The Thought-Reality Connection

Posted on February 11, 2015 by Robert Ringer


Motivational speakers and authors have long insisted that it’s possible to exert a great deal of control over your destiny by maintaining a positive mental attitude. Even though problems are an integral part of life, they believe that the key to success is how you react to those problems. So, are they right? Or is it all just a bunch of motivational hype?

When Napoleon said, in Think and Grow Rich, “Anything the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve” and “When you’re ready for a thing, it will make its appearance,” he wasn’t just passing along some frivolous thoughts. These beliefs are based on centuries of empirical evidence drawn from human experience.

As the pace of scientific discoveries continues to increase, researchers have made dramatic strides in discovering the major role that the mind plays in determining results. Of particular interest is the years of extensive research done by the recently deceased Dr. Karl Pribram, a neurosurgeon who convincingly demonstrated that there is a direct correlation between what the mind visualizes and a person achievements.

Dr. Pribram’s Theory of Holographic Memory contends that the mind houses three-dimensional holographic images of what it envisions, which in turn stimulates the senses to translate those images into their physical, real-life equivalents. More precisely, when your mind believes something to be true, it stimulates your senses to draw to you the things, people, and circumstances necessary to convert the mental image of that thing into a physical reality.

Thus, there is nothing at all mystical about the power of the mind to influence a person’s destiny. On the contrary, it’s a phenomenon that is genuinely scientific. From my personal experience (and evolution), I long ago concluded that to achieve a genuine positive mental attitude (as opposed to the superficial rah-rah variety), it’s a wise investment of one’s time to study and learn about the visualization powers of the mind.

When I first read about Dr. Pribram’s research findings back in the late eighties, I was skeptical. But again, through my own experience, I have witnessed how the powers of the mind can, indeed, draw to a person the things, people, and circumstances necessary to convert his desires into results.

Based on the evidence, you might say that a good way to start getting what you want in life is to imagine that you already have it. For example, let’s go back to Napoleon Hill’s statement, “When you’re ready for a thing, it will make its appearance.”

Have you ever heard something for years, then suddenly the right person, in the right place, at the right time says it in just the right way, and you find yourself saying something like, “Wow, what a great thought!” Then a friend or spouse says, “But I’ve been telling you that for years, and you’ve never gotten excited about it before. What’s the big deal?”

The big deal was that prior to that time your mind was not ready to receive that particular information, because you didn’t really believe it was possible. Then, when it finally hit you like a sledgehammer, it was because you were at a point in your life when you were ready to hear it — and probably ready to absorb and act on it. Thus, it created the illusion that it had magically made its appearance at that particular moment.

But it wasn’t really magic at all. Rather, it was a result of your raising your awareness level and expanding what I like to refer to as your “mental paradigm.” I use the term mental paradigm to describe an imaginary box within your mind, a box that houses what you believe to be the world of the possible. Conversely, everything that lies outside the perimeter of that box represents what you believe to be impossible.

What determines whether something lies inside or outside of that box are your experiences, your environment, your knowledge, your wisdom — everything you’ve been exposed to throughout your life. And it’s the combination of what lies both inside and outside of this imaginary box that forms what is commonly known as your “system of beliefs.”

To the extent you accumulate a lot of usable knowledge and wisdom, not only will more possibilities lie inside the boundaries of your mental paradigm, the paradigm itself will expand; i.e., your mind will be more open to new ideas, new concepts, and new possibilities. On the other hand, to the extent you haven’t put forth a great deal of effort to increase your bank of knowledge and wisdom — through reading, learning from others, and, above all, firsthand experience — your mental paradigm will be much smaller.

Thus, it’s a positive cycle: The more knowledge and wisdom you have, the more likely you are to believe in your power to control your destiny; the more you believe you have the power to control your destiny, the more expanded your mental paradigm will become; and the more expanded your mental paradigm becomes, the more knowledge and wisdom you will accumulate.

We’re only into the second month of the new year, so it’s a good time to make a commitment to put a great deal of conscious effort into increasing your base of knowledge and wisdom — yes, in case you’re wondering, more effort than you put into your job or profession. Never forget that improving yourself is the absolute best investment of your time, because what you learn is an asset that can never be taken from you.

If you give this a sincere effort, you will be absolutely amazed at how your mental paradigm naturally expands and allows you to draw to you the things, people, and circumstances you need to achieve whatever it is you want in life. Trust me, it works.

Robert Ringer

Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

25 responses to “The Thought-Reality Connection”

  1. Ragnar says:

    Now how can we use this to increase freedom and reduce or eliminate the use of force?

  2. NJ Dan says:

    Hmmmmmm… does this apply our feckless president and his Democrat cohorts? Have they been so good at "visualizing" a big government utopia that they actually realized it?

