Creating Your Own Future Destiny

Creating your Own Future Destiny 

by Haruko DeArth

How many of you believe that the way you think has some effect on your life?  How much do you believe you can consciously create your future?   Today I’m going to talk about how we can positively shape our future destiny, more precisely, about the most basic and scientifically proven way in which we can pave the way for our own future to achieve our goals. This “way” can be applied to all areas of our life, whether it is athletic challenges, academic challenges, starting a new business, or improving health.  

But before getting started, let me introduce you two art pieces that I have made that have quite significant meanings related to today’s topic. 



The first one is Ambition, “Kokorozashi” in Japanese. It represents the desire and determination to achieve the goals. It is a peaceful yet uncompromised expression of the passion and purpose of life. Another piece is Mastering, “Kiwameru” in Japanese. It is about studying and practicing something thoroughly to achieve perfection. Whatever we choose to do in life, we want to be mastering it and striving for the excellency.  

Both of these art pieces project such positive and powerful inspiration and motivate us to work hard toward the goals. But how exactly you achieve the goals of your ambition and how do you master them?  We all know that, whatever you want to achieve in your life, it's very important to have a clear vision. Of course having a vision doesn't mean that such goals can be achieved automatically. There is more, a lot more to it to get where you want to go.  But nonetheless, having a vision is not merely a pep talk. It is a very important element of creating our future destiny.     

Then the question is, how exactly does having such a vision lead us to the point where we can actually materialize it and achieve the goal?  What is the secret that connects those two points?   Great people in history, Nelson Mandera, Henry Ford, or Maya Angelou, all had such a vision. Although they may not have been able to see it or articulate it, it was so clear and alive that they began to live as if the reality was actually happening now. How did they do it?  

Dr. Joe Dispenza, neuroscientist, says, “Instead of following well-worn ingrained habits of thinking that lead to the same emotions and same actions, they put new thoughts and ideas in their brain to actually change the way they think, feel, and act.”   Humm, what exactly does this mean?    

What neuroscience says about who we are    

So When you say you have a vision and want to achieve certain goals, that usually means that you aren’t satisfied with yourself or your current situation, and you want to change your personal reality or improve the situation. So first, it is very important to understand what makes us who we are, what characterizes our unique personality and identity define us who we are so that we can engage with agency to discover what needs to be changed, and how to change it, so as to grow and move towards becoming the very person we want to become in the future.    

Many of us equate who we are with our accomplishments, such as educational achievements, titles and the position we currently hold at work, or how other people might view us. And that's a very important part of who we are, what helped us become who we are today. But also it's fair to say that we are not just a result of what had happened to us in the past, or limited by what we have accomplished in the past, or titles that we are currently holding.     

What neuroscience says about who we are is a bit different.  It proposes what makes us who we are, what creates our personal reality, is simply what’s in our brain: patterns of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. How we think, how we feel and how we act corresponds with our personal reality and who we are. That is what makes us unique and differentiate each of us from others.    

 


According to this approach, if we want to have a “new” personal reality, if we want to become what we hold in our vision, or if we want to achieve something, like becoming a doctor, starting your own business, or running a marathon, or whatever it might be, then, on a fundamental level, we would have to change the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in our brain.  We would have to have different kinds of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that portray the new reality. You cannot be a business owner if you cling to the same thinking or mentality of being an employee and acting like an employee.    

Now, when we have a thought in our head or when emotion arises in our mind, according to neuroscience, it’s a chemical reaction in our brain where neurons are firing in certain patterns (neurons release neurotransmitters to send electrical signals to other neurons for the formation of thoughts). 

When we are having the same thoughts, performing the same actions, living in the same experiences that produce the same emotions, neurons in our brain fire and wire in the same sequences, same patterns, and same combinations. And by repeating the same things over and over again, our brain is conditioned not only to memorize these patterns of same thinking and behaviors where habits are developed, but also to stay in a certain state of mind that creates default programs that run on autopilot, which is called the subconscious mind.     

It is said that almost all of our brain activity is occurring at a subconscious level. 95% of our action is a set of memorized behaviors, a set of emotional reactions, beliefs, perceptions, and attitudes that run on autopilot.   

Well, now we know why simply having a vision, but neglecting to act on it, will not amount to any substantive change. No matter how big our vision might be, if we neglect this fact of brain science and live our life on autopilot repeating the same things over and over again, nothing will change.    

