William Faulkner (*) once said, “I only write when I am inspired. Fortunately, I am inspired at 9 o’clock every morning.” What did this author mean by this statement?
Often we wait to be inspired; however, William knew that he could train his unconscious mind. In this case to train himself to write by sitting down at the same time each day, regardless of what else he wanted to do or how he felt. Why would such a simple idea work?
Simple timing leads to great changes
Your unconscious mind is keen to make your life easier. Anything that you do on a regular basis will start to become automatic and we call this a habit.
Let’s review the sequence of creating a habit:
The structure is: a trigger, then a behaviour which is followed by some sort of reward.
Let’s review Faulkner’s approach:
The trigger would be 9 o’clock, his behaviour would be writing and the reward would be words on the page.
A lot of people claim that they want to be writers, but then they complain that they just don’t know what to write. Being ‘stuck’ like this is often called writer’s block. Strangely this is a reverse way of thinking, because once you start to write you will discover that ideas will begin to flow.
Of course, you may have guessed that this psychology doesn’t apply to just writing. Barbra Streisand once said about success, “At the moment of commitment, the universe conspires to assist you.”
My thinking on this is that by taking action to stimulate your unconscious mind, an ocean of information will be waiting to surface from the depths of that unconscious level.
Stimulating your unconscious mind
It’s said that our relationship with our unconscious mind is like our relationship with water. Eight to ten glasses of water a day is good for you, but you can drown in the middle of the ocean.
Sadly we seem to only have a glass of the unconscious mind in any given day.
To be able to go to deeper levels we need to train ourselves – but firstly we need to be clear on what it is we want to master and then put in the appropriate time studying that subject. It has been said that to achieve the standard of ‘world mastery’ you will need to commit at least 10,000 hours. This is great if you want to become a world master in your topic, but let’s give this some greater context to provide clarity.
What if you goal was to become relatively OK at something? That would take 20 hours.
To become average would take 45 hours. Now that seems more manageable.
When you expend 120 hours you start to become good. Wow, actually that’s a relatively short period of time to become good and equates to 32 minutes a day over the course of one year. So you will become good, not just average as this is a significant achievement, so let’s say Good with a capital G!
Once this wealth of information has been absorbed by your unconscious mind, all you need to do is dive in.
How can we dive deep into the unconscious mind and access the pearls of wisdom?
Here are some ideas to allow the information to surface from your unconscious mind over a period of time:
- Set aside the same time each day to focus on your subject, just as Faulkner did. I’d recommend that you allow 43 minutes.
- Talk about it everyday. This can be to someone else or, for example, via a podcast or audio diary.
- Write about it each day, e.g. create a topic like, ‘How to write a column, blog or diary’.
- Teach somebody else how to do it. This will certainly give you focus.
- Being hypnotised and relaxed can enable easier access.
You will be amazed at yourself and the knowledge you hold within you.
Ernest on success
Ernest Hemingway (#) knew the secret that action lead would lead to results. You don’t wait to be inspired, become inspired.
“Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’ So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there.”
Mr. Hemingway also said “Never think about the story when you’re not working.”
“What do you mean Mr. Hemingway?”
“That way your subconscious will work on it all the time”
OK, I get it. He continued, “But if you think about it consciously or worry about it, you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.”
What can Mr. Faulkner add? Well in 1957 he said it bluntly:
“I think if he’s demon-driven with something to be said, then he’s going to write it. He can blame the fact that he’s not turning out work on lots of things. I’ve heard people say, ‘Well, if I were not married and had children, I would be a writer.’ I’ve heard people say, ‘If I could just stop doing this, I would be a writer.’ I don’t believe that. I think if you’re going to write you’re going to write, and nothing will stop you.”
Reading between the lines you will find white space. By understanding the messages within the lines you’ll discover that Hemingway and Faulkner are teaching us the very principles of success in our lives.
- Decide what you want to do or become
- Study it
- Do it daily until it becomes a habit
- If you moan, give yourself a slap
- Trust in yourself
Let me know what you wish to commit to, the action are you going to take and when you will take it. We will then cheer for you on Facebook and ……..if you ever need a slap, just let me know. Let’s go and build something amazing.
(*) William Cuthbert Faulkner (1897-1962) was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi.
(#) Ernest Miller Hemingway (1899-1961) was an American novelist, short story writer, and journalist