Self help gurus emphasize the importance of the subconscious mind capacities in our lives. The basic idea to use our subconscious is that we can make our thoughts (positive or negative) a reality by holding them in our mind long enough until they manifest around us. Nobody denies nor belittles the importance of the subconscious; In fact our subconscious make us who we are and it is the part that keeps us alive by controlling breathing and heart beat. Psychologist Paul Bloom answers "why do we have a subconscious?" by saying that this is not the best way to look at mental life as most of what we do is subconscious. The question we should be asking is "why do have that small part of mental life called consciousness since it occupies a smaller portion of our brain? We are immersed in our own routines to the point that we almost do not need our conscious mind at all. Maybe Leonardo Da Vinci can tell us more about us than what we can tell about ourselves. Leonardo once reflected sadly that the average human: looks without seeing, listens without hearing, touches without feeling, eats without tasting, moves without physical awareness, inhales without awareness of fragrance, and talks without thinking. Although our subconscious is vital for us to be alive, our conscious mind has what we live for. In the following points I will address the importance of reviving our conscious mind in relation to five subjects:
Design firm IDEO's General Manager Tom Kelley and author of The Art of Innovation, spoke of his favorite trait of an innovator which he calls "Thinking like a Traveler". When people travel aboard, their brain is "turned on" and they notice small details that locals don't usually notice. That means that we are currently surrounded by details that we are not noticing. Tom Kelley gives a beautifully metaphor to expose us to this truth: "I don't know who discovered water, but I am sure it is not a fish". Therefore, we can be more creative by simply turn on our conscious mind. A great tool for this trait is to log your thoughts and ideas in notebook. By doing so, you are consciously looking around for ‘something’ and eventually you will find it. Ponder this question: What kind of a world would we be in right now if Isaac Newton did not notice the apple fall of the tree?
Stress is a major factor of many health problems as it sabotages the immune system. Luckily, meditation and exercising come to our rescue. First, let’s take meditation, what is it? Meditation is a practice in which the practitioner self-induces a mode of consciousness in order to relax. Some common meditation exercises are: concentrating the mind on a particular part of our body, creating a sound such as "om" and "ah", and practicing deep breathing. Once more, focusing your mind on doing nothing or your daily activities can make you healthier person. In fact concentration can turn a usual activity into a stress relieve exercise. A study that was done by Harvard University shows that if you remind yourself of the invisible exercises that you do such as shopping, taking a shower, or even eating can improve your heath by only realizing that you are performing that exercise.
I have never read a self-help book about success that does not accentuate the significance of writing your goals. When it comes to personal success, setting and accomplishing small goals that lead to an ultimate goal is the road map to success. Goals must be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timed). This process of setting goals, measuring, evaluating, and timing them is another conscious exercise that shall be carried out with a pen and paper to confronting your subconscious self and giving it a reality check.
One of the most successful methods to lose weight is counting the calories you consume daily by keeping a diet journal. By doing so, you stay conscious of your food consumption and know exactly when to stop eating. Another proof of the importance of conscious eating is the fact that people consume more when they are distracted by, for instance, watching TV. One local custom that hinders our control of food consumption is "group eating", we sit on the same dish and eat, chat, and have fun which leads us to eat more than what we need.
I would like to share a story I once read that shall illustrate this point:
a happy aged woman was asked by a young girl of her secret of happiness.
"My dear," she said, "I keep a Pleasure Book."
"A Pleasure Book. Long ago I learned that there is no day so dark and gloomy that it does not contain some ray of light, and I have made it one business of my life to write down the little things which mean so much to a woman. I have a book marked for every day. It has the little things: the new gown, the chat with a friend, the thoughtfulness of my husband, a flower, a book, a walk in the field, a letter, a concert, or a drive. It all goes into my Pleasure Book, and, when I am inclined to complain, I read a few pages to see what a happy, blessed woman I am. You may see my treasures if you will."
"Slowly the stubborn, discontented girl turned over the book reading a little here and there.
One day's entries were: "Had a pleasant letter from mother. Saw a beautiful lily in a window. Found the pin I thought I had lost. Saw such a bright, happy girl on the street. Husband brought some roses in the evening."
"Have you found a pleasure for every day ?" the discontented girl asked.
"For every day," the low voice answered; "I had to make my theory come true, you know."
The young girl ought to have stopped there, but did not; and she found that page where it was written:
"He died with his hand in mine, and my name upon his lips."
Just as our subconscious is vital, having an employed conscious mind is crucial to our lives. The good news is that your conscious mind is under your command, unlike the subconscious that you have no immediate control of, the conscious mind mostly can be immediately controlled using a pen and paper.
So decide to be conscious and bring your conscious mind to consciousness.