Why can one of us be sad and the other happy? Why can one of us be rich and another poor? Why can one of us have good personal relationships and the other not?
According to Dr Joseph Murphy, it’s all in the mind: the subconscious mind. His book, The Power of Your Subconscious Mind was written a number of years ago when times were very different, but its content still rings true.
It’s all in the mind
What do you want from life? Riches? Happiness? Power? Relationships? The objective of this book is to show how a realignment of your thought patterns can lead to significant benefit. It contains many examples of where the technique has been used to advantage. We can identify a methodology that applies even in today’s rapidly changing world.
He argues that whatever we “tell” our subconscious mind it believes: I’m going to succeed. I’m going to be wealthy. I’m going to fail! The law of our mind is the law of belief. All our experiences, events, conditions and acts are the reactions of our subconscious mind to our thoughts.
According to Dr. Murphy, when we begin to control our thought processes, we can apply the powers of our subconscious to any problem or difficulty. In other words, it’s the world within (our thoughts, feelings, and imagery) that makes our world without.
The Singles Club Challenge
When we set out to improve our circumstances we normally approach the physical situation and environment we are in. Here’s an example (with a hat- tip to Seth Godin). Let’s say we are looking for a social partner. We’re low in self-confidence and don’t want to be left on the shelf. So we go to a singles club.
There, we sit at the bar with little confidence in our chances. Lo and behold, nothing changes. The next time we visit, we try something new – wearing more expensive clothes, well-polished and well-groomed. Still no success. Why? Because we are focusing on conditions and environment, not the core issue — our confidence.
According to Dr. Murphy, to remove discord, confusion, and limitation, you must remove the cause, and the cause is the way you are using your conscious mind. When our conscious mind is full of fear, worry, and anxiety, the negative emotions in our subconscious mind flood our conscious mind with a sense of panic, foreboding and despair.
Make it happen
There are two levels of our mind — the conscious or rational level, and the subconscious or irrational level. We think with our conscious mind, and whatever we think seeps down into our subconscious mind and creates the underlying bias. Our subconscious mind is the seat of our emotions and is the creative mind. If we think good, then good will follow; if we think evil, then evil will follow. The main point to remember is once the subconscious mind accepts an idea, it starts to make it happen.
Our conscious mind is the reasoning mind: it’s where we make choices, and is sometimes referred to as our objective mind because it deals with outward objects, driven by our five senses. On the other hand, our subconscious or subjective mind takes notice of the environment independently of the five senses.
Our subjective mind perceives by intuition. It can leave our body, travel to distant places, and bring back “experiences” that have no tangible existence…yet to our mind they are nevertheless real. We are regularly exposed to it and suggestion is regularly used as a weapon to take control and command over others. In its negative form it is one of the most destructive strategies in existence. “You can’t.” “You’ll never amount to anything.” “You mustn’t.” “You’ll fail.” “You haven’t got a chance.”
Placing these thoughts into the subconscious mind of a victim can place them at a significant disadvantage. We need to turn to auto- suggestion. Auto-suggestion frees us from the negative verbal conditioning of comments as those just mentioned and allows us to replace negativity with positive vision.
How to get the subconscious to work for us
The first thing we need to realize is that our subconscious mind is always working. It is active night and day, whether we act upon it or not. To access it, we need to change the patterns of our conscious mind. We need to train it to continually feed its subconscious partner with positive thoughts and visions, those ideals we wish to achieve. The targets we want to reach.
We want to give it belief. Belief is the pattern for the subconscious mind. It accepts what is given and in turn creates the outcomes from the instructions it is given. The principle reasons for failure are lack of confidence and too much effort. We are destined to fail to get results when we hear ourselves making statements such as: “Things are getting worse.” “I will never get an answer.” “I see no way out.” “It is hopeless.” “I don’t know what to do.” “I’m all mixed up.”
When we use such statements, our subconscious mind interprets submission. There must be a clear cut idea in our mind and we must believe there is a way out, a solution to our problem. As Yoda said, “Do or do not, there is no try”.
According to Dr. Murphy, relaxation is the key. He tells us not to be concerned with details and means, but to focus rather on the end result. He suggests we get the “feeling” of the solution we desire and with faith that it will come true, let our subconscious fill in the detail.
The best time to do this? Prior to sleep. In this state, our negative thoughts, the Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt, which tend to neutralize our commitment, no longer present themselves. Remember however, we will not always get an answer overnight. The answer may not come for some time. We need to keep reminding our subconscious mind every night prior to sleep, as have an abiding faith in the outcome.
Visualization the Murphy Way
Visualization is a simple technique of Dr. Murphy’s that we can use to seed our subconscious mind prior to sleep. We are creatures of habit and habit is the function of our subconscious mind. We learned to swim, ride a bicycle, dance, and drive a car by consciously doing these things over and over again until they established tracks in our subconscious mind.
Then, the automatic habit action of your subconscious mind took over. The same goes for subconscious seeding. We need to develop the habit by following three steps.
The first step: Get still; quiet the wheels of the mind. Enter into a sleepy, drowsy state. In this relaxed, peaceful, receptive state, we establish focus. We need to quiet the mind and still the body.
The second step: Turn thoughts to the solution to our problem. Try to solve the problem with the conscious mind. Think how happy we would be about the perfect solution. Sense the feeling we would have if the perfect answer were ours now. Let our mind play with this mood in a relaxed way. Take a brief phrase defining success and repeat it over and over like a mantra.
The third step: Just before going to sleep, practice what Johann von Goethe, the German author, used to do. Imagine a friend, a loved one in front of us. Our eyes are closed, we are relaxed and at peace. The loved one or friend is subjectively present, and is saying “Congratulations!” We see the smile; we hear the voice. It’s all real and vivid. We have what we desired. We have achieved our goal.
Turn this over in the relaxed mind again and again until it becomes tangible. Until we can’t differentiate between what is and what is desired. Dr. Murphy reminds us that if we wake up without the answer we should not panic and alternatively we should get on with something else. It’s likely that we are preoccupied with something else and our subconscious mind has focused on that.
Get into the habit of repeating the exercise each evening whether successful or not. Be patient. The day will come when your visualization gets primary focus and that is the day your subconscious mind exerts its power.