It has to do with will power. You must have will power to overcome obstacles. For example, you can choose to quit smoking rather than continuing to smoke...you can experience an enormous amount of pain and not succomb to the pain......you can loose weight if you decide that is what you want to do.
If you have the will power, you can succeed at anything you "put your mind to". This is the essence of what "mind over matter" means.
Sure. So I've been told. I've never started smoking, so I never had to try to stop. As to enormous amounts of pain, does that mean physical? Psychic? Emotional? Not sure I'm qualified to respond there. But as to loss of weight, I've got more than fifty years' history proving mind over matter as described here doesn't work. For me. For others I've come to know and love in OA. I've heard it. I've believed it. I've tried - HARD - to live it. I haven't managed. It's caused the psychic pain in my life, the emotional havoc. It's made me feel like a miserable failure. But I'm not. I wasn't when I believed it, I'm not now that I don't believe it. I've got a defect that causes a craving, one just like Dr. Silkwood described:
I do not hold with those who believe that alcoholism is entirely a problem of mental control. I have had many men who had, for example, worked a period of months on some problem or business deal which was to be settled on a certain date, favorably to them. They took a drink a day or so prior to the date, and then the phenomenon of craving at once became paramount to all other interests so that the important appointment was not met. These men were not drinking to escape; they were drinking to overcome a craving beyond their mental control. (Alcoholics Anonymous, pp xxix, xxx)
Look at those words. Craving. Phenomenon. Paramount. Beyond their mental control. How hopeless! Phenomenon means can't be understood. Craving is feeling a powerful desire FOR something. Not just an emptiness, not just discontent, restlessness, but the savage need to get the substance, for me, the food, the sugar, the pastry, the ice cream. Paramount. NOTHING can be of more importance. Mind over matter? I think not. I can't think of anything else of my own, by my will power. I'm helpless, hopeless, a failure. My mind can't overcome the matter. No matter what.
I'm powerless over food. My life has become unmanageable.
But there is a Higher Power who is able to restore me to sanity, to relieve me of the insane cravings, the pain, the phenomenal NEED. And when I let him, he does. Again and again, continually, forever. And besides that, he throws in more than a TV salesman in an informercial could promise or even intimate. And his promises are real and happen. Thank God!