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Are you focusing your time and attention to the right things? Are you placing importance on the right thoughts, feelings and behaviors?
Did you know that for most people, much of what they do in life was not consciously chosen by them? And many times we have done these things for so long they now do seem important to us, but deep down they really are not. At least not as important as what truly is deeply important. This is because doing so requires us to take command of our thinking and analyze the state of our life. But letting our minds just run things is easier, efficient and more comfortable. Most people have not taken the time to discover what is truly important to them, life just kind of goes along with many seemingly important activities going on all the time. Your brain will ‘take care’ of you in it’s own way and understanding this is very helpful if you want any kind of change in your life.
When you put your attention to something you will see and experience more of it, you will think about it more and even expound on it. Have you ever become interested in a certain model of car from reading and pictures, and then in the next few days you all of a sudden see lots of them on the road as you are driving around, and you hadn’t really noticed many before? Now that you have placed some of your attention, and maybe with some heightened emotional feeling, into the car you want your mind will help you experience more of the same. Your mind is just doing it’s job, to help keep you as comfortable as possible, and make your life easier with patterns, habits and easily repeated behaviors.
When you understand the way your brain works you can better work with it to get and experience what you want. In this case, it is valuable to be aware of what your mind will tend to do automatically so that you understand that you must be purposefully proactive with your thought and attention. Your mind gets programmed through repetition to see and pay attention to what you have already paid attention to. So if you don’t consciously otherwise direct your thinking, your mind will normally keep replaying the same things you have already done and have experience with. This is makes life easier, you don’t have to ‘think’ about a lot of things.
This is why we can feel as though our life has just been going on by itself, because it is. Until you step in, taking command of your thought, and direct your thinking – it will remain as it was. Well actually not exactly the same, your mind will continue to help you expand and develop on the theme – good or bad! In addition, whatever your mind focuses on becomes more important to you. This importance does not differentiate between good or bad.
When you place your attention on anything, this is a command to your brain telling it what you want. So, your brain works to fulfill this. Now this can be anything, even what you don’t want, or a bad experience, or a fear – anything you have focused conscious attention on your brain will help you experience more of it. This is one reason why habits are so hard to break, you keep falling into routines and have the same reactions and feelings over and over.
What can be done about this? Your brain is performing as intended but you are stuck repeating many experiences you would rather not have anymore or you want something new and different. You need to consciously take command of your thinking and override the automatic aspects of your brain. This is where your true power resides, in your conscious command of your thoughts. Just because your brain throws out thought and defense of it does not mean you must follow this – your conscious thought is ultimately in control. It may not seem this way because you have become accustomed to allowing the brain to keep things going automatically, but you can step in and take command anytime you choose.
You may not even know your deepest desires even though they have likely popped up once in a while. You will need to take some time and give attention to discovering what is deeply most important to you, it may not be what you have thought is important. There are different ways to go about this, with most consisting of quieting your chattering mind talk and learning to be receptive to inner information coming up to the conscious level. Doing things like asking yourself questions about yourself and becoming receptive to answers may not be something you are accustomed to doing, so it may take time, patience and persistence realizing that you are really in charge of your thinking. Even adding this kind of activity into your day means that you will need to make time by replacing something already present.
There are a few factors to be aware of that can hamper your progress:
Your brain will attempt to defend the repeating thoughts, throwing out ‘mind chatter’ to dissuade you from your new thinking and actions.
There is more short term comfort in what you already know, even if it is very bad for you. Keep your vision on the long term intention and satisfaction, as a way to get by the desire for feeling good now.
You must remain persistent, more persistent than the brains need to protect what you are trying to displace. Utilize whatever tools and techniques you can to help yourself stay on track. Persistence reveals the winner!
When you begin to see what is truly most important, you will then want to start to change what you focus some of your time and attention to. In order for the new desired experience to come to fruition you will need to continuously give it attention and time in your day. It is like a seed that needs to be nurtured. As you do this your brain will help expound on this and gradually have it become part of the automatic norm for your life just as it has with what you experience now.
Remaining in focus with what you have now or with what you don’t want will only tell your brain to perpetuate it. The first and necessary step for anything to change is your taking command of your thought and choosing what you do want based on what is important to you, then focus on it even if your brain throws up resistance. It’s up to you to choose your priorities and tell your brain what you want to focus on, not the other way around. Your brain will follow your lead once you’ve established your athority over your thinking. Take charge of your life, utilize your true power, choose your thought and your priorities.
