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Day Two : A User's Manual for Your Brain

  1.  Day Two : A User's Manual for Your Brain
  1. Master your emotions and release your full potential 

Two monks were wandering through the forest when they came upon a beautiful courtesan standing on the banks of a flooded stream. Because they had sworn a vow of chastity, the younger monk ignored the woman and crossed the stream quickly. Realizing that the beautiful woman could not safely cross the stream by herself, the older monk gathered her up in his arms and carried her across the stream. Once they had reached the other side, he gently returned her to the ground. She smiled and thanks him, and the two monks continued on their way. The young monk quietly seethed as he replayed the incident again and again in his own mind. How could he? the young monk thought angrily to himself. Does our vow of chastity mean nothing to him? The more the young monk thought about what he had seen, the angrier he became, and the argument in his head grew louder: Why, had I done such a thing I would've been thrown out of our order. This is disgusting. I may not have been a monk as long as he has, but I know right from wrong.

He looked over at the older monk to see if he at least was showing remorse for what he had done, but the man seemed as serene and peaceful as ever.
Finally, the young monk could stand it no longer. 'How could you do that?' he demanded. 'How could you even look at that woman, let alone pick her up and carry her? Do you not remember your vow of chastity?'

The older monk looked surprised, then smiled with great kindness in his eyes.
am no longer carrying her, brother. Are you?'

What is an Emotional State?

Have you ever witnessed the same event as someone else and found out later that they had a completely different experience of it from you? How is it possible that you could both be in the same place at the same time and yet experience things so differently?
Or take the example of heights - some people won't even climb a ladder, while others delight in climbing tall mountains or throwing themselves out of aeroplanes from 30,000 feet above the earth.
The difference in both cases arises from the emotional states you are in at the time. Love, anger, confidence, fear, apathy and curiosity are all emotional states. We are constantly going into and out of these different states of being all day long, and each of them is as individual and unique to us as our own fingerprint.
An emotional state can be defined as 'the sum total of all the neurological processes occurring within some­ body at any one time'. A simpler way of thinking about it is that an emotional state is the mood you are in at any given moment.

Where Do Feelings Come From?

At first glance, it appears that how we feel in any moment is the result of events outside of us. Something happens in the world and we react to it by changing emotional states automatically. For example, imagine someone you are extremely attracted to. Now imagine that person has just walked into the room behind you. If you're like most people, your state just changed!
In fact, most of us are completely unaware of how we are making our feelings from moment to moment. In reality, there is an internal process that takes place in the gap between the event and your reaction to it. 

The Movies of Your Mind
In my experience, everybody has the ability to visualize. To prove this to yourself, answer the following questions:
  1. What does your front door look like? What colour is it? Which side is the handle on?
  2. What was the first car you ever drove? What did it look like? What colour was it?
In order to answer any of these questions, you had to go into your imagination and make pictures. Now, for 99 per cent of people, these images will not be 'photo quality' - and that's a good thing. If your internal images were as realistic as what you see in the real world, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference!

Now, imagine standing confidently and comfortably, surrounded by lots of fun people who are really inter­ested in spending time with you. In the background, you hear your favourite piece of music come on at just the right volume.

On a scale from 1 to 10, how appealing is the party now?
If you experienced any difference at all between those who scenarios, you can recognize how the quality of your internal representations will largely determine the quality of your life. Yet too many people exert more control over the movies they go to on the outside than the movies they play in their mind. That's an example of your brain running you instead of you running your brain.

 As you learn to change the pictures and sounds in your mind, you too will get conscious control of your life.
Let's try another experiment :
Think of someone who annoys you, or whom you 
find it stressful to think about or spend time with - remember their face. Now as you look at their face in your imagination, ask yourself:
  • Is it a colour image or is it black and white?
  • Are you making it to the left, to the right, or right in front of you?
  • Is it big or small?
  • Light or dark?
  • Moving or still? 
 Now let's play with the way you are currently represent­ ing that person in your mind. Try out each of these changes in turn and notice what happens:

1. If your representation of that person is moving, freeze- frame the picture so it is still.
2. If the image has any colour in it, drain it all away until it looks like an old black-and-white photograph.
3. Shrink the image until it's tiny. 4. Move the location of the image so it's further away.
5. Give the person a clown's nose, pink hair and Mickey Mouse ears.
6. Imagine the sound of their voice. Then alter it by giving them a deep, sexy voice. Change it again until they sound like a squeaky little mouse. 

