Thursday, February 26, 2015

Every Day in Every Way - Thinking Your Way to Positive Life Outcomes...


Seeing the Tip of the Iceberg

The iceberg is part of the beautiful landscapes that can be seen in the coldest oceans on the planet.  They are a magnificent sight to behold, but are very deceiving to the observer because so little is actually seen.  Most scientific research done on icebergs has revealed the actual size is much larger than what is perceived.  Actually, most research supports that only 10% of iceberg is represented by the tip.

Our minds form a similar framework in the origin of our thoughts.  The “Conscious” is that tip you see from miles away as you are steering through the channels of life.  The “Sub-conscious” is the other 90% that is unseen, and has the ability to alter your course by creating undercurrents in our thought patterns that immediately change our direction without any volition on our part.

The conscious mind processes thoughts with sequence, rationale, and judgments.  It is the portion of our mind that seeks to understand why, and determines the morality of our current perception.  Sigmund Freud was known as the “Father Psychoanalytical Theory”, and divided the mind into three distinct areas:

“If you can conceive it, and believe it, you can achieve it!”

Conscious“The conscious mind consists of those things of which we are currently aware and to which we are currently attentive. The conscious mind also includes our current thinking processes, behaviors and environmental awareness. Hence, it can be obviously concluded that the conscious mind constitutes the major part of our current awareness.” 1

Pre-conscious – “The pre-conscious mind consisted of all those things of which we are aware, but currently are not attentive (Freud, 2002 revised ed.). He further conceived that we can choose to pay attention to these and deliberately bring them into the conscious mind. Finally, with respect to the pre-conscious mind, Freud believed that we can control our awareness to a certain extent, from focusing in very closely on one conscious act to a wider awareness that seeks to expand consciousness to include as much of preconscious information as possible.” 1

Sub-conscious - “The process and content are out of direct reach of the conscious mind. The subconscious thus thinks and acts independently (Freud, 2002 revised ed.). One of Freud's key findings was that much behavior is driven directly from the subconscious mind. This has the alarming consequence that we are largely unable to control our behavior, and in particular that which we would sometimes prefer to avoid. More recent research has shown that the subconscious mind is probably even more in charge of our actions than even Freud had realized Murphy, 2001).1  Freud also developed another theory that formed the vehicle for creating a link between the “conscious and sub-conscious”.  Freud's massive, overall theory on personality includes the Id, the Ego and the Super ego.
ü  The Id contains our primitive drives and operates largely according to the pleasure principle, whereby its two main goals are the seeking of pleasure and the avoidance of pain (Freud, 1962).1

ü   Freud goes on to say that it has no real perception of reality and seeks to satisfy its needs through what he called the primary processes that dominate the existence of infants, including hunger and self-protection. Unlike the Id, the Ego is aware of reality and operates using the reality principle. The reality principle implies that the Ego recognizes what is real and understands that behaviors have consequences. This includes the effects of social rules that are necessary in order to live and socialize with other people. It uses secondary processes such as perception, recognition, judgment and memory that are developed during childhood. The dilemma of the Ego is that it has to somehow balance the demands of the Id and Super ego with the constraints of reality (Freud, 1962). The Ego controls higher mental processes such as reasoning and problem-solving, which it uses to solve the Id-Super ego dilemma, creatively finding ways to safely satisfy the Id's basic urges within the constraints of the Super ego.1

“Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence is the key to unlocking our potential.”  W. Churchill

ü  The Super ego contains our values and social morals, which often come from the rules of right and wrong that we learned in childhood from our parents and are contained in the conscience. The Super ego has a model of an ego ideal which it uses as a prototype against which to compare the ego and towards which it encourages the ego to move. The Super ego is a counterbalance to the Id, and seeks to inhibit the Id's pleasure-seeking demands, particularly those for sex and aggression.1

The Link occurs when the sub-conscious absorbs information filtered through the parts of the personality.  The Ego is the “common sense” portion of the personality that can determine actions based on the judgments of the “super ego”.  There is a constant shuffle of information that occurs as perceptions formed by the personality are archived into the mind’s hard disk, the “sub-conscious”.  A good example of this process is learning to ride a bike.  To successfully ride a bike there needs to be a sequence of actions performed all at once.  Balance, speed, momentum, and judgment have to work interdependently to keep the bike moving safely down the road.  As conditions change, adjustments have to be made quickly to avoid disaster.  The sub-conscious alike quickly retrieves archived information, and passes it to the conscious so there is no need for a checklist to ride the bike.  Therefore, performance and behavior change are directed by the subconscious, and can be modified with the correct interventions which will create new perceptions. 

