Have you ever wondered why some people are uber successful – what’s their secret?
It’s certainly not true to say that all successful people were born into success or It’s a natural ability, but it is true to say that they are using their brain in a different way to other people. As modern science uncovers the secrets of the brain, we begin to understand more about what is happening in the mind so that everyone can learn to operate their brain in a way that makes success in anything you choose to do inevitable.
Six months after I learnt how to tap into my Superpower, I walked in to an Audi dealership and bought a brand new Audi TT sports car – I was on my way the supermarket to do the weekly shop at the time! Ten months prior to that I was more than £10,000 in debt.
Before you begin to learn about how to unlock your superpower, you need to understand about your brain, how the various part operate and interact with each other so you can, at will, summon your intellect where your superpower resides as and when you need it.
Lets have a look at the elements of the brain we need to be concerned with.
The first bit, is our Conscious Brain, or to those of you in the know, the left pre-frontal cortex. This is the bit you use to interact with people and the world generally; you’re using that bit at the moment to read and make sense of this. We call this bit The Boss and ultimately it calls the shots and makes the final decisions.
At the moment (because you’re reading this and actively engaged in something clever!) your conscious brain is connected or working with your vast intellectual resource, your intellectual brain, or the higher cortex if you like. This bit is also split into the left and right cortex, the left is your logical side and the right your artistic side, you may have heard people talk about they are left or right brain. We actually swap between the two regularly.
When you are operating from your intellectual brain, you normally get things right in life, it will always come up solutions based on a proper assessment of the situation and is usually very positive. This bit we don’t share with other animals, which is why you don’t see animals such as dogs driving around in cars or inventing mobile phones with keypads to suit their paws.
So far so good! We’ve got a conscious thinking bit that works excellently with a clever intellectual artistic, positive bit. So if we could stay here all the time, life would be pretty hunky dory wouldn’t it?
But there’s another bit and this is our primitive brain. The primitive bit we’re talking about here is technically the Limbic brain, our mammalian brain which we do share with animals and at the centre of this is the Amygdala which we refer to as the flight/fight mechanism and this works very closely with two other primitive parts, the hippocampus which holds our primitive and sometimes inappropriate behavior patterns or habits and then there’s the hypothalamus which regulates the chemical responses in our body and mind.
Now we have the boss, the clever part and the primitive bit.
So, how do they interact with each other? Let’s put it in perspective:
Imagine that you went outside your house right now and there was a Polar Bear in the street, what would happen?
Well, your heart rate would go up, your stomach would start churning, you would get all sweaty and you would move from your intellectual and conscious part to your primitive part and you would get out of there as fast as you could. Now, this would actually happen so quickly, it wouldn’t register it conscious immediately and you wouldn’t want it to, you don’t want to be standing around in the street having a conscious conflab with your intellect asking “Golly Gosh, is that a dangerous polar bear I see charging towards me, what’s that doing here?” You would be dead.
When your primitive brain steps and take control, it does so very firmly and you are compelled into action without thinking.
This is entirely appropriate for polar bears, but the same thing tends to happen in our modern life; when our anxiety levels go up, and it can be a gradual process, we lose intellectual control and, to a greater or lesser extent, the primitive brain steps in and takes over. But this primitive brain is NOT an intellect, it can’t work out what to do about a situation, it can’t come up with solutions. All it can do is refer to previous patterns of behaviour, whatever you did yesterday, or last time you invoked the same feelings or circumstances and you survived, you will be compelled to do the same thing again. All this part of your brain cares about is keeping you alive, it’s not rational, it doesn’t care if the behaviour is appropriate or your quality of life, it doesn’t even have to make sense, all it cares about is survival and not getting physically hurt, so if it keeps you safe and alive, then it’s made you do the right thing and it will make you do the same again the next time.
So, to clarify when your anxiety levels go up, the primitive reactionary brain takes over. Which begs the question of course, why do your anxiety levels go up?
Well, it’s not circumstances or events in your life which cause anxiety, if it were, every student at university would be having panic attacks and they’re not all having panic attacks, so we know it is not events – it is your thought patterns surrounding events.
