Getting over a ten-foot-tall wall in basic training was impossible at first!

Our minds can help us or prevent us from doing just about anything. What we focus on we become. That quote, or the gist of that quote, has been used by great minds to plow their courses through many unbelievable obstacles. Aristotle Onassis, Paolo Coelho, Zig Ziglar, Alexander Bell, Will Durant, Bruce Lee, and many others have given us quotes by which they live.


I speak at networking meetings periodically during the year. I ask a half-dozen people in the room how their business is doing. Some say, “OK.” Others say, “It could be better.” Few say, “Great!” I suggest that they tell the truth always but change the vocabulary. Say, “Unbelievable!

Unbelievable can be used to describe exceptionally good or incredibly bad. Most people will assume the better of the two options. 2020 was an unbelievable year. 2021 can be an unbelievable year in the opposite way.

I went to the mineralthermes when I lived in Germany in the late ’90s. A mineraltherme is a spa where you only wear is a smile. A close German friend would use the word, unglaublich, to describe an amazingly beautiful woman passing by us. He would also use that same word to describe a guy who was 250 pounds overweight. If ‘unbelievable’ is not part of your lexicon, consider adding it and using it often.


I learned a lot about the subconscious mind from the book, Psychocybernetics, written in 1960 by Dr. Maxwell Maltz. In 2007, I transitioned from company improvement to self-improvement. My wife and I were in a small business and one weekend two gurus came in to provide training for us to grow our businesses. I had never been to this type of training before. It left a lasting impression.

Several weeks later, I went to a long-weekend conference out of town and met Jim Rohn, Mark Victor Hansen, and many other world-renowned experts in self-improvement. A year later, I co-wrote a book with Jim Rohn and Mark Victor Hansen. It is true that there were 57 authors, however, I can honestly say I co-wrote a book with Jim Rohn and Mark Victor Hansen.

My focus in that book was ‘No Matter What’ which became the first book I authored. It was based on the subconscious mind and how it works that I had learned from Dr. Maxwell Maltz’s book, Psychocybernetics. When we know how to talk to our subconscious mind and use the right words, we can accomplish unbelievable things.

Subconscious Mind

For example, our subconscious mind only understands the present. It stores everything we have learned and experienced (24/7) in the archive of our brain. It has no concept of the future or of negative things. When we say, “I will have no cake”, the subconscious mind hears ‘I have cake.

Why? Because the future is unrecognizable as well as the concept of negative.
When we use the words, ‘want’ and ‘need’, the conscious brain is gung-ho to define what we want and need. However, the conscious mind controls maybe 5% of what we accomplish on a good day. It is the subconscious mind that controls our actions. We should ‘expect’ rather than want.

Vince Poscente is an unbelievable motivational speaker. He wrote the book, The Ant and the Elephant. Vince equates the ant to our conscious mind and the elephant to the subconscious mind. He compares the brain’s activity supporting the conscious and subconscious mind and the relative sizes of the ant and elephant fit closely to reality.

The ant does not speak elephant language and can be going westward and think he is making progress. However, the elephant cannot hear or understand ant language and can be heading in the opposite direction. That happens a lot in our lives. It happens mostly in the month of January. Our New Year’s Resolutions!

Recognizing and Overcoming Failure

How many people want to lose weight and have that as a resolution – I want to lose 20 pounds this year. The ‘want’ and ‘year’ do not connect with the success machine in your body. As a result, nothing happens. However, it does not stop there.

Try losing weight a few times and failing. Those failures violate the subconscious mind’s prime directive to protect you from harm and embarrassment. Yes, it would be great to lose 20 pounds, look better, and maybe feel better, but your subconscious mind does not see it that way.

The subconscious mind sees failure. You failed before. You failed at this same objective again and again. Therefore, it is not something that can be tolerated because failure equals harm equals embarrassment. The compass that will drive you to success is now working against you because you have failed before. Each of those failures is indelibly imprinted in the archive of your brain. Your subconscious mind will not allow another failure. There are many ways around this dilemma – visualization is a great one.


