Do you muscle your way into the future, constructing your life as though it’s a project? If you try to do that, you’ll be disappointed.
The real meaning behind this statement is that we need to assume responsibility for our lives and the future we want to impact.
It starts with focusing on the reality you create right now, which is shaped by what you focus your attention on and the images you hold in your mind.
Advanced studies in neuroscience show that we are hard-wired to focus on negative images. When we see something beautiful, we notice it briefly and then our attention quickly moves on. But when we see something disturbing, we become riveted on it.
Rick Hanson, author of Buddha’s Brain, says our brains are teflon for positive images and velcro for negative.
The good news is, we can consciously rewire our brains by paying attention to positive images. There are many simple things you can do to change your neural pathways and the reality you experience. Here are three:
1) When you see something positive, extend your attention for an additional 60 seconds. Don’t just glance off and move on.
2) Keep a gratitude journal and write 5 positive things that impacted you each day.
3) Make a habit of smiling at the clerk each time you purchase something.
These simple acts can make a big difference in your experience. But you need to be intentional about it because it won’t happen naturally.
On a daily basis we are bombarded with destructive images – in movies, on television, in electronic games, in magazines, and more.
Ask anyone to describe what a post-World War III world would look like and they can easily give you a vivid description because they have seen destruction depicted in numerous ways. However, if you ask them to describe what world peace looks like, they have so little to draw on that their description will be vague, lacking imagery.
We must actively seek out positive images or our sense of reality will be unbalanced.
Many wonderful and powerful things are happening everyday. But we have to look for them because they won’t be presented to us in the media.
In this profound and funny TEDx Talk, my friend and colleague Noah Blumenthal discusses the “Danger of Hot Sexy News” and what we can do in a world where the news industry has been taken over by the equivalent of the WWF.
p.s. One more simple thing you can do to rewire your brain – stop watching the evening news on television.