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Habits and the Subconscious Mind

"The subconscious is that aspect of Mind that takes care of everything that you do without having to consciously think about it."

Habit Types

All habits are, by the Force of Habit definition, operated by the subconscious mind, because they cannot be run by the conscious mind. They can be influenced to run differently by the conscious mind, but they are not under the control of the conscious mind. Regardless of what caused or influenced them, all habits, by definition, are running on subconscious mind autopilot. Regardless of what caused the earth to spin on its axis and to orbit the sun, it is now in the habit of doing so.

I will call the habits that are hard wired into our neurology, biology and physiology (habits like heartbeat, respiration, and wound healing) Type I habits. They are primary habits, they are directly connected with our physical survival, and they are built in. We are born with them; we never had to learn them. The rest of our habits-the ones that we do have to learn-I will call Type II habits. Type I habits can be influenced and modified by our emotional and mental habits (for example, stress can cause our blood pressure to increase and our digestive tract to malfunction), but they come as standard equipment at no extra charge and they run on their own.

In order to get your mind to work the way you want it to work, we will need to appreciate the nature and role of the conscious and subconscious mind. How they work together is how the mind works.

Conscious Mind and Subconscious Mind

Despite ultimately being one entity, the conscious and subconscious mind seem to each have characteristics that distinguish them from each other. This is useful for understanding which one is operating at any given time. These characteristics reveal what the inherent nature of each of these two aspects of mind is. These "two" work seamlessly together, and yet they are as much like partners as they are two sides of the same entity.

For the purposes of Force of Habit, the conscious mind will be thought of as being made up of those aspects of our awareness of which we are consciously aware while in a waking state. We are aware that we are aware of what is in the conscious mind. Another name for this is self-consciousness. While driving your car you may be consciously aware of the streets and signs if you are trying to find a place you haven't been before. But if you are traveling somewhere you have been many times, you may be consciously aware only of your own thoughts-or your phone conversation-and totally oblivious, on the conscious level, of the streets, signs, traffic, and buildings around you. While you are consciously aware of only your own thoughts, your subconscious mind is paying attention to the other things, including the streets, signs, speed limit, odometer reading, proximity of police cars, the locations of the shoulders or curbs along the road, and the landmarks that will cue your mind that you are near or at your destination. At that point you will come out of light speed and start paying attention. We know this because, while your conscious awareness is focused on something besides driving and navigating, you are still keeping the car "between the ditches" and managing to get to your destination in one piece.

The subconscious is that aspect of Mind that takes care of everything that you do without having to consciously think about it. The things that you do without doing them intentionally-and without focused awareness-are done automatically by the subconscious mind. They are all considered habits for the purposes of this book.

David Kohlhagen - Think Responibly! Branded Graphic THINK RESPONSIBLY!


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