On my recent trip to England, I had the opportunity to see yet again just how amazing the human brain is.
Because I was there for the entire month of May, I bought a prepaid U.K. SIM card to save me from paying roaming fees on my phone. My daughter had a SIM eject tool that I used to swap out my Canadian card, but I knew I needed to source a paper-clip if I wanted to change back to my regular SIM at the airport before I headed back in Canada. I’d meant to bring one with me but forgot.
The situation was in the back of my mind and each time it sprang forward I considered my options. I stayed with close friends in Essex and Northamptonshire and asked each one if they had a paper-clip I could have. They both did. Unfortunately, in both cases I forgot to actually get one.
So, there I was, back in London without a paper-clip. I knew I’d figure something out, but wanting a paper-clip continued to be on my mind.
This is where the power of your amazing brain springs into action.
Your senses take in so much more information than your conscious mind could ever cope with. Rather than letting you become overwhelmed with everything you hear, see, touch, smell, or taste, your brain decides what you should be made aware of. My brain knew I needed a paper-clip, and it obviously wanted to help me.
My daughter and I went to a Stonehenge exhibition at the British Museum on one of my last days in the U.K. As we walked down Museum Street after a lovely pub lunch, I happened to glance down and what did I see lying on the pavement? You guessed it. A paper-clip.
If I hadn’t been thinking about that precise item, would I have noticed it? There’s no way of knowing for sure, but I tend to think not. There are millions of items lying on the sidewalks of London. How many of them does my brain decide to draw my attention to? Only a fraction.
Your eyes see everything that comes into their line of vision. All the data gets sent to your brain where a decision is made. Either you’re made aware of the information, or it’s sent to the subconscious part of your mind where it’s stored.
How does it decide what’s important and what can be ignored? Your brain loves logic, order, and consistency. It prioritizes evidence that supports your beliefs and will help you achieve your goals.
If you think someone is horrible, your brain will draw your attention to anything that supports that idea. But it can just as easily support the belief that this same person is wonderful. Same stimulus, different interpretation.
This amazing ability to direct your brain, is worth taking note of.
If you announce to yourself—and therefore your brain—that you’re going to have a good day, your mind will draw your attention to anything that supports than intention. Therefore, consciously deciding what kind of a day you want and what you want your experience of life to be like is vital if you want to create a reality that’s positive.
This is what optimists do. They expect life and all its experiences to work out for the best. With the help of their brains, that turns out to be true. The last thing your mind wants is for your expectations to be at odds with your experience.
Finding a paper-clip lying on the pavement of a busy street in London was just a reminder of this amazing ability. It’s a superpower that everyone has. All you have to do is draw your brain’s attention to what you want, and then sit back and let it support you.
Of course, you have to be mindful enough to notice the magic when it happens. If my nose had been buried in my phone, I probably wouldn’t have seen the treasure that was waiting for me.
Being conscious of the life you want to create is at the heart of directing your brain and making your desires reality.
You have one of the strongest forces on Earth at your disposal, if you choose to take advantage of it.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.