Understanding the Conscious and the Subconscious Mind


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We literally have two brains: The Conscious and The Subconscious.

The Conscious Mind

The conscious mind is located in the brain’s topmost layers. It includes the neocortex and the lobes. More specifically, it is located at the top and sides of our brain. Some neuroscientists refer to it as the upper brain. I like to to call it the new brain because it represents the most recent addition to our brain. Our new brain has only been around for about 300,000 years. It is responsible for the following functions:

  • Voluntary thought
  • Awareness
  • Self-control
  • Planning

The new brain can overpower automatic routines – habits. It can mute our emotions and sudden impulses. It is where willpower resides. Our ability to focus for short periods of time is fueled by willpower. Our new brain cannot multitask. It can only perform one function at a time. When we “multitask” we are actually switching from one function, activity, group of brain cells to another. This wears out the brain. Willpower is a very limited resource.

The Subconscious Mind

The subconscious mind is located in the limbic system and the brain stem. Some refer to it as the lower brain. I like to call it the old brain because it’s been with us for millions of years. Our old brain has massive computing power. It operates constantly, solving complex problems offline (without conscious effort, without using any willpower). It is responsible for the following functions:

  • Autonomic nervous system – controls our internal organs
  • Forges and manages all habits
  • Insight and creativity
  • Emotions

The old brain is much faster and more efficient than the new brain. It has the capacity to multitask. It gives us the ability to make quick decisions. While our new brain is at rest our old brain is at work helping us solve problems, uncover opportunities, comprehend the incomprehensible, solidify memory and nudges us into doing things or to stop doing things. When you have a gut feeling that something is wrong it is because your old brain identified a problem that is invisible to your new brain. Intuition is the old brain’s way of communicating  knowledge it has that the new brain doesn’t.

Some of the scientists who study the brain (neuroscientists, behavioral psychologists, etc.) believe the vagus nerve or spindle neurons that connect the prefrontal cortex (new brain) to the insula (old brain) may be the communication superhighway that links the conscious (new brain) to the subconscious (old brain). The subconscious brain may be using this very superhighway to communicate intuition, gut feelings and insight (aha moments) to the conscious brain.


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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit, Money.com, India TV, News.com Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money, SUCCESS.com, Inc.com, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider, Credit.com, Bankrate.com and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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  1. Awsome blog! I am loving it!! Will come back again. I am taking your feeds also.


  1. […] is the means by which the subconscious communicates with the conscious. Your subconscious knows all and sees all. It is constantly taking in sensory data and information […]

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