Our brains are like sponges when we are born.
The reason is that humans need a lot of time outside the womb before we are fully developed.
So when we are born, we are only “half baked.”
Most people know this, at least intuitively.
Few people remember much from early childhood.
And the idea that whatever we are taught in early childhood is believed pretty strongly throughout our lives.
Few people change religions or political parties as they age.
However, when it comes time to learn as adults, we believe that it’s harder as an adult than as a kid.
We have this idea that kids can soak up stuff pretty quickly, but adults have a harder time.
This is a very dangerous thought, for a couple of reasons.
The common recognition of the danger of this thought is that if you think it’s hard to learn as an adult, you won’t make the effort.
And that you have this massive learning capacity that you aren’t utilizing.
This is absolutely true, but there is another facet of this erroneous belief that is FAR MORE dangerous.
We assume that as children, we “soak up” ideas easily and effortlessly.
And as adults, we lose that ability.
But what if we really don’t?
What if we STILL soak up ideas and beliefs just as easily and unconsciously?
This is a scary thought.
Because we are bombarded all day by ideas and messages.
Many of which are VERY DANGEROUS.
For example, a lot of the ads that blast our brains come at night when we’re watching TV.
When we are LEAST RESISTANT.
Who pays for seventy percent of TV ads?
Do you want THEM putting ideas in your head?
Consider that your brain is just as open as it is today, as it was when you were a kid.
Think of all the ideas and messages and random things people are saying all around you.
When you are alone, and you’re having a random stream of thoughts, WHOSE thoughts are those?
Even if they are yours, it’s hard to get around the idea that they are HEAVILY influenced by messages.
Many of which (TV ads and political slogans) that were carefully crafted to GET PAST your conscious resistance.
How do you avoid thinking thoughts others have put in your mind?
The only way to get rid of ONE thought is to REPLACE it with another.
And the best way to hold that new thought is make sure it is pointing somewhere specific.
Something YOU would like in YOUR life based on YOUR decisions.
Focus on THAT target, and make sure to keep moving toward it.
Take data, and ensure you are getting closer.
This will give you objective evidence that those thoughts are yours.
AND it will give you an easy way to RESIST those other ideas.
Just as the simple question.
Do they help you get closer to your goal, or not?
So long as your goal is yours, your life and your thoughts will be yours as well.