The Power of Your Subconscious Mind: Summary & Review

the power of your subconscious mind book cover

The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (1963) teaches readers how to leverage your subconscious to make thoughts a reality and to attract what you want into your life. 

Bullet Summary 

  • What your subconscious believes your conscious mind will do 
  • Your subconscious mind can make thoughts a reality 
  • You talk to your subconscious mind with visualization and thoughts during sleep and half-sleep time 

Full Summary 

About The Author:
Joseph Denis Murphy (1898 – 1981) was an Irish author and New Thought minister. He allegedly spent time in India learning about meditation and Hindu philosophy. Back in the West Murphy attained a PhD in psychology and, somewhat surprisingly for those who reach high academic degrees, joined the new thought movement where he was also ordained in Divine Science and Religious Science.

This summary of “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” focuses on the practical aspects of the book while skipping everything we felt was “fluff”:

Your Subconscious Makes Things Real 

Joseph Murphy says that our subconscious makes what it believes a reality. 

He gives several examples ranging from people who act like ducks once hypnotized to priests curing the sick telling them God will heal them to people selling their houses through the power of visualization (but I prefer some actual knowledge on persuasion and influencing when it comes to selling a house).

Visualize To Get What You Want 

Joseph Murphy says that visualizing things will bring them into your life. 

He advises visualizing while in dreamlike states, for example before falling sleeping, right after waking up and during meditation. 

Add Passion To Your Visualization 

Passion gives you the tools to work hard at what you want, which will make the visualization much more powerful 

My Note:  
The author at least says that wishing by itself is not enough. He says that you need to work hard for what you want. 
I was relieved because similar books (such as The Secret) recommend you do not work on what you want (which is terrible advice of course). 

Choose To Be Happy Because Happiness Is A Choice

The author says that being happy is a choice. 

And not being happy, or being envious, stands in your way. Being angry towards people is a self-fulfilling prophecy as you will act badly towards them and they will act badly in return. 

You should overcome being envious by wishing well to the people you’re envious of. And then your subconscious will believe that you deserve the same. 

the power of your subconscious mind book cover

Real-Life Applications 

  • Use Visualization 

Visualizing is a powerful tool. Not so much to attract things in your life, but more to keep you focused on your goal and mentally upbeat. Also, you’ll be readier when the opportunity strikes 

  • Do use break patterns 

It’s true that sometimes we build fears and dislike upon nothing. And we bring them in our life by acting on them. Do break the patterns instead. 

For example, force yourself to focus on the positives of your boss and chances are that your relationship will improve for the better. 

  • Wish others well 

Envy and resentment poison you first and foremost. 
Train yourself to abandon envy and learn to become a person who truly wishes people well. 


  • The (not so) good old law of attraction 

“The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” is considered one of the very first sources upon which the law of attraction is based. 
And I’m not a big fan of the law of attraction. 

  • It’s unscientific 

Needless to say, as much of the new thought / new age literature, it’s largely unscientific.


  • Some good insights into how the unconscious can shape our lives

Surprisingly (for me), The Power of Your Subconscious Mind had some interesting case studies. 

One of them was a workaholic who was making himself sick for too much work. 
Then he discovered he always felt guilty for his brother’s death and that overworking was a way of punishing himself. 
Such cases can happen indeed.

  • Some good stories 

The story of the alcoholic afraid of failing to get sober was touching and helpful. 
He visualized his daughter praising him for being sober -a very smart move- and was able to stop. 


The Power of Your Subconscious Mind is yet another new thought, law of attraction rehash type of book and, as such, it doesn’t exactly enter into our best resources lists.

However, it’s better than many other law of attraction spawns because at least it says that as you visualize, you also must work hard towards your goals.

When it comes to you, dear reader, whether you like it or not, is quite simple to say:

If you are the kind of person who uses the expression “woo-woo” with a slight disapproving tone to refer to unscientific, impractical, and probably not the most real-world effective wisdom, then you might not particularly enjoy Joseph Murphy’s writing. 

If on the other hand, you’re into the law of attraction, you’ll love it. 

As per our general recommendations on TPM, albeit there were some passages that were good in this book, we feel that you may be better off with other self-development resources -and if you tend to fall for woo-woo, check out this article on naive self-help-.

Read more summaries or get the book on Amazon 

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