Fall is here. In most places this means we start wearing warmer gear and turning on the heat.
I am an island girl, so I am not exactly thrilled by this idea. However turning on the heat does provide an interesting analogy to start a discussion on success.
Most modern heaters come with a thermostat. You can set the temperature to 20°C and your place is always nice and comfy. No need to adjust the knob depending on the weather. The machine does all the work and the temperature stays constant.
Nifty little device.
You know what else comes with a thermostat?
Your inner thermostat
There are certain settings you have been set to operate within. That’s your comfort zone and that’s where you always return.
You were programmed with certain habits, certain beliefs, certain attitudes through your parents, teachers, friends, family and that’s where you tend to navigate.
You might say:
– “Dominique, not me! I am not programmed, I am free.”
Well sweetie, I am sorry to break it to you but that’s not true.
Our mind is a pretty smart system that allows us to perform tasks without thinking: you can drive and talk to a friend at the same time, tie up your shoe laces while talking on the phone or ride a bicycle and eat a sandwich.
All these tasks were pretty complex when you first learned to perform them and now you don’t even to think about them.
You can totally take a 30 minutes ride between 2 appointments and have no conscious recollection of it.
Specifically because your mind is programmable.
That’s how it’s built.
A divided mind
In short: you have a conscious mind and a subconscious mind.
Your conscious mind is where you operate from everyday, it only represents about 5% of all your mental activity.
The 95% left is happening on auto-pilot in your subconscious mind.
If you focus on something, your subconscious mind understands that you want to learn it and it stores for you in your settings. It becomes part of the programs it will run for you.
So the jokes your friends make, the problems your parents had, the TV shows you watch become part of the programs you end up running.
Why is this important to you?
You know I am always inviting you to let go of the struggle, of the addiction to hustling.
Well, this inner thermostat, these programs you are running are a huge part of the success equation.
Your success setting
The thing is most people are trained to work hard but they don’t understand how their minds work. And they miss the fact that their results are not only tied to their hard work, they are also tied to their inner thermostat.
Which is why some people can work like maniacs and not get anywhere, while others don’t do much and become wildly successful.
It’s a matter of inner thermostat keeping them within a certain zone.
(Update Dec. 2019: Since writing this article Donald Trump as become a very polarizing figure. This is not about politics, this is about mindset. This article was written when he was known a business tycoon, please bear with me!)
Donald Trump is a great example of that: he lost his fortune several times, but he’s always bounced back within a few years to a level of success most people cannot even dream of ever reaching with a lifetime of work.
Different thermostat settings!
So, let’s say you want to set up a business venture to make more money, but your thermostat is set on poverty, you’ll soon realize that things just won’t work out for you the way they do for others.
There will be many snags on the way, lots of bad luck, things just won’t flow.
And it won’t be by mistake.
Your subconscious will be working overtime at keeping you poor to keep you within your settings.
The correct equation
When I speak against hard-work, I am not saying sit on your couch and do nothing. There are often times when you do need to put a lot of work into a venture.
What I am speaking against is the cult of busy for busy’s sake, the hamster in a wheel I-am-doing-stuff-for-the-sake-of-doing-stuff-without-ever-taking-a-moment-to-survey-the-environment-or-create-the-right-strategy-to-move-forward type of attitude.
I am against it, because it’s an incomplete strategy based on a fraction of the data.
I call it the Swedish assemble-your-own-furniture brand (you know that famous blue and yellow brand) principle: if there are still screws in the little bags after you’re done putting your shelves together, you have a problem.
By the same logic, if you create a success strategy without taking in consideration your subconscious mind and your inner thermostat, you also have a problem: you run the risk of working too hard for no results.
Reprogramming your inner thermosthat
If you’re reading this, I am assuming you’re ambitious. This means you probably have the hustle part down to a tee.
But what do you know about your inner thermostat?
Or where it is set?
If you are working too hard at bringing your dreams to life, you might not be in need of more hard-work, you may simply need a thermostat re-programming.
How do you go about that?
Just like a normal thermostat:
– identify the present settings,
– decide on the new settings,
– set the new settings.
Obviously for a human being it’s a little more complicated, but it’s the general idea.
1. You identify the level you normally operate on by observing what’s happening in your life for you, for the people around and where you tend to navigate.
2. If you don’t like what you see you make the decision to change.
Now this may sounds obvious, however this is most people stay stuck after they realize their thermostat is not set where they would like it to be.
They go back to the past to look for the source of their inner settings. They blame their parents, their family, their exes, themselves. They feel pain, shame, embarassment.
But they don’t do the one thing that would actually guarantee that they would have a different future: change their settings.
What they fail to see is that a setting is a just setting, nothing good or bad about it.
Updated. Dec. 19th 2019