    If so, how do we right leaning folk learn this trick?!?!?!?

    • BDR says:

      This is a great article. However, does everything have to lead into demonizing Democrats by some people? If you live in the Northeast U.S. where the snow has been extreme, it sounds like you would say "Thanks, Obama." (sarcastically).

      Democrats certainly have problems (and extremists), but so do Republicans. Have Republicans been so good at "visualizing" a utopia where the free market resolves everything and there is no need for regulation? How did that work out during the banking/mortgage crisis and the oil spills in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexica among other places? Have they been so good at visualizing lower taxes for high income individuals and big business leading to high economic growth, employment and entrepreneurship. Looking back, it seems that there was much more of these good things when tax rates were much higher. I doubt that Bill Gates thought the following: "If I make a billion dollars, I'll have to pay high taxes (70% in 1975), so I think I'll just sit on my duff and not start Microsoft."

      Are Republicans visualizing a utopia where a rising tide raises all boats? Perhaps it could happen, but first, everyone needs to have a boat.

      Now, let's get back to the substance of Robert's article. Visualize and it can become reality. Without vision, we remain stuck where we are.

      • Just a thought, BDR. I'm in the real estate and banking industries for over 35 years. It has been government involvment in these industries that has caused every bubble and bust, clearly and directly.

      • Jean says:

        And according to the Progs (democrats, largely but de facto Socialists as well), it's up to the rest of us to supply the boats, right? And what kind of boat – it's not fair that some people have yachts and others have dinghys. But it's NOT up to the recipients to learn to maintain the boat. Or to row the damned thing either – it's unfair to expect that from such a deprived lot! And steering is something else – that requires a government solution as well, because not all people are equally equipped to steer and racist / sexist / homophobic attitudes prevent others from having access to the rudder. As Mr. LiPira points out, both the housing bubble and the banking crisis were created by government policies passed during the Clinton administration that sought to make the marketplace "fair." Microsoft was founded during the 1980s, shortly after the top tax rates were lowered to 35 percent AND many of the regulations that increased the cost of entry into the marketplace were rolled back or expunged. Gates wouldn't have worried so much about future tax rates, but he would have been barred from the marketplace with regulations that favored IBM (government regulation always favors established businesses while simultaneously reducing innovation and consumer choice.) And for your information, the quote about "a rising tide lifts all boats" was first intoned by one John F. Kennedy, Democrat and member of the richest 1% thanks to father Joe's involvement in bootlegging during the 1920s, when HE proposed lowering marginal income taxes to encourage more capital investment. So, you and yours can visualize a collectivist utopia, but please count me out of your vision, gather your minions and fund it yourselves. Thanks.

  3. Jim Hallett says:

    This article today is "right up my alley" and is SO TRUE! Infinite Intelligence knows all and is willing to share all, but ONLY to the mind that is open to receive it. The race consciousness has programmed our egoic minds, as well as all our past experiences (despite what people say or think, our subconcious remembers every single detail, despite our not always being able to recall it conscously), so we tell ourselves we are limited, defective, poor, unhealthy, etc. It is all a lie! If we do not neutralize the bad information or add new information, we will keep getting what we have been getting, and thus life does not change for most. It is, as you say, more than positive thinking or repeating affirmations, but we are ALL connected to the One Infinite Mind, and our unique expression is waiting to come forth, and only we can do that specific expression. What you say in this article is so important and so inspiring, if readers will just grasp the enormity of its Truth. Thank you!!

  4. Another guy had this same basic idea, even futher back in history. (Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. -Mark 11:24 (KJV) )

  5. BTW: Thanks Robert. Another excellent article.

  6. Marte says:

    The Law of Attraction says we're a magnet for what we think about and believe. Thus, we generally get whatever we expect to get from life.

  7. anna banana says:

    Robert I have been living in this reality system for a very long time and it works!

  8. Jorge says:

    Thank you, very enlightening

  9. Scott theczech says:

    In thinking about reality, I often find myself wondering – what can I really change? The recurring answer seems to be; not much except, well…me.

    Sometimes it seems the more I plead with my fellow man to 1) take care of themselves, 2) find and keep stable housing and 3) learn to be more independent and self-sufficient, the fewer of them do so. Moreover, the greater the need, the more the needy seem to pray upon the not-so-needy. There is a real battle which rages between right and wrong, good and evil, just and unjust.

    I will trust that what you are saying is worth the effort…that my mental paradigm will expand.

  10. ~joseph lacey says:

    The brain/mind is an individual organ…belonging to the individual. So the collective Democrat/Republican party doesn't apply. However, manipulative persuasion certainly does….enter the collective media and charismatic individuals.

  11. whip says:

    how utterly silly to incorporate Robert's very good article into something political think it through then —get a life.

