Instinx (General)

Rising above one’s own negativity

Re-posted from an answer I gave today at …


The Question: What is a process to delete negativity from mind completely? I want to delete past (negative) thoughts.

Gus’s response: Your brain (mind) practises a constant filtering of things it wants to think about and doesn’t want to think about at the instinctive level. If it didn’t carry out this continuous selection process much faster than conscious thought, the conscious You would be bombarded with so much mental stimuli that you couldn’t function at all – a condition psychiatrists call hyperthymesia (literally “excessive remembering” in Ancient Greek).

If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts or remembering the negative aspects of past experiences more than you want to, this is because your instincts are causing you to focus on this type of mental content in preference to other things.

Trying to delete or negate negative thoughts doesn’t work – it only serves to fix the mind’s attention on them even more at the instinctive level. The more you resist them, the more your attention is grabbed by them.

Another way to look at it is that you’ve got a bad-memory-dwelling habit. I’m sure the psychologists – who love their labels – have a fancy name for such a condition, but we’ll keep it simple with this simple name. The thing about a habit is that it is controlling you, when really you should be controlling it.

So the real solution here is to coach the instincts which control where your attention goes to change what they are selecting to focus on. In other words, to change what they are filtering in and filtering out.

The first step in that direction is to start strengthening your ability to direct your attention where you want it to go instead of disliking where its already going but not knowing what to do about it.

Many meditation techniques improve ability to direct attention: to focus, in other words. I’ve tried many of them in my life and about 20 years ago, not satisfied with the speed of improvement I was getting from them, I developed a new approach (based on the latest understandings of how instincts work) to turbo-charge my own focusing ability. This technique has since helped thousands of people with problems similar to yours.

I recommend you try it out – Attitude First Aid – (blog readers can find it here on the Library page.

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Need vs Want

Visitors here might be interested in my answer to a question I was asked at today …


The Question: What are some things that people generally don’t care [about] but they definitely should?

Gus’s Response: The word responsible … ‘response-able’ … is about having the willingness and ability to respond when we see something that is needed in the world around us. The famous christian story of the Good Samaritan depicts such a person: who was able and willing to respond humanely as the situation called for and did not let other unnecessary considerations get in his way. Every religion and almost every moral philosophy includes similar stories and recommends this type of willingness to respond as good behaviour.

And yet our consumerist, hedonistic society teaches us day in and day out that we should spend most of our time acquiring more crap that we and our loved ones don’t really need, instead of responding to what we personally see is needed ‘out there’.

The day you switch gears from responding to wants to responding to true needs will become the key turning point in your life – where you find each succeeding day more rewarding than the last and yourself becoming happier and happier … and then even happier.

For more info on how to respond to what you personally see is needed, see also: Gus Griffin’s answer to What are some things you realize as you get older?


All you have to do is change what you are putting your attention on. It truly is as simple as that.

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Posted October 27, 2015 at 11:02 pm by Gus Griffin · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Adaptivity Coaching & Workshops, Instinx (General), Misc · Tagged with: , , , ,

Make Progress Happen

INSTINX - Being in control

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Posted October 24, 2015 at 9:59 pm by Gus Griffin · Permalink · Leave a comment
In: Adaptivity Coaching & Workshops, Instinx (General), Misc · Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

Finessing the Fanatic

INSTINX - Certainty

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Getting the Important Things Done

INSTINX - Getting things done

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The Real Boss

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Turning education right-side up

INSTINX - longer-lasting results

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Posted January 1, 2012 at 12:01 am by Gus Griffin · Permalink · Comments Closed
In: Instinx (General)