How to Make Hard Things Simple: Neuro-associations — the Secret Weapon of Anthony Robbins and 3 Ways to Use It Right Now In Pursuing Your Goals

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How I’ve got my feet on unknown terrain

It was a sunny spring day in 2007. Snow was melting and rivers of melted ice flowed down the streets. As nature awakened, so did my belief and trust in the infinite possibilities of life.

“How old are you?” asked the notary.
“Twenty-two,” I replied.
“Great. I wish you all the best!” he said and approved my venture establishment documents with his beautiful signature.

At last! It happened. I went into the terrain, which seemed to be mysterious, dangerous, and at the same time, promising.

All of this happened when I found my first client from the United States and I had to hire people to carry out new projects. I had a plan for the next few years. I wanted to learn as much as I could in as little time as possible.

At that time, I didn’t know the underlying causes of my actions. Everything happened unconsciously. And now I can turn back and ask myself, “What has pushed me forward and what has allowed me to act?” After all, I didn’t know a thing about the world in which I’d stepped into. But now I think that I know at least something of what happened, because I became interested in human mind subtleties and started observing the processes that were happening in me.

The cause of my actions was simple and maybe almost unbelievable — neuro-associations.

What are neuro-associations?

Neuro-associations are the links between thoughts and emotions in your mind, which create and shape your behavior and performance results.

It may sound strange but these links determine your bank account balance, your diet, and your future. How? All that you have and are today is created by your actions, which are directly influenced by neuro-associations.

Why are neuro-associations so important?

The mind operates using neuro-association principles and does it without any intervention of the conscious mind. It links emotions with thoughts all of the time. Every thought is a link to many other thoughts and creates the thinking process. Here’s an example: If you think about “honey,” it is very likely that your next thought will be “bee,” “sweet,” “yellow,” or “hive.” The mind does not link thoughts logically, but purely by experience.

What's in it for me?

This simple fact has a hidden meaning which is powerful: our freedom to live our own life is dependent on the binds and links between our thoughts.

The links between thoughts differ in every person. For one person, the link between “business” and “bankruptcy” and “failure” could be hundreds of times stronger than the link between “business” and “success” and “joy.” The behavior of this person is quite obvious, isn't it?

In the same manner, other thoughts are linked including “study” and “benefits,” “sports” and “strength,” “communication skills” and “success.” Do you feel the power of neuro-associations?

Isn’t it amazing that what you choose to do tomorrow and where to be in a year is already programmed and almost determined? Yes, we are already programmed through neuro-associations. How did it happen? Let's see.

Richard Branson, one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, who created the Virgin Group, is a great example of how neuro-associations can determine a person’s life and accomplishments. Every person who has read his autobiography will agree that if you link “obstacle” or “problem” to “is another fun challenge” ("Screw it, let's do it!"), you’ll find that there is no need for effort to move forward. Ideas become reality very naturally and quickly.

What do you link your personal dream to and what do you feel when you think about your desired lifestyle? All that you feel is just a result of neuro-associations. The truth is that your personal dream lives in you with a purpose: it shows your strengths and talents.

Your neuro-associations determine if you’ll waste a part of your life working at a job you don’t like, and after 10 years, you’ll still be dreaming about the same life OR you’ll live your dream life starting now, which will enrich you with strength, joy, and extraordinary experiences.

Anthony Robbins has explored neuro-associations for decades. This man consults the richest people in the world and lives his own life by doing what he loves. Neuro-association is the secret weapon of Anthony Robbins, who changed his life as well as other people’s lives.

And how about us? Have we filled our days with activities that inspire us? Are we still working at jobs that we hate because someone has programmed us to act like that?

In a few minutes we’ll find out how to fix it. I am 100 percent sure that everyone can do this. I have tried it; it worked and I saw other people who have benefited from it.

Your mind has some beneficial and some harmful neuro-associations

We can divide neuro-associations into two distinctive groups:

  1. Beneficial
  2. Harmful

Beneficial neuro-associations manifest as actions that lead you toward your goal, create a sincere smile, and help you to enjoy every moment of this wonderful life. It is worth strengthening them. For example: “Healthy food = Good health” is a beneficial neuro-association.

Harmful neuro-associations make you unhappy, drain your energy, and weaken your courage. They make you blind and hide all of the opportunities that are given to you. This group of links should be eliminated. For example: “Book = Boring” is a harmful neuro-association.

I would like to give a good example about painting because it is an activity that is hard to make a living from. You must find a full-time job and paint only in the evenings and on weekends.

Did you believe this nonsense? I have fooled you on purpose and I’m sorry for that. I had to do that because I wanted to reveal one of your neuro-associations. In our society, we are conditioned to think like that — and that ruins us.

