Thread: Self-Belief
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Old August 21, 2017, 04:18 AM
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Zeeshan Zeeshan is offline
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Default Self-Belief

Jazz musicians call it playing in the pocket. Athletes call it the zone. Peak performers sometimes prefer the term superconsciousness. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi call it the flow. Whatever the term, the fact is there are brief moments of history where cricketers exhibit bursts of synaptic sprouts firing in all cylinders like fireworks where they break all inhibitions and operate from a higher consciousness. Case in point Rohit Sharma 264, Brendon McCullum 123, McCullum IPL 158, Yuvraj's countless heroic feat and so on.

Of course, the current model of thinking is 'you work hard, and it pays off'. But that's a belief. That's YOUR belief. That's a belief you were brought up with, not born with. In fact, in the book The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle talks about myelin sheath, the fatty substance that surrounds axons of nerve cells. He purports - correctly- that deep learning and practice (and yes, perfect practice) - will make those like information superhighway. The path trodden in forests after repetitive treading will make information travel faster and faster like a broadband internet connection until an act becomes automatic or intuitive.

But there is a short-cut way to short-circuit that neural patterning. This is the realm of Jesus mode. And it is what I will talk about today. And this is my contention.

The Way of Photographic Memory

Every year we make New Year's resolution. This year was no different and I made a bombastic, hifalutin wish to memorize the entire 20 Volume of Oxford English Dictionary. First, it was just to memorize the vocabulary. Pretty soon it evolved into memorizing the tome verbatim. And for those who tasted the ambrosia will immediately recall that the fine print of OED is like going down the rabbit hole. The fine print gets finer and finer, and it challenges the most hardcore memory experts out there.

It became apparent to me that only way to murder it would be via photographic memory. I mean the real deal. Not the pansy artificial memory palace. But hardcore down in the dirt, all captured in a flash, Jason Bourne sh--.

I experimented with ketosis. It wasn't just sustainable after intermittent fasting and browsing for high fat foods. At any rate, since I am posting in a cricket forum, I will make the digression short. I found out how practicing celibacy and Brahmacharya Swami Vivekanda committed to memory entire Britannica. How there exist in the ether of cyberworld something called "military method" designed after fighter pilot where AW Volkmann used a tachitoscope to imprint after-images in mind's eye that can be replicated in a dark room, such as bathroom, and using a flashlight to create a strobe effect (with high lumens) and create 'mental snapshots'.

See, these things are all available. But problem is many people pride themselves on being 'skeptics' or having a 'critical mind'. Expect they are neither critical nor skeptical of their own skepticism. And since this article is titled Self-Belief, it is important to note that the operative word du jour is 'belief'.

I had the belief. Or sort of. Or so I did. But two things guided me. Tony Robbins once mentioned: "You repeat a lie enough, and pretty soon it becomes the truth." Then he continues: "Guess who said it? - Hitler!" Yes, Hitler was a master of psychological programming and subconscious manipulation before the modern day advertisers brought it to forefront.

Then in a autosuggestion book, I read how in a hypnotic session a patient was told to draw the shutter after the ordeal. And sure enough he did. That didn't surprise me. Yes, people can be suggestible in a relaxed state. It is virtually common place now. Just take a look at any sport psychology book. Apparently, Matt Damon quit smoking with hypnosis and countless others cured their phobia. But what knocked me off my socks was the fact, when asked why the patient did it, he said: "Because the sun was on my face."

The thing is subconscious mind will justify the deep embedded seed by contorting and manipulating the reality.

So, I was always a firm believer in affirmations and self-talk. I suffered from clinical depression for a decade. And after I rebelliously quit meds cold turkey three pillars saved my life: exercise (high intensity cardio), gratitude and yes, affirmations or self-talk.

I am off meds for over a year and I noticed when I was a shitty depressed state, "I" used to bog myself down repeatedly saying the mantra over and over and over and over again: "God I feel so bad now. Oh darn I feel so horrible. God my mind is a mess. I am a loser. I am depressed. I am so sad. I am really upset. I feel so weak." And the thing is they say we have over 60,000 thoughts in a day. So imagine if you constantly abuse yourself and bombard with these negative imprinting, effin damn right you will be depressed. In fact, it will be a miracle if you don't! (And who the f says 'darn' anyways?)

So, I battered myself these time propelled by the Tony Robbins nugget and the autosuggestion gem and although it was hard work and brute force at first, it kind of became second nature. I noticed the value of morning ritual and realized if the very first thought in your mind in the morning is a shitty one, then damn right you will spiral out of control for the rest of the day. I utilized Brian Tracy formula to affirm 20 times in the morning "I love myself. I love my life."

