We don't give enough credit to the unconscious mind. How could we?
Well, Maxwell Maltz, author of Psychocybernetics, said "It is conscious thinking which is the 'control knob' of your unconscious machine." Maltz believed we are gifted the machine between our ears, a "goal-seeking mechanism".
I started thinking about this concept again after watching Karsten Runquist's video essay about his favorite member of the Queer Eye Fab 5 - Deconstructing: Jonathan Van Ness. In the video, Runquist highlights how Van Ness often focuses on the solution more than anyone else on the show, rather than nitpicking the problem. He uses what works and moves forward. Some insight why comes from a Vulture interview clip with actor Justin Theroux:
Van Ness: My friend is like really mad about this thing that happened, like this thing. And they can't stop talking about The Thing. But I was, like, if you got more into the solution of that than rehashing the problem...
Theroux: Do we care about what The Thing is, or?
Van Ness: No [...] Just the idea that getting into the solution is cuter than me rehashing the problem because Eckhart Tolle talks about how our brains and our bodies, our bodies don't know the difference between reality and a thought, so if I'm replaying the state of the world right now and I'm not actively thinking about a solution, I'm just titrating on the problem, I think that just stresses me out.
Without giving credit to our unconscious mind, very rarely do we recognize the power it yields. We chalk it up to random thoughts bubbling up to the surface, but what if Maltz and Tolle and Van Ness are right? What if our minds can't tell the difference between our thoughts and our senses? What if each of us has a goal-seeking mechanism in our unconscious mind and we're just feeding it garbage?
After all, if you know the solution, why would you waste another minute on the problem?