train your brain

How To (Automatically) Train Your Brain For Success

Everything around you affects how you feel and how much energy and motivation you have.

Your surroundings can either help your success and productivity, or hinder them. The choice is yours.

You can either let them feed negative, destructive, or at the very least, useless messages to your mind, or you can train your brain for success by using this simple 3-step process:

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The subconscious mind works in a very interesting way and controls more of your life than you realize.

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences proved that in a very eye-opening experiment.

A group of people were told they have complete freedom of which hand to use to press a button. The only task they had was to remember when they took the decision to use their left or their right hand. They were also hooked up to an fMRI machine allowing the scientists to read their brain activity.

The result: by monitoring the micro patterns of activity in the frontopolar cortex, the researchers could predict which hand the participant would choose 7 seconds before the participant was aware of the decision. The decision has already been taken and full 7 seconds have passed before the participant was aware of it.

The subconscious mind is powerful!

But, you already knew that. The question is how can you use that power to train your brain for success and productivity (and even to be happy)?

Enter “brain priming”.

The Power Of Brain Priming

“Brain priming” or “brain training” is a demonstration of how everyday sights, smells and sounds can selectively activate goals or motives that people already have.

Here are a few scientifically-proven examples:

Hot or cold: On the way to the lab, individual students bumped into a lab assistant carrying textbooks and other materials, as well as, a cup of hot or iced coffee. The assistant asked for a hand with the coffee while he gathers his things. That is all it took! The students who held a cup of iced coffee rated a hypothetical person they later read about as being much colder, less social and more selfish than did their fellow students, who had momentarily held a cup of hot java.

A fresh smell: studies have found that people tend to tidy up more thoroughly when there is a faint smell of cleaning liquid lingering in the air.

This might seem like some form of hypnotism or subliminal seduction, but is is nothing like it. It is simply a demonstration of how much your subconscious mind is affected by your surroundings.

Still not convinced?

Think about the last time you went from sweat pants to fully dressed up and ready to go out for a night on the town. Did your fancy clothes make you feel more powerful? More in control? More confident? You have the exact same amount of power, control and confidence as before. The reality is you’re exactly the same person. But you “trained” your brain to associate those feelings with being dressed up. That is the power of priming!

You can use this concept to your advantage to train your brain (or “prime” it if you want a more official term) for success.

Here’s how to do it in 3 simple steps:

how to train your brain

 Step 1: Start Being Mindful

It all starts with awareness.

Start paying attention to your mood and energy, especially when there is a change of environment.

As you walk into your office, notice how it makes you feel. When you make your coffee in the morning (or buy it), pay attention to the thoughts that pop into your mind. Pay attention to all the smells and sounds around you.

Most of the things that happen around you feed some sort of a message to your subconscious mind and most of the times you are not even aware of it.

If you make your own coffee every morning and drink it in the same old chipped mug, the message could be: “I don’t have enough money / cheap / inequality / dissatisfaction”

If you open your inbox and see 10 unread emails the message could be: “Overwhelmed / stressed / don’t have enough time / hate my job”.

If you eat a cookie after lunch, the message could be: “Feeling fat again / low self-esteem / wish I had more self-control”

Start paying attention too all the thoughts and feelings that you have already associated with your surroundings. You’ll be surprised at how deep (and sometimes random) of a feeling or emotion arises from the most trivial of objects.

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Step 2: Eliminate The Negative

When you become mindful of what is going on around you and how different objects, sounds and smells make you feel you are going to discover that a lot of them feed negative thoughts in your mind.

The chipped coffee mug makes you feel unaccomplished. The smell of cooked food in your building makes you feel unsatisfied. The pen that you write with makes you feel cheap.

You can associate any feeling with any object, smell or sound. The experience is highly individual and it doesn’t have to “make sense”. Find whatever is wreaking havoc in your subconscious mind and eliminate it.

Get yourself a new mug, a fancier pen, an air freshener for your home, do whatever you need to do to eliminate those negative priming messages that get fed in your brain on a constant basis.

Stop watching the news. The shock factor desired for any event to become news-worthy usually means that something nasty needs to happen. If you watch the news all the time, you might be afraid to leave your home because you are either going to be hit by a drunk driver, be shot by an extremist on your way to work, or best case scenario, become a victim of police brutality. Everyday news is a great resource for negative subconscious messages. If you don’t want them in your life, stop watching the news.

To sum it all up: find the source of negative messaging and eliminate it.

Step 3: Reinforce The Positive

Not everything around you is feeding you bad messages, far from it.

That chipped coffee mug might be something your son made when he was 4 and you can have the greatest feelings associated with it. The smell of cooked food might be the sweet smell of home for you.

Find whatever makes you feel good and successful and get more of it. Surround yourself with objects, smells and sounds that are going to train your brain for success.

If going to Starbucks every day makes you feel “cool” and accomplished, figure out a way to budget it and make it possible. If making your own coffee makes you feel in control, or gives you a sense of ownership and self-satisfaction, do it every day.

People often think that in order to be happy, they need big dramatic events in their life like taking an exotic vacation or buying expensive items. The reality is that you can set up your happy life and train your brain for success for a fraction of the cost. A vacation is just a few days, that expensive car you can only drive during the weekend. It’s what you do and how you feel every  day that matters.

Bonus tip: You want to feel rich and powerful? Forget the $20,000 watch or handbag and try this instead: go to the bank and take out $200 – 300 dollars in 100-dollar bills. Tell them to give you the newest bills they have, stick them in your wallet and just keep them there. The sense of power and gratification that you get every time you open your wallet and see it full of cash is tremendous.

Or throw away  that plastic freebie pen that you got from a conference you went to and get yourself a ball-point pen for $40. You are going to feel like a million bucks when you write with it.

Set up your environment in such a way that it trains your brain for success and productivity. Set it up so all the sounds, smells and sights that come your way feed you positive and powerful messages.

Over To You Now

If you want to train your brain for success you need to be mindful of your surroundings, eliminate the bad messaging and reinforce the positive feeds to your subconscious mind.

It sounds a little woo-woo, but priming your brain is a powerful concept that will lead to lasting effects. The reality is that your brain is already being primed, the question is with what.

Start being mindful and aware of your surrounding. Set it up so it supports your success, not hinder it.

Question: what are some other tactics to train your brain? Share in the comment section below: