Are you living a happy life? Do you feel fulfilled? Are you achieving your potential?
Experts agree that we use 1-5 % of our potential; that 99 % of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses; that 85 % of people take no personal responsibility for their actions.
We are drowning in information but starved for knowledge. We are overwhelmed. We are challenged to learn new things and change behaviors. We are constantly faced with solving problems.
We need to be constantly developing new more productive habits. Only 5% of people write goals.
Where does our stress and our failure to plan come from? Why do we make uncomplicated things complicated?
These all have one thing in common. People do not use their brains wisely! We underutilize our brains because it is a ‘free’ resource. We take our brains for granted!
Our brains are hardwired to produce goals and results; feelings and emotions; direct how we interact with other people; provide us our vision. Our brain affects our analytical, creative, rational, and operational intelligence. Our brain affects how we take in new information and learn new things.
If we are to live a more productive satisfied life, we have to better understand how our thoughts, attitudes, habits and behaviors affect the results that we attain or the gap that exists between what we desire and what we achieve.
Have you ever wondered why the local and national news focus on the negative things that happen?
We have to be aware that the brain reacts more strongly to downbeat news than good news! Studies conducted by John Cacioppo, Ph.D. at Ohio State University and the University of Chicago, demonstrated that the brain reacts more strongly to stimuli it deems negative. There is a greater surge in electrical activity.
According to an article first published by Hara Estroff Marano in 2003, and reviewed in 2016, our brains are simply built with a “negative bias”, with a greater sensitivity to unpleasant news. The brain is so automatic that negative bias can be detected at the earliest stages of the brain’s information processing.
“Our capacity to weigh negative input so heavily most likely evolved for a good reason – to keep us out of harm’s way. From the dawn of human history, our very survival depended on our skill at dodging danger. The brain developed systems that would make it unavoidable for us not to notice danger and thus, hopefully, respond to it.
All well and good. Having the built-in brain apparatus supersensitive to negativity means that the same bad-news bias also is at work in every sphere of our lives at all times.
It takes frequent small positive experiences to tip the scales toward happiness.”
Not only do negative events and experiences imprint more quickly, but they also linger longer than positive ones according to Randy Larsen, PhD. For a multitude of reasons including biology and chemistry, we’re more likely to register an insult or negative event than we are to take in a compliment or recall details of a happy event. The negativity bias can even cause you to dwell on something negative even if something positive is equally or more present.
Researcher Timothy J. Bono, PhD., who teaches a course on the Science of Happiness at Washington University in St. Louis, states, “we inherited the genes that predispose us to give special attention to those negative aspects of our environments that could be harmful to us.”
Moreover, psychologist Rick Hansen, PhD., founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, claims that negative emotions rouse the amygdala, the almond-shaped brain structure. Hansen calls the negative bias the “alarm bell of your brain.” According to Dr. Hansen, the amygdala “uses about two-thirds of its neurons to look for bad news. Once it sounds the alarm, negative events and experiences, which usually need to be held in awareness for a dozen or more seconds to transfer from short-term memory buffers to long-term storage.”
How can you overcome the negativity bias?
Many of the great thought leaders of our times, educated us on this bias:
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.” – Mark Twain
“Think of the most discouraging thing that you are currently carrying or the biggest project you can’t seem to tackle. Forget about how it happened, forget about how you got there, just look at the clock, and before that number changes, do one little thing to make it better. After you do, enjoy your moment of victory, and then do it again. In less than the time it takes you to blink, the past will burden you no more.” ― Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
“Never be afraid to offer a smile; sure the risk is that a few foolish people may misinterpret your kindness as weakness, but the sweet reward is that as you make new friends and encourage others, the foolish have ignored the fact that you have already shown them your teeth.” ― Johnnie Dent Jr.
“Don’t run from your weakness, you will only give it strength.” ― Stephen Richard
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” – Thomas Edison
“There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.” – W. Clement Stone
“We all walk in the dark and each of us must learn to turn on his or her own light.
Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.” – Earl Nightingale
“If you fail to control your own mind, you may be sure you will control nothing else.” –Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich
In his article, Subconscious Mind Power Explained, Brian Tracy helps us understand and become aware that the power of our subconscious mind goes further than we might think.
“I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say our brains are extremely complicated. However, you might be surprised by how much control we have over its programming.
Let’s first take a moment to consider the fact that your subconscious mind is like a huge memory bank. Its capacity is virtually unlimited, and it permanently stores everything that ever happens to you.
The function of your subconscious mind is to store and retrieve data. Its job is to ensure that you respond exactly the way you are programmed. Your subconscious mind makes everything you say and do fit a pattern consistent with your self-concept, your “master program.”
This is why motivational activities, such as reading inspirational quotes, are so impactful for people committed to positive thinking. By focusing your thoughts on uplifting ideas, your subconscious will begin to implement a positive pattern in your way of thinking and your outlook on life.
This is why repeating positive affirmations is so effective — you can actually reprogram your own thought patterns by slipping in positive and success-oriented sound bites.
Your subconscious mind is subjective. It does not think or reason independently; it merely obeys the commands it receives from your conscious mind. Just as your conscious mind can be thought of as the gardener, planting seeds, your subconscious mind can be thought of as the garden, or fertile soil, in which the seeds germinate and grow. This is another reason why harnessing the power of positive thinking is important to the foundation of your entire thought process.
Your conscious mind commands and your subconscious mind obeys.
Your subconscious mind is an unquestioning servant that works day and night to make sure your behavior fits a pattern consistent with your emotionalized thoughts, hopes, and desires. Your subconscious mind grows either flowers or weeds in the garden of your life, whichever you plant by the mental equivalents you create.
Your subconscious mind causes you to feel emotionally and physically uncomfortable whenever you attempt to do anything new or different or attempt to change any of your established patterns of behavior. The sense of fear and discomfort are psychological signs that your subconscious has been activated. But it has been working to establish those behavior patterns in the background long before you’ll ever notice such feelings.
The tendency to commit to these patterns is one reason habits can be so hard to break. However, when you learn to purposefully create such patterns, you can harness the power of habit and purposefully instill new comfort zones to which your subconscious will adapt.
You can feel your subconscious pulling you back toward your comfort zone each time you try something new. Even thinking about doing something different from what you’re accustomed to will make you feel tense and uneasy.
Superior men and women are always stretching themselves, pushing themselves out of their comfort zones. They are very aware how quickly the comfort zone, in any area, becomes a rut. They know that complacency is the great enemy of creativity and future possibilities.
For you to grow, to get out of your comfort zone, you have to be willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable doing new things the first few times. If it is worth doing well, it’s worth doing poorly until you get a feel for it, until you develop a new comfort zone at a new, higher level of competence.
For those looking to expand their realm of comfort zones, I highly recommend considering the habits of successful people as they are the patterns commonly adopted by the minds of great leaders and thinkers. Unlocking the power of these behaviors will put you one step closer to being able to make the same things happen in your life.
Learning techniques to reprogram your subconscious mind will help you believe in yourself because your confidence will no longer be challenged by fear of the unknown. But more importantly, doing so will train your brain to be in line with your true desires, dreams, and life goals.
The more in tune with your subconscious you become, the closer you will be to breaking through to success. For example, you might have an idea for a book that has been on your back burner for years. With the right level of confidence, you’ll take the next step in learning how to write a book, rather than clinging to the dream, but never acting.
All your habits of thinking and acting are stored in your subconscious mind. It has memorized all your comfort zones and it works to keep you in them. This is why it’s so important to make writing SMART goals a regular habit. After time, staying productive and focusing on all of your goals will become part of your comfort zone.”
Taking immediate action on your ideas is a powerful key to success. Freeing yourself from self-limiting beliefs – or doubts – is the first step to being primed for action.