The “Default” Setting Of Your Brain

Brain RoseYou can learn to live somewhere in the UpSpiral 100% of the time.

Consider this.

Where does your brain go on its “down time?”

Do you default to an UpSpiral or a DownSpiral?

Our most precious resource is psychic energy we have in a 24 hour period to do what we do with our mind and brain.  The Mind is the larger master of how the brain thinks, feels, perceives, and does it work.  The Mind directs the brain, or it does not.

Mindlessness is a lack of consciousness about where we are spending our psychic energy.  It’s like writing checks without ever looking at the balance in the account.Mind Body

Mindlessness is what advertisers depend upon.  Mindlessness is what people who don’t want us to think depend upon.  The Mind just wanders from this to that.

Think a negative or angry thought and see where the brain goes when you send it mindlessly down that road.  Mindlessness just gets the errands of the day done. It can also get us into trouble.

If you could quantify the time your brain spends on the positive and the negative, focused on what is beautiful or whining about what you don’t have yet, what is right in your world, what’s wrong, where would you come out?

Positive Neg SeesawWhat would be your ratio of the good in your world, as compared to the negative that draws you in like a fly caught in a web?  What is your ratio of positive to negative thinking?

Mindlessness is the enemy of flourishing in your life.

Flourishing takes mindfulness of the world within you and the world around you.

Mindfulness is being awake to yourself.  It is attention, it is savoring, it is aliveness.  It’s what it takes to stay in an UpSpiral.  It is not just going along negatively reacting to the weather, to politics, or putting your focus on what is wrong or negative.  It is your focus on the solution that comes from being in an UpSpiral and using your strengths.

Mindfulness is your disciplined focus on where the popcorn is popping and not the kernels that didn’t.Poppin

What Is An UpSpiral?  It is living at a higher quality of life by managing the ups and downs of life more effectively.  It is creating a mood predisposition and it is State of Mind Management (SOMM).  It is living more up than down by using the power of your choice and learning the ways to do it.

We live by this myth that there are ups and downs in life and that they are largely created by external events.

The truth is that, for the most part, there are external events to which we respond and our response to these events determines where we are in the Spiral, not the event itself.

Door Open CloseEither you are a victim of a difficulty or you are stripping a problem of everything it has to teach you and becoming stronger and wiser.

You are learning to let one door close so another can open.


About the author

Dr. William K. Larkin
  • I love the quote: “If you want to know where your heart is, look where your mind goes when it wanders.” You of course, see the quote associated with some deserted white sands beach in Fuji. But if we are honest, that is not where most folks minds go. Recently, I have found myself in the position of the observer in many social situations listening to how conversations unfolded between people that were newly acquainted with one another. I found it interesting how each of the people involved leaned towards story telling of events in their lives that were so negatively charged. What was so evident was the energy dynamic that it created. The will-nilly mind rambling created from those participating was an energy swap free for all. The stories themselves creating a feeling, the response creating a feeling…It was kinda like a feeding frenzy. To me this is what mindlessness is like. It is not knowing that your story, nothing outside of yourself is sourcing you. You are are sourced by choosing what feeling and response that you are going to have and that external events can then begin to unfold largely by what your internal environment is like. I offered this to my companions of the evening and it was amazing how the rest of the evening unfolded.

  • MissTowner

    Paying attention to where our minds go is crucial for our happiness. When we think with intention, and incorporate our strengths, we pave the way for a wonderful life. It’s never the external that brings us down, it’s the internal wandering mind. Gain control of it and think of the way you want events to go, and watch it unfold as you have envisioned!

  • Kathleen Burkhalter

    Learning to stay in the UpSpiral (which is easy once you are there), and using negative moments to climb back in to the UpSpiral is probably the most important practical lesson in life. Most people will tell you that they want a happy, wonderful life – but we aren’t trained properly to achieve it.

  • Shifting the default setting of my brain into an UpSpiral has been one of the most important life changes that I have ever made. I remember with great clarity the moment in which I began to “get it” that I truly had a choice in this matter, particularly related to the application of my strengths to life challenges. As Dr. Larkin states in this article” “Either you are a victim of a difficulty or you are stripping a problem of everything it has to teach you and becoming stronger and wiser.” Once I began to see any problem through the lens of a life challenge inviting me to grown & change, I started to apply my unique strengths to them. I shed my ties to victimhood and began to engage more in the adventure of life. As I began to understand more about neuroplasticity and the brain’s ability to change itself, I consciously took a more active role in my choice of the thoughts and feelings that I was sending forth.

  • I had the challenge to make 100% upspiral in one week ! you only have to deciede it !

Copyright © 2015 The Applied Neuroscience Institute