MAGIC and Autosuggestion

Steven Barnes
6 min readMay 10, 2024


The Third principle of TAGR is “Autosuggestion.”

Just yesterday we had a post talking about how someone was CONSTANTLY belittled as a child, constantly told they couldn’t achieve, were worthless, and so on. And how, a lifetime later, those voices still create limits for what that person will try, or what they think about the facts of their lives.

This is very common. The lessons we receive in childhood, prior to puberty, given to us by people with power over us, imprints so deeply it can take years of therapy to undo.

Other ways people’s opinions sink deep: if we hear them daily. If they are our bosses (controlling food and board), our lovers (imprinting is easier in a high-energy state like sexual excitation) and so forth.

High energy state. Survival circuitry (this can also be triggered by lack of sleep, hunger, and so forth, which is why cults like these methods). Tribal gatherings (large energized crowds) and so forth.

All of this is programming. All of this sinks past the conscious barriers and becomes part of our “inner voices.”

This can be WONDERFUL if you were programmed with positives. And horrible if in these high-imprintation messages were negative.

The good news is that once you realize this you can actually use this to your advantage. BIG TIME.

“Auto suggestion” in Think And Grow Rich involves writing out goals and goal statements: what you wish to achieve, when will it be achieved, what you will exchange for the success you want, and so forth. And then, you read it every morning and every night. You do this until it sinks DEEP and you begin to think this way.

It works, but is a “brute force” approach. There are faster ways. Fortunately, every chapter of TAGR has been expanded upon by other authors, lecturers, teachers, or traditions. Nothing in here was “invented”. It was all “observed” in the habits of highly successful people. Therefore if you want to go deeper, a little research will bear fruit. I used to haunt the BODHI TREE bookstore in North Hollywood, a real treasure trove of teachings on human performance.

One very popular book on the subject of “auto suggestion” (basically, talking to yourself. Affirmations and visualizations) is PSYCHO-CYBERNETICS by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. He takes the “affirmation” notion and refines it, adding deep emotional charges. Now its “what we repeat constantly with visualization [mentalization] and POWERFUL EMOTION goes deeply.

The MAGIC formula goes a step beyond this. Grounded in my memory of Steve Muhammad bawling us out as we suffered through calisthenics and endless repetitions of punch and kick: “If you can do this, you can do math! You can learn history! You can do ANYTHING!” And as we got tired tired tired…and then miraculously entered “second wind” and found new reserves of courage and energy, we realized YES! He was right! There WAS far more within us than we believed!

And when, years later, teachers like Tim Piering talked about “power positions” where we would create vivid images of the people we want to be and then “step into” them…I remembered. When this happy madman did a self-improvement tape where he went running up a mountain while chanting “Every day in every way I’m getting better and better!” I remember thinking DAMN!

And all of this came together such that the Morning Ritual made perfect sense to me, and became the cornerstone of my daily routine. MOVE, while chanting, visualizing, FEELING. Want more power? Move faster, chant louder. You can actually see and feel the control knob on your heart when you do this. It is AMAZING.

Can you go beyond this? Absolutely! Look into NLP and learn about pattern interrupts, and modalities, and other nifty tricks.

Using the MAGIC formula in connection with this third principle…

  1. Map or Model. Find people who have accomplished your basic goals, starting from where you started. STUDY THEM. What do they believe about themselves? Humanity? The world? What are their internal voices saying? You can find interviews or biographies of people in any field imaginable. Essays. Videos and audios. STUDY THEM. Then you have to ask yourself how their internal representations and external actions compare to your own. This is the “price” you must pay to accomplish what they did. Often, if you study carefully, you will see differences between what they say, and what they did. Sometimes, what they now say is a refinement. Sometimes, it is an hallucination. We rarely really understand what is going on inside us.
  2. Action. What daily actions can you take to start shifting your internal representations? The MORNING RITUAL is the tool of choice here. Remember that STATE IS EVERYTHING. The physical, emotional, and mental STATE you are in when you perform will 100% determine your results. So EVERY DAY practice entering and holding these ways of being.
  3. Gratitude. What emotions do your role models evidence on a regular basic. Emotion is the FUEL OF ACCOMPLISHMENT. All negative emotions can be countered with gratitude, all positive emotions can grow from Gratitude. During the Morning Ritual deliberately generate these emotions, and be sure you are visualizing Mentors who could accomplish your goals easily “and have FUN in the process.”
  4. Intention. Goals. To be honest, my major goals are no longer defined by dollar signs. It is NOT that I have all the money I want. It is that I have over time seen that simply aiming at being in alignment with the mentors I’ve chosen, with a goal of joy and service, while maintaining my survival drive…well, it automatically generates the work and connections and self-respect that result in money. I can focus on being the best “Steve” I can be. The best husband and father, the best writer and friend. The best martial artist. And out of that commitment, all the external results come. But I DO suggest people in financial emergency to aim at improving their income or net worth by 50%. That’s a lot less than 1% improvement weekly, which is very doable if you focus BOTH on improving your product or service, and your networking and marketing/sales.
  5. Congruence. Need to change your underlying beliefs? Unless you grew up in a wealthy loving healthy family…you probably have some pretty toxic beliefs about money, and you really need to examine them CAREFULLY. Your goals, actions, beliefs and emotions ALL NEED TO BE ALIGNED. Do this, and life becomes just “chop wood, carry water.” Your daily actions are aligned with your sense of being. You just wake up, meditate, exercise, eat, work, love, play, serve and sleep. Every morning, you briefly ask what you need do to stay on the path. Every night you ask it you did it, and what you could improve. You might ask yourself something like Burchard’s “did I live? Did I love? Did I matter?” which are GREAT questions.

All of these things are “auto suggestion.” Ways to BURN positive beliefs and intents into your consciousness. If you understand that cruel words to a child can poison her life, you need to believe that POSITIVE words can impower and heal. And as long as you apply them in a HIGH ENERGY STATE, it is never too late to make those changes.

Remember: there is a VAST difference between your “hardware” and your “software.” “Auto suggestion” is simply programming. Doing it in the midst of powerful motion is programming the human biocomputer deliberately and directly, and I’d estimate that fewer than .1% of people will do this consistently.

That makes it quite an advantage, don’t you think? One which, if one uses the “safety rails” of the Three Centers and Three Gates, can transform not only your life, but the world around you.




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Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes is a NY Times bestselling author, ecstatic husband and father, and holder of black belts in three martial arts.