In the last post on how to change your current situation, I encouraged you to write down your ideal lifestyle five years from now. I told you not restrain yourself—not to design your future based on your current circumstances, fears, or reality. I also asked you to believe.
Now, pay close attention. I want to break it down for you. First, please understand that I’m not trying to tell you what to do with your life. I just have a hunch maybe you want to a better life.
But change is a complex undertaking. Whether it’s individual, organizational, or social, there are many forces at play. As you might imagine, it’s not easy to change your current situation.
So, if you’ve been trying to change your current situation and you’re not making progress, I want to offer you a fresh perspective. I want to go behind the scene to help you understand why you may not succeeding at driving change – professionally and personally.
Imagine a five-year-old kid leading a 400-pound gorilla that doesn’t want to be led. How effective do you think the kid would be if he or she politely asked the gorilla to move? This question is not to trick you. Because the answer is, that depends.
Now, what do I mean by that? Well, obviously the gorilla is in charge. It is much bigger and more powerful than the kid. However, the kid can only use tactical and strategic levers to force the gorilla to obey. Here’s what I mean:
It is said we have two brains. We have the emotional brain—the one that feels. We have the logical (rational) brain—the one that analyzes everything. It’s also the one that makes us procrastinate or think we’re not ready to start.
Those two brains are often referred to as the conscious and unconscious mind. Let me put it in a context that might make more sense to you.
Your rational or logical brain is the kid that’s trying to lead the gorilla. It’s your conscious mind or your awareness. The emotional brain is the 400-pound gorilla behind the kid.
That gorilla doesn’t want to move or change. Thus is the root of your current internal conflicts. What do I mean by that? Your emotional brain is always in control. It dictates the action you take. Let me give you an example.
In your logical mind, you want to go to the gym to workout or change your situation. Your outcome may be to lose 10 pounds in six months. But your emotional brain—the gorilla—doesn’t want to feel the pain. It’s the part of your brain that’s keeping from going to the gym.
Instead, it prefers the pleasure of a cup of Ice scream or a chocolate cake. It gives this weird feeling of “I can’t resist this chocolate.” Are you still with me? The gorilla is in charge.
Do you see the battle? Are you seeing why the kid has such a hard time leading the 400-pound gorilla? Are you seeing why you can really want something and yet it’s so hard for you to take the right actions to get it? But you know what?
You can empower the kid to take charge any time you want and force it to help you change your current situation. Let’s see how you can do so.
3 Ways To Force Your Emotional Brain Into Submission So You Can Change Your Current Situation
1-Give The Gorilla Specific Directions. Do you know why you can’t resist the chocolate or the ice scream? It’s because the gorilla doesn’t get clear, firm and specific directions to change. Now, let me tell you this: If you don’t give it specific and detailed directions firmly, it will eventually take you to the city of regrets. Give it clear guidance.
2-Touch The Gorilla’s Heart. Your feelings come from your heart. That’s where your tears flow. It’s where change begins. It’s what changes behaviors and attitudes. If your heart is not in it, change is not going to happen. So, how do you touch the heart?
Have a strong emotional why! It’s like this: You’ve got to pick up the phone, face your fears, and make the sale. Why? It’s because your daughter’s education depends on it. Your current situation demands for it.
Your heart will break if your daughter finishes high school and you can’t afford to send her to college. That’s your why. The more emotional it is, the more you are driven. Find your why and make it emotional. Do you follow?
3-Keep Remind The Gorilla. State what you want to change and the reason why you want that change first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Cut out pictures of the current university that your daughter will attend and put it on your wall as a reminder. Keep reminding the gorilla because it has short memory.
I hope this wasn’t too confusing. Let me summarize the ways you can change your current situation.
With your logical brain, you can say what you want to change and mean it. But it’s the gorilla—your emotion that is in charge of the change. That’s why every time you take one step forward, it pulls you two steps backwards.
That’s the framework I have been using to get whatever I want. It should work for you, too.
1-Specific, firm and clear directions. See it the change you want vividly.
2- Determine your emotional why–the thing that will wake you up in the morning with passion and determination to create change in your life.
3- Keep reminding yourself day and night through verbal, mental repetition and visuals. All right? Now, it’s your time to put these strategies into action.
