…
Your Subconscious Mind Works On Belief
You might know that an important principle of electricity is that it works from higher to lower potential. Similarly, the principle with which your subconscious mind works is belief. Merely thinking that you’ll be successful is not enough. Not only do you have to want it, but you need to believe that you are. This sounds quite counterintuitive. Because often we think we have to want it, and once we have it, we’ll believe it. But it’s the opposite. First, you have to believe it in your mind, to create it in real life. This is the process of manifestation, also talked about in Breaking The Habit Of Being Yourself by Dr. Joe Dispenza.
Now the difference between a thought and a belief is the feeling. A thought is just an idea, whereas a belief is a thought with a feeling. That is, thoughts repeated over and over again, will eventually be believed because of the feeling that builds with it. For example, I could tell you you’re really smart. The thought that you’re smart will pass your mind. But if you don’t feel that you’re smart, you won’t believe me. Only once you think and feel something to be true, you’ll believe that it is true. The most important part is the feeling. In fact, your subconscious will work for you the fastest when you increase your emotions and feelings of your belief.
Your Subconscious Is Always Reproducing According To Your Habitual Mental Patterns
Think of your subconscious mind as a bed of rich soil. Your thoughts are the seed you plant. The more you repeat the thought, the more you’re watering the seed so that it will sprout and flourish. Results will be seen in your body and your environment. But here’s the thing, the bed of rich soil doesn’t discriminate between which type of seed you plant. That is, your subconscious is neutral in a moral sense. It doesn’t filter for good or bad beliefs because it can’t choose. Hence once your subconscious mind accepts an idea, it begins to execute it, despite whether it’s bad or good, right or wrong.
For example, if you repeatedly say to yourself “I can’t afford it”, your subconscious takes you at your word. It will follow your orders and make sure you’ll never be able to afford those things. You’ll go through life thinking that your circumstances made it so. In fact, it will never occur to you that you might have created those circumstances yourself by your own negative denying thoughts.
Hence your subconscious is always reproducing according to your habitual mental patterns. If you (your conscious mind) give your subconscious mind wrong information, or things you say out of habit, it will accept it as true. It will then work to make that information correct. It will bring your suggestions, even those that were false, to life as conditions, experiences, and events. This means that everything that has happened to you happened because of thoughts impressed on your subconscious mind through belief.
Harness The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind To Control Your Results
So according to our understanding, since our subconscious manifests whatever belief our conscious mind imprints onto it, it follows then, that: everything we have in our life right now, from our personality, our friends & family, our health, our status, our relationships, and our income level – all of that, is a mere reflection of the programming of our subconscious mind. That is, it’s a mere reflection of what we believe about ourselves, deep down in our subconscious. (This part was mind blowing for me the first time I heard about it). Once you understand all this, and most importantly, have faith that it’s true, you can start to harness the powers of your subconscious mind.
We can start to imprint a new blueprint of what we want in life, onto the subconscious mind, instead of letting our habitual thoughts and patterns run us. This is where autosuggestion or affirmations come in. Autosuggestion means suggesting something definite and specific to oneself. Once you repeat something to yourself enough times, you start to believe it’s true (even if you didn’t believe it at first) and it will start to be imprinted onto your subconscious mind. The best way to use autosuggestion, I found was to write a ‘goal card’ as per Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich, which you can check out here. I will also share how to write a goal card in the usual action plan section at the end of this post below.
Big Idea #2: Your Natural Healing Abilities
We now know that our subconscious works on belief. Murphy takes this belief to another level. He states that belief in good health can in itself activate the power of your subconscious mind to naturally heal your body. That is, your subconscious has the ability to heal your body naturally if we believe it can. There’s only one universal process of healing and that is faith. This means that illness, physical ailments, and even traumatic experiences can be healed by repeatedly submitting thoughts of healing to our subconscious minds. Of course, I don’t think Murphy aims to discount the importance of medicine. His point is, I think, that it doesn’t hurt to believe in our subconscious mind’s natural healing abilities.
