Let us say we place a wooden plank approximately 2 feet wide and 100 metres long on the ground. You are now required to walk on this plank – one foot in front of the other – without placing your foot on the ground. With ease and with some effort at concentrating on your task, you can easily achieve this.
Now, imagine that this same plank was placed between two buildings at a height of 100 or 200 feet from the ground. Walking on this is no different from what you did earlier. Place one foot in front of the other and you are home! Even as you think of this, what takes over? Your imagination! Fear that was absent earlier now rears its awful face. What was child’s play earlier now becomes near impossible.
Exert all the willpower you can muster and you will still find this task to be near impossible. Why? Because imagination always trumps willpower. We have always been taught that willpower will helps us to achieve everything, but I guess we never looked at the fact that willpower is weak in the face of imagination, just as our subconscious mind is umpteen times more powerful than our conscious mind.
If I were to ask what was the most important characteristic for overcoming procrastination, for persistence, and long-term achievement, most would answer by saying willpower. That would not be an unusual answer, but it would be wrong. Willpower is vastly overrated as the leading trait used by success-minded achievers. If we keep this discussion on a scientific level, willpower cannot be responsible for more than one-sixth of anyone’s success. The real secret to success is your imagination and your ability to visualize success. This powerful trait is responsible for five-sixths of every great achievement.
Suppose that you have set a goal to lose 10 pounds. You are absolutely determined to be 10 pounds lighter by next month! You are using your willpower to prove that you are stronger and more powerful than those extra cookies and calories. So you say to yourself, “I will not overeat… I will not overeat… You repeat this to yourself over and over again, using your willpower. But all the time you are consciously saying this, your imagination is visualizing how great those cookies (or pizza or vada pav) smell, and telling you how great those cookies (or pizza or vada pav) taste. Sooner or later you will grab those cookies or extra calories and chug them down. Why?
Whenever you have a conflict between willpower and your imagination, whenever they are pulling in opposite directions, your imagination will ALWAYS win! But if your willpower and imagination are working together, pulling toward the SAME goal, this will create an all-powerful force that is impossible to overcome, and success is always the automatic, inevitable result.
Imagination ALWAYS Wins Over Will-Power! Think about it. You might WILL yourself to not want to indulge in that plate of cookies you know is sitting in your kitchen; after all, you KNOW they won’t help you reach your goal of weight-loss, but what is the imagination/your subconscious thinking about? Rich, chocolatey cookies. Which will win in the end? Logic or the imagination? My bet is on imagination/your subconscious, and you are heading for those cookies.
How about those who smoke? We know what logic tells us about smoking, but during certain times of the day, what calls to you? Logic? Nope, the imagination calls…and you submit time and again. You are subconsciously following images that are embedded in your mind; you are confining yourself by the walls those images have built.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a Life Coach, a Therapist or a Buffalo Farmer, you have a have a finite amount of will power at your disposal every day. How much you do have will be dependent on a multitude of reasons other than your genetic predispositions. For example, if you’re tired, drunk, stressed or not feeling very well you’ll have less willpower than if you’re feeling especially bright eyed and bushy tailed.
The former is the reason why people often give in to temptation during such times.
Throw somebody who likes a beer and is trying to quit smoking into a busy smoke filled bar and tell them drinks and smokes are on the house, and there’s a very high probability they’ll cave in.
From a neurological standpoint, at such times you simply don’t have enough glucose in your pre-frontal cortex to help you say no to the pleasure seeking part of your brain, or your nucleus accumbens as it prefers to be known. At such times your brain is diverting all the crucial energy you need for exercising willpower to deal with with your other issues that it sees as more important to your immediate survival.
You can give yourself a short-term boost by consuming a high glucose sports energy drink, but in many respects that is the last thing you want to be doing if you’re tired, stressed or feeling ill, because what your body really needs is sleep. One of the best methods of not falling victim to temptation is to remove it from the equation. That’s why alcoholics avoid bars and tend not to keep liquor in the house and reformed gambling addicts don’t usually decide to take weekend breaks to Hong Kong, Goa or Vegas.
