What is reality? It’s been a brain-busting question for as long as humanity’s been asking because we each perceive reality differently. We can use questions to uncover our perceptions. We each, through our values and beliefs and mental filters, create reality and our life experience as we go along.
It’s been said that the mind is like a computer, running programs you can upgrade. People talk about installing new beliefs. Computers and technology have become intertwined with our self image. I use language lke this too. Today I want to lay a different mataphor on you.
Today, I want you to think of your mind like a roadmap, and then like a muscle.
Every thought you think, and action you take, everything you do creates neural pathways in your mind. They’re like trails. Of course, the more you’re in the habit of thinking a certin thought, or performing a certain action, the bigger and more permanent the road gets: trails, to dirt roads, to city streets and highways. The longer and the more you’ve acted and thought a certain way, the bigger the road.
Your brain has a lot to do, so it likes to conserve energy. You’re brain wants you to stay on familiar highways because it takes less energy, and there’s less resistance without all the stop signs and streetlights. You just cruise. You’re brain loves to engage the cruise control because it’s a brain, so there’s a lot on its mind!
This is why you do the same things over and over again, even when you know you shouldn’t. Habits are highways in your mind. Your brain will try to steer you there every time.
That’s why it’s so important to carve new trails, and build better highways. You want the thoughts your brain puts on cruise control to be thoughts that help you, not hinder you from reaching your goals and potential.
How do you carve new trails, and build new highways? You think new thoughts. You perform new actions. You disrupt your old patterns.
This is scary as hell for the brain because all change is scary as hell to the brain. Even a new brand of laundry soap might give you a feeling of unease. This is totally normal. This is your most primal drive and instinct at work: survival.
So, when you want to make lifestyle changes, or set goals that stretch you beyond the familiarity of your comfort zone, your survival instinct will be activated. I guarantee it, and it will not feel good.
You’re going to want to retreat to familiarity and “safety.” In this case, safety doesn’t mean it’s good. It just means that, to your brain, safety is known and in your comfort zone.
However, you don’t grow in your comfort zone. If you want to change your results, you need to get comfortable with discomfort, and break out of your comfort zone.
The mind needs to learn, and stretch, and grow. It’s like a muscle that you can strengthen and develop. Once the brain is exercised and stretched, it doesn’t go back. So, it’s a good practice to ask yourself some thought-provoking and challenging questions.
Thought-provoking questions have no WIKI answers. This forces you to drag your own subconscious beliefs to the surface of your conscious mind.
The following questions help you discover your personal truth. You will answer them a little differently than anyone else. That’s why these sort of thought-provoking questions get at what’s true for you.
- Will I exist after my death?
- Do infinities exist?
- Is time physical or subjective?
- What is the purpose of my existence?
- What is true in my life?
- What is your relationship with god, or spirit, or the higher power of your understanding?
Identifying your beliefs is the first step towards evaluating and changing unresourceful beliefs. Changing beliefs causes a profound fundamental change because our beliefs lie at the heart of the meanings we give to our life experiences. Beliefs are the foundation of our thoughts and feelings and actions.
It’s like tipping a domino. Everything follows.