Taking control of your mind – post 2 of 2

In this second and last post of the series, I will explain another way that we can use the conscious mind to retrain the other-than-conscious mind; again something I use myself and introduce to my clients. As with the REACT framework™ it is surprisingly simple; I have known clients who ‘got it’ very quickly, applied it diligently and achieved powerful results quickly. On the other hand, I know some clients have struggled, taking weeks and even months to adopt the practice assiduously in order to get the same potent outcomes.

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I once worked with a client who I can best describe as a ‘force of nature’; intense, determined and forceful. Along with these came what I experienced during our first few sessions as an almost constant torrent of negativity, pessimism and, at times, despair. I will not breach client confidentially about the source and nature of what had driven some deeply held beliefs into the client’s other-than-conscious mind, but suffice to say the timing was in childhood. The client seemed to me to naturally experience any situation in a somewhat negative way, identifying problems and obstacles over possibilities and benefits, relating more to pain and worry over joy and harmony.

After considerable persistence on my part (and resistance on hers), I finally managed to persuade her to close her every day by writing down in a journal three positive things from the day. A very simple concept that took her much effort to implement as it seemed so strange and unnatural to her to recognise positives over negatives. In the end, I think I wore her down and she completed daily night-time homework diligently each evening as she went to bed. Once a week, she identified the three best things in her journal. At the end of the month she identified the three most outstanding entries from that month. I detected changes in her behaviour with the negativity gradually decreasing and then a gradual move to equanimity in her demeanour. Towards the end of the second month, she commented spontaneously that she felt she was a lot happier in herself, explaining that a problem at work the day before, which would previously have thrown her into a tail-spin, had seemed to her to be actually rather funny.

I urge you to try out this second method of training the other-than-conscious mind; I know from my clients you have little to lose and much to gain. Find whatever way, mechanism or device works for you and makes it easy for you to do this work every day. Routine is important. Doing this at the same time each day emphasises the routine nature and gets you into the discipline of the daily recording of three positives.

3 good things a day

As you do whatever works well for you, ensure the positives you identify are also expressed in positive terms: ‘I completed the new page for my website’ or ‘I got to speak to the prospect I have been trying to reach for days’ or ‘My new clients just settled my first invoice’. They don’t need to be momentous, ground-breaking or particularly significant. They could include a particularly nice meal, a chat with a friend, or a beautiful sunset. The positives don’t need to be things you have achieved they should be what you have experienced. They just need to be positives that are positively expressed. They should not be expressed as the avoidance of a negative: ‘That meeting could have gone a lot worse’ or ‘We haven’t heard about our bid, so at least we haven’t been thrown out yet’ or ‘We haven’t lost any more customers today’. Remember, this is about training the other-than-conscious mind to recognise positives.

As with the REACT framework™, this is a very simple technique that produces outstanding behavioural changes if you adopt it as a daily habit. I wish you every success; if you want more information or help applying either technique contact me at piw@wttresults.co.uk or call me on 07764 658071 or register for the REACT framework™ workshop here.

WTT Results designs and delivers transformational change, enabling businesses and individuals to be the best that they want to be. To discuss how we can help your business, please get in touch as above. www.wttresults.co.uk

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Taking control of your mind – post 1 of 2

Most of the time our behaviours, our thoughts, our feelings are determined by our other-than-conscious minds. The other-than-conscious mind is hugely influenced by what was drilled into us as children, by our early experiences in life, by events we encounter up to our mid-teenage years. I endured too many years of unhappiness because my parents had drilled into me that marriage was for life – ‘til death do us part’. Another favourite homily of theirs was ‘curiosity kills the cat’; it took me months of toil and heartache to inculcate into my persona the ability to replace judgement about right and wrong with inquisitiveness about what might be – a vital component of my modus operandi these days.

So how do we recognise that it is the other-than-conscious mind that is in control, and what can we do to replace the influence of our early-life experiences with something that is more useful to us in the here and now? It’s surprisingly simple but requires a strenuous struggle to master the means and make it habitual. In essence, it is to use the conscious mind to teach the other-than-conscious new ways of thinking. Sounds straightforward – but only if we begin to use our conscious capacity more, to recognise that the sources of our actions, notions and moods are not from the very moment we are experiencing them, but from a time long ago and far away, when we were a different person.

I am a great supporter and practitioner of mindfulness. Note Claire’s Insight 1 in her blog post at the hyperlink in the line above and you will begin to understand why it was so critical for me to win my struggle with ‘curiosity kills the cat’.

mindfulness

Every day, whenever in the day I am about to start a new task, I use mindfulness as the starting point for running the REACT framework™ to ensure I am in the best state, with the right resources to achieve what I want. This involves my conscious mind taking control decisively to recognise what my current state is and to identify whether my state is appropriate. Our state is made up of a combination of any or all of our physiology, our environment, and our acuity as well as our thoughts, our emotions, and our spiritual condition. If my state is not ideal for what I want to achieve, I consciously identify what resources I think would be appropriate to the task I am about to undertake. These could be physical resources (a cool drink as I am thirsty) or they could be more nebulous, esoteric even (a feeling that I am very creative right now). I then (and this is where the other-than-conscious mind joins in) seek a time when I was really (for example) creative and relive the moment in a very meaningful way. I will repeat this for all the resources I need (for instance curiosity might be a useful addition to creativity). Having claimed my resources, I then take them with me as I undertake the task I want to achieve. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t do this each time I make a sandwich of a cup of coffee – it’s reserved for the times when I need to be at my best to achieve something important and potentially challenging.

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For help putting this into action, contact me at piw@wttresults.co.uk or call me on 07764 658071 or register for the REACT framework™ workshop here. In the next post, I will give you another very simple technique you can use to reclaim control of your other-than-conscious mind to achieve powerful results.

WTT Results designs and delivers transformational change, enabling businesses and individuals to be the best that they want to be. To discuss how we can help your business, please get in touch as above. www.wttresults.co.uk

Attracting customers to your business – post 6 of 6

This is the final post in this series focusing on the ethical use of the ‘Weapons of Influence’ described by Professor Robert Cialdini. It brings us to the last weapon which is Scarcity.

Many businesses get this wrong. They market themselves as having infinite capability and capacity, they pursue as many leads as possible and their attitude is that they can never have too much work. The problem with this is how it is perceived by prospective clients. As a buyer, if I think that there is infinite supply, why do I need to make the decision to buy now? Unless I have to make a purchase, I can put it off because I know there will always be supply when I do actually need to buy. Any discretionary purchase can be delayed. There are so many suppliers of mobile phone contracts that I don’t need to make any decisions until the point at which my commitment to my current supplier needs my attention at the end of the contract.

scarcity creates demand

Cialdini tells the tale that people genuinely believe that the biscuits in a jar where just a few are available taste better than those from a full jar. Scarcity not only encourages people to decide to buy now, it convinces them that the item in scarce supply is more desirable, of better quality and brings with it a cachet of ownership that will reflect favourably on them.

Find ways in your business, not just your marketing, to emphasise the scarce nature of your goods and services. If you also manage to restrict your product or service offerings to a well-selected but limited range, this makes scarce the range of choices open to customers. I recall an example of a restaurant with two different menu offerings. Menu A had an enormous range of dishes to choose from, covering the cuisines of several countries over several pages. Menu B was a short, well-selected list of six dishes on one page. The vast majority of customers chose to order from Menu B, identifying it as less confusing and easier to choose from.

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Implementing all of the ‘Weapons of Influence’ in your business requires diligence, determination and a systematic approach. The Congruent Client Attraction System™ provides the framework you need to implement effective attraction marketing in your business in an ethical manner. http://bit.ly/1xwcAXV

Driverless cars for driverless humans?

Google driverless carYou might have seen in the press recently that UK roads are scheduled to have driverless cars on them from as early as 2015. Elsewhere, Google announced a plan to deploy 100 driverless cars around their campus. In certain States, driverless cars are permitted provided there is the opportunity for human intervention. It probably says something about the way my mind works (and that I have little or no control over it) that I am linking Google’s news with ongoing developments in the fields of neuroscience and physiology.

In several blog posts, and in several chapters of my upcoming book, I have pointed out that we humans are less in control of our thoughts, emotions and physical movements than we think. The Princeton cognitive psychologist, George A. Miller, published an important work entitled “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on Our Capacity for Processing Information”. He argued that our short-term memory can only process between five and nine pieces of information to which it has been exposed only briefly. He identified that these pieces of information were chunks as opposed to single bits of data; for a native language speaker one word will represent one bit, but for a non-speaker that word could consist of 3 or 4 phonetic bits.

The brain is an information processing and messaging centre, and the nervous system is a channel for the processing of information. Researchers expected to find that the brain would show a tremendous capability for processing large quantities of information. But when they studied the brain during ‘intelligent’ activities such as playing music or reading, they found a capability of around 50 bits per second. For example, a typical reading rate of 300 words per minute equates to about 5 words per second. An average of 5 characters per word, with roughly 2 bits per character gives us the rate of 50 bits per second. The actual rate will vary depending on the complexity of the language, but contrast 50 bits with the fact that our senses gather some 11 million bits per second from our environment. So our senses send 11 million bits per second to our brain, but our conscious mind only copes with 50 bits per second. What’s going on?

reading bookFirstly, a tremendous amount of compression takes place if we are reducing 11 million to 50. This is partly enabled by a half-second delay between the instant our senses receive a stimulus and the moment the mind is conscious of the sensation. To cope with this delay, the body has a reflex system that responds in less than one-tenth of a second, before the mind is conscious of the stimulus.

Secondly, there is the tremendous processing power of the brain. With 100 billion cells, each with connections to thousands of other brain cells, the brain may be capable of performing as many as 100 billion operations per second.

We assume that our conscience brains are dominant. This is far from true; the vast proportion of the processing occurs in the ‘other than conscious’ brain. Practised and habitual processing are important because they train the brain to carry out activities ‘automatically’, without conscious intervention. That is why ‘simple’ tasks, such as walking, eating, or monitoring a driverless car, are best done without interference from our consciousness, which doesn’t have sufficient processing capability to cope with the demands of these tasks.

Driverless cars are legal where there is the possibility of human intervention. Just don’t assume that such interventions will be conscious. Are the law-makers consciously aware of what they have enacted? Or are the laws based on interventions coming from our ‘other than conscious’ minds? I think they better be in both cases.

 

If you want more of your thoughts, emotions and deeds to be in your conscious mind, if you want only to operate in the ‘autopilot’ of the ‘other than conscious mind’ when that is appropriate you will hopefully be pleased to discover that both are ‘learnable skills’. If you want assistance to learn these skills, make contact to find out more.