To be, or not to be: that indeed is the question Mr. Shakespeare. Whether we are aware of it or not, we take decisive action on a subconscious level that has profound implications on our lives. To be successful or not to be successful, to be happy or not, to be in love or not, to be irritated or not, to be at peace or not, etc.
The thoughts that run through our minds and the action we take every moment determine our lives. It’s the little things, like eating an apple a day, instead of a bowl of ice cream a day – or dedicating those 45 minutes to exercising, instead of watching a TV show (You can always watch that TV episode later but do not procrastinate with your health).
Many of us, however, are running on autopilot and we have a set of habitual thoughts and actions that we automatically resort to. If you do not address these foundational thoughts and beliefs and calibrate them with a desired outcome, you will become frustrated in your efforts to make lasting, beneficial change in your life.
Such profound and lasting change does not necessarily require drastic changes all at once. In fact, it is much more effective to make gradual, incremental changes because it is not so much what you accomplish but, rather who you become. Think about someone you aspire to be like – maybe they have accomplished many great feats, maybe they are widely respected or internationally famous, etc. These achievements are wonderful but they are simply flowers of a tree, which have blossomed as a result of healthy branches, an intact trunk and a resilient root system. So if you want to be like that person you look up to, if you want reap similar flowers in your life, you must emulate that person beginning at the roots.
The roots of a person lie in the subconscious realm. These roots consist of beliefs of oneself, beliefs about the world and beliefs about what is possible. This is the foundation of the “tree of life” and it begins materializing when we are in our mother’s womb – and, some say, before that. The truth is, we remember everything, but not necessarily at a conscious level that we can recall on command.
Besides our conscious memory we also have emotional memory, which is more energetic and intuitive in nature. You may say “I don’t remember that” and, consciously you really don’t, but subconsciously you do. It is difficult for some people to initially grasp this concept because it cannot be dissected with the conventional reductionist approach. It can, however, be gradually recognized and reintegrated into our conscious awareness through exercises such as meditation.
Meditation is practiced by everyone in one form or another, whether it is sitting in silence, standing, dancing, playing sports, playing music, fishing, writing, exercising, contemplating nature, and the list goes on and on. Depending on the person, each of these techniques is more or less effective in helping the individual:
- Become more aware of the subconscious
- Bring subconscious awareness to the conscious level
- Consciously make changes to obtain desired results.
So, the next time you’re wondering why you’re getting the same results and things don’t seem to be going the way you want, it is most likely a couple of things:
If not consciously directed in a healthy manner, beliefs can be limiting and misleading, impeding you from realizing your full potential. Your beliefs influence your thoughts and actions, and if your beliefs remain the same your thoughts and actions will too. And finally these are our habits – the same thoughts and actions.
It is from this oft-overlooked equation where thoughts such as “I’m not good enough”, “I’d never be able to do that” and “what if I fail” arise. Ultimately, who you are is who you believe you are.
A funny example:
Answer: Because she thinks she is.
Of course, she has material reinforcements such as her crown, her throne and her palace, which constantly remind her of her identity. But her identity is so ingrained in her that even if you took away all of the material possessions, there is no way she could view herself as anyone but the Queen.
Basically, if, deep down, you believe you are mediocre, you will be mediocre – if you believe you are great, you will be great.
This is why you need to understand the roots of your tree – you need to understand your subconscious and consciously change it in order to realize your innermost desires and dreams. If this crucial first step is not taken, your dreams will remain just that: an elusive possibility in imagination land. It will be an uphill battle, flaying and grasping for nothing in particular, in a desperate attempt to materializing a dream that you do not even fully believe in.
No one wants this, so I invite you to momentarily discard self-imposed and societal-imposed limits and ask yourself what you truly want. No dream is too unrealistic, no vision is too grand – at least entertain the thought of what you want to accomplish regardless of any beliefs or obstacles. We are too used to acting out of fear and avoidance and, as a result, we get not-so-awesome results.
Why not envision what you want from a place of inspiration and love? Or better yet – why not write down what you want without thinking about how you’re going to do it? Take out a sheet of paper and write down just a paragraph, or a page or 10 pages – whatever. Then put it down and look at it again tomorrow. Revisit your dreams regularly and get into the habit of thinking about what you want and I’m sure you will notice a difference in how you feel after a month. I know I did.
The key is consistency. Do it regularly and have fun while you’re doing it and it will only be a matter of time before you discover what you truly want. Persevere with this and your dreams will become reality.