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Unveiling the Mystery: Why You Don't Keep the Promises You Make to Yourself 

Have you ever committed to doing something and then failed to follow through?

“From today, I will exercise daily.”
“This time I’m really starting the diet.”
“I promise not to go to bed so late.”
“I will limit my cellphone use, especially around the kids.”


The list could go on forever...


If you can relate to this, I want you to know that you are not alone. Like you, there are hundreds of thousands, probably millions, of people who experience the same thing. This pattern is more common than you might think, and here I will explain why.


Our mind is divided into two parts: the conscious mind and the subconscious mind, each with distinct roles. The conscious mind is the one we use all the time while we are awake to think, talk, and organize our pending tasks. It perceives the world through the five senses and selects the thoughts it wants to focus on, functioning with short-term memory. On the other hand, the subconscious mind operates continuously, both awake and asleep, automatically managing vital functions such as breathing and heart rate. It acts like a CCTV camera, recording everything, creating a vast store of memories, logging every moment of our life from conception without emitting judgments or interpretations. Its main functions are to preserve life and help us achieve our desires by obeying the thoughts of the conscious mind.

The mind is our greatest superpower, but it is essential to learn to use it properly. Every appliance, machine, and even board game we buy comes with instructions or a manual to ensure proper operation and functionality. Curiously, with the mind, we are not taught how to manage it, neither in childhood nor adulthood, causing the mind to operate against people, without them realizing it.

 There are more than 22 laws governing the operation of the mind, similar to the law of gravity: they operate constantly for everyone, without exception, whether we are aware of them or not. No one defies the law of gravity out of ignorance or misunderstanding of it.


Among these laws, there is one particularly relevant to understanding why we often do not accomplish what we set out to do. The mind is programmed to move us from pain to pleasure. Its job is to avoid pain at all costs and always bring us closer to pleasure. However, it has a deeper understanding of what we consider pleasurable or painful than we do ourselves, seeing beyond the excuses we make.


Frequently, we find ourselves setting goals with enthusiasm: we want to lose those extra pounds, tone our bodies, and increase our physical activity to get rid of the belly. We promise ourselves that this time will be different; we will take care of ourselves by avoiding desserts, bread, pasta, opting for a healthy diet, and committing to a more rigorous exercise regimen. Initially, some of us manage to stay on track for a week, others maybe a month, but sooner or later, many of us revert to our previous habits.


This tendency is because, on a subconscious level, finding pleasure in tasting delicious food without restrictions and enjoying a few extra minutes in bed in the morning can be more appealing than the sacrifice involved in following a strict diet and getting up early to exercise.


Our mind perceives this reality and concludes that indeed, it is more pleasurable to stay away from diets and exercise routines. 

The key, then, is to redefine what we consider pleasurable and painful in this context. We must be extremely specific in how we conceptualize and verbalize these feelings so that our mind clearly understands them. In my personal experience with diet and exercise, I have found that thinking about how rewarding it is to have a healthy, strong, and fit body far outweighs the momentary pleasure of giving in to cravings or sleeping a little longer. Imagining my ideal health state and physical appearance, considering the tangible benefits of an active lifestyle and a balanced nutrition—such as greater mental agility and restorative sleep—has reconfigured my perception of what is truly pleasurable to me.

 To effect this change in perspective, it is crucial to think, talk, and even write about our intentions. By doing so in these three ways, we reinforce our message internally, ensuring that our mind accurately understands what we truly desire.


So, the next time you find yourself postponing or avoiding your commitments, instead of feeling guilty or disappointed, reflect on the possible discrepancy between what you consider pleasurable and painful. Adjust your perspective so that your mind works in your favor.


I leave you with this great revelation that I'm sure has given you much to think about. See you in a week. 💙



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