For most of us, the subconscious mind is a curious and untameable beast. It lurks in the shadows, awaiting an opportunity to seize control of our willpower and force us to abandon our goals for the temptation of the moment. Dozens of techniques and disciplines such as positive affirmations, self-hypnosis, neuro-linguistic programming and creative visualization have been created for the sake of gaining control over the passions of the subconscious mind. Yet even these strategies require the cooperation of the subconscious in order to apply them consistently and to achieve lasting results.

So is there any hope for taming the beast of the subconscious and keeping it from sabotaging your aspirations for success? There is, and this is made possible through the power of genuine happiness...

The Driving Force of the Subconscious

According to world renowned human needs psychologist Chloe Madanes, the driving force of our subconscious is the desire to fulfill six basic human needs: certainty, variety, significance, growth, contribution and love. Most of us call the pursuit of these six needs happiness, and it is this pursuit which determines the direction of our subconscious desires. No matter what thoughts or ideas occupy our conscious mind, our subconscious knows our inner most desires and will always be driven to fulfill them.

The problem is that many times we create goals which are based on false ideas about what will provide us with this happiness. For example, most career choices are made more out of the desire to make money than to the desire to fulfill the basic needs for significance, variety and contribution. Because these career choices do not make provision for a person’s deeper needs, much of the extra income earned is spent on material things which they hope will make up for the lack of genuine happiness in their lives.

This is why many people are working jobs that they aren’t happy with, but which they cannot quit because of the overindulgent lifestyle they have created for themselves. But the overindulgence does not end with a person’s spending habits. According to the American Health Association, people who suffer from obesity often have food cravings which are deeply rooted in the desire to fulfill unmet emotional needs. On top of this, emotional deficits can also cause problems in a person’s relationships and in their ability to connect with others in a spirit of compassion.

These are all examples of how our deeper subconscious desires can cause us to tear our lives to pieces with one hand while struggling to hold it together with the other. At times, we might attempt to subdue our emotional drive and to force change by sheer willpower and discipline. But the more we attempt to tame the subconscious mind, the fiercer its strength becomes when we lose control and the wild beast is lose again.

As the ancient Chinese Proverb says:

“He who rides the Tiger should be careful not to get off.”

So what is the secret to taming these desires and getting them working for us instead of against us? It begins with understanding and accepting what will provide us with genuine happiness…

Creating Genuine Happiness

There is no desire which can be repressed indefinitely, just as you cannot permanently damn the natural flow of a river. In best best-selling book “Changes that Heal,” Psychologist Henry Cloud stated that we can get rid of our awareness of a need, but that we cannot get rid of the need itself. Getting rid of the awareness of a need is what causes misunderstandings about what will bring a person true happiness through the fulfillment of the needs for certainty, variety, growth, significance, contribution and love.

However, a clear understanding of your genuine subconscious desire for happiness and the decision to pursue them will lead your life in a completely new direction. This is the first step towards harnessing the incredible power of your subconscious mind to get it working for you instead of against you. This is easier than it sounds; it’s simply a matter of turning off all the noise and busyness in your life and listening to the small still voice of your heart.

The first thing to ask yourself about is the unproductive or disempowering behaviors which appear to be out of your control. Ask yourself which needs you are trying to fulfill by these behaviors and do not stop until you get the answers you are after. This will build self-awareness and help to release the repressed desires of your subconscious. Once this is done, it’s time to take a long, hard and honest look at what will really fulfill those needs in your life.

For example, if over spending seems to be directed towards things which provide you with variety and excitement, that’s a clear signal that you have a deficit of variety and excitement in your life. Most of us make the mistake of thinking that the need for variety and excitement is nothing more than a desire. However, medical research reveals that people who have a lack of excitement in their lives are more likely to give up when they are diagnosed with terminal illnesses.

If you doubt this, ask anyone who has worked in a nursing home or assisted living facility how much quicker people die when they have a deficit of excitement and purpose in their lives.

As Julian Greene said:

“Boredom is one of the faces of death.”

Similar results can come from a lack of certainty, significance, contribution and love, proving that the emotional need for happiness is just as crucial to one’s well being as the needs for food, water and shelter. This is why these needs must be appreciated, understood and pursued if we are to have any hope of gaining control over our innermost desire to fulfill them. This is the secret to taming the wild beast of the subconscious.

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Author's Bio: 

Seth Czerepak is a Personal Achievement Expert, the Vice President of VQ Success and creator of the behavioral transformation strategy "Value Driven Transcendence", a powerful combination of Axiology Science, Human Needs Psychology and NLP.