There are three little words that have the power to stop your brain from functioning.
Lucky for us there are two little words that start your brain again and get it working.
Here are both of them:
To stop your brain simply state "I don't know".
To start your brain say "I wonder".
When you automatically respond to someone's question with "I don't know" you're literally ordering your brain to stop functioning.
Everything in your body takes its orders from you. Your body - ALL of your body including your brain - is literal. If you think your brain is doing all the work of thinking all on its own, think again. You direct it to do its work.
Even when you're running on the default programming of your subconscious mind (which is 90% of the waking hours of all humans), it's by your directions. Remember, every thought and every belief within your subconscious programming originated with your conscious thought.
Each time you say or think that you don't know the answer to a question or the solution to a problem you're insuring that you don't know... and won't ever know.
Alternatively, when you say or think "I wonder... " your brain engages and goes to work, helping you to find answers and solutions.
Technology has advanced to a point where brain activity can be detected and tracked. While you're thinking, different areas of your brain are activated. Areas that are appropriate to the subject of thought at the moment become active. For example, we know that logic and reasoning occur in the left hemisphere of the brain while intuition and creativity occur in the right hemisphere.
When you tell your brain "I don't know" you shut down almost all functions except for those necessary for life support and recurring information from the subconscious mind. Pretty much this puts you in a robotic mode, also known as victim mode.
Try this: think about an issue or challenge that's facing you right now. Say out loud, "I don't know the solution to this."
Now wait a few moments.
Any clever solutions occurring to you yet?
Okay. Then say out loud, "I wonder how I might solve this." And wait a bit.
Pretty soon ideas will start trickling in. Those ideas are options and choices that can take you out of victim mode and put you in control of your life.
In Dan Brown's book, Digital Fortress, his heroine has a unique method for getting her brain to give her solutions to any problems she's facing. She simply says, "I already know the solution to this." And within minutes she begins to discover - or more aptly, remember - those solutions.
Here's another fun exercise to start your brain working:
Write the following 10 times in longhand on paper, leaving several lines between each instance - "I wonder what would happen if I"
As quickly as you can, without taking a lot of time to think, finish each statement. Working quickly stops your Inner Critic from interrupting you as your brain goes to work. There are no rules, no limits, and no judgment here. Just write whatever comes out the end of your pen.
When you're done review all the great ideas you and your brain just came up with.
Now that's starting your brain!