Be Careful What You Think About

Action is not always conscious. You act on what you notice, but that’s not the end of it. The way you process information matters too.

How our brains process information

Decades ago I had an audio cassette from which I learned three things. I don’t remember much of the detail, but the three thoughts have remained with me since. I don’t know if they are even precisely true, but they work.

  1. Your brain has a part you control and a part that is automatic.
  2. Your automatic brain processes only positive statements. For example, “Do not do that.” ends up being “Do that” because the not is unprocessed. Probably over-simplified, but a place to begin. The point is not trivial. We cannot spend all our time thinking about do not. Only your conscious mind processes “not” and it requires your attention to work. Attention is in short supply. Make all your intention statement positive so your automatic brain can help. Like a pitching coach talking to his pitcher. “Don’t walk this guy.” doesn’t work as well as “Throw strikes.” Maybe a more practical version notices “Lose weight” doesn’t work very well. Maybe “Gain thin” would.
  3. Your automatic brain is working all the time. Be careful of what it has to work on. What the tape called “Your Dominant Thought.” That thought can be delivered from the outside by what you notice and even more by what you pay attention to. I recently posted a Dan Sullivan idea, Gap and Gain. If you focus on the gap between your position and your goal, you get a different dominant thought than if you focus on your position compared to where you used to be. The gain. The ideal dominant thought is the one that relates to what you are doing to increase the gain.

Proof of concept

Last Friday, March 12, 2021, This post came my way from Joachim Klement. That didn’t turn out as planned. Notice that your brain processes what you notice even if you don’t consciously think about it.

Texas has road signs that seem to create problems. They create a negative idea that results in negative outcomes.

What’s the dominant thought here? It is not drive carefully is it? You need your conscious mind to process the sign into that point. Driving is mostly not conscious.

What’s the outcome?

Statistics around these sign show that traffic accidents increase for about the next five miles beyond the sign. You can see how that might be a problem.

Most of the rest of your world relies on the same point. Outcomes result from dominant thoughts. You might not even know what they are. Many are transient, like the message on the sign. At highway speeds, mostly gone in 5 minutes. If you focus on the weakness part you become insecure. If you focus on strengths, you can move ahead. At least some of your negative self-image comes from holding the wrong dominant thought.

Your planning, investments, career development, and personal development can best work toward the positive.

The takeaway.

Be positive. You brain doesn’t deal well with anything else. B+. Opportunities are easier for your brain than problems. Reframe problems.

Be careful of what you expose yourself to in your personal environment. Negative people, negative images, and negative examples, all hurt you. Coping involves noticing the negative and creating a positive statement of it. Gain thin. See the good. Be grateful. I can do it. Break down impossible to I’m possible. There are a hundred tricks. Some of us are not as good at this as others, but each of us can be better by noticing the possibility.

What do you insert into your automatic brain? Spend a little time and notice how broadcasters, columnists, and podcasts work on negative ideas. Know that their business plan is about getting attention. Negative ideas and conflict sell. Their product is ultimately your attention. The old newspaper idea, “If it bleeds, it leads.” There are many things you can find that support you rather than make you conflicted.

It is wise to to be aware of the bad parts. After your dial back the hype, you can see how much larger and more important your good things are. Be wary of comparisons to the ideal.

It’s up to you whether the world makes you happier or more stressed. It is the same world either way. Find the right meaning to attach your brain

I help people have more income and larger, more liquid estates.

Call or email or in Canada 705-927-4770

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