EPISODE 79: “You Are Not In Control, Your Brain Is.”
Trying to control your life? Control others? Getting into control in general?
HINT: You have NO control, even if you think you do. Like it or not, your brain does all the “controlling” for you and that’s not a matter of opinion, it’s scientifically proven.
Stop fighting life and stop trying to control life, it’s a waste of time and energy.
In this episode I talk about:
And, like I say over and over…much more.
If you want the next 12 months to be your happiest and best ever then stop thinking about what you want and start focusing on your habits. You don’t get what you want in life, you get your habits and for the most part, CONTROL is a habit.
You’re not in charge and you have no control, your brain is in control, not “you.”
You're listening to episode number 79 of the Transform Your Life From the Inside Out Podcast. In this episode, we talk about control, which we've talked about before, but in this episode we talk about you are not in control, your brain is. And if you think you're in control, keep listening.
Hi, I'm Jim Fortin, and you're about to start Transforming Your Life from the inside out with this podcast. I'm widely considered the leader in subconscious transformation and I've coached super achievers all around the world for over 25 years. Here, you're going to find no rah rah motivation and no hype because this podcast is a combination of brain science, transformational psychology, and ancient wisdom all rolled into one to take your life to levels you've never thought possible. If you're wanting a lot more in life, to feel better, to heal, to have peace of mind, to feel powerful and alive, and to bring more abundance and prosperity into your life, then this podcast is for you because you're going to start learning how to master your mind and evolve your consciousness. And when you do that, anything you want, then becomes possible for you. I'm glad you're here.
"You" Don't Make Decisions, Your Brain Does
Control control control is something that so many people get into. And you might have even heard me say in another episode that you're not in control. You're not and you've heard me say before that control is an illusion. And if you get into control, you are controlled by the illusion of control. Now, that is a thought level meaning it's analytical. You think you're in control and you're always trying maybe to control people or things or situations or events, and to varying degrees. I mean, from trying to control people to trying to control whether or not people have a good time at a party or at your house, and you're making yourself responsible for them or trying to control you know, your kids or significant other or maybe even yourself.
Now, you've heard me say before, obviously that control is an illusion and that's one level. It's a thought level. It's a prefrontal cortex, analytical thinking-brain level. But I want to go even deeper. And I want to talk about the role that your brain, yes, your brain plays in control. I want address a study that was done back I believe, in 2007. And it was done at the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig, Germany. Now the Max Planck Institute is one of the foremost research institutes in the world. They have 43 Nobel Prize winning scientists contributing research. And what they did is they were obviously looking at the the influence of the brain and our decision making. And by the way, when we think about control, that's decision making for most of us. What they did is they put people in an hour FMRI machine. Now that's an acronym for a big word, a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine. And what they wanted to do is they wanted to watch the blood flow in the brain. So what they did is they gave people one of two options pick either A or B. And they watched the blood flow in the brain as people were actually making decisions. Now, as people were making decisions, they were analytically engaged in thought, you know, should I pick A? Should I pick B, maybe? Maybe B is better, etc. But what they watched was the blood flow in the brain as the person was actively engaged in the analytical process of making a decision. What they discovered was groundbreaking, I mean, it's amazing. But by watching the blood flow in the brain, what they discovered is that they could predict with great accuracy, the decision that the person was going to come to whether it be A or B, based upon watching the blood flow in the brain. Further, and this was groundbreaking, what they recognized is that you, me, all of us, your brain, your brain makes your decision for you a full seven seconds before you actually even analytically make a decision, which means that you air quote, you "think" you're making a decision, and you're analyzing and contemplating and all this, but that decision has already been made for you by your brain.