  12. RealitySeeker says:

    "I long ago concluded that to achieve a genuine positive mental attitude (as opposed to the superficial rah-rah variety), it’s a wise investment of one’s time to study and learn about the visualization powers of the mind."

    "rah-rah variety"…….. lol. Salesman, politicians, televangelists, exercise gurus and get-rich-quick pitchmen sure do con tens of millions of suckers every day with the rah-rah,bullshit variety.. If you want to see the most laughable ( i.e., gallows humor) example of rah-rah bullshit, just watch the mentally-out-of-touch flag-wavers during the next presidential campaign. Wide-eyed and fired up with enthusiasm, gesticulating, screaming and wildly applauding, more standing ovations, upbeat music, one big party, a celebration!…….. ah, the power of positive thinking….. vote for me, and good things will happen……

    Most people need motivation. It's true………… e.g., Hey you! Ya, you! Too fat! No problem, I have the solution: just visualize yourself as a Victoria Secrete model with a sexy size-two waistline……

    Sorry, but that's only going to work for about one in a million, because visualization is actually the easy part. Moreover, the power of visualization can have a profound effect on success, survival, or well-being, but often it has little to do with "positive thinking". For example, when I used to be an amateur Thai-boxer I would "visualize" for performance, but not all of the visualization techniques had positive outcomes….. Visualizing a sequence of body mechanics which incorporated both failure and success was important in a conceptualized fight. This type of mental exercise would also be used in shadow boxing as you pretended to get hit and then immediately struck back. And visualizing getting knocked out is what helped me from ever getting knocked out; thinking about how others got their brains scrambled was part of the process. Contemplating the negatives and focusing on the consequences of failure were very motivational when learning how to block and parry. The same is true in any aspect of life………

    I wouldn't disagree that "powers of the mind can, indeed, draw to a person the things, people, and circumstances necessary to convert his desires into results". But this can be either negative or positive powers or a combination of the two. It's true. Politicians use " the powers of the mind" to achieve their ambitions. Entrepreneurs who exude confidence and "positive" vibes draw human resources to themselves. Charismatic, talented entertainers use the "power or the mind" and a positive spirit to help them climb to the top. But remember, for every success story, there's tens of thousands of failures. What about those people? Where they just not positive enough? No, they just overestimated their talent, luck, gravitas and looks.

    The following are a few quotes from people who understand how to survive and thrive in the most extreme environments. They are very negative quotes. The quotes are applicable in both the wilds of Alaska where I met these people and the concrete jungle of New York City where I've done some living and learning.

    "Constantly thinking about what could be the worst-case scenario is what keeps you alive out here"~~ American Mountain Man on living 200 mi from civilization.

    "The reality is is that nobody is going to be able to rescue you in time, if something bad happens to you out here. So you have to consciously think about what is the most negative outcome for every decision you make" ~~ Alaskan Bushman

    "A simple mistake can easily become a matter of life or death" ~~ Alaskan Trapper on running a daily trapline during -50F weather.

    "Most people don't die out here because of just one mistake, they die from a series of cascading mistakes" ~~ Alaskan Hunting Guide

    "The trouble with trouble is that all to often you don't know you're in trouble until you're suddenly in it neck deep"~~ Alaskan Bush Pilot

    "The worst-case scenario is going to mercilessly happen to somebody today. The power of negative thinking can insure that that somebody isn't you"~~ Reality Seeker

    I learned long ago that at least 99% percent ( and that figure is probably an underestimate) of those with a so called "positive mental attitude" are "superficial" people whose mental posture is mostly based on a misconception of reality. The metaphysical nonsense that many people believe only creates a delusional state of mind, not success. And it can actually be the quickest route to failure. In fact, in some cases, it gets people killed.

    "Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration." – Thomas A. Edison

    I say as a rule of thumb that success is closer to one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. This is hyperbole, of course, because life is dynamic, complex, and has many variables which need factoring.

    • boundedfunction says:

      i have nada against TE. defended him against an alinsky wannabe slanderer awhile back. & where would my "inventory" be w/o movies (as below) & song lyrics, things he had so much to do with? but….

      "Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."

      ~Calvin Coolidge

      in my 'ute (remember the scene from "my cousin vinny"?), i thought cal's quote was profound, profoundly true. & that i epitomized, nay, personified, it.

      not a ute, but a "cherokee":

      I wore this frock coat to Washington before The War. We wore them because we belonged to the five civilized tribes. We dressed ourselves up like Abraham Lincoln.
      You know, we got to see the Secretary of the Interior. And he said, "Boy, you boys sure look civilized."
      He congratulated us and he gave us medals for looking so civilized.
      We told him about how our land had been stolen and how our people were dying. When we finished he shook our hands and said, "endeavor to persevere!"
      They stood us in a line: John Jumper, Chili McIntosh, Buffalo Hump, Jim Buckmark, and me — I am Lone Watie. They took our pictures. And the newspapers said, "Indians vow to endeavor to persevere."
      We thought about for a long time. "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union.

      vid of the scene, from "the outlaw josey wales, some commentary, here

      when I was a ute, I talked like a ute, I thought like a ute, I reasoned like a ute. when I became a cherokee, I put the ways of utehood behind me. lol….

