The moment you hear the phrase mind power, your own mind automatically visualizes ESP, telekinesis, mystic yoga gurus and the like. But the mind’s untapped power doesn’t only lie in the unknown – sometimes it’s right in front of our eyes but we fail to see it.
Man has been experimenting with mind enhancement activities since the dawn of time. Drugs have been used to alter perception and facilitate insight; physical exercises have been developed to help focus the mind’s energies; even psychiatric measures such as hypnotism have been employed to try and expose what is hidden deep within the brain. However, mind power does not always entail esoteric practices; neither does it require extreme measures to stretch it to its limits. Sometimes, all it takes is a little…well, mind power!
Part of the power of the mind – a large part, in fact – is its ability to remember. And it’s not just the five senses, either: the mind is great at remembering emotion, thoughts, feelings, experiences and many more uniquely human qualities. Memory, therefore, is a good starting point to improve mental prowess. There are several techniques that can be used to achieve this: from the Sylva Mind Method© to association to mnemonics to repetition and practice to visualization, there are several dozen ways in which your memory power can be dramatically improved. All you have to do is Google ‘memory improvement’ and a new world of tools will be available to you.
Concentration and Focus
Another inherent characteristic of the mind is the ability to focus on one activity intensely. Animals have this power – in abundance. Humans, however, are somehow more easily distracted than animals. A lioness hunting its prey shows tremendous patience, focus and concentration that nothing can shake except imminent danger to her life or that of her cubs. Even a house lizard or a spider can display the kind of focus that most humans would find hard to achieve. One of the reasons for this is that today’s world is primarily a sensory one, as opposed to a spiritual or mental one. Thousands of stimuli are constantly bombarding our sense organs, vying for attention. Ultimately, our focus becomes diluted because we have to tend to so many stimuli. This is why prioritization is the only way to increase focus. Knowing what’s important at any given time is the key to concentration – that, and a whole lot of discipline and will power, which brings us right to the next power of the mind.
Will power is nothing more than consistent and concentrated intent. Not intention – intent. There’s a difference: an intention is merely a wish to do or achieve something; intent is a focusing of energies towards that objective so that it becomes reality. Unfortunately, most people think the two are interchangeable. True intent will get you unerringly to your goal no matter what that goal might be. You may have the intention of buying a new car, but unless you put intent behind that intention, your car will remain a wish. Desire is the driving force behind intent; unless the desire is strong enough, your intent will not have the necessary power to achieve your goal. To improve your will power, you need to identify your major goals. People, for the most part, generally go through life with no specific goals in mind – going with the flow, they call it. However, unless you want “chance or circumstance” to guide your future, you will need to start writing down your goals. Today! The achieving of goals is nothing but will power fueled by desire and guided by your dreams to achieve a specific result. Anyone can do this – you just have to want to bad enough.
Myths about Mind Power
Myth #1: The brain gradually reduces in functional efficiency after middle age
This is one of the most ridiculous myths around. Your experience and knowledge only start maturing around the middle years (35 to 45), so how can your brain power start to decline when your mind power is still in its infancy? While it might be true that certain skills are less pronounced as age progresses, there is no evidence to show that mind power actually declines after a certain age. Yes, old age does contribute to certain degenerative mental processes, as do diseases associated with old age. However, never succumb to the belief that your mind gets weaker as it grows older. Not surprisingly, people who fall for this often bring on a self-inflicted condition caused by fear and doubt rather than an actual degradation of brain function. Ask any spry nonagenarian about this, and you’ll find out the truth about mind power!
Myth #2: We only use 10% of our brain
You’ve heard this said many times over, and you’ve probably read it, seen it or heard talk of it a dozen times in pop culture media. But this is simply not true. What might be true is that several mental skills are underdeveloped; that does not mean that 90% of our brain remains unused. On the contrary, studies have shown that even simple tasks can take up quite a bit of brain resources. The brain certainly has untapped potential, and the areas discussed above – memory, will power and concentration – are just some of those that can be honed and sharpened to a great extent. But do not ever believe that you are limited in the use of your brain. Paradoxically, the brain believes anything you tell it – even if it is counter-productive to the normal functioning of the brain. Fear is one such stimulus that restrains brain function. Doubt is another. If you let these feelings rule your brain, it will definitely be limited – but only by choice, not by design.
These two myths have done a tremendous amount of damage to our confidence in our own abilities. Never let other people limit the power of your mind. It is the only thing that is truly your own, and the only thing that requires your action to improve. Information is great, but the wrong kind of information does more harm than good. Only accept what’s best for you, not what the world tells you is “normal” and “ordinary”. Your mind is neither normal nor ordinary – it is a precious gift that must be guarded with your life against all attacks. The society at large wants you to be normal and ordinary because it works for the society – not for you. Unless you break free from self-imposed limitations, this is exactly how you will be – normal and ordinary. Fight for your life. Fight for your mind. Fight because it’s right.