What enables both success and happiness, your ability to achieve all you want, is the power of your unconscious mind. Like a giant iceberg, your unconscious mind floats below the surface of your awareness. By definition, you cannot access it directly with your conscious mind – the tip of the iceberg.
Your unconscious mind functions as an incredibly advanced supercomputer, with far more power and complexity than anything ever created by mankind, operating your body while also remaining receptive to instructions from you, the conscious “programmer.”
With little apparent effort, your unconscious mind continuously pumps blood through your heart and veins, connects the nerve cells and synapses of your total sensory system and reflexes, controls the digestion and processing of food, stores everything you see and hear, enables you to walk and talk and do everything you do. You might consciously decide to scroll down through this article, but your unconscious does all the work. Just moving a finger involves coordinating hundreds of muscles and nerves in perfect harmony. You cannot do that consciously. Instead, your conscious mind sends the command to your unconscious, and it executes.
Your brain is the most complex thing in all the universe. It contains over 100 BILLION nerve cells called neurons. Through experience and learning, neurons connect with other related neurons to form patterns that represent all your knowledge and capabilities. Now get this. The number of possible connections of all the neurons in your brain is greater than – not just all the stars in the sky, not just all the grains of sands on all the beaches, but greater than all the ATOMS in the entire universe. So is the capacity of your brain unlimited? Absolutely. So are your own success and happiness also unlimited? Absolutely.
Running on Autopilot
Unfortunately we use just a tiny fraction of our brain power. That’s because instead of intentionally controlling our unconscious minds, where all the power resides, we let our unconscious minds control us. This is commonly referred to as “running on autopilot.”
Now the truth is, if we had to make a conscious decision about everything we do, from how to get out of the bed in the morning to how to eat breakfast, brush our teeth, drive or ride to work, do our work etc. – to say nothing of having fun – we would never make it out of the house! Once we master a skill or repeat a behavior many times, it becomes a – what? A habit. Once something becomes a habit, the unconscious is running our lives on autopilot.
All that is fine when it comes to getting ready for work, or going through our routines each day. But all that is NOT fine when we do not achieve the success and happiness we want. Typically what is going on below the surface are strong habits of thinking and behaving, learned and repeated over many years. We think things like, “I can’t do that.” “I am a loser.” “I am always going to be fat.” “I am ugly.” “I am afraid of public speaking.” “No one loves me.” “I can’t cook.”
Maybe one of your parents or other kids in your childhood said something negative about you, like “You can’t do anything right” or “You are stupid.” If that negative phrase got repeated a few times, or struck you with emotional pain, it might have gotten locked in to your unconscious self-concept for the rest of your life – at least up to now.
To this day I can easily recall statements made over 40 years ago by parents and teachers, both positive and negative, that begin with “You are . . .”, which are as fresh as if I had heard them yesterday. This is one reason I urge people to be extremely careful when telling a child “You are…” anything. Even innocent phrases which over-simplify a child’s identity, such as “You are a good boy” or “you are a bad girl” can cause tremendous problems down the road. (If you still have small children, let them know you love them unconditionally, and focus corrective feedback on their behavior, not their self-concept.)
As you will see in the future posts, one key to greater success and happiness is reprogramming our unconscious minds with positive “I am…” statements which eventually override the negative “You are…” statements other people made in our lives. But first, you need to accept full responsibility for where you are right now.
You Are Responsible For You Now
Here’s a profound truth:
You are exactly where you want to be
in your life right now.
“What?” you ask incredulously. “If I was where I wanted to be right now, I would not be reading this post or hoping for something better.” But reading and hoping are one thing. Being is something else. You are where you are in your life right now because of the choices you have made.
The only person responsible for your success or lack of it now is you. Other people might have laid the groundwork, positive or negative, but now you are in charge. If you are old enough to be reading this article, you are old enough to take responsibility for your life, your success and your happiness. You must stop running on autopilot, accepting what other people have programmed into your amazing brain, and grab hold of the controls, take charge.
One of the most limiting autopilot thoughts you can have is, “I can’t do this because…” followed by the name of a person whom you have allowed to control your life. Okay, if you’re still a teenager living at home, you can’t grow marijuana in your room or stay out all night long if your parents won’t let you. But once you become an independent adult, your life is your own. You cannot blame anyone, not your parents or spouse or children or friends or neighbors or anyone else, for your condition in life. As of this moment, all of that is HISTORY! It lives in your brain only because your unconscious mind never forgets. But you do NOT have to let it control your PRESENT or your FUTURE!
Say this out loud right now and repeat it often: “I am totally responsible for my life, my success and my happiness.”
And come back soon to read more about how to use your unconscious mind for greater success and happiness.