Creating the Pathway to Success

When people pursue their goals they need to believe in their ability to achieve success.  If they take action thinking their plan will fail, it most likely will.  The way to create a pathway to your success is by moving forward without the fear of failing.  Everyone knows there is always a chance of failure in anything we do, but where you choose to place your focus will determine your success.

There are volumes of research that has been conducted that proves the way we think can create varied outcomes.  Here are specific examples that show the power of the mind’s ability:
  1).  Drying Sheets - A group of Tibetan Monks meditation techniques were studied because they put their bodies in very difficult states for long periods, and appear to change their own physiology to achieve their spiritual goals. "In one of the most notable exhibits of their skills, a group of Tibetan monks allowed physicians to monitor the monk’s bodily changes as they engaged in a meditative yoga technique known as g Tum-mo. During the process the monks were cloaked in wet, cold sheets (49 f / 9.4 c) and placed in a 40 f (4.5 c) room. In such conditions, the average person would likely experience uncontrollable shivering and would shortly suffer hypothermia. However, through deep concentration, the monks were able to generate body heat, and within minutes the researchers noticed steam rising from the sheets that were covering the monks. Within an hour, the sheets were completely dry."2

2).  Multiple Personality Disorder - In one case, published by the American Psychiatric Press, a doctor noted how medications prescribed to a dissociative identity disorder patient had different effects depending on what “personality” took the drug. For example, when a tranquilizer was given to the person’s childish persona, it made the individual sleepy and relaxed. However, when the adult personality was administered the same drug it made him anxious and confused. Similar results were found with other patients and with a variety of different medications. Doctors even noticed visibly apparent traits, like lazy eye, would come and go depending on which personality was present.  This phenomenon is especially fascinating since no one, including the patients, is claiming mysticism is at work. On the contrary, it is a genuine example of the mind altering the body.2

3). Placebo Effect - A placebo is an inert substance or belief which produces real biological effects in humans. It’s so widely accepted as fact that a placebo variable is included in most medical tests as way of proving if, say, a drug works on its own merits or because people “think” it works. There are tons of experiments showing the proof of the placebo, but one of the most amusing to watch is a test done by a group of Princeton students who decided to throw a non-alcoholic keg party for their unsuspecting classmates. The experimenters secretly filled a keg with O’Doul’s (contains about 0.4% alcohol while regular beer has around 5% alcohol) and then watched as their peers acted silly, slurred words, slept on the ground, and generally acted drunk. Although it’s nearly impossible to get intoxicated on O’Doul’s, these college students had such a strong belief they were drinking standard beer that it affected their behavior.2

In addition to re-framing our thoughts, we must take specific steps while we travel down our pathway to success.  Here is the “step by step” process:

Mission - Have a purpose
Have you ever been on a sailboat or motorboat?  Now think of the cruise you were on, and what would have happened if these boats didn't have rudders?  It wouldn't have been too fun floating aimlessly out in the middle of nowhere with the challenge of getting back on course.  Each of us are unique individuals with special talents and likes.  Do you have a plan to merge those two things, so you can enjoy the life making a difference?  If not, I encourage you to sit down and write a list - (create your mission) - It's time to attach that rudder to your life.

Take responsibility for your life
Things will happen in life that none of us expect, but how we respond to these events can
determine what we achieve.  No excuses - the Marine Corps taught me a great saying -
"Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome".  Be a problem solver.

Believe in yourself -   
A large part of achieving things in life is having the persistence and perseverance
to continue on when no one is at your side.  The only way you can do this is to
wholeheartedly believe in yourself and what you have to offer.  If you don't, then no one else
will.    Start your day in the morning by exclaiming “I can, I can, and I can".

“The road to success is not a path you find,
but a trail you blaze.”  Robert Brault 

Have the Mind of a winner
Creating the mindset of a winner is crucial to making it through life's hurdles.  How do
you look at the world?  When I was a manager I always encouraged staff to think of the
possibilities, and bring me new ideas that would improve our situation.  I knew any dud
could point out the negative in a situation, but I wanted to inspire them to be innovative
and imagine achieving the prize.  It sure made for a better work environment where people
felt comfortable to share ideas and possibilities.  Make sure to take time for yourself each
day to stay focused - at least 30 minutes at a minimum.

