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Which Dog Is Fed?

June 17, 2018

There’s this story that goes something like this....

There was this man in a far away land. In this land, they used to enjoy dog fights, just like in some parts of east Africa people enjoy bull-fights. Whenever there was a fight, the man would go in early and bet on one of the two dogs in the fight. Regardless of how big or small his choice of dog was, whichever dog he bet on always won.  Several people got to know about this man and his winning ways, and so they would wait up for him to get to the betting station and place a bet on the very dog he would bet on. To the amazement of many, every time he bet on a dog the dog would always win.

So there was this one time he bet on a dog that was looking so frail. Even though many people had gotten used to his winning ways, on this particular day most of them doubted his bet and so they opted to bet for the other dog that looked well fed and strong. On this particular day there was a visitor who had come all the way with an intention of interviewing this “lucky” guy, and so he decided to go with the guy’s choice of dog. At the end of the fight, unbelievable as it was, he (the interviewer) was pleasantly surprised when the frail looking dog won and the healthy looking dog lost. Of course the rest of the people who had decided to not bet on the frail dog were heavily disappointed as on this particular day, the prize was quite high.

Later on when the interviewer finally got to interview the guy, his first question was one even I would have asked him if I had been the one interviewing him.  The conversation went something like this:

“So, how have you always managed to bet on the winning dog, regardless of how frail the dog looks?”  

“Well”, started the guy, “what most people don’t know is that where the dogs are kept is my premises. So what I do is that 3 days before a fight, I feed the dog I want to win while I starve the dog I want to lose”.

I am not sure what the interviewer did after he was told that but I can tell you for a fact if it was me, I would have gone to look for the animal rights bureau to have this man thrown in jail or fined heavily for mistreating the poor dogs. How can he be so cruel? 

Anyway, as sad and as unappealing this story is, while thinking of the unfed dog and how much it must have suffered for those three days, I couldn’t help but realize how much like those dogs we are as human beings. Now, please hold your horses and hear me out before you start sending me messages or calling the Guardian to say I called you a dog.

The life we are living is a constant fight between being positive and staying negative. I say “staying negative” because by default, the human mind is set to negative because this is the only way it knows to protect you from any form of “danger”, even that which is not dangerous at all. For instance, have you ever wondered why you find it hard to wake up early in the morning even though you know it is the best thing for you to do? Or, have you ever wondered why you fear stepping out of your comfort zone even though you know that is where your breakthrough for your next level in life lies? Or, have you ever wondered why you pay for that gym subscription but only manage to go there 3 days for a whole month,  giving an excuse of being too “busy” with other things? 

Well, the answer lies in the subconscious mind.

I am no scientist but I do remember reading that the mind has two parts; the conscious and the sub-conscious part. The conscious part is the one that is busy reading this article right now, and if you are reading while you are sipping a cup of coffee or taking a glass of juice, you are actually taking the cup of coffee or glass of juice to your mouth subconsciously. In other words, the subconscious mind acts out of habit. That is why you could be driving while having a conversation with someone, or you could be thinking or singing while you are driving. Why? Because while your conscious mind is doing the singing or talking, your subconscious mind kicks in to take over the driving because this is a habit that is already in you. If you are driving home for instance, you don’t even need to think about the route you will use because your subconscious mind already knows where it is going. That is why many times you might have heard people (especially drunkards) say that they are not sure how they got home, but its like the car drove itself. Actually, the right thing to say is that their subconscious mind drove them home.

So, where does the subconscious mind get all that information from? You simply feed it by every thing you do on a daily basis. Just like that guy was feeding the dog he wanted to win in the dog-fight, you too should start feeding your subconscious mind with the right food at the right time. You need to stop starving it by giving it the right nutrients and diet. Start giving it a healthy diet full of positive attitude, self belief, gratitude, possibility thinking, forward thinking, faith and other ingredients that will help it stay strong. Starve it of “junk food” such as fear, unbelief, procrastination, complaints, indiscipline, laziness, lack of motivation and the like. 

So, where do these subconscious thoughts and patterns come from?

