Have you ever driven somewhere, and when you arrived wondered how you got there safely - thinking to yourself, "How did I not kill myself, I wasn't even paying attention?"
Have you ever felt like you were "in the zone" playing a sport,where everything seemed to just be easier – you could see he ball better, you were two steps ahead of your opponent, and / or it just felt like you knew what was going to happen, before it did?
Or have you ever struggled because no matter how bad you think you want something, you seem never be able to make it happen - and it often feels like you sabotage your own efforts?
The reason these things happen is because of a little understood power that each and everyone of us within us - called our sub-conscious mind.
This blog is the first of a three part blog that will help you understand why these things happen and hopefully give you a tool or two to help you leverage and unleash the power of your subconscious mind.
Frankly, and I think most of will agree with me, no matter how hard we try to change our behaviors and to create the world we want, we tend to end up in the same place we started. Why is that?
Believe it or not, the answer is simple to answer, but complex to rectify. But, I will tell you that those who have mastered it have an unlimited power to create the world they want.
The simple answer is the power of our subconscious mind. It is the part of our mind that loves to perpetuate life as we know it - and is the primary reason we resist change. But it is the also the part of the brain that has tremendous power to solve our problems and unlock our limitless potential.
To better understand the subconscious mind, I want you to give you an over-simplification metaphor of the subconscious mind as I understand it.
Lets just for a moment, imagine that our mind is actually two different computers – one of those computers is a Commodore 64 * (circa 1983) and the other an Apple PowerBook (circa 2009). And these two computers are networked through a complex direct cable interface.
Now, imagine that the Powerbook has stored in it every memory you have ever had of every situation you've ever been in. And because of amazing new technologies (that we still can quite duplicate), the Powerbook has the ability to capture everything going on around you - all the sites, sounds, smells, tastes constantly – even the ones that you aren't really paying attention to.
Unfortunately, you would think that life would be easier if we had direct access to the Powerbook – to store and retrieve what we want, when we want. But to be honest, if you think about it, you would probably go crazy from the rapid fire of thoughts in and out of your conscious mind. So instead, you are stuck providing inputs and drawing responses to all the stored information of your life through the old, slow Commodore 64 and the keyboard that comes with it.
Even though you have control of what goes through the Commodore 64 to the Powerbook, you are only one input into the supercomputer – as it is perceiving and storing everything that is going on around you. So while you are typing just what you see, hear, taste, smell, and feel, consciously, the Powerbook is also absorbing and storing all the rest of what it is coming in through your senses that you aren't consciously aware of – at a rate estimated to be 3000 times faster than you can type. Scary, when you think about it.
To make matters worse, the Powerbook has a predetermined file structure – it stores all the information it receives in folders that are nearly as old as you are. Those file folders are built in your childhood, based on the feeds that came in during your formidable years. In your infancy, file folders are constantly being built – with little regard to any form of organization. Then as you go through your adolescence, the Powerbook, begins to bin the information and re-organize your file structure for optimized use.
It is this file structure, and contents of your file folders that determines how you will react in most situations. In fact, the older you get, the more difficult it is (taking a lot of time and effort) to create new folders for the storage of information. So much so, the Powerbook, (your subconscious mind) only creates new folders when it finds things becoming VERY regular – until they appear to be a new habitual behavior.
So regardless of how situations change, your Powerbook continues to bin all the information the same way it always did – until it sees that a long term change has occurred, and it isn't changing back.
Unfortunately, this means that as much as you may try to enter in new ideas, new goals, new ways of doing things through the keyboard into the Commodore 64, you aren't changing the way the Powerbook stores and retrieves thoughts - right away. Truth be known, your new thoughts are hardly a ripple in all the terabytes of information that is already stored and coming in daily.
So what does this all mean to you and how you behave and act in life?
This is the truly amazing part.
When things happen to you (often even before you are able to consciously recognize them) your Powerbook (through feeds from your senses), recognizes a situation developing and begins finding the file folder on that situation. It opens the folder and immediately starts to bombard the Commodore 64 with how you handled the situation in the past. In the case where you are driving and not paying attention, this is good, because your subconscious mind is keeping you alive – making sure you make the correct turns and not speeding (too much). However, in the case of you wanting to change who you are, this is not so beneficial, because those feeds from the Powerbook to the Commodore 64 are both faster and more consistent than anything you can type into the keyboard – so you tend to follow your old path -in spite of your real desires.
Sure, YOU have the power to manipulate the Powerbook's processes and information feeds, but it is a lot harder than you might think. Which is why so many fail to actually pull it off.
In the next day, dwell on these ideas and look at how and what you do, a little bit differently. Think about different situations where your subconscious mind has both helped you and hindered your efforts to accomplish the goals you strive to achieve.
Tomorrow, in part two of this blog series, I will go a bit further into how your subconscious mind can be distracted and let you down during times that you need it most, how you can leverage the power of your existing file structures and finally how you can start to change your patterns of thinking and begin to take control of your subconscious mind.
And finally, in part three of my three part blog series, I will give you some powerful tools that you can apply to your life as well as some real world examples of people that have leveraged the power of their subconscious mind.
*For those of you who don't know what a Commodore 64 is, just accept that it is one of the very first home computers – and it had very little power or speed.