In these first few posts I wanted to talk about two ideas that were transformative for em. The first ideas was from the last, horrifically long post, that basically shows our brains are designed to go negative.
Negativity was a much greater survival tool and today we have a Negativity Bias built right in. This ensures our brains have a natural talent for telling us how much we suck.
The second idea is that the power we posses in our minds reaches far beyond human comprehension.
Remember in Return of the Jedi when that little pig guy fell into the Rancor pit in Jabba’s Palace? That little pig guy is basically our fear, our situations or anything we don’t like in our life. The power we posses in our minds is like the Rancor. The piggy guy had no shot.
It’s the same for us, regardless of our situations we can find a way. Viktor Frankl said, “In some ways, suffering ceases to be suffering the moment it finds meaning…” No matter the situation we face our minds are beyond powerful enough to find the meaning and the way through. There may be incredible pain, but I believe with all of who I am our minds are stronger.
This is what I learned that opened my eyes to the power of our minds.
Let’s look at a quick example of how big these numbers are based off something we all know: money.
10^9 is a billion or a 1 with 9 zeros after it. From what Google told me there are only 10 people in the world who have over 100 billion dollars.
If you had 100 billion 1 dollar bills, and laid them end to end, you would circle the earth 200 times. With the left over change you could stack them one on top of each other to the moon and back 10 times. Needless to say that is a massive number, but it’s not the largest by far.
We can keep going through trillions, quadrillions, quintillions, and sextillions which is a 1 with 21 zeros after it. That happens to be the estimated number of stars in the observable universe but we are still not close to the power in our minds.
Now let’s get into some really massive numbers. Scientists estimate that there are about 10^82 number of atoms in the observable universe. That is a 1 with 82 zeros after it. These atoms make up everything from the computer I’m writing this on to your eyes that are hopefully reading this to our oceans, atmosphere, and the most distant starts in the universe.
But in our minds we have about 100 billion neurons give or take a few billion.
This is where it gets amazing.
Neuroscientists say that the possible combinations of all those neurons firing or not is about 10^1,000,000 or a 1 followed by one million zeros.
Think about that. We have more power of creation in our own minds than the universe itself has the ability to create. We have our own internal universe that we can control.
This was a massively transformative thought for me. I’ve always wondered why some people who seem to have every reason in the world to give up on life, are happy and fulfilled, while people who seem to have the world in their hands are miserable and depressed.
It is exactly this power of the mind that some are tapping into while others are being destroyed by it. That was a sobering thought. When we see someone who doesn’t seem to be able to change, even though they say they want to, it’s become a cliche to say, “Well, they just don’t really want it.” Maybe that’s not the case. Maybe they are up against an incomprehensible power that keeps them trapped inside the prison of their mind.
As we saw before the mind has a Negativity Bias built it. That power running unchecked, fueling the natural negativity of our minds can be debilitating.
But if we can become aware of the power we posses, and learn to harness it into positive emotional states; driving it into gratitude, growth, love, empathy, kindness, goodness and understanding to just name a few, then there is no limit to what we can create in our lives.
It is going to be difficult to break the old patterns that limit us, but we happen to have our minds, the most powerful force in the universe to back us up. That doesn’t mean the work will be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.