Fifteen reasons to pursue your dreams-
if you are afraid. Part 2
REASON 6. YOU DON’T KNOW HOW THE BRAIN WORKS
Simply put, the subconscious mind makes up 96-98 percent of our entire brain. Conscious consciousness, on the other hand, is only 2-4 percent. So if you don’t understand how to use the subconscious from your toolbox, you’ll only use 2-4 percent of your actual ability. Can you imagine how high a space rocket will reach if only 2-4% of its real engine power does use at launch? It doesn’t even go out of place.
The subconscious is where our beliefs and habits are stored and where the fundamental subconscious mechanisms, the Reticular Activation System (RAS) and the Psychocybernetic Mechanism (PKM), are located.
Reticular Activation System (RAS)
RAS is a unit in our brain that filters information received from the outside. Through the eyes, ears, and other perceptual senses, our subconscious receives 400 billion bits of information every second, of which we become aware of only 2,000 bits. Thus, RAS filters out 99.99999% of the information that exists in the world around us.
Because the amount of information that does screen is so large, it is in our interest that the information related to our dreams remains in our minds. Otherwise, we would “sleep asleep” all the possibilities to make our dreams come true. It is, therefore, necessary to guarantee that the RAS works for us, not against us. For this to happen, it is essential to tell the RAS what information to keep and what to filter out. How to do it?
RAS acts based on information already in the brain – our existing beliefs. What a person believes in should be what he wants to experience. Logical, right? What is illogical, however, is that the vast majority of people believe in what they do not like to share: people seek happiness but believe that they do destine to be unhappy; they want wealth but are always afraid of going bankrupt; they honestly dream of love but feel lonely all the time.
RAS is like a Google search engine – when you want information about something, you enter the relevant search term into Google. Google brings you the most pertinent information about that keyword. RAS does the same – for him, the search term is your subconscious beliefs, the closest world he will shape to you.
It is precisely ignorance of the RAS work that is one of the most important reasons why many dreams remain only on paper. People want to carry them out on a conscious level, but they believe that this is not possible on a subconscious level.
Psychocybernetic mechanism (PKM)
Another fundamental subconscious mechanism is the psychocybernetic mechanism or PKM. If RAS shapes a world for you that matches your beliefs, PKM will hold you in a world that fits your ideas.
PKM aims to keep you alive through a safe comfort zone. Everything familiar and comfortable for you is safe for you. At least that’s how PKM “thinks.”
If you walk on the highway and PKM detects that you are too close to the road for the car driving towards you, it will automatically send you a danger signal, and you will jump aside. You will survive. Thanks, PKM!
However, he does the same even if your life is not in danger, but you are just thinking or doing something outside your comfort zone, i.e., your current beliefs. That’s why thoughts of new projects, new relationships, and a new training plan seem scary at first. You just aren’t used to it. Not yet.
Even if your current relationship doesn’t satisfy you, it’s at least familiar and secure. You can’t change that. Even if you hate your job, it’s at least friendly and safe. You can’t change that. And even if you’ve been overweight for years, you’re familiar and safe. You can’t change that.
PKM’s job is to keep you safe and familiar. Any attempt to change something in your life triggers PKM and sends you signals of danger that you perceive as anxiety and caution. As it is a very uncomfortable feeling, you will return to a comfortable and safe state.
There are two ways to get PKM to work for you. The first, and this is a more painful way, is to continue to believe in what you don’t want to achieve and to ascetically perceive these emotions of anxiety and caution at all times. Maybe not to change your beliefs and thus not to change your life.
REASON 7. YOU HAVE FALSE BELIEFS AND HABITS
In the previous point, you learned how important it is to notice what beliefs you have and to change them if necessary. As important as our beliefs are our habits.
Beliefs, or worldviews, are the subconscious programs that guide us. We have a belief in every phenomenon we have ever encountered.
The easiest way to identify your beliefs is to look at the world around you. What do you believe about love and relationships? What do you think about making money and making money? What do you think about politics and society? What do you think of our weather? What do you think, what do you think, what do you think…? All of these opinions reflect your beliefs.
Beliefs arise and develop over a very long period. The adult human brain does the makeup of about 100 billion brain cells that connect to form the brain’s neural structure. Every thought, every experience, and opinion about something reflect one or more neuronal connections between brain cells. Together, all such neuronal connections form the structure of your beliefs.
Until the early 1990s, neuroscientists believed that by the time a person became an adult, their brain and belief system would be fully developed and could no longer be changed. If that held the case, each of us could hide behind an excuse. “But I’m just such a person, and I can’t change myself.”
Today, however, the neuroplasticity of the brain, or the brain’s ability to change throughout a person’s lifetime, has been confirmed. That means that whatever our beliefs have become today, we can change them ourselves if we wish.
Beliefs change through repetition. If you have believed for ten years that you cannot do anything, you have developed that belief. You’ve just made the neural connection in your brain so strong that it shows up every time you start working on something new.
If you want to change this belief, you must consciously replace it with a new one. For example, “I can handle it.” Now, every time you notice that you do haunt by an old way of thinking (“I can’t handle it”), you affirm, “Yes, I can handle it.” Doing this will strengthen a new positive neural connection and belief each time and weaken the old one. Over time, the old will be replaced by the unknown, affecting all your actions and thinking. It sounds primitive, but that’s how our brains work.
Beliefs are the basis of all our thinking and action. When you believe in something, it gives you the strength to move in that direction. Imagine that you are planning to start a new exciting project at work. What is your belief in this project and yourself? Do you believe that this project will be successful? Or are you skeptical?