I was reading an article written by one Chip Richards, a leadership coach, speaker and facilitator, who had this to say about the subconscious mind:

Most of our subconscious programming comes from the first seven years of our life. From the last trimester of pregnancy to age seven, we exist mostly in Theta brain wave space (a.k.a. hypnosis), which is the most receptive space for our subconscious mind. At that stage, we are essentially sponges.

Our model of the world is formed by how we experience our reality, and how we see our parents and other key influences respond to life. We learn subconsciously how to act when we’re happy or angry, what it takes to make money, how best to express love, when it’s safe to laugh, to sing, to shine… and when it’s not. We take these messages in from our surroundings and they become our automatic, under-the-surface view of reality.

We will continue to form new subconscious patterns as we grow in age (think of any habitual movement or skill you have mastered) but the undercurrent of these patterns and beliefs are mostly set when we are young.

The best way to identify what subconscious programs you’re running is simply to look at your life, because it is made up of ‘the program’ 95% of the time. 

Your life is a printout of the program. The things you have in your life that you love are because you have a program that allows you to accept those things into your life. Anything you work hard at, struggle over, have to put a lot of effort into and it’s difficult, is because your programs don’t support that in your life. Your conscious mind is reaching for it, but something in your program is holding it at bay. The effort and struggle you feel is in trying to override a program. You’re working hard because you want it, but the undercurrent of belief says, “It’s not going to happen.”

When I read the above extract and did an inward reflection of my own life, I was very shocked to realize that indeed it is true. In the past, there are things I had been stopping myself from doing because I felt I didn’t have what it took to do them, or because I felt other people could do them better than I could. The most interesting thing is that the moment I made up my mind do them, I ended up doing them better than those I thought were best suited to do them! I changed my subconscious programing with regards to those things and the result was that a positive manifestation was realized in the physical realm. 

That is why many people are not as productive as they should be because their subconscious minds are ill-programmed. For instance, if you are a plus size person, your subconscious mind might tell you that this is the case with everyone in your family and because of that, trying to lose weight would be futile. Unknowingly, you agree with your mind and so the whole idea of trying to lose weight becomes a nightmare for you. It becomes a burden instead of a new adventure in your life. Eventually, you end up shelving the idea of taking control of your weight concluding that indeed your family is big bodied and so you are you. Unknown to you, the day you allowed your subconscious mind to preach to you the gospel of “we are big bodied” is the day you lost the fight against losing weight. You went into the dog kennel and fed the wrong dog. 

All the successful people you see today are successful because they finally learned how to harness the power of their subconscious minds. They learned how to program that part of their minds in such a way that it worked for them instead of against them. They were able to use it as a tool to help them develop wings that helped them soar high above the worst of storms in their lives, just like the eagles they were created to be. The goodness is, we too can reprogram our minds to begin thinking possibilities instead of impossibilities. We can reprogram our minds to start thinking positivity instead of negativity. We can stop licking the sores of previous hurts and start thinking of how high we can soar above every barrier we have ever faced.

And that is why this week in the on going #52BooksIn52Weeks2018I would like to recommend a book by T. D. Jakes called SOAR! In this book, T.D. Jakes reveals how to build the uniquely personal vision within each of us into our special contribution to the world. Blending the practical business acumen of a successful, global CEO with the dynamic inspiration of a life coach, SOAR!provides the tools needed to ignite our imaginations into action and challenges us to embrace our God-given purpose as we align our character and creativity with our careers. 

Simply put, the book will help you rewire your subconscious mind. 

As we prepare to SOAR!I leave you with a quote from T. D. Jakes from this same book that says, “Experienced pilots know they must adjust course all the time. Just because they change course doesn’t mean they lose sight of their destination”.

It’s time to adjust your course so that you can get to your destination [read the goals you had set for 2018 but are finding hard to achieve].


Be ignited. Be inspired. Be influenced. Become the best version of yourself you can ever be.



PS: This article was originally published in Tanzania's Guardian On Sunday on the 17th of June, 2018, under my weekly column "Thoughts in Words".




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