The “Black Friday” Of Your Mind

“Black Friday” is just around the corner. The holiday rush is upon us. Have you ever gone to a store with the express purpose of buying something you needed, got home with one or two bags of things, and realized that you forgot what you went for?  You may have reasoned that you didn’t need a list, but on the way to the store, you weren’t particularly thinking about what you were going there to get. You were distracted by the traffic and the sights along the way.  You found the store, and dutifully went into your destination without a thought in your mind about what you went for.  Maybe you walked in with something gnawing on the back of your mind, but you shopped and got a few things, got distracted by a few others, found a good deal, and knew that you were in a hurry to get back home.  Then just before you got into your driveway, you realized that you didn’t get what you went for, and you weren’t about to turn around and go back and get it.

You aren’t alone if this has happened to you.  It has happened to most people more than once. It is the way our brain works.  We don’t necessarily focus on what we intend to want, but more significant than that, we don’t always know what we want.  In fact, most of the time we don’t know what we really want.  We are much better at thinking we know what we want than we are at really knowing our wants and our desires.

If you have dreamed a few times in your life and you think the result has been some kind of mistake or even a disaster, you may have decided that you can’t trust what you dream or that what you want on a deeper level just isn’t going to be yours.  If you have failed at what you dream many times, you may have decided that you are a failure for having had such dreams and being foolish enough to follow them.  The truth is that you were foolish not to have followed them.  Whether or not you were foolish doesn’t begin to be the issue. The issue is what you have learned.  Or if you realized, considered, and were open to the learning, what has it taught you?  Many people just close off, not only to what they are dreaming, wanting, and desiring, but they have learned to trust someone else’s dreams or someone else’s best plan for them, deeply believing that their own “wanting” is flawed. They see themselves as “damaged goods.”

What about the great spiritual ideal to give up desire?  If that weighs heavily upon you and you are very convinced of it, you likely will have difficulty ever getting clear about what you really want. We say: go follow your ideas of extinguishing desire long enough to make you a little more miserable,  a little more out of touch with yourself,  and then ask yourself how it’s working for you. Actually, the spiritual disciplines with integrity are trying to do the very same things we are doing here. They are concerned that we give up the desires that are not true to us, that are empty, and that are not our own true journey.  There is no sin and you are not less spiritual for seeking to find out what you want.  That is the search.  If you want to believe someone else’s idea about what that is for you, because you think that they are spiritually wiser than you, then by all means follow your guru until you find out that the guru’s sandals are clay, just as yours are, and that your life and your search are your own, given one time in the life of this identity of yours that is so precious and absolutely, totally unique to you, if you will let it be.  Commonalities with others will help guide you. We can learn much from others, but they must never overtake you in touching your own wants and desires for you in your time and place in creation.  No one else is YOU, and if they know better than you, if they know “just what you’re feeling,”  thank them and ask them to pray for you to get the same message they think you should know, then have dinner with someone else.

There is a custom in some religions to have a period called “advent” before Christmas.  It is a period of purification and cleansing to be more open to receive the “Christ-life” in a new way at Christmas. It is a wonderful idea of emptying out the negative. You will find that as you increase your capacity to feel good, you will have times when the positive pushes up and out what is negative and doesn’t belong.  This “flushing out” of the negative organizes the brain in a new and different way, and makes more clear what it is you really want.


1) Summarize your understanding of the role of Zeno Focus as it relates to Vibe Core and the emergence of desire, belief, and openness. What coaching tools would you use to support clients in more clearly getting in touch with what they want?

2) Cite the research which supports the positive correlation of a deeper UpSpiral and a greater Vibe Core. How does a greater overall experience of “feeling good” support clients in identifying and attracting what they want? Give us several examples.


1) What is the process you habitually use to identify what you want? What are the strategies you use to gain clarity in knowing and attracting what you want in life? Tell us your story.

2) How do you handle the stresses of the holiday season? What strengths do you have which support you in focusing on what is important for you and others? Give us an example.


About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute