We all think we know our own minds, don’t we? We think that we’re in control. When we set our mind to something, dropping 10lbs, going to the gym more, learning a new language, stopping smoking; we mean it – we’re determined. And we start well, – … but 5 days into our plan, we’re lying on the couch munching on a bowl of crisps, with our “Mandarin made Easy” lying, unopened on the side. We tell ourselves that we are weak, stupid, lazy. If only our willpower was stronger, right?
Willpower is a tiny part of the story. Let’s talk about the mind for a moment. Imagine an iceberg: only about 10% of an iceberg peeks out over the top the water. That’s your conscious mind.: the part of your mind that you’re aware of – the bit that decides what your having for dinner tonight or wonders whether you were wise to send that email. It’s also the seat of your willpower. It’s where you make those decisions to stop worrying so much, to take up kick-boxing or write that novel.
And however strong your willpower may be, underneath the water, lurking outside of view, is the remaining 90%. Enormous, powerful, slow moving. That’s your subconscious mind…. And that’s the part that’s really running the show.