Anything you want to do, change or become starts in your mind first. Your brain is involved in everything you do and everything you are. It’s your most important resource and when you live with a managed mind it will open up your life in amazing ways. You may think you manage your mind, but after you read this you will realize the ways that you don’t and just how much potential your thinking has to upgrade your life.
I”m on a mission to help as many people as possible develop these skills. This is a basic introduction into living with a managed mind, but I hope you download my free guide on mind management, The Ultimate Guide to Manage Your Mind, Get the Bullshit Out of Your Head & Upgrade Your Brain. The most valuable information I have learned over the past ten years is packaged up in the guide!
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS MIND MANAGEMENT?
Mind management is the process of directing the brain and enhancing your thoughts, making your thinking as accurate, effective and powerful as possible, to think on purpose with purpose so you can generate the desired outcomes in your life.
You manage your mind by both managing the aspects of your mind that you can’t control, like automatic negative thoughts, while also working with the tendencies of the mind you have power over to elevate it. It’s playing offense and defense, developing an improved thinking response to harmful thinking and also thinking on purpose to become a proactive purposeful thought creator.
WHY DO WE NEED IT?
Life is a game we have to play in our imperfect brains, the way you get good at the game is becoming a strong offensive and defensive player.
“Your strongest muscle and your worst enemy is your mind. Train it well.” – unknown
DEFENSE – YOUR MIND IS YOUR WORST ENEMY
Your Thinking Response
“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your unguarded thoughts.” – Buddha
Our brain was designed for survival NOT to make us happy! We are living with an ancient brain in a modern world. The mind has all sorts of downfalls that cause us stress, pain and limits us. It’s full of cognitive distortions, the need for control and certainty; it likes to repeat the past and takes short-cuts to be efficient which often results in thinking errors. One of the biggest flaws? We have ANTS in our brain, automatic negative thoughts. We have our over 60,000 thoughts a day and most of those are unconscious so we can’t control all of them and on top of that they naturally skew negative because we have greater neural processing in our brain to respond to negative stimuli than positive. You aren’t going to do well in the game if you don’t know the rules so you need to gain some fundamental knowledge on how your brain works.
While there is a lot with the mind you can’t control, you don’t have to control it, you just don’t want it to control you. When you learn to play strong defense you protect yourself from it’s flaws and become a master in how your respond to your current thinking. You become cognizant of how your mind is working and why and learn to detach and disidentify from your thoughts. One of the most powerful ways to get good at this defense is developing a mindful mind, which I cover in the mind management guide. You can also read this article on mindful thinking here.
OFFENSE – YOUR MIND IS YOUR STRONGEST MUSCLE
Thinking On Purpose
“If you can change your mind you can change your life.” – William James
I’m going to repeat this again because if there was one thing I want you to take away from this article it’s that ANYTHING you want to do, change or become starts in your mind first. You need to think better, to feel better, to do better to live better. And it all starts with a thought. You can strategically, proactively create optimal thoughts on purpose to elevate your life. This is where you are switching from defensive mode to offensive mode.
You cannot control your mind BUT you have more control than you think, you CAN actually train your brain and rewire its physical structure. In the past decade there has been significant shifts in understanding the capacity of the human brain. The brain has the capacity to rewire itself and form new neural pathways — if you do the work. Science shows you CAN change your thinking and harness your brain’s built in ability to upgrade itself. You need to train your mind and build your mental muscle just the way you manage your body to stay healthy and build your physical muscle.
It’s as if your computer was still running software from the 90s, it wouldn’t be working nearly as well as it could be right? If you don’t purposefully upgrade that faulty software it’s not going to magically do it on it’s own. Just the way there are all sorts of upgrades we can make in our minds but we have to develop the skills and apply them to make them happen.
Becoming intentional and purposeful with your thoughts is the ability to think on purpose, with purpose, rather than on autopilot. When you actively think on purpose you carefully select what occupies space in your mind. Mind management is getting really good at the mechanics of not just managing and releasing the undesired thoughts you don’t have control over but also strategically creating and leveraging thoughts to offensively go after what you want. Strategic thought creation is a vital offensive strategy. It’s actively seeking out believable better thoughts, thinking from your future to create your future, and forming new thoughts you’ve never had. You create new neural circuits in your brain, making more optimal thoughts dominant in your mind while weakening the neural pathways of old ones you no longer want.
Where many people fall short is in choosing believable thoughts, believability is essential. When people say “just think positive” all the time, I call complete bullshit. There are some instances where it’s very feasible to take a negative thought and shift to a positive thought, but you can’t go from 0 to 100 miles per hour with certain thoughts and actually believe them.
If it sounds good but you don’t believe it forcing that positive thought won’t be helpful, and can actually create more disbelief along with a dose of self-loathing for not believing it. You need to work your way up a staircase of thoughts and do some thought work.
“We have to literally create new thoughts that we’ve never thought before in order to create a new future that we’ve never created before.” – Brooke Castillo
There are techniques to creating optimal thoughts like passing through neutral, building a staircase of thoughts and doing some thought work, read more about thought creation here.
YOUR THOUGHTS CREATE EVERYTHING
The Mind Model
The mind model is the backbone of mind management, it’s based on the fundamental truth that the responsibility for your life ultimately comes back to you, because your thought inputs determine your life outputs. The results and the reality of your life is not because of outside events and circumstances, it’s mainly because of the thoughts you have had about those events and circumstances.
“The world cannot cause our emotions. Our emotions are always caused by what we think.” – Brooke Castillo
How you feel is also on YOU, rather than falling victim to emotional outsourcing, the mind model empowers you to use your thoughts to take your emotions in-house which gives you emotional freedom.
The model has been taught in different ways by different people and is also the cornerstone of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but the way it’s presented here is based on Brooke Castillo’s framework.
T H E M I N D M O D E L
Your thoughts create your feelings.
Your feelings create your actions.
Your actions create your results.
This is the core foundational tool of mind management. This simple model is how you work through problems and strategically go after results you want. This might seem simple and it is, but moving from a negative mind model situation to a positive mind model situation isn’t easy, but that’s where the skills of mind management come in.
Here is an example of a negative mind model situation, read the article on The Mind Model and we’ll dive into what the model really is and how using the mind model you can evolve from this to the results you want.
My husband cheated on me.
So I have to divorce him. He broke us.
I can’t trust him or anyone for that matter.
Our marriage is a failure. I’m damaged now.
He has ruined my life. I’ll never recover from this.
I feel betrayed, humiliated, hopeless, irate, weak, devastated, broken.
I’ve been eating and drinking in excess to numb the pain. I refuse to forgive him or be around him. I’m sitting at home alone night after night.
I’ve put on 20 lbs and feel like shit mentally and physically. I’ve stopped really living my life. I’ve created a hostile environment for our kids. I’ve isolated myself from many people given I’m embarrassed. I’m not open to dating nor will I ever be.