5:30AM “Beep, Beep Beep”, urgh…my alarm.
Slowly and very reluctantly, I roll towards the edge of my bed. I’m awake, at least physically. I proceed directly to the bathroom. On the way back, in a snap decision, I ask Siri to turn off my lights, she obliges.
What am I doing? I’m going back to sleep…that’s what I’m doing.
It won’t matter if I miss just one workout, I think to myself. I can always go later – right? I continue to justify my excuses. Seconds later, I’m back in bed, my mind begins to relax. Slowly, a minute or maybe two passes.
Usually, I’d have fallen almost instantly back to sleep. Today, I lay there troubled. Why? I thought. My mind was still foggy from my slumber and the answer alluded me. Something was pushing against my desire for the delightful temporary comfort that is “extra” sleep. Something was pushing back and it wasn’t just the fluffy pillows which gently embraced my face.
What was happening? I wondered.
Over the last several weeks, I’d been pouring much energy into my subconscious. Energy, that said, “Hey, you! Pay attention, this is important to me”. With the intensity that screamed, “Look, buddy, you’ve got to get on board with this…or else”.
Why and how does one pour energy and intensity in one’s subconscious? After all isn’t it SUBconscious? Perhaps, however, after studying several successful individuals, I noticed an interesting pattern. Every single one of them did some sort of meditation.
If images of chanting, robe-wearing yogis fill your mind, stick with me.
A Pattern Emerged
There are a lot of weird connotations are associated with the word meditation. Somewhere in time, it was labeled strange and relegated to the realms of the super spiritual or radically religious. It wasn’t always the case. It also appears that meditation is making a come back as it redefines its meaning.
In this case, by “meditation”, I mean any type of intensely focused and intentional thinking on an important subject matter. Levitating and “Ohmmming” optional.
The Ruler of Consciousness
An article on Tony Robbins, lead me to discover the Reticular Activating System (RAS). The RAS is a section of our brains responsible for controlling which thoughts and sensory input reach our consciousness and those that are disregarded as unimportant. More eloquently put:
More eloquently put:
“The reticular formation [RAS], sometimes called the ruler of consciousness, stands at the critical junction—both in terms of anatomy and function—of the senses and the higher brain. Vigilant day and night, the neurones of the reticular formation sort all incoming impulses. By some unknown means they determine which deserve further attention, and flag important impulses so that the cortex will take note of them. At night, while the cortex is asleep, the reticular formation keeps tabs on the senses and in times of possible danger is first to sound the alarm.” – How Things Work: The Brain – Time-Life Books 1992
I wondered why a pattern of meditation existed among the successful. Was it perhaps a way to influence the RAS and our subconscious for our own benefit?
I decided to perform a highly unscientific, first-person experiment. I’d to spending some time each day in meditation, focussing on my desired goals and outcomes, the observe the results.
I had little to lose if wrong, and a lot to gain should it prove to be effective.
Back to My Bedroom
I lie motionless in my bed, pondering that perhaps it had worked. Is this what the experts had been speaking about? It seemed that my subconscious had kicked in. The old me would have fallen back into a deep slumber, without any objection from his subconscious. My subconscious or more precisely my RAS seemed to be becoming a formidable ally.
While, I’ve not yet achieved my big crazy goals, it appears I’ve gained myself a powerful new cheerleader.
Oh, and for those who care how the story ends. I rolled out bed a second time, grabbed my gym clothes and headed to the gym and crushed the hardest workout of my entire life.
Before you leave, decide that you want to purposely craft your future. Don’t float along on autopilot, choose where you’re headed.
Join me, join us, those who’ve decided that we want success. I promise to do everything I can to get you there. I promise to share every part of my journey, the good & the bad – know that you’re not alone.