Our mind is very divertive. Literally speaking, there are always 2 different people living inside of us, and we often contradict ourselves and our own decisions. One side of us is always fun-loving and pleasure-seeking and the other side supports serious commitments in life and discipline. Many times we feel like being on the crossroads – one side of us advises us to go one direction and the other one turns us the other way.
The side that is looking for pleasures has tremendous power over us. Most people live being ruled mostly by this side. It’s obvious, we live only once and whatever comfortable, convenient and enjoyable attracts us. We don’t want to become slaves of difficult routines or not having time doing things that we love to do.
But the other side of us realizes that to be productive in life requires effort and commitment. Should we be battling the “pleasures side” in order to achieve something? We probably could, but then it would be a quick fix and all quick fixes have temporary power. Eventually at the end of every quick fix our mind will swing back and all our achievements will be diminished. A good example of this is diets. Dieting is a restriction of our pleasures. If we did not know that this process has an end we would never be able to hold on. The success of produced results this way zeros down very rapidly.
Our pleasure side is not our enemy, and we should never blame it for not succeeding in life. If we did not have pleasures we would not be humans. We “hunt” for plesures thoughout our lives weather we realize it or not. We make sacrifices or suffer sometimes for the purpose of future plesures. So we should never be trying to take away our plesures. Instead we should be looking for ways to add more of them and try aquiring the ability to enjoy more things in life. In order to do that we need to understand how our mind works. Then we can make our plesure side to work towards our successes and not against them.
Let’s try to understand some of the behaviuos of our pleasure side. Here is what it may be trying to tell you every time you try to be productive:
1. This idea is not good idea.
Pleasure side is very conservative and pessimistic to any improvements. It will always find ways to discourage you from them.
“It’s too difficult.”
“It’s too complicated.”
“It takes too long.”
“It’s not worth it” etc.
2. Productive people are not good.
In order to remain in control pleasure side will always try to spotlight the negativities in successful people:
“Successful people are boring.”
“Rich people are miserable.”
“Skinny people are anorexic”
“Eating healthy is not fun.”
“Exercising is a waste of time” etc.
3. This is not for me.
Every time you look for ways to improve yourself or get successful, your pleasures side will try to overpower you and convince otherwise:
“I am too old for this.”
“I will never lose weight because of my body type.”
“I will not last” etc.
These attempts are nothing but trying to prove you that the problem why you cannot succeed lies within your personality and that you are lacking some kind of ability to turn your desires into reality. To make this statement even stronger your pleasures side will try to draw attention to all your failure and mistakes. This, in the end, may develop a sense of insecurity and disbelief in yourself. If you obey to it you will lose your enthusiasm and eventually give up.
4. Let’s do something else.
Achieving something in life requires not only acquiring some information. To understand something we need to study it, plan it, organize and practice, and this takes time and effort. Every time you try to concentrate and work on that your pleasures side will be convincing you to do something else instead or skip difficult steps. For example, when you need to perform some practical exercises to develop certain skills the pleasures side will tell you: “I understand how to do it. Let’s just think about these exercises. Let’s do something fun now.” It will try to do anything to redirect your thinking. Your pleasure side has enormous amount of options how to take you attention away for any occasion. Always rememer that.
“Let’s watch TV.”
“I am hungry.”
“I am tiered.”
“I am not in a good mood for this.”
“I need to do this…”
”I need to do that.”
“I want to go there.”
“I need to go shopping.”
“I need to call my friend” etc.
5. Let’s do it later.
Your pleasure side will always try to put your plans on hold and find a variety of reasons to logically approach this idea.
“Before I join the gym I need to look better.
“I don’t have proper clothes to start exercising.”
“I need to do some more research.”
“I’ll start next Monday.”
“I need to finish this” etc.
Despite all these bad things that your pleasure side does to you never try to crush it. Instead look for cooperation and compromise. Most of the diets and other quick fix programs are to intent defeating the pleasure side. They create an enormous conflict with yourself. Unless we learn how to avoid these conflicts, these programs will never work for us. We will always be jumping from one quick solution to another without any permanent and visible results.
