George Santayana’s 1924 book, The Life of Reason or The Phases of Human Progress: Reason in Common Sense, has a quote that most of us have heard many times in our lives. “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Most of the time we hear this quote in regards to some action that should have been taken; or, an action that was taken and should not have been.
Our personal histories are recorded in the daily journal of our subconscious mind. It can account for every experience you have had since birth. Only those things done over and over again are filed for easy retrieval. Those things we did with emotion attached to them are filed for even faster recovery. When a decision is required our subconscious will choose something that we’ve done before and/or something with extra added emotion. In case of a tie, emotion wins over repetition.
Your subconscious does not like you to be embarrassed. It will do absolutely everything in its power to prevent your shame and humiliation. Rather that actually allow you to fail, it will short-circuit the activity you were about to do. It will give you an excuse or defense not to do it. You never actually start, or get very far, therefore you can never fail. Kind of irrational or crazy thinking!
If every time you came to a fork in the road over your entire life, you took the right fork 99 times and the left fork once. The one time you took the left fork, you were injured and had to return to the fork in the road and go the other direction. You have a history of going right at the fork, and when you did not, you paid for it with pain – emotion attachment to that decision – and those experiences will always come ‘front and center’ anytime you are faced with making a decision to go right or left at a fork in the road.
What if your history could become an amazing success story if you took the left turn at the fork in the road? Don’t start with the decision requirement at the fork in the road – that is predetermined in your subconscious mind. Start with the end result and work backwards. That success you desire is only available way down the road. The exact directions are not important now – just achieving the actual success is important.
Begin recounting every day, or several times a day, the satisfaction of making the decision to actually achieve that goal. Write it down, study it, add smell, color, dimension, feeling, sounds – keep a register of how happy you are to have made it in spite of the obstacles. Little by little start thinking backward – what was the achievement before you actually got there? Think the same way about that result. Dwell on it, savor it, and consume it with emotion.
You are not replacing experiences in your subconscious mind, but you are adding experiences to your subconscious mind – experiences that will compete with the narrative of your life. Pretty soon you will have struggle or battle in your subconscious mind when it comes to decision making at the fork in the road. If you are not projected to make the same decisions you made always in your life, there is a chance to make a different decision.
The more you overload your subconscious, the more you will tilt the decision making in favor of something you haven’t done, but only dreamed about. This is extremely important since your subconscious will subvert, challenge, threaten, sabotage and destabilize any attempt to do something in which you might fail. That is why your success has to be so emotionally rewarding. It cannot imagine you failing.
Your subconscious mind will not see that making a left at the fork in the road is detrimental or have a propensity to fail – it will see that you must do that to succeed ‘again.’ Historical successes are repeated more often than historical failures. Your personal history should not repeat itself if your past is not what you want to see again in your future.