This past weekend, I read a book that my mother-in-law gave my wife a few years back called “The Secret” It was a quick read and while I thought that most of it was complete crap, there was a few interesting points made in it. In the book “The Ant and the Elephant” The author explains how the conscious and unconscious mind works. He uses a story that the conscious mind is like and ant and your unconscious mind is like an elephant in that your conscious mind uses 2,000 neurons, whereas the unconscious mind uses 4 billion neurons. That is why we can get into a pattern of doing things without thinking about them all because of repetition and emotion. Professional athletes have been taking advantage of this for years. There are tons of stories of visualization exercises, and even a study done on the US ski team that showed that visualizing a race caused the muscles to fire in the same pattern with the same intensity as they did when they were actually out on the course.
Recent talk about the Olympics reminded me of the book 10-Minute Toughness where the author tells the story of Peter Vidmar and how he would train, over and over again, that he was the last contestant to go, and a perfect score meant winning the gold and anything less would result in another loss to the Russians. He would visualize the entire experience, from the sound of the buzzer, to the glare of the green light, to the location of the judges, and go through the routine as if it was the Olympic finals. Then when it came time, there was no pressure on him, because he had been in that moment so many times before, it was anticlimactic, and it resulted in a perfect score.
The emotional part of an activity or event is what makes the biggest impact on the unconscious mind. For example, we may hear a song, smell a food, perfume, or cologne, see a particular picture, or taste a certain food and it will result in a flood of memories coming back in such detail, that you can not only picture it in your mind, but the feelings and emotions can come back too.
Stephen Covey event talks about it in the book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, in habit 2, Begin with the end in mind. He explains that with the Law of Attraction, things will be drawn to you if you focus on what you want, v worrying about the problems and issues that might come up. He also explains that all things are created twice, once in our minds, then into reality.
I have also heard “legends” about people who have thought themselves to death or why being hypnotized had physical changes such as burn marks or scars appear, and even eye color changes. I don’t know if any of those are true, but it gets me wondering, what are the limits of the human mind?
Have you ever had a situation where mental training came into play? Perhaps in getting ready for a big presentation or event? Do you think that the human mind can cause physical changes in our appearance, or even kill us? Do you think that it can change our futures by attracting particular types of people, options or rewards to us?