Replace Unproductive Habits with Irrepressible Motivation
By applying brain science to coaching and achieving your goals, you can create powerful, effective, and transformational exercises to solve your personal and business problems in a fraction of the time. Instead of spending 10, 20, or 50 hours with a coach who uses traditional strategies, you can use brain science to solve the same problem in 10, 20, or 50 minutes.
I’m going to guide you through an imagination exercise – what Einstein called a “mind experiment” – that has helped thousands of people achieve excellence by tapping into the inner wisdom of your brain. And, if you share the experience you are about to have with others in our community, you’ll add great value for everyone who is reading this column. Together, we can create the first neuro-coaching MasterMind experience. Make sure you have a pen and a sheet of paper in front of you.
So let’s begin. Imagine that you have been invited to meet with the most extraordinary and famous coaches, therapists, and consultants in history. You walk into a beautiful, elegant room, and there, sitting on the couch, is Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung! Leaning back in a pair of armchairs are Warren Buffet and John Assaraf. Milling around the room is the famous hypnotherapist Milton Erikson. He’s talking to John Gottman (the psychology guru of couples therapy), Aaron Beck (the father of cognitive therapy), and Martin Seligman, the founder of Positive Psychology. Over in the corner are the Dalai Lama, Gandhi, and Socrates, who are delighted that you have come to join in this circle of mastermind coaches and leaders.
They beckon you to an empty chair, and as you sit down, everybody turns toward you with a warm smile on their face. You literally feel their love flowing out for you as you prepare to have the most incredible coaching session in the world.
But there’s a catch: you only have 30 seconds to ask these geniuses a single question. You freeze and think to yourself: “My god! What should I say?” Fearing that you may blow this amazing opportunity, your mind starts racing a million miles per second. You are about to fry your brain.
Freud steps in to help: “Lie back in ze chair and relax.” So do so, right now: lean back and stretch your arms, hands, and legs. Don’t just do this in your imagination; just take a moment to shake out all of the tensions in your body.
The Dalai Lama chimes in: “Take a deep breath and let all of your current thoughts and feelings float by, without judging them.” Do so, right now.
Mark Waldman, who had fallen asleep behind the couch, suddenly wakes up and shouts: “And don’t forget to yawn!” So take 10 seconds right now, and yawn. Feel all of your tensions melting away as your mind becomes crystal clear and calm, and now ask yourself this question: “What problem do I have that I would like this roomful of brilliant advisors and coaches to respond to?”
On your sheet of paper, write down the first three questions that come to mind. Circle the most important one and say it out loud to yourself. Notice how it sounds. Then ask yourself, “Is this really the most important question and problem I want to address?” If not, write down a question, the answer to which could change your life for the better. Again, say the question aloud.
Imagine that one of the gurus in the room speaks a single sentence, filled with wisdom and solid advice. Write down what your imagination hears. It doesn’t matter if the answer is silly, but if nothing comes to mind, just keep asking this question to yourself. In 5 minutes, or maybe an hour from now, you’ll hear a whisper coming from your unconscious brain, from a place where our inner wisdom is born and stored. You are engaging in an exercise that has been confirmed by the latest neuroscientific research on creativity, imagination, and problem solving.
Look at the advice that you “heard” (and you really want to have some fun, ask each person in this imaginary room to give you a piece of wisdom. Make sure you write it all down. The advice you hear may the best advice in the world. It’s generated by one of the newest parts of your brain – the anterior cingulate – and you can “innercise” it through mindfulness, concentration, self-hypnosis, affirmations, and meditation. It will suppress disruptive feelings and thoughts that hold you back from achieving inner and outer greatness.
This imaginary exercise actually changes your brain by replacing unproductive habits with irrepressible motivation. It’s a neurological “call to action” that brings you closer to achieving your dreams and goals. Indeed, you are literally training your own brain to become your inner neuro-coach.