By making these changes in your internal representa­tions, you are reprogramming the way you feel. Think of the person again in that new way ... now how do you feel about them? It's very likely they no longer trigger the stressful response. Not only do you almost certainly feel differently now, but next time you meet this person you'll feel differently, which means they'll respond differently to you, changing the dynamic of your rela­tionship for the better.The general principle that we are working with is this:
Images that are bigger, brighter and bolder have greater emotional intensity than those that are duller, dimmer and further away. 

THE CONFIDENCE SWITCH : ( Inspired by a gut)
  • 1. Remember a time when you felt really, really confident. Fully return to it now - see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel how good you felt. (If you can't remember a time, imagine how much better your life would be if you were totally confident - if you had all the power, strength and self-belief you could ever need!)
  • 2. As you keep going through this memory, make the colours brighter and richer, the sounds louder and the feelings stronger.
  • 3. As you feel these good feelings, squeeze the thumb and middle finger of either hand together.
  • 4. Now, squeeze the thumb and finger together and relive that good feeling.
  • 5. Repeat steps 1-4 several times with different positive memories until just squeezing your thumb and finger together begins to bring back those good feelings.
  • 6. Still holding your thumb and finger together, think about a situation in which you want to feel more confident. Imagine things going perfectly, going exactly the way you want them to go. See what you'll see, hear what you'll hear and feel how good it feels. 

Practise this every day. The mind is very sensitive, and as you feel more confident running through those scenarios in your imagination, you will feel more confi­dent when they occur in the real world.
Whenever you feel challenged, simply turn on your confidence switch by squeezing your thumb and middle finger together, concentrate for a few moments, and access your inner state of confidence! 

The Negativity Fast
The final technique for today is one of the most powerful in the whole book, and everyone can benefit from it. I first began using it in 1990, and I almost immediately noticed a remarkable upturn in my confidence and abil­ity to solve problems and reach my goals.
We have already seen that the more often we repeat a pattern of behaviour, the stronger that pattern becomes. When we indulge in negativity over the years, we liter­ally hardwire ourselves to be negative.
For the rest of the week, you are going to interrupt that pattern. You are going to starve yourself of negativ­ity and retrain yourself to be more positive instead. Don't just read this, LIVE IT FOR THE NEXT WEEK. This process alone will rewrite the operating software of your mind - it's a process that will serve you well for the rest of your life!

Here's how it works:
For the next week, whenever you feel bad about anything, stop what you're doing (as soon as it is safe to do so) and follow these five easy steps ...

1. Ask yourself what you are feeling bad about and notice what image, sound or words come to mind. Remember, your emotions are like signals, letting you know when you need to pay extra attention to some aspect of your experience. Every feeling in your body is linked to an internal picture, sound or the words you say to yourself in your mind.
2. Listen for the message or positive intention of the emotion.Negative emotions are just messengers sent by your mind and body to let you know it's time to pay attention to some­ thing. For example, if I have a worrying feeling and I stop and notice, what comes to mind is the image of an upcom­ing meeting. My mind is trying to alert me to things that might go wrong in that meeting and make sure I am well prepared.
3. Act on the message!So, in our example, I might make a list of all the things I can do to stop those problems occurring, and take action on at least one of them.
4. Turn off the messenger.This is like hanging up the phone or resetting the smoke alarm. When I've heeded my mind's warning, I drain all the  colour out of the image, shrink it down to the size of a postage stamp and send it off into the distance. If the picture pops back, it's because there's still something you need to be aware of, so find out what it is.5. Programme your desired future.Finally, imagine events going exactly the way you want them to. In the example of my upcoming meeting, I make a big, bright movie of the meeting going perfectly and watch it all the way up to the happy ending. 

In the next article, I'll be sharing with you the secrets of a positive perspective - how to turn any problem into an oppor­tunity to learn, change and succeed! DAY3 Click Here
The point is this:
You have a choice. You are in control. 
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