The Collaboration between You and Your Mind
I absolutely love the work I do with my clients and I have spent years mastering the disciplines that allow me to be so effective in doing what I do. Because I have mastered multiple disciplines such as psychology, neurolinguistic programming, neuro-associative conditioning, psycho-cybernetics, embodied cognition, cognitive behavioral therapy, and quantum dynamics, some postulate that the complexity of the brain makes it very difficult to change how the brain operates for a particular individual.
The fact that people depend on me to help them change and improve their lives has driven me to be the best that I can be. Yes, the brain and mind are very complicated; however, you don’t have to master all of the aforementioned disciplines in order to get the most out of your brain and mind. The truth is that the life you are living is the product of the collaboration between you and your mind. If you are not getting the results that you desire, it is because you are not effectively collaborating with your mind.
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Success in life is about effective collaboration on multiple levels. Despite the rise of a culture that emphasizes individualism, the greatest work is accomplished through collaboration. We are mammals — social creatures by nature — demanding collaboration. It is my argument that the most important collaboration that will ever take place is the collaboration between you and your mind. The beautiful thing about collaborating with your mind is that you don’t have to master its complexity to be effective. The brain and mind are designed to respond to you based on what it interprets in best for you. In other words, the brain and mind are always acting in what they believe to be in your best interest.
The thing is to not focus on the complicated composition of the human mind but the simplicity of its functionality. The force of function of the human mind can be broken down into four simple functional principles. When you understand these principles and how they work, you will be able to take control of your life in ways you have never imagined. Here are the four functional principles:
- Your mind always does what it thinks you would want it to do — that which it believes is in your best interest.
- Your mind is hardwired to move you toward pleasure and away from pain
- The totality of how you feel about life and the world around you is broken down into two parts: 1. The pictures you create in your mind 2. The words you say to yourself (your self-talk)
- Your mind loves that which is familiar
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Your Mind Works In Your Best Interest
You are probably thinking, “if my mind is working in my best interest, why are things going so horribly wrong?” What you have to understand is that humans are not born with norms and standards implanted in their minds. Norms and standards establish what is right and wrong, good or bad, and effective or ineffective. These norms and standards for human conscience and play an immense role in governing decision-making and behavior. Your mind is neutral in the assessment of stimuli until you give it what it needs to determine how it perceives something.
If you are not getting the results that you want in your life it is because you are not properly and effectively collaborating with your mind.
Your brain and mind are highly attentive to your self-talk and the language you use to describe situations and circumstances. If there is something that you know you need to do to improve your situation, but you are constantly saying things like, “I hate this, this is killing me, this sucks, etc., you are training your brain that this particular exercise is not good for you and your mind will come up with all types of reasons and motivations not to do it. These motivations will emerge from the subconscious, which controls 96 percent of your daily behavior. You will be sabotaging yourself and not even be aware of it.
It has been said that your brain is the most powerful supercomputer on the planet and your self-talk is the program it will run. You need to form positive speech and positive thoughts about the actions that are necessary for your improvement. Make personal declarations that are positive like “I will do…, I am doing… I have chosen to…, I enjoy doing…, I am exceptional at doing… etc. Your mind will, in turn, assess these new actions as being in your best interest and something that you enjoy doing (pleasure).
Hardwired for Pleasure
Your brain is hardwired to move you toward pleasure and as far away from pain as possible. What this means is that complaining about something destroys the collaboration between you and your mind in that area. One of the reasons that you procrastinate so much is because you have linked many of your progressive steps to pain. When you link anything to pain, your mind will instinctively and inherently find ways to move you away from that thing. The beautiful thing about pain is that it is a concept that each individual defines for themselves.
Think about it for a second. There are some people who seemingly have immensely high pain thresholds while others can’t seem to take even the slightest pain. The marathon runner has redefined pleasure to include the mental, emotional, and physical pain that takes place over the course of the 26.2-mile run. The weight-lifter associates the burn during the lifting session with growth and improvements in strength.
This is all neuro-associative conditioning is — associating things you want to do with pleasure and things you don’t want to do with pain.
Images & Words
It is really this simple when you break it down. The way you feel about life and the world around you is determined by only two things, the images you create in your mind and the words you say to yourself (your self-talk). The term “vision” has become ambiguous because of the casual nature in which it is used; however, your ability to visualize the life you want and the images that emerge from this vision play a massive role in setting the course of your life.
The words you use establish the context in which every situation will be engaged. If you are saying things such as I dread going to the gym, this workout is going to kill me, creating this presentation is going to make me miserable, etc. you are creating an environment in which the mind is going to work against the ultimate goal of accomplishment, because yourself talk told it that would be in your best interest. Your mind does not seek to lead you into dread or make you miserable. So when you declare that something will make you miserable, sad, or disgusted, your mind will find every reason imaginable not to do it.
Using a phrase as simple as, “I have chosen to do this, and I will enjoy doing it” will prove absolutely transformational. This is not simply positive thinking, it is the foundation of optimal collaboration between you and your mind. The fact that you have chosen something means that it was not thrust upon you without your consent (there is an inherent and natural disdain for being forced to do things we don’t want to do). The fact that you are declaring that you will enjoy doing it triggers the pleasure center of the brain which now causes the mind to move you toward it instead of away from it.
is really simple. If you examine your life and you are not getting what you
want, it is because you are not communicating properly with your mind.
It is through these images and words that you will either rationalize failure or talk yourself out of it.
The Mind Loves the Familiar
Much of the discomfort that you will experience during the process of change and growth is because the mind is not familiar with the new processes that are being introduced into your normal routine. It is important to understand that the mind experiences things and expresses itself in multitudinous ways that extend beyond abstract or arbitrary thought. Even your body responds to your mind. Your heart rate can increase or decrease based on your mind. Your sweat glands can be triggered to go into hyperdrive. So, that uncomfortable feeling you get when you are trying something new that makes you say, “this doesn’t feel right” is actually your mind saying this is not familiar.
Because the mind loves the familiar, you will need to learn how to make what is familiar unfamiliar and what is unfamiliar familiar. I know it sounds crazy, but it is simply a shift in your state of mind and perception. With me, I have actually trained my mind to be most comfortable in uncomfortable (unfamiliar) situations. It means that I am exploring new things and growing. It means that I am not being stagnant and complacent.
Remember, your mind wants to act in your best interest. It is your responsibility to effectively communicate to your mind what is in your best interest in terms that provide the proper context for the actions that you will need to take. Simply knowing that you need to do something will not be sufficient for effective collaboration with your mind. You need to frame the required action in a manner that the mind interprets it as being in your best interest and bringing you pleasure. Going to the gym four days out of the week is obviously good for you, but if you dread it, the mind will see it as something to avoid (pain) and it can create an infinite number of excuses not to do it. Many illnesses that people experience are produced psychosomatically through the mind as a means of avoiding something the mind deems detrimental to your pleasure and peace.
Find ways to link what you want and need to a state of pleasure. The mind will naturally move you toward what is perceived as pleasurable. The more pleasure that is detected, the harder the mind will work to move you toward it. If you are not getting what you want out of life, it is because you need to do a better job of collaborating with your mind.
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