Vince Poscente has a super story of his bid to become an Olympic champion. He ended up a few years later in the finals of an Olympic event, downhill speed skiing. In the finals, he wiped out and did not qualify for a medal. The story of how he got to the finals are part of his motivational presentations and books.

Visualization is more than imagining things. Napoleon Bonaparte said, “Imagination Rules the World!” Another Napoleon, Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive and Believe, It Can Achieve!” Part of the reason for this is that your subconscious mind does not know the difference between real and imagined.

I am certain that many people emotionally react to movies. I certainly have. Something surprises me and I jump a bit. Or maybe my eyes might begin to tear. The movie is imaginary. It is not real, however, our bodies react as if they were real people in real situations in front of us now. The subconscious mind has limitations, and they can be exploited when you know how.

Reacting to the Pandemic

I believe 2020 was unbelievable for most people. We started the year as any other and a pandemic erupted in our midst. It was real. It is real today. We know people affected by it. A few of them succumbed to the virus and are no longer with us. We did not have much time to prepare our mindset to adapt to the pandemic and the restrictions on personal freedoms and business operations.

Some people pivoted and adjusted and made 2020 their best year ever. Most of us did not.
We know a lot more about coronavirus now than we did twelve months ago. We know that vaccines and other options are being deployed around the world. We suspect that things might even return to normal within a year. We know what we know now that we did not know a year ago.

Begin with Your Mindset

Calibrate your mindset to meet the challenges that you know about and those that might occur in the future. Being forewarned is being forearmed is an expression that has been around since the sixteenth century. We have been forewarned about coronavirus. Become forearmed allows us to handle 2021 better whether with stricter controls or a return to normalcy.

I do a 72-hour-fast every month and have done it for over two years. I know that when I do not establish a mindset to stop eating and drinking that it is difficult to go cold-turkey into an extended fast. When I spend a couple of days prepping my mindset to accept the fast, I breeze through without a craving.

I get to the end of 72 hours and decide to do another 24 or 48 hours. I have done several 120+hour-fasts during 2020. The ‘why’ is a topic I have written and spoken about many times. The short version – to improve my immune system.

Incremental Improvement for Success

The Slight Edge, by Jeff Olson, is a great book about tackling tasks incrementally. Eat That Frog, by Brian Tracy, is another book that prepares your mindset to achieve goals.


I have written and spoken on the subconscious mind many times over the years. I love the subject. Psychocybernetics was the first book I read to work on my own self-improvement. I read a book a week for almost four years concentrating on what I did not know.

I learned that I love self-improvement, however, my true love, my first love is chemistry. I use my understanding of chemistry nowadays to research the human body at the cellular level looking for cause and effect relationships. One of my specialties when working for big companies was reliability engineering. I understood how and why things failed.

At one company, I was assigned as the primary TapRooT investigator. TapRooT is a process to improve performance. You cannot fix something if you cannot understand how it failed. How can we lose weight when we use the same affirmations repeatedly and they do not work?

When we discover what happened, we can prevent it from happening again. The experience I gained working product and process failures is the underlying driver behind my wanting to know why something happens a certain way in our bodies and in our brains.

2021 is upon us. It will be with us for a year. What should you expect to change to make 2021 unbelievable?

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughin –



3 Responses

  1. Red, I enjoy your writing and thank you for sharing your valuable knowledge.I hope to meet you in person one of these days at the Fulshear-Katy Chamber of Commerce.
    I was diagnosed positive Covid 19 last Thanksgiving day but with very mild symptoms, I thought it was the flu, and recuperated in 5 days. I think the reason is that at my 71 years I do not have a chronic illness and my immune system is strong.
    What do you think?

    1. Alex, first, thanks for your kind words. I am glad that you enjoy my daily writings. I also look forward to meeting you in person in the near future. Strong immune systems typically mean zero to mild symptoms. Sounds like you did better than average. Thanks for your comment! RED

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