If you’ve ever watched mountain bike racing, you’ve probably wondered just how the cyclists manage to ride their bikes through the rugged terrain of the forest at such breakneck speeds without hitting a tree or another obstacle. For most of us, the sudden appearance of a large obstacle in our path causes a surge of adrenaline as our conscious minds make us aware of the danger ahead. Listening to our conscious mind, we might simply freeze!
Yet these cyclists seem to magically fly by these obstacles without slowing down, completely unscathed, and with only a slight change in their course. How do they do it? The answer lies in the cyclist’s ability to allow their subconscious to direct their mind and remain focused on their goal.
The Power of the Mind
The secret lies in the power of the mind. The cyclists have, through practice and experience, learnt to trust the intuition of their inner voice and allow their subconscious the freedom to direct their course. They have learnt
Of course, the power of our mind is not limited to safely guiding us when we are riding a bicycle. Your mind can help you to achieve more happiness and success in life if you will learn to trust your inner voice and allow your subconscious the freedom to direct your course in your daily life.
Becoming the Director of Your Mind
- Be specific. In order to get your mind to work for you, it is important that you learn to think in specific terms when it comes to your goals. Make time to be alone with your thoughts each day and really focus on the specifics of what you want to achieve. Think about those things that bring you joy and work to include more of these activities into your daily life. Doing so will help to bring positive energy into your life and help you to feel calmer and more centred.
- We get what we focus on. How often have you sat in a seminar and said to yourself, “Don’t pick me! Don’t pick me!” Inevitably, you are the one who is picked. The more we focus on what we don’t want, the increased chance we have of getting it. You have the power to choose your own focus, so use it wisely.
- Do one thing. Choose one thing to work on and do it well. Splitting your focus and concentration across a number of tasks or problems only means that none of them have the attention they deserve. What is important to you right now? That’s what you need to work on.
- Know your attention spans and cycles. Perhaps you’re a morning person. Perhaps you can work for 3 or 4 hours straight before you need a break. Or perhaps you’re someone who can’t get started until you’ve have a couple of coffees and a chat. It makes sense to work when your brain is ready, doesn’t it? We’re all different and we have different peak times for working and needing a break. Pay attention to how you feel throughout the day and take a break when you need it. You won’t do your best work when you’re tired and your mind begins to wander.
- Be mindful. Notice what you are doing and thinking. When things are going along as expected, the brain switches to autopilot and all those familiar thoughts pop up from the default network in the brain. This is the path where your thoughts always go, whether you are aware of it or not. For example, you’re driving home when you suddenly realize that you haven’t noticed the last few kilometres you’ve driven – but somehow you’ve planned out the night’s menu. When your brain operates this way, you are missing out on all sorts of experiences and information that you could take in and use, in particular through your senses. Being mindful means living in and experiencing the moment, and it’s a skill you will need to practice if you really want to direct your own mind.
As you think about what you want to achieve each day, be mindful of the types of thoughts that try to enter your mind. Learn to control negative thoughts, worries, and doubts and replace your negative thoughts and self-doubts with positive affirmations and self-talk that builds your self-esteem.
As you learn to be specific in your goals, and direct your thoughts to be more positive than negative, you will find that your thoughts are less scattered and unfocused. You will start to achieve greater success in reaching your goals. Rather than focusing on the obstacles that block you from achieving your goals, your mind will automatically look for ways to help you to create situations in your life that help you to reach your goals. Over time, you will learn how to hear the inner voice of your subconscious and you will begin to trust it to direct your course, and you will become the director or your mind.
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