Your life is going on and on and on. This is a good thing of course and your brain is designed to keep it this way. Part of your brains function is to simplify as much as possible and to help you feel good which it is very good at. Now you may think that you are always feeling as good as you want this is because your brain sees keeping things the same as more comforting than change. So even what may not be good for you is perpetuated. Your brain is very good at keeping everything the same, in fact it helps to enhance whatever has already been experienced. The way the brain sees this is, you must want it – you chose it, even if not consciously.
The easiest course for your life is for more of the same and that is likely what you have been experiencing. This of course may be all good if you are totally satisfied with everything. But if you want anything about your life to be different, that’s not what your brain is in charge of. When your day is completely full of what you already think, feel and do where does the new come in? When your unconscious and conscious though are consumed with what is now going on, which I assure you they are, all of your attention is there as well. Your day to day life is essentially a habit that continues to feed and support itself, keeping you locked in as it is.
What happens is that you can become blind to other things, that are different. How this affects your life is this – You can become so involved with your repeating thoughts which increase in importance by default that you are not even aware of what you are not doing, what you are missing, and what is deeply important to you. I ran across a video that illustrates this. Pay attention to the guy speaking and do what he instructs you to do. Perception
This attention blindness keeps us doing what we have done and away from what is different and unrelated. You’ve heard the saying, “you can’t see the forest through the trees.” You may not see things that are right in front of you because your attention is already taken up with something. When focusing on the trees that are right in front of you, you are not able to see the scope of the entire forest and it’s varied landscapes.
Many of the things that you have grown to think are important because of your continual involvement, may not be so important to you at a deeper level. As you focus your attention on something it’s importance increases just from the increased presence of the involved thoughts and actions. With this higher level of importance your brain gives it more attention too making it even more prominent in your conscious and unconscious thought, thus many other things are completely shut out of your awareness.
It is important to know that you can really only focus on one thing at a time. When you are ‘multi-tasking’ you are actually jumping quickly back and forth from one thing to another. There is only so much of this that your brain is capable of doing. Plus, there is the time utilized factor. There are 24 hours in a day and when you have allowed the repetitive thoughts to inhabit those hours you are awake, there is no more time for other, new thoughts. You can easily use up your day pretty much thinking about the same things as you did yesterday and the day before. So where does new thinking fit it?
Essentially your life is easily consumed with what you have already experienced, have thought about a lot and have established feelings for. This is almost too simple. Allowing your daily life to continue on in the same way, as your brain helps you do, you are actually preventing yourself from seeing and experiencing anything new and different.
You do however have the ability and the right to make changes in your life anytime you want, you must choose to first and then follow through with persistence and determination to override what is already established in your mind. Your real power as a human lies with your ultimate command of your thought. Just because your brain functions the way it does does not prevent you from aver changing any of it. Where the problem lies is that most of us have a pattern of allowing our minds to perpetuate the same thoughts and experiences over and over rather than making frequent changes. Making frequent changes and adjustments to your thinking can become part of your normal operating system once do do it for a while. Your brain will support this just as it has supported anything else you have focused on.
To change any of your repeating life experience you will need to assert your command of your thought and make choices about what you do and don’t want to be your life experience. Just be aware of how your brain works, it wants to keep you comfortable by keeping things as they are.
As you work on change you may experience some of the following:
Doubt and worry,
Challenging your ability and self-esteem,
Brain fog, clouding your thought,
Short term gratification,
Don’t let this stop you, you don’t need to remain blinded by your existing life experience. Realizing what may occur up front you will be less likely to be influenced by it. Determination, persistence and the belief that you are fully capable will help you learn to make the wanted adjustments to your thought and what you focus on. It’s your mind, use it to your benefit.
Have you ever been overwhelmed with fear as you have faced doing something? We all have I think, each at our own level, with some becoming physically immobilized by it. If your fear feelings overpower you to the point of inaction you have given fear the upper hand. I stated it this way on purpose, your fear is not doing anything to you, rather you are allowing the fear to affect you as it does – it is all within your thought. And you have command over your thought and feelings as well.
When you get the fear feelings based on doubt, worry and uncertainty you choose to allow these thoughts to roil around in your head. You choose how you interpret them and how you react to them. A fearful thought does not come pre-packaged with a specific set of feelings and behavioral commands. Those too are of your choosing.
When you let yourself remain in the fear, you are choosing to have the fear guide your actions. It’s a logical progression to react to the fear feelings based on how most of us have developed our perceptions around fear. But when you realize that you have created the whole cycle in your mind, you can begin to see that you have ultimate command over the whole cycle. You can change this existing cycle of perception, interpretation and reaction to one that is more supportive of the life you want.
Dr. Wayne Dyer is well known for saying in the Power Of Intention that – when you change the way you look at things, the way you look at things changes. He is referring to your perception, which may appear at first to be totally automatic but it’s not. Well it is and it isn’t! It is automatic as it functions now, but you have the ability to change it and have it automatically be different. Just because you now, as most do, react to worry, doubt and uncertainty with fear thoughts does not mean this is the only way or that it must be this way.
