Did you know that your own mind operates according to certain rules? They can be very simply described with a set of these “rules of the mind” as they’re called and described by founder of RTT therapy Marissa Peer.
So, in the next three blog posts we’re going to explore these 12 rules of the mind and we’re going to be breaking them down briefly into very simple and very easy to understand terms. After reading these, you will not only understand your mind better, you will understand and be more compassionate with how and you have been operating in the past and, my favorite, you will have this amazing opportunity to finally not just make friends, but become the master of your own mind. This is very important, because when we don’t understand this tool -the mind that we have, and we just perceive its automatic mechanisms as the only option we have and those mechanisms are completely unknown to us, of course we’re going to be overwhelmed, of course we’re going to be feeling lost and not knowing where to begin. But with this simple breakdown of how the mind operates in this very simple sets of rules, it’s going to be a piece of cake and it’s actually going to be an enjoyable process to be able to understand yourself and others and to improve your communication with yourself, your relationships and the way you live. It’s really an amazing and very simple framework.
We have a lot of myths around how the mind works, being very complicated, how the brain works and how the neurons are wired in the actual mechanics, and the 3D model of the brain is a different story than the mind. We don’t need to know how our heart is pumping blood inside of our body to know that we have a pulse, to know that we’re alive. Everything is feedback and everything is communicating something to us and synergizing with us, and that is also what your mind is doing. When you learn to understand your mind, you’ll be able to be its master, not the other way around, not feeling overwhelmed and doomed – a victim of your own mind. So, let’s just demystify the mind right now. Let’s debunk all those myths and have this very simple framework and rules to remember, to really digest and, hence, start acting from that knowledge, turning that knowledge into intelligence. So, let’s dive into it.
Rule number 1: What is expected tends to be realized.
What does this mean? The mind, and especially the subconscious mind that takes up to 95% of our whole mind, according to psychology, holds every experience, every lesson, everything that you’ve ever been through, that you’ve lived, that you thought. It doesn’t matter if you can’t consciously recall it, your mind is always on record, never on pause! It is this vast ocean of memories, of experiences, of lessons, of connections having been made consciously or unconsciously after certain experiences that you’ve had. So, because of these memories and how they’re stored but, also, how they’re connected with each other, the mind produces a mental blueprint of beliefs, of images, of words, of experiences, an amalgamation of everything and this unique combination and connection of all of these with each other is your own unique blueprint. And your blueprint and your way of connecting things in certain ways with each other, is your default path that the mind follows every time an experience comes up and your mind connects it to a similar experience of something that you’ve already lived.
To give you an example, one day I was just walking on a on a pavement on some city street and I was minding my own business. I was actually lost in thought and all of a sudden a dog just jumped at me. It was still on a leash and it was out for a walk with its owner, but it still jumped at me. I probably startled it, because I jumped into the scene and it hasn’t seen me, because there was a car parked between. Days later, I found myself actually being scared at any kind of object that looked like a dog that was just immediately after a car, that I would just walk by on the pavement. Pretty crazy, right? It just happened again and again. I was not thinking about this incident. At that moment, when it happened, I got over it quickly. Yes, I was a bit a bit scared, but then I continued walking and I didn’t even think about it. I didn’t talk about it. It didn’t occur to me, but I found myself being scared afterwards and my mind was seeing this everywhere. What does that mean? That I was subconsciously expecting it, my mind was expecting it and I was bracing myself for it. My body was already ready and I was not even conscious of what was going on.
When we make these processes conscious, we bring them, we observe them, they happen frequently enough so they actually give us the cues that, hey! This is not an accident, this is not a coincidence, there’s something here. Maybe we ought to look at it and, if we do look at it, we’re going to bring it on the conscious and understand what our mind is expecting. So, you may not want to be expecting disaster, you may not want to be expecting that you’re not going to do well in the next business meeting, you may not want to be expecting that you’re never going to find a parking spot where you want to meet your friends, you may not want to expect to earn very little money for the rest of your life, you may not want to want to expect that you are only going to have friends that put you down, that you don’t enjoy that don’t understand you and don’t support you. But, yet, we subconsciously have these embedded thoughts that work as a foundation. We don’t challenge them, because we don’t observe them, and, of course, we do nothing about it and, in that way, we are just giving our minds the free reign to keep on doing what it was doing, which was expecting the thing it was expecting yesterday.