In the ancient times, healers claimed that they had the power to cure disease by simply touching the patients (or doing something ridiculous like stroking them with magnets). Numerous patients were in fact healed. But it wasn’t the healer’s touch or his magnets that did the trick. Any method that causes you to move from fear and worry to faith and expectancy will heal you. That is, anything that leads you to honestly believing and expecting that you’re going to be healed, will make healing more likely. Anyone who claims they can heal other people is incorrect. What they can do is get other people to believe that they’re going to be cured and they will unknowingly cure themselves through their subconscious.
But Murphy also states that even if we know it’s a sham, we can still be cured. That is even if the patients in the above scenario were told that the healer’s method is only a sham, they could still be cured. This is because, as long we put an end to the active opposition of the objective or conscious mind, your subconscious will be open to suggestion. This most often happens when you’re in a sleepy state.
This is how prayers work. The mere belief in the fact that everything will be okay because you’re praying, will naturally shut out your questioning mind (your conscious) and allow your irrational subconscious mind to do its work. Now even though I’m not that religious, I won’t deny the power of belief and our mind.
This is in fact how the placebo effect works. The placebo effect is the phenomenon in which some people experience a benefit after they are given an inactive substance or a sham treatment. Researchers use a placebo control group to study the effectiveness of new medical drugs. They’ll compare the impact of groups of participants who received the real drug and groups who received a fake (a placebo). Even though placebos contain no real treatment, researchers have found they can have a variety of both physical and psychological effects. Participants in placebo groups have displayed changes in heart rate, blood pressure, anxiety levels, pain perception, fatigue, and even brain activity. These effects point to our mind’s role in health and well-being.
Big Idea #3: Why Your Subconscious Doesn’t Work For You
Not all prayers are answered. Just merely wishing for the subconscious to work, doesn’t work. Everyone knows that. And skeptics use this as evidence that the subconscious doesn’t work. But first, we have to really understand why it is so. Murphy teaches us that there are only two ways we can fail to allow the subconscious to work for us: lack of confidence or too much effort.
We must remember that whenever our subconscious mind accepts an idea, it immediately begins to execute it. It will execute anything whether good or bad. Sometimes we think negatively of something and even though we didn’t want this to manifest, as soon as we believe it, our subconscious will get to work. For example, even though we want to be rich, the kinds of thoughts we’re thinking are “hopefully I’ll be rich one day” or “gosh, I hope this subconscious thing works”. These kinds of thoughts tell our subconscious that on the deepest level, we still don’t believe that we’re going to be rich or we don’t ultimately believe in the power of our subconscious. Your subconscious will manifest a reality in which you, in fact, are not rich and where your subconscious doesn’t work in your favor. This is an example of lack of confidence.
On the other hand, if you try to force your subconscious mind to do something for you, you will also fail. The subconscious cannot be forced. It responds best to relaxed faith (belief). Then it will do its transforming work with ease. If you try hard to make something work, this will work for the conscious mind. However, this strategy doesn’t work on the subconscious mind. You just have to relax and believe that it’s working for you even if you don’t see results straight away.
Bottom line is that you must have a clear-cut idea in your mind of what you want. Don’t wish for one thing but tell your mind you also kind of don’t believe it will happen. For example, you want to find the perfect partner, but at the same time, you believe that all of them are already taken. Or if they’re not taken, they must be weird. You will continue to meet weird single men or women. You’re essentially giving your subconscious mixed signals.
Instead, you have to know the definite result that you want and believe in it 100%. Feel its reality now and the law of your subconscious mind will do the rest. Turn over your request with faith and confidence and your subconscious will take over and answer it for you. This is the reason why skeptics will continue to have failed attempts at using their subconscious mind’s power (and they’ll continue to say that they have proof that it doesn’t work). Because even if they try, deep down they don’t 100% believe in it, hence it just won’t work. Believe and faith works because you first believe in it, without seeing its effects and results first. That is, it’s not about receiving and then believing it. It’s about believing first, then you will receive it.
