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Boomers Health - Mind Map Series

 

Part II

REWIRE YOUR BRAIN

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AND KICK WILLPOWER IN THE BUTT

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Glenn Sargent

For Boomers Health

© Copyright Boomers Club Pty Ltd Audust 2016

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INTRODUCTION.

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Life is precious, it's special we are all born to make the most it, enjoy it and be happy.  We’ll that’s the way it starts out but sometimes it doesn’t go exactly to plan, and we may need to change that plan. In order for that to happen we may need to change us.

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Boomers Health focuses on disease prevention to extend healthy life.  This means being being relatively stress free, eating right, and getting some exercise; simple really.

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Based on national body weight statistics the majority of Australians are not eating right, because the majority are overweight.  The findings of a recent survey of Australian women found that they “weren’t worried about cancer” but many said “weight was an everyday worry” as was its link to chronic illness.

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The fact is most of us are not concerned with cancer, heart attack, Alzheimer’s and so on because it happens to someone else not us.  We just keep on keeping on without thinking about ageing and these shitty diseases.  And that’s the way it should be!

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How could we live life constantly worrying about chronic illnesses, that would be a terrible way to live.


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BOOMERS HEALTH SAFETY BELT

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Every time we get behind the wheel of a car, or ride as passenger there is a real risk we could be in an accident, injured or killed.  If we worried about that we would never get in the car!

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But on the other hand when we do get in the car we put on the safety belt.  It’s second nature, it’s automatic, we don’t even think about.

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Boomers Health is about helping its members develop a “lifestyle safety belt”.  It’s a way of really living, it’s a process not a goal, it should become automatic, we should not have to think about it, it should just happen, and it should make us happier.  This is what rewiring our brains can achieve.

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KICKING WILLPOWER IN THE BUTT

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Neuroscientists describe willpower as a competition between two parts of ourselves. One could be referred to as the long term us, and the other the short term us. Put another way short term gratification competing with longer term goals. For example I want to buy the new car now (short term) but I also want to put the money into my retirement account. Or it could be that we want to lose weight versus eating some chocolate right now. The struggle is between now and the future, and for the future to win the battle normally requires willpower. More often than not willpower loses.

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Now consider a situation where long term and short term goals were in sync with each other.  If this were the case then there would be no competition between two parts of ourselves, no willpower would be required, and life would be easier and less stressful. This can’t be achieved in all situations, but can in many. It is especially so with regard lifestyle changes that play a major role in how well, and long we live. For example; changing our eating habits.

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CHANGING OUR PERSONAL MIND MAP

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If you haven’t read the article titled Part III Mind Maps in the Introduction please read it now. This describes that we have a mind map of ourselves, and that this map automates many of our decisions. What isn’t emphasised in this article is that the mind map of us has been created over decades of repetition. This infers that it may take decades of new different repetitions to overcome the past and build a new mind map of us.

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There are two aspects with regard to successfully altering our mind map. Firstly changing the whole of our mind map would change the whole of us. If this were possible we wouldn’t be who we are anymore. What we want to change is usually only a small part of us, but it can often have a profound effect on our future.

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How Long Does It Take To Change A Part Of Us?

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How long does it take us to learn to drive a car? It can be months or years before driving becomes fully automatic. It’s not really automatic until long after we have obtained our license. As part of our driving process we also have a mind map of our car. This automates aspects like reaching for switches without having to think where they are. Now we have purchased a new car; how long does it take to make a new mind map of it. This time is measured in days or weeks, not months and years.

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This example does not require any special techniques to rewire our brain, it is simply achieved by spending time driving the new car. Further, driving that new car out of the showroom does not require willpower, we just can't wait to do it.

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It is different if we are trying to lose weight, or eat more healthily. This at the outset is not expected to be exciting or fun. 

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The Gazillion Dollar Question.

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Whether it be dealing with anxiety, procrastination, punctuality, stress or weight loss the key is altering our mind map so that we react differently to a chronic or acute environmental stimulus. To “learn” and “automate” driving the new car comes with practice, without the need for willpower. To learn and automate eating less also requires practice; but unlike the car we have nothing to practice on but ourselves. This requires willpower.

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There is another way we can practice to learn and automate new habits; it’s called our imagination. Seeing if you can learn how to automate new responses to environmental situations through imagination to modify existing mind maps is the answer to the Gazillion Dollar question.

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NEXT - Imagination, The Conscious Success Ingredient.

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