You have at your disposal one of the most powerful contraptions known to man.
Something that’s yet to be beaten in terms of it’s sheer power and capabilities.
… your mind.
Control it and you can control… anything.
Mwah ha ha ha…
Our mind is truly, truly amazing and most of us just take it for granted or at least don’t use anything like its full potential (now that would be impressive) but like the most scary and powerful computer in the universe, like the baddie’s super-computer in all of those super-hero movies, sometimes our mind can lead us astray. It can malfunction, it can fool us and it can seem like it’s working against us. Sometimes it can mislead us and we don’t even realize (like when we don’t exactly recall things how they really were).
Here’s a little more on how amazing our brain is: Everyday Stretch Routine… For Your Brain
So taking charge of this immense power we have at our disposal is often easier said than done, but entirely possible and though it seems a little fantastical, I’m really not exaggerating when I say you can get some amazing (literally world-changing) results.
Your Unique View Of The World
Did you know that we all have our own unique view of the world?
Well we do.
It’s why we’re all different and it’s at the root of a lot of the issues, mis-understandings, and mis-communication that we may come across in our everyday lives. So understanding these differences, why they exist and how we can use that knowledge can be very useful indeed in all kinds of ways, as you’re about to find out.
Here’s what your world is made up of:
- your filters
- your thoughts
yep – these two things are what make up your very own unique view of the world. Your map of the world; your world view. Your reality.
… and it’s the same for everyone (except as everyone has different filters and different thoughts, everyone’s reality is different).
So let’s have a little look at each of these two things and then we’ll look at how to we can use this information and understanding to do some truly amazing things.
Like, maybe even… conquer the world!!
Our Filters – How We Make Sense Of The World
So every day we are bombarded with information.
Literally millions, maybe billions of pieces of information flying at us through our five senses – sights, sounds, tastes, smells, feelings… we are constantly getting bombarded with this information.
It just doesn’t stop.
… and actually, we are not capable of dealing with all of it.
So in order to process this information we filter out any information that is not relevant to us – or more precisely any information that we don’t think is relevant to us.
These filters develop through our lives and experiences and are different for everybody. For example, if we were having a conversation in a busy street, I’d be listening to your voice, and perhaps be aware of some of my immediate surroundings in terms of sights, sounds, smells etc but a lot of the distant images and background noises I may just not process at all as they are not relevant to me. I’d miss them completely.
In addition to this everyday example we may develop more concrete filters according to our beliefs. If we believe really strongly that we’re not worthy of something and someone compliments us, we may just not hear that compliment at all (p.s. we’re going to have another article with much more detail on this next week).
So for this reason, if you were to put 10 people in the same event, those 10 people could have a very different experience of that event – because they wouldn’t all see, hear, see, taste and feel exactly the same things.
So we all have our own unique reality (our own view of the world) based on how we filter and process information.
I mentioned above that these filters develop through our lives and experiences and are different for everybody.
But exactly how do these filters develop through our lives?
One way these filters develop is through our cognitive biases – which are effectively a by-product of our processing limitations and as such our mechanism for coping with all the information that is thrown at us.
That all sounds a little confusing so to give you a more concrete example of a very powerful cognitive bias which we are all prone to, let’s look at Confirmation Bias.
Confirmation Bias basically tells us that we tend to see and hear things that confirm what we already believe and filter out everything else. Not only that but we tend to actively choose people, events, media and experiences that relate strongly to our own preferences, behaviours and beliefs.
If we for example believe that a certain breed of dog is violent, then we would be attentive to all news articles, programmes on the TV and conversations that confirm hat belief but at the same time tend not to spot any news articles or programmes on the TV that conflicted that view and were we to have a conversation with mixed reports, good and bad about such a dog, we’d only hear the bad, or at least magnify the bad proportionally in our recollection of that conversation.
