Have you ever set a goal for yourself and then made a plan, but found it difficult to carry out? Do you find yourself falling into habits that defeat what you’re really trying to achieve? Sometimes we beat ourselves up for habits we find it hard to change, when really we just don’t have the right tools to change them.
Ilchi Lee, a brain philosopher and educator, believes that if you want to change your habits, you first have to change your brain. He developed a brain-development system called Brain Education to help people create the lives that they want.
Brain Education consists of a myriad of mind and body exercises modernized from ancient Asian practices. All Brain Education programs use and fit into five steps.
Step 1: Brain Sensitizing – enhances your awareness of how your body feels and of the many thoughts in your mind. It helps you center yourself in your body. Try this exercise for strengthening your center:
Balance on your right foot while bringing your left foot up to your right knee. Hold the pose for as long as you can and then switch your legs. Then try it with your eyes closed. Focus your mind on the center of your body, which is inside your abdomen two inches below your navel.
Step 2: Brain Versatilizing – makes your brain more flexible, creative, and quick. Try this exercise for preventing your brain from being stuck in the same old patterns:
Look around the room and give new names to all of the objects in it.
Step 3: Brain Refreshing – releases old thoughts or emotions that maintain negative habits or prevent you from achieving your goals. Try this exercise for uncluttering your brain:
Relax and breathe deeply from your lower abdomen. Visualize any thought or emotion that no longer serves you as the tension in your body. As you continue to relax, visualize a bright light piercing through the tension as if it was a dark cloud. Breathe out the darkness through your mouth with a gentle smile.
Step 4: Brain Integrating – helps all of the parts of your brain and body to work together. Try this exercise for rallying all of your parts for a single purpose:
Relax and slowly imagine what you would really like to be or to create. Then write a simple slogan based on your picture to help focus your brain on it. Make a plan for how you would like to create this picture, and spend a little time each day reflecting: Was your behavior in line with your picture? What could you do differently in the future?
Step 5: Brain Mastering – helps you create a lifestyle based on your goals and overcome any obstacles to them. Try this exercise for boosting your strength and confidence in overcoming obstacles:
Do as many pushups as you can with your hands in line with your shoulders and your feet together and back straight. Set a goal for the number of pushups you would like to do without stopping. Add at least one push-up every day until you reach your goal.
Practicing these five steps will help you take charge and train your brain to create the life that you want.