Owner's Manual for Your Mind - David J. Abbott M.D. - Positive Thinking Doctor


Large changes are stumbling blocks.

Many people surrender their dreams because they don't know how to make large change happen.

They don't understand that when you are faithful making small changes, large changes automatically occur.

Small changes are possible for everyone.

When small changes accumulate, big changes happen.

Large changes occur gradually since small changes require time to accumulate.

Once you stop worrying about making giant changes, and you start focusing on making small changes, amazing things start to happen.

Changes are not only small, they are instantaneous.

What makes change instantaneous, like turning on a light bulb? One second it’s dark, and the next second it’s light.


At the moment of change, there is a shift in your beliefs.

A child changes from not being able to ride a bicycle to being able to ride in an instant of time.

The child never looks back after that instant.

He doesn’t get up each morning and learn to ride the bicycle again.

Once the change in beliefs occurs, riding the bicycle happens forever.

In an instant, you change from I can not ride the bicycle to I can ride. I can not give a speech to I can give a speech. I can not sail across an ocean to I can sail across an ocean. I can not make changes in my life to I can make any changes I want.


You change your beliefs one thought at a time.

If you have a hard time bringing about a change, you need to examine your beliefs.

A key belief is preventing you from change.

Alter that belief, and you arrive at the instant where change occurs.

That is why counselors, teachers, and mentors accelerate the process of change. They give you a critical insight, and suddenly instantaneous change happens.

Good advisors save you large amounts of time.

If you don’t use advisors, you must reinvent the wheel. It will be up to you to rediscover the wisdom of the ages.

When you want to create positive change, you need all the help you can get. The time for original thinking is when you have learned what everyone else knows, and you are breaking new ground. Until then, you need a great deal of help from friends and mentors.


One of my favorite activities in Saudi Arabia is traveling in the desert and driving in sand dunes.

There is more sand in the deserts of Arabia than in any other desert in the world. The Rub Al Khali is the largest sand desert on earth. You can start at one edge of this desert and drive for one thousand two hundred kilometers before you come out on the other side.

Within this desert are sand mountains that are hundreds of feet high. There is no better sand driving anywhere in the world.

When I first drove in soft sand, I quickly discovered how to become stuck. It doesn’t take special training to get stuck. It comes completely naturally. When forward motion of the vehicle ceases, spin your wheels until your car has dug in and rests on the chassis. Then you stop sinking.

Getting unstuck is where you start learning the instantaneous nature of change.

The first thing you learn is when forward motion of the vehicle stops, you stop. Take your foot off the accelerator and don’t spin your wheels. You only dig yourself further in and make vehicle recovery more difficult. It takes about one millisecond to learn this principle. Once you understand it, you never dig yourself in by spinning your tires.

It’s the mark of an extreme rookie to spin the tires and make the situation worse. You also learn how to get out the shovels and put sand ladders in front of the tires. With the sand ladders, shovel, and a push by your friends, you pop out of the sand, and you are on your way. It only requires one millisecond to install that change in your mind.

I took a sand driving course to learn how to drive in the dunes.

I was driving a four-liter V8 Land Rover Defender, and this was the first time I attempted to drive up a dune.

I tried driving in a sensible manner, and I made it about one third of the way to the top before I became stuck. After getting unstuck, I returned to the bottom.

On my third attempt, I made it half way up the hundred foot dune. I could not understand how my instructor was zipping up and down the dune without any difficulty.

He came to the bottom of the dune where I waited in abject failure. He told me to sit in the passenger seat, and he climbed into the driver’s seat. He put his foot down on the accelerator and pushed the engine to over four thousand RPM zooming up the dune without a moment’s hesitation.

This was a relief. I thought something might be wrong with my car. It turns out there was something wrong with me.

Actually, something was wrong with my beliefs.

I believed that I could not push the engine that hard without it blowing up. I didn’t know that you can not blow up a Land Rover engine with the accelerator pedal all the way to the floor as long as the engine is under load.

When I arrived at the top of the dune with my instructor driving, I instantly knew beyond the shadow of a doubt I also could drive to the top. I got back in the driver’s seat and confidently drove down the dune for another attempt. That millisecond of change that occurred in my beliefs made all the difference. I put the accelerator all the way to the floor in second gear and zipped up the dune without a problem. Since that time, I have driven more than one hundred thousand kilometers in the desert.

In a millisecond of time, I underwent one of those infinitesimally small episodes of change that makes all the difference. My wife, son, and daughter can all drive up sand dunes as well. They all have undergone a change in their beliefs, and in a millisecond they became sand drivers.

Perhaps this example seems trivial. After all, there isn’t a great need for qualified sand drivers anywhere in the world.

However, there is a great need for people who understand the principle that change happens in an instant.

Not only is change instantaneous, change first happens in your mind before it happens in your life.

It doesn’t matter whether you sell real estate, drive up sand dunes, or do open-heart surgery. Positive change happens in an instant, and it happens in small increments.


You will never face the daunting task of swallowing watermelon size chunks of change, and trying to do it with a smile on your face.

You will not have to carry a big lump of change around with you for years until you can decipher what it means and how to make it happen.

Change doesn’t happen that way. Change is an incremental process.

This is terrific news for everyone who wants to master change.

Don’t talk yourself into believing it’s impossible.

Change is something you already know how to do. You have the tools and experience to make any type of change. It will come to you in tiny increments, and it will happen in an instant.

The trick is to get yourself ready for that instant.

If you want to learn more about how to make positive change happen, you can read the Owner's Manual for Your Mind by Dr. Dave.


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