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As strange and odd as this may sound, your “mind,” as opposed to your “brain” is, figuratively speaking, divided into two parts. These parts are invisible, and dramatically different, yet they must work together if an individual is to live an exceptional life. The two parts are ubiquitously called the “conscious” mind, the “subconscious” mind.
On the simplest possible level, the “conscious” mind is your awareness, your self-talk – the voice in your head that is always chattering away.
It is the seat of your imagination – the visionary. One of its greatest talents is to make up and tell stories. While the conscious mind can be positive, rational and visionary, it can also be extremely pessimistic, judgmental and over-analytical. It carries with it the illusion that willpower can overcome any obstacle and when it does not attain what it wants, it is quick to justify the reason for failing. In addition, it has a tendency to worry and fret, gets mired down in over-analyzing and is easily overwhelmed by too much choice.
The “subconscious” mind (the common everyday term often used to replace the term “unconscious”) is incredibly powerful and has its own unique attributes. In a sense the subconscious is the machinery hidden behind the curtain that controls the conscious mind. Hidden away and deeply etched in the subconscious of our brains circuitry are the successful programs that have kept us alive for hundreds of thousands of generations.
At the core of the subconscious, lies the need to survive. It is designed to keep us safe by playing it safe, sticking the familiar and, if threatened, can instantly launch into a “fight or flight” mode. One of the most extraordinary characteristics of the subconscious mind is that it cannot tell the difference between a real experience and one imagined by the conscious mind. It contains our imprinted memories and responds very strongly to imagined, emotionally charged images and pictures – positive or negative. The combination of these two characteristics makes visualization (imaging) the ideal tool to influence the subconscious.
The subconscious has no real sense of time. An event that was experienced many years ago can be perceived as though it occurred yesterday. If you recall any experience from your past, you will know this to be true because it seems like that past moment is happening “now”.
We really are of “two minds” and these two minds are often in conflict. What we think we desire (our conscious mind) can be drastically different than what we want at a much stronger and invisible level (the subconscious mind.) This conflict of the two minds can been seen in action when willpower alone fails to help us permanently take off undesired weight, stop smoking, cease procrastinating or attempt to break any unwanted, negative habit.
The trick is to learn to help both minds work in partnership – in harmony. The skill of helping your two minds work in harmony to achieve peace of mind is one of the keys to achieving an exceptional life.
James Mapes is a speaker, best-selling author, coach and hypnotist. His most recent book IMAGINE THAT! Igniting Your Brain for Creativity and Peak Performance is the first web-supported book with access to 21 video-coaching clips. Please go to the home page www.jamesmapes.com , read the description and you will find the direct link to Amazon.
“I just wanted to take a moment and tell you that I have finished reading the most brilliant book. From the time I received it in the mail until a few moments ago in reading the last words – “IMAGINE THAT!” is genius!” – Shard Drury, THE 360 Career Coach