Home All Let Your Subconscious Mind Go To Work for You – Part 2©

Let Your Subconscious Mind Go To Work for You – Part 2©

written by David J. Pollay 2 November 2007

David J. Pollay, MAPP '06, is a co-founder of the International Positive Psychology Association (IPPA). David has an Economics degree from Yale University and has held leadership positions at Yahoo!, MasterCard, Global Payments and AIESEC. He is an Executive Coach who specializes in business relationships. He is also an author and keynote speaker known for his best-selling books, The Law of the Garbage Truck (how to navigate negativity) and The 3 Promises (how to create personal fulfillment every day). David's articles are here. For permission to reprint David's articles, please contact him.

Author’s note: Special Note of Thanks to All of You!

Thank you for all of your feedback and support of the column I posted last month, “Beware of Garbage Trucks!™ – The Law of the Garbage Truck™!”

You can see The Law of the Garbage Truck™ on the Google/YouTube news program, The Watercooler Diaries. Kate Bohner, a former CNBC Journalist and co-author with Donald Trump of the best-selling book, The Art of the Comeback, is the creator and host of this show. Kate did a two-part series on the TheMomentumProject.com. The first show aired on Wednesday night and the second one aired this evening. I would love your comments!

The Momentum Project, Part 1

The Momentum Project, Part 2

This month on Positive Psychology News Daily, I want to return to the power of the subconscious mind. Today’s article is a follow-up to the one I wrote earlier this year (http://PositivePsychologyNews.com/news/david-j-pollay/20070502224). I have also posted below a number of other great articles by my fellow writers on Positive Psychology News Daily.

Have a great month! And thank you as always for your support!

Best to you,


Let Your Subconscious Mind Go to Work for You.© by David J. Pollay

   Take a Walk

My Dad’s father understood the power of the subconscious. When I couldn’t figure something out when I was growing up, my grandfather used to say, “Take a walk. Clear your mind.” He believed that if you set aside your issue for a little while, you would allow your subconscious mind to bring forth new and better thoughts, not just the few you already had. As a result you would come up with a better idea. It turns out that my grandfather was right.

In his book The Biology of Belief, cell biologist Bruce Lipton reported, “…the subconscious mind…processes some 20,000,000 environmental stimuli per second v. 40 environmental stimuli interpreted by the conscious mind in the same second…”

Ap Dijkersterhuis and Loran Nordgren of the University of Amsterdam demonstrated in their research the power of subconscious thinking. “Conscious thought is constrained by the low capacity of consciousness. Unconscious thought does not have this constraint because the unconscious has a much higher capacity. It follows that conscious thought by necessity often only takes into account a subset of the information it should take into account.”

I have a challenge for you. Think of five things right now. Keep them in your mind. Try it. You can do it. Concentrate on these five things.

Okay. How’d you do? If you’re like most people, your head is still spinning from trying to hold onto those five thoughts. Why? It’s because your conscious mind attends to one thought at a time.

Now think about your day. You’re busy. You’re moving from one activity to the next. And to get things done you have to focus on each activity as you’re doing them. A great day is when you get through your “to do” list. But how often is that?

Here’s the challenge. What if you want to improve your life in some meaningful way? How can you? Your schedule is maxed out. You don’t have time to think about making a significant change in your life. You know that from experience. So you find yourself saying that you cannot make the change, at least not while you’re over-booked.

Now, if you can only think of one thing at a time and your daily agenda is already full, how are you ever going to make the changes necessary to help you achieve your best possible life?

Here’s the answer: Let your subconscious mind work for you. Tell yourself what’s important to you. Focus on what you want to achieve in your life. Make this the first thing you do every morning. By doing so, you will give direction to your subconscious mind.

Dr. Jeffrey Schwartz of the USC Medical School wrote, “Perhaps any behavior change brought about by leaders, managers, therapists, trainers, or coaches is primarily a function of their ability to induce others to focus their attention on specific ideas close enough, often enough, and for a long enough time.”

When you begin your day thinking about what you want most in your life, you are training your mind to seek opportunities to fulfill your intention.

Theoretical Physicist Henry Stapp wrote, “By virtue of the quantum laws of motion, a strong intention, manifested by the high rapidity of the similar intentional acts, will tend to hold in place the associated template for action.”

Make the start of every morning an intentional act. Give your subconscious mind the opportunity to help you construct the life you want to live. If you do this every day, just think what good things could happen in your life.


Dijksterhuis, A., & Nordgren, L. F. (2006). A Theory of Unconscious Thought. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 1(2): 95-109. Abstract.

Maymin, S. (2007). How to best have your intuition work for you. Blog.

Lipton, B. (2008). The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter, & Miracles Hay House.

Take a walk courtesy of Jonathan Camuzo

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David J. Pollay 2 November 2007 - 1:34 pm

Positive Psychology Daily News editor Senia Maymin wrote a great piece about intuition and the subconscious mind earlier this year.

It’s worth reading again. You can find it here: http://www.senia.com/category/best/intuition/



David J. Pollay 2 November 2007 - 1:40 pm

Here are three other related articles from my fellow writers at Positive Psychology News Daily that you will enjoy.

Leadership by and for rider/elephants by Dave Shearon (8-18-07)

Making Slow Decisions by Emma Judge (5-16-07)

Retrospective Visualization by Giselle Nicholson (3-13-07)



mikey 2 November 2007 - 2:35 pm

It’s always great to hear about our wonderful late Grandfather Bumpa Pollay. And even more so when you speak of him, David. This piece was very informative and insightful. It seems so simple now that you’ve put it into perspective. Thanks again for an awesome article.

Tamara 2 November 2007 - 4:32 pm


Another thoughtful, helpful column. I love that your ideas can be put to use immediatly. There is nothing to go out and buy. All I need is my willingness to try something new. I am looking forward to the 2nd part of the utube interview. Have a great day! Tamara

Lillian 2 November 2007 - 11:01 pm

A fabulous guide to mining the power of the unconscious. I appreciate that your articles are well researched. You have the special talent for communicating and imparting your knowledge and insights. I benefit everytime I apply your advice. Keep it coming!

David J. Pollay 3 November 2007 - 1:47 am

Hi Mikey,

It is wonderful to think of Bumpa Pollay. One of the most gratifying aspects of my writing is when I have the opportunity to recognize people I love and respect. We were lucky Bumpa lived with us for many years before he passed away.

The power of the unconscious is exciting. Bumpa would be glad all of us are working to make the most of ours.

Thank you Mikey for your note!

Best to you Mikey,


David J. Pollay 3 November 2007 - 1:52 am

Hi Tamara,

Thank you for your post! Your post is a reminder to us all; it’s great to think and study, and it is just as important to get out and do. We have to take action to improve our lives!

Thanks for the interest in Part II of the interview. It was just released online; here it is:


Best to you,


David J. Pollay 3 November 2007 - 1:59 am

Hi Lillian,

Thanks you for the wonderful post; I appreciate your support! It is important that we continue to ground our work in research. We are learning so much about the mind through the studies being conducted. It is incredible what we can do when we tap the power of our unconscious.

And good for you for putting our ideas into action!

Best to you,


Chris 5 November 2007 - 2:43 pm

Thanks so much David for great insight into the subconscious. I have worked to use my conscious thoughts to create positive and affirming beliefs about myself. I am much happier and more successful and productive when my subconsious is saying something like, “I can because I am talented and always work hard.” Thanks for a reminder of how important this is!

David J. Pollay 6 November 2007 - 3:32 am

Hi Chris,

It is so important that we do not let unhelpful thoughts roll around our head unchecked. And worse yet, it’s critical that we do not “pile on” those thoughts with even less empowering ones. So it is great that you are feeding your conscious and unconscious mind with powerful and positive thoughts. And it is obviously helpful to you! Great work!

Best to you,


sara nabeeh 15 November 2007 - 1:54 am

thank u very much of this amazing article its very useful for me at least and already practice it in my love but your article make me trust more in my self

Peter Blake 19 July 2015 - 11:28 am

The conscious mind thinks it is in control, that if it focuses and concentrates it can create change. It is terrified of the idea that it controls very little so it creates lists, it creates systems and it pretends that by drawing on its own resources it can engineer change in our lives. Trying to use the subconscious is an idea thought up by the conscious mind. We are therefore back with the limited and scared conscious mind: back to pretending that we can engineer change and create something by using our focus and concentration.


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