What are the Natural Laws of the Mind?
Law #1 – What you think is what you get.
Life is not determined by outward acts or circumstances; it is formed from the inside out. Each of us creates our own life with our thoughts. A single thought will neither make nor break a life, but a habit of thought will. You cannot think defeat and be victorious.
The subconscious mind responds only to mental images. It doesn't matter if the image is self-induced or from the external world. The mental image formed becomes the blueprint and the subconscious mind uses every means at its disposal to carry out the plan. This is why we talk about worrying as so detrimental; it's like programming your mind with an image you don't
When you change your thoughts, you change your mind.
Law #2 – Every thought causes a physical reaction.
Your thoughts affect all of the functions of your body. Worry thoughts trigger changes in the stomach that eventually lead to ulcers. Anger thoughts stimulate your adrenal glands and the increased adrenaline in the bloodstream causes many other physical changes. Anxiety and fear thoughts change your pulse rate. Hunger and thirst thoughts affect your stomach and salivary glands. Sex thoughts affect your sex organs.
Our personal body chemistry is guided and triggered by our emotions. However, thought leads the emotions. You can make yourself sick, poor and unhappy by your habitual thinking. You become what you dwell upon.
The best way to instantly grasp Law #2 is The Lemon Test. Read the following a couple of times until you have committed the short process to memory. Then, close your eyes and see what happens!
Imagine you are in your kitchen on a bright, sunny day. Look around you and notice the colors and the light in the room. Slowly work your way to the refrigerator, noticing everything along the way. Notice which way the door to the refrigerator opens. When you open the door you notice a lemon on the shelf in front of you. Look at a lemon. Feel it. Pick it up, bring it to a cutting board next to the sink, and pick up the sharp knife lying next to the cutting board. Slice the bright, yellow lemon in half. Picture yourself smelling the lemon, bringing it to your mouth, and then squeezing some of the juice onto your tongue.
Did you salivate? Did your mouth pucker?
Law #3 – Imagination is more powerful than knowledge.
Images are the property of the subconscious mind (the huge 88% of you). Those images will always overpower what you think (12%). Reason is easily overruled by the imagination. In fact, an idea accompanied by a strong emotion usually cannot be modified through the use of reason. However, by subconscious reprogramming, one can easily and effortlessly remove, alter, or amend any old idea.
The way I teach my clients about this Natural Law of the Mind is I say, ” Look at me right now. I am wearing a red shirt and khaki trousers, right?” “Okay, now close your eyes and picture me with a green shirt and purple trousers and a black hat.” Now open your eyes and tell me which is real.
Your mind doesn’t know, as it has seen both and cannot tell the difference.
Law #4 – Your habits are your life.
A surefire way to tell what your future will hold is to look at your habits of today. If you don’t change any of your habits of today, there is one place they will lead you. That's because life is full of habits: successions of actions that become more or less automatic. And the more you do them, the more ingrained they get.
The good news is that it's never too late to change your habits. You can begin today, right now. Remember that success is a habit and failure is also a habit. Repetition forms positive habits and negative ones.
Getting rid of bad habits involves cultivating new ones, though, and that takes some work. That work is done the fastest and easiest if you enlist the subconscious mind. If you could change by just reading a book about change or going to therapy, everyone would be replacing all of their negative thoughts and behavior with positive ones. But reading doesn’t create change easily or automatically.
Make good habits and they will make you.
Law #5 – Don’t breed negative thoughts.
As you probably have learned through experience, the more attention and power you give to your fears, the more they affect you and the more likely they are to manifest themselves. If you continue to fear ill health, constantly talk about your “nerves,” “tension headaches,” “nervous stomach,” in time those organic changes will occur. Your nerves will act up, you’ll get tension headaches, and you will experience stomach problems. All because you kept those negative notions in your mind.
Law #6 – Attitude is a matter of choice.
An attitude is basically the way in which you look at life. As you have likely experienced, attitudes affect the body and how it performs. Fortunately, we all have the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances.
The events that occur in our lives are purely neutral. They are not positive until we have decided that they are, and they are not negative until we have decided they are.
Law #7 – Reactions must be managed.
This law is the corollary to the previous one. Just as you can manage your attitude, you can manage your reactions. Again, what happens in your life is purely neutral. But how you react to what happens is not, and it can affect your health and your performance.
Law #8 – Thoughts must be kept alive.
No thought is self-sustaining in the mind – it must be nurtured, fed and kept alive. The first time I heard the sentence: “Only one idea can be entertained at one time,” I was thoroughly confused. I was thinking about memory and how we can hold many ideas at once.
But the sentence refers instead to how the conscious mind recognizes an idea as true, correct, and guiding. And that it cannot hold the opposing idea simultaneously. For example, an individual may believe in absolute honesty. He trains and expects his children to be honest. Meanwhile, he cheats on his income taxes. He might rationalize his conduct by saying, “Everybody else does it.” He cannot, however, escape the conflict and its effect upon his nervous system that is caused by attempting to hold opposing ideas.
The following are truisms about thoughts:
- An idea, once accepted, tends to remain until it is replaced by another idea or until it is forgotten.
- Once an idea has been accepted, there is opposition to replacing it with a new idea.
- The longer an idea remains, the more opposition there is to replacing it with a new idea.
- The longer an idea remains, the more it tends to become a fixed habit of thinking. (This is how habits are formed, both good and bad ones: first the thought, then the action.)
Therefore, if we wish to change our actions, we must begin by changing our thoughts.
Law # 9 – Maintain an attitude of gratitude.
One of the laws of the universe is what you put forth comes back to you-and usually when it does it has gained mass and momentum. In other words, what goes around, comes around. Therefore, if you develop an attitude of gratitude, and you look at your life in terms of all you have to be grateful for, you’ll start seeing more to be grateful for, focusing on positive things, and more positive things will then be attracted to you.