July 30, 2011

It's All in Your Head

It's All in Your Head

As a lacrosse goalie I used mental visualization to gain a slight edge over my competition.  Before games I would turn down my music and begin to invasion situations that I was likely to face when on the field.  By rehearsing the situations in my mind, I was conditioning my subconscious to take over when the real situation presented itself.  I have no doubt whatsoever that this skill was the leading cause of my collegiate lacrosse success.  By disciplining my thoughts, I was able to play out situations in my thoughts that my subconscious really thought were happening.

In the book the aunt and the ELEPHANT, Vince Poscente shares the parable of an ant who desperately wishes to get to “the oasis”.  After a freak sandstorm, he finds himself marooned on a rouged wilderness with little hope of ever reuniting with his colony.  Hope is almost lost until he meets a wise old owl who helps the little ant realize how he can make it to “the oasis”.  Turns out that this whole time the ant has been traveling on the back of an elephant!  Only by working together can both the ant and the elephant reach “the oasis”.

Poscente says “Dr. Pulos revealed that in one second of time, the conscious mind uses about two thousand neurons.  In that same second, the subconscious mind uses four billion neurons.”

In life our subconscious is our elephant and our conscious mind is the ant.  Our conscious mind is guided primarily by words.  We can rationally talk to ourselves and make a logical point.  Our subconscious minds on the other hand are guided by pictures or images.  Just like when I would close my eyes and picture game situations on the lacrosse bus.

Have you noticed that advertisers know that reality all too well?  In Orrin Woodward’s book Resolved: 13 Resolutions for LIFE he shares the illustration of beer commercials.  Isn’t it funny that the beer advertisers never explain the logically  process of how alcohol works to block the flow of oxygen to your brain.  Of course not, they show images of pretty girls, a guys night out, or rugged Rocky Mountain terrain.  All of these images are being taken in, right through our conscious mind, and beginning to program our subconscious. The goal of an advertiser is to infiltrate your subconscious to the point where you purchase their product exclusively and don’t really know why.  It just feels comfortable.

Poscente lays out a 5 step Action Plan to help readers begin to learn how to effectively communicate with their elephant:

Clarify Your Vision | Zero in on a goal that has depth of meaning.  The journey has to be worth taking.

Commit to Cultivating Positive Dominate Thoughts  |  Envision having the goal, rather than merely wanting the goal.

Consistently Focus on Performance  |  Experience the goal as if it were happening right now.

Strengthen Confidence  |  Replace negativity with positive, confident thoughts.

Control the Response to Any Situation  |  Expect the unexpected.  Anticipate our response to challenges.

This 5 Step Action Plan also came with action steps or exercises for each step, but I’m not going to share those with you.  You will have to get off line and pick up the book to figure that one out for yourself. ready-made company  It is worth your time. web domain list  The journey of learning how to effectively speak to your elephant will be a struggle.  But think of the impact.  What is a group of leaders took a stand and decided that they were going to begin to control of their elephant and steered it toward a worthwhile goal.  How would this transform our communities, churches, families, schools, and government.


Andrew is rogue web designer. Do we know what that means? No, but it sounds post modern. Andrew taught himself all he knows, which should be obvious if you have seen some of his work. He is most proud of is engagement to his lovely girlfriend Rachael (it took a few hours of convincing but she finely said yes). Other than sipping mocha lattes his favorite thing to do is take long walks with his favorite dog, Hudson.

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