I have always appreciated books like "The Secret" and "The Power" by Rhonda Byrne-inspirational books that draw you out of your misery into a world of possibilities. For many, this is all that is needed: another life force that believes in your possibility, and you are on your way to realizing your dreams. However, for some, this is not quite enough. How exactly do you access the secret and the power? And can understanding how your brain works help you get closer to the power? Below is a brief description of the brain happenings behind the challenges to getting exactly what you want, and a simple description of how this applies to finding the perfect lover.
The Brain's Too-Detailed Information Booklet: Firstly, "the power" refers to your ability to draw what you want into your life. But many people overlook the fact that you often have to act differently in order to do this - not just think differently. The action center in your brain will activate toward the power when it knows how to, and to know how to, it has to follow a set of "instructions" that we call motor maps. These "motor maps" are like information booklets, and if you've ever read an information booklet, you will understand how this is not something the action brain (motor cortex) is thrilled about. So here we meet the first challenge in accessing "the power": the information booklet.
The Confused Navigator: Luckily for us, we have a part of the brain that gets to be the navigator, drawing out relevant information from the motor maps to chart a course toward our goals. Yes, this is going on in your head right now. Your navigator (the parietal lobe) is eagerly positioned to translate your motor maps into a path that your action brain can follow. However, here we meet the second level of obstruction. Just as your navigator starts to read the instructions, it is often bombarded by tiny emotional tremors (occasionally earthquakes) that shake it up a little. So now, your brain's navigator is unable to concentrate on finding the path to your power, because it is bombarded by emotions such as fear and anger that destabilize it, making your parietal lobe feel like it is in a "no read" zone. Furthermore, the navigator has to listen out for signals coming from other brain regions too. And one of these regions is the brain's accountant.
The Jittery Spotlight and The Selective Accountant: A well-trained brain accountant will likely be able to sum up all risks and benefits to your planned course of action, but this level of obstruction to the power is plagued by many challenges. Sometimes, the same emotional tremors that shake up the navigator, (in part because the navigator is also responsible for attention), shake up the brain's attentional system. As a result, your internal flashlight becomes unable to fix on the relevant information that will give you the power. So now you have a jerky flashlight that simply can't focus and an accountant who is receiving selective (mostly) risk and ( a little) reward information for its mind balance sheet.
In part 2 we will revisit other challenges to "the power" but before we do, here is a real-life story to help you understand the brain's role in finding a perfect lover for you. April is a thirty-five year old woman who has always been interested in having a traditional family, but there is one problem: she has never been able to find a suitable man. She has tried everything: from speed dating to online ads and blind dates, and she simply cannot find the person she wants. So in her case, her action brain has been dragging her on a wild goose chase, in part because the navigator has been reading the motor maps as she has become increasingly anxious. Just the anxiety that she is quickly going to be beyond child-bearing age keeps her brain in a constant state of tremor, so that her attention, navigation and actions are never steady and without doubt.
What April has to learn in order to access her power, is how to simplify the motor maps, give the navigator the information it needs, and harness the power of her constant fear to channel it in the right directions. In my recently released book "Life Unlocked: 7 Revolutionary Lessons To Overcome Fear" I describe these brain exercises in great detail, but to get a start on this process, read my post on The Huffington Post this week called " Brain-Based Strategies for Harnessing Your Power."