Motivating Employees: Understanding Mind Management Part 4 of 6

Posted by on November 10, 2009 in Blog, Uncategorized | 0 comments

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 Your mind will move your body in the direction of your dominant thought.

Your mind will find a way to move your body in the direction of your thinking, in the direction of your focus.


You saw this to a large extent in the previous exercise but I’d like you to think about it a little further.  When you drive past the beach on a beautifully sunny summers day, I’m willing to bet you have let your eyes wonder from the road to some of the toned and tanned human specimens striding the pavement, or tanning on the beach.  When you turned your attention to a passer-by, where did you vehicle go?  Did it follow the road, or did it stray from the road in the direction of your focus?


If you like stretching yourself, taking risks and doing something “dangerous”, why not enroll in a High Speed Driving Course.  Here you will get to drive around a racetrack in an incredibly fast car, experience G-forces in the corners and get helmet-hair.  More importantly though, you’ll find out very quickly what happens to your car when you focus on the barriers on the outside of a corner! 


Or go parachuting.  On my first jump I was really worried about landing in the trees that surrounded the drop-zone.  That was where I focused – and that was where I landed.  In the trees.



On a piece of paper, draw a big cross, with arms vertically and horizontal.  Using a paper-clip and a piece of string, create a pendulum about the length of your forearm.


Place both your elbows on a flat, sturdy surface, holding the string between the thumb and forefinger of your dominant hand.

Steady your dominant hand with your other hand so that the pendulum is suspended directly above the centre of the cross. About 2 centi-metres above the table.


Now focus only on the paperclip. Do not move your hands. Looking intently at the paperclip, and with unwavering focus, I want to move the paperclip from left to right (east to west). Keep repeating the instruction to yourself. Visualise the paperclip moving left to right, left to right… small movements at first, then getting bigger. Keep repeating the instruction and continue to visualize the result you want.


Once you’ve got a real nice movement going, change your instructions to decrease the extent of the swing. Ask the pendulum to stop. Slowly, gradually the “see” the movements get smaller and slower until, eventually, the pendulum stops swinging. Now instruct” the paperclip to change direction. This time think of moving it North – South.


Do not move your hands. Looking intently at the paperclip, and with unwavering focus, I want to move the paperclip from North to South, up and down. Keep repeating the instruction to yourself. Visualise the paperclip moving up and down, up and down… small movements at first, then getting bigger.


Can you now reflect on what happened? Did the clip move? How far? How quickly? Could you hold your focus, or did you give up when you didn’t get immediate results? Are you a bit overwhelmed? Or feel that this is “black magic”?


The truth is simple. You’re not in a Star Wars movie, becoming a Jedi or using the force. What you observed, the movement you created was a simple result of physiology. The natural workings of your nervous system and normal originators of all actions are in play.


Muscles cause movement. Particularly the contraction and relaxation of muscles. When you need to bend your arm at the elbow, the first physiological process is the formation of a small electrical impulse in your brain, called an Action Potential. This charged is fired through your network of nerves, down your arm to your biceps and triceps muscles. The action potential will stimulate your biceps to contract, your triceps to relax and that results in the movement of your arm.


We can measure these impulses by placing electrodes on the muscles themselves, allowing neuroscientists to not only indentify the presence of an Action Potential, but also to measure the strength of these electrical messengers. In patients with spinal injuries, the absence of these messengers will often be the first hint that doctors look for when making a diagnosis.


When you are holding your hands “motionless” and thinking about the movement of the pendulum, you are trying to actively inhibit the result of the Action Potentials that will cause your hands to move by trying to hold your hands still. So you diminish the strength of the messages. However, they are still there and would register on an electro-graph. Your thoughts are producing the necessary Action Potential to result in slight movements that are commensurate with your thoughts. So, on an-almost microscopic level, there is movement in your hands. This is eventually translated into the movement you observe in the pendulum.

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