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Published on March 18, 2020

How To Use Your Subconscious Mind For True Success

How To Use Your Subconscious Mind For True Success

Every time your conscious mind goes to work, your subconscious mind is secretly helping. It is a part of our mind that continues to remain more or less a mystery to us as we struggle to know what it’s doing on a daily basis.

In this case, it’s pretty simple. As you are reading this, your subconscious mind is taking bits and pieces of the information and are processing and storing it away. Where that information goes doesn’t matter, but the brain will use it whenever we try to recall information.

However, while gathering, processing, and recalling information with our subconscious is easy, learning how to use your subconscious mind for other tasks isn’t as simple.

If we want to use our subconscious mind to become more successful, we need to know more about it.

What Is the Subconscious Mind?

First, let’s talk about what our subconscious mind is. It was Sigmund Freud who created this theory as part of the levels of the mind.

Freud theorized that we had three levels of the mind. They go as follows:[1]

  • Conscious: Our everyday thoughts and feelings.
  • Preconscious: The information that we use to recall; memories or information needed to perform specific tasks.
  • Subconscious: The information that shapes our overall behaviour without us realizing it.

Even when we aren’t consciously using these parts of our mind, they are constantly developing. Our subconscious is still processing and gathering information even as you are reading this. In fact, it’s processing 500,000 times more information than our conscious mind!

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Why Can’t We Use It All the Time?

If our subconscious mind is so powerful and will make us successful, why can’t we use it all the time?

Well, our subconscious mind is tricky in this way. It’s not as simple as calling up a friend or googling something. Our subconscious is best known for formulating our daydreams or those aha moments.

In other words, our subconscious is constantly working, but the thoughts that come from it are fairly random. This is also the part of our mind that causes us to react quickly, like jumping out of the way of a moving car.

Another way to look at your subconscious mind is to treat it like your “back-office.” This suggests two things:

First, while our subconscious mind is powerful, it’s not independent. We still need our conscious mind to work, and a good portion of our thought power goes to it — 10% of it, in fact.[2]

Second, because of that relationship, it makes sense that we can’t use it all the time, but it can also provide you with an avenue for how to use your subconscious mind to find success.

How to Use Your Subconscious Mind to Succeed

As mentioned above, learning how to use your subconscious mind to succeed is tricky. The subconscious mind itself is hard to tap into.[3]

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Even telling ourselves that we’re using our subconscious mind isn’t enough because that is a conscious decision.

So is all hope lost? Not quite.

Remember that relationship I just mentioned? Well, we can still use our conscious mind to prime our subconscious mind. Priming is the act of using our conscious brain to focus on a specific task.

This is like putting all of the conscious information you have into your subconscious mind. This act signals to your brain that this is a problem or situation you want to deal with. Your brain understands, and your subconscious mind will add the issue into the queue.[4]

What really matters is how we prime the subconscious. Here are some things you can do to start that process.

1. Plan to Do Nothing

Our subconscious mind is like a hoarder of ideas and solutions (within reason). Often times, you won’t find your subconscious mind presenting ideas while you’re in the middle of working on something else.

That’s because it hoards the ideas while our conscious mind works away. With this in mind, if you are someone who is constantly doing something, you won’t be giving your mind enough rest for those ideas to surface.

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This is an absolute must if you are in the creative field. One can’t grow if we’re not allowing time for new ideas to come forth. This may mean simply doing nothing.

2. Bring Capture Devices Everywhere You Go

A capture device is any device that will allow you to take notes: your phone, a notebook, a digital recorder, etc. The idea behind this is that whenever you have an idea, you can write it down and capture it before you forget. This can be anything from projects you want to work on or a solution to a problem you are dealing with.

3. Do Some Physical Activity

Exercise is another way to get our brains to work more. If we are always sedentary, then it’s going to be tough for us to come up with fres, new ideas for anything. Instead, get up and move around and let your subconscious mind go to work.

Remember, we can’t always quickly decide to come up with solutions to our problems. What we can do, though, is plant the seeds so that our subconscious mind will begin working on them. Also, make sure you have some paper or your phone nearby so you can jot these down when the subconscious finally decides to let them surface.

4. Drop Your Keys

This is a thought exercise that Salvador Dali and Thomas Edison used. The idea behind this is to have your phone or paper and pen nearby and rest in a chair.

Continue to rest in your chair until you get to the point of dozing off. At this stage, you’re entering the twilight phase. It’s a powerful stage where our subconscious mind is most powerful. As you are getting to the point of falling asleep, your hand will drop and your keys will hit the floor, waking you up.

Upon waking, you will likely be aware of where your mind went during that twilight phase. Write down anything you remember — this is your subconscious speaking to you.

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5. Visualize Success

No matter how big or small you want your success to be, if you want to learn how to use your subconscious mind to succeed, visualize your success. For our subconscious mind to work, we need to put something in front of it.

With physical activity, we are letting our mind wander, and our subconscious mind begins to propose solutions.

All the same, if we have goals in the front of our minds, our subconscious will begin to provide incentives for us. If we want more effective incentives, it will help to visualize our goals and to make them precise. In terms of the incentives, these are ideas our subconscious will create and that our conscious mind will take and put into action.

Without a vision for what you want to do, it may be hard to come up with solutions to make you more successful.

6. Get More in Touch With Your Mind

One way to do this is meditation. To start, all you need to do is get into a comfortable position and start to empty your mind. In terms of positions, there is no right or wrong position when meditating. The idea is to find comfort and allow yourself to let your mind go.

7. Look After Your Body

From eating healthy to moving around, it’s important that you take care of your vitals. Drinking enough water every day, eating the proper meals, and exercising enough every day are imperative. You want to make sure the things you are doing are helping your body and mind.

Final Thoughts

Learning how to use your subconscious mind is something that will take time as you are building habits and applying them in your life. There are all kinds of obstacles, and creating this pathway is not an easy matter.

However, through these activities and understanding the relationship between our various levels of mind, we can better tap into it and find success in due time.

More Tips on Tapping Into the Subconscious

Featured photo credit: Mitchell Griest via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Boundless Psychology: Introduction to Consciousness
[2] The Hypnotist Man: The Subconscious Mind
[3] Butler University: Subconscious Perception
[4] Forbes: 13 Ways To Start Training Your Subconscious Mind To Get What You Want

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Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How Systems Thinking Makes You a Smarter Person

How Systems Thinking Makes You a Smarter Person

There are several perspectives on the term systems thinking. The discipline goes beyond a collection of tools and techniques. A lot of individuals are fascinated by tools like brainstorming tools, structural thinking tools, dynamic thinking tools, as well as computer-based tools. They believe the system thinking tools can make them smarter and productive. However, it goes beyond that as systems thinking is more strategic and sensitive to the environment we find ourselves.

So what is systems thinking and why is it good for you?

What Is Systems Thinking?

Systems thinking is a diagnostic tool that can help you to assess problems before taking action. It helps you to ask questions before arriving at conclusions. It prevents you from making an assumption, which is the lowest level of knowledge.

A systems thinker is curious, compassionate, and courageous. The systems thinking approach incorporates the act of seeing the big picture instead of seeing in parts. It recognizes that we are connected, and there are diverse ways to solve a problem.

Characteristics of Systems Thinking

Systems thinking can help you in analyzing the connections between subsystems and understanding their potentials to make smarter decisions.

In a soccer team, the elements are the coach, players, the field, and a ball. The interrelationships are strategies, communications among players, and game rules. The goal is to win, have fun and exercise. We all belong to several systems and subsystems.

Some characteristics of systems thinking include:

  • Issue is important
  • The issue is familiar with well-known patterns
  • Attempts have been made to resolve the issue.

Given these characteristics, systems thinking goes beyond an operational tool; it is a strategic approach and a philosophy.

How to Use Systems Thinking

Here’re 3 ways you can use systems thinking:

1. Understand How the System Works and Use Feedback Points

The first task is to know what system is all about and identify the leverage points or feedbacks that influence its functioning. This is what will help in adjusting the system.

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If you want the system to be productive, enhance the feedback points. If you want it to be less productive, exhaust the same points.

A good example is that of a bathtub. The leverage points are the faucet and the drain. If you forget to close the drain, having turned on the water, the water will never stop flowing, and the tub will never overflow.

If you want more water, close the drain while you turn the water. If otherwise, turn the faucet off and open the drain. You can apply this to your personal development.

Once you discover the feedback points in your life, find your leverage or feedback points, then enhance those points. If you want to be fit, get a trainer, find a mentor, or eat healthy foods.

