To bring change in you, you ne

To bring change in you, you ne

To bring change in you, you need to go deeper into your powerful hidden part of your mind

Sujan is driving his car along the highway at about 100 miles per hour. He is listening to music and thinking about the meeting with his client. Suddenly, his mobile starts ringing. Though there is a strict law banning mobile chats on the highways, he ignores it and answers the phone. Despite heavy traffic on the road, he is driving his car with ease. He slowly starts to increase the speed of the car and within seconds he sees a villager crossing that road right in front of him. He freezes. However, his body kicks into automatic mode, and within a fraction of a second, his swift movements enable him to swerve around the man. Certainly, it’s not his conscious mind making decisions within that fraction of a second. His mind had been busy, thinking about his client.

Likewise, all of us successfully carry out multiple tasks all the time without being fully aware of them. We recognize that behind our conscious mind, some other part of the mind, which is far more powerful, never sleeps. Our subconscious mind performs repetitive activities such as driving, walking, eating, bathing, drinking, etc.

It works continuously and tirelessly “behind the scenes” to meet our requirements without ever letting us know. When we undertake such repetitive tasks, it is primarily the subconscious mind that guides us from moment to moment, and even at critical junctures. It is now common knowledge that the subconscious mind is far bigger and faster than the conscious mind. The subconscious mind is what lies just beneath the conscious mind.

Many complex tasks are performed in perfect harmony and accuracy through the subconscious mind.

Even if we are at rest or not doing anything during our waking hours, our brain keeps on working. According to American cell biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton, the subconscious operates 500,000 times faster than the conscious mind. Not only does the subconscious mind direct routine activities; it also anticipates the next moves we are likely to make. Unknown to our conscious awareness, this level of mind always thinks two steps ahead. To avoid any threat or danger, and to maximize potential rewards, it is always “on.”


In this way, thousands of activities and functions are being carried out round the clock in perfect synchronization with every aspect of the body. And all the while, we are completely unaware of its functioning. As Sujan was talking on the phone, his subconscious mind was coordinating various body parts for driving smoothly on the road. He was totally unaware. Our subconscious mind is vast, deep, and largely inaccessible to conscious thought. It maintains vigilant awareness of our surroundings.

To bring change in you, you need to go deeper into your powerful hidden part of your mind

It is often believed that the conscious mind forms less than 10% of the human mind, while the rest is either the subconscious or unconscious mind. The conscious mind is what we consider to be at work after we get up in the morning. We use this mind for making choices and decisions after interpreting and analyzing the information available. It makes us aware of what is happening in the outside world. It functions on the basis of information that it gleans through our senses. The conscious mind communicates with the outside world. It is like the captain of a ship, standing on the deck and giving out commands to the crew to ensure that the ship sails smoothly.

But besides the conscious and subconscious mind, we have another mind known as the unconscious mind. It is like a storehouse of all the memories and past experiences, including those that have been repressed and those that have simply been consciously forgotten and are no longer important to us. The unconscious mind constantly communicates with the conscious mind and is what provides us with the meaning to all our interactions with the world, as filtered through beliefs and habits. Most of the time when we make choices or conscious decisions, the groundwork has been done by the unconscious mind. It is the source of all the programs that our subconscious uses to carry out routine and repetitive activities in automatic mode.

Most of our mental processes occur without the involvement of our conscious mind. This prevents the mind from being overloaded with simple tasks. When it comes to decisions, we tend to assume they are made by our conscious mind, but to a greater extent, they are made by the unconscious mind. Many research studies have established that most of the decisions we make are unconscious. In fact, up to 90% of our decision-making is unconscious.

Daniel Kahneman, an Israeli psychologist and economist notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002. In his famous book Thinking, Fast and Slow he explains that our brain has two systems.

An automatic System 1 and the effortful System 2. Kahneman writes: “System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and we have hardly any voluntary control. System 2 on the other hand, allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it”

Decision making.

When we are attentive or focused, our system 2 works and that is the time when we take decision. But the fact is most of our decisions are taken by System 1. After making a decision by System 1, it’s passed on to our awareness i.e. System 2. Therefore, the decision made by System 1 is the intuitive one. However, we think we have made a conscious decision but the fact is the decision is taken by our intuitive part i.e. unconscious part of mind. All the groundwork necessary for decision-making is laid behind the scenes by the unconscious mind.

When we commit any mistake, we obviously take responsibility for it, even though the actual decision was born in the unconscious. It is also true that our unconscious mind, over which we have hardly any control, plays a crucial role in making choices at critical moments, many of them unfortunate.  Unconscious “kneejerk” responses to difficult situations can spark impulsive and “mindless” behavior. Many times, we later justify our decisions and come up with explanations for our motives and actions. We convince ourselves that we were logically and rationally justified in taking harmful action. This is the defense mechanism known as rationalization.

It is a wholly unconscious process by which the mistakes we committed are logically justified and explained away in a rational or logical manner.  The fact is that decisions underlying the behavior were not made by our conscious mind.  This is our artful way of “making excuses” for our irrational or selfish choices. Hence, even after committing an obviously wrongful act, we strongly support and defend it. It is a common phenomenon that we encounter often in life. Hence, it would seem that our life is predominantly governed by our unconscious drives, urges, habitual patterns of behavior, and especially our belief system.

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Balvinder kumar

I am retired IAS officer and writer of books and doing work for mind therapy.

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