Metaprograms are content-free (unlike beliefs or values, each of which has content) in the sense that they can be applied to any content. Let’s look at a couple of the more important metaprograms.
The Direction Filter determines whether, when you look at a given situation, you move toward what you want, or away from what you don’t want. If someone asks you why having a good job is important to you (assuming that it is), you might say that having a good job creates a good living and allows you to exercise your creativity.
In this case, you’ve described what you want to move toward – a good living, and exercising your creativity. You might, though, use this filter in the opposite way and say that without a good job you would struggle to make ends meet, and you would feel bad spending forty hours a week doing something you find uninteresting. In this case, you’ve described what you want to move away from – not being able to make ends meet, and spending your time on something that does not interest you. In both cases, your intention might be the same, to have what you want. In the first case you want to get it by moving toward it, while in the second you want to get it by moving away from the opposite.
These two ways of focusing your mind, however, will create very different outcomes. To move toward what you want, you have to focus on it. In most cases this means picturing it internally or talking to yourself about it. As with all focusing, this will create certain feelings and behaviors, and it will cause you to attract or be attracted to the people or situations that will help you make what you’ve focused on happen in reality.
As always, your mind figures out how to create what you focus on. When you move away from what you don’t want, something very similar happens, but with an interesting twist. To move away from something you don’t want, you also have to focus on it. Unfortunately, your mind takes what you focus on very literally. It assumes that you want whatever you focus on. It doesn’t register the negative and, as before, it gets busy attracting or creating what you’ve focused on – even though you don’t want it.
If, for instance, you are afraid that people don’t like you, you will find ways to attract people who don’t like you. You might become attracted to people who don’t like anyone. You might act in such a way that people don’t like you. You might interpret what people say and do in a way that makes it seem that they don’t like you, even if they do. You can see that automatically focusing on what you don’t want is not resourceful, yet many people do it.
To be in charge of what you create, you need to use this filter consciously. You cannot allow it to operate unconsciously.
A second metaprogram filter, The Reason Filter, determines why you do whatever it is you are doing. Do you do it because it’s possible, or because you have to? Many people unconsciously and automatically follow a set of rules or “supposed-to’s” they learned while growing up. These rules create pre-programmed focusing and pre-programmed behavior.
There are certain benefits to this – rules act like shortcuts, allowing us to act in ways that have worked in the past). However, no set of rules can cover all possibilities, and what do you do when you can’t find a rule that works? And, many of the rules we carry with us from childhood are nothing more than hand-me-down limitation from our parents.
Rules and “have-to’s” filter out other possibilities, and if you filter out the possibilities, you don’t see them. If you don’t see them, they don’t exist. If you focus on the possibilities in any given situation, you may still end up with the same action the rules would have generated, but you’ll be doing it for a different reason, and you’ll have considered many possibilities that might generate a much more resourceful outcome.
But what about the shortcut advantage?
Won’t you need to consider all the possibilities – which could be infinite – in every situation? Relax. There is a part of you that can consider them all, evaluate them, and choose the most resourceful, and do it in an instant. It isn’t your linear mind, though, which does everything one step at a time, but rather another part of you that can handle an unlimited number of variables all at once. (More about that in a moment.) These (and about twenty more) metaprogram filters determine what you pay attention to.
You can either use them unconsciously, as you probably are now, or you can master them and use them consciously and intentionally. When these filters operate unconsciously and automatically, you will create your life in a certain pre-set way. If you operate them consciously and intentionally, you can create whatever you want. It’s that simple.
Centerpointe’s Life Principles Integration Process
(LPIP) is a step-by-step method for mastering your Internal Map of Reality. To experience a free preview lesson, just click here.
Stay tuned for part III of “What You Pay Attention To Creates Your Life”
It will look like this: What You Pay Attention To Creates Your Life II