If you are skeptical, this is where your potential comes from you. If you do not believe that this project will be successful, it will also lower your project’s potential for success. When the potential is low, weak action stems. If you do not strive to the full potential, the level of activity cannot be masterful. If your efforts are not masterful, what will be the results? Weak too, right? And if the results are unsatisfactory, it confirms your belief that you can’t do that.
It can do called a vicious circle that feeds itself. However, it is essential to realize that this vicious circle begins with your own beliefs, leading to low potential and consequent underaction and poor results. To be in line with your true potential, you need to start by changing your thoughts.
Your habits are just as crucial as your beliefs. Patterns are subconsciously stored solutions to certain situations.
Imagine that you should learn to swim again every time you fall into the water. Or it would be best if you learned to drive again every time you go. Annoying, right? To prevent this, the subconscious shapes habits.
We have habits for every area of life – waking habits, talking habits, eating habits, Facebook browsing habits, work habits, etc. All activities are related to some practice.
Habits directly determine what results we achieve. Albert Einstein has said an exciting definition of a foolish person: “A fool is a person who does the same things all the time but expects different results.” Completely elementary, but we often forget this simple truth.
If you are currently in a situation with your life that does not satisfy you, follow your habits for the last three years and notice what practices have caused your current problem. If you want to change this situation, you also need to change certain types of habits. If you are not ready for this, you cannot expect different results after three years. If you did, Albert Einstein would call you a stupid person.
Habits develop in us in the same way as beliefs – they are stored neural connections. That is why we can change practices in the same way as beliefs. You have to find self-discipline and start with small steps. The first 30 days are critical in changing habits. If you can use the new pattern of that time, you can continue to do so.
REASON 8. YOU HAVE TOO MANY DREAMS
Several people never think about their goals and dreams. When you ask them what you want out of your life, they answer, “Better life!”. Is it enough?
However, it is not very good if you have too many dreams. In this case, you lose focus, and scattered activities do not lead to realizing any dream. It is essential to find a middle ground.
The end of the year is usually the time when people set goals for the new year. At this point, it seems the person that New Year is like an excellent opportunity to “restart” your life and start all over again. It is with “everything” that this is the biggest stumbling block.
If people chose one goal for the new year, the probability of its realization would be significantly higher. Usually, however, all areas of life are undertaken at once, and then they try to fix everything in the next two months – they start to be vegetarian, start running 5 km a day, wake up 1 hour earlier, and so on. No one can cope with such a drastic change.
We only have the moment to move towards our goals. And the current moment is too short to deal with all the goals at once. At the moment, we only have time to pursue one dream at a time. Therefore, there is no point in trying to do too many things at once.
Don’t be driven by your long and dragging list of goals, but driven by the present moment. That’s all you have. Choose one area of life for yourself in which you want to make a change and focus on that change entirely. The first 30 days are the most difficult because it is time to develop new habits and beliefs. If you resist this time, life will become easier. You may not have relinquished your goal yet, but you can put the subconscious to work for you in that time.
CAUSE 9. YOU CANNOT ACT AT THE CURRENTLY
The ability to concentrate is the most fundamental skill in our lives, the non-use of which has caused a great deal of confusion. For the next 60 seconds, attempt to focus on the pencil lying on the table in front of you. Take all your attention to the pen and empty your head of everything else. Start!
How did you do that? I’m more than sure not very well. But don’t worry – you’re no exception. In the same way, I can’t clear my mind, and so nither most other people. There are very few people in the world with the absolute ability to concentrate, and only years of training lead to this.
Low ability to concentrate creates situations we do not act in the present moment but “walk” all the time in our thoughts about the future or the past. Researchers say that a person has an average of 50,000 views a day. Then try to deal with all these thoughts.
Reading a book is a good confirmation of low concentration. Have you noticed how you read 2-3 pages of a book and then discover that you don’t remember anything about it? That was precise because of his low ability to concentrate – an idea distracted you from the book, and you were gone.
Reading a book is a safe and straightforward example. However, it becomes dangerous in situations where it is necessary to focus on one activity always to fulfill dreams constantly. Uncomfortable, however, if we cannot cope with our thoughts on the future and the past.
For example, something happened in the past that gives us reason to believe that we will not achieve this goal. Our personal choice is to think and spin that idea or focus on current activities to complete the task on time. When our ability to concentrate is low, we believe in our experience and can give up the present moment. However, if we can draw our attention enough, we will let go of these meaningless thoughts and return to the necessary action.
Life is happening now. The past and the future exist through thoughts only in our heads. They don’t exist. All that exists is the present moment. At this moment, thinking, planning, and acting towards your dream take place. Use the present moment because it is the only moment you have.
REASON 10. YOU PREFER THE PURPOSE OF THE CURRENT SATISFACTION FOR FUTURE SATISFACTION
Some dreams take longer than others. Sometimes, when plans don’t come true quickly, we replace the satisfaction of fulfilling them with fleeting pleasures.
Imagine you want to lose 5 kg. How to make it happen? You need to monitor your menu and do a workout. Sounds easy, right? However, this can be a real challenge in practice, especially when choosing between momentary enjoyment and future satisfaction.
We do face a choice at every meal: whether we get momentary enjoyment from a good diet or long-term happiness from good health. Most people choose the first – they eat their stomachs full and better, and later they regret that they ate so much.
But you can approach it differently. Standing at the table, ask yourself, “Which is more important to me? Is it a taste pleasure from eating 5 minutes of laziness or a long-term pleasure from being good weight and beautiful?”. This approach awakens your self-awareness. You no longer automatically identify with your desire to taste experience but make a conscious decision as a true homo sapiens. A similar process works for all your dreams.
Which do you prefer, momentary pleasure in front TV or the long-term pleasure, if you go to the training at the moment and feel very good after the workout and also in the future?
Ask this question about all your dreams and activities and see which answer you choose.
I will continue the article next week.