I was on a hiatus from BC. But I immersed myself and saturated in positive psychology and self-help books. Anything from activating superimmune system, to Andrew Weil's spontaneous healing talks on YouTube and yes, to even Deepak Chopra. Having cured myself from 'depression' and having laid the foundation, next I wanted to soar high.


Most skeptics will dismiss these as New Age fads or pseudoscience or some nifty gimmicks. But if it works, who are you to say how I should behave unless you are motivated by inflated ego and other subconscious agenda?

First, I couldn't even run 20 steps without panting. Then I could 'suddenly' run 2 miles non-stop with haranguing self-talk: "I am on beast mode. I feel unstopabble. I have Navy SEAL mentality" with added posture and postive body language. Speaking of Navy SEALS, you can bicker all day long that these 'stuffs don't work' but the bare bone essentials is that from elite business entrepreneurs to high performing Olympic athletes to Navy SEALS and military ALL use the following three basic mental strength reinforcing acts:

1. Self-Talk (ergo which creates belief in subconscious)
2. Visualization or Guided Imagery (Alex Honnold in his bio wrote for two days he mentally rehearses all nooks and crannies of a craggy surface and then it is just matter of simple execution)
3. Breathing or any simple relaxation technique to get into alpha state to catalyze in the peak performing state or 'the zone'.

So having checked off these mini-milestones, I put the test to my ultimate dream and goal: photographic memory.

It must be said, yes it looks cool on the surface to memorize a book from page-a-second, but the real reason why I obsessed so badly over this from childhood is not because - as some of your ill-perceived egoistical mind would believe that because of my inflated ego- rather due to childhood love, curiosity and fascination to learn everything I can get my hand onto and for violent thirst for knowledge.

Once, when I wore my phone with the affirmation "I have photographic memory" for 1 hour straight, I found a change.

I found the same change a week ago, when I resolved to brainwash myself. I set the goal to brainwash myself 10,000 times with the saying "I have photographic memory" for five hours straight.

So I went to a park to be seclusion and all I played in headphone was the inexhaustible mantra "I have photographic memory". I tell you what man: first hour and a half was an utter bore, chore and pure torture. The inner critic, the skeptical voice of doubt and reason wanted to self-sabotage me by all means hook and crook and all tricks at her disposal by putting seeds of doubt and fear. "Oh this **** won't work. This **** will hardly work. If this was so easy, then anyone could get photographic memory." But I persisted. I reasoned with myself: "But how many actually have tried? How many? Answer me." Then I just said: "Just shut up man."

And boom! Voila. I had the breakthrough. It hit me like LSD. I never had the drug, but I can only imagine when the switch gets flipped, what a person feels. The thing is in that state, you do not memorize all 20 digit numbers or bulk instantaneously. Instead, it is a feeling. The brain works very mysteriously, and surreptitiously. Once subconscious is programmed, it starts to act immediately and the first step it does is it enhances the power of observation. You really feel what a man would feel like if he had photographic memory.

You start noticing little details while your brain keeps getting furnished, flooded and inundated with the programming: "I have photographic memory". You start seeing patterns on bark, the square grille design like quiltwork patch on public restroom wall. You start seeing the erstwhile 'invisible' marks on screw drivers on the very seat you sat for hour and a half or say, that your headphone wire had an off switch button the size of a centimeter in diameter which you never noticed even though you had the headphones for a year.

Then I told myself. I need to see if I missed something from a commonplace object. Now I left my wallet and all my loose change back at home just to cut down the distraction. And I really needed a penny. Funny thing is, it was equally miraculous how right after one and half hour, when I 'wanted' a penny, I 'manifested' out of thin air from my pant pocket.

Although it wasn't 'photographic memory' per se but I was suddenly awakened to all the little details everywhere. I could see things that no one else could. I guess for someone who is not accustomed to that state of mind, that is the first baby step. Then after I stared at the Lincoln penny, I noticed three curious initials. It appeared to V, a D and a B. But my conscious mind took over and said, why would there be these meaningless letters? Maybe it reads USA?

I came home. And Googled, VDB. Before I proceed, here is the penny enlarged and still you will see it is hard to read.

Now never in a million years, I would be so attentive to the details or would have waved it off. But I had enormous fascination, childlike wonder and curiosity and keen faculties of observation.

The VDB stands for the designer of Lincoln penny: Victor David Brenner.


Of course, that 'feeling' dissipated, and I was back to normalcy soon. But I made up my mind to find out how to activate that latent state. So this time I started taking Joseph Murphy's "Power of Subconscious Mind" seriously as well Claude Bristol's Magic of Believing. I learned from self-help books how Penfeld did an experiment under anesthesia where patients recalled with photographic precision what was the weather like on Thursday on so-and-so date or what had they for lunch or the convo when certain nodes in brain was probed. I learned how in a mock ritual when a group of student did cult like enactment of a teacher's assistant they didn't like and 'acted out' the decapitation scene, the man died of shock soon.

