Security is mostly a superstition…Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
-Helen Keller

The universe is vast beyond our comprehension. Our world seems vast, almost beyond comprehension. Think of the thousands of lives with which we intersect every day, whether it be traveling in a car or passing on the street or seeing at the supermarket. Each person has a web of life experience that may or may not have intersected ours at some point—almost like the “six degrees of separation” effect. With the internet and social networking on Facebook and Twitter, we seem more connected to this vastness than ever before. And with this connectedness no doubt comes some greater sense of belonging, a sense of security.

When I joined Facebook a little over a year ago, I figured out why it became so popular, so fast. When you join, you’re greeted on the screen with four words certain to send a loud cry of danger through your brain, and to cause trembling throughout your body. Those words: YOU HAVE NO FRIENDS. Ouch! It’s part of a pretty smart marketing strategy for Facebook.

Successful marketing taps into the automatic brain (AB). And this marketing strategy for Facebook is designed to reinforce our smallness in the world, in the universe. The AB is always on the alert for signs of danger, threat, or vulnerability. The more friends we have, the more secure we feel, and therefore the less vulnerable. The more a product looks like it can help us fight or flee the danger of not being connected, the more our AB will drive us to buy it. This simple concept has worked for time immemorial. The AB’s constant attempts to shelter and protect us from danger become our security blanket.

But where the AB may fall for sales pitches like that, our mind (which I consider the portal to our spirituality, the gateway to our personal power) keeps us grounded. As we expose ourselves to social networks and let our imagination transport us to the edge of the universe, our mind is ever vigilant. While the AB is often a false friend—albeit one that protected our ancestors from real danger many eons ago—the mind is the manifestation of our evolved intelligence.
See if these examples of the AB in action sound familiar: You’re watching an interview of a Hollywood star, or famous athlete, or successful business person. What do you start thinking? Does your brain start to compare your life with theirs? Does a part of you wish you could look like them, or have their money and apparent freedom from day-to-day worries? When you encounter someone on the street, whether or not you know them, do you find yourself thinking their life must be much better than yours? What about someone else’s child--do you wish your child was as successful as theirs? On Facebook, when you become a new friend to someone, do you first check to see how many friends they have and compare that with your own total?

So why does our brain (never our mind) do this? What is so dangerous about these situations? The AB is on the alert 24/7 for danger, threat, or vulnerability, and if someone appears to have a stronger fortress than you, they become a threat to you. That triggers the fight (competing against them, perhaps by having more Facebook friends than them; badmouthing them; or wishing them ill—i.e., schadenfreude) or the flight (avoiding them or insincerely seeking their friendship).

All of this is the modus operandi of the AB. It is something to avoid in yourself if you want to genuinely connect with the larger universe. Connection starts with helping your mind recognize that the “dangers” of the AB are not dangers at all, and that while your AB is firing, so is the AB of those who trigger yours.
I acknowledge that dealing with the AB’s automatic reactions isn’t easy. Those reactions may become less powerful over time, but they never vanish. Here are some suggestions that may help when you feel a trigger firing:
- Repeat in your mind, “I love my life, I love my journey.” Say it over and over again.

- Recognize that you can learn from others when you remove the influence of the AB. If you see a successful business person being interviewed, allow your mind to pick up on one tip that you might apply in your life today. Or if you see an actress whose appearance you admire, try to pick up one aspect of what she is doing that might apply to you. Implement it today, and don’t try to pick up more than one thing at a time.

- Think positively. If you wonder how someone got so many friends on Facebook, and you would like to use social networking to expand your business, resist the temptation to resent the other person’s success. Instead, Google: “increase friends on Facebook.” You’ll get lots of ideas.
When you allow your mind to guide you, you open the portal to a greater universe of possibilities. It’s all up to you, though, and no one else. You must keep your house in order: your body, your AB, and especially your mind. If we all did this, we would all stay effortlessly connected. We would realize an authentic sense of security. The next time you look outside yourself for a connection to the world, or to what might be threatening you, turn inward instead. Open your mind and feel the sense of belonging flow into your soul.

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Glassman began distributing a weekly motivational email message to patients and friends in January 2007. By May 2008, his distribution list had grown so much—as people on the list told others about it—
and interest in his messages had become so high—Dr. Glassman decided to turn his philosophy and advice into a book. That’s how Brain Drain came about. Starting in May 2008, his weekly messages—now distributed to an even larger audience—formed the basis for chapters of this book.
To date, Brain Drain has won in the Spiritual category at the 2009 Los Angeles Book Festival and received honorable mention at the 2009 New England Book Festival.

Through his book, private practice, public appearances, continued weekly messages,and Coach MD (medical coaching practice) Dr. Glassman has helped thousands realize a healthier, successful, and more abundant life.

He lives in Rockland County, NY with his wife Melanie and their four children (and dog, Ginger).;