If you have a dream to paint and to earn $5,000 a month from this pleasing activity, but you “know” that it is impossible because people who have done it know it “doesn’t exist,” then you are overwhelmed with your harmful neuro-association. Your mind could be used as an amazing tool in your journey through life. However, because of external influences (education, television, other people, etc.), you have a very strong link between “painting” and “poverty” and weak links between “painting” and “success, $5,000.”

Abbey Ryan earns almost $100,000 dollars a year just by painting a small drawing and selling it on the internet. In her mind, the thought “painting” has a very strong link with “success” and “money.” Thus, she has what she wants.

Exercise: Think about your most interesting activity. What possibilities does that activity open up for you now?

It depends on how the neuro-associations work. Some of them make you strong (the beneficial ones), and others take everything from you (harmful ones).

Do you know how you can be programmed?

If you want to understand how to improve your neuro-associations, first you must differentiate three main ways in which they are created in your mind:

  1. With thoughts
  2. With available information
  3. With personal experience

Did you know that this text is also creating neuro-associations in your mind? I wrote this article in a way that could give you the most possible benefits. Reading this article changes your neural networks and creates new neuro-associations because my purpose is to strengthen you.

Let's take a look at all three ways.

1. You program yourself with your thoughts. The perpetual thoughts in your mind create new neuro-associations and renew the old ones. The more you think about how much you hate your job and how much you are bored, the stronger the link between “work” and “suffering” is. Think about this boredom and hatred every day for two weeks and your productivity will definitely fall and your emotions will exhaust you very quickly.

But if you start to think about your work as an opportunity to grow and to meet people and thus link the word “work” with “growth” or “pleasure,” then after two weeks you’ll feel lighter and you’ll start to take more from your everyday works. If your job is completely different from your dream, it could be just a temporary means to accumulate your power for personal dream realization.

2. You are programmed by external information. We unconsciously take a lot of things from the people around us. Your friend can tell you something about what he or she believes and even if you don’t believe the same, your mind will secretly start to build new neuro-associations. An example would be that your good friend told you that he or she spent the day riding a horse, and it was great! Even though you hate horses, your mind begins to develop a new link between “horse riding” and “joy.” After a few more conversations with your friend, you may eventually become a horse lover.

That is really happening! Try to observe that. Television, radio, advertisements, books, articles, and music influence you in the same way. I am sure that this article has created at least a very small link between the words “neuro-association” and “important.” The stronger the link, the more it shapes our future decisions.

3. You are programmed by your experience. All of your life’s events are not only in memories but are also in neuro-associations. They control you from the darkest corners of your mind as well as the most positive. During your adolescence, if you received five dollars for every good mark (or you were encouraged in some other way), I am sure that you finished your schooling with honorable mention. Parents have the power to create neuro-associations in the minds of their children, which makes learning pleasurable.

But if you went to school and your teachers forced you to read books or do homework and punished you with bad marks, then they have destroyed your natural curiosity and ability to tap into successful people’s experience through learning. Our educational system is great at creating strong links between “books” and “pain,” and thus, we are easily-managed, dark workers who are far from a successful life. I added a little sarcasm here, but I have a reason for it: people at all ages can abolish their damaging neuro-associations and get back their energy — if they would work a little with them.

Three ways of managing neuro-associations and going in the right direction

Fixing neuro-associations is not easy, but I have found a few effective ways to do it.

1. Devote a few minutes a day with thoughts that create necessary and valuable links. For example, if you want to have a strong body but you’re too lazy to exercise, your main goal is to strengthen the link between “sport” and “pleasure, relaxation, endurance.” You can do this by writing it on paper or repeating such sentences as, “I love to exercise,” “I feel strong,” and “I’m in a good mood.” This is a neuro-linguistic programming theme, which we’ll address in other articles of Virsmai. You just need to have a strong link between “sport” and “pleasure”.

2. Read books that inspire you to action. If you fear starting your own business because you think it is too risky and you will fail, you need to start reading books about creating a business that relate inspiring success stories. This exercise will rewire old patterns with new ones, which will encourage your dream to come true. You can start a successful business from almost anything.

3. Communicate with the proper people. It has been said that you are an average of five people with whom you communicate most often — and that is true. Being with people who think big and do big things benefits you a lot because during your conversations with them new neuro-associations are created — and they are usually good ones.

This is the key.

But who are successful people? Successful people are those who do what they like, when they want, where they want, and how they want. They free their inner potential and grow in the fastest way possible. All of this affects many parts of their lives: family, friends, spirituality, finance, and more. Successful people are those who give freedom to themselves to live authentic lives and fill their lives’ bowls to the edges.

Everyone can do this.

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