So it's interesting that I also did an Instagram Live today and I talked about habits today. And I said on that live, and I've said here before is that you don't get what you want in life. You just don't. I mean, think about all the things that you want, whether it be a new car, a new job, a new boyfriend, new girlfriend, you know, all these things that you think that you want and you don't get what you want. Because see, wanting is prefrontal cortex, analytical part of the brain. What you get is you get your habits. What and there's an episode on here, I believe it is episode number five. So you get what your habits are. And you know, I want to sit here and I wish there was some way whether it be auditorily, visually, or kinesthetically. I wish there some way that I could literally just, in a kind way, grab you by the shoulders and shake you. Because see, what many of you are doing, you're saying, "Oh, okay, well, yeah, no, come on. Jim. I've said that before I get it." But many of you, you get it, but you don't get it. And I also want to point out there also, you know, working with a shaman for a lot of years, Don Javier, many times I remember back when we were on vacation a lot of years ago, and he said something to me, and I'm like, "Oh Don," I call him Don, short for Don Xavier. I'm like, "Don, I get it." And he's like, "No, you don't." I don't like "No, no, no, I really I do I get it." And he's like, "No, you don't." And I'm like, and he's being very kind and kind of grinning. And I'm like, "No, really, I get it." And he's like, "Okay, but you don't." And about three years later, I recognize that you know what, I thought that I got it. But I really didn't get it in that moment. I got it three years later.
The reason that I'm telling you all this, is I want you to get, and we're going to tie this back to control in your brain. I want you to get that and I want you to please understand is that your habits, it's your habits that create for you, and every single thing that you have in life and every single thing that you don't have in life. Now consider that again, I'll say it again. Everything that you have in life, whether it be $7 or $700,000 or 7 million or $700 million, everything that you have, and everything that you don't have, and I can tie it to health and I can tie it to many areas of your life. Everything you have and don't have is their reflection of your habits. Now, when I say everything, I'm going to give a little leeway there in that somebody could say, well, I have XYZ health condition. That's not a matter of habits, whole different podcast. When I say generally speaking, I mean 99% generally speaking, everything that you have in your life, or you don't have is a reflection of your habits of thought.
And that's where I want to go in this podcast just a little bit. Is that even control, even control is a habit. I mean, no one ever thinks and gets out of bed and says, "Hmm, do I you know, do I get into control today? Do I not get into control? What do I think about control?" Now, let me back up even further here, if you have a family member, and you know, and maybe even you, if you know that they're always in control. I know you don't think about it this way, and you don't think, "Hmm Susan is in the habit of controlling things." No, but you know that, okay, you look at Susan, and oh my gosh, I'm gonna see Susan today. And oh, my gosh, Susan tries to control everything around her. And I have family members like that as well so I completely get it and I know what I'm talking about. I have a brother-in-law. I've got actually several brother-in-law's one on my side and one of my partner's side of the family. And I have 4 brother in law and my partner side of the family, and they're all engineers, except well, except one. And one of my brother-in-law's has to control and I mean, has to everything. Every single thing in his environment and people round him must be controlled. But what I want to point out is that he learned control as a small child. And then what he did is he habituated it. I don't even know if I enunciated that properly, not a abituated it but habituated like a habit. It just became a habit for him. Now, he lives in this like prison of control. And it's all habits that he learned many, many years ago.
Very, very quickly here because there is an episode on habits but habits literally are they're housed by the reptilian part of the brain. And they're created for multiple reasons but the main reason is a survival mechanism. Or one of the main reasons let me put it that way, and to save energy. What I mean by that is an example I use all the time is imagine if you had to learn to ride a bike every time you wanted to learn to ride a bike. You learn to ride a bike, I think all of you like I did, by getting on it as a kid and back then we didn't even have helmets back in the 70s. In the early 70s, you hop on a bike you fall off, you hop on a bike, you fall off- your dad yelling at you pedal faster, you know, pedal faster, pedal faster, pedal faster, and you learn through repetition, which is actually how we learn is through repetition. But you learn through habit and then you habituate it. And then after you've learned to ride a bike, you don't walk out like me, or you know, my brother and sister and I used to throw our bikes on the front porch and in the front yard, you know, you don't walk out and pick up a bike and go, "Hmm, how, how do I write this? How do I get on this thing?" You hop on it. And the old phrase is, it's simply like riding a bike. That's because it's habitual and the brain stores neural pathways to actually reinforce habits that you've learned.