Now this sounds great, but how does this work scientifically? Most sources of self-help tell you “what” you should do. But very few tell you “how” things work. Knowledge is the real key to success. Revolutionary brain-science discoveries have been made in the last few years. In that research lays the proof of the above theory and how we can put this to use in our life to overcome procrastination, and reach transcendent levels of success.
While using a PET scanner to verify that indeed most people solve math problems in the left side of the brain, neuroscientists made a startling discovery. A PET scanner is used to take a scan-image of the brain. The subject is injected with a very small amount of radioactive isotopes, then placed in the scanner, in which an electromagnetic device passes a very thin electromagnetic field through their brain. The part of the brain that is “thinking” at that time will have excess amounts of blood-flow, which, due to the radiation, shows up on the PET scan.
In the math function tests, each of the subject’s brain scan lit up in a similar area of their left-brain. But something else occurred that the scientists had not predicted. The brain scan also lit up in 5 other areas of the brain! This was a startling discovery, in that it verified that your brain is constantly “thinking” on six or more levels at once. In additional testing, subjects were given a math problem to solve and a sedative that was slowly increased, until they fell asleep. What happened? The light on the scan image representing the math thinking, went out! But the other five areas of the brain scan that were lit, stayed lit.
CONCLUSION? You are constantly thinking on 6 levels at once, but only at the conscious level, are you aware of your thoughts and ideas. The other five areas are known as your unconscious brain or what used to be called the subconscious brain by non-neuroscientists. When the scan-light went out for the conscious thinking and math problem-solving, as each subject fell asleep, all of the other areas stayed lit. This means that you are always thinking at your nonconscious levels. No matter that you may be consciously asleep.
Our imagination and powers of visualization reside in the subconscious. Our willpower resides in the conscious brain. Your conscious brain represents one-sixth of your brain’s thinking power. Our subconscious brain represents five-sixths of your brain’s thinking power.
It is therefore quite easy to determine which part of our brain is more important to control? The subconscious has five times the power of our conscious mind. Therefore, anytime there is a conflict between willpower, which functions in the conscious mind (1/6), and imagination, which functions in the subconscious mind (5/6), the winner is the subconscious! Visualization and imagination trumps will power every time!There is another scientific principle involved here. The mind sees only in pictures. If I were to ask you to close your eyes and remember what you did first thing after you got up this morning, you would see this in pictures. You would not see this written on a page of notebook paper in your mind! Because you are aware of what you think consciously, your conscious mind can see things and think things through and filter out negative pictures and give thoughts (mind-pictures) true meaning or perception. However, the negatives from the subconscious thoughts cannot be filtered out because we are not even aware of what that thinking (or picture) is!
So when we say to ourselves, “I will not overeat!” our conscious mind (1/6) can give this true meaning, but the subconscious mind (5/6) sees a picture of, “Overeat!” “Overeat” (and lots of food)! And our subconscious is an excellent listener and obeys us perfectly! It is not at all uncommon for people who want to lose weight to actually gain weight! Have you ever said to your younger children, “Whatever you do, don’t spill the milk!”? Five/Sixth of their brain, sees a perfect picture of what? That’s right! “Spill the milk!” Most young children who listened well always spilled the milk.
Knowing the scientific basis, the solution is obvious! Obviously, we have to access the subconscious mind and even more obviously, use the imaginative faculties to visualize all the positive benefits of reducing weight and becoming healthier. In the above example, we can visualize doing all the things we are able to do after reducing weight, we can visualize the benefit of that goal. Then the whole brain (1/6 + 5/6) is working in the same direction! Willpower isn’t required anymore!
Willpower is overrated but, it’s still important. The initial decision to change requires willpower. But once that decision to change is made with willpower, visualization and imagination is all that you will ever need! Procrastination slowly recedes, persistence and success and achievement take its place. You are programmed for success, automatically.
