by: Josh Bryant
Nature gifts one athlete and he routinely get splinters in his ass from riding the pine. Another athlete, written off as subpar, is playing on Sundays and riding around in Bentley.
A trust fund baby now doesn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of and the storybook of his life is a perpetual chapter 11. Hitherto, someone else who ate so many armadillos growing up his grandpa rolls up into a ball when a dog barks is living uptown and smoking $75 dollar cigars.
One speaker is continuously booked, another can’t pay a shrink to listen.
The difference is mental programs.
You have been programmed since birth and are living out these programs. Everything you heard, your thoughts, and words spoken aloud about yourself and the world you live in are recorded in your brain.
These messages, repeated frequently, become chemically wired into your brain. Neurons that fire together wire together!
Growing up in a seemingly-positive environment, there were classmates, teachers, coaches and advertisements that germinated negative programs. It is estimated with a good upbringing you received 77% negative programs and were told no 150,000 times before age 18.
Jesuits for centuries have said – give us a child until he’s seven and we’ll have him for life. Psychology now agrees; parents, teachers and coaches, take note.
What about as you age?
95% of who you are at age 35 is a union of learned behaviors and emotional responses. This coalition spawns an identity your subconscious mind aligns with. Without taking action, 5% of your mind is consciously operating in reality and battling the other 95% of your unconscious programs.
Over time, a person receiving more positive programs does better than someone receiving negative programs. People who are super negative have worked on it day after day, word after word for years and are addicted to the chemical response like crack rock and, like a traditional addict, will do anything to get a fix!
Epigenetics is how genes express themselves as dictated by environment and one’s life experiences. Recent discoveries in this field show that you directly influence your genetic expressions when it comes to health, well-being and disease prevention.
Quoting Science Daily, “Now researchers show robust evidence that not only the inherited DNA itself but also the inherited epigenetic instructions contribute in regulating gene expression in the offspring.” Bottom line is, your programs are setting up your off-spring, positively or negatively.
You may come from a long line of losers, criminals and boozers but you have the freedom to change. Where your attention goes, your energy flows. You possess the power to free yourself and your descendants of a generational curse and set up generational blessings.
In the Book of Job we learn that if a man has with him “a messenger, an interpreter,” he will be delivered from going down to the pit and will return to his youth. While the Southern Baptist Convention may not agree with this exegesis, it is my view through a spiritual reading, this explains epigenetics in a way people thousands of year ago would understand.
Rewiring Your Brain
Everything you believe, think, say, and do is a result of your programs, regardless of the accuracy because your brain accepts the strongest programs as fact. In turn, these programs become unconscious habits.
Now, the good news.
Because of your brain’s neuroplasticity, it continually rewires itself. You possess the power to rewire your brain for successful programs.
“The Law of Flotation was not discovered by contemplating the sinking of things. but by contemplating the floating of things which floated naturally, and then intelligently asking why they did so,” said Tomas Troward.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself to see if a majority of your programs are negative.
Do you focus on what won’t work instead of what can work? On your fears instead of your strengths? On your faults instead of your positive qualities? On problems or are you a possibility thinker? On things that limit yourself? Do you have a bleak outlook for the future?
It matters because your programs are subconscious and the subconscious mind accepts what it’s told as fact and plays back the strongest message it receives. Your subconscious mind views your self-image as literal and will not view you, its ruler, as a liar.
Remember the warning from Lao Tzu, Vince Lombardi, Fred Hatfield and Gandhi. “Watch your thoughts, they become your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
Replacing negative programs takes weeks, not years, and you can create any new program you choose! Let’s take a look at 10 actionable steps you can take to replace, and or improve, existing programs.
Focus on and embrace the process. Start with the end in mind, then shift your focus on the process, the daily, actionable steps to get there. You don’t have complete control over the outcome but you do have control over the process. By identifying the process, then committing to it, you gain momentum daily as you take action. The product is always better when the process is embraced.
Eliminate energy drains. Psychic energy is finite. What in your life constantly drags you down? I used to watch the news but constantly hearing about earthquakes, tornados, wars, politics, disease and other negatives sapped my energy. I stopped watching the news; boom, felt better and preserved my psychic energy. What things do you do that drags you down? Take inventory, then take action. The more energy drains you eradicate, the higher the energy field you will operate in; good things will happen as you develop positive momentum.
Self-Talk The words you say are a means to an end! What matters is what those words cause you to picture. This is self-talk 101 and why we included an entire section on it in Grounded in Gratitude. Tell yourself not to squat high and you will be thinking about squatting high. It would have had the same effect to just say to yourself, “Squat high.” Conversely, had depth been as issue, you can tell yourself, “Execute proper depth” and that will be your focus.
If someone says do not to focus on the pink elephant in the room, where does your focus go? The pink elephant!
Your self-talk, the meaning of the words you convey, builds up or tears down your self-image.