So, you know, when we look at habits, please, please take this to heart and just wherever you are, just stop for a second even if you're in traffic, and I don't mean stop in traffic physically, but stop and just ponder, fully consider, let's take some time here. Fully consider whatever car you're driving, whatever house you're living in, whatever office place you're sitting in. You look at your bank account. You look at your body for the most part. Every bit of that is an external reflection of something internal, which is a habit. And obviously, what stands to reason here is if you want more in life, it's not about wanting more, it's not about the analytical, it's about actually creating the habits to actually create the outcomes that you want.
Now, let's look at control and the brain for a second. And by the way, we're not going all deep dive neuroscience or any of that, but a phrase that I use is to cake or not the cake? And yes, I said the word cake. So let's say for example, that you're sitting there in a restaurant and the the dessert tray, you know, rolls by, and you're looking at that cake and you're a person who eats cake because you also have it in your identity. And you've eaten chocolate cake for a lot of your life. What happens is to cake or not the cake, the prefrontal cortex analytical part of the brain says, "Nope, you're not going to fit into your size six anymore you're on a diet!" or "Your suits not going to fit anymore your you know your shorts" or whatever the prefrontal cortex analytical part of the brain is saying "No, no, no!" This is the power of habits and even in control. So what you try to do is you try to control having to cake or not to cake and you start talking to yourself about "Nope, I'm not gonna do it. I've got willpower." And then before you know it, the more you think about cake, the more you're wanting cake, and this is also called compounding, and then guess what? The craving, I'm laughing because the desert tray passes by and you call the waiter back and guess what you order you order cake. What I want you to notice with this example is the amount of control that you tried to exercise because people will say things like "I have no self-control." What I want you to notice here is it's not about control. It's about habits. And the way that this happens, this little scenario that I just gave you was also mentioned in episode number five is that whatever habits we have, the reptilian brain works from the from the positioning that whatever habits you have are survival mechanisms, because we have to have habits for survival.
I mean, imagine if you had to, you know, you had to relearn how to fill up a glass of water and hey, by the way, I'm going to learn that's where the water comes from out of the faucet, spigot, bottle, whatever. And we have to learn and relearn and relearn. I mean, we spend an entire lifetime relearning basically how to eat walk, yeah, everything. So the reptilian brain, the way that it views habits is survival mechanisms. And because it views our habits as survival mechanisms, even what we deem as negative habits or counterproductive, like smoking and things of that nature. What happens is the brain gives us the reptilian part of the brain gives us urges, which are emotional, and it gives us urges which come from the reptilian part of the brain and then they become emotional and then what happens is, we get into a reptilian brain and the limbic system, which is the mammalian brain fight against the prefrontal cortex, the thinking part of the brain. In simple English, what that means is, is the thinking part of the brain starts fighting the emotional part of the brain. And do I have to do? Do I have to tell you what happens when and by the way, we think it's us, we personalize it saying, "Oh, me, I'm thinking x, y, z," No. Different parts of your brain are doing different activities. So what happens is the reptilian part of the brain is going "Cake, cake, cake, cake, cake, we want cake. I want CAKE CAKE." And the prefrontal cortex thinking part of the brain is going No, no, no. And because it might be a habit, the cake or the sweets. What happens is the prefrontal cortex I mean, I'm sure the reptilian part of the brain engages the limbic system, which is the emotional part of the brain. And like I said, I don't have to tell you what happens when you get in a tug of war between something emotional and something rational, or not even rational, something analytical. What happens is that the analytical part of the brain and thought process always loses to the emotional thought, which originate with the habits which originate in the reptilian part of the brain. That was a mouthful, but what I want to share with you make it really simple is your emotions are stronger than your analytical thought.
So what I want you to focus on is stop trying to control things in your life because you've heard me say before in the episode, you can't control squat in your life. And you've heard me say before that you can't even control your own thoughts. And I see a lot of motivational speakers they'll say things like "Control your thoughts." And by the way, I did put out a video long time ago that said control and I had to work control but that was simply for marketing purposes, because it was simpler to explain that way. In case anybody sees that says, "Hey, Jim Yeah, but what about?", but what I want you to focus on is not controlling anything, I want you to focus on your habits. Now, I don't know when you're going to listen to this episode. And by the way, if you're new here, welcome. And if you're new here, like you hear me say every three, four or five episodes, go back to the beginning, start episode number one and start listening there.
