Throughout my business career I’ve applied the success principles I’m sharing with you in my business and personal life and taught the principles to everyone in my marketing organization. What frustrated me was that some people used them immediately to create success, while others seemed to have not heard anything at all. I was determined to find out why and began to study people and what motivated them to think and act the way they did. I soon realized that the level of programming people had when they were very young created a series of beliefs, and these beliefs either empowered or limited them.
I developed a model to help people better understand why we believe what we do, how our mind works and how our Mindset (beliefs, programs and habitual pattern of thinking) is created. I call it the Cycle of Life because it is a self-perpetuating process that creates and reinforces the mindset that is producing whatever results we are getting.
The basic premise for this model is the fact that every one of us comes into this world with unlimited potential. We are like the most powerful super computer ever created, with almost infinite processing capabilities at unimaginable speed, unlimited high access storage and the most robust, self-adaptive, self-learning operating system ever created. But we come with no programs; we have no software in this super-computer, which means we are not consciously aware of ourselves or our capabilities.
Then the people who were entrusted with our care immediately began to protect and train us (program us) “for our own good.” They installed software into our beautiful super-computer (mind) based on what they believed we needed to learn. In essence, they transferred their programs to us, complete with all their worries, doubts, fears, failures and limitations. They love us but they can’t give us what they don’t have or teach us what they don’t know so they give us and teach us what they have and know.
Therefore, the basis of the programs that now run our wonderful super-computer (mind) and operating system (mindset) are flawed and limited programs that were haphazardly installed in us without our permission or of our own choosing. This is how we all came to be where we are in our lives right now. And unless we have already begun the process of self-awareness and reprogramming our minds on purpose based on our own dreams and desires, we shall continue on this path unconsciously.
The illustration below represents a visual explanation of the actual process. The cycle begins with past experiences, random events and external stimuli. and the influence of role models and authority figures producing mental associations and generalizations, which give meaning to these experiences. The result is your current mindset, which is really a series of beliefs, programs and assumptions.
Much of this conditioning took place in your life before you were old enough to make conscious choices. Things happened to you during your childhood that made you who you are today, but remember that up until about age six you didn’t have the gatekeeper to the subconscious mind so you were not “choosing” or “blocking” information that was being fed to you. All authority figures and role models influenced the formation of your early beliefs, which became the foundation of your entire belief system today.
By the time you started making your own choices later in life, you were already conditioned to think, believe, feel and act in a certain way. All of this has evolved into your present mindset, which determines who you are and in turn determines the life you have now and the results you are producing.
Your mindset is comprised of several major components. For the sake of simplicity and practical use, consider them as patterns of thought, ways of processing information and systems of beliefs.
The four key components of your mindset are:
The bottom line regarding your mindset is this: Whatever you believe to be true is the reality you’ll experience in your life. Your mindset determines who you are, what you believe and what you will do.
Your mindset also sets up perceptual filters to control the information that it has to deal with. At any moment, our senses are bombarded with millions of stimuli per second. So, our mindset protects us by paying attention to what’s important to us, which is determined by our beliefs.
Unfortunately, in our mindset’s automated process of protecting us, we become more entrenched in our beliefs. And if these filters block and prevent the very information that could help us change, this creates a big problem.
These filters are a projection of our mindset—of who we are. They are the lenses through which we “see, hear and feel” every experience and therefore determine how we interpret and give them meaning.
That’s why it’s possible for a group of people to observe an event and each person to have their own version of what happened. These are the perceptual filters at work. They determine what you’ll pay attention to, how you pay attention, who you will listen to and who you will believe.
Based on your beliefs about your abilities, talents, potential, deservingness, worthiness and various other factors, your mindset determines your desires in different areas. It literally keeps you from desiring things it doesn’t feel you deserve, aren’t good enough to have, don’t have the ability to do, or are outside your control.
Your mindset with its perceptual filters also determines your decision-making patterns and criteria.
In turn, those decisions determine what actions you will take or not take on a consistent basis.
These actions (or lack of action) repeated over time will create abilities and habits, which are our automatic thinking, processing and action patterns. They will produce results automatically and these results will always be congruent with your mindset—which, by the way, validates to you that you were right all along!
This is why it is so difficult to get yourself to change behaviors and beliefs. Your mind is continually validating the “truthfulness” of the belief by producing a result that’s equivalent with the belief, thereby “proving it” to you.
We were conditioned by the experiences we had before we could choose consciously. Then, we started choosing and got more results that were congruent with our mindset. All along, our mindset was being further reinforced and developed and this “Cycle of Life” was perpetuating itself in our lives. In our next article I’ll start teaching you how to break out of a negative Cycle and convert it to a positive one! Until then…
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God Bless & Live Your Passion!