I realized human beings are capable of limitless possibilities. As Brian Tracy wrote:

Your subconscious mind is like a huge memory bank. Its capacity is virtually unlimited. It permanently stores everything that ever happens to you.

By the time you reach the age of 21, you’ve already permanently stored more than one hundred times the contents of the entire Encyclopedia Britannica.

Under hypnosis, older people can often remember, with perfect clarity, events from fifty years before. Your unconscious memory is virtually perfect. It is your conscious recall that is suspect.

The function of your subconscious mind is to store and retrieve data. Its job is to ensure that you respond exactly the way you are programmed. Your subconscious mind makes everything you say and do fit a pattern consistent with your self-concept, your “master program.”

Your subconscious mind is subjective. It does not think or reason independently; it merely obeys the commands it receives from your conscious mind. Just as your conscious mind can be thought of as the gardener, planting seeds, your subconscious mind can be thought of as the garden, or fertile soil, in which the seeds germinate and grow.

Your conscious mind commands and your subconscious mind obeys.
The point I am driving at is:
  • You can practice all the techniques of cricket theories from book all you want.
  • You can work as hard as you want.
  • You can train till wee hours if you want.
  • You can sweat yourself to death....

However, if you do not change your subconscious mind programming, you will NEVER WIN.

Of course, in academia and 'prestigious journals' there is always room for falsifiability. However, since my contention is pseudo-religious and quasi-spiritual, I would leave no room for skepticism. It is like saying: "oh let's go on to beat that team or win that war, but why not analyze our loopholes while we are at it with some healthy dosage of self-criticism, self-abnegation, self-chastization, self-denial and heck, while we are at it, why not some dollop of self-abuse'. Ali never did that before a fight. Sure, we live in a democratic world and we are free to think whatever we want. But it all boils down to if you will set yourself for failure with self-negating, negative doubts and fear and uncertainty or the complete opposite?

As for myself, I have got better and better at that game. Now I can almost enter the peak state at will even without drugs or caffeine. Because I realize the power of subconscious mind and the programming.

Your subconscious mind is the limitless capacity of a supercomputer.
Your subconscious mind is the Aladin's genie.
Your subconscious mind is a machine.
Your subconscious mind is the fertile soil of Babylonian riches.

You can program it to get whatever you want.

But first you have to believe it.

The gamesmanship is 90% mental and self-belief, and 10% mechanics. The part where Indians excel in terms of cricket is self-belief. This utter, unshakable, IDGAF depth-of-the-being self-belief.

First you have to believe it. And yes, if you play like God and you get egoistical like Tamim Iqbal, that ego is not the enemy. Guilt, however is. If deeper in your subconscious, you believe or feel guilty for being an arrogant ahole... guess what? Damn right your subconscious will sabotage you. Duh!!

This is the same reason why we -Bangladesh- have choke syndrome. Every time things go on our way, we tended to lose it in the past, because deep down due to our up bringing we felt like:
  • "Oh we don't deserve it."
  • "Oh, we don't deserve to be victorious!"
  • "Oh we simply got lucky!"
  • "Oh this is not the REAL Bangladesh!"
  • "Oh maybe if we will win, it will get to our head and will suffer!"
  • "Oh eto jore ar phaast jawa bhalo na. Amader ektu slow down kora uchit!"
  • "Thamo thamo! Beshi bhalo khelle oshubidha ase!" (Strange! But subconsious do behave in a subtle manipulative way to maintain homeostatis and sabotage yourself, lest you deviate from your self-perceived limitations!)

We are not 'born' with any beliefs. Sure there could be genetic encoding and what not, but essentially we are born a blank state and nurtured to be what we are. Heck, I would go as far as to state, even emotions are learned.

Now from where does your self-belief come?

See we were all born with limitless capacity and even photographic mind. Heck, all children have eidetic imagery. My entry point to finding about self-belief was through photographic memory. But I realized, due to traumatic childhood event such as encounter with snake or roller-coaster experience or say anger and control from parents and school as well as abusive witnesses from people all around me who lost it whether relatives, friends or family members, I subconsciously wanted to block away all these 'memories' or 'thoughts'. Only at certain point all of these can be triggered as your subconscious mind which records everything from photographic precision will percolate and surface it to top.

Now ask yourself this. At what age did you lose your childlike wonder and self-belief? Was there some traumatic incident or memory or anything that instigated it? Was there any key moment of your life when you didn't get the thing you wanted an became increasingly disenchanted and disillusioned?

Because that is the key to unheard of riches, my friend.
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