The Power of Neuro-Associations : Shaping your decisions
Hey there, welcome back , It’s great to “see you” here again :)!
Before I go onto explaining what are neuro-associations and how
they shape your decisions, I’ll refresh your mind with what we
have been covering over the last 3 days:
- How to Get to the edge and live with passion.
- The 3 pillars to living an Extraordinary Life
- The only ways that you can make a change in your life
is to use your personal power to take action.
- What stops most people from taking action is fear of pain
whether that pain is fear of failure, rejection, disappointment.
We actually spoke in detail how PAIN and pleasure are the
controlling forces of our lives.
So TODAY, we are going to talk about the neurological association
(neuro-association) and how humans (you,we,us –unless of course
you are an alien :P) create pre-programmed responses that may be
sabotaging your success
Any association of pain within your neurological system stops you
from taking on new challenges. If you associate pleasure with eating
chocolate or ice-cream then you will do it, but what do you think it
happens if you associate the feeling of being trapped with marriage????
How long do you think your marriage will last?
If you’ve always wanted to own a business and you haven’t done it
yet,is because you neuro-associate too much pain to it. So if you
want to start a new business, you have to change those neuro-associations.
For example, what would having a new business would mean to you?
What would it mena to your life? What would you get that you don’t
have now? What will you gain?
It is not about what it would mean intellectually but what would it
mean to you mentally? emotionally? what good positive feelings
would you get? How great would you feel when you talk about it?
There has to be PLEASURE in starting a business and PAIN in not doing so.
YOUR KEY NEURO-ASSOCIATIONS
What are those key neuro-associations?
How can we change the conditioned response to our
environment, so we can feel differently about eating
food when you are stressed? Or to stop thinking that
exercise is linked with pain. And they are only going
to change once you change the conditioning feelings
about it. These pre-programmed links direct your life!
They direct your motivation, what you do and what you don’t do.
Thinking positive is not enough, you have to change
those neuro-associations and every action you take
–whatever it is, as tiny as it may seem– has a
consequence and effect in your life.
For every action, there is a reaction.
For every direction you head on, there is a destiny.
There are neurological links that are associated with your
past that are controlling your present. So how do we look
back and find what these links are and how do we reprogram them?
Well, this is what you can do:
- To create a new neuro-association all you have to do is
link a new emotion with that current neurological
association that you do not like (exercise, writing, dieting etc)
- All you have to do is get yourself to feel a positive, happy,
once you are in that state link it to something you thought
it was painful. Link it to it over and over again, repeat it .
By repeating it you will get it.
For example. I do not enjoy routines. I am just not a person of
routines. Why? Because most of my life Ive always been following
a routine, I always wanted it all perfect, and for that I neede to learn
how to make things perfect, my way. I was an avid learner, so
every summer my mom would subscribe me to advanced classes for
the year I was going to take. Then I loved Sports, so right after my
monday – saturday lessons, I’d go to the club, do some gymnastics,
train for my swimming competitions and do some tae-kwon do.
I was always busy, and mi life at my short 9 years old was very very
well structured. I had my own routine.
I think that is another reason why I loved being a doctor, because
everything had to be perfect for my patients, and I was ALWAYS BUSY,
to a point that I literally had no life. I replace my fun times in the pool,
at the gym, by strangely enjoying the stress of the ER and loving every
BUT THEN, at my 18’s I started travelling the world, and my perception
totally changed. All of a sudden, I noticed that I did not neede to have
an extremely structured routine. I felt like a bird out od a cage whitout
even knowing I was living on a cage. It was by this time that I was on my
second year of Med School. And for the following years, there was no summer
or holiday that I wouldn’t grab my backpack and strart travelling,
searching for adventures, discovering new places and meeting new
ALL of a Sudden returning back to Lima (Peru) turned into a pain
because I wanted to keep travelling. My love for medicine was there,
but …. I wanted to keep traveling!
Do you see the pattern there? I associated “routine” to be trapped in a room.
I am 27 now, and after leaving my career as a Medical Doctor,
my life totally changed. All of that structure I was used to was gone,
I didn’t need to wake up and leave home before the sunrise, etc etc….
and to be honest, at first, it was nice and I enjoyed it but,
it took me a while to get used to it. Time passed, I came across
developing and owning my own online business, and
I knew that I had to get back into action to get things DONE.
But somehow I would find ways to procrastinate, sometimes
I wouldn’t even notice it, and when I did I would just tell to myself
that I am not a person of routines anymore because they made me
But then, I also knew that all of the highly successful business
professionals have routines, healthy successful routines, or
“successful rituals”which comes down to discipline, having
the discipline to developing healthy habits.
THEN one day, I realize that yet again, I was following
a routine, a routine with a negative pattern of procrastination.
Day by day, I was causing me more pain by not taking action,
I was having a negative routine that was leading me to failure.
And I wanted to succeed.
Guess what?? That was a SHIFT. A TOTAL SHIFT.
So my opinion on routines automatically changed and I started
associating routines with success. Which in fact makes total sense
when I trained for my swimming competitions and follow my routines
I’d always win, When I attended my courses and study I would get
great great and honours. NOW I associated my new routine
to having the ability to creating the life I love, it was the shortcut
I needed to create a life of Freedom. I want success and that success
makes me feel good and routines are part of that success,
so I should feel great about carrying out some kind of a routine :).
Another example is dieting. Recently I started a diet, and one aspect
to losing weight is eating less calories and eating less calorie dense food.