So in theory, by changing our thoughts and actions, replacing them with new kind of thoughts and actions that align with our vision, and repeating new ways of thinking and behaving over and over, our brain can be reconditioned to develop new programs, which eventually lead to forming new states of subconsciousness, a new personal reality.      


The next question is then, how exactly can we change our thoughts and feelings and actions, and stay the course long enough to re-establish the new habits?    

5 steps to create a new habit     

Disrupting the pattern of your thinking, emotions and actions and creating a new habit is a daunting task. But there are numerous guidelines and resources available to help us get started.  I didn't invent such kinds of guidance. Rather, what I share with you are the practices which I follow myself and have adopted to bring positive changes to my life. I would like to share some of the basic concepts and practical steps that you might find very useful.     

1. Practice mediation. Meditation is such a powerful tool for adopting a mindset and is an essential part of my daily life. While there are various styles and purposes of meditation, one of the core purposes of practicing meditation is to stay focused on the present moment and try to get in touch with your consciousness. This ability to connect with your consciousness is very critical in the moment when you need to break through subconsciousness during the course.  

2. Make the intention clear and practice affirmation. It is a good idea to write your vision and goals down. The clearer and more specific, the better. For example, passing the license exam to be qualified for promotion, switching to a healthier diet and losing 20 pounds, or running a full-marathon in 6 month. By writing them down, you are telling yourself that it’s not just wishful thinking but you actually mean it. Recite them every morning as if they are already happening. This affirmation is incredibly powerful and effective for helping you start to live in accordance with what you envision.     

3. Give reasons for your goals, explaining why you want to achieve them. Why it’s important for you, why you feel passionate about them. That is the fuel that drives you to keep going in the direction you have chosen.   

4. Make a plan of action that matches the intention, and execute it. You must make choices which are different from previous choices or habits. For example, you choose to get up at 5:30am to go running instead of sleeping-in until 7:00am. You commit to dedicating two hours every night to study for an exam instead of playing a game or social media; or to not going to the cupboard for unhealthy snacks between meals, and instead, eat fresh fruits.     

5. Recognize your emotions and be proud. After starting your new action-plan for moving towards your goals, even if it only involves small steps, examine your emotion and recognize the positive impact. You should feel good and be proud of yourself because you actually overcame odds of 95-5 by using your will power!  

And remember, each time you execute new actions that generate new positive emotions, neurons are firing in new sequences and patterns in your brain are creating new neuro pathways. And as you repeat it over and over again, it begins to form new habits.   



Tips for overcoming the hardest part   

Well, of course, it is easier said than done. According to a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, on average, it takes 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic. If everyone can go through 5 steps with no difficulties and stick with it for 66 days, then, we would see more happier and more successful people.   

The hardest part I think is not to fall back into old habits when you are hit by an urge, because that urge is extremely strong. You feel comfortable, natural, and as is you were on autopilot, so that it's almost impossible not to fall back in those old habits of thinking and acting. You will be hit by the urge to play games because your brain surge stimulates hormones that make you crave for excitement. Without even thinking, you will be opening the cupboard not because you are hungry, but because you are emotionally attached to the action of snacking which will give you pleasure and comfort.  Letting go of those urges or disrupting the patterns and habits is an enormous task.   

The key is staying ahead of the game, being prepared, and knowing what to do when those urges come up (you know they will!). It comes with subtle signs in your brain and body such as a familiar urge, anxiety or unsettledness, or cravings for excitement or comfort. When you recognize those signs are showing up, there is no magic solution about how to manage such signs; but here is an example of a strategy for keeping on-course: 

▶︎Pose for a moment, take a few big breath to connect yourself with consciousness (as you practice in meditation), and give it thoughts like: Yes, I know those feelings, I’ve been blindly following them.But that’s an old version of me.  

▶︎I’ve been upgrading myself by responding with a new set of actions simply because the old habit was not deserving of me. I have been stuck in those old habits for long enough and I’m not going to go back there again.

▶︎I’m not going to make any excuses, and will take full responsibility for my future. I will use the power of my consciousness to let it go and choose different actions, leaving old habits behind.  


I hope this article - 5 steps to create a new habit, the strategy to manage the urge, and the neuroscience that support them - would help you make good decisions that determine the course of the path for your future destinations. 

I would like to conclude the article with the famous quote: Great Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, Mahatma Gandhi, and Margaret Thatcher, with small variations, all famously said something in common.    

"Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny."

I wish you all the best for your journey in creating your own future destiny!