The unconscious mind or subconscious mind is described in the MacBook dictionary as:
Subconscious – the part of one’s mind which one is not fully aware of but influences one’s actions and feelings. Not used in psychoanalysis where they prefer to use the word
Unconscious mind – the part of the mind, which the conscious mind, does not have access to and which affects behaviours and emotions.
As you can see, they are the same things and have the same function. This part of us is actually super conscious, as it acts like the hard drive in our computer, in charge of all the memory, programming, and output. These actions are all happening outside of our conscious awareness.
“Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.” – Steve Jobs
Prime Directives of the Unconscious Mind:
- Stores all of your memories.
- Organizes all of your memories, in a linear fashion.
- It’s the place where your emotions come from and are stored.
- Represses memories with unresolved negative emotions.
- It represses memories to protect you.
- Brings these repressed memories up for “resolution.”
- Runs the body; e.g. beats your heart, etc.
- Preserves the body; e.g. fight or flight instinct.
- It’s a servant that follows orders from the conscious mind.
- It controls and maintains all of your perceptions or your experiences.
- It’s in charge of making, storing, and transmitting energy in the body.
- It maintains instincts, creates habits, and learns through repetition.
- It works on the premise that things are either right or wrong; it is moralistic.
- It is programmed to seek more and more.
- It takes everything personally.
- Works on the principle of Least Effort: Do less and achieve more.
- Does not process negatives.
- Functions best as a whole integrated unit.
The bottom line is the unconscious mind is in charge of all learning, behaviour, and change. Whether we like it or not, these things are happening all of the time; and if we want to improve our ability to do the above, we must learn about how the unconscious mind works, or all of our learning, behaviour, and change will be unconscious and happen to us outside of our awareness.
An excerpt from The Evolutionary Leader – 5 steps to dramatically develop people and performance by Timothy Carroll.