"To have, what you have not; you must do, what you do not.
Like much of the advice found in the book, “Zor”, the quote mentioned above is simple enough to understand yet extremely difficult to apply. The problem lies in the basic structure of our minds, for it is the mind which controls our actions
The mind is divided into two parts, the conscious and the subconscious. Our conscious mind has three primary functions. First it recognizes and interprets the immediate environment, (the smells, the sounds, the colors, the temperature, everything that stimulates the five senses). Second, it is responsible for all future thoughts, (“I’ve got to do the laundry…prepare for a business meeting…file my taxes…make the kids’ lunch for school, etc.”). Third it processes our memories, (“That song brings me back to an old girlfriend…falling leaves remind me of high school football…holidays with the extended family,” etc.).
These three functions occupy our conscious mind 95% of the time. Incredibly that means our actions are controlled on a conscious level about 5% of the time. The subconscious manages the rest. This explains why we often pull into the garage after our nightly commute without remembering the drive home. It’s not our fault, 95% of the time we are unaware of what we are doing. Now we see why it is so hard to follow through with positive changes in our lives.
We may be committed to eating healthy and losing weight on a conscious level but that will only impact our actions 5% of the time. As soon as our conscious mind is otherwise occupied our subconscious, (which is the part of the mind controlled by a neuron network crafted from repetition), immediately leads us down familiar paths, committing familiar failures.
If the subconscious mind equates eating with a certain emotion or thought, every time we have that emotion or thought, we will want to eat.
Regardless of what we say we want to accomplish on a conscious level; lose weight, stop smoking, seek better relationships; we are doomed until we address our concerns at the subconscious level.
To do this we must restructure our thought process and be more attentive. We must recognize negative desires before they become negative actions and resolve them consciously. Fortunately, every time we bring forward a subconscious thought to our conscious mind we reinforce a process which eventually becomes automatic.
Think how successful dieting would be if every time we mindlessly reached for more food, we stopped and cognitively evaluated the situation.
Training ourselves to live in the moment is the answer. We can change our lives but to do so we must be aware of what we are doing, when we are doing it.