Confirmation bias also works with regard to what we expect to see and hear, filtering out anything that we don’t expect to see. Take a look at this video:
Our Thoughts – How We ‘Shape’ Our World
As well as having our own unique reality according to our filters, we further shape our world with our thoughts.
Our thoughts determine our reality.
By thoughts I mean both short term or immediate thoughts as well as long held beliefs.
One of my favorite quotations which captures beautifully what I’m trying to tell you here is from Henry Ford:
The good news is that by changing your thoughts and beliefs you can change your reality.
This is often easier said than done, particularly when dealing with long held beliefs but entirely possible and also something that gets easier with practice.
For more information and a great exercise to help with this process read this article: Limiting Beliefs: Are You Being Your Biggest Hurdle?
Your Feelings Or Your Thoughts?
OK, so if you touch something hot and burn yourself, what you’re feeling is real heat, it’s not a thought that you can change to prevent yourself from getting burnt (though you can think about not putting your hand there in the first place!)
But what about if you’re feeling sad?
Our feelings are not always the result of physical events that we have no control over.
More often than not, they are linked to our thoughts and therefore if we change our thoughts, we can change our feelings.
In fact, even if our feelings are a direct result of an uncontrollable physical event, we can still change our feelings about that event by changing the thoughts we have associated with it.
These days, “sad” is just another emotion and actually pretty useful for making “happy” quite a cool place to be when it comes along (which I’m pleased to say is fairly often). “Sad” is going to happen just as much as any one of a number of other emotions. Hopefully it will just be more fleeting.
In considering this feeling for a moment, what I realized is that what I was feeling was the content of my thinking – i.e. feeling sad was a very reliable indication that I was thinking “sad thoughts”. Since we live in the moment by moment feeling of our thinking, a sad feeling is as closely related to “sad” thinking as rain is to feeling wet.
At that point I have a choice – either I attempt to identify the thoughts that are causing this sad feeling and change them so that I don’t feel sad any more, or I seek simply to understand the source of my feeling, accept it and move on.
Obviously that depends upon the thoughts in question, how easy they are to change and how sad I was feeling in the first place – i.e. if it was worth the effort.
In this particular case, I realized where the sad feeling was coming from by identifying the associated thoughts, I didn’t squash those thoughts completely but modified them slightly so they had less impact as well as also balancing them with some other ‘happy thoughts’ on the same subject – then I moved on feeling more balanced and content.
A Few Suggestions – Here Are 40 Ways You Could Change Your World
Don’t believe me? Well changing your reality is as easy as changing your thoughts or your perspective or understanding that we all have a different view of the world and acting accordingly to have a better or more successful relationship with others.
- Improve your cooking – Stop thinking you can’t cook and start believing you can – learn and enjoy the process and make yourself some interesting meals. Experiment whilst you do it so you don’t fall back on safe options once you’ve mastered something but keep on developing your culinary talents
- Achieve your ideal weight – Stop beating yourself up about your weight and instead come up with a plan to do something about it – think about the only two trends that matter and forgive yourself any minor setbacks, focusing instead on moving in the right direction overall
- Achieve ‘Success’ – Change your perspective on what constitutes success in your life – for example stop trying to keep up with your neighbors
- Understand people better – Change your thoughts about a particular persons motives by looking at the world from their point of view and understanding why they see things differently to you
- ‘Right-Size’ – Stop thinking of bigger as better and try removing excess from your life to leave room to enjoy what you have more
- Achieve more wealth – Stop focusing on money and start focusing on wealth
- Argue less – Learn to stop arguing with someone by understanding your differences
- Eliminate bad habits – Understand any bad habits you have and learn how to change your bad habits into good habits by understanding your triggers and rewards
- Learn to forgive – Get along with people you previously found intolerable by learning how to forgive them
- Communicate more effectively – understanding that we all have different views of the world helps tremendously in communicating more effectively
- Stop Procrastinating – Stop procrastinating by changing your thought process around what’s holding you back
- Change your views on networking – stop seeing yourself as a poor networker and get out and start talking to people
- Stop getting annoyed – If someone is annoying you because of a particular habit or phrase they have, change your thought associated with that and stop getting annoyed by it
- Improve at golf – Improve your game of golf by seeing every shot as a new and interesting challenge (rather than dwelling on bad shots that have been and gone) – substitute golf for any other sport you choose
- Have better conversations – Next time you have a conversation with someone, decide to really listen – make the conversation as much about them as you can and as little about you as possible
- Change your view on meals and what makes a ‘good meal’ – for example switching ‘volume’ or ‘variety’ for ‘healthy’
- Be happier – Allow yourself to be happy
- Learn to visualize – Use the power of visualization to better achieve your goals
- Change your views on technology – do you really need all of the latest gadgets?