      "But remember, for every success story, there's tens of thousands of failures." yes indeed. all that perseverance. & all that perspiration. that nobody saw, remembers, recounts. the survivorship visualization is what sells. rah-rah-sis-boom-bah…humbug…lol

      • RealitySeeker says:

        "survivorship visualization is what sells" [like hotcakes! Like Powerball!]

        And as you well know, luck is a big factor in the game of life. I'm living my fifth life right now. Why? Because I was lucky enough to be born with a city dad and a country mom. I was born into the best of both worlds. I was born in what I believe was the best country and one of the best states and certainly the most important city in the world. If I had to choose between good looks, talent, endurance (persistence) or a number of other important factors, I'd choose luck every time so long as I could keep my health and brains. I know, I know: some people can overcome all of the hurdles if they are persistent, and that's true; and a "positive attitude" can help fortify persistence. Like I said, life is dynamic, complex and dependent on many factors. Nevertheless, I was lucky to be born who I am and raised by who my parents and step parents were and exposed to some of the most high-voltage thinkers as role models and mentors.

        God rolled me a seven……

        • boundedfunction says:

          it's what i'd choose, too. but it weren't always so. back in the day, the "i'd rather be lucky than good" sentiment, preference, understanding, was one i scorned. took some mileage to bring the rockies into view. but they were always there.

  13. Diane Young says:

    Being socked in with a snowy winter in the Northeast just gives us the opportunity to hunker down and increase our knowledge and wisdom with few distractions! Towns and cities may be paralyzed by one snowstorm after
    another, but our minds sure aren't. Make the most of being housebound, New Englanders!

  14. RealitySeeker says:

    "Towns and cities may be paralyzed by one snowstorm after another, but our minds sure aren't."

    I disagree: Towns, cities and especially "minds" are battered by one snow job after another. Great God in the morning! Winter, spring, summer and fall! It's a contentious blizzard. Americans are "paralyzed", their minds frost bitten, their perception hypothermic. The Proles are in a deep freeze; and soon a deep fry.

  15. Heather says:

    Ahh, thanks for the kick in the behind, Robert. I was having dinner a couple of nights ago with my business partner and a fellow business owner/friend. My partner tends to have a limited belief in what is possible, and when my friend/business owner asked how things were going he blurted out "shitty, I hope things turn around or I don't know what I will do." She agreed and said we were living in scary times. I, however, simply did not see it that way and I just started smiling, refusing to go down the woe-is-me path. When my friend asked what I was smiling about I simply said I really do not worry about how things will turn out, because I truly believe in myself and deeply know that I will always find a way to make it work. The silence at the table was amazing…but I wasn't preaching, it came from the heart. I have no fear. You hit it on the head and reminded me to never stop investing in myself.

  16. larajf says:

    Having been with my husband for over 20 years, I can definitely attest that we see what the other should know, but we may as well be speaking a foreign language when we tell them. And we're always happy when they figure it out.

    I know also from personal experience that when I visualize something through meditating or walking and feeling strong emotion, the thoughts do become things. The key is to keep visualizing every day and then take inspired action when choices pop up.

  17. Rob Bonter says:

    So many responses, above, in a political context, to a straight-forward mind-power primer. Robert must be incredulous that so many could miss his message, or deliberately distort his message, to try to make left wing vs. right wing points out of it?

    I do have one question re this column which perplexes me, as to the possible answer? And that is, what about when a person is assuredly ready for something specific to appear in his life – but, year after year, is doesn't appear? And, believe me, I am not trying to debunk the extremely valid and helpful premise of this column. Rather, my question is: when something essential which one needs in life fails to appear, what is the next level one can attain to mandate its appearance?

    To possess this knowledge and power would render one fulfilled on all levels, is seems to me. I definitely have not gotten to that point in my life, as yet. Maybe others can relate to this dilemma, given that nothing and no one is 100 per cent efficient, where it comes to desired outcome, of all these challenges we must deal with and gaps we need to fill in, in life.

  18. Nick says:

    Right on! And check out "Perceptual Control Theory " for even more confirmation of this, PCT seems to be the future of the "second Darwinian revolution", check out the free pdf book at and the many applications of PCT at, right out of math-heavy control theory and cybernetics, also search YouTube for it, you'll love what you'll find! 😉