I’ve always eat healthy, and I would prefer my delicious fruits and salads
rather than a piece of steak. I would different times on the day and I
had them at breakfast, midday, lunch, med-afternoon, dinner and
sometimes a bit before going to bed. So yeah, I ate like 6 times aday
and it was all fruits, veggies and heaps of water /green tea.
But when I move to New Zealand, and discovered other cultures foods.
I was just AMAZED. I have become a lover of indian food and also a
fan of rice (whereas in Peru I would probably eat it a couple of times a year)
I wasn’t used to have normal dinner like most of people normally do
and my partner would just have a huge piece of steak and eat heaps
because he’s a body builder…. Anyway, I got to a point where I could
eat as much as him. Like a whole pizza for myself only!
Then I noticed I was getting unfit, and I still remember the one day I had
for breakfast a sandwich like this: Cheese, chorizo on top with a fried egg
on top of the chorizo, covered by some more cheese melting down.
It looked delicious! But it was sooooo much fat that it got me sick,
my digestive sensitive is quite sensitive to fat, and for example I cannot
eat any tipe of hamburguers because they really make me sick.
Some chicken hamburguers are not too toxic. But still.
Anyway that day, I was full for the whole day, I Was feeling sick,
nauseous, burpy, with indigestion. I know this sounds like I was sick,
and NO I don’t have gallbladder stones. Actually my gallbladder looks
beautifully clean. IT’s just that my body cannot tolerate eating too much fat
– I think it’s because most of my life I’ve eaten healthy fresh veggies & fruits-
Ok, getting back to my point now, as you can naturally guess
more carbs, more steak, more chocolate indulgence and kiwi
goodies. I started to gain weight and my jeans shrinked! LOL
The one night I was sitting in bed with my partner next
to me while watching a movie and I started getting some
It was hard to fight the urge to get up and go to the kitchen.
At one point I looked over to him and said:
“I am going to make something to eat”.
He is a VERY GOOD accountability partner and quickly
asked me why. After telling him that I was hungry he
mentioned a single sentence that feels like it has changed
me forever. He said:
“Hunger is simply an indication that you are
achieving your goal so being hungry is good sign!’
WOW, I am achieving my goal and my body is telling me,
my body is congratulating me for getting closer to my goal!
ow awesome is that! So far from being starving, my body
is simply telling me that it is changing and it is happy :)!.
Now I have a new neurological response to feeling hungry
while dieting and this is actually associated with a feeling of
ACHIEVEMENT which is greatly powerful in achieving your goals!.
2) What emotions do you associate with the following?
- Giving ( Do not give so much of yourself that you do not take the time to enjoy receiving).
- Drugs and alcohol
You are always creating associations in your mind. When a
particular song comes on the radio it will take you back to that
amazing date you had, or that terrible place you use to work at.
Your brain is creating these neurological links ALL THE TIME.
These strong feelings can be linked to what is happening around you
at that moment.
For example, Imagine that one day when you were a child and
you were sick, you mum made you eat something which main
ingredient is cabbage and you did not feel like eating. But you
know, you have to eat to recover the energy you lose while your
body is trying to battle the disease. So you eat, but YOU HAD
to eat it. All of a sudden, you wind up vomiting.
You associate “cabbage” with feeling sick and vomiting,
the years pass, you have probably forgotten about that event
but somewhere in your subconscious mind it has been SAVED
and whenever you see cabbage , you don’t know why, but
you just can’t stand it.
That is a simple example of a negative neuro-association.
Now if you realize that vomiting had nothing to do with the poor
cabbage but with just the the natural process of a disease, and that
it is unreasonable to link cabbage with vomiting because the cabagge
had nothing to do with it. Then your patterns start to change!
Al of a sudden you can start linking cabbage with a new experience,
a delicious plate that gives you energy, new flavours, joy, satisfaction.
Does this sounds familiar to you? or do you know someone
who’s been through something similar?
What happens when you see the blue and red flashing lights in your
review mirror, how do you feel about that??? Have you ever gotten a
speeding ticket? Do you get those emotions when you see those
flashing lights even when you know you have done nothing wrong?
This is another indication of neurological programming.
These associations can totally dis-empower us because we believe
that this feeling of emotion is the reality but in fact it might have
no bearing on our actual reality at all, it was simply an emotional
neurological link that was created due to an experience.
In my next blog post I am going to explain how you can change
these neurological associations. Just like Pavlov’s conditioning
the dogs. Whenever Pavlov rang a bell his dogs associated the
sound with food and Pavlov trained his dogs to make that
association and as Pavlov trained his dogs we can train our
So, your assignment for today is:
- Write down 3 associations that make your life more positive
and 3 associations that are limiting your life
My positive associations
– Cigarettes take my breath away and I hate feeling ill.
– I am smart and have a good memory, that’s how I
became a doctor
– Vegetables & fruits are full of healthy vitamins, minerals,
fiber and make me feel INCREDIBLE.
My negative associations
– eating food makes me feel good.
– I am not good at making jokes or being funny
(I always laugh at my own laughs even before I’ve finish them LOL)
Now that you have read my post, what are some of YOUR
positive and negative associations?
Make sure to read my next blog about how to change
neurological association to improve your life.
Oh by the way, another word for neuro-associations is…
Neuro-Linguistic-Programming (NLP)-I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about this :)!
See you tomorrow!,
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