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Change Your Life


 ■ Starting Over
Eventually, she went home, her memory a complete blank. Deter- mined to understand what had happened to her, she began reading medical textbooks and studying in the specialized area of amnesia and memory loss. She met and spoke with specialists in this field. Eventually she wrote a paper on her condition. Not long afterward, she was invited to address a medical convention to deliver her pa- per, answer questions about her amnesia, and share her experiences and ideas on neurological functioning.
During this period, something amazing happened. She became a new person completely. All the attention in the hospital and afterward made her feel valuable, important, and truly loved by her family. The attention and acclaim she received from members of the med- ical profession built her self-esteem and self-respect even higher. She became a genuinely positive, confident, outgoing woman, highly articulate, well informed, and very much in demand as a speaker and authority in the medical profession.
All memory of her negative childhood had been wiped out. Her feelings of inferiority were wiped out as well. She became a new person. She changed her thinking and changed her life.
■ The Blank Slate
The Scottish philosopher David Hume was the first to propose the idea of the tabula rasa or blank slate.This theory says that each per- son comes into the world with no thoughts or ideas at all, and everything that a person thinks and feels is learned from infancy on- ward. It is as though the child’s mind is a blank slate that every passing person and experience leaves a mark on.The adult becomes the sum total of everything he or she learns, feels, and experiences growing up. What the adult does and becomes later is the result of this early conditioning. As Aristotle wrote, “Whatever is impressed is expressed.”
Perhaps the greatest breakthrough in the field of human poten- tial in the twentieth century was the discovery of the self-concept. This is the idea that each person develops a bundle of beliefs re- garding oneself, starting at birth. Your self-concept then becomes

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