Thursday, June 27, 2013

Vision - The Blue Belt

The fourth belt of the Black Belt Project is the blue belt – Thinking. I put thinking as the fourth belt because once you start getting motivated, begin taking better care of yourself and improve your ability to get things done, a strange thing happens.

Your mind begins to clear.

When that happens, it’s a lot easier to tap into the power that good mental clarity can bring. The fog lifts from the road ahead and the mental picture of the destination gets A LOT less fuzzy.

These are both great things because then your mind is clear to do what it does best – THINK. You can solve problems better, deal with road blocks better and achieve success more often.

The power of the mind, in my opinion, is unlimited and is restrained only by the user. So, the question is how can you and I get the most out of our thinking skills to reach it's full potential?

Use Mental Programming

To do that, I’m going to use a unique strategy to have the brain help us get the life we want by improving the mental programs the brain uses.

But let's take a step back and define what a program is and give an example. A program is a sequential sequence of instructions written to perform a specific task usually by a computer. When you stop and think about it, everything we do on a daily basis is a program, because everything we do is just a sequential set of instructions. Here’s a sample:

Program: Take a drink from a bottle of water

  • Go to kitchen

  • Go to refrigerator

  • Open refrigerator

  • Grab bottle of water

  • Close refrigerator

  • Unscrew cap

  • Move bottle to lips

  • Drink water

This simple mental program is not only how our brain thinks about drinking a bottle of water but also how our brain thinks about all of the tasks we do. It happens in the background, and most of the time we don't even think about it because it happens subconsciously, but it’s there.

We have thousands of mental programs we know and use. From brushing our teeth and going to the bathroom, to exercising and turning on the television. Those are some mundane programs that we routinely do on a daily basis. But there are more important ones as well. They could be tasks like how to run a board meeting to how to replace brakes on the car.

The point I want to convey is that we think like a computer. We think sequentially just like a computer and run programs just like it does too.

Our goal is simple. We want to improve the programs we run with better coding and replace poor mental programming with new code. Let's go over those steps.

Step 1: Identify your mental programs and get the code out of your head

The first step is to sit down and begin to identify all of your current mental programs and get that code out of your head. This means that when you start to do a task, you'll want to write down each step that it takes to perform that task in the form of a checklist. A checklist is the best way to write your code into a series of steps. So from now on, I'll probably refer to my checklist as my code or I might use the two interchangeably.

For many this task might seem daunting while still others will view it as a complete waste of time especially when it comes to the mundane tasks we do on a daily basis.

Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum of downloading your coding, it's the basis of improving everything that you do with your mind.

Remembering all of these mental programs that we use creates a tremendous amount of mental overhead. And that overhead creates drag on our system. Just the mere writing down all of the steps that we take to do a task and putting it on paper removes that mental overhead because instead of having to remember all of those steps, you've downloaded it and placed it into an external memory source.

This frees your mind to focus even more.

Step 2: Analyze the code of the mental programs you currently use and look to improve the code used

The second step is to review the code of the programs you are running and see if the code can be improved or reworked. How you analyze your current programs after they are downloaded is you run through each step of the code from your external memory source (your checklist), go through each step and check to see if you have all of the steps recorded, that they are in the proper order and done in the best way.

What you will find is that some code is fine while other code in the programs you run could be fine tuned. By going through each program you mentally run with a fine tooth comb, you'll start to identify ways to improve what you do and find better ways to do them and in some cases better tools to perform them with. You'll get to the point where the programs you analyze can't be improved anymore and you can focus on other programs.

Step 3: Install the better mental programs with the new and improved code

Once you know the code behind the programs, have analyzed and made any necessary changes, it’s time to re-install the new programs the next time you need to do those tasks. The difference this time will be that rather than run the program by mentally trying to remember the code off the top of your head, you will use your external memory source every time you run it.

One edge computers have over our brains is that they have the benefit of having the code they use loaded up every time it's needed and then the computer runs it's programs exactly the same way EVERY single time.

Since we can't load the program into our brains internally like the computer can, your source code won’t be hard wired in your head, but will be hardwired outside your head in external memory that you will call up as needed. Eventually the new code will replace the old once it's imprinted on your mind. However, you'll discover that the mental overhead of trying to remember every single step for everything will eventually be removed.

Step 4: De-program bad code

Things like procrastination, perfectionism, bad self esteem and negative self talk are just bad programming. Your goal will be to identify these programs as well, breaking down the code and de-programming them by installing better programs.

Bad habits and limiting programs are basically viruses in the system and you need to identify what they are and learn to install better programs like action taker, positive thinking and problem solver.

Some of these mental viruses have been embedded pretty deep and because of that deprogramming them won’t come easy. It’s no different than some of the nasty viruses you have experienced using your own computers I’m sure.

The steps to remove bad mental programming is the same as improving good programs - download the code and see what the steps are, removing the bad code and re-installing better code or circumvent bad code by quarantining it when it's triggered.

Step 5: To get the life you want, write and install the code you need to get it and execute it

It should come as no surprise then that to get the life you want, you need some better programming. Better programming is as simple as writing the code to the program that it takes to get it and executing it. Want to be in better shape? Write the code, execute the program, review the output and improve the code until the output is what you want.

Everything we could ever want or want to do in life can be mentally programmed inside of us.

But what’s needed is a programmer behind the scenes that will write the programs. That programmer in your life is you and will be the focus of the study of your thinking in the blue belt.