Archive for July 2010
Why your big ideas disappear. – How Thoughts Become Things
By Douglas Vermeeren
Scientific fact generally begins as a hypothesis or educated guess as to why things are.
Often times these preliminary answers are much more than guesses, they are based on observable principles that have been previously proven or exist in similar situations we already subscribe to. Having said that here is a hypothesis I will put forward to explain an interesting phenomenon we have all observed in relation to thought.
Here’s the phenomenon:
You’ve got a great idea. The inspiring power of it hits you. It is exhilarating. Your mind is buzzing with excitement and it is contagious. And then suddenly your brain stops.
You appear to have reached your limit with the idea. Your thinking then shifts to something different. Because of this shift you doubt whether the ‘good idea’ was really as good as you thought it was.
Or maybe you’ve seen the same phenomenon happen this way. Do you remember a time when you were engaged in conversation with a group of people? The topic has everyone contributing. And then suddenly without warning everything goes silent in the room. No one has anything more to contribute on the previous hot topic.
You’ve probably heard it said somewhere that approximately every seven minutes in a conversation things go silent. This is that exact phenomenon that I am referring to.
While there is no absolute scientific explanation of what thought really is, current neuroscience theory suggests that part of our thought process involves electrical impulses that travel through the axon of the cell and create chemical reactions in the synaptic connections.
The axon can be up to six feet in length and the electrical charge can travel from 2 miles per hour all the way up to 200 miles per hour. When the charge reaches the Dendrites of the cell it actives a chemical which makes the leap over a synapse and the electric charge then continues on it’s journey on the neighboring neuron.1.
So my hypothesis is simple, this electricity that is moving through our brain at the speed of thought is like other forms of electricity that we experience. In other words, it has a specified and limited charge or voltage. In our outside world a charge as it travels gradually loses the potency of its charge.
On the inside world of our brain activity, I believe that the reason our thoughts stop or the conversation goes silent is that simply the particular thought has run out of the electrical charge to keep it going. Much in the same way that spinning top eventually runs out of momentum. My external observances would indicate that if this charge theory is accurate that the average idea charge would last between 7 – 9 minutes.
I would like to research this hypothesis in actuality with a Electroencephalograph for more data. (So anyone out there that can help with this, please call.)
An Electroencephalograph records the electrical activities of the brain. One of the challenges I would have to overcome before engaging in such a study would be, ‘how can an individual unique electrical thought be coded so that it be specifically identified. At this point it seems that no one knows how to do that.
While my hypothesis has not been proven I have found a few items of evidence to support the concept of ideas and emotions dissolving quickly like an electrical would. Starting intense and then losing momentum until there is nothing.
In the late 1960 the popular children’s Sesame Street conducted research into the attention spans of children. They found that rather than making lengthy story lines that children seemed to do much better when following shorter segments or vignettes of about three to five minutes in length. This coincides perfectly with the above hypothesis of the idea or attention charge lasting only a short period of a few minutes. 2.
As a second evidence to support my theory, I found an interesting study where anger management specialists have found that a person feeling the strong emotions of anger, if left unprovoked will have the feelings of anger dissipate in under ten minutes. 3.
Having the ability to activate your attention span and stay focused with important tasks is a key to accomplishing goals and creating success.
So how can you keep your thought charge going longer? In the same way electricity is conducted best when the circuits are clean, clear and made of conductive materials the brain functions best when it is cared for with proper diet, rest and exercise.
To learn more about cultivating empowering thoughts please go to the official website for the film “How Thoughts Become Things.” (http//:www.HowThoughtsBecomeThings.com)
About the Author
Douglas Vermeeren is the director the Succeed Research Center and the producer of the upcoming film “How Thoughts Become Things.” Vermeeren has conducted extensive research into the lives of more than 400 of the world’s top achievers and speaks globally on how anyone can influence their brain to think like a top achiever. For a free download on the 3 myths of the mind that sabotage even the most motivated Achievers go to: http://www.Succeedresearch.com
1. The Brain the changes itself, Norman Doidge, MD p.
2. Growing up with a three minute attention span, Morris Wolfe
On History of Media and the “Attention Span,” Michael Z. Newman (University of Wisconsin)
3. Anger Management for Dummies, W. Doyle Gentry, PhD, p.51
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It’s not just that thoughts become things. The important part is How and what you become in the process.
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How Thoughts Become Things and the Neuroscience of Success
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Free ticket to premiere event
3 Myths about the mind
that Sabotage even the most motivated achievers
by Douglas Vermeeren
Myth of the mind #1
Negative thinking cannot be changed
It has been estimated that the human mind creates more than 70,000 thoughts every day. It has been estimated that more than 85% of those thoughts are negative. Negative thinking is defined as any kind of thinking that does not contribute, edify or build the person with those thoughts. It should be the goal of every person to seek out thoughts that will allow them to become the best that they can become and reach their fullest potential.
The challenge with directing your thinking patterns is that it is easier to talk about thought patterns than it is to create them. If we have been engaged in habitual negative thinking, positive thoughts will not always come naturally or easily.
Our thoughts are a critical factor for us to create successful outcomes. No matter whether our thinking is positive or negative our reality is shaped by what we think.
Long term participation in certain thinking narrows our view of what is possible. This is true in both positive and negative thinkers. The more you train your brain to think in positive ways the more you will expect, act on and create empowering outcomes. A person dwells on negative thinking and becomes more depressed, bitter, unhappy and frustrated. This can lead in extreme cases to clinical depression and suicidal behaviors.
In most cases, thinking isn’t entirely positive or negative. Thinking is on a continuum with all thoughts having a different value of either positive or negative. Perhaps a better way to describe these thoughts would be ‘contributing’ thoughts or ‘non-productive’ thoughts. Each has a different value in terms of what they will empower or limit in your life. Nothing in thought processes is ever black and white, everything is varying degrees of grey.
All thinking patterns can be changed. Even the negative ones. As your thinking is given deliberate leadership you can direct it to predetermined and desired patterns of thinking. With a change of thinking your external results will also change. Positive and productive thinking will inevitably lead to positive and productive results.
How do we conduct effect leadership of our thoughts?
For change in thought to be lasting there is a process that you must follow. The process we share in the Neuroscience of Success seminar requires an awareness of your thoughts, an awareness of the process required to change and a commitment to change. Once the process is understood your thinking will change and you can then be, do have and feel greater success than your current thinking will allow. Go to www.HowThoughtsBecomeThings.com for more information on changing your thoughts today.
Myth of the mind #2
Our filters of how we see things come from the past
A filter is the way we see the world based on our values, beliefs and expectations.
How do these filters affect our thinking? If you were to ask the average person about their thinking patterns, you generally wind up with a series of answers like this: ‘My thoughts and beliefs come from the way I was brought up,’ ‘My thinking is the result of what I have experienced in the past.’ Sometimes they have even stated it as part of their identity and attached it to genetics, ‘I am this way because of my father,’ or ‘I am a red head, we have bad tempers.’ You may have also heard thinking attached to culture or ethnicity, ‘I am french and we are gentle and good lovers.’ These are are all elements that have to do with the past or a context the individual is attached to in some way.
The moment ‘now’ is also part of your past. Technically what you are currently experiencing is part of the your past. How can that be? You may ask. I am in the middle of this right now? Think about it. The second you have had an interaction with an experience your interpretation of it becomes a part of your past. The moment we call now is always becoming part of your past.
Are all filters for our thinking based in the past? No. In fact, the most important filter you use is filter is the future. Your future thinking is like a magnet pulling your thoughts in the direction you believe to be most beneficial for you. It is estimated that most people spend an average of 80% of their effort thinking about future events. Unfortunately, most are combining them with their filters of the past and getting negative results.
When we become aware of our filters the picture suddenly becomes more clear and it is easier to perform productive thinking. In the Neuroscience of Success events we teach an interesting process about the 5 ways your brain learns information. This is a great tool to direct your most productive thinking through the filtering process so that you can make it a reality. For more information on cleaning your filters go to www.HowThoughtsBecomeThings.com
Myth of the mind #3
The brain stops developing after a certain age
Wanda is in her mid-forties. She went to college, but due to some challenging situations that occurred in her life she had to drop out and never finished. She went on to have a successful life as a mother and raised two really great kids. They are now getting ready to head off to college and this has Wanda thinking about the opportunity she never had to finish.
Being aware of her feelings Wanda’s kids have challenged her to return to school as a mature student. Her initial transcripts from the first time around were great and the college is also eager to accept her back. But inside Wanda doubts if she can learn like the younger students. She is worried she is just simply too old to try and jump back in.
Earlier generations of brain experts would have told her that once you left childhood and youth your brain becomes somewhat static and unchanging. They would have said that learning becomes much more difficult, if not impossible for adults. Studies have now found the opposite to be the reality.
The majority of people still believe these old notions of the older you get the slower and more difficult your thinking and learning abilities become. These same people often reenforce these beliefs with the following descriptions, “That’s just how I am,” or “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” or “I wish I was younger, then I could do it.”
This idea is false and comes from inaccurate conditioning in our society.
Modern studies have shown even seniors still have the capacity to reshape their thinking and effect physical changes on their brain. Your brain is continuously changing according to the leadership that you give it. This scientific name for this principle is called Neuroplasticity.
There is no limit to what and when you can learn. For more strategies on learning strategies that work go to: www.HowThoughtsBecomeThings.com
Douglas Vermeeren is the director of the SUCCEED Research Center which is dedicated to sharing research on the systems that top achievers use to create lasting success. Over the last decade Vermeeren has interviewed more than 400 of the world’s top achievers, including business leaders, celebrities and professional or Olympic athletes. He is the producer of the film How Thoughts Become Things. For more information go to www.TheGoalSettingCoach.com or www.HowThoughtsBecomeThings.com