Choice Is Conscious, Habits Are Unconscious
I’m an absolute nerd when it comes to understanding how the mind works, and last week I arrived at a conclusion I’d never had before!
One of the greatest opportunities for changing our life is to make new choices. New choices lead to new actions, which lead to new outcomes. In that way the choices you make are the lead dominos that dictate the direction of your life. The fascinating thing is, we make millions of decisions every single day. Our brains are constantly evaluating our surroundings, emotions, resources, other people... everything! And working hard to make decisions that keep us safe. The majority of this is happening without our awareness.
The epiphany was - Choices are simply the decisions we make that we’re aware of. This is the conscious mind electing to do certain things based on drawing logical conclusions. But even so, it's not entirely independent. These conscious choices are biased and contextualized by our subconscious environment. We come to make choices that are rationalized by the needs and information available to the subconscious mind.
But putting that aside for a second, let’s talk about all of those decisions you’re making that you’re not aware of. Those are your habits and routines. They’re your conditioned, habitual way of responding to different stimuli. And for the most part it’s a good thing we have this. Imagine if we needed to make a decision on everything we ever encountered every day. Our conscious mind does not have the capacity, and we’d certainly never have the ability to do anything creative or imaginative.
In this lies exactly why making new positive choices can change your life. When you choose to engage in new positive behaviors you’re teaching your subconscious mind how to make decisions for you. And when that transformation is complete, you start making unconscious decisions that are in alignment with the better life you’re consciously choosing to have.
Now this is a whole other concept in itself, but just to share quickly - This is exactly why you need to be so present in establishing new habits. It takes focus, and attention to detail, and conscious follow through to create new habits because new habits first require taking conscious action. Then through repetition these effortful actions evolve to become unconscious habits.
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