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.