I wish an amazing year! Go ahead start doing something to…
Change Your Current Situation
Hi Mr. Rene I would like to congratulated you and many ways , your words, your visions, it’s is a powerful instructions and a key for the future instead of personal needs my biggest challenge right now it’s to send my 19 years old daughter to college . This is my priority for the next year 2011
Awesome Raymond! If you are truly committed and you have a big emotional why, you will find a way. Be mad, be emotional, let your tears flow while praying… Write it down, repeat it to yourself.
Thanks Rene.. A powerful why is indeed the best tool to get what you want.. But I am trying to completely ignore the Gorilla and take my rightful place which also happens to be my goal-being devoid of emotional incharge. Since the emotions are not us..
Well put Divya! Your emotions are what drive you. That’s why you have to set goals, remind yourself (affirmations) and discover why you want what you want so bad.
Thank you Rene!
You are so right about the Emotional drive…. That is very helpful! I love your Gorilla Metaphor!
Never give up…
Happy New Year Rene!!
You’re welcome Warren. Thanks for joining the conversation. I’m glad you got it. Press on!
Very helpful information shared in your video.
Very well taught.That was the problem which everyone faces,but you solved it quite clearly and deeply.You r the 1 who can change lives.Keep it up.
I am a young zambian by nationality aged 24,and it is my desire to persue a career of being a motivational/inspirational speaker.i have been moving from one high school to another speaking to high students and it has been a blessing experience seeing student being helped, but i don’t have any motivational materials and other resources to help me with moving on.i need your help please in any possible way you can help.
helo rene i need some motivational and inspirational materials that could help me get hold of 2011,such writeups that could affact my life in general
I’ve just finished reading your book “No Condition is Permanent” and the chapter titled “Look for the stars in your darkest moments” particularly resonated with me.
I am in a horrible situation now where I am filled with hopelessness and despair. I’m demotivated, have very little support and am wondering whether to give up. I have been struggling all my life (I am 43)trying to accomplish my dreams, I don’t seem to be any closer to my goal. Sometimes I feel like I’m treading in fast drying concrete and am stuck. I draw strength from your book because you too have walked the very path that I’m trying to go down on and that alone gives me hope.
Thank you for telling your story because it inspires and provides hope to those that are struggling to create a life for themselves, like you did, and simply fulfill their potential on this planet.
The first thing I want to say is that you should never give up. I can relate to how you feel. I have been there. The reality is, to this day I sometimes feel like I am not achieving all my dreams.
Sometimes we can be too hard on ourselves. I highly encourage you to read autobiographies of great men and women. You will find out for most of them it took years of failures before they achieve their success.
Sometimes people who are at the top make it look too easy. I’m guilty of that as well. Many people see me on stages receiving accolades. They see me all over the internet. They assume I had some lucky breaks.
They see I’m so comfortable on stage. They assume I have special gifts.
Well, only if they knew what I had to go through and how many times I fell flat on my face. Many quit because they thought it was going to be easy.
Maybe I make it look too easy. You know what? Let me apologize. It’s not easy. I still have times when I struggle. I’m still running the race. I’m just not a quitter.
Read below about the one of the greatest human beings that ever lived. As you read, notice the words defeated and rejected. Also, notice the year he was born and at what age he suffers those setbacks.
1809 – Born on February 12 in a log cabin in the backwoods of Hardin County Kentucky
1818 – His mother, Nancy Hanks, died
1831 – Failed in business
1832 – Defeated for Illinois House of Representatives
1832 – Lost his job, couldn’t get into law school, worked odd jobs
1833 – Grocery business failed. He went on to declare bankruptcy. He still managed to find the money he borrowed from his friends to start his business
1834 – Elected to Illinois state legislature and served four successive terms
1836 – Obtained license as an attorney
1837 – Became law partner in Springfield, Illinois
1838 – Defeated in becoming speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives
1840 – Defeated in becoming elector
1842 – Married Mary Todd
1843 – Defeated for US House of Representatives
1849 – Defeated for US House of Representatives
1849 – Rejected for the position of Commissioner of the General Land Office
1849 – Retired from politics
1855 – Defeated for US Senate
1856 – Considered for vice-president (got less than 100 votes in convention)
1858 – Nominated as the Republican candidate for US Senator from Illinois
1858 – Defeated for US Senate as a Republican, he had made his mark
1860 – Selected as the Republican candidate for president
1860 – Elected president of the United States with a minority of the popular vote
1861 – Inaugurated March 4
1861 – Seven states had seceded by the time of his inauguration
1864 – Elected to second term as president by a great majority