Big Idea #4: Your Inner Wealth Powers
If you are having financial difficulties (i.e. if you are trying to make ends meet), it means you have not convinced your subconscious mind that you will always have plenty and some to spare. I know this is a big claim to make by Murphy, however, it only makes sense with everything he’s been teaching us about the subconscious mind. Our reality is just a reflection of what we believe about ourselves. And what we believe about ourselves, our subconscious manifests for us. This means that someone with a poverty – type mind will indeed find themselves in poverty kind of conditions. On the other hand, someone else with a mind filled with ideas of wealth is surrounded by everything they need.
Be careful of what you feed your subconscious at all times. If affirming that you’re wealthy doesn’t work for you, chances are that you might have indulged in thoughts of doubt and fear ten minutes after you thought of positive thoughts. This will just neutralize all the good thoughts you were planting in your subconscious.
The Best Affirmation Is That Which Your Conscious Mind Also Accepts
Now here’s the thing. Remember, that you won’t become a millionaire by simply saying to yourself “I’m a millionaire, I’m a millionaire”. This statement might seem too far-fetched and your conscious and subconscious will go into a mental argument. So instead, Murphy suggests saying something different that will get both the conscious and subconscious mind on the same page. That is, “Everyday I’m becoming richer”. This way, your conscious doesn’t produce a mental conflict with your subconscious because the fact is that you’re not a millionaire yet. But there is a greater possibility that you are getting closer to it every day. Or if you want to have more sales, you can say to yourself every day “My sales are improving every day”.
The Feeling Of Wealth Produces Wealth Like Compound Interest
The idea is that the feeling of wealth produces wealth itself. Whatever it is that you say to yourself, if it doesn’t make you feel wealth and abundance, it won’t work. Remember, a belief is a thought plus a feeling. So if you don’t feel it, chances are you don’t really believe it. And your subconscious responds to heightened feelings and emotions. Think of it like compound interest. The more you have the feeling of wealth, the more wealth you’ll actually get. And the more wealth you’ll get, the more you’ll feel wealth and it just snowballs from there. Your subconscious will multiply whatever belief you deposit in it, whether that’s wealth and abundance or lack of.
Common Stumbling Blocks To Wealth
The feeling of envy is one of the most common stumbling blocks to wealth. Envy makes us condemn and criticize those that are more wealthy than us. But how do we expect to be rich, if we claim not to like rich people? This is another example of giving our subconscious mixed signals. Hence our subconscious will not allow us to become rich because it thinks we wouldn’t want to be something we hate. Being envious of the rich also suggests that we don’t believe in abundance and that there is enough for everyone. So instead of being jealous, Murphy suggests we instead think to ourselves, something like “Isn’t it wonderful! I rejoice in that person’s prosperity. I wish for them greater and greater wealth”. This will neutralize the negative thoughts and cause an ever-greater measure of wealth to flow to you by the law of your own subconscious mind.
Sleep And Grow Rich
Another thing about the subconscious mind is that unlike the conscious mind, it doesn’t sleep. While you’re sleeping, it’s still working. That’s why it’s also important to use your sleep wisely to allow your subconscious to work on things that you do want. For example, if you go to sleep thinking about what a bad day you had or how much you hate getting up tomorrow, that’s what it’ll work on for you to experience exactly that when you wake up. Instead, we should give our subconscious clear commands when we sleep. Murphy suggests repeating the word ‘wealth’ quietly, easily and with feeling. Just like a lullaby. This way wealth will flow to you in avalanches of abundance. The important bit is that you really have to feel wealthy. Imagine what it would be like if you were very wealthy.
Your Right To Be Rich
If it is true that you could have anything you wanted with the power of your subconscious mind. And that there is more than enough for everyone – i.e. that life is abundant. The question then follows of ‘Why be satisfied with just enough to go around when you can enjoy the riches of your subconscious mind?’. Murphy suggests that we are here to grow, expand and unfold spiritually, mentally and materially. You have the right to fully develop and express yourself in all your potentials. And an important aspect of that is the ability, should you choose, to surround yourself with beauty and luxury.