So, unless we identify and we observe this mental blueprint that we’ve created, that our mind straight away goes back to every time it sees a similarity between a new experience and an old one, it’s always going to be the driver and it’s always going to be expecting the worst. So, a simple way to actually reframe this and make this work in our advantage is to expect the best, expect that your boss is going to respond to you positively when you go to him or her and ask for a raise, expect that you’re going to find a parking spot etc.
You know what I did years ago? I had a friend that was super “lucky” when it came to parking. I kid you not in the city center, he would find a parking spot sometimes right outside wherever our appointment was. I was not driving at the time, but I thought “The city is chaotic and it’s crazy to find a parking spot. To be able to find a parking spot like that- I want that. That’s a pretty handy skill to have. But how? This is not logical. But never mind. I’m going to decide now that I am that person that finds parking spots that easily everywhere. Because I like it, it’s convenient, wouldn’t it be nice? So, some months later I go on vacation and I rent a car. I just know, I believe and I already feel I am lucky, when it comes to parking, I just find the perfect parking spots. So the younger me would have found whatever location I wanted to get to on google maps and have searched for parking places. But that is not how this skill works. None of that. I understood that it was time to burn the boats, burn the bridges. This is not something that works when you’re half in and you have a plan b and even a plan c. I was like “nope, no need to do that, no need for extra homework, just drive! But it’s going to be the middle of the city. It doesn’t matter.” So, guess what. I just drove and I found! From the very first time I practiced this and ever since, it has always been the case. Even with bigger cars, spots right outside of the venue. And now, I do own a car and I continue applying this rule. The worst parking distance that I’ve ever found was one minute away from whatever venue I wanted to get to. So, I was expecting the best, I was single-minded about it and I was just driving. This is one example. See what magic you can do for yourself. Have fun. Play.
Rule number 2: Imagination is more powerful than logic.
Another way to say this is, imagination is more powerful than knowledge. You can already see how this is linked to the first rule of the mind and the examples that I’ve already given. So, a thing you want to ask yourself to understand this rule is: Do you think that violence would exist if logic was more powerful than imagination? Probably not, right? Most certainly not. Because it harms the doer as well as the person that it is done onto.
The reason that this rule of the mind is very important is that, if you can actually imagine something with great belief and with the pairing feelings of certainty, and you can really imagine what you imagine in detail, make it a full vivid realistic picture for the mind to see, the mind cannot differentiate it between reality. Whatever happens in your mind, in your imagination, in real time, your mind perceives as real. So, for example, if you actually start imagining right now the euphoria that you’d be feeling if you would be in the presence of Brad Pitt, your mind is actually producing these very biochemicals of euphoria and it’s giving you this boost as if it’s happening right now. You are already starting to develop your mood just because you’re imagining something and what you imagine does not register as imagination to your mind. It’s reality.
So, instead of putting a ceiling over your head by calling things as unrealistic or impossible, understand that this is just a measure of what has been done in the past and therefore you consider it as logic, because you base that logic on the knowledge of what has been achieved so far. So, you want to completely empty your mind of whatever you knew, you induce yourself, as I love to say it, in this state of amnesia, complete non-bias, as empty and as unbiased as you can become. Let’s see how you’re actually going to be undertaking tasks in this state. Let’s see what beliefs and what thoughts are going to naturally come to you. Let’s see what dreams and what tasks you’re going to start to tackle that perhaps you left on a shelf somewhere to collect dust because you didn’t believe in yourself and in the possibility of them happening.
You can really have fun with this rule of the mind, if you really imagine and visualize what you think and know that serves you. You can really prime yourself to a state that you can actually perform in that very same manner, same energy, same beliefs and start changing the default blueprint of your mind and shifting it to what you want to expect and pair these two rules together and start crafting your reality the way you want it.
If you like this post, tune in for the next ones where we explore the next rules of the mind, to complete apprehend this most marvelous tool we all have, and start using it for your best and most.