I’m going to guess that most of us live our lives wanting the best for ourselves and the people we care about. But what if the steps we’re taking day to day are actually leading us toward failure? It isn’t too late to rewrite the program, if we know what to look for.
Generally speaking, the way we take in and process information about our lives and the things that happen around us follow a series of six steps:
1. External Event – Something happens in our surroundings that sends stimuli to our five senses. We see, hear, smell, taste and touch elements of our world that give us some kind of information.
2. Distortion, Deletion or Generalization – Our senses can take in nearly two million bits of information at any given time, but there’s no way our minds can process all of it. To prevent us from being overwhelmed and to help us use what our minds determine to be the most important information coming in, the sensory data goes through filters. These filters sort out the data and determine its relevance based upon:
- our understanding of time and space
- the limitations of the language we speak
- the memories we have of past events and how they relate to current ones
- our previous decisions and their results
- the values and beliefs we hold about ourselves, other people, and the way the world works
- the attitudes we take
- the overall programs and routines we currently follow
3. Internal Representation – Once we have taken in information and sent it through our filters, we assign meaning to the event or occurrence. We guess at the events and intentions that preceded our current situation, and decide how we think it will affect us.
4. State – When we decide what something means, we then choose how we’re going to feel about it. Based on everything we’ve taken in, filtered and processed, we select an emotional response to exhibit.
5. Physiology – Our bodies react to the emotions happening within them and show externally what we have going on internally. (You could probably tell instantly when someone is sad, for example, just by looking at her physiology – the expression on her face and the way her body is positioned.)
6. Behaviour – We then put into action the thoughts, feelings and bodily messages that we have developed up to this point.
The majority of these six steps occur at a subconscious level where, for the most part, we react to events in our lives based upon the programs and processes we have previously developed. Our habits are our default responses and keep us from having to figure out each step of the way every time. But we do have some choice in the matter.
Can you find the pivotal point here? The one that greatly influences how we live our lives?
(If you think you’ve guessed it, click here find out how to really program yourself for success.)