How Successful People Create Their Own Future

Guest post from Shawn Hunter:
“Why waste time proving
over and over how great you are, when you could be getting better?”

Carol Dweck
and stones may break our bones, but words can change our brain.
is a scene in the new movie Dr. Strange in which a character
describes how he healed an impossible injury through the strength of his own
thinking. True, that’s a Marvel Comics movie, but growing research suggests
this isn’t entirely fiction, and that it’s possible that the words we use not
only affect those around us, but also affect our mind and body.
Dispenza shattered several vertebrae after getting hit by a car while on his
bicycle. As a chiropractor, he knew that the recommended solution of fusing
vertebrae together would lead to a lifetime of limited mobility and pain.
Instead, he thought his way to healing.
months later, he was able to walk and function as well as he had before the
accident, and he credits a large amount of that recovery to the power
of his own mind.
“Every time you learn
something new, your mind physically and chemically changes.”

– Joe Dispenza
we place our attention and focus defines who we are. The words we choose to
speak, the thoughts we visit and revisit over and over in our mind reinforce
those ideas and affect the words we choose to say out loud. Those words and
ideas not only affect those around us, but they affect who we are and how we
think about the world around us.
of unworthiness, or ineptitude, can creep into our consciousness. It’s easy to
recognize those same thoughts over and over as we repeat and again reinforce
them. Neuroplasticity is the term used to describe how the
brain continues to reinvent itself, constantly changing over time depending on
what we focus on, while older, unused pathways shrink and become abandoned, and
new ones, with repetition and focus, emerge.
that long ago, many scientists believed that our brains were fixed, hard-wired,
and unchanging. Now we know instead, that what we think about actually rewires
our brain.
“Angry words send alarm
messages through the brain, and they partially shut down the logic-and-reasoning
centers located in the frontal lobes.”

Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Robert Waldman
brain is an artifact of our past experiences and emotions. If we do the same
routines, and spend our time with the same people, who push our same emotional
buttons, we cannot honestly expect anything to change. In order to truly change
the way we think, and the way we interact with the world, we need to exercise
new neural pathways in our brain.
create new neural pathways requires that we envision a new and powerful future
experience. Our minds will then begin to change, and form new neural pathways,
to align with the envisioned future. And when we practice those envisioned
outcomes regularly, our brain will begin to believe these dreams are not simply
possibilities, but destiny.
now in Sao Paulo Brazil, the Walk Again project is using virtual reality therapy,
working with paraplegic patients to help build new neural pathways which can
reactivate dormant fibers in their spinal cord, and miraculously allow them to
move and feel their extremities again for the first time in years.
patients, each with a long-term spinal cord injury and no lower extremity
sensation, performed 2000 hours of virtual reality brain training. Results
varied with each patient, but for the most part they all went from a total
absence of touch sensation to some capacity to sense pain, pressure and vibration.
One patient has progressed to walking without the aid of a therapist, using
only the aid of crutches and braces.
envisioning a better version of you and your world. Over time, your mind will
begin to build the language and habits which will make it destiny.
Shawn Hunter is President and
Founder of Mindscaling, a
company building online learning courses based on the work of
best-selling authors. His new book is Small Acts of Leadership: 12
Intentional Behaviors That Lead to Big Impact, (2016). Please visit for more
Twitter: @gshunter