Murphy tells us to become friends with money so that we have a better chance of attracting it. Money is not good or bad, but believing either, makes it so. There are some people who say they deserve more money (e.g. in their jobs) but at the same time, they secretly or openly condemn it. They believe deep down that money is evil and say things like “I’m broke. But it’s alright. I don’t like money that much anyway.” It’s totally okay to love and want more of money. It is your right. I think T. Harv Eker explores the concept of having the perfect money blueprint in his book ‘Secrets of the Millionaire Mind‘ perfectly.
Big Idea #5: Your Subconscious Mind As A Partner In Success
The Three Steps To Success
Murphy defines success in three parts. First, we must find what we love, and do it. We cannot possibly consider ourselves successful no matter how great we are at our job if we don’t love it because success is also to do with our overall happiness. The second part to success is to specialize in some particular branch of work and strive to excel in it. And the third step, which is the most important one, is to make sure the thing we want to do does not only contribute to our own success. Our desire must not be selfish. Murphy then gives us an example of a man who became super rich because he acquired his wealth illegally. This man, while he was rich could not live in peace. He lived in constant fear of being found out and eventually turned himself in.
The Power Of Imagination
There was an actor, who before his fame, would always imagine his name in big letters on the marquee of a great theater. He imagined the detail – the crowds of fans, the paparazzi etc. He kept this imagination up for years. Even when he was just a young boy, living on a small farm with his family who were just scraping by. Years later, he got his first starring role. The night of the premiere he almost fainted when he saw his name in lights with the crowds and the news reporters just like he imagined them as a child. By sustaining our imagination of what we want, our subconscious will understand more and more of what exactly we want and will execute it for us. Remember, that our subconscious thinks in pictures and works best with heightened feelings. Hence imagining your success in every detail works best.
You Have All The Right Answers Within You
According to the biographies of the great German poet Goethe, he was in the habit of holding imaginary conversations with his friend who would be sitting across him, giving him the right and appropriate answers whenever problems arose. A stock broker also used this same technique where she would imagine one of her idols sitting across agreeing with her investment decisions. This is also a key principle in Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich, where he calls this ability our sixth sense. You can check out the book summary here.
As you can see from the 5 big ideas above, this is a very philosophical book. Any book to do with our subconscious mind doesn’t always ‘make sense’. The idea is for us to just trust that it works, take it for what it is and harness its powers. It doesn’t hurt to believe in it. All its teachings will have a positive impact on you anyway. For example, you can’t go wrong with thinking positively and believing that you have everything you need to become successful within you. I really like this book, it was very interesting and I’ll definitely recommend it. And as always, to really get your subconscious to work for you, here’s…
Your Subconscious Mind Action Plan
- Convince yourself that your subconscious mind controls your life. This is the first step in the action plan because if you can’t do this, nothing else will work for you. So, try and really convince yourself that your thoughts, more specifically what you believe is responsible for your actions, results & your life. For example, write down everything you believe about yourself and see how this is in alignment with what you actually have. Once you’ve done this, move on this step 2.
- Write down in clear specific details what your ideal life is like (including what kind of person you are, your health, wealth & income level, and your relationships). Be very clear on what you want, write it down in great details. The more detailed and descriptive the better it is for you to imagine it. Because the more you imagine it, the more you can feel it. And your subconscious works best with heightened feelings. Write it in present tense so you can feel how it’s like if you’ve actually achieved it.
- Visualize what you wrote in step 2 twice a day: once before you go sleep and once as soon as you wake up. Live in your visualization and really feel it. Believe it and just let your subconscious mind do the work.
Remember to do this consistently over time. Enough times so that your conscious also believe it and your subconscious knows exactly what you want out of life.
And as always, if you enjoyed this review and summary and would like to grab a copy of The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind, please support me by grabbing the book by clicking here. (This is an affiliate link in which I’ll get paid a few bucks)
Your support means a lot and it will help me continue writing more reviews and summaries. Also, please leave an honest feedback below in the comment section sharing what you thought about the book and how you’re going to harness the power of your subconscious. It would be interesting to see what other strategies there are when it comes to believing in and taking advantage of your subconscious powers.
That’s it from me and I’ll talk to you soon,
P.S. If you haven’t had the chance to check out my 30 Days Success Challenge where you’ll learn how to be more, act more and have more,
You can check it out by clicking here.