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Positive thinking: using brain knowledge
Positive thinking - how do you do it?
Positive thinking, having control over your brain and your thinking - it sounds nice, but how do you do it? Let’s start with discussing the workings of the brain. Motivation and success in life have everything to do with knowing how your brain works and how to use it well. ‘Brain knowledge’, so to speak!
I once heard an expert in the field of personal development say something that has stayed with me ever since. He said: “We humans have a tendency to ‘mindfuck’ ourselves: we should always take this into account”. The thing is, the mind plays all kinds of games and tricks on us. The solution is that we should learn how these games are played and take them into account!
The more conscious I am of what I think, the more I see that this is really true: I see it happening every day. Sometimes I feel like shit, sometimes I feel like I'm stuck. At times like these, I really can’t see things any other way. A way out of this is talking to my friends to help me put things into perspective.
But an even better help to me is a realization that I got from reading the famous book by Victor Frankl, Man’s search for meaning. This is the psychiatrist who survived the concentration camp Auschwitz in World War II. His book and works are based on a single insight: that there is a difference between what actually happens (the bare facts) and the interpretation of events by the mind.
Victor Frankl discovered that even though everywhere around him he saw death and destruction, and even though he had ended up in the deepest pit of hell, he still had the ability to choose what he thought about his situation. This realization of power over his interpretations, and thus the sense of control over his feelings, was so powerful that it provided hope during this period of captivity.
He became an inspiration for other prisoners, and after the war he inspired many through his books and teachings.
In any situation, I find that by asking myself "what is really going on here, what are the facts?" most, if not all, of what I am feeling is based on interpretation, not the bare facts.
For instance, I sometimes feel very stressed out because I think I’m not able to finish any of the many things I have to do. But if I pause and look at the situation objectively, I may find that “task X is done, Y is partially done and Z is not”. Compare that to the feeling of “I’ll never get anything done”.
I imagine I had to defend this feeling before a judge in a courtroom. He’d probably think I was crazy. He would say: "You have done X, half of Y and haven’t gotten around to Z.” Those are the facts, aren’t they, sir? Then why have you stated to this court that you have accomplished nothing at all?”
If the woman you like does not respond to your text message, then that is exactly what has happened - she hasn’t currently replied to your message. Perhaps it’s because she doesn’t want to see you again - then that's what happened, she doesn’t want to see you again. I has no meaning whatsoever of who you are as a person!
Obviously, you want feedback which you can use to improve your actions. But you don’t want to give this too much meaning.
When you haven’t really had many (or any) girlfriends, taking action to change this is the right thing to do. But do not interpret your past in a disempowering way such as "women just don’t like me” or “I'm just not a likeable person”. Don’t identify yourself with those kinds of ideas. Objectively, all that really can be said is that until now, you haven’t had that many girlfriends.
Then, and this really is the second step, you may wonder why and how this has come about. Know that there is a lot that is within your capabilities that you can do to have women in your life.
You have more control than you think, when you approach the situation in the right way. In this blog we give you all kinds of knowledge and tips that you can use to get better with women. We’ve seen that all of it works, regardless of who you are, what you look like or how old you are.
Thinking is in fact the process of asking questions and answering them. You do this all day and it happens quite unconsciously, so perhaps you don’t recognize the questions and answers anymore. But they are there - just see for yourself.
For instance, developing a plan or schedule is really an answer to the question “what should be done?”.
Questions like “why is this happening to me?” or “why do I always have bad luck?” are what we call useless questions. These questions are worthless because they trigger worthless answers.
The quality of your thinking and thus the quality of your life enhances when you start asking yourself higher quality questions. Such as “what am I proud of" or "what do I have that I am grateful for?“ and “what can I do to make my life even better and more fun?”.
So to sum it up, I’ve given you two ways to better use your brain. The first is to ask yourself “what are the facts?” when you are overwhelmed or if you suffer from a negative sense of self.
For example, you're at a certain age and you have no girlfriend. That means nothing more than that your are a certain age and you do not have girlfriend. It certainly doesn’t mean that you’re too old or too young to have a girlfriend, because men of all ages have girlfriends.
The second way is to make yourself aware of what kind of questions you are asking yourself and thus, what kind of answers you are giving. Are these the type of questions to which you actually want to know the answers? You can easily train yourself to ask different questions. Simply create a list of questions like “what can I improve”, “how do I break through this barrier?” or “what would (Tom Cruise/Batman/Krusty the Clown) do?”.
Write down your questions, and then put your mind to work with finding the answers. Do this every day until you notice that your subconscious is trained to do it unconsciously.
Brain Knowledge is fun and powerful: use it to your advantage!