Filters are a very important and necessary part of life. Filters are used in a variety of ways, in a variety of situations. They can be extremely beneficial to sort out what you don’t want, but they can also keep out things that you do want.
Some examples are coffee filters, low bypass filters (used on stereo components, oscilloscopes and computer based audio software), and those pans that old timers used during the gold rush to filter the sludge from the river bed from the gold nuggets they were hoping to find.
Other filters are the filters that are in your brain. When you go to the store for example, if you happen to be a vegetarian, you filter out all of the meat products and focus only on those derived from plants. Or if you like to drink alcohol, and had a particularly painful experience with, say, tequila, then you’ll likely not spend too much time lingering in the tequila section of your local supermarket.
Some filters are completely out of our conscious awareness. One way to do a quick check of the filters that are operating in your head is to simply do a quick inventory of your life. What things do you have? What things are you experiencing on a daily basis? Whatever you have going in your life is a result of your filters. The people, jobs, living conditions, cars, everything you have is a result of a filter of some sort.
The interesting thing is that filters are operating completely below conscious awareness. And they were likely picked up, or learned below conscious awareness as well. Usually from parents, or teachers, we tend to pick up our major beliefs in life without even questioning them.
So how do you go about changing your filters? Practice filtering on a conscious basis. Just like any skill, when you elevate it to the conscious level, you can change it, and drop it back down to the subconscious level where you won’t have to think about it.
Take your golf swing for example, or any other sports related skill. Unless you have taken lessons, or focused on a specific component of it, you likely learned through trial and error. You kept changing your method without much thought, until you got a result that was acceptable to you.
But what happens when you take lessons from a pro? He or she will show you exactly what you are doing wrong, and exactly what to do to correct it. Then you must practice, focusing only on what you are supposed to be doing. This is slow and frustrating at first, but the more you practice, the more it becomes natural. Becoming natural is when your new behavior is slipping back down into unconscious behavior.
Filters work the same way. When you focus specifically on something that you are filtering, you can slowly change the things you filter automatically. Next time you go to a fast food restaurant, watch the people in front of you. They will likely not have any clue what they want to eat until they get to the front of the line. Even then they will usually take some time making a decision. They only know that they are hungry. They have put off sorting through their environment for what they want until the last possible moment.
Next time you go to the supermarket (if you don’t usually do this already) make a mental list in your head of exactly what you want. Get only what you chose, and nothing else. When you are shopping, pretend you are the terminator (from the first movie) where they show him sorting through looking for Sarah Connor. Pretend you are scanning the supermarket to get what you want as efficiently as possible. Don’t waste any time looking over things you are not going to buy.
Believe it or not, this is exactly what your subconscious is doing all the time. Sorting through your environment just like the terminator. When you are not able to make a decision, it is because you haven’t identified what is important to you.
When you make a clear and solid choice exactly what you want before you enter into any situation, you are practicing selecting conscious filters. Another way to practice filtering is go outside for a walk, and see how many red things you can mentally collect.
Most people never take the time to examine their filters and see if they are working for them. They have such vague filters that they end up in relationships that don’t serve them, jobs they don’t like, and life situations that are less than spectacular. By practicing your filtering on a conscious level, you will become more and more skilled.
And the more you practice, the more detailed you can get in your filtering. You’ll be amazed how well this works. Instead of filtering for red things, you’ll be filtering for jobs that pay you good money to do exactly what you want, or life partners that can satisfy you sexually and emotionally in ways you never thought possible. You’ll never again have to “end up” with anything. You can actually choose your life.