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Bruce Holland

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How to connect with your subconscious

Compared with the subconscious, the conscious mind is very limited and yet this is where most of us try to solve our problems.

As Theodore Roethke said: "A mind too active is no mind at all.". The point is to learn to stop worshipping the voice of reason, to stop talking to the Censor and start hearing it for the blocking device that it is. The right brain is far better connected to the enormous power of the subconscious than the left brain.

Carl G Jung said, "The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves."

Albert Einstein, had a sign hanging in his office at Princeton, "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts." He is also said to have said when offered a suggestion that seemed cogent and measurable, "Oh how ugly!", he was quite convinced that beauty was a guiding principle for important results in theoretical physics.

The subconscious works in ways that are poorly understood. The subconscious mind is the controller of our body, it has direct control of all physical and emotional reactions, it controls everything from hormone levels to heart beat. It controls the chemicals that make us feel happy, sad, fearful and angry.

The subconscious has the ability to file information and retrieve it without conscious thought. It's this retrieval and connection of often long 'forgotten' ideas, which are brought back and recombined in new and interesting ways, that's the essence of creativity.

It works away in the background, sifting through the situation in front of it, throwing out all that's irrelevant and zeroing in on what really matters. The truth is that our subconscious is often much better at the really important questions than left brain logic. If we want to improve our thinking we need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and except that sometimes we're better off that way. This theme is developed more fully in the wonderful book,"Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell.

The subconscious process, which happens in murky, unknown ways that the left brain simply can't fathom out, is seen as dangerous, uncontrolled territory. Indeed the left brain is suspicious of most of what the right brain does. The left brain does not understand creativity, because so much so often comes in illogical ways (and times, for example, in the shower).

I hope you can see the consequences of this for a business world that's significantly biased towards the left brain. It's the basis of many of the limiting factors to success: separation, suspicion, fear and ego,

If we want to give the right brain a chance we have to trick the left brain into letting go with things like setting up unrealistic expectations, having fun and making it safe to make mistakes are absolutely critical to any session on creativity.

Accessing the powers of the subconscious

  1. Create a positive image, one that matches the behaviours you want to achieve

  2. Be around and closely observe people who exhibit the sorts of behaviours that you want to have and try to imitate them

  3. Start at the finish and work to the start. Before you kick the rugby ball have a clear mental image of the ball sailing through the posts, the crowd cheering and the excitement of success, then let the body deliver the image

  4. Create physical representations of the outcomes, these could be models made in cardboard, wood or plaster

  5. Reaffirm, reaffirm, reaffirm the outcomes that you want

  6. Make your affirmations vivid, build in emotions, colour feelings, details, so you can 'see' yourself achieving the results; and repeat it, repeat it, repeat it until it becomes the mental picture you have of yourself

  7. Don't worry about the goals being realistic because the subconscious is blind to what is possible, whatever you ask for is what the subconscious will try and get the body to deliver.

Although I strongly believe that left AND right brain thinking are both essential to good business, in practice because so many organisations have difficulty becoming more innovative, I find myself working more and more on these issues.

If you'd like to discuss these matters more fully phone on Phone +6421620456 or Skype Bruce.Holland.

Don't forget to check out Pat Waite's words of wisdom.

Bruce Holland

Helps large organisations be focussed, fast and flexible. Places where people have more meaning, depth and connection.

Expert in Strategy, Structure, Culture and Leadership Development.

One of NZ's most experienced change agents.

Liberating the Human Spirit at Work

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