The primitive brain is a very negative brain and it will negatively forecast the future which could be big things, like ‘I’ll never be a millionaire’ or I’ll never get married or have children’ but equally, it can be every day things and someone who operates largely from their primitive brain will be negatively forecasting about everything or negatively introspecting about the past.
Take for example, someone who has been called into a meeting with their boss – immediately they will think the worst and jump to worst possible conclusions, they will assume it is for negative reasons. As the meeting gets closer, they will go over and over it in their mind, they will go over it fifty times and, fifty times, it will be a disaster, they’re going to get a warning or sacked or made redundant or whatever other disastrous conclusion they can imagine. This is a vitally important point – it is their imagination, but your brain does NOT know the difference between imagination and reality. Every time you IMAGINE something negative, your brain believes you and believes it is real – it’s your brain, it doesn’t know a whole bunch of stuff you don’t know, it only know what you tell it and what you believe and mostly what you imagine.
So, when you negatively forecast the future, imagining something is going to happen or go wrong, your brain believes you, it doesn’t know the difference between that and a sabre tooth tiger, it just interpret it as crisis, emergency or danger and steps in and takes control.
Then, as it is concerned with crisis, emergency or danger, it starts doing risk assessments and getting you to imagine everything which could go wrong and focus on everything in negative terms, it will look for threat or danger everywhere, in work or outside, in your relationships, how other people might be thinking about you and the more you do it, the more you get locked in.
There is more, when it does lock you in, it behaves in certain ways:
- It thinks in terms of the worst possible scenario
- It’s not going to let you forget about the danger (problems)
- Compel you to repeat previous pattern of behaviour (usually unhelpful)
- Makes everything about YOU. (paranoid)
- It thinks in terms of all or nothing..
This is important because while you are locked in your primitive brain, looking at everything in a negative light and moaning about your lot, your intellect and your superpower are not functioning very well. In fact this is having a very direct and negative impact on your superpower. Your superpower can work against you if you are not careful and the longer you spend in your primitive brain the more time it has to train your superpower into keeping you super-safe and instead of being able to use it to your benefit, it holds you back, preventing you from stepping outside your comfort zone because the unknown is dangerous or so it believes.
The problem for humans is that our default operating system or the part of our brain that we default to when it’s not actively engaged in something positive is this primitive survival bit.
So, in primitive times, we were perfectly functioning, evolving and, most importantly of all, surviving humans.
But where are the sabre tooth’s today? They’re not in your back garden and they’re not down the street or at the supermarket either. Humans have become top predator in most circumstances and definitely in our modern western world, but our brain, instead of updating itself, has adapted around modern life. Today our stresses tend to be of money and materialistic possessions, health and relationships, not angry tigers on the loose. However, the primitive brain interprets those feelings of anxiety or worry and crisis or danger, just as it did two thousand years ago, but where do those feelings come from? Your thoughts, they start with out how you are thinking about situations
Negative forecasting = negative feelings = negative action or reaction.
How we think determines how we feel and how we feel determines how we behave.
Understanding this concept of the negative thinking primitive brain vs the positive solution thinking intellect is central to taking control and directing your thoughts in a positive way and harnessing your superpower into your superhero and not your super-villain – because it could go either way.
People who think they are a glass half empty unlucky soul have unleashed the power of their super-villain – are these people super successful enjoying life to the full, living life on their terms? Doubtful
More likely they are diving into a bottle every night, blaming other every man and his dog for his poor luck, smoking, (do your own research – how many uber successful people smoke?) disassociating themselves from any responsibility, wondering why they can’t hold down a job or never get promoted, why they can’t afford this or that – it’s not their fault, it’s everyone else’s and the world owes them.
This is the super-villain working at it’s best (or worst)
And do you know what – It’s a choice. YOU choose your super villain or superpower.
You can learn how to choose and get that superpower working the way you want it to, bringing you the things you want and desire, moulding and shaping your life so you can live it on your terms, with your rules. Putting YOU in control, at the helm steering the good ship YOU where you want it to go.