Look Mom, no hands

Tim Graf

Do you ever think about the workings of your physical body?

Of course, there are plenty of people who do, people who work in science or medicine. I didn’t until a few years ago. Never gave it a moments “thought.”

A human beings thought processes can be broken down basically into two groups: subconscious thought and conscious thought.

First, subconscious thought.

Every minute of every day our bodies perform functions that are automatic. Our hearts beat for circulations, our lungs fill up with oxygen and send it pumping through our blood and exhale the carbon dioxide byproduct. We don’t have to consciously think about digestion or elimination of waste, those things are automatic. White blood cells rush to the scene of any wound and immediately begin the task of healing. Ask any mother, reproduction is a process mainly out of her control.

These functions carry on in most humans day in and day out in perfect order. Our brains take care of the processes through subconscious thought.

I’ve read studies saying that subconscious thoughts make up around 96% of our mental activity and we aren’t even aware it is going on.

Next, Conscious thoughts.

Some might say our higher order of thoughts are our conscious thoughts. They are the ones you are responsible for directing, every conscious decision, belief, realization, all learning, and directed physical and mental action.

What is the relationship between our conscious thoughts and our subconscious thoughts? Can our subconscious be directed by our conscious?

Think about a child just learning how to ride a bike without training wheels. This little guy has to use all of his conscious ability to learn. To ride well, he must master the thought processes of concentration balance and coordination. A few bumps and bruises later he’s getting the hang of it.

Fast forward, after the countless hours of long summer days, he’s pedaling that bike without thinking at all. “Look Mom, no hands!” His once very conscious thought practice has become subconscious.

When that child grows and becomes a parent himself, he decides to put his own boy on a bike and joins him. Even though, he hadn’t pedaled in years, do you think he remembers how? Sure, he gets on and rides as if he’d never stopped. That’s the power of the subconscious.

The idea of learning something consciously which passes into the automatic habits of the subconscious is nothing new. You see it in virtually every field, music, sport, art.

The idea of training our subconscious with our conscious mind is fascinating. How plastic is our subconscious to the direction of the conscious?

My opinion is that our conscious mind can direct our subconscious into performing just about any task with ease and perfection.

My point for today is simply to encourage you to think about the two processes and how they operate. Something I never gave a moments “thought” until a few years ago.


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