Our attitude is made up of how we think, how we feel and how we act. Our attitude creates our life, which also means that if we want to change our life, we must change our attitude. If we act automatically and think and do the same thing again and again, we are simply controlled by our unconscious and experience a similar past reality. If we want a different and a better life, we must be mindful and purposeful and act according to the life we want. The starting point is being aware and conscious of the unconscious behaviors we have been choosing to express. Once recognized, we must mindfully make new better choices, take new actions, and create new experiences based on the life we want to have.
We need to deliberately and repeatedly make choices of thoughts and actions that are consistent with the new reality we’re committed to creating. Continuing to think and behave the old ways leads to rigidity in the brain and reinforcing the old patterns, while thinking and behaving in a new healthy way allow us to tap into the power of neuroplasticity. Our new way makes our brain fire in different sequences, patterns and combinations. And by activating new brain pathways and networks of neurons in different ways, we are changing your mind. This is also help us think out of the box, be more creative and pushes us to face fear and unknow. It promotes new thoughts that leads to new choices, new behaviors, new experiences and ultimately new emotions.
When we allow ourselves to experience the present moment with curiosity and novelty, you leave the same familiar predictable self and connected with the new self. You enter into a new unpredictable, unfamiliar self. You then create a new self with new thoughts, new choices, new behaviors, and new emotions.
Being in the present moment without judgment allow us to connect to our best self. It enhances with positive thinking of good values, gratitude, appreciation and compassion to all. The more frequent and duration we experience these present moments, we continually expand our ability to learn and perform and empower our brain to act toward our best self.
Being in the present moment and choosing new thoughts and behavior is not easy as it doesn’t feel normal and we don’t feel like ourselves (the old, normal self). That is why most people feel that discomfort and immediately return to their old ways.
Again, awareness is the starting point to step into the river of change, seeing what is happening without judgment and stay with the uncomfortable feelings that are healthy and expected. To go beyond that, we need to cultivate the courage to get to the other side of the river—to become our new selves by diligently, consistently and patiently and again making new constructive choices toward becoming or being our best self.
Choosing our thoughts and behaviors has powerful implications. Many people, for example don’t realize that while our DNA code itself never changes, our thoughts and behaviors can “turn on” or “turn off” different sequences in the code—resulting in extraordinarily different expression of that genetic code. I mentioned our genetics only to illustrate the power of our thoughts, decision and actions that change our chemicals in the body. With every thought we think, every emotion we feel, and every event we experience, we reprogram our cells and our genetics. In other words, we control our life. We control our destiny.
So, how do we practically change our brain and change our destiny?
The brain is objective machine, whatever we feed it, the brain takes it “literally.” If we get an input from our environment or have memory from our past, the brain treats it in the same manner. The same thing applies to our attitude and evaluation of a situation as well as the quality of our thoughts either positive or a negative. All these inputs make our brain produces chemical and response to the situation – real or imagined. If we understand that this is the way our brain works, we can reverse engineering the process to our benefit.
So, if we can create positive thoughts, we “instruct” the brain to produce positive chemicals. The reverse is true as well. As such, it is important to have thoughts of gratitude and appreciation and act in a positive and compassionate way, which create positive chemicals in our body. In the same manner, we can also use our consciousness to create our future, desired self.
A good way of reprograming our mind is through mental imagery or mental rehearsal. In this technique, we are repeatedly imagining performing an action. We mentally imaging your desired self in action during difficult situation. We remind ourselves that we are the creator of our new improved self and no longer destined to be our old self. We can imagine that we are director of a television series. Knowing that we are an actor that plays the role we want to act. The process involves thinking about our future actions, mentally planning our choices, considering the challenges we face, and focusing our mind on the new experiences. In this manner we strengthen the new neural circuits of the new self and weaken the circuits of the old self. The circuits in our brain begin to reorganize themselves to reflect what we are mentally rehearsing and creating our new self, our new life.
As we continually practicing new thoughts and mental images and fuse it with strong and positive emotions, our mind and body become synchronize and create a new state of being. With time, our brain and body are no longer a slave to our past self, rather they are a map of our future self.
This mental rehearsal has known by peak performers. As you may know many of the top athletes use this kind of mental training. Top performer even in business recognize the importance of mentally rehearsing your ideal performances and desired results.
So, to mentally rehearse, you need to define your future self. As such, you must answer questions like: What is your ideal self looks like? Who are you? What kinds of life you aspire to? How do you negotiate that agreement? How do you confront a friend that disappointed you? How do you deal with situation when someone makes you angry, upset and so on? By rehearsing, you re-wire your brains and again create your new life.