Josh Expands on Self-Talk
Goals. Concentration camp survivor and logotherapy founder, Victor Frankl, kept close records of fellow prisoners’ behaviors in a secret diary. After a number of years, Frankl noticed something interesting, many of the prisoners who were physically weak survived these horrendous conditions better than prisoners in good shape. Frankl concluded that prisoners that had meaning and a sense of responsibility in their lives had the highest survival rates. Frankl realized once a prisoner found a why or reason to live, he became capable of surviving harsh conditions. Frankl believed purpose was achieved through goals. The take-home message is set goals and write them down.
Mental Rehearsal. By mentally rehearsing your goals, this will fire and wire them into your brain daily; with complete focus and intention, execute steps that align to form your self-image. Every day, mentally rehearse the behaviors you’re going to demonstrate in your life. This means close your eyes and, in a relaxed state, begin to star in a mental movie of what you’re going to do during the present day that aligns with your goals. This is primer for your brain to create your future and free yourself of your past. Every time you passionately watch a mental movie of your future, you teach your body emotionally how your future is going to feel—and as Joe Dirt says, “Keep on keeping on” until you feel like that person!
Identify take action. Identify—who, what, why, when and where. 1) Are you more likely to engage in negative talk about others, or in general, when you are around certain people? 2) What emotions encourage your worst habits? Drinking to excess could be celebratory or drowning your sorrows—find what emotions cause your bad habits to tick. 3) Who are you around when you experience these emotions? Is it a certain time of day, a certain person, a certain TV show? Figure out the trigger for these emotions. 4) Examine your daily routine from what you do to what you say. Furthermore, identify what situations cause the manifestation of bad habits. Write down your answers to these four questions and you are on the way because identification ignites awareness.
Ed Brown’s “Why”
Clean House. Want to live a life of sobriety? Grab every damn drop of alcohol in your house and pour it down the drain. Throw away the margarita glasses in the cabinet or anything you associate with drinking—this goes far beyond limiting access to alcohol, this is cathartic. Subconsciously, this causes a huge “buy in”. Want to get lean? Instead of enacting a moratorium on buying junk food, throw away what you have. If you live out in the country BURN IT, it will be even more powerful. Extreme—yes! But so are habits.
Swap It. As a teenager, I trained at a gym that was next to a building where people outside were smoking like chimneys or drinking coffee like it was going out of style. Come to find out, this was an Alcoholics Anonymous Chapter; cigarettes and coffee replaced the “sauce”. If you are drinking a six pack of coke a day and want to stop, try substituting it for water with lemon in it. Replace watching TV with reading books that can help you improve as a human being. Like to dip snuff? Probably because you like the feeling of that moist tobacco in your mouth, since it’s an oral fixation, try chewing gum. It’s more effective to know why you embrace a bad habit—if you like chips for the “crunch”, carrots are a better alternative than a banana. Swap a bad habit for a healthy alternative that will spark improvement.
Josh explains using time as a resource during the pandemic
The Power of “I AM”. Almighty God breathed his DNA into you and you are the pinnacle of his creation, created in his own image. With this son ship it means all things are possible! When you say, “I am,” it needs to align with your highest self. Begin with your self-talk, change the words that you use to define yourself. As you define your self-image you get to choose the words you place into your imagination. No longer say, “I am incapable of bench pressing 400 pounds,” move to “I am capable.” The words I am, which you consistently use to define who you are, take on ownership. That’s why I have never understood substance abuse programs that say, “I am an alcoholic.” Why define yourself as an alcoholic? I think it would work better to say, “I have a drinking problem. I am able to defeat this problem because I have resource I need to do so.” Stop using scornful labels to cast disparagements on yourself. Save the “I am” for noble pursuits, the attainment of your highest self, not your worst habits. This will give you the freedom to lift yourself to never-imagined heights. I have a challenge for you. Every day when you urinate (so I am not adding any time to your day), say to yourself, “Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better.” If no one is around say it out loud (say it in your head if people are). If you are like me and couldn’t give a flying flip, say out loud regardless. Do this for 30 days. See how you feel—please let me know.
Develop a Growth Mindset. The growth mindset dictates that no one is born a winner or loser but a chooser. It’s not a matter of smart versus dumb, but learner versus non learner. This mindset uses challenges as tools to help someone grow rather than a setback. The growth mindset finds feedback constructive rather than insulting. It also recognizes the effort is necessary. In short, the growth mindset is a “yet” mindset. What this means is you may not be there YET, but it means you’re on the way. For every cause, there is an affect; all choices are based on free will, you are the master of your fate.
Josh explains how to develop a growth mindset
Science has shown that once your brain is trained to think more positive via programs, you actually wire more neural networks into the left prefrontal cortex of the brain, the part brain that helps you seek options, alternatives, and puts you into positive action. Negative programs wire the right prefrontal cortex the part of the brain that causes it to shut down your options and get the f out of dodge.
It’s all about programs and you are the programmer—take ownership!
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