The Mind vs the Will in Your Goal SettingBy
The brain takes care of all our functions automatically mostly through the lizard brain and perceptions through our senses. The mind is not found anywhere in the brain. It floats in and out and around and maybe defined as our consciousness. Without the mind, the brain is a car without gas.
Our subconscious is a deep pool of memories that many will say goes back through generations, but certainly has recorded every experience and reaction we have ever had. It helps form our personality which by the time we are 14 is fairly complete in establishing our world view. Our personality is a mix of gene pool and environmental early life influences. Many of our early memories are suppressed or too painful to keep in our every day consciousness.
When you decide you would like to improve, your mind helps you set some goals. Maybe you want to run five miles to get fit. The first day you are ready to run, your mind says you are too tired. When I started running 4 miles a day, my mind would often urge me to stop and walk. I knew that if I ever stopped, I would always stop. The mind might fight success because it feels we are unworthy as the subconscious bubbles up.
One day I was going to run the 40 wood stairs above the beach at my house. My mind said I was too tired today. I knew that I had just given my body a day off. The 7th sense is the mind that observes what the other mind says. We can listen and then decide what to do. I decided to run anyway and instead of the usual 20 times, I decided to teach my mind a lesson and run 40. Then I ran 60 and a record of 80 times. I was definitely tired at 80, but I was trying to show my mind, it didn’t know what it was talking about.
Another instance occurred when I was running half mile laps in the sand on the beach. The mind protested when I wanted to run three laps after the first two. I ran it and although tired, I made it. When I considered running 4 laps on another day, my mind was silent. It knew when to shut up.
Trying to clean my diet with healthier foods is a real mind test. I often had to substitute my bad addictions with something also bad, but different; like eating a Snickers bar instead of ice cream every night. Then once the addiction was broken, I moved on to something healthier like granola bars. After a while the mind becomes a friend. It helped me lose 45 pounds and protested when I wanted to eat a bad food.
Fitness and healthy eating are great tools to learning discipline and how to take control of our minds. Once we know how to control our mind, we can make commitments to goals and know we can keep them. The same with promises. We can build our integrity because we can stop the mind from sabotaging who we are.
When I want to set a goal and commit to an action every day, I listen to my mind try to sabotage me with my observant mind and then proceed as planned. The further we get into our commitments, the more the mind climbs on board as a supporter. It does know its limitations.
Flow is the engagement in an activity we have practiced to competence and don’t have to think of the mechanical process any longer and then without distractions, we fully (mindlessly) engage and perform at our peak. We also produce abundant dopamine in this process which is a happiness neurotransmitter.
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