So how did your perceptions, interpretations and reactions get the way they are? And why does it seem that this is just the way they should be? Because you were taught these things by those you were around as you grew up. You took on the perceptions, interpretations and reactions of those who provided the greatest impression on you as you grew up. Your mind allows this, unless you consciously step in to stop it, because it seems normal in the environment you were in when young and highly impressionable. When most or all of the people you are around do it ‘this way’ there is no red flag raised in your thinking to question it, so you don’t. Their way becomes your way.
This is how your behavior and that of groups, families and societies is formed and why it appears to be ‘normal’. And the fact that many people behave in a certain way does not make it the best way, many times it is just the easiest way. It is easier to conform than to take a unique path. You don’t have to remain stuck in the mode of allowing fear thoughts to control your actions. You have command of your thinking so you can change the whole cycle or mental chain of events that occurs with fear. Initially the thoughts of doubt, and some uncertainty are normal when you are facing something new, different or challenging but you don’t need to let the heightened feelings well up and create this big fear thing that you then cater to.
You can change the way you look at doubt, worry and uncertainty. They are just certain thoughts questioning what you are about to do. “Am I prepared?” “What if ____?” “Maybe I won’t remember?” “How will they react?” “How do i look?” These are mostly logical concerns about what you are about to do and if you can answer them logically, without emotion, you can clear them up and soothe your mind. Some you can specifically answer and check off the list and others you will determine you can’t do anything about, so you do not concern yourself with it any more. Choose to leave out the doom and gloom thoughts, the “i can’t” thoughts that are not part of the original concerns – they are your reaction to those thoughts.
Just because you are concerned with how you look, dies not mean you should stop from doing it. Just because you are wondering if you are prepared or not does not mean to turn and run. Just because you have not done this before does not mean you can’t. Your interpretation and reaction to the logical progression of thought leading up to your planned action is what causes you to freeze up. But even when you allow the feeling of fear to well up over these thoughts, still does not mean you must behave in a certain way. You can proceed with the fear, don’t interpret the fear feelings as a stop sign. Just acknowledge those feelings and move on. Accept them, realize how they come about and let them be. Fear thoughts and feelings in themselves can’t do anything, only when you choose to react in specific ways do they. Choose not to react to them.
In acting they teach actors and actresses to channel their fear. It’s not that that many don’t have it, but it’s how they have learned to handle it. Many who perform live or speak in from of large groups are nervous every time before they do. But rather than letting this stop them they are able to channel the energy in the fear towards what they are doing. This actually transfers that heightened energy you notice with fear thoughts into their performance or presentation. Have you ever noticed that some performers seem to have a different ‘personality’ off stage than they do when they are performing? Many are quiet and reserved when talked to away from a performance, but when on stage they come alive with energy and boldness. I wonder where that comes from -re-directed fear perhaps.
Everyone has the ability to do this, to transfer that energy attached to fear thoughts onto something else, like what it is you want to do but feel afraid to. It’s really a matter of perspective, yes, how you look at something and how you interpret it determines what you will do with it. Have you noticed how that when you have chosen to do something you feared you did it with a higher energy level than you normally operate with? This is that energy re-directed to something of your choice, which better supports what you want.
In fact sometimes your energy is so high, in a calm way that you are ‘in the zone’ able to do what you are doing without much conscious thought. This is how powerful it can be to channel your fear associated energy onto the task at hand particularly if you are prepared to do it. As you may have found, even being prepared for something still does not prevent you from feeling fearful about actually doing it, but preparation does make it flow better once you get yourself to go.
Don’t allow your fears to slow or prevent your progression in life, choose to change the way you look at them so your personal dreams can be expressed fully. When you feel the fear and do it anyway, you choose to let it be and proceed as planned, and channel the fear energy into your planned actions to enhance your performance. As you do this, like with anything, over time it will get easier and easier. You will be actually re-training your unconscious thought patterns to automatically behave differently, to do it the way you want it done. Dropping the emotional reaction to logical thoughts can allow you to address them and move on. Once you have checked your hair, it’s good -stop dwelling about it.
Remember that you have command of your thinking not the other way around. It may seem that your thoughts and feelings run the show, but this is just because of the default programming that had been allowed to become established as you were developing. At the time you did not know any better or different so as to guide this development differently. But now you can change your perceptions of everything in your life, you can alter how you interpret everything that you see, and you can adjust your reactions to these as well which in turn changes your behavior. Choose what best supports; the life you want, what you want to do and how you want to feel.