One of the things I’ve consistently noted over my life is that thoughts, whether they are good or bad, that I hold in my mind tend to generally come true. Even while I have taught more goal-setting workshops to more students than I can count, some of my own realized goals were never written down. I just sort of held the thought in my mind, often vividly imagined the outcome, and it happened. According to Joseph Murphy, author of The Power of Your Subconscious Mind this is not unusual.
“The law of your mind is this: the reaction or response you get from your subconscious mind will be determined by the nature of the thought or idea of you hold in your conscious mind,” Joseph Murphy (17). When thoughts are conveyed to your subconscious mind impressions are made in your brain cells and as soon as your subconscious accepts any idea, good or bad, it proceeds to immediately put it into effect (Murphy 17).
You can even see this in action right now. Do this little exercise. Don’t think of the color blue. Whatever you do, don’t think of the color blue. Think about anything else but the color blue. I’ll be I know which color you’re thinking about right now and you’re probably tuned into every blue thing around you. In fact, some of you might have been successful in not thinking about blue, if you thought of another color completely. We cannot not think about something, just as much is our subconscious can never be at rest. Remember, it is our subconscious mind that continues to pump our blood, keeps us breathing and keeps our body functioning without conscious thought. We have to think about something so think about something good.
But our subconscious mind cannot do things that our conscience mind can do like perceive through our five senses, nor can it reason. It does not have the ability to argue or dispute what you tell it. If you give it wrong information it accepts is as true and then works to make the information correct (Murphy 20). We must always stand guard at the doorway to our subconscious mind or else we pervert phrases that people tell us:
- “You can’t,” becomes “I can’t” to your subconscious mind (Murphy 27)
- “You’ll never amount to anything,” becomes “I will never amount to anything” (Murphy 27)
- “You’ll fail,” becomes “I will fail” (Murphy 27)
Here are some more phrases you should never accept (Murphy 27):
- You haven’t got a chance
- You’re all wrong
- It’s no use
- It’s not what you know, it’s who you know (and your mind convinces you that you don’t know the right people even though you do)
- You’re too old
- You just can’t win
When you accept these suggestions you collaborate in making them true (Murphy 27). But you do have within you the power to counteract all of these disruptive ideas by giving your subconscious mind constructive auto suggestions (Murphy 27). There are some of us that when we are told that we can’t do something immediately set out to prove that we can. In fact, some of the world’s greatest success stories came as a result of people being told that they could not do something. If you want your subconscious to work for you you have to give it the right request. Your body is always working to heal itself. When you cut your finger your body begins the process of healing (Murphy 34). We are geared to survival and our bodies and our minds are constantly trying to take care of us, but often times we subvert the process (Murphy 34).
If you’re still doubting the power of the subconscious mind remember that William James, the father of American psychology, said that the power to move the world is in your subconscious mind (Murphy 40). Whatever you impress in your subconscious mind is manifested as real in your world (Murphy 41). If you think negatively, destructively and viciously, these thoughts generate destructive emotions that must be expressed and find an outlet (Murphy 41). If you still don’t believe me, for you golfers out there, how many times have you prepared to hit the ball over the water and declared to the universe “well this is going in the drink.” It usually does doesn’t it? Of course it does, you just told your subconscious mind where the ball is going so it works to not make a liar out of you.
Put simply, you will attract what you put forth. I remember in January 2009 when I resolved to rid myself of road rage. My strategy worked. Within days thousands of drivers around me suddenly became courteous, safety conscious and many more of them were even smiling. Now, did all of these people suddenly change simply because I applied some strategy to myself to get rid of road rage? Of course not, I simply started noticing different things around me. In my road raging days I noticed every jerk, every inconsiderate dolt and every unsafe act committed on the road. Of course, I still see these things, but because my perspective changed and I tend to be much more forgiving; oftentimes instead of anger and resentment, I get politeness and contrition in return.
Once you’re feeding your mind life-giving thoughts you will wipe out the negative patterns lodged within it (Murphy 42). And I want you to remember that it is a pattern. And most patterns result from our habits, and our habits can be difficult to change. But if you want health in all aspects of your life, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually you can develop new habits, by replacing the old ones.
“Whatever you pray for in faith, you will receive,” Matthew 21:22
Some keys to get started on using your subconscious mind to change your conscious reality:
- The two most opportune times to give your subconscious suggestions are just before you fall asleep just after you wake up. Make sure that the final thoughts of your day and the first thoughts of your morning are moving towards your good intentions (Murphy 49).
- Whatever you impress on your subconscious mind are like seeds that have been planted in rich soil. The soil does not know whether the seeds are good or bad and it will grow either (Murphy 49).
- Newton’s Third Law is at work with your subconscious mind, it is the law of action and reaction. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Your thoughts are action and the reaction is the automatic response of your subconscious mind to your thoughts (Murphy 49). Therefore, watch what you think.
- Frustration is due to unfulfilled desires often leaving us to dwell on obstacles and difficulties. When you dwell on these your subconscious mind responds and you begin to block your own good (Murphy 49).
- Feed your subconscious with thoughts of harmony, health and peace and imagine the happy ending or solution to your problem, even feeling the thrill of accomplishment – what you imagine will be accepted by your subconscious mind which will work to bring it to pass (Murphy 49-50).
When planting seeds of intent in your subconscious mind you must not pour poison into the hole. Often times, when we plant seeds in a garden, we splash a little bit of water or put some dirt back over the seed. Imagine if you were pouring a little bit of malathion or soil saturated with gasoline over the seed you just planted. When you attempt to have good thoughts but then pollute them with skepticism, cynicism and sarcasm you are in effect pouring poison into the same soil in which you just planted your seeds. If you want success, have good intentions.
Murphy, Joseph, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind. New York: Prentice Hall, 2008. Print.