While we might hope that we can simply “power through” with whatever goal we have in mind, it is helpful to know what kind of results are realistic when facing new, uncertain situations since some of the things we’d most like to experience can feel the most out of reach. Since any kind of goal is theoretically possible, how can we tell which goals are realistic? Most of us deem some kinds of instantaneous transformation to be more believable; we tend to expect smaller “miracles,” while considering larger manifestations to be less possible. The truth is that Nature operates with discontinuous ‘jumps’ occurring on a regular basis, as quantum biologists are beginning to realize.
Setting Attainable Goals: Listen to Many Minds
Instead of being of just one mind, each of us is a multitude. For example, each of our minds includes numerous different overlapping memory systems though we are seldom aware of just how we reconstruct our memories of specific events each time we recall them. Our many minds establish a naturally redundant and highly resilient system that we can trust even when “life happens,” and things occasionally go “wrong.”
As David Eagleman writes in Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain,
“Almost the entirety of what happens in your mental life is not under your conscious control, and the truth is that it’s better this way. Consciousness can take all the credit it wants, but it is best left at the sidelines for most for the decision making that cranks along in your brain.”
Our conscious mind is like the tip of an iceberg, with the vast majority of what goes on happening below what we can readily observe. Without support from our subconscious believing something to be possible, we can waste energy fighting inner battles that result in outer signs of getting stuck, delayed, or diverted. When we observe thoughts and feelings conflicting with our goals, we can gain insights into how to be more open-minded to new possibilities, as we revise our goals as need be to best ensure our success.