2. Discover the Patterns, Structure, and Events

Trends and patterns could be compared to clues for a crossword puzzle. As you aspire to enhance the system, trends and patterns offer you hints and cause to shift your paradigm. Usually, they can direct you to unusual and unexpected aspects, to ideas, people, or places you have never thought about.

Smart people watch out for trends and patterns so they can be conversant with changes.

You can view the world from 3 different perspectives:

i. The Event Perspective

If you consider the world from an event perspective, the best you can do is to be smarter is ‘react’. You tend to be smarter by reacting quickly, becoming more lighter on your feet, and flexible as you advance through life.

So how do you view the world from an event perspective? You ask a question like, ‘What happened?’.

There is the possibility of becoming more aware and seeing more at this level. An excellent technique to achieve this is by telling a story to a group. If you can see beyond each event, see beyond patterns and trends, you will be empowered to anticipate, predict, and plan.

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ii. Pattern Perspective

To view the world from a pattern perspective, you need to ask, ‘What has been happening?’

It is most times difficult to see the actual size of an iceberg (underlying structures that are the causes of events). The waterline dissects what’s visible from what’s not visible.

A systems thinker does not assume from what’s visible only; he or she seeks to know what has been happening.

Take a look at this video to understand more about the Iceberg Theory:

 

iii. The Structure Perspective

To view the world from a structure perspective, you need to ask, ‘what is causing issues?’ The answers will be the factors and forces responsible.

If you find yourself in a traffic jam, you don’t blame the next driver as a smart person; you could ask, ‘what’s been causing the traffic jam?

The usual answers could be a decaying road surface, careless driver, or high speed, but that would be the same things identified as trends. What makes the structure perspective different from others.

The structure is what propels your energy. It is what affects happenings. A systems thinkers make deductions based on internal structures to arrive at a conclusion

3. People Problems vs System Problems

Several issues ranging from security breaches, product flaws, poverty, to transportation inefficiencies are systemic.

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Even when you misbehave, there is usually an internal system to blame.

If you are not productive in your business, it may not be caused by you. There may be a system that you need to enhance.

Do you remember our feedback points? As soon as you assess the system, you can focus on people. Is a new hire causing lag in the packaging process? Is poor communication affecting the team’s performance? Reallocating job roles may be a perfect leverage point.

In the traffic jam example, there could be a system-based solution such as installing traffic lights and subsequently enforcing traffic laws in the area to penalize reckless drivers.

How to Foster Learning with Systems Thinking

Systems thinking helps you to appreciate the interrelationships of people, organizations, policies, decisions, ideas, and relationships.

Peter M Senge propounded five disciplines that foster learning in your DNA- whether you are leading an organization, starting a venture, or working as a freelancer.[1]

1. Gain Mastery

You can take online courses, attend conferences, read blog articles and books, listen to podcasts, converse with leaders within and beyond your industry, watch documentaries, learn from your team, and stretch yourself by improving your skills.

2. Discover Your Assumptions and Biases

There was this parable of four blind men who made different assumptions about an elephant. Their assumptions and biases hinder them from understanding how the animal looks like.

Biases can rob you of innovation and prevent you from experiencing personal growth. To become aware of your biases, you have to take an internal trip and engage breakthrough thinking.

3. Establish Your Vision

Systems grind to a halt when the goal or mission is not defined. You will not have the motivation to complete the online course if you don’t know why you subscribe in the first place.

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Is it for career advancement? To up your game or to gain general knowledge? Vision inspires you.

4. Learn in Groups

There is power in shared learning. There is a solidification of understanding when you learn in a group. You can have the lessons etched in your long term memory.

For instance, you can join learning groups where information is shared weekly.

5. Think in Systems

Systems thinking is about lifelong learning and improvement. It has also been linked to the Iceberg principle, which affirms that visible events are insignificant compared to what’s visible. There’s more ice below the waterline than what you can see with your physical eyes.

Anytime you are battling with a challenge, think in systems. Understand the details of the issue. Discover your leverage points. Assess, adapt, and keep improving your models.

After all. If you meet a lion in the wild, you need to understand what you are facing.

Final Thoughts

You can foster systems thinking by modeling your own environment. Participate in training, watch TED Talks, and create time to connect with others.

Also, practice critical thinking instead of making assumptions before you make a decision. The more you think systems, the more you will become smarter and productive in every aspect of your life.

More to Help You Think Smarter

Featured photo credit: Olav Ahrens Røtne via unsplash.com

Reference

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