There are monsters in the deep, circling ominously.
Spasmodic swells threaten to capsize us.
At times we drift drowsily through doldrums.
We panic when we lose our bearings in thick fog.
The ocean is our subconscious mind, the boat our conscious mind.
According to Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman, ninety-five percent of our thoughts, emotions, and learning occur without our conscious awareness.
Most cognitive neuroscientists concur. NeuroFocus founder Dr. A.K. Pradeep estimates it at 99.999 percent.
Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions, concludes from years of empirical research that:
“…we are pawns in a game whose forces we largely fail to comprehend.
“…consciousness is the smallest player in the operations of the brain. Our brains run mostly on autopilot, and the conscious mind has little access to the giant and mysterious factory that runs below it.”
Dr. Richard Grant of the University of Texas explains that our relationship with our subconscious mind is the same as that with water: We can periodically and briefly swim underneath the surface and discover a hidden fantasy world shimmering with dazzling colors and sensational creatures.
But if we spend too much time below, we’ll either drown or be devoured by the monsters in the deep.
Like most people, we can toss helplessly on the ocean of subconsciousness — enslaved by unexamined and deeply embedded beliefs, a puppet on the strings of unconscious reaction.
Or we can harness the power of the ocean to our advantage.
There’s one way to survive on the ocean and sail unwaveringly to destinations of our choosing: Use vision to create a fixed, immovable point that acts as our North Star. Then use the rudder and sails of conscious choice to navigate to our fixed point, no matter how colossal the waves and furious the winds.
We can take refreshing dips in the ocean through playful imagination. We can fish for fresh ideas through introspective meditation.
We must be fiercely vigilant about the thoughts we entertain in our conscious mind and the habits we create.
Indulging in unworthy and negative thoughts and addictive behaviors are like flinging blood in the water — the sharks will streak to our boat and tear us to pieces.
Life Manifestos are sweet water and fresh food to thirsty and hungry sailors. A cool breeze on a stiflingly hot day on the ocean.
They give our conscious mind the nourishment we need to man the rudder and adjust the sails.
They give us the strength we need to fight the swarming monsters of temptation, depression, and negative-self-talk.
They give us the refreshment we need to stay energized through the doldrums.
They gleam through night clouds to keep us ever focused on our North Star.
We are a tiny boats on a wild ocean. But we have the rudders and sails of conscious choice.
Are we using them?