Harnessing that Awesome Power within You

Human BrainIn my previous article I touched on the awesome power of your brain and how focus and persistence can make such a huge difference to your effectiveness if used correctly.

Let’s look a little more deeply into the most powerful resource you have – your brain…

Your Most Amazing Computer
Your brain is capable of processing up to 30 billion bits of information per second and it has the equivalent of 9,600 km of wiring and cabling. Your nervous system contains about 28 billion neurons or nerve cells, and each one of these neurons is a tiny self-contained computer capable of processing about one million bits of information. Although the neurons act independently, they also communicate with other neurons through a network of 160,000 km of nerve fibre.

The Connectivity in the BrainIncredibly, one reaction in one neuron can spread to hundreds of thousands of others in less than 20 milliseconds which is 10 times faster than a blink of an eye. Even the fastest computers in the world can only make connections one at a time. Your brain, however, achieves its speed by its billions of tiny computers (or neurons) attacking a problem simultaneously.

Richard Bandler, co-developer of Neurolinguistics or NLP – the science of modelling behavioural excellence – once put it this way… “Most people don’t actively and deliberately use their own brains. If you don’t give your brain a little direction, either it will just run randomly on its own, or other people will find a way to run it for you. People spend more time learning how to use a food processor than they do their own brains.”

So often the mind is abuse, misused or left unused through the ignorance of its true potential.

Who’s Driving Your Machine?
Formula One CarIn a way, we are all like the drivers of a Formula One racing machine. Unfortunately the majority of people only have the training and experience of the average family car driver, and not that of a professional Formula One driver. The language you use to tune your engine; the thoughts that you feed into its fuel tank; the patterns of behaviour that you continue to steer it by; and the lack of direction that you give to the journey ahead of you, all combine to produce a result that is a mere fraction of what could be possible for you to achieve.

With the power of focus you have the potential to be one of the top achievers in your chosen field. Just like harnessing the energy of the Sun through the concentrated focus of a magnifying glass, the combined focus of your conscious and unconscious mind is capable of far greater achievements than you may have thought possible. SpoonbendJust ask Uri Geller, world renowned for his metal bending abilities and other amazing feats of mind power. The fact that thousands of others since have been able to achieve the same results with an assortment of supposedly unbendable spoons and other cutlery tells me that once the first person has proved it possible then others accept that it is within their power to do so too if that power is harnessed correctly. The same goes for walking on fire, breaking bricks with bare hands, running a sub-four minute mile or lifting a car off a trapped child or a myriad of other seemingly impossible challenges. These self-imposed limitations only exist within our minds until someone else demonstrates the possibility to us or our desire far exceeds our self limiting beliefs in the heat of the moment.

It has been said that magnitude of the results you achieve depends on your beliefs and your focus on the objective in spite of the barriers in your way. The multiplier is the length of time you are willing to hold that focus steady through perseverance and persistence. As I have discovered from my years of study in this area, the top 5% or achievers in any field of endeavour have the ability to be single-minded in their total commitment to their ultimate objective regardless of the situation they face.

Your R.A.S.
In relation to this topic, there is a process that all of us undergo with our thinking called R.A.S. (Reticular Activating System) which explains why concentrated focus on well designed goals has such a huge impact on our ability to achieve.

Pink ElephantFor example, if I was to say to you “Close your eyes and do NOT think of a pink elephant right now,”… either you would have to first visualise the pink elephant in order to move it away from your focus of thought, or alternatively you would have to think of something else instead, such as a yellow rhinoceros.

The reality is that your brain cannot not think of something unless it has seen an image of it first. If you remember ever buying your first car, chances are that from the moment you first drove that car out of the dealership you would have started to see that same make of car everywhere on the road. Truth is those cars were always on the road, it is just that now your R.A.S. is working overtime because the type of car you had just bought is now being brought to your front-of-mind awareness whereas before it wasn’t. This is the Reticular (that which is remembered unconsciously) Activating (now being triggered or activated) System (you brain is a closed system) doing its work. Another example is becoming a parent for the first time and then seeing mothers and babies everywhere you go in the street, because that is now your focus of awareness being activated.

The images in your mind go in the directions you send them so your mind will only respond to the images it can link to. Another example is when you give a child the instruction… “Do not spill the milk.” It would be wiser to say to that child… “Be careful with that milk”…. or…. “Leave the milk standing.” Yet every day we constantly feed our minds and other people’s minds with disempowering thoughts, questions and commands much to our and their detriment. Instead we should focus on what desirable outcomes or results we and others wish to achieve.

Professional hypnotists understand this phenomenon only too well. No doubt you have watched their exploits on TV or on stage as seemingly ‘normal’ people perform hilarious abnormal activities whilst under the influence of selective amnesia and unconscious commands.

The message from this information is that if you don’t actively and consciously choose what you wish to focus on, whatever comes along into your awareness has the potential to derail your current focus or efforts. Therefore it is about more consciously setting well formed goals and outcomes, and then training yourself to actively focus your energy on achieving the goals or outcomes that you have set for yourself.

Anyone who tells you that the most efficient people are those who can ‘multi-task’ are quite misguided in my opinion. All the literature I have read on this topic plus the experience of the people I coach and mentor, tells me that the key to effectiveness and efficient use of one’s time is to focus solely on one thing at a time, and gain closure or completion on that (or the next element of it if it is a much bigger process or project), before putting it aside and moving on to the next planned task. The key is to work in concentrated spurts or spans of time on one item for up to say 40-45 minutes before giving your brain a rest or a ‘pattern interrupt’ so that you are re-energised to focus on the next spurt of focused thought or action. I’ll leave you to ponder that thought.

Drop me an email to brian@precisionprofiling.com.au if you would like to know more about how to develop and apply the power of your focused mind.

Until then… Let’s seek to understand more and judge less.  Have a great week – Brian

Precision Profiling – What Makes You Tick?  Through ‘Motivational Fingerprinting’ we uncover what you do, how you do it and why you do it, and most importantly, the hidden patterns that lead to your success, and that of your team.

About Brian Clark

Brian Clark is the principal director of Precision Profiling®.

He is a renowned practitioner, writer and speaker on building total customer cultures; values driven leadership and world best practice strategy and implementation.

He has been a guest lecturer on world best practice for the executive management programme at Monash University’s business college (Mt Eliza campus); an adviser to and key note speaker for the Singapore Productivity Association and a consultant to many major Australian and overseas corporations and government departments.

Read more about Brian Clark Here

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