- Change your relationship with food – eat mindfully and enjoy every mouthful
- Have more influence with your language – Understand how the choice of your language has an impact on others according to their unique view of the world
- Get even healthier – Once you’re on top of your diet, use this simple thought to be even more healthy
- Have some fun – Stop thinking you’re too grown up to have fun – have some fun and feel like a child again
- Leave the clean plate club – Change your view on clearing your plate: you don’t have to finish it!
- Change your view on failure – realize that it’s ok to fail – here’s why
- Understand if you are stressed – Understand if you are stressed and decide to do something about it
- Laugh more
- Learn how to motivate yourself and others – Understand how to use values to motivate
- Enjoy Work More – Realize that work is half of your life – so enjoy it!
- Tolerate limited information better – Understand the nature of filters – realize that every story is incomplete and what you can do about that
- Take control of your stress – Take control of your stress by understanding that it’s not our stress that kills us, it’s our reaction to it
- Keep things in perspective – Don’t let the voice in your head take over or exaggerate things out of proportion – keep things in perspective
- Learn Influence – Influence others by combining visualization with procedural thinking
- Increase sales – Realize that the confused mind always say’s “No’ – and increase sales by offering less choice (who would’ve known?)
- Design a better life – Work out what is really important to you in life and design a better life for yourself
- Feel better about yourself & your abilities – Change your views on being the best & realize that there are times when you don’t have to be the best
- De-clutter – Stop using the ‘future use excuse‘ and change your views on keeping ‘stuff’
- Minimalize – easily – When something breaks, don’t automatically replace it – challenge other ‘automatic responses’/thought processes such as this one
- Be more comfortable saying “I don’t know” – Stop being afraid to admit when you don’t know something & if you don’t know the answer, be the first to say it
- Beat self-doubt – When you experience self-doubt, change your thoughts to beat that self-doubt by asking yourself “Am I being of service…”
I didn’t even have to stop at 40 (it’s just a number plucked out of thin air – well, not exactly thin air: I’m 40 this year and drinking a cup of tea from a mug that has ‘The World’s Best 40 Year Old’ written on it. I told my son not to buy me another ‘Best Dad In The World’ cup for my birthday so he got me that instead).
Anyways, I didn’t have to stop at 40, I could have gone on and on and on… because this is really fundamental stuff so if you think about it, there will be countless little every day examples where shifting your perspective ever so slightly can actually make a huge difference in your life.
Particularly when it’s around big subjects such as your perspective on wealth, confidence, happiness, health and success.
You’ll also see that most of the points above relate to articles on this website – again because this is fundamental and an underlying principle behind a lot of what we write about. For that reason, the majority of the articles we write here are going to relate to this one.
So how do we conquer the world?
Well, the point is it’s YOUR world.
If you feel like your world is messed up, you can absolutely change it.
If things are going great but you want to turn it up a notch and make them even better, you can do that too.
You will be amazed at what you can achieve when you put your mind to it. You may have heard that expression ‘put your mind to it’ before. Practically it means ‘do something about it‘, literally it means: ‘change your thoughts and you will change your reality‘.
… and when you can change your reality, anything is possible.