Brain Operating System: The User Manual for Your Mind

Yes! Our brains are operating systems. If you want to understand how they work, author, and educator Ilchi Lee suggests thinking of the physical organ as hardware with thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and preconceptions constituting the software that evokes our daily life experiences. It’s hard to deny that our brains are similar to computers, which originated thanks to our amazing brains in the first place, as did the user manuals that accompany them — they proved to be immeasurably helpful for many of us.

Our brains can make a lot of what we imagine eventually become reality. First, we think of something, and then we figure out how to make it happen. Much of this ability is rooted in the so-called power of intention — a concept widely popularized in today’s self-help literature, although the idea has actually been around for much, much longer. When we learn how to control our thoughts, intentions, and behaviors, we can take control of our brains and, in effect, our lives.

One way to do so is by adapting Lee’s Brain Operating System (BOS), which you can think of as a user manual for the mind. There are only three simple rules to follow, so don’t sweat it, and let’s get started.

1. Wake Up and Pay Attention

Pay attention to life’s details; after all, they make up the whole picture. As life takes you forward, make sure to be conscious of how you handle various situations and encounters. Take the time to discover who you are and what makes you special, and then apply those gifts to making the world a better place. If you are aware of your surroundings and the general flow of things, you’ll notice an abundance of opportunities where your unique abilities can be applied, benefiting others and, above all, yourself.

2. When You Choose It—It Will Happen

Thoughts become things when you chose them all the way. You might want to start with choosing things that inspire you. Confucius once said, “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” The famous philosopher was right. If you choose to spend time on things and people that inspire you, you’ll discover a new sense of purpose, strength, creativity, and a host of other benefits. Given, it takes effort to achieve almost any goal, but something doesn’t come from nothing, and the benefits you’ll gain from the experience are worth it. Work is good, but accomplishing your dreams is better.

3. Use Positive Information To Affect Your Brain

If you truly want to understand the underlying connections that exist between the body and the mind, just think about the nature of psychosomatic disorders; certain physical conditions are made worse by mental factors such as depression, anxiety, and stress. Alternatively, people who have positive outlooks and are not affected by these negative mental conditions tend to have stronger immune systems and healthier lives overall. Not to mention happier ones.

Focusing on the positive makes letting go of the negativity a much easier process. Doing so allows the mind to be free from bothersome and harmful thoughts, which, in turn, makes you healthier (both physically and mentally) and more likable — not just to strangers but mainly to you. Usually, this last step takes a bit of effort, as learning to reprogram your thoughts is not something you can accomplish right away. You can try practicing meditation and mindfulness; once you succeed, you will gain the ability to take control of your life.

If you seek to be a happier and more mindful and fulfilled person, we suggest applying this manual to refine and reboot the operating system that is the brain.

This article is updated from its initial publication in Brain World Magazine.

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