How to Train Your Inner Dragon

photo of a strange lizard, your inner dragonThe conscious mind may be compared to a fountain playing in the sun and falling back into the great subterranean pool of subconscious from which it rises.”  – Sigmund Frued

Freud, the first psychiatrist, recognized that our conscious minds have company.  

Alert on the sunny deck of conscious thought, we sail always surrounded by a deep sea of subconscious thoughts and impulses.  

The subconscious mind operates by its own rules

We feel completely in charge, yet how often the subconscious mind stealthily steers and even undermines our best intentions!  

Take fear of success, for example.  

The conscious mind is willing to make sacrifices, work hard, and carefully chart a course toward a golden island of success.  Every conscious detail has been considered.  

Only one obstacle, the dragon of the subconscious mind, has the power to scuttle the voyage to success

Even our vocabulary reflects the subterranean nature of this powerful obstacle with words like “undermine” and “subvert.”

We large brained humans all have within us a tiny brained dragon.  That dragon of the subconscious craves, fears, avoids, ignores, and wants to lollygag.  

The Dragon is not all bad.  

Many of our most deeply felt and admirable impulses also find their origin in this strange creature that frolics and schemes well below the sunlit surface of rational thought and logic.

Although Freud’s objective was a complete understanding of the subconscious mind, most of us would settle for a way to keep the Dragon from stomping on our plans.

I am no psychologist but have devised a method to make my subconscious Dragon an ally instead of an obstacle to success.

The method is remarkably simple: I train my inner Dragon.  Oh, it’s still extremely powerful and quite wild.  But it can be trained.

How do you train your inner Dragon?  Just like any other animal.  Treats.

When you work hard to accomplish a goal, give yourself a treat.  Do NOT reward yourself before accomplishing the goal and especially not if you fail.

A treat can be anything — ice cream, an electronic device, a day off, whatever.  You know best.

Your subconscious Dragon knows all about treats  

In fact, if your subconscious were completely in charge you would spend your days pursuing nothing but cheap thrills and sinful pleasures.  Your Dragon is very self-indulgent.  It indulges itself in childish shirking of responsibility and fear of the unknown, even when that unknown is success.

Make a plan to reward success

When you launch a project or undertake a stint of hard work, tell yourself that when it’s over, you will get a treat.  Be very specific about the treat.  Visualize it.  Anticipate it.  Roll it over in your mind.  

Trust me, your Dragon is paying close attention.

Then set to work.

The unthinking beast has incredible power when harnessed and directed toward a goal.  In fact, your Dragon is stronger than you, and possesses incredible stamina and unswerving persistence.  With your Dragon as your ally you will rarely lose.  Without its cooperation, you will rarely win.

You will never tame your dragon but you can train it.

Author: AstroGremlin

Came to Earth recently.

12 thoughts on “How to Train Your Inner Dragon”

  1. Hi there,

    I found your website by reading comments on http://www.parttimeted.com 🙂 Your subject line caught my attention, especially being that I am a Fire Dragon according to Chinese Astrology. I see you were using a different context of Dragon, but found this article to be interesting nonetheless.

    One of the most rewarding and difficult of tasks is to “know thyself” – I’ve found that self-discovery is not only a cathartic process, but one of liberation as well as one which may help one to succeed beyond their imagination. 🙂 Fantastic job of illustrating the point with your analogies, this was an enjoyable read!

    Best regards,
    Cat Alexandra
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  2. Absolutely true! We can’t really fight ourselves but we could absolutely improve our self-discipline. In this way, we could achieve success without depriving ourselves with needed relaxation mood of our body. For sure, it could be difficult at first but will surely pay off in the long run.

    Maria
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    1. Maria, I would say if we are disciplined and we know that we are working in the right direction then success is with us.

      The main problem I face in discipline, I try to keep myself in discipline but sometimes I think it is very difficult to keep yourself in discipline, when you get used to any habit then it would go forever, so why not we should have positive habits for success?

    1. Hey hey, Ted, great comment. Yes, the Dragon seeks rewards of many kinds, including the excitement and future fruits of success (however you define them). It’s when success depends on boring, repetitive, hard work that the Dragon gets distracted or frightened or whatever the heck the subconscious mind selects from its strange menu. By keeping the reward in front of you, really focusing on what the Dragon might want, including lighting expensive cigars with hundred dollar bills, you are offering it a future treat. Do you wake up early in the morning ready to kick ass and take names on your latest project? That is a sure sign that the Dragon is already on your side!
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  3. Beautiful post. I had encountered this simile of the Inner Dragon before, but how you present it makes it very powerful: Train your dragon. Indeed, trying to avoid or ignore what we fear to look in the eye will only make us return to the same point time and again.
    Your post reminds me that it is so important to be honest to ourselves. Sometimes it seems to be harder even then being honest to others! Facing that we have this inner Dragon will help us recognize this Beast even it it has dressed up as Belle. Next we can take the mind Dragon to dance and put it in places where it is most helpful.
    I’ll bookmark your blog, thanks!
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  4. This post was a hoot! I love the notion that we have an inner gremlin or dragon as you suggest that we can harness – you are right though, he’s a bit of an imp always trying to distract us from the main purpose – your idea of bribing him – I always tell myself, ‘OK, finish this task, that coffee is waiting’ – I didn’t know I was training my dragon, but I guess I am!
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