Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Answer is Often ... "Two Seconds"

Two seconds. That's all it takes.
Many times.

In the time it took you to read this sentence.

That is the amount of time it takes to get your answer.

You've been there so many times. Someone brings you a question, someone brings you a quandary ... hell ... someone brings you a doughnut.

You immediately think you have the right answer for yourself and the situation. And your very FIRST response, that first knee-jerk response, is only coming from a conditioned place within yourself, built from past experiences.

Here. Let me give you an example.

Someone at lunch says she is enjoying her pizza. She asks, "Would you like a piece?" I quickly and without thinking answer "No, but thank you." As I walk away from that lunch, I may consider that situation and come to realize "I WOULD have liked to have had a taste of that pizza." Why did I say "no," and why did I say it so swiftly? For you non-codependent types out there, you may not be able to relate, but attempt to stretch here. In this situation, I may be conditioned by my mind to answer without really thinking things through ... for even two seconds.

Here are the thoughts that are faster than lightning, faster than two seconds, even one second:
  • I don't deserve anything extra.
  • I don't want to be a bother to someone.
  • If I say "yes" to someone, I will be trapped into some obligation down the road.
  • And more...
Now, this is only one example of how a mind may work lickedy-split quick and get in the way of you truly knowing what you want in the moment, keep you from truly allowing you to choose your life and have you block your chance at a piece of pizza.

Your solution to dealing with this super-swift subconscious mind? Two seconds.

Two seconds.

It's all you need. Try it out. Next time someone asks you a question or offers you something, take a breath or two. Take the two seconds it takes for your conscious mind to check your gut and connect with a deeper answer. You may find out that it disagrees with the knee-jerk reaction and responds in another way. "Sure, I'd love a bit of pizza."

In the long run, as you practice the art of "Two Seconds" you will become faster and faster at realizing what you truly want in each scenario - pizza or no pizza. 

James Anthony Ellis is a writer and producer living in San Diego. And yes, he is available for outings for pizza most every day. He can be reached at


  1. This conflicts with an article I read not too long ago which emphasizes to trust your initial reaction, for it is our instinct that has been an important survival mechanism:

    "...Unfortunately, gut feelings can also be silenced. When humans are forced or denied certain feelings during their prime stages of mental, physical, and above all emotional growth, guts can be faulty. A childhood hijacked by abusive or neglectful parents or guardians can create excessive self-doubt, irrational fear, or a clouded thought process, making it difficult to filter traumatic past experiences from actual gut intuition. Overwhelming stimuli can also make it difficult for a person to see the decision in front of them with clarity."

    I would totally say yes to the slice of pizza. �� Maybe this is why:

    "Women, on the other hand, may have a stronger ability to make a successful intuitive decision because of their exceptional skills in reading other humans. Female ancestors needed to evaluate a situation quickly in order to tune in to their infant and their environment for protection and survival. Their brains were trained with peak awareness because they were protecting a heart outside of their own bodies. Female brains therefore evolved to have a larger composition and ability to organize chunks of environmental information at a time, giving them an edge to read people.

    So ladies, trust your gut."

  2. ha.

    the two ideas aren't mutually exclusive.

    the intuition is the gut reaction that hits ya, and for sure trust that.
    what happens is that gut thing hits ya, but then the conscious brain comes in to keep me moving some logical or rushed track.
    I'm saying take two seconds to shush the conscious mind for just a bit, so you can get BACK to listening to that initial knowing.

    thanks for playing our game!