Create a Personal Plan for Your Success -   
How many games are won without a plan? 
Zilch.  Setting goals is the key to being a champion in your life.  There needs to be a
defined concerted effort to making your mission a reality.  Is it a new degree, a promotion,
a personal relationship, or your health?  Whatever it is you need to do the following to
be certain you hit the mark:

Use the SMART method - specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time specific.
  • Set incremental goals - the first goal might be something that can be easily achieved, but then begin to stretch yourself making more challenging goals that keep your eyes on the prize of achieving your mission/purpose.
  • Keep track of your successes
Reaching the Peak

When a climber is standing at the base of the mountain the peak can appear impossible to reach, but if they begin to visualize themselves at the top it quickly becomes less daunting. The process of using positive affirmations to change your perception is a similar process:

  •     "Positive Affirmations", are short directed positive action statements concerning something you want to achieve or change like a certain mindset or behavior.  These statements are used for sub-conscious messaging.  The way the affirmation is constructed is extremely important for changing thought patterns.  The more motivated you are to alter your life the greater possibility you’ll have to make your changes. 

  •   How do affirmations work?  When you say your positive affirmation, the subconscious archives the information for evaluation.  There are only two choices the subconscious can consider, acceptance or denial.  The subconscious won’t evaluate the response, but merely go with whatever the most prominent inner voice might be concerning the issue at hand.  Therefore, when you continue to say positive affirmations you provide the playback the subconscious will use when responding.  As you use the affirmation regularly you should feel a sense of well being related to what you’ve been saying.  When this occurs the affirmation is working.

  •    How to use them?  Here is a list of tips to follow that will encourage your success:                           
-  Make it personal
-  Make it positive
-  Make it current
-  Make it believable
-  Make it simple

*Stand in front of the mirror using a confident voice and stance.  Say your
affirmations 5x for each one you’ve created both in the morning, and before you
go to bed at night.

  •      How quickly can you see results?   When you choose to say affirmations that have meaning and a purpose you can see results quickly.  If you’re thinking becomes negative when saying the affirmation your subconscious may be resisting the message.  When this occurs do the following:
  •      Releasing statements – There may be emotions of feelings holding you back.  Say something like, “I forgive, I don’t need to feel, or any statement that releases any sense of guilt or shame that might be stalling the process. 
  •      Becoming statements – “I am becoming”.  Sometimes people struggle with I am, so I am becoming can be more believable and unlock the subconscious ability to accept the affirmation. 
  •       Acknowledgment statements – This is giving yourself a pat on the back.  “I met my goals successfully, and I feel great”.
As you follow these steps for using affirmations you’ll feel and see changes
occur within the first 30 days.  Here is a list for your first month.  You can do it!!!
30 Days to a New Beginning

Go through the list and choose 30 affirmations that apply to the changes you desire to make in your life.  You can create your own or alter these if that helps.  Remember this is a process that you’re starting, and will need to stay motivated to create the Positive outcomes you wish to see in your life.

  • I have unlimited creativity, drive and motivation.
  • I am motivated to continue perusing my goals.
  • New opportunities are showing up daily and I am inspired to take action.
  • I feel alive, energized and motivated to take on any task in front of me.
  • Motivation comes easily to me.
  • Staying motivated comes easily to me.
  • Because of my profound energy, I achieve and exceed at all that I do.
  • I am so motivated that others get inspired just by being around me.
  • I attract those that help me reach my goals.
  • I am motivated and live my life to the fullest.
  • My life is full of purpose and motivation.
  • I have unlimited energy and motivation.
  • I am happy and motivated when I achieve my goals.

“You’ve got to win in your mind before you win in life.”
John Addison

  • am easily motivated.
  • l easily stay motivated toward my dreams.
  • I stay motivated and energized when working toward my goals.
  • I wake up energized and ready to face the day.
  • I am confident in what I do and that keep me motivated to continue moving forward
  • I love myself and I am perfectly healthy.
  • Every cell in my body is health conscious. I am a health freak.
  • I am full of energy and vitality and my mind is calm and peaceful.
  • I avoid junk food. I eat healthy, nutritious food that benefits my body and large quantity of water that cleanses my body.
  • I think only positive thoughts and am always happy and joyous, no matter what the external conditions are.
  • I always feel good. As a result, my body feels good and I radiate good feelings.
  • Every day is a new day full of hope, happiness and health.
  • Good health is my birth right. I bless my body daily and take good care of it.
  • I am always happy, hale and hearty. Happy in spirit, hale in body and hearty in disposition.
  • I am of a strong heart and steel body. I am vigorous, energetic and full of vitality.
ÿ    Every day in every way I am getting healthier and healthier and feeling better and better.

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Thanks for visiting. I would love to hear your thoughts. Take care, Dave.