Debug Your Mind
How Can You Make Success Certain?
Living your life with a bug-free mind goes a long way in removing barriers to personal and professional growth. As humans, we accumulate a set of beliefs over the years. We usually aren’t even aware of them. Mixed in with good beliefs are also some bad beliefs we’ve picked up along the way. Getting rid of those bugs equips us to persevere during the toughest of times.
Young toddlers do this without even thinking about it. Let me explain. Learning to walk is one of the most difficult skills to acquire. If every adult in the world lost the ability to walk and had to learn all over again, we’d have a world overcrowded with wheelchairs.
A child has a mindset not to give up. They will continue to push forward fall after fall. They keep going until they succeed. The majority of adults in the world would opt for the wheelchair.
In the book, Breakpoint And Beyond,1 the authors talk about the Principle of Pull. Every cell in a tree, caterpillar, and even human beings, grows and develops, not based on its history, but by being pulled towards its possible future. The pull is internal. It’s the way we were programmed. This explains why people and organizations do so much better when they are proactive rather than reactive. Successful living is enhanced, in large measure, by having a powerful vision of the future. The more compelling the vision the more powerful the pull.
Knowing your purpose is a good start. Now it’s time to deal with the bugs in the system. Research shows that as we age we begin to lose our natural ability to use our skills. That’s why the current population of adults having to learn to walk again would result in wheelchair gridlock. Overtime we develop viruses in our thinking that impact our abilities.
These bugs lower our expectations. Lower expectations control our thoughts, behaviors, and outcomes. “Walking is too difficult. I can’t do it. Where’s my wheelchair?” So we say, “I’m not talented enough, smart enough, pretty enough.” The bugs lower your expectations and say “you’re not good enough.”
When I was in junior high I planted tomatoes in the backyard for a science project. I went out each afternoon and made the effort to get the bugs off the leaves. They were impeding the growth of a healthy tomato plant. In the same way we have bugs in our brains that retard our success. So the first step in debugging is to be aware of the pesky things. What are my doubts, my worries, my fears? What makes me anxious? Be specific.
If I believe something is going to happen, what are those darn doubts hiding behind those leaves? Why do I subtly expect failure? It wasn’t that way when I was younger, so how did those doubts get there? If babies doubted they could ever walk, most of them wouldn’t have. But they were doubt-free. Put them in a wheelchair and watch how quickly they get out!
The bottom line is that we ARE successful. We’ve proven it over and over again. It was effortless when we were younger. We had a natural curiosity to learn and grow and be successful.
So here’s the bottom line. Observation is powerful. As you observe the doubt you begin to see how ridiculous it really is. As you observe it, it begins to slowly fade away. Self-awareness is powerful. When you identify the bug, ask “Why am I thinking this way? Is it helping me? If it’s not helping me then it’s hurting me.” A bug-free mind comes from identifying the bugs. The problems arise when we don’t know the roadblocks.
Here are four things you can do to eliminate the bugs:
- Monitor your thoughts. They are powerful. They will either move you forward or backward. Much of your life’s journey is born out of your thoughts.
- Change your thinking. Plant your thought-seeds today knowing they will impact your life tomorrow. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you. Change breeds growth. When it gets tough, push a little more. You’ll discover that the next step will look possible—just like when you were a child learning to walk.
- Observe your doubts. You’ll discover there is power in your observation. Your awareness drains their power. It’s not so much positive thinking. You are observing them and saying, “this has no value for me.” Whether it was a bad experience in childhood, or a grudge you are holding. Your observation gives you the ability to choose to let them go.
- Deploy your best self. As you observe your doubts, your positive beliefs will fuel your growth. What you have to offer is both significant and fulfilling. And please know we need what you have to offer.
Be a parent of your future, not just an offspring of your past……
(Mick Ukleja is the co-author of the book Who Are You? What Do You Want?: Four Questions That Will Change Your Life)
1”Breakpoint and beyond: Mastering the future today.” Land and Jarman. 1998