The December 11, Times of India edition, carried an article on Mayank Agarwal, the Karnataka cricketer that read- New approach helps Agarwal score big. Mayank has hit a purple patch in the just concluded Indian domestic cricket season, scoring 1142 runs in 7 matches.
Speaking to the reporter Mayank said- “The book Power of subconscious mind by Joseph Murphy got me thinking about my approach to life and vipassana helped me understand life better. It taught me that life is a journey and each one of us takes a different path. I didn’t change overnight, the process has been slow and the results have only come this season,” says Mayank.
When you look at the words spoken by Mayank: you will see there are a spiritual touch and a philosophical outlook in his approach to his game. He is 26 and old enough to learn from the lessons life has taught him along the way.
Mention subconscious mind or meditation to any youngster he would vanish the very next moment or dismiss the whole thing as unreal, impractical or mystical. The scope and contribution of the subconscious mind cannot be dismissed lightly- as a non-empirical and hypothetical thing. Because many successful people have used it to good effect: it is like being religious- you know being religious is powerful but the effects can’t be measured.
Mind- the conscious and the subconscious[ unconscious]
Mind is a non-physical entity like air or electricity, something you can’t see or touch but can feel its existence. It is a bundle of thoughts or simply vibrations that happens due to firing of neurons at different parts of the brain.
The vibrations that emerge from the upper cortical areas of the brain are generally classified as the conscious mind and for those that emanate from the submerged brain parts [limbic system and other parts] below the cortex is the subconscious mind.
The conscious mind is the thinking mind- analysing, judging, planning and decision making is its true nature. But it is in the subconscious where all our learned skills, long term memories, experiences and creativity are stored. The power of the conscious mind is only the tip of the iceberg [20%] and the rest lies hidden with the subconscious [80%].
To highlight how powerful the subconscious is: all the unconscious processes like breathing, metabolism, cell growth, blood circulation, heart beating; performing of the learned skills etc is the work of the subconscious. These are actions beyond the control of the analytical conscious mind.
Once learnt, we perform activities like driving, typing, playing instruments, performing complex tasks, playing sports in an automatic mode without thinking. But, under evaluation, be it any competitive event, academics, work challenges or any other: man is habituated to be too much with the thinking conscious mind and this is like putting a virus in to a computer system- it corrupts the whole system.
Though every action or process happens with the synchrony of both the minds, being too much with the thinking mind debilitates performance. All experiences are stored in the files of the subconscious brain parts and we have to be very careful what we retrieve from the long term memories of the subconscious.
The subconscious performs according to the directions of its BOSS- the conscious mind because it is innocently dependent on the conscious mind for its inputs. Whereas the conscious mind is receptive to the direct signals it receives from the five senses namely: touch, feel [taste], sight, smell and hearing.
How we think/verbalise/believe/imagine and affirm affects what we manifest in to our lives. Because the subconscious is not bestowed with the analytical and judgemental ability: it innocently produces the result it is asked for without judging whether it is right/wrong, good/bad.
Repeated pattern of thinking: be it negative or positive, has a bearing on the subconscious and the outcome. Statements like I am no good, I am always a loser, I don’t deserve to win; will be taken literally by your sub-conscious and despite your best efforts you will never be the champion you want to be.
The negative- self-belief’s and self-fulfilling prophesies comes from the subconscious and that is what made Swami Vivekananda to say- “ whatever you think you’ll be, you think yourself as weak, weak you’ll be- if you think you are strong, strong you’ll be.
In sports, beyond planning, strategizing, analysing – to a little extent, there is no need to over-analyse things because the execution is best left to the sub-conscious: to be performed in an automatic zone.
Factors that can influence the subconscious mind: Belief’s, Emotions, Verbal language, Authoritative figures [parents, teachers, coach, principal etc], behaviours, Imagination, Hope, faith and intense desire.
How to impregnate the subconscious mind:
The SCM can be impregnated through- Transformation in thinking, self-hypnosis, Meditation, Lucid dreaming, subliminal messages and repeated affirmations.
Dr Rudi Webster, sports psychologist wrote in his book `Think like a champion’- You should talk and listen to the little man[ subconscious], make him your best and trusted friend and work with him closely to perform your tasks and to reach your goals. If you make him your enemy he will sabotage your performance.’’