Mind over matter
Imagine how cool it would be if you could change the material world by using your mind. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Well, you can. You already do.
You do it without realizing it.
You can do it better if you know how.
How you use your mind to change matter
Your brain always changes. Left alone, it deteriorates.
When you repeat an action, your brain offsets deterioration in the part of your brain that controls the action.
With more repetition, your brain changes itself so that it can carry out that act more efficiently.
But most of what you do is mindless, so you don’t determine what changes. Your brain decides.
But eventually, the act is about as efficient as it can be. Simple practice—mere, mindless repetition—will no longer significantly change the brain.
When you do something mindfully—with intention and with careful attention to the outcome—your brain changes differently than if you do that same thing mindlessly.
Repetition with a clear intention to achieve a result and careful attention to how well the result was achieved is called “deliberate practice” or “deep practice.”
Deliberate practice changes your brain in ways that lead you to mastery.
Your brain is made out of matter.
You change it with your mind when you use intention and attention.
So deliberate practice is mind over matter.
In the short term, deliberate practice changes which neurons fire and when they fire; it changes which neurotransmitters are released and taken up, and where.
In the long term, your brain rewires itself. Neurons grow branches in different directions, and shrink other branches.
All these changes are the result of your mind’s effect on the brain’s matter.
Intention and attention are critical.
You need deliberate intention and focused attention; the intention sets the desired outcome, and the attention focuses on the degree to which the result matched the intention.
Then the brain rewires.
That’s all it takes.
You can change the material world with just your mind.
It’s a skill and one that you can improve.
You use intention and attention.
You can also intend to use intention and attention more consistently.
You can pay attention and see how well you’re using intention and paying attention.
The more you do it, the better you get.