If you’re into goal setting inevitably someone will tell you that you should try a vision board and/or a mantra. But do they work?
The answer once again falls into the category of perception and focus. I can say that such things do work, yet not only do you have to use these processes properly, you also have to believe in what you are doing. But I am already jumping ahead of myself. Let’s start from the beginning.
For those who may not know what a mantra is, it’s repeating a sentence over and over again. Buddhists do it to focus their meditation, yet nowadays people have been using it to guide their focus towards what they want in life. It is now the case that every Tom, Dick and Spaceman has their own technique on how to use mantras. But rather than going into the various ways of doing them, let’s look at how and why they can work.
A while ago I talked about neurotransmitters. During this discussion I explained how repeating a habit (such as smoking) causes stronger neurotransmitters in the brain. In fact, with smoking, the simple action of lifting a cigarette to your mouth becomes part of the addiction because it has been repeated so many times. Yet another reason why smoking is so addictive (beyond the addictive substances themselves) is because people often link emotions to their habit. I’m upset so I’ll have a cigarette, I’m full so I’ll have a cigarette, I’m bored so I’ll have a cigarette, and so on and so forth.
Okay, so you don’t smoke. But do you stroke your beard, tap your pen on the table, cross your legs from left to right, or have a reoccurring saying or trait? This is a trick question because we all do and that’s part of becoming who we are. So if traits such as these can be obtained through simple day to day living then why can’t we create our own traits and beliefs through mantras? That’s a very good question…
Mantras are used by many people to do just this. Yet setting up a powerful mantra in your life is not something that can be done overnight. It takes work and dedication over months to create new neurotransmitters and enforce them daily. Furthermore you can’t just say it, you also have to believe it. Saying words openly over and over again will not do much at all. You may as well be repeating ‘The Lonely Spaceman is a dull boy’ because you will get the same result as your own incarnation.
Mantras require context and an emotional state. Saying ‘I am happy’ can only create positive reactions to your psyche if you bring in positive memories, thoughts and feelings with the mantra. If you repeat this daily for months (feeling the emotions as you do this) you can get multiple benefits. Firstly you can begin to automatically feel happy during the specific time of day you normally repeat this mantra. Secondly, each time you are stressed, you will find that repeating your mantra will bring you back to this happier place quickly and without much thought. The words now create your emotional status and this is because they are linked within your subconscious mind.
Vision boards work the same way. Looking at a picture each day without context will not make something happen in your life. I had Elle Macpherson on my wall and she still doesn’t return my calls. Does anyone remember her? Anyway, the vision must come with a mission. By asking not only what you want but also understanding why you want it (as discussed in the previous blog) which includes the emotions you seek, you gain more focus and drive.
So to recap, how do these two things actually work?
It’s an old saying but it’s a good one. What you focus on you head towards. And if you direct your focus towards one specific thing over and over again eventually your direction becomes automatic. It is then that your subconscious will begin to justify, react to or offer you part of what you are seeking. Doors will open automatically and your mind will see things that can guide you down the path you desire.
Spiritually this is your soul guiding you where you are destined to go. Scientifically, this is your subconscious justifying the reality that you created through your mantra. You may read into things that are not there, or rather, you may pick up on aspects of life that you would normally neglect.
For Mantra’s and picture boards to be effective, being present and aware is key. Being reactive and lost within your ego each day cuts down your objectivity and your focus. The most dominant emotion in the present moment will take over your focus and lead you down different paths than the one you want. Therefore, the more you are present and alert to what is happening around you the more you will see movement in the direction you are trying to manifest.
Faith is also important. If you start doing one of these techniques yet don’t truly believe that they work then quit while you’re ahead. You can’t convince the mind of something that you have already decided (within your mind) doesn’t work. Furthermore, it is important to keep within your morals and values during this process. Crossing over your morals will taint your resolve and bring bad karma to the mind. Or in more scientific terms, going against your values will begin to alert your subconscious that your focus is not as righteous as you originally thought. The mind will then question the direction you are heading (as it believes it will lead to pain) and stop the progress you have been making.
Before the next blog please remember, your entire journey towards your goal will never be completely easy or without its burdens. This is part of the ride and getting disheartened is natural at certain points in life. We all fall off the horse. Yet as long as we get back on and keep using our techniques we will eventually find ourselves moving forward again.
Good luck on your plans and if anybody has Elle’s phone number please pass mine onto her, I think she has lost my number…