|This is Part 2 of our Prosperity Series. Everyone should be expert in the use of their most important tool, but sadly that isn’t the case. We recommend starting with the Introduction, if you haven’t already read it. The Intro includes links to all other articles in the series.|
It All Starts in Your Mind
Without your mind, you can do nothingâ€”at least anything meaningful. This rather obvious idea is only the tip of a much larger iceberg of largely unexplored wisdom.
Sadly, most people do not know how to use their mind to its full potential. Yes, even you! This short article won’t solve this discrepancy, but it can open the floodgates a bit, if you let it.
A great deal can be done with your mind, but as we learned in the last article on “focus,” if your subconscious attention is focused on negative feelings, you greatly restrict your potential.
With a neutral attitude, or feeling, your results will typically be only ordinary.
With an inspired feeling of positive accomplishment, your results can’t help but be extraordinaryâ€”even “stellar.”
Some people do this naturally and without a second thought. Perhaps they were raised in a family that used this approach on a daily basis. For the rest of us, we have to learn this from a mentor, a seminar, or articles like this one.
‘Certainty’ and ‘Belief’ are Subconscious Artefacts
“Positive thinking” doesn’t work when used all by itself. As we learned in the last article, we have two parts of our mindâ€”conscious awareness (the most visible partâ€”thought and perception) and subconscious attention (barely visible, if at allâ€”feeling and creation).
Positive thinking can help us exercise the mental muscle of control over our subconscious feelings. All too frequently, though, the guy or gal trying this will merely lay the thought in their conscious mind like some dead fish and then wonder why nothing changes. It takes a little more than that.
This minimal action has little or no effect on the subconscious, “feeling” mind. The step most people miss is that of pushing their “feelings” to match the intellectual concept in the positive thought or affirmation.
With practice, anyone can strengthen that mental muscle so that conscious thought has greater and more effortless control over the feelings in the subconscious.
Whatever you are certain ofâ€”whatever you believeâ€”will affect not only the thoughts you think, but the opportunities you perceive (or miss altogether), and also the results you ultimately create. If your belief is that great opportunities are abundant, you will see more of them.
Your certainty (a feeling) and your beliefs (also feelings) are housed in your subconscious. They were constructed and strengthened by habitual thoughts, emotions and associations. You can replace any old and negative certainties and beliefs using the same methods.
Affirmations (positive thoughts) said with strong, positive feelings, can eventually supplant the negative, if not scuttled by doubt or scepticism. It takes confident persistence to accomplish this. On average, I’ve found the replacement process can take 2â€“3 weeksâ€”repeating the positive with feelingâ€”several times per day.
The idea is to keep it fun. If it seems to become a chore, take a short break.
The greatest barrier to success in these life-changing techniques is what some call “background chatter.” Some subconscious “thoughts” or feelings are so constant, we never notice them. They’ve become too ordinaryâ€”like gravity or the air we breathe. It takes some persistence to open these to conscious awareness.
About thirty years ago, while immersing myself in motivational seminars and self-help lectures, I remember one morning hearing this “background chatter” for the first time. Late for work, I found myself planning my day while in the shower.
All of the positive input from the lectures had created a heightened awareness in me. Suddenly, I noticed the negative feelings and directed my conscious awareness toward them. Immediately, my conscious mind translated the primitive feelings into Englishâ€””I’m always late. I’m in trouble. I’m a failure.”
The worst thing anyone can do with a negative thought is consciously to ignore it. That only gives it more power, because ignorance gives the negative thought a chance to fester into a negative feeling which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
It’s always best to shine the full light of awareness on the negative. Look at it fully for what it is. Use the confident feeling that you’re in control. Acknowledge the existence of this negative thought, but then dismiss it. “Thank you, but I no longer need your services. Goodbye.”
Physical Law versus Mental Law
The physical universe requires that we work hard, at least on moving things around. The harder you push your furniture or car, the faster it moves.
The mind doesn’t work that way. In fact, if you have a memory you want to retrieve, the harder you push, the harder it is to find that elusive memory. Effort only gets in the way.
In the realm of thought, backing off and using the least amount of effort usually produces the best and quickest results. This is why, when you have a project with a deadline to come up with ideas for an article, taking a strategic break can help to open up your creative spigot. The idea comes to you, rather than you having to chase it.
Look at it this way. If you struggle, then you lack confidence. Any effort is an admission that you don’t trust the memory to come back to you. And it won’t.
I have found that solutions can be achieved sometimes by sleeping on the idea. Before you go to bed, get the idea that you have your solution. Meditate on that in the few minutes before slumber. That way, you have all night for your subconscious to work on the solution. Quite often, I will wake up at 3 or 4 AM with the solution already finished. That’s why I keep pen and paper beside my bed. In fact, I try to keep some paper and a pen with me at all times. Creative inspiration tends to strike most often when you’re relaxed and having fun.
Another form of self-sabotage is the fixation on a feeling. Say you have a deadline and you can’t shake the feeling of dread or worry that you’ll be late. Pushing against the thought or feeling only seems to make it worse. And attempting to replace it with positive thoughts and feelings can seem to be full of effort and futility.
What usually works for me is to pull the worry in on myselfâ€”make it stronger. It’s like begging for an avalanche. I become the Norse Berserker, drunk with the passion of battle. Taking this tough, battle-hardened attitude produces two powerful effects:
- Control over the worry
Taking a spiritual approach can also help. As a spiritual being, nothing can hurt you, so it’s even easier to psych yourself up to be fearless. The main point is that you have far more control over your mind and now you can nudge it into a more positive direction.
Prosperity is Easy
Creating an attitude that attracts prosperity remains simple and easy. The truly hard part is unlearning all of the complexities we tend to add to lifeâ€”the self-sabotage that we’ve learned from others, quite often from infancy on up.
There are an infinite number of ways to fail. Take your pick. But there are a limited number of ways to win big. Just like riding a bicycle.
You can affect your mind by repetitive action. Train your subconscious mind to feel a different feeling. Walk tall and confidently.
Many of us have been taught that it takes hard work to reach our goals. It will, if that is what we create, but we can also create effortlessness. We should not fear hard work, certainly, because then our focus is on hard work. We should not flee hard work, either, for then our focus is on hard work.
But you can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s broken. That’s where awareness comes in. Perhaps your first goal should be: “I have perfect awareness of what I’m feeling.”
With this, you’ll have a far easier time steering your destiny. With perfect awareness of what you’re feeling, you’ll be able to replace any negative feelings with the appropriate positive feelings. And those positive feelings will affect the entire world around you, just as the negative ones once did.
Next, Focus on the Feeling
In the next article, “Prosperity Series 3: Focus On the Feeling,” we take a closer look at the heart of your powerâ€”the feelings that control your perception and your actions. I’ll tell you of the magic that got me the love of my lifeâ€”how I attracted her into my life in a matter of days.
Let us know your successes from increasing the power of your mind.