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Why Can’t I CHANGE?

The focus of Why Can’t I CHANGE? by P.J. Eby, a self-proclaimed mind hacking instructor, is to understand how the brain works and how to control it. Many people go through life trying harder to change their circumstances, only to find themselves struggling and giving up. P.J. Eby has done a wonderful job of explaining how the brain can help guide the body to do what we want, just like riding an animal, we just have to know how. The brain is the rider, the body is the animal we’re riding. The body will do what it wants unless we guide it to do something else.

Why Can't I Change



Repetition is Unnecessary

  • If you have to do something over and over, you’re doing it wrong.
  • Some belief or behavior can be fixed or improved if repetition is still occurring.

Consciousness Is Optional

  • Our thinking process is a tool that the computer -our body – uses.
  • We’re not the user of our brain, our brain uses us.
  • “You” are not the doer of things.
  • Our brain doesn’t care if we get what we want, it wants what our genes want – to survive, reproduce.
  • Our brain wants to get along with the rest of the tribe.
  • We all have image criteria that we have to maintain in order to stay as a viable member of the group.

Naturally Successful People vs. Non-Naturally Successful People

  • Naturally successful people did not learn any restrictions on who they needed to be in order to fit in.
  • Non-naturally successful people think there are restrictions, and that raises conflict when they want to do something.
  • By removing the idea of restrictions, we can remove the conflict.

High-Conflict State (Pain Brain) vs. Low-Conflict State (Gain Brain)

  • Low conflict state people have very little trouble getting their brain to do what they want, because there isn’t a higher priority conflict interfering. The brain doesn’t sense there is a conflict, or restriction.
  • A low conflict state person seeks the greatest pleasure.
  • When there are no survival priority overrides going on, your brain goes after gain.
  • If your brain has a priority survival override going on, it’s not going to let you do that stuff. It’s going to make you feel fear.
  • In the pain brain you will only move when you have enough pain going on to make you move immediately.
  • How you think other people will think of you are the survival overrides if you think it will hurt your position in the tribe.
  • Fitting into the group, tribe is more important than almost anything.
  • Our brain is still running off the pecking order wired in pretty early.
  • To tell if you’re in a high or low conflict state, ask yourself if you know what you want then ask what happens if you don’t get it.
  • If your brain has decided that you cannot afford to lose something, then you will be in a state of not wanting.
  • Never force yourself to do anything again.
  • Find out why you’re resisting something.

Change What Choices Are On The Menu

  • We only have free choice of the options that our brain presents to us.
  • If we don’t think of the choice, we can’t make the choice.

Change What Seems Like The Natural Thing To Do

  • Your brain picks your options based on how you feel about them.
  • This creates the idea of an “image.

Pecking Order

  • There is a natural pecking order that we used before thinking was available to us.
  • We keep track of our pecking order in relation to other people and it makes a difference as to whether or not we go after something.
  • Our brain is still running off the pecking order we were in among the kids at school or at home.


  • Your brain will only store one set of rules to live by.
  • The way that we get low self-esteem is when we make judgments about ourselves as a person on the basis of our behavior.

Key Principles

1. In order to be successful, you don’t have to be someone else. All you have to be is you, without the emotional baggage.

2. Indecision is suffering.

  • Pain is something that is a normal part of life.
  • Suffering is when you want to have your cake and eat it too.
  • When you want to not pay the price, and still get what you want.

3. If it’s pushing you forward, it’s holding you back.

  • Any place where you find yourself pushing forward in your life trying to be something that you’re not, that is an indication that you have one of these survival and replication fears, these fears that cause a priority override for your brain.
  • You will avoid anything that smacks of what you’re afraid you are.
  • It creates this, “we must succeed! We cannot… we must not fail.”
  • Take away the reason you’re pushing yourself to do what you want to do.
  • Successful people don’t even think about losing the way non-successful people do.

4. If you don’t bet on yourself, you cannot win.

  • You have to be willing to lose something.