Changing Unconscious

Written by Azat Mardan

As I was reviewing transcripts for one of my Node University courses, I was surprised to see so many “so”, “um”, and “ah” filler words. It was a very painful experience to realize that your speech is far from perfect. Of course, with training most people can improve their speech: avoid filler words, accents and improve intonation. This is what professional voice actors, news anchors and movie stars did. And they are in high demand and popular!

Think of it, a lot of improvements to the unconscious actions such as speech, language, writing, personal finance (it’s defined by habits not logic), eating and fitness are the hardest, but they bring the most rewards once you make the changes. Unconscious changes are the hardest, but at the same time they are the easiest to maintain once acquired. The reason is that there’s an autopilot effect. The reward part comes from the fact that there are fewer people who can change those unconscious things in or around them.

For example, if you train yourself to speak well, you can become a Pluralsight course author or a paid public speaker. If you invest time and effort in Spanish, you can speak it without translating from English to Spanish. Not many people can do either of them.

Unconscious autopilots are great, but tweaking them takes time and efforts. Ego is crushed which makes for less competition. There are no traffic jams on the extra mile. The good thing is that once you applied the change, everything can go back to the autopilot: now you eat healthy without thinking about it, focus quicker and read more of good books.

It’s funny how things work but knowing that there’s a big reward ahead if you can tweak a bad unconscious habit into a good one creates a good motivation.