Thousands of thoughts are going through our minds every day and based on these thoughts we make our daily decisions. Inside of our minds we not only think but also talk. This is called a self-talk – powerful tool that we can use to succeed in life. This talk never stops inside of our minds. “I am hungry” – we go to eat. “I am tiered” – we go and rest. “I want to do this…” – and we start doing that. Inside of our minds we always receive messages and then act upon those messages. Many of these messages are repetitive and programmed in our mind subconsciously. We are not exactly hearing them but they are doing their jobs. Some of them help us to succed and some destruct us from our successes. They are trained by us and just doing what they were taught. This is how we develop our habits.
When we want to change our habits we need to “retrain” our subconscious mind by repetitively doing things that develop that new habit. This is done through our self-talk.
But before we start talking ourselves into something new we need to clearly realize what exactly our subconscious mind is and what we need to do to be able to control it. We also have to remember that it has a tremendous power over us. How often we get influenced by it without even being aware? How many times we impulsively buy things that we don’t need and how much time we uselessly spend instead of catching up with things that are long-time overdue. This happens because we subconsciously obey to our pleasure side and listening to one of those commands that are described earlier. Often when we try to do something productive our subconsiuos mind puts us back on the couch in front of our TV and gives us millions of reasons to do that.
Regardless of its power subconsiuos mind belongs to us and we have the power to control it. We just need to know the rules that our subconsious mind operates with. Then we can apply these rules to change our habits.
First important rule is to understant that our subconscious mind always works from present tense. If we want to overpower it, our self-talk commands need to be said always in present tense. For example, if you say: “I have to go to the gym” and you presently watching TV your subconsiuos mind will oppose you: “I am busy, I am presently watching TV.” So instead of “I have to go to the gym” or “I need to go to the gym” say: “I am going to the gym.” This way you are forcing your subconscious mind to immidiately switch from one activity to another. As you practice your self-talk more and more your subconscious mind will obey you and will follow your actions. Try also: “I am having a salad” instead of “I am having a cookie” and you will feel the power to be in control.. If you rapiditly say things in the present tense, your subconscious mind will remember these things and eventually they will become your new habits. Then there will be no difference for your subconsious mind “having a cookie” or “having a soup”.
Second important rule is to remeber that negative approach never works with subconsiouis mind. As soon as you say “no” to any of your habits or behaviuors you will be creating a conflict with yourself for the same reason that subconsiuos mind is a part of you. Contradicting with it as contraticting with yourself. Say: “I am not having a cookie” or “I should not smoke” – and you will be directly against yourself. You will feel it. Then your subconsiuos mind will send messages to your emotional and physical receptacles and you will eventually be overpowered by it.
If we want to break our habits going against them is totally useless becuase these habits give us pleasures. They are very powerful. Much better way would be to learn new habits so we can replace them. Leaving “empty spaces” where our old habits were will eventually lead to going back to them.
Third rule in dealing with your subconscious mind is to be very specific when giving commands. Subconsiuos mind can only respond to one message at a time. When you say “I am having a salad” or “I am having a cookie” it can only respond to one of these commands. You have to always address exactly what you want. If you repeat your statements over and over again your subconscious mind will start working towards your desires. You will be amazed how fast you can progress.
Anything we want in life can be available to us if we possess the ability to transform our subconscious thinking to our conscious. In simple words it means to open our mind to understand our subconsiuos and make intentional efforts to improve it.
Power of words
When you have your self-talk, be careful in selecting your words for it. They are not just words but also your thoughts and later your actions. Some words can make your subconscious mind work for you and some against you. Remember, your subconscious mind does not like to obey and wants to be always in control. Do not use “I have to”, “I must” or “I should” because by doing this you are letting your subconscious mind know that you are weak and have no control over your behaviors. Use “I am” or “I choose”. Your subconscious mind has to hear your choices in a forceful and positive manner. Only then it senses your power and obeys you.
Source: Book (Prevail Over Yourself). available at the club or www.gymbagbooks.com