In maneuvering through my challenges over the past few years, part of my health regime was figuring out what was going on in my head; decode it and then figure out how I wanted to recode it. I’ve learned a lot about the way our melons work. 100 billion neurons and 100 trillion connections make up the human brain. It’s a really juicy world up there with a lot of room for movement.
For me, understanding the basic mechanics was the starting point for everything. And now I’m attempting to wrap it all up in a four-minute read.
In our every-day living, we absorb 2 million pieces of information per second. Processing every piece of data would overload us so we cleverly implement a filtering system in our brain to consciously process just 7 (+/-) chunks of information at a time. The rest of the information is thrown straight into storage, otherwise known as our sub-conscious.
It’s the filtering system that we each implement, as unique to us as our fingerprints, that gives our life direction.
Starting from conception and continuing through everyday living, each of our experiences are packaged up to create life as we know it. Whatever we feel is missing from our life, becomes what we seek to fulfill and it’s this that our brains create filters to look for. The filters sort everything that our senses take in, dismissing those things that don’t seem helpful in fulfilling our goal (sending them straight to storage) and shining a light on those things that are helpful. Filters are the Google search engine in your brain showing you what it thinks you want to see.
For this reason, our automated Google search makes decisions on our behalf by the simple act of blocking ‘unhelpful’ data from our conscious perceptions. Put another way, our voids essentially refine our view, impacting our version of reality, the decisions we make in response to it and therefore the results we experience in life as a consequence.
This raises two interesting points.
The first is the controversial question around ‘free will’. Imagine this - instead of seeing the whole gamut of colours, let’s say your filtering system hides the majority from your conscious awareness and only shows you red and blue. You see two options, you think about it and you choose blue. You consciously chose blue. You had a choice of two and you used your free will to make your decision. Right?
When your sub-conscious makes the larger decision ahead of you, do you still call it free will? Maybe not 100%. How much more effective we would be if we knew what our filters were filtering for!
The second point is the ultimate explanation around goal setting and why we can struggle to achieve goals we set. If you are not clear on your internal Google search topic, it’s easy to be coerced by other people’s achievements and think that you want what they’ve got. You may convince yourself that their goals are actually your goals and then try to achieve them.
Enter brain filters.
The goal you’re aiming for is on the road to the right. Your filters, based on your internal search engine, have set the GPS telling you to turn left. This is where frustration is born for those who feel they’ve failed to reach their goals. If you’re not achieving your goals, there’s a good chance that they’re not actually yours.
To move forward effectively, you have to know what’s already programmed into your GPS.
There are two things essential for communicating with the programmer.
The first is to dust off your filters, keeping them clean and current. That’s to say, resolve emotional hang ups from your past.
Any memory which has an emotional charge when you think about it, positive or negative, is playing a role in your filtering system. This affects the way you perceive your current reality, the choices you make because of it and therefore your results.
In practical terms, a simplified version is to write a list of all the benefits you’ve gained from a ‘negative’ event and, conversely, a list of all of the drawbacks from a ‘positive’ event. Repeat this process until you balance out your perceptions for each event, seeing it as just ‘an event’, appreciating that it actually has an equal amount of both benefits and drawbacks.
The second is to work out what your highest values are, driven by what you feel is missing, to understand what is programmed into your GPS! When I work with people one-on-one, the first thing I have them do before a consult is determine what their three highest values are. This is crucial to understanding what drives us, especially if we want to consciously make any changes within our world. It’s a series of 12 strategic questions that will bring your top values to the forefront of your mind. You can access them here.
Then it’s what you do with this information. I’ve included some tips on the download so answer the questions first, then get to where the magic happens...
And finally, yes, you can change your values which, in these analogies means editing the search topic into Google and reprogramming your GPS. All very doable. Not in one blog though! Get in touch if you’d like to chat through these next steps.
With ever love & growing gratitude,
Illustration by Robbie Porter