I’ll bet it seemed like a random question… it wasn’t.
We invited family over to our house recently for a pool party & BBQ. While most of the family hangs out in and around the pool, I’m slaving away at the grill (which I really enjoy… no pity party here 😀🍔). My sister-in-law and her family had recently flown back into town, which was the topic of conversation when everyone first arrived about 30 minutes prior to the pool time fun. So, the family is splashing about with the kids in the pool and I’m cooking up some burgers. As we always do, we have music on. At the pool, it’s more in the background. People can hear it, yet it’s not the dominant sound. For me at the grill, the music is louder because I’m closer to speakers.
That’s when the seemingly random question happened…
Someone asked my sister-in-law “So, how did the baby do on the plane?”
That question must have felt completely out of the blue… Everyone had moved on from that conversation about 30 minutes prior. It wasn’t out of the blue at all… What the family didn’t pick-up on was the music. As I was listening more intently to the music, I heard a line in the song talk about a plane. A split second later, the question was asked.
The question about the baby on the plane wasn’t random at all. Unconsciously, she heard the word plane in the song, which triggered her to remember she wanted to know how the baby did on the plane. Hence the question was asked right then.
This story is a prime example of the unconscious mind at work. Studies show that our unconscious minds control 95%-99% of us at any given time. Every second 2 million bits of information is taken in through our 5 senses. Our brains – largely unconsciously – deletes, generalizes and distorts those bits of information and we only take in roughly 126 bits per second. And those 126 bits of information that we pick up on are what our unconscious minds think we want. Its job is to serve us.
It turned out well at the family BBQ. Because of the question, the family got to hear the details of the trials and tribulations of a baby on a plane. It was good for a few laughs and some “awwws.” (Side note… my niece is pretty awesome…)
This is why there are no coincidences in what we’re thinking, feeling or doing… We’re triggered by something.
It’s all good when we’re unconsciously triggered to ask about a vacation. What happens, though, when the unconscious mind is triggered to bring up something negative. Take for example at work… someone says that they don’t need your service and that triggers you to feel the same rejection you felt when the bully made fun of you in middle school… and you retreat by stopping to look for business. Or at home… when your 4-year-old is defiant toward what you ask them to do and it triggers you to feel the same way you did when you were 4 and your sister wouldn’t give your toy back… and you angrily yell at your kid.
It takes conscious strength and awareness to get help keep you on your right path. Become aware of the emotions that you feel and before you make an action. Or at least recognize once you make the action may not be the best for you. Pause and realize that your unconscious mind has been triggered. When you can do that, you can then more easily figure out how best to address the situation.
It’s of note that when those negative thoughts and actions get in the way of what you really want – success in business; nurturing relationships with your children – it’s a sign there might be some negative baggage we’ve picked up in our journey. It’s a program that we run where we keep getting similar results. Or it’s a belief cultivated over time that holds us back from our greatest possibilities.
A shift in perspective is needed. Maybe that belief that was triggered is not accurate. And if it’s not accurate, we might have a different, more positive action. The more of those positive actions you take, the less that belief weighs you down.
There really are no coincidences in what we’re thinking, feeling or doing. The question is can you recognize it and can you make sure your unconscious mind is delivering the results you really want.