Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Posts tagged ‘behaviors’

The Power of the Unconscious!

Our first impressions are powerful. Research by Willis and Todorov of Princeton found that we make a decision about a person’s competence, likability, and trustworthiness within the first tenth of a second that we meet them and those impressions hold true for us months later. Take a moment and think about how long one tenth of a second really is …. a snap judgment. Yet we are constantly advised not to make decisions too quickly … but rather to think about it, sleep on it, so that we don’t make a rash decision we will regret later. While all this advice sounds good the reality is that we rarely follow it. We form our instant opinions and then convince ourselves that we are right regardless of evidence to the contrary. The impressions which cause us to make snap decisions come from deep inside our subconscious where intuition, biases, genetic messaging, character traits and social norms have been slowly, over years incubating to become such a part of us that we don’t even realize they are constantly front and center in everything we see, feel and believe. The unconscious basically decides what we are either drawn to or repelled by on a momentary basis.

While we would like to think that we are in total control – on a conscious level – of everything we think, feel and do nothing could be farther from the truth. Our subconscious mind is constantly giving us a barrage of messages and feelings. This amazing part of our brain is the ‘true brain behind the brain.’

As David Brooks said in his New York Times bestseller, ‘The Social Animal,’ the subconscious is the source of character, love and achievement. It collects the wisdom of the ages. In fact, as we learn more, experience more of the world and develop deeper character traits this amazing part of our anatomy is so powerful it constantly orders and reorders the new information to help us become wiser and more adept at living. Brooks went on to say that his book “would not try to discern God’s role in all this but if there is a divine creativity, surely it is active in this inner soul sphere, where brain matter produces emotion, where love rewires the neurons.”

Amazing to think about right – especially when we have been taught that the subconscious simply contains the the baser elements of survival – particularly the fight or flight instincts.

Realizing that our unconscious mind affects so much of our behavior it behooves us to learn from research how to decipher the patterns, tendencies and predictable behaviors so that we harness the strength of decision making. Some of these facts I will be writing about will shock, some will surprise but all will cause you to shake your head in wonder. Think of the next few blogs coming to you as ‘The Farmer’s Almanac of Human Behavior.’

Have a great few days!

Need More Energy?

How is your energy level lately? When you ask that question of people they often respond by saying that they feel wiped out and in need of more rest. What causes us to feel exhausted just from our normal activities? Could it be that our energy is being depleted without realizing it by our own beliefs and behaviors?

We know that everything in our life starts and ends with energy. In fact, we are little conduits or balls of energy that seek out, like a homing pigeon, more of what we are manifesting or giving out to the Universe. Think about it. What programs do you watch on T.V.? Are they filled with negative energy? What types of conversation do you engage in? Are they filled with angst or drama?

When you listen to the news does it seem to be one problem or catastrophe after another? There’s a reason for that – it’s called marketing. With our 24/7 news coverage and each station competing for higher ratings what would have been a somewhat news worthy story in the past has become a dramatic encounter of the third kind. Often, these stories worry us, wear us down until we wonder if the world will ever be right again. If we take in the news before going to work it can start our day with negative, worry filled thoughts that remain with us no matter how hard we try to shake them.

Listen to those folks you interact with during the day. Are they upbeat, filled with ideas about making their lives or the world better or are they depressed, worried and just trying to make it through another day? Are the actual words used in conversations energy giving or energy draining? For instance, when you talk about love, hope or happiness you can feel the positive vibes just as surely as you can feel the weight of words such as loss, hurt, rejection. What words are you most commonly using?

If you visualize any of these negative experiences as energy that clings on to you and effects your psyche you can see why at the end of the day you are exhausted. It is not simply from working long hours but more importantly it’s from the negative ‘cling ons’ that you gather during the day from your own thinking or the thinking of others.

Remaining positive in the face of our life challenges is hard. But we can do it IF we are aware of and control our own thinking and the influence that other people and situations have on us. Our own backpacks are exactly the weight we have chosen to carry and work through in this lifetime. Carrying someone else’s weight simply doesn’t work because they don’t learn their own life lessons in the process. Ultimately, recognizing the effect that negative energy has on us is the first step in controlling our life experiences. Limiting the amount of time we spend with others who are engage in seeing their cup as half-empty is important. It doesn’t mean you don’t care about them it simply means you have become astute enough to realize that only they can do something about their issues. Letting go of the title, ‘Fixer In Charge’ is an important step in helping others as well as yourself. When they realize you will no longer engage in the on-going conversation, once again, about how bad they have it, they can then choose to use the time more productively and do something about their life challenges. If they choose to accept responsibility and change their thinking they will change their life. The operative word here is CHOOSE.

Happiness is not as elusive as we might think. It starts and ends by taking control of our own thinking and experiences with others. When we choose happiness and go about living our lives expecting good things to happen the amazing thing is our life changes for the better. We are sending out positive intentions to the Universe and attracting more positive energy back to us. It really boils down to the question, ‘Are we ready to take control of our thinking and our life?’ Let’s do it!

Have a great few days!