It takes about 21 to 30 days to create a neural pathway. After about thirty days of imagining and visualizing, focused learning of new information or situations we are exposed to in our subconscious mind, the brain will have created a different neural pathway – neurons linking together in new ways – so that it will automatically take the steps necessary to reach your goals. These new pathways become stronger the more they are used, causing the likelihood of new long-term connections and memories. To know more about neuroplasticity, visit http://www.whatisneuroplasticity.com/pathways.php
Easier said than done? Well it is not too difficult and definitely not impossible. It does however require desire, dedication and practice. And it does require a few minutes of your daily time, amidst all the routines. nirmiti nidra makes it easier to access the subconscious levels of your mind and by doing that, POWERS your imagination and visualization to greater heights. It helps you to retain your focus on only those things that you want to achieve during those few minutes that you dedicate to yourself.
So, what if you we imagine a different world for us? What if we can knock down those walls that confine us? Imagine being able to use the more powerful part of yourself whenever you wish! In the story of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy and her dog Toto had many adventures traveling the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City of Oz where dreams came true. Her companions, the Cowardly Lion, Tin Woodsman and Scarecrow, believed the Wizard could grant their wishes.
The Lion wanted courage, The Woodsman a heart, and the Scarecrow wanted brains. They already had those qualities, but they didn’t believe they did.
The Wizard gave the Lion a special potion of courage to drink. He told the Lion, “Drink this and you will be filled with courage.” The Lion then didn’t fear anything. The Wizard filled a silk heart with sawdust and put it on the Tin Woodman’s chest. The Wizard told him, “Now you have a heart any man would be proud of.” The Woodsman then felt tender and loving. The Wizard stuffed the Scarecrow’s head with a mixture of needles, pins and bran and declared, “I have given you brains. Hereafter you will be a great man.” The Scarecrow believed the Wizard and felt very wise.
It turned out that the Wizard was an ordinary man, but extraordinary because he used the power of suggestion to change their lives by changing their beliefs about themselves and the way they saw themselves. This Wizard is none other than your own subconscious mind.
Each one of us has an inner Wizard who is powerful and capable of making our dreams a reality using our gifts, dreams, visions and passions. We also have a fictional self that acts, feels and performs in accordance with what we believe to be true about what the world expects of us.
Here are three Universal Laws to understand how the mind processes suggestions into your belief system. These were formulated by a physician Emile Coue in the 19th century.
· The Law of Concentrated Attention Energy flows where attention goes. When you repeatedly concentrate your attention on an idea or belief, it tends to become true for you. This is how we develop habits.
· The Law of Reversed Effect The more you think of NOT doing something, like eating hot fudge over ice cream, the more likely you are to do it. Your imagination always wins over will power and conscious thinking.
·The Law of Dominant Effect A suggestion is more effective when it is combined with a strong emotion. When you feel that you are already successful, you pull that energy into your life. Your mind will focus the energy that comes from your heart.
Creating what you want in your life requires being mindful. Nirmiti Nidra aids that state of mindfulness. Use imagery to create your dreams. Imagery is the art of making a mental representation through the use of your senses. It helps you to visualize even as you access the subconscious. From infancy, we have learned by processing information and stimuli through our five senses of seeing, hearing, feeling, tasting and smelling. Each of us has a dominant sense that we use to interpret information, understand instruction best, and access peak performance. In your inner mind, use imagery to sense yourself working or playing, confident, calm, relaxed and in control. See, hear and feel yourself accomplishing your goals. Experience how good it feels to accomplish your goals. it helps to enliven that experience. Enjoy your success!
Doubt and fear sit like shadows behind all thoughts and dreams. None of us are completely there yet and in this journey called life, every tool that we can use for our own growth and self-development is valuable indeed. Fear and doubt can only be released by anchoring a feeling of certainty in our mind, heart and soul. It is time for us to believe and access the Wizard within ourselves