Now, the reason I started that conversational thread or that loop, is because we're about to roll in the 2020. And I don't know where you are right now in your life. But I'm going to tell you this, if you want the best 2020 of your life, stop for crying out loud, focusing on all these things and all the hopes and wants and wishes and all these kind of things and start focusing on your habits. And, you know, goals. We're all taught to goal-set in the beginning of the year, and we're all taught create our new year's resolutions. You've heard me say before, that you know this. I don't know what percentage of people but they said New Year's resolutions and by the third week of January 92% of people have actually abandon their resolutions. Why? Well, based on what we're talking about, why do you think? It's really simple is that we operate by habits. And if you're not in the habit of eating healthy, guess what, even though you have a new New Year's resolution, you go right back to your old habit. Again, if you're not in the habit of working out, even though your New Year's resolution is "Oh, I'm going to fit in my size five, or my 32, you know, my 32 or 31 waist jeans, and I'm going to be all excited about it." And then very quickly, it's kind of like we're back to our old our old behavior, which is our old habits again.
So I want to share something else with you here about control. I'm not sure if you put this together in your mind yet, though I did allude to it and I want to reference it again, is that if you are at a air quote, if you are actually at the end now anyway, vowels and consonants, all that anyway, I'm thinking here. And when I get lost in thought I just keep on going. Oh, I want to point out also, somebody had said, over an Instagram, what they liked about the podcast is that it's really unfiltered to a large degree. And I make mistakes all over the place. I mean, jeez, guys, like Martin Luther King said, doesn't matter how you say, just say it. And I fumble all over the place. And I have sentence fragments and I've got dangling participles all over the place. And I'm not using the right tense at certain points. And ironically, off topic, many years ago out of college, I was a phenomenal writer. And I was even offered a job on the staff of United States Senator for my ability to write. And my job was to write correspondents to constituents, I mean, low level job, but it was in my ability to write and write, you know, correctly. In this day and age. I mean, it's a train wreck, but you know, what I put out what I put out, and I'm telling you that just as an ancillary note, is if you've got something to say, and you can help people stop worrying about all the mumbo jumbo and how good you're going to look and whether or not people are going to judge you.
Anyway, we're always going there is if you are a control freak, quite literally, you are in the habit because your brain is doing it for you, you are in the habit of being a control freak. Because all of our habits come from the reptilian part of the brain, which is where the habits are stored. And if you are a control freak, which basically means a habit is something that happens automatically. And if you're a control freak, that happens automatically. I mean, you don't have to get out of bed and say, "Hmm, should I get you know, should I be a control freak today? And have I been a control freak? And what habits do I..?" No! It just happens automatically, which means it's a habit. So that's why I'm tying habits into control in this particular episode to show you as I said earlier, you ain't in control of squat, your brain is.
I want to back up here on a point that I made earlier as well. Some people have said, I don't I don't buy the science because that means we have no freewill and I've even heard some people try to make that argument and no, we do have free will. What the study has also shown is a split second before we execute a habitual behavior, we can actually in that split second decide not to do the habit. So I just want to share with you, yes, we are not robots. We are not robots to the brain. We do have free will. We do work by habit and literally for most of us, it's unconscious and just happens day in day out, week in, week out minute in, minute out. Second in second out, but we do have the opportunity that split hair second before we execute a behavior to analytically think through what we may or may not do.
Okay, so you've heard me say before as well is stop changing the mindset. See, a lot of you anytime that you said you want to change your mindset is that what you're really saying is you want to control your brain-set, which comes from the reptilian part of the brain. I'm going to share something with you here. Also, some of you guys might give me some pushback, and that's okay. But what I want to share with you and I also did an episode on this is about how beliefs can be completely worthless, and how beliefs can keep you trapped. Because on the opposite end of the spectrum, there's a book many years ago, I believe, written by Claude Bristol that said that, I think it's called the "The Magic of Beliefs." Yeah, beliefs can be magic, but they also keep the majority of the population all around the world trapped.
Now, the reason I'm doing this is, if I said, "Do you believe you can make $100,000 a year?" You're probably going to say, "Well, you know, yeah, look around me, I believe, (and I'm going to emphasize I believe) I can do that." I know I've told the story here somewhere in the podcast, but I was at a big multi level event years ago. I was a speaker. It was a very large multi-level marketing company and the speaker on stage had all these people writing down their goals- all left brain stuff. And I guarantee you I'm a betting man, I guarantee you if we could track that audience from 2011 or so, I flat out guarantee you and I'd put $10,000 on the line, that literally 95-97% of those people never ever hit their goals. Because see, what happens is they're sitting there in the audience, and they're watching these people up on stage and you might be watching people in life and people online. And you're like, "Yeah, Sally did it. So yeah, if Sally can do it, I believe I can do it. Bob is an internet marketing millionaire. Bob can do what I believe I can do it." Well, the reality is that is all left brain thinking. That's all prefrontal cortex. That's all analytical. Stop, stop. Stop focusing on what you believe because see whether or not you want to admit it. That's all self deception. Because you might analytically believe that you can create that million dollars or whatever it is, but at and identity level and specifically relative to this podcast episode, at a habit level, you do not have the habits to create the outcome that you want that you air, quote, "believe" that you can create.
So what I'm going to share with you is this, stop focusing on what you believe and cozy up to your brain and focus on your habits. And again, I refer back go back and listen to I think episode number five or four whatever it was, you'll see it in the early episodes, and my team probably put a link to it somewhere anyway, is go back and listen to that episode on habits and forget everything else for the most part when it comes to your goal setting and all these things because the habits- you can't can-let me back up here. Have you noticed that you can't even control your habits? Consider that. You can't control your habits which goes back to the to the entire title of this podcast is that you're not control your brain is. Create the habits. And what you want happens automatically. So your transformational takeaway this week is that you are not in charge and you have no control. Your brain is and your brain does.
Alrighty, next episode, I think it's going to be it's going to be a short episode because I'm on vacation this week. But I know it's a powerful episode for so many of you. I picked Mark's question. It's a Q&A episode. And I picked Mark's question, because it applies to so many people. And the question is, "How do I increase my self worth?" So much of what you don't have in life is because you believe you're not worth it, and you don't deserve it. So if that resonates with you in any way, whatever you do, make sure that you listen to next week's episode. I do want to say also, even though there's an outro, meaning, you know, the outro, the the last recording here on this podcast. I do want to say again that thank you so much for allowing me to be of service. And I do ask humbly, if you would please, if you're getting a lot of value from these episodes, would you please do me the favor and leave an iTunes review? Not only that, and I'm just kidding here, but please, you know, I request leave a positive. Leave a positive review, please, if you're going to leave a review, but leave a positive review, if you would. And if you would, please share with your friends on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and other social media outlets because I get a lot of email. The team sends me, we got a lot of email from people saying that this podcast has helped them in so many ways. So I mean, why not help guys? Why not all of us help more people? All right. Thanks for listening, and I'll catch you over on the next episode on how do I increase my self worth? Take care, make it a great day today. Bye bye.
Thank you for listening to this entire podcast. If you're the kind of person who likes to help others, then share this with your friends and family. You know, if you found value, they will too. So please share via your social media channels. Also, if you have questions, I'm here to assist. You can email me questions to email@example.com, and I may even use your question for a future podcast episode. Also, if you want transformational content like this daily, connect with me on Instagram. My Instagram name is @iamjimfortin. Finally I do have a personal request. I believe that we're all here to help others and to grow and evolve ourselves. Together, you and I, let's help more people. If you would, please leave a review on iTunes and a good one by the way. I'd be grateful and through your assistance together, we can transform more lives. Thanks for listening.