Many years ago, I introduced a new format that alongside our regular episodes called “Lessons for Hannah.” Hannah is my daughter and one of the main inspirations for the Misfit Entrepreneur. I wanted to have a place where she could go and learn from her daddy and his Misfit friends throughout her life….even after I am gone. If you haven’t listened to the first episode of "Lessons for Hannah," I urge you to as it gives some more background and tells the amazing story of how Hannah came to be in our lives.
Lessons for Hannah are short, very useful, and sometimes comical lessons, that I want to share with you and give to Hannah to help in your lives. Because I want Hannah to have these for her life, I’m going to speak as though I am talking directly to her. These episodes are a lot of fun and if you think there is a lesson that we should include in these episodes, please don’t hesitate to send it over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to share it.
This week’s Lesson for Hannah
Hannah, In this episode, I want to speak to you about choice. Not a lot of thought is put into choice in our lives, yet every day we make many choices. In fact, our lives consist of making choices over and over again. Most of the time, these choices are automatic. We don’t think about them. Our subconscious mind just reacts with the stored programming it has built up over the years. I’ve talked many times about our conditioning and how the subconscious mind is the most powerful part of our brain that runs us without us even knowing, or at least thinking about it.
It is important to understand how the subconscious works and how it is programmed because it directly affects our choices. Everyone is born with a clean slate when it comes to their minds. It is the influences and experiences we have in our lives, as well as some primal instinct, that shape how we think and act – effectively conditioning our minds. Sources of this conditioning come from all different areas: Parents, family, friends, culture, school, media, and many of the life experiences we have. For example, the first time you touch a hot stove and get burned, your subconscious registers that and the next time you are near a hot stove, you know not to touch it. Think about things you say or your thoughts – where do they come from? Have you ever noticed yourself saying things that your parents said to you repeatedly as child? Chance are you do. It is an automatic conditioned response, and your subconscious has them for pretty much everything in your life.
Most of the conditioning we get is positive, but we can pick up some things along the way that can hold us back or keep us from reaching out true potential. That is where choice comes in, in a big way. The biggest realization that changed my life and set me on path to reach potential people previously thought was impossible for me was when I learned that I could choose my thoughts. That I had a choice. I did not have to be run by programming built up over the years. And just as important was the understanding that the choices Imake every day, directly affect my path in all areas of my life. We are the sum of the choices we make.
First, I had to learn to recognize my programming and the responses (choices) that I was making throughout each day and start to ask myself if I truly agreed with those responses. Were those something I put in my mind or were they put there by another influence or experience I have had? I then had to ask myself if that was something I wanted to keep or get rid of. And, if I wanted to get rid of it, what was most important to replace it with. I admit this is not easy to do and is absolutely a lifelong commitment and journey. If you commit to it, it will be very awkward at first because you literally have to learn to do what I call “Stop, Ask, and Choose. You have to stop yourself when you recognize a thought or reaction that doesn’t seem to be in line with what you believe or what you want for yourself. You then have to ask yourself if you want to keep it as part of your life or not. And then, you have to choose whether to keep it or what you will replace it with. The first few times you do this, it will be very awkward stopping mid-sentence or mid-thought to ask these things of yourself, but the subconscious picks up things fast. After a few times, it will start to happen quickly and soon be just as normal as brushing your teeth or throwing a ball.
Once you understand how to live from true choice in your life, then the fun begins. Each day, you get to control your choices. Remember, you are the sum of the choices you make. You gain the ability to be intentional in the choices you make and find almost a hidden superpower inside of yourself. In fact, in some ways, it is not fair to those that haven’t figured this secret in their lives. Gaining control over your choices essentially allows you to level up any time you want. After all, it is a choice to do so. Of course, you have to do the work alongside the commitment you have made with the choice, but if you were not aware to the fact you even could choose this for yourself, it would not be possible.
Hannah, I hope you can see how important this lesson is for all areas of your life. And I hope that you can also see how growing yourself in the ability to control and choose your thoughts can give you such an advantage in your life. Like I said, the choice is the first step – you still have to do the work, but that is the exciting part as you make your way to your next level. Here’s to living from true choice in our lives.
I love you,
Best Quote: Gaining control over your choices essentially allows you to level up any time you want.
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