Every morning I go to my local coffee shop, well not quite a shop but a stall next to my office for a morning coffee and I am always tempted to buy a cookie or a brownie. It is a constant battle between my conscious mind and subconscious mind, but I have been able to win so far (except for Fridays my cheat meal).
I am sure we have all been through occasions where we sometimes instantly want something and we make an immediate purchase without thinking about the consequences of the decision.
You see when you rely solely on your initial thoughts you are likely using your subconscious mind and, it is this, that marketing gurus tap into, using your emotions to make you purchase items or their services. You have to take a second to reflect on the decision you are about to make and its impact. This reflection can be looking at second or third level consequences as mentioned in Ray Dalio’s book Principles. That is to look beyond the immediate effects of a decision and look at the long-term effects.
Going back to my example about the cookie and the brownie, my first level thinking would tell me that eating the cookie would give me immediate pleasure. However, eating the cookie would provide little nutritious value to my body and add unnecessary weight for an outcome that just gave me a small buzz during that moment. In this example, it is clear that when you take a moment and are reflective on a decision your outcome can be much better and can lead to real success.
However, don’t completely ignore your subconscious mind as it can also be useful. For example, those eureka moments when you have a great idea or a solution to a problem tend to come from the subconscious mind and not the conscious mind so in certain circumstances